I have a partner in prison and I am struggling with our daughter who is nearing 8 years of age.
Because he foolishly did what he did, our little girl now believes that he doesn't love her, otherwise why did he commit a crime and end up leaving her. Many would say that that is a fair question and I am trying my hardest to talk to her about the situation but when I do, she just runs off in to her bedroom. Her Dad writes to her everyday and she has made a box to put all his letters in. She will be 12 when he is released from prison and he will miss her first day at high school, which she comments on a lot. The worst thing that happened last week was when my Mum visited me. We were sat in the kitchen and she slated my partner and said, "If he thought anything of you two, (meaning me and my daughter) then he wouldn't be where is his." My daughter overheard her comment and of course this is playing on her mind even more now. I feel so let down by him and the situation has been mega stressful, the arrest, the court hearing, having to come face to face with the victims, and that awful first visit in prison. My head was all over the place and there was no support for me whatsoever apart from online which was a Godsend, but not the same as having someone who can tell me face to face that everything will be OK. My main worry is our daughter. I have held everything in, the tears don't roll because I don't want her to hear me cry, and my Mum just tells me to get rid of him, move on, and find someone else. That's easy for her to say, but I don't want anyone else. So in a nutshell I can't turn to my Mum. My friends or so called friends haven't bothered with me as much because they seem to think that I 'need some space.' That's true but I also need them to be around so that I can get things off my chest. It's a big mess and at this rate it is going to take some time to clean up. My daughters friends know about where her Dad is because it was sprawled all over the local rag in town so the jungle drums were out in force that day. Luckily, her friends have been great and haven't excluded her which is a massive help. The prison visiting situation isn't great. Our daughter doesn't want to go and see her Dad because when she did the first time around, the whole thing scared her to death and she asked why her Dad wasn't locked behind bars and why he could sit opposite us on a table and even disbelieved that he was in prison because he was allowed to give her a hug and a kiss. I don't know what was going through her mind but kids are kids and in this situation I guess a lot does go on inside a child's mind hence why there should be a support mechanism for children of prisoners which there isn't, well at least not in my area there isn't. I'm not sure what to do and was wondering if there is any support you can give me? Thank you in advance.
PFV COMMENT: We have sent the lady who wrote this email a list of support organisations and wish her and her little girl all the best.