Aug 22nd

Invisible shackles

By Admin JoJo Matthews

The countdown is on until my daughter returns to Oregon. It makes me sad to think of the loneliness I will go through again. I pray her dad lets her come for Christmas otherwise I won't see her until spring break which would be 6 months later.

The one thing I hate about her going to school versus home schooling is now my time with her is based on her school vacation schedule. Her dad also wants time with her. I try to explain to him that her time off from school is the only time I get to see her. He gets her every day. 

I just want my love home so he can hold me after her plane takes off and I can cry instead of being strong. 

I have looked in to moving to Oregon to be closer to her but they live on the coast so it's pretty expensive. If my love were home it wouldn't be an issue because we would be a two income family instead of me all by myself. 

It is so frustrating and this is one of those times I wonder if I really can walk this journey forever. It's days like this where I have no hope at all that laws can change that

he could have a chance to come home. I usually have a small sliver of hope that he will walk out those gates into my arms but today isn't one of those days. Today is a reminder of how alone I am in this free world. I would rather be in that tiny cell with him than deal with this. 

Today is an emotional roller coaster that I must ride alone and make it look like I'm ok when I'm a disaster on the inside. 

#invisibleshackles

Aug 17th

Parole Thursday and My Life

By Admin Cat AKA MrsB1948

These past few days have been so stressful. That "older sibling" thing REALLY SUCKS!!!! All good. His group went well, he's thinking he has a new PO.  We spent the evening with the Oldest Bonus Son, he leaves for his Sr. year tomorrow.

 

****DISCLAIMER****

Strong Prison Wives do not encourage Live Streaming while driving

 

 

Parole Thursday and My Life from Catherine Julius on Vimeo.

 

Aug 17th

Since February

By Admin JoJo Matthews

My last blog was February 1st and after re-reading it and seeing how much hope I had. Well 4 short days later I landed in the hospital with Ileus. It was awful. I came home from work Friday night, actually sent home because I was nauseous. Within an hour I was driving myself to the hospital after I managed to quit puking long enough to get there. The doctor never really said much about it other than if it didn't resolve itself then I would need surgery. I wasn't allowed any water or food the whole weekend and those hospital beds are horribly uncomfortable. Well come Sunday I was suppose to be let out but once the doctor made his round and discovered I had a migraine he decided to keep me another night. Monday I was suppose to start my new job. When I landed that new job things were going to turn around for me. Sunday afternoon I had to email my new boss explaining that I couldn't start the following day as I was in the hospital. She emailed back saying no problem, start Tuesday. 

Tuesday rolls around and I wasn't feeling 100% it made me nervous because I threw up so much I was afraid of it happening again. I emailed them once again explaining I'm still not 100% and would hate to start and I get sick again. I had 8 weeks of training to get through and I couldn't miss a single day otherwise I would fall behind. I had already missed day one. She emailed back saying she would speak to my department manager about me starting the next training class in April. Hallelujah I was able to start in April. 

Having given up my job at the grocery store a few days before the hospital I went back full time at the restaurant. Things were still iffy with my digestive system. I struggled to find something to eat that didn't make me feel ill. I went back on lactaid pills, I started taking beano, and I cleaned up my eating habits. No more eating things with ingredients I can't pronounce or isn't natural. 

April rolls around it's time to start training. I ended up declining their offer because I was so afraid of getting sick again. I went into a pretty bad depression in March and I think my anxiety got the better of me by April. I was tired all of the time and could barely stay awake. My emotions were all over the place and sadly my loved one took the brunt of it quite a few times. Thank sweet baby Jesus he is a forgiving and understanding man and we've made it through my crazy time. I was super sad and crying one minute and angry the next. He found himself apologizing when it wasn't him that started it, it was me. I know he felt helpless. 

I ended up finding something called Maca powder it's made from a Peruvian root. I was taking it for 2 months, it seemed to help. I started taking vitamin B12 again the methylcoblaminin one. I have a history of being seriously deficient in it and have been on shots twice. Anyway I stopped the maca powder because it's expensive and I was going through it too quickly. The B12 seems to be sustaining me. I did research on all my symptoms and of course it can be a number of different things. Being that I don't have health insurance I can't get diagnosed properly. 

Honestly I think it's a few different things, B12 deficiency, D deficiency(diagnosed with that at one point as well) and I think thyroid may be giving up on me finally. Thyroid disorders run in my family and I think my mom was just a tad older than me when diagnosed. I've been tested since I was a teenager and was fine. A few years ago I was tested and the doctor told me that my levels were low enough he wanted to put me on meds. He said I was borderline. I took the meds I think for 6 months in which point I moved back to the U.S. from Canada and ended up not taking them anymore because no health insurance again. Later on I was tested a few different times. One doctor wanted to put me on meds. One doctor sent me to and Endocrinologist where I had a thyroid ultrasound done. They told me it didn't show any signs of being under active. This is when I was diagnosed with b12 and D deficiency. 

Anyway I'm ok as if right now so I will take it. I'm sorry my blogis all

over the place but that's part of what I've been going through.

I am staying as positive as I can and just going with the flow and trying to realize God's purpose for my life. 

Jul 31st

Living the life of a healthy working woman

By JessicaAnderson

Women have to face a number of issues to be called a working woman. Unfortunately, women have to face a number of issues even to be called a healthy woman. Now, we are talking about a woman's life and what should be done to be a healthy working woman.

For this, the following points should be kept in mind.

1. Look for trustworthy supplements

Working all the time is stressful, and you need to have a certain level of dependency on supplements to stay healthy. There are many supplements available in the market and how it is easy to consume them at any given point of time. However, most of the supplements that can be consumed by women are not trustworthy. It is a fact, and you should look for supplements like Isagenix that can be consumed by you without having second thoughts. Buy Isagenix and use them as noted so that you achieve a number of other objects are apart from being healthy while at work.

2. Preparing a schedule

With a number of responsibilities on our shoulders, it is important to prepare a schedule for everything we do. At work, we have to prepare a schedule compulsorily, and we make sure that it turns out to be good. At home, we are forced to have a schedule so that everything is in order. Apart from this cover schedule is required to ensure that we are eating and living a healthy life. The final schedule should include everything we should consume on a daily basis and activities to be carried out.

3. Take necessary breaks

It is important to take necessary breaks at regular intervals so that you do not feel the stress and make things difficult for self. Remember, if you take a lot of stress at work, you’ll not be in a position to carry out the necessary tasks, and it will only make things worse for you. So, make sure that you’re taking necessary breaks and planning them in a way that you keep yourself in the comfort zone. Even at home, it is important to stay away from work at regular intervals so that you do not consider your responsibilities to be a burden.

4. Share responsibilities

 

At home and even at work, make sure that you’re sharing responsibilities with others so that you do not find yourself in a position where you’re overburdened. Talk about it with your co-employees and your partner at home and divide your responsibilities in a way that you’re handling just enough so that you stay sane and healthy.

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