Jul 8th

The Beginning

By Admin Cat AKA MrsB1948

The journey has begun. Please make sure you watch both vides.

 

The Beginning from Catherine Julius on Vimeo.

 

 

Jun 30th

Moving on to the Next Phase

By Admin Cat AKA MrsB1948

In this life style there are so many unique situations. Yesterday was the go ahead for something we've been waiting for. This will be the beginning of a new chapter.

 

 

Move on to the Next Phase from Catherine Julius on Vimeo.

Jun 11th

Rising Strong

By Admin Cat AKA MrsB1948

As you all know I love my combo video blogs and this happens to be one of them. I usually don't promote products but beith  that I'm a Brene Brown junkie I couldn't help myself. isng Strong is an incredible concept and I believe it can help in this SPWF journey that we are on. As you all know I have exstreme circumstances and Ineed anything I can take. 

 

Big Plans for Tomorrow. Go with the flow from Catherine Julius on Vimeo.

 

Mission Accomplished! #bonusmom Rising Strong MOST WATCH! #spwf #supportgroup #npo #501c3 from Catherine Julius on Vimeo.

 

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Jun 5th

Worth It

By Kate

My Weekend - 

12 hours plus driving

2 tanks of gas

1 horrible hotel room

1 terrible meal in a podunk middle of nowhere town

Acres of razor wire and chain link

Several arrogant COs

1 Prison transport van that smelled like cow poop

 

All for one visit behind glass less than 2 hours long. 

Worth every second and penny. 

 

Jun 3rd

Time for some Tough Love

By Jo_Reed

Hey, gals!!! OK, here it is. The blog post from me that Ro promised was coming as the "counterpart" to her Periscope video yesterday. Deep breath. Ready?!?

Oh, my darlin's. I have been SO blessed with the opportunity to be part of this  amazing community of women for the past few years. I have learned and grown so much. I have discovered so many things about myself, my relationship and my connections and calling in the world because of this experience. I love y'all to BITS. And I've become fairly well-known as "Mama Jo" for my sarcastic and honest approach to all things prison wife related. I love to see STRONG and HEALTHY women learning to build and sustain themselves, their relationships and one another through this chapter in all our lives. We do our BEST to encourage and support each other every day in a fun and friendly way and that's VITALLY important.

What's ALSO important, every once in a while, for ALL of us, is a little perspective and a reality check. Y'all know darn well if anybody ELSE messes with you, I'll take their heads off at the neck. However, when it comes to letting y'all slide on "less than" behavior? I ain't the one. So hear my HEART for y'all right now, please, as I join with Ro and once again deliver what we like to call a "Sisterly Smackdown" with some REAL talk for those who need it. (See her latest Periscope video; this is my half she mentioned in that video. If you don't have the app, get it! It's free. You're missing good stuff every day!) There will also be another video ALL members can watch coming soon, with both of us together, but for now we're giving you our "separate but equal" advice this way. So let's get to it.

We have seen a trend lately that is, as we say down South, "stickin' in our craw" a little bit. (I don't know what they call it in Jersey; you'll need to ask her). It's bothering us to see so many otherwise sane and savvy women falling into the trap of feeling SORRY for themselves as they deal with becoming part of this little (huge?!) crew of ours. Now, we're not talking about the NORMAL AND NATURAL AND TOTALLY OK grieving process everybody goes through at various stages. Nope. This one is directed at those of you who seem to need a reminder that "denial" is not a river in Egypt. Some of y'all have yourselves UTTERLY convinced that everything about this whole mess is just not RIGHT or (forgive me while I try to figure out how to type a snort and eyeroll) "fair".
So here comes my half of the input to get you back on track or PUT you there, since apparently it's not yet been done for some of you. Brace for impact. 

There's a difference between negativity and truth. If you are engaged in thinking or behavior that is harmful to yourself or others, people who speak up aren't being "mean". They're being LOVING. Real friendship and support mean that  calling you out on bullshit is occasionally necessary, because they'd rather do that than watch you walk blindly into future heartbreak. You KNOW the people in your life and should know what their motivations are. If somebody who normally loves, values and respects you is being harsh with you, or telling you something's not healthy, pay attention. They're trying to help.

Innocent people go to prison every day. We all know this. However, in the VAST majority of cases, neither you nor your partner is a victim of any kind. The "system" didn't take your loved one away from you. THEY took THEMSELVES away from you with their poor choices. Stop moaning and being mad about the CONSEQUENCES for their bad behavior. It's totally OK to be pissed off, but don't misdirect that anger by making excuses for all the reasons they don't "deserve" their sentence. You aren't doing anything but making yourself look stupid or morally bankrupt, one of the two. THEY decided to break the law. YOU decided to forgive and stand by them. Awesome. Own that and don't feel like you need to explain or apologize for it. But understand, it also means you don't get to whine about a conscious decision you made to live this life.

Understand what you don't understand. Know this. You don't know everything. Be humble. Be willing to ask questions and take advice from people who have been doing this longer than you have, and then LISTEN to what they're telling you. If the people and their partners who are actually DOING this every day are telling you things that don't jive with whatever you've heard from your partner or lawyers or friends on the outside, WHO do you think is probably correct? If you're not going to bother taking into account what people tell you, then don't act shocked when you get an answer you don't like, choose to disregard it, and then don't get any sympathy when shit goes sideways. If you hear, "Ok, boo. Do you. Good luck...", that should be a pretty good indication you need to reconsider your next move. You will soon be on your own because you don't want to listen to wise counsel. Even the most patient people have better things to do than constantly helping you out of holes you keep digging yourself. Sorry, not sorry.
 
You get what you pay for. If your loved one is failing to treat you with basic respect, taking you for granted or engaging in "gangsta" behavior and you are ALLOWING that? Then quit bitching about it. No one else is required to treat you as a Queen when you refuse to treat yourself that way. If you're supporting a game your man is running on the inside, letting him get away with breaking the rules, helping him beat the system (or even just condoning that through your lack of action) and telling yourself it's "just" because of prison, you are not allowed to whine and cry when he comes home and keeps acting a fool or is a constant inconvenience to you while he's still in there. You set YOURSELF up for failure. Character is not determined by location. You're NOT any more or less likely to run into issues simply because of time, distance or the extra stress of dealing with the system. Relationships on the "streets" fail or succeed every day for the exact same reasons prison relationships do. Prison is a "factor" but not an influence or excuse. If they're gonna do it in there, they're gonna do it out here. And vice versa. You're not gonna fall apart just because he's locked up. But you're not gonna succeed either, if he can't get his shit together WHILE he's locked up and you let him have a PASS. Know your worth and act like it. 
 
ABOVE ALL ELSE, be KIND and CLASSY. Don't you DARE lord it over anybody else you THINK you're better than. You are absolutely no different than any other woman in here because of your MAN'S situation. You deserve the same amount of respect, love and support as all the rest of us. Your loved one's past history, current charges, length of sentence and other factors don't entitle you to either judgment OR special treatment of any kind. Y'all aren't always gonna like one another, agree or get along. Have you really never BEEN in a group of WOMEN before? Really?! But it's NOT a good look to go back to junior high and insult, tear down or be hateful towards somebody you differ from. If you don't have anything nice or constructive to say, keep movin' without comment. Everybody in here has a different story and is at a different place. Be patient, helpful and nice or be quiet. As for the classy bit, I don't suggest you be someone who celebrates the pretend "status" you think this life awards you. You are not "hard" because your MAN is. There's nothing great about being a prison wife, even though there are lots of impressive things about women who HAPPEN to be prison wives. NOBODY in here with half a brain is impressed with the "trap queen hustle" because we all know what that gets you in the long run - problems, drama and trouble for you and your man, everywhere y'all go. Who in their right mind wants THAT?! YOU and your beauty and wits and strength and healthy relationships are worth honoring. But let's none of us act like anybody should move outta the way for us if we're not acting in ways that honor ourselves. 
 
This life is not FOR everyone. I hope y'all truly realize how much regard I have for those of you doing it well and how much passion and heart I have for those TRYING to get the hang of it. We are WARRIORS in our own quiet and solid way, ladies. This is hard and holy stuff. Let's show each other and the world the BEST possible versions of ourselves as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, aunties and friends. We have the potential to be POWERFUL in our homes, families, communities and nation. But first sometimes we have to start FRESH and small, by sitting up, pulling our heads out of the sand and getting ourselves situated before we get up and get started working daily miracles, yeah? Let's show everybody how it's REALLY done, by doing it RIGHT. 
 
MUCH love,
Jo
Jun 1st

Lost & Confused Newbie

By Alana

I'm so lost & confused. I've never felt more helpless in my life. First Mr.J gets locked up,denied bond & now (as of Monday evening) I find out my best friend has past away. I know the saying is God does not give us more then we can handle but honestly I'm not super woman and I don't know how much more I can take before I break. Our poor daughter(she's 8) keeps asking "where is daddy" and yes he travelled alot for work(lineman) so that is on my side but the excuse "daddy is out of town working" will only last but so long and he's facing up to 5 years.-sigh- I can't give up; I know I have to stay strong for our daughter,him and his mom who's have a really rough time dealing with all of this but I feel like I'm starting to crack and losing this battle. He telling me stay strong and keep Faith that it will all work out but it's so hard. I've never been through this before it is all new to me I just feel like I'm losing everything and everyone. I want to shut down but I know that isn't a option. We have 19 more days until trial/sentencing begins(like I said I have no idea what I am facing) I just am hoping for the best and waiting for him while holding our family together.

 

-Alana

May 21st

Back after 3 years.

By Clare

Okay, so I'm sure a shit load has changed since I've been gone and some of you may remember me.  For those that don't, I'll give you some background story.   I fell in love with an inmate in Oregon and I fell hard for him.  I live in Australia and I flew out to meet him.  To me it was some epic love story.  We met, we kissed, and it was awesome.  For 2 years, I religiously put $50 on his books, $50 on his phone and $150 into an account so he wasn't broke when he was released.  He was due to get out in November 2014.  I sold my business and flew out again.  I gave him $50,000.00 so he could start a life on top of the money I gave to him each week.   I loved him.  Why the fck wouldn't I?  I never heard or saw him again after that.  I  went home absolutely devastated.  He gave me no reason.  Just stopped all contact.   I was a mess for months.  I lost 77 pounds (20 of it I've put back on damn ot - I blame the new man I'm with for making me happy again - what an asshole).  6 months later, I started getting random messages from his friends, telling me what kind of person he really was and that they were sorry he put me through all of that.   I actually had one woman reach out and tell me she knew all about what was going on but he had told her if she kept her mouth shut, he would buy her a piece of jewellery of her choosing once he got the cash.  I found out a lot later that the money I had given him, he ended up buying an engagement ring to his fiance of six years who I had no idea about.  I was so embarrassed, I went off this site, culled every friend I knew because I didn't want to hear I told you so or what do you expect from an inmate.  Took me 2 years to pick myself up.  I have major trust issues now and my self confidence is fucked.  I have him my all and it still wasn't enough. 

 

Fast forward two and half years, i decided to write someone off writeaprisoner.com.  I didn't want anything but a friendship, but I missed getting letters, the phone calls.  I was absolutely no way gonna put myself thru this shit again.  I told the guy what had happened.   He was disgusted.  To date, he's never asked for a cent and I've never sent any.  I  told him I could only ever offer a friendship but shit happens and I've fallen for this guy in Indiana.  I see the differnces that I couldn't see before.  This guy is AMAZING in every sense of the word.  He goes above and beyond to prove that he is not like my ex and shows me every day how committed he is.    

 

So that's my story and my update.  I know not even guy is like my ex but it's taken a long time to see that.   And I thank my man everyday for bringing back the trust I once lost.

May 20th

What Is SPWF Invisible Shackles? Explainer Video

By Ro ❤ CoFounder/President

Find out how to get our forgotten voices heard by participating in the Strong Prison Wives & Families Invisible Shackles campaign. Watch the video and then post your struggles here and/or on our social media pages using the hashtag #invisibleshackles

What is the SPWF #Invisible Shackles Campaign? Explainer Video. from Strong Prison Wives on Vimeo.

May 20th

"Cowgirl up and deal with it."

By staceyg

Yesterday was rough. I had to drive through Oklahoma on a day when there was a threat for severe weather. I don’t deal with severe weather very well when I’m not in the car. I also don’t deal with severe weather very well when I’m not by myself. Yesterday I was caught in a severe storm in the car by myself. Without warning, I found myself in a downpour so heavy it turned everything a whitish gray that made the road, cars in front of me, and landmarks impossible to see. With the windshield wipers going at top speed, I could barely make out the taillights of the vehicle in front of me, and I just prayed that following those lights would steer me safely off the highway. After a few harrowing minutes, I was able to exit the highway and take shelter at a nearby gas station.

Upon entering the gas station soaking wet, I simultaneously heard someone’s phone alert going off and my phone ringing. After listening to the prerecorded message informing me that I had a “prepaid call from __________, an offender at __________ Correctional Center” and that “this call will be monitored and recorded, except for privileged calls with attorneys,” I heard a worried voice on the other end of the line.

“Where are you?” he asked.

“I’m at a gas station in Pauls Valley,” I replied.

“There’s a tornado on the ground in Springer.”

“Where the hell is Springer?” I asked, the panic rising. With the phone still in hand, I repeated this question to the cashier.

“It’s about 40 miles south of here,” she told me.

Dear God, I thought. As if this state hasn’t take enough from me. Now it’s actually going to kill me.

I sat down at a table by the window and listened as my guy told me what he was able to distinguish on a 15-inch television set. From what he could tell, the tornado had already crossed the highway. But things did not look promising outside. The rain had lifted, and dark clouds were moving in. I was terrified. We discussed my options. Stay put and wait it out, or head back north to stay with a friend in Norman. As we were talking, the tears came.

“I can’t do this by myself,” I cried.

“You always wanted to be a strong, independent woman,” he reminded me.

“I don’t want that anymore. I need you here with me.”

“Well, you’re going to have to cowgirl up and deal with it,” he said.

That was something I’d never heard him say, and it was strange that he should say that as I was sitting directly across from a display of cowgirl hats. I told him this, and he asked if any of them were pink. There were two. After we decided I would be safe where I was and hung up, I grabbed one of those pink cowgirl hats and bought it.

This morning, the girls were arguing, and the older one pulled on the chair the younger one was sitting in, tipping it backwards. I immediately started in on her about how unsafe that was and how she needed to be careful. I asked her what could happen if she pulled on a chair like that when her sister was sitting in it. She reluctantly told me she could fall out of the chair. I then asked her what could happen if her sister fell out of the chair. She didn’t want to talk about that. She said it was too scary to talk about.

I took her back to my room and sat her down on my bed. She noticed the pink cowgirl hat right way. I took it from its resting spot and put it on my head. I told her the story about me being scared during the storm and thinking that I couldn’t deal with it by myself. I told her what her father had said. I put the hat on her head and told her that she could talk about the scary thing while wearing my cowgirl hat. My little brown-eyed girl peeked up at me from under the pink brim of the hat and told me her sister could fall out of the chair and have to get stitches like she did when she fell into the glass window.

Yes, that had been scary. It had happened when one girl pulled a toy truck out from under the foot of the other one. It had been a freak accident, but it scared both girls (and me), and we had to deal with that situation without daddy. That is what life is for us now. Stitches, storms, and other scary things to face on our own.

We’ll just have to cowgirl up and deal with it.