#123 It’s not too late (retro)

April 1, 2010 at 3:03 am Leave a comment

It’s not too late.

Well I think this is my first blog after that long discussion about prison communications. I am glad to finish it, but it was very fun to write it. I got a lot of people reading it on my prison blogs, so I know some of you will get some mileage out of it. Some of you told me you wanted to print it to send to a loved one, I am very cool with that.

In all honesty, I understand that the second my works become available, anybody, (friend or enemy) can copy it and send it. Some of you ask if you can, which is really honorable, I really do appreciate that. It’s not like I am going to charge you for doing it, when I blog I understand that it is free to anyone who sees it. The problem is that some people use it for gain without acknowledging where they got it from.

But I am cool with it…I guess.

Anyway, I wanted to blog on a few things but before I do, don’t forget to check out my booksite and my zazzle link. Also, don’t be afraid to email me at derf4000 (at) embarqmail (dot) com.

As some of you know, I answer quite a bit of emails in a week. It hasn’t gotten to like big numbers, but I do get some. Some were asking about my books and my cards, while others ask about situations that I might be able to blog about.

In nearly anything I talk about, there is a theme that what you can do for a loved one is never too late. Hope is about believing that it isn’t too late to help someone you love in prison. You can’t turn back time, but what you can do is be a light in a dark place. There are lots of men and women in prison that can see nothing but the darkness that is condemnation. We have all been in some tough spots, but some have been in much darker situations for a longer period of time. Inmates need help from you to get them through it.

But the problem is most people are looking at the worst case scenario and accepting it as the sad ending to a story. How many of you watch some of those dramas where at the end, there is no true resolution, only a sad ending? Of course, Hollywood does that to keep you watching, but in real life we seem to believe the same thing.

Your loved one is doing bad in prison and you feel like this is his lot in life.

Your son got put in the hole for being in a fight, and you don’t know what to do.

Your boyfriend lost his visitation privileges and you feel like you failed.

So many situations can have you thinking that this almost what has to happen when someone goes to prison. I am not going to sit here and tell you none of these things happen because they do. But one of the things I want to try to get across to you is that it is not the end. It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to help him or even turn things around.

“Oh that’s just foolish! My son is in prison and there is NOTHING I can do for him!”

No, I strongly disagree.

You can LOVE him.

And that’s where it starts folks. So many are at their wits end because they cannot see anything past their loved one’s condemnation. And I can understand that, remember, I have been there. I know what it is like to be in prison, and to spend time in the hole, and to be retaliated against, and to be in a fight. I’ve been there with guys that had only a couple of months to do to guys that have 99 years. I’ve been there with guys of all kinds of charges. I understand what you are afraid of.

But I am also saying this…it’s not too late.

But it requires you to change your thinking a bit. You cannot keep worrying about the problems that your loved one may be going through. This does not mean you ignore them, it means you must find a way to focus on the faith it is going to take to help him or her. For some of you it starts at the very beginning of that determination that your son, or daughter, or boyfriend or husband or pen pal is someone worth loving. Get that in your head first before you go any further because it creates a foundation to stand on.

See, if you still have reservations about “well, he did break the law, so I don’t know if it isn’t deserved that he is being ignored for medical visits”. That has nothing to do with it. Inmates put in prison are there for incarceration, and any additional punishment added by the prison is considered prison abuse…and it is a heck of a lot common than you think.

Yet lots of people run to prison support sites and cry about how they treat inmates, yet refuse to even mention it to the prison or some official for fear of retaliation. Guys, you have to look at that retaliation is based on. Prison retaliation is based on the idea that prisons often feel that they have a God-like authority over the welfare of an inmate…for better or worse. When you allow prisons to dictate how they treat inmates, you are also accepting their treatment of inmates…remember, you are ACCEPTING it, even if you write 100 posts about it on a site.

If you are going to help that person in prison, you have to start a new line of thinking that it is not too late to help them. Even if it is bad now, that can change. I am reminded of a person who had a loved one in prison here in NC, and he was clearly being neglected for medical visits. He was in pain and had almost no change of clothes in that cell for days. When he had a visit with his girlfriend, he literally broke down and cried for all the crap the prison was putting him through. She didn’t know what to do.

Now at this point a lot of you can say “Amen” to her plight, but at the same time, many of you will not even entertain the idea of helping that poor soul in prison. Why? Because you’re afraid of what the prison might do to him.

Ask yourself this question…what are they doing to him NOW? What did he deserve to be ignored medical help and in pain? Where is the humanity in that? Lots of you need to really think about that because it could be someone you love.

Anyway, she emailed me and asked what to do. We worked on some letters to send to prison officials and other local officers to see what could be done. At first it didn’t look like there would be progress, but I ended up getting a letter from her not long afterwards about the changes.

He was doing MUCH better, and the prison seemed to be genuinely concerned about his health. It wasn’t a complete turnaround, but far, better than what it was. And let me tell you something, when an inmate sees that his loved ones care that much to make sure he is ok, that means so much to them. Lots of inmates believe that their loved ones are too afraid to help them because they fear retaliation…so NOBODY gets help and EVERYBODY suffers.

You see what fear does to you?

But the moment you realize it’s not too late, you are empowered to help someone you care about. Your boyfriend or husband or son might be going through a very tough time right now, and you need to resolve to say that “it’s not too late to help him”.

How?

Start off by making a stand of love for them. Some of you never really did that, so your desires to help him are questionable to begin with. You have to KNOW that you love that person and you are going to do what you can to help him or her.

Over a year ago, I offered on a Yahoo prison support site a free prison encouragement certificate to anyone willing to give me their address to send it to. They would pay nothing for it, except to postage to send it to their loved ones in prison. I did not offer to send it directly to prison because my idea was to get those loved ones outside of prison to send it…after all YOU have to do something.

Some questioned my sincerity, but many took me up on it. I sent those prison encouragement certificates off and over the time I got several people who emailed me back telling me how much those certificates helped their loved ones in prison.

Now let’s not get silly, it’s not like it changed their world, but it did give them a bright spark to work off of. Sometimes that is all you need to get things going in the right direction. The prison encouragement certificates are a very nice and unique way to brighten an person’s day…and give them hope.

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Entry filed under: girlfriends with boyfriends in prison, God and prison, inmates, jail, LostVault, mothers with sons in prison, prison, prison abuse, prison blogs, prison books, prison cards, prison food, prison jobs, prison mail, prison pen pals, prison support sites, Prison Talk Online, Prisonbid, rehabilitation, son in prison.

#122 One day at a time (retro) #124 After you know you’re not alone (retro)

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