Mother Feels Guilt and Isolation While Son is Incarcerated
Thank you Anonymous for sharing your heartfelt story about your feelings of guilt and isolation while your son is serving his sentence and everything that you have been through. With over six million people in the prison system and over 10% of the population on the outside supporting them, you are definitely not alone and deserve support and help. By reaching out and telling your story, you are helping others. We have also provided you with information on support groups.
Just trying to make sense of it all and maybe let someone else know that they are not alone.
A Mother’s Story
My son is currently incarcerated and has about 1 1/2 of his sentence remaining. I am in my mid 60’s. I am constantly concerned with his safety. I am a widow and have been for nearly 10 years. I am trying to meet my financial needs and also send him money so he can stay out of the prison economy.
I also struggle with my role in his criminality. Did I not provide him with the tools and skills to make proper decisions? I am always questioning my actions. I also struggle with the fact that he has stolen from me, lied to me, stolen from employers and neighbors.
I think about what the perception of me my community has. I would like to say that I do not care about that perception but I do care. I care about what the people I admire have to say about me and what they think of me as a community member.
Another question I constantly ask myself is whether or not he is a good person who has had some hard knocks and made some bad decisions or if he is simply not a good person. I have no criminal history. I am a responsible community member. I divorced his father when he was 1 1/2 years old. I made a naive decision to marry him and soon found out the he was criminal in nature. He was an admitted thief who died of alcoholism in his mid-50’s. He was a central influence in my sons life in a negative way.
I am not about blame, but I am about understanding so that I may positively influence the future. In all fairness his father was not parented well. He was used as a pawn in an ugly divorce. We could blame and judge to no end to no avail. After many sleepless night while he was out using, after many incarcerations and negative events I am simply shell shocked. My doctor said I show signs of PTSD. I am continually waiting for the other shoe to drop even though I try my best to involve myself with good people and activities.
My guilt is exacerbated by the fact that I am terrified to visit a prison. I am claustrophobic and panic stricken. Most of the time I do well but sometimes I become overwhelmed at the least little bump in the road. I am not one to feel sorry for myself. I am so fortunate even on my worst days. Just trying to make sense of it all and maybe let someone else know that they are not alone.