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traumaRUs MSN, APRN

Asst Community Manager

Reputation Activity by traumaRUs

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Like 37

  1. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from herring_RN, ASN, BSN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    @LockportRN - Thanks for sharing. I'm no longer concerned with my son's safety. He is actually in a minimal security prison which is STG-free (security threat group or gangs in common language). My son of course committed a felony but not something drug related - so he stayed in the state system and we are fortunate to be able to visit. 
    Thanks again for the positive story....
  2. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from herring_RN, ASN, BSN in The Ongoing Frustrations of a Band and Sports Mom, Part 1   
    None of us like to have our child either ignored or have negative attention - I'm sorry your daughter is going thru this. 
     
    And I agree, creepy that the band director took those pics. My husband is a high school teacher and believe me, he is exceedingly careful with anything personal with students. 
  3. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN reacted to NurseCard in The Ongoing Frustrations of a Band and Sports Mom, Part 1   
    Let's just get right to the point.  Heck with it.  
    I have a daughter who is active in her school's marching band, as well as her school's archery team.  I have a son who is a budding basketball player.
    I want my kids to do well.  I want them to shine.  I do.  I get jealous when other kids get recognized, get the spotlight, while my kids get overlooked. 
    Oh sure, the kids who are the best basketball players, who make all of the three pointers.. they are the kids who are naturally going to get all the glory.  That girl who made All State band... The only one from my daughter's school to make it... Of COURSE my daughter's band director is going to constantly make every concert, every marching band show, all about his girl. 
    Let's just talk some more about school band.  It's a sore spot for me.  My daughter loves band.  Absolutely loves it.  Works her tail off every marching band season, just like everyone else.  In fact, her whole section works hard?  What section is she in?  Pit percussion.
    The Pit.  The forgotten ones.  In fact, pretty much all of the percussion section gets overlooked by her band director.  His babies are the woodwinds.  You can tell who his favorites are by looking at Facebook.  Evil Facebook.  That social media platform that I really just need to get rid of once and for all.  
    I know that the harder my kids work, the better they are going to get at their chosen sports, instruments, etc... I know this.  I know that the better they get, the more recognition that they will receive.   
    I however, get very annoyed at band directors who make it so BLATANTLY clear who their favorite kids are.  My daughter HAS worked very hard.  She played an instrument last year that she was VERY unfamiliar with, the Vibraphone, and played as much of a role in helping that band win a State CHAMPIONSHIP, as any other kid in that band.   
    He actually went on Instagram the other day and posted TEN pictures that he had taken himself, in a row, of his little All State flute player.  It was supposed to be a joke... The joke was that she didn't know he was taking her picture, and took about 8-9 different pictures before she realized he was taking her picture.  Still... Annoying and rather creepy really.
    I take nothing away from that girl, she's a sweet girl and an amazing talent.  But you know... Can you spread it around a little more maybe???  You've got about 60 other kids in your band.  You've got about 4-5 more that you tend to lose your mind over, I know... The rest are just forgotten.  Whether they deserve to be or not.
    Ugh... Maybe the director is just trying extra hard to be a mentor to the kids whom he knows are going to go on to make music their lifelong career.   My daughter, while she does love being part of band, considers visual art her passion and is looking at a career in design and illustration.
    However, it is so disheartening to know, or to feel like, a band director, or a coach, does not care about your child or feel like they are important, especially when both your child AND you, put so much time and effort into the activity.
    I could go on and on.  
    We'll save it for the next chapter. 
  4. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from herring_RN, ASN, BSN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    @LockportRN - Thanks for sharing. I'm no longer concerned with my son's safety. He is actually in a minimal security prison which is STG-free (security threat group or gangs in common language). My son of course committed a felony but not something drug related - so he stayed in the state system and we are fortunate to be able to visit. 
    Thanks again for the positive story....
  5. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN reacted to LockportRN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    Trauma
    Thanks for the update.  I remember when this all started for you.  My child was in as well for several years, however she was sent to several different states so we could not visit.  But I remember my heart (broken and so scared).  I remember the fear for her life in there and for her future.
    Don't know your sons crime, but my daughters' did include several felonys(?spelling).  I have to share.  She did live.  She made it out alive and unhurt (though NO healthcare was provided to her).  This day she has held the same job for nearly 6 years and is a valued, reliable employee.  She is a loving mom and great friend to many.  At her job, she runs the collections for the Food Pantry, Toys for Tots, Adopt a Family at Christmas, Monthly pot luck at work, and runs the Christmas Party.  At times she feels limited by her past, but mostly she is just happy being present, drug-free, and prison free.  She has finally stopped looking over her shoulder at what was and is building a real life!  No, it wasn't easy, but she never gave up.  
    Tell him to hang in there.  There are people that do care and want to help and he can live a better life.  As for his son, well, the past can never be erased.  The missed times can never be made up for, but new memories and trust can be built.  I wish I could give you a big hug but at least know that you and your family are thought of and best wishes and strength are being thrown your way!
  6. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from herring_RN, ASN, BSN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    @toomuchbaloney - our son tears off our address when we mail him letters. His is not drug-related nor do we have concern about others coming after us except for some other prisoners that might have weird ideas. 
    My son is in the state system so we do have the option of paying approx $5k for him to be furloughed with guards, handcuffs, shackles if something dire happens to his immediate family. 
    I am sorry for all you've been through.
  7. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from herring_RN, ASN, BSN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    @toomuchbaloney - our son tears off our address when we mail him letters. His is not drug-related nor do we have concern about others coming after us except for some other prisoners that might have weird ideas. 
    My son is in the state system so we do have the option of paying approx $5k for him to be furloughed with guards, handcuffs, shackles if something dire happens to his immediate family. 
    I am sorry for all you've been through.
  8. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from Daisy4RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    Thanks Daisy - yeah 6 years ago I would have read this and thought "oh that poor family, that could never happen to US!" 
     
    Little did I know....
  9. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    My son has now been incarcerated for well over 5 years with 2 more to go. I recently came in contact with our expensive lawyer from the first part of this journey. Just a casual meeting and we exchanged pleasantries - he asked how we were doing and I did the same. I told him that this has forever changed our lives as far as the state of incarceration and prisons go but that we and our son are doing as well as can be expected. He seemed quite relieved and said that he often thinks of us and how he wished it could have turned out differently....and I agreed with a tight smile. I think he did his job to the best of his ability; its just a shame what it has cost us and I don't mean money either. 
    The stress of having a child, even an adult one, in prison is very high. The stress for his child is even more - he misses Dad so much. Taking a child to prison is difficult: they must sit quietly while the adults check in and then they must sit quietly until our name is called, go thru the pat-down and then finally proceed to the visiting room. 
    In the visiting room, the child must sit quietly and not be too loud, they can't make anything that might be interpreted as against the rules, no peace sign as it could be interpreted as a gang sign, no whistling as it has many different connotations in prison, no pointing as that is offensive and considered intrusive, no speaking with other children as that is considered cross-visiting and strictly forbidden. They can go up to the vending machines and purchase food/drinks but must be sure to remove their vending card as you run the risk of someone else taking it if left there. 
    When you travel several hours, visits usually last several hours - its hard on the kids. What child will sit still for hours with little to entertain them? Sometimes there are cards, occasionally a chess set available. Some of the little ones cry and get fussy and many of the toddlers want to run around. However, you risk the ire of the correctional officer in the visiting room if this happens and you don't want to be asked to leave because you then risk having visits suspended. 
    Speaking of the visiting room, the vending machines are the only way to purchase food. Your loved one will look forward to the food as the food they usually get isn't all that good. Our son is one of the fortunate who can go to the commissary and purchase food and he also has a hot pot. The vending machines are expensive, even our grandson noticed the recent hike:
    Salad (which is very special for the chance to obtain some fresh or somewhat fresh veggies) costs $7.25
    Hamburgers and sandwiches are $5.00 to $7.00
    Lunchables, snack size are $6.00
    Oh and the "good stuff" ie salads, milk, yoghurt sell out frequently and the vending machine company comes once per week. And...make sure they have utensils because you need a fork or spork to eat the salad although our son gladly ate a salad with his fingers during a recent visit because I didn't check the utensil bin prior to purchasing it. However, he was still very thankful. 
    The end of visits can be grueling too - the tears of the children leaving their Dad behind, the tears of parents realizing the enormity of incarceration....our grandson no longer clings to his Dad at the end of visits but still is very sad and feels that he must always reassure his Dad that he will be back "as soon as I can Dad - I miss you so much." Often, our son tears up too at his own son bearing this burden. 
    Our son is in a prison built for 600 and it holds 1200 currently. Out of the 1200, many do not have any family support at all and exist on "state pay" which is $10 per month to purchase any hygiene items they want. Some don't have anyone on the outside that sends them money for phones, commissary or more importantly, visit them. 
    The expense of incarceration is toughest on the poor and disproportionately the poor are more readily incarcerated. This isn't meant to be political at all, but rather a commentary on what families of prisoners, inmates, offenders or whatever you want to call them go thru. I've learned so much in the last 5+ years; none of which I wanted to experience. 
  10. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from herring_RN, ASN, BSN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    @toomuchbaloney - our son tears off our address when we mail him letters. His is not drug-related nor do we have concern about others coming after us except for some other prisoners that might have weird ideas. 
    My son is in the state system so we do have the option of paying approx $5k for him to be furloughed with guards, handcuffs, shackles if something dire happens to his immediate family. 
    I am sorry for all you've been through.
  11. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from herring_RN, ASN, BSN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    @toomuchbaloney - our son tears off our address when we mail him letters. His is not drug-related nor do we have concern about others coming after us except for some other prisoners that might have weird ideas. 
    My son is in the state system so we do have the option of paying approx $5k for him to be furloughed with guards, handcuffs, shackles if something dire happens to his immediate family. 
    I am sorry for all you've been through.
  12. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from Daisy4RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    Thanks Daisy - yeah 6 years ago I would have read this and thought "oh that poor family, that could never happen to US!" 
     
    Little did I know....
  13. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN reacted to toomuchbaloney in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    My youngest sibling was incarcerated in federal prison for many years. I wrote him but never visited and didn't provide a residential address for his visits.  His drug friends were dangerous people. 
    My parents visited until my mom died, he couldn't get out for that. He was able to come care for dad in his last days and help with clean up. Dad lived in Florida, we didn't even have a memorial service for him. 
  14. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN reacted to herring_RN, ASN, BSN in Valentine's Day - How Do You Celebrate?   
    My husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day for the second time in almost 52 years. 😍   About thirty years ago he bought me flowers at the supermarket because his friend, a plumber, told him he should buy his wife flowers because the friend's wife loved getting them.
    This morning he turned the TV off and we reminisced for a while. Then I made French toast on high fiber bread and he cooked himself bacon.
    Then we got romantic.
    PS: My Grandma called old people like us "sex gone to seed".  👩‍❤️‍👨
  15. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN reacted to FranEMTnurse in Valentine's Day - How Do You Celebrate?   
    Personally, I haven't celebrated Valentines Day since I was a child. Nobody in our family did anything for Valentines Day. I think it's nice for people to show love to one another every day and to give compliments to others and to encourage one another every day. Just IMHO.
    Enjoy your day everyone.
  16. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from juan de la cruz in I'm a Prison Mom Part 3   
    And here is part 2:
    I was browsing the blue side of AN recently and came upon my article from a couple of years ago when this was so raw and open. Thought I would give an update. Did you know that the US has the most incarcerated citizens per capita of any civilized nation - says something about us as a nation, doesn’t it?

    I’ve learned a lot over the past 2 ½ years since I wrote the first article. Here’s some of what I’ve learned:

    Lawyers are expensive! When we started this journey, it was recommended that we hire a private attorney. So, off we go to interview. We interviewed a total of five practices for a total of seven lawyers. We called more but several didn’t return our calls or emails so we quickly crossed them off our list. We were quoted anywhere from $5000 to $130,000 for a plea deal. Rehashing the details took its toll too. In the beginning, we cried in their offices, towards the end, we could recite the details without a tear.

    It really truly matters WHERE you commit a crime. If you commit a crime in a large city, the punishment is similar in most instances. However, if you commit a crime in a small, rural county where crime is uncommon, the penalty will be much more severe. 
    Visiting in jail, behind glass is impersonal at best. You go in, sign up for a time, then return to your car to wait - whether that be 15 minutes or 2 hours, you sit in your car and wait your turn. When the time arrives, you sign in, and get assigned to a phone. You know now to bring in bleach wipes to wipe down the phone, and immediate area as it is always filthy. Your loved one is led in, handcuffed and shackled and he picks up the phone and you start your very stilted visit thru glass. During your visit you are surrounded by four other visitors who may or may not be happy to be there - you hear arguing, yelling, cursing, crying, sobbing, anger, sadness, many emotions flood the tiny visiting room. All too soon the 15 minutes is up and you must leave.

    Our judicial system is S_L_O_W - it takes months (and can take years) before a trial or plea bargain is negotiated. Trials are expensive, plea bargains are expensive too but more in terms of emotions:
    Plea bargains are like games between attorneys only the pawns are real life people The accused’s attorney throws out a number, then the DA counters with another number and back and forth you go. The families/prisoners go along for the roller coaster rider: first its 18 years, then 15, then 12, then ? and finally the number is set. Truth in Sentencing - another topic for discussion. These laws were enacted to prevent early release for certain crimes. It means that what you are sentenced to is what you WILL serve - there is no “good” time, no way to reduce the sentence. Aw - so probably the worst day of my life was sentencing. You go into a very austere, wood-paneled courtroom, filled with people you don’t know, media is sometimes present, the victim (if any), and the accused’s family. They bring your loved one in chains and handcuffs, shuffling along like in the movies only this is REAL. They look pale and disbelieving. 

    The judge reads the charge and then states the sentence…”I sentence you to x-amount of years in the Department of Corrections” and bangs his gavel. As his Mom, I’m just numb, the tears flow, not just sad little quiet tears either, but big, messy loud sobs. My son is led away by the bailiff still pale and disbelieving. Our lawyer leads us to a quiet room so I can stop my sobbing and manage to get to the car without falling. 

    Its over - no more courts, no more lawyers - we are onto the next step in this journey - prison. 



    References:

    The Caging of America
  17. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    My son has now been incarcerated for well over 5 years with 2 more to go. I recently came in contact with our expensive lawyer from the first part of this journey. Just a casual meeting and we exchanged pleasantries - he asked how we were doing and I did the same. I told him that this has forever changed our lives as far as the state of incarceration and prisons go but that we and our son are doing as well as can be expected. He seemed quite relieved and said that he often thinks of us and how he wished it could have turned out differently....and I agreed with a tight smile. I think he did his job to the best of his ability; its just a shame what it has cost us and I don't mean money either. 
    The stress of having a child, even an adult one, in prison is very high. The stress for his child is even more - he misses Dad so much. Taking a child to prison is difficult: they must sit quietly while the adults check in and then they must sit quietly until our name is called, go thru the pat-down and then finally proceed to the visiting room. 
    In the visiting room, the child must sit quietly and not be too loud, they can't make anything that might be interpreted as against the rules, no peace sign as it could be interpreted as a gang sign, no whistling as it has many different connotations in prison, no pointing as that is offensive and considered intrusive, no speaking with other children as that is considered cross-visiting and strictly forbidden. They can go up to the vending machines and purchase food/drinks but must be sure to remove their vending card as you run the risk of someone else taking it if left there. 
    When you travel several hours, visits usually last several hours - its hard on the kids. What child will sit still for hours with little to entertain them? Sometimes there are cards, occasionally a chess set available. Some of the little ones cry and get fussy and many of the toddlers want to run around. However, you risk the ire of the correctional officer in the visiting room if this happens and you don't want to be asked to leave because you then risk having visits suspended. 
    Speaking of the visiting room, the vending machines are the only way to purchase food. Your loved one will look forward to the food as the food they usually get isn't all that good. Our son is one of the fortunate who can go to the commissary and purchase food and he also has a hot pot. The vending machines are expensive, even our grandson noticed the recent hike:
    Salad (which is very special for the chance to obtain some fresh or somewhat fresh veggies) costs $7.25
    Hamburgers and sandwiches are $5.00 to $7.00
    Lunchables, snack size are $6.00
    Oh and the "good stuff" ie salads, milk, yoghurt sell out frequently and the vending machine company comes once per week. And...make sure they have utensils because you need a fork or spork to eat the salad although our son gladly ate a salad with his fingers during a recent visit because I didn't check the utensil bin prior to purchasing it. However, he was still very thankful. 
    The end of visits can be grueling too - the tears of the children leaving their Dad behind, the tears of parents realizing the enormity of incarceration....our grandson no longer clings to his Dad at the end of visits but still is very sad and feels that he must always reassure his Dad that he will be back "as soon as I can Dad - I miss you so much." Often, our son tears up too at his own son bearing this burden. 
    Our son is in a prison built for 600 and it holds 1200 currently. Out of the 1200, many do not have any family support at all and exist on "state pay" which is $10 per month to purchase any hygiene items they want. Some don't have anyone on the outside that sends them money for phones, commissary or more importantly, visit them. 
    The expense of incarceration is toughest on the poor and disproportionately the poor are more readily incarcerated. This isn't meant to be political at all, but rather a commentary on what families of prisoners, inmates, offenders or whatever you want to call them go thru. I've learned so much in the last 5+ years; none of which I wanted to experience. 
  18. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from Daisy4RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    Thanks Daisy - yeah 6 years ago I would have read this and thought "oh that poor family, that could never happen to US!" 
     
    Little did I know....
  19. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from Daisy4RN in Valentine's Day - How Do You Celebrate?   
    "During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance." So, in the spirit of romance, many of us have to think of a present for our loved one. 
    So what to buy, what to buy?
    As a foodie, why not strawberries covered with chocolate, sprinkles, frosting or ??? Shari'sBerries, of course, has specials with multiple offerings and delivery options. This company is a subsidiary of FTD, the flower people. They offer a wide array of covered berries in mandy edible arrangemets. 
    For the fishing enthusiast how about fishing lure with "I'm Hooked on You" and the option for personalization? Who doesn't like a personalized gift? This company prides itself on 100% satisfaction and prompt delivery. They even offer rush delivery in case you wait too just a little too long. 
    Don't wanna be boring this year? How about Uncommon Goods? Their ad pitch says they don't like boring gifts either. Some pretty interesting and unique offerings. 
    Chocolates are considered "romance" food too. How about some Godiva chocolate? From California, See's Chocolates is a treat.  This company started as fresh homemade candy and some of the recipes still come from the original creator, Mary See who started the candy company shortly after the turn of the 20th century. 
    For the ladies, roses often top the gift list. For just $519.99 you can send 100 long-stem roses to your sweet. So what do the colors mean? From Pro-Flowers comes this info: "Red symbolizes love, beauty, courage, respect, romantic love, and even congratulations. While many send red roses on Valentine's Day, surprise yourValentine this year with white roses that symbolize true love, purity, innocence, reverence, humility, youthfulness, and charm."
    There are many lists of what to buy for Valentine's Day. Celebrities sometimes go all out and spend far more than working nurses make in a year. Here are some of the extravagant gifts:
    David gifted Victoria with an $8 million dollar necklace in 2018 on V-Day. Hmmm...might take me a few millennium to earn that much...if ever! 
    Justin Theroux gifted Jennifer Anniston a surprise trip to Paris - c'est la vie!
    And on and on it goes. However, for those of us mere mortals, I think candy, flowers and personalized gifts top my gift list this year. 
    How about you?
    References: 
    History of Valentine's Day
    What do the Colors of Roses Mean on Valentine's Day?
     
  20. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from Daisy4RN in Valentine's Day - How Do You Celebrate?   
    "During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance." So, in the spirit of romance, many of us have to think of a present for our loved one. 
    So what to buy, what to buy?
    As a foodie, why not strawberries covered with chocolate, sprinkles, frosting or ??? Shari'sBerries, of course, has specials with multiple offerings and delivery options. This company is a subsidiary of FTD, the flower people. They offer a wide array of covered berries in mandy edible arrangemets. 
    For the fishing enthusiast how about fishing lure with "I'm Hooked on You" and the option for personalization? Who doesn't like a personalized gift? This company prides itself on 100% satisfaction and prompt delivery. They even offer rush delivery in case you wait too just a little too long. 
    Don't wanna be boring this year? How about Uncommon Goods? Their ad pitch says they don't like boring gifts either. Some pretty interesting and unique offerings. 
    Chocolates are considered "romance" food too. How about some Godiva chocolate? From California, See's Chocolates is a treat.  This company started as fresh homemade candy and some of the recipes still come from the original creator, Mary See who started the candy company shortly after the turn of the 20th century. 
    For the ladies, roses often top the gift list. For just $519.99 you can send 100 long-stem roses to your sweet. So what do the colors mean? From Pro-Flowers comes this info: "Red symbolizes love, beauty, courage, respect, romantic love, and even congratulations. While many send red roses on Valentine's Day, surprise yourValentine this year with white roses that symbolize true love, purity, innocence, reverence, humility, youthfulness, and charm."
    There are many lists of what to buy for Valentine's Day. Celebrities sometimes go all out and spend far more than working nurses make in a year. Here are some of the extravagant gifts:
    David gifted Victoria with an $8 million dollar necklace in 2018 on V-Day. Hmmm...might take me a few millennium to earn that much...if ever! 
    Justin Theroux gifted Jennifer Anniston a surprise trip to Paris - c'est la vie!
    And on and on it goes. However, for those of us mere mortals, I think candy, flowers and personalized gifts top my gift list this year. 
    How about you?
    References: 
    History of Valentine's Day
    What do the Colors of Roses Mean on Valentine's Day?
     
  21. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from Daisy4RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    Thanks Daisy - yeah 6 years ago I would have read this and thought "oh that poor family, that could never happen to US!" 
     
    Little did I know....
  22. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    My son has now been incarcerated for well over 5 years with 2 more to go. I recently came in contact with our expensive lawyer from the first part of this journey. Just a casual meeting and we exchanged pleasantries - he asked how we were doing and I did the same. I told him that this has forever changed our lives as far as the state of incarceration and prisons go but that we and our son are doing as well as can be expected. He seemed quite relieved and said that he often thinks of us and how he wished it could have turned out differently....and I agreed with a tight smile. I think he did his job to the best of his ability; its just a shame what it has cost us and I don't mean money either. 
    The stress of having a child, even an adult one, in prison is very high. The stress for his child is even more - he misses Dad so much. Taking a child to prison is difficult: they must sit quietly while the adults check in and then they must sit quietly until our name is called, go thru the pat-down and then finally proceed to the visiting room. 
    In the visiting room, the child must sit quietly and not be too loud, they can't make anything that might be interpreted as against the rules, no peace sign as it could be interpreted as a gang sign, no whistling as it has many different connotations in prison, no pointing as that is offensive and considered intrusive, no speaking with other children as that is considered cross-visiting and strictly forbidden. They can go up to the vending machines and purchase food/drinks but must be sure to remove their vending card as you run the risk of someone else taking it if left there. 
    When you travel several hours, visits usually last several hours - its hard on the kids. What child will sit still for hours with little to entertain them? Sometimes there are cards, occasionally a chess set available. Some of the little ones cry and get fussy and many of the toddlers want to run around. However, you risk the ire of the correctional officer in the visiting room if this happens and you don't want to be asked to leave because you then risk having visits suspended. 
    Speaking of the visiting room, the vending machines are the only way to purchase food. Your loved one will look forward to the food as the food they usually get isn't all that good. Our son is one of the fortunate who can go to the commissary and purchase food and he also has a hot pot. The vending machines are expensive, even our grandson noticed the recent hike:
    Salad (which is very special for the chance to obtain some fresh or somewhat fresh veggies) costs $7.25
    Hamburgers and sandwiches are $5.00 to $7.00
    Lunchables, snack size are $6.00
    Oh and the "good stuff" ie salads, milk, yoghurt sell out frequently and the vending machine company comes once per week. And...make sure they have utensils because you need a fork or spork to eat the salad although our son gladly ate a salad with his fingers during a recent visit because I didn't check the utensil bin prior to purchasing it. However, he was still very thankful. 
    The end of visits can be grueling too - the tears of the children leaving their Dad behind, the tears of parents realizing the enormity of incarceration....our grandson no longer clings to his Dad at the end of visits but still is very sad and feels that he must always reassure his Dad that he will be back "as soon as I can Dad - I miss you so much." Often, our son tears up too at his own son bearing this burden. 
    Our son is in a prison built for 600 and it holds 1200 currently. Out of the 1200, many do not have any family support at all and exist on "state pay" which is $10 per month to purchase any hygiene items they want. Some don't have anyone on the outside that sends them money for phones, commissary or more importantly, visit them. 
    The expense of incarceration is toughest on the poor and disproportionately the poor are more readily incarcerated. This isn't meant to be political at all, but rather a commentary on what families of prisoners, inmates, offenders or whatever you want to call them go thru. I've learned so much in the last 5+ years; none of which I wanted to experience. 
  23. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from Daisy4RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    Thanks Daisy - yeah 6 years ago I would have read this and thought "oh that poor family, that could never happen to US!" 
     
    Little did I know....
  24. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN reacted to Daisy4RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    Thank-you for sharing this update to your saga, it is sure to help others who have gone through/are going through a similar experience.  It takes a special person to open up about their very personal experiences and I am sure others appreciate it. It also gives us all an insight into issues that we maybe have not thought about. Wishing you and your family all the best!!
  25. Like
    traumaRUs, MSN, APRN got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in I'm a Prison Mom, 5.5 years Down, 2 more to Go   
    My son has now been incarcerated for well over 5 years with 2 more to go. I recently came in contact with our expensive lawyer from the first part of this journey. Just a casual meeting and we exchanged pleasantries - he asked how we were doing and I did the same. I told him that this has forever changed our lives as far as the state of incarceration and prisons go but that we and our son are doing as well as can be expected. He seemed quite relieved and said that he often thinks of us and how he wished it could have turned out differently....and I agreed with a tight smile. I think he did his job to the best of his ability; its just a shame what it has cost us and I don't mean money either. 
    The stress of having a child, even an adult one, in prison is very high. The stress for his child is even more - he misses Dad so much. Taking a child to prison is difficult: they must sit quietly while the adults check in and then they must sit quietly until our name is called, go thru the pat-down and then finally proceed to the visiting room. 
    In the visiting room, the child must sit quietly and not be too loud, they can't make anything that might be interpreted as against the rules, no peace sign as it could be interpreted as a gang sign, no whistling as it has many different connotations in prison, no pointing as that is offensive and considered intrusive, no speaking with other children as that is considered cross-visiting and strictly forbidden. They can go up to the vending machines and purchase food/drinks but must be sure to remove their vending card as you run the risk of someone else taking it if left there. 
    When you travel several hours, visits usually last several hours - its hard on the kids. What child will sit still for hours with little to entertain them? Sometimes there are cards, occasionally a chess set available. Some of the little ones cry and get fussy and many of the toddlers want to run around. However, you risk the ire of the correctional officer in the visiting room if this happens and you don't want to be asked to leave because you then risk having visits suspended. 
    Speaking of the visiting room, the vending machines are the only way to purchase food. Your loved one will look forward to the food as the food they usually get isn't all that good. Our son is one of the fortunate who can go to the commissary and purchase food and he also has a hot pot. The vending machines are expensive, even our grandson noticed the recent hike:
    Salad (which is very special for the chance to obtain some fresh or somewhat fresh veggies) costs $7.25
    Hamburgers and sandwiches are $5.00 to $7.00
    Lunchables, snack size are $6.00
    Oh and the "good stuff" ie salads, milk, yoghurt sell out frequently and the vending machine company comes once per week. And...make sure they have utensils because you need a fork or spork to eat the salad although our son gladly ate a salad with his fingers during a recent visit because I didn't check the utensil bin prior to purchasing it. However, he was still very thankful. 
    The end of visits can be grueling too - the tears of the children leaving their Dad behind, the tears of parents realizing the enormity of incarceration....our grandson no longer clings to his Dad at the end of visits but still is very sad and feels that he must always reassure his Dad that he will be back "as soon as I can Dad - I miss you so much." Often, our son tears up too at his own son bearing this burden. 
    Our son is in a prison built for 600 and it holds 1200 currently. Out of the 1200, many do not have any family support at all and exist on "state pay" which is $10 per month to purchase any hygiene items they want. Some don't have anyone on the outside that sends them money for phones, commissary or more importantly, visit them. 
    The expense of incarceration is toughest on the poor and disproportionately the poor are more readily incarcerated. This isn't meant to be political at all, but rather a commentary on what families of prisoners, inmates, offenders or whatever you want to call them go thru. I've learned so much in the last 5+ years; none of which I wanted to experience. 
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