It always surprises me when people who don’t know me very well say something like “it will be really hard when he comes home”. They are referring to my husband, Sean, coming home from 14 years in prison to live a normal life with me.
Are they trying to imply that somehow freedom would be more difficult for him than being locked up in prison? Are they trying to insinuate that acclimating to the free world where he is safe and loved is scarier than a teenager adapting to life in a cold unforgiving prison? Or are they suggesting that our relationship would suffer more from a sudden switch to living together than years of surviving off 15 minute phone calls and infrequent visits. To me this is absolute silly nonsense.
I understand there will be changes and that there is going to be a period of transition in our lives which may at times feel overwhelming or take us by surprise in how it may feel. There is no way pf predicting how it will all feel and play out. It might not always be easy, but harder than coping with life in prison, or for me having to cope with a loved one in prison? I think not.
Funny how the only people that have ever suggested this notion have been those who have no knowledge about prison and have never had to experience having a loved one in prison. They’ve never gone 14 days without a phone call, lost sleep hoping and praying that your loved one is still alive. They’ve never entered a prison looking forward to a visit they so desperately need, hands shaking, only to be turned away. They are oblivious to the pain that arises from knowing your loved one is suffering. And that road goes both ways; when I am going through a hard time he feels it too and the fact that there is nothing he can do to help me is like a slow torture for him. These people are ignorant of what it is to truly miss someone, the heavy ache in your soul knowing that the one you want to be with is missing you too. Being kept apart from each other is torture. Sean being locked in his cell for hours on end when there is no electricity on a hot day is torture.
Anything we might face once he walks out of prison with his rightful freedom is going to be small fries compared to the monumental hardships and roadblocks we have already endured together. It actually laughable to suggest that facing something difficult together once he is free would be in any way comparable to what we have battled through while we have been kept apart. It’s rather dizzying to remember the shitstorms we have gone through these past 4 years, yet we always come out on the other side end stronger, smarter, and more solid in our relationship. There is no doubt in my mind, or in his, that when he comes home things are going to be pretty freaking great. Yeah it’s going to be a beautiful thing to have each other there to rely on, to conquer life together as a team.
So my reply to those people who want to worry is: No, the hardest part is the waiting. The hard part is getting through each day without each other, never knowing what lies ahead until the day when he walks free. We know it’s coming soon and we are more than ready for it.