Prisonist.org: Edited by Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Executive Director of Family ReEntry, serving the CT Criminal Justice Community & Co-Founder of Progressive Prison Ministries, the First Ministry in the U.S. Created to Support Individuals, Families & Organizations with White-Collar and Other Nonviolent Incarceration Issues.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A White-Collar Wife's Lament, By Jane S, Connecticut - Innocent Spouse & Guest Blogger

Progressive Prison Project

Innocent Spouse & Children Project

Greenwich, Connecticut 

A White-Collar Wife's Lament

By Jane S., Connecticut - Innocent Spouse 
& Guest Blogger


This past month has been tough. I put off going to social services as long as I could. That isn't who I am........was. This past Sunday my son got a concussion in his hockey game and we spent the whole day in the er. Any self esteem that I had left is officially gone. I never was someone who went to Dr's without insurance. I had no choice. I never in a million years thought I would be a parent who can not take care of her child. That is how I feel now. Yes we struggled since this began but I never thought I'd need State assistance. I do not want it!

Why? I keep asking myself why? I just don't understand how anyone can't realize these are people lives they are playing with. I know it is all about "a win". I am so sick and tired of hearing of people who can't defend themselves be taken advantage of. They knew darn well that my husband was not receiving proper representation. How could they not? They could care less as long as we were all punished. For what? Where/when does it stop? He had a good job. We had insurance. We could pay our bills, mostly on time. We were about to get our lives on track. We were looking forward to putting this nightmare behind us. Instead we get 2.5 years. More than just us are still paying for this. The bank, his employer, the bills that now I have no way of paying. Sure it would have been an uphill battle. Now all of that went out the window. I am losing everything especially my husband and father of my children. I need state assistance and He is using state money to incarcerate him. In what world does this make sense? They say this is about the money. They have no problem wasting even more money. Delaying repayment of restitution. Taking someone who was paying taxes and contributing to society and making him become part of the economic problem.

They took accusations as fact because they didn't have the knowledge to understand what actually happened. They didn't care what happened. They didn't care he didn't have proper representation! They must have been ecstatic to roll all over him. Seems to me that the ones who are accused and can't afford a proper defense are paying unfairly. All while the ones who actually changed contracts get away with a slap on the wrist. Why? Large corporations who have teams of attorneys to fight would give them a negative win loss ratio. That is what it is all about! Wins and losses! In this case it wouldn't take much to fight because there was nothing much there. Certainly not anything that deserved this time.

Go for the little guy! Get that win! Congratulations! How does no one see what is happening? They are no different than the bully we all knew in school. They grew up and continue to bully. Abuse of power is disgusting. The whole system is warped. It is a game to them. It is destruction of a family to me.

So many stresses lately that I am unable to handle. Brian's blog hit home. It is infuriating. I must be getting used to the insanity of prison in my life. My husband has been a mess as well especially worrying about our son. He kept saying he should be there in the hospital with us and he should of been. He says no one there understands why he is so concerned about all of us. He never missed a first day of school drop off or a hockey game/practice. Our sons hockey schedule coincides with the visiting schedule and this makes it more difficult for Us. Our son is going on a month without seeing him. I hope to visit him Saturday on our daughters 20th birthday. What fun that will be for her. She loves her dad so it will be okay. I keep catching myself saying," how is this my life". It is!

I drove up to MA to say my goodbyes to a dear high school friend. It should have made me thankful that we are all healthy, for the most part. I am but it took a while to get there. Everything should be in perspective but it isn't. 



 _________


Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Minister/Director
jgrant@prisonist.org

jg3074@columbia.edu
(o) +1203.769.1096
(m) +1203.339.5887

Lynn Springer, Advocate, Innocent Spouses & Children
lspringer@prisonist.org
(m) +1203.536.5508

George Bresnan, Advocate, Ex-Pats
gbresnan@prisonist.org

Michael Karaffa, Advocate, Disabilities
mkaraffa@prisonist.org

 _________

Comments from Social Media:

I know how you feel.  I too suffered from the embarrassment of no insurance after a lifetime of having insurance.  After I was released from prison,  I was not eligible for Medicare Insurance (due to an enrollment technicality) and had to wait almost one year before being covered.  Unfortunately I got sick and had to go to the emergency room for treatment.  There I met doctors who I knew previously and had to admit that I had no insurance.  At 72 years old, I had to go to a clinic and ask for a doctor to give me a prescription for my medicines.  I then had to locate a pharmacy that would fill my prescriptions for a fair cash price.  I felt awful as I signed a form that said I had no insurance and was being allowed a discounted price to help indigent people.  I use to be the person who contributed to charities to help people with problems and now I was the one with problems.  Life is hard enough in prison and then out of prison.  Why keep making it hard and embarrassing for people who have served their time and their families left behind.  We are fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters.  JUST LIKE YOU!!!.  Give us a break every once in a while.  The Mark of Cain seems to follow prisoners and their families.  You are not allowed to harm them but you can shun them and shun them society does. - Barry S. Diamond




Author of The Unvarnished Truth about the Prison Family Journey

An all too common "lament" of those impacted by the criminal justice system--not to mention many of us who serve as advocates in this field. It's a system that will drain the most emotionally and financially affluent of all resources.

7 comments:

  1. Jane,

    I want you to know that there are many of us out here who empathize with your plight. While my situation is a bit different, I agree that the government is misusing its power in many ways which has resulted in the mass incarceration of people who should never be incarcerated in the first place! No, our husbands don't deserve to be warehoused. They should pay their dues, but imprisoning them and, thereby, punishing their innocent families who can't afford the costs associated with a simple basic lifestyle life makes no sense at all. This is particularly true in a country where there is so much static about family values. Why, then, is the government tearing apart families? The United States spends an unconscionable amount of money through prosecution and imprisonment of people who are no danger to society and who could be easily monitored through home confinement while working and earning a living. They could still be part of the family, so that spouses had a better chance of staying married and children were not victimized by the loss of a parent. Evidently, this is not the "American Way."

    I am so sorry you are suffering and you feel you have lost your dignity or self esteem. I understand that feeling all too well, particularly on visitation day when the COs look at you as if you are somehow less of a person because you are visiting someone under their strict supervision. I try to hold my head high. It is isn't always easy. Finances are a problem for me as well. A BIG problem. I wonder how we will make it but I won't stop working toward earning the best living I can. In my situation, I also worry about my marriage. Will we be able to stay together after he is out? Should I stay or should I go? In the meantime, I keep supporting him and have vowed not to abandon him... and try not to let the financial worries influence my feelings on that matter.

    Now is the time to fight against the temptation to let what has happened and is happening to your husband impact how you feel about yourself. You did nothing wrong! My therapist keeps telling me this is the time to be good to myself. There is nothing else you can do for your husband. Focus on what you CAN do. In your case, it is something that will take you away from all the worry even if for a limited time. Go to a movie and try and do nothing but laugh for 2 hours. Believe me, I know that sounds impossible, but I finally did it and it felt great. If you need money to go to the movie, tell Jeff and I'll send it to you! I would love to set up organization that does just this, creates a fund for women like us to take care of themselves even if in the smallest way. (A haircut, manicure, massage, dinner out, movie etc.) You know what our mother's called it, "mad money." We all need a little "mad money" for the little things that might make a difference to our self esteem, even if only providing a temporary respite from all our worries. :) Please try and do something nice for yourself today and report back on what you did. That is your homework. I'm planning to take my dog on a hike and eat chocolate cake for dessert!

    Much love and support....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. One thing I have realized, is that we all may have different circumstances that led us to this point but how we feel is the same. I will work on finding something to do for myself. How could something so simple like doing something for yourself be so hard? I look forward to this weekend when I will go cheer on my sons hockey team even though he is still not cleared to play. Being with my hockey Mom's & Dad's brings me some sense of normalcy. Thanks for the support.

      Jane

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  2. Hi Jane,

    I'm so sorry to hear of the utter chaos in your life. I've been there and it's a whole new world. I facilitate a support group for white collar wives called The Secret Lives of White Collar Wives and would like to invite you to join us. There is much support there for you as well as information about coping with a husband in prison. The fallout of white collar crime for innocent spouses and children is beyond overwhelming. It is soul crushing and at times so physically and mentally demanding that we don't think we can go on another moment. I used to refer to myself and my son as "the living dead" long before The Walking Dead was born. But we do go on and you will too. You don't have to do it alone. Please contact me at lawlerlisa1@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you soon.

    -Lisa Lawler

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa,
      Thank you I will be in contact. I have read some of your posts on The Secret Lives club. It was helpful.

      Jane

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    2. Barry,

      Up on their soap box showing that they are setting examples and being vocal about it. Right or wrong doesn't matter to them. Scarred forever with our pain. It would be too easy if we were given a break. I keep saying the goal is not to deter but to turn a "mistake" into a career. Stay Strong! I hope to try try as well.

      Jane

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  3. Jeff, thank you for posting Jane's story. You are a champion of white collar families and work endlessly on our behalf. Your ministry is much needed and much appreciated.

    -Lisa Lawler

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  4. Jane, Thank you for your post. It really viscerally hit home. I am a husband, father and white collar felon, and reading your post stirred a myriad of emotions in me. I'm very sorry this is happening to you.

    All I can say is that I believe these tragedies befall us as an opportunity to grow.

    You are part of a community of now, whether willing or not - and please know you do not suffer alone. We are all very different in terms of our backgrounds but please trust that your value as a human being has been constant throughout, and has only increased through what you learn every day.

    Thank you and God Bless You.

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