By Karon East, Prisonersolidarity.org
Oct. 10, 2005
I have been in prison since 1991 and this is my first time. Being
in prison can become a very, very lonely existence for a person
with a definite or an indefinite sentence, if it's for many years.
It's an existence that you must accept and deal with the best way
Being in prison can also chip away
at all of your relationships with family, friends and loved ones,
especially your relationship with your children. Not necessarily
because the prisoner has done anything wrong, but sometimes solely
due to the amount of time a prisoner is doing.
It's easier for the loved one and
friend to disconnect with you until there is a sure sign that you're
being released. This disconnection can last for many years--5, 10,
15, 20, 25 or 30 years to life--because they don't want to deal
with the pain of you being away for so long, so they block you out.
And as a prisoner, you find yourself without any stimulation, and
your world becomes smaller and smaller.
After a while you start to wonder
if you are worthy of love, if you are thought of by anyone, if anyone
is wondering about you, your health and your well-being. Moreover,
you start to wonder if people remember your birthday, if they remember
you on holidays and family gatherings, or if they pause for a minute
to remember something good you did or something funny you said.
This wondering process happens every day for years.
When the officer passes out mail,
you wonder if someone who knows you thought about you enough to
write you. However, the officer passes by you once again without
delivering you any mail. On Mother's Day you wonder, will you get
a card or will your children remember the nurturing love and attention
you sheltered them with until the day you were unlawfully taken
to prison. You wonder will the memories of a mother's love and guidance
be enough to hold your children together until you return to them.
You wonder and you wonder if you're
erased from the minds and hearts of the ones you once knew and who
used to love you. So much so, that after awhile you forget how to
smile or how to return an embrace - "a hug." You start
not to acknowledge your birthdays, not to get excited about holidays,
simply because no one has thought about you.
In all your attempts to stay connected
with family, friends and loved ones, you come to the realization
they have fallen on deaf ears. Your letters are returned because
the people no longer live at their previous address. Additionally,
their phone numbers have either changed, or they're no longer able
to accept "collect calls" from you. At the same time,
you cling to a thin thread of hope that one day somebody is going
to wonder about you.
Karon East, #28041
P.O. Box 640
Leavittsburg, OH 44430
Karon East aspires to be a friend, counselor and motivator to people
who have disadvantageously found themselves a victim of crime and
the criminal justice system. She wants to be an unresting voice
advocating on their behalf, in order to try to right some of the
wrongs they've suffered. And now that she has evolved and knows
the true meaning of life, love and happiness, she also aspires to
be the best mother and grandmother a child could have.
When writing to Karon, please send her a pre-embossed stamped envelope
so she can promptly answer your letter. She is not permitted adhesive
stamps, that is, regular stamps.
following link offers tips for writing to prisoners: