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Mental/Emotional Health POST Prison

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  • Mental/Emotional Health POST Prison

    Hello - my fiancé is in the final months of his sentence. He has been down 12 years and will parole out very soon. While I am super EXCITED for his release, I also feel quite worried as to how his long-term prison experience has truly affected his mental/emotional well-being? I am certain he has developed over his years a type of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and anxiety simply due to the day to day realities of prison life. The facility he is at does not have any type of reintegration program to help prepare him, due to budget cuts for the state a few years ago. That is another post in itself though lol.

    Anyway...I am certain he will need some type of counseling to assist him out here and I am prepared myself to be a strong support to him as well as his family, but...how does a person go back to "normal" life after doing over a decade in prison??? It HAS to change a person. My fiancé was convicted/began his sentence when he was 17 years old, he is almost 30 years old now. His entire adulthood has been spent in prison. Aside from that, he really is a truly wonderful, kind, caring, hard working, loving, upbeat man. He cheers me up most of the time lol. He has an incredible strength of character that can only be developed after enduring a hardship/adversity in one's life.

    That said, can any of you relate? Have any of you weathered a long-term incarceration with your loved one and how did his return home/society go? Any advice/guidance you can give me? Are there any certain things, behaviors I can expect or need to be aware of when he comes home? What if he needs more support than I or his family can provide? I'm so worried about the possible mental/emotional damage that may have been done. I think I worry most if the "damage" is irreversible as well as how his quality of life will be after a long-term incarceration???

  • #2
    Hi! May I ask when will he be released? My now husband was released Jan. 2015 after doing 21 1/2 years. He left at 16 and is an outstanding man with no issues from growing up in the system. We were highschool sweethearts and honestly I have not seen 1 bad day from him. His mind was made up in prison to come home and be apart of society and have a family. That’s exactly what he has done. He had goals on what he wanted and needed to do and have stuck to them. I was and still am a strong force in his life. I helped make his transition into real life easy. Be strong for him and encourage. I pray that your story is like ours.

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    • #3
      Hi there!! So thankful that I found this thread tonight.... I can agree that now fear is kicking in for me on this last strech.

      My boyfriend, whom I have known for over 12 years, but been friends first has been away for 8 years now. He had never done any time like this before, only minor jail sentences, etc. He is a strong guy who can hold his own, that is for sure, but he was too nice for this place. I have a month before he gets home and I am worried that this Florida prison changed the man I fell in love with forever. I do agree with the PTSD thing because anyone who is inside 4 walls every single day, no real routine, no activities to go do, etc. would drive anyone a bit insane. He is a very actve person so I thought it was great when he was at a re entry center. Boy, was I wrong. Not only was it converted over to a regular facility but they took awy all the classes, etc. He is bored out of his mind now. Barely has outside time, reads all the time, gets more tats, calls us, etc. I can tell when I visit him things like his OCD for cleaning up our table, or talking about some of the guys in there like they are guys he met in a grocery store, etc. He has even told me about some of the odd food items that he has put together. I hate hearing about any of it, but i am glad he is confiding in me.I just hope he can go back to normal, and leave those people behind. I dont mind him keeping in touch with a few of his close buddies but lets start fresh. lets erase that part of your life right now. On top of it all, he has to wear an ankle thing for probation, so the fun has just begun.
      i am trying to be strong, but it is going to be tough for both of us.......

      I just know he wont go to counseling. But I am going to be patient, not expect miracles overnight but I am willing to wait. He is worth it......

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