Making Progress - Written by Tracey

Dear Anonymous, I read your post today and wanted to offer a drop of comfort to you in this, a very difficult situation. I have experienced the CJS as a woman and my children refuse to have anything to do with me. It is very painful, but all I can do as a parent is take a step back and wait for them to come to terms with their feelings around this area. Admittedly, there was a long estrangement prior to my entry in to the CJS. However, the sum of my life as it is today has been tough. But at the age of 46, I have come to terms with my crime. It is with this experience, I offer you some words of comfort (I hope) in order you come through this dufficult time without becoming a casualty of torn loyalties. Your husband is to expect that some people may not be able to face him on his release and you can offer him support by linking him in with support services so he does not end up homeless. What many peopke fail to remember when they bay for those with the long arm of Regina pointing at them, is that families serve a sentence too. Your daughter is suffering and she must come first here. Your husband will survive and he will find his way. You come across as very sensible and trying to please everyone. But you cannot. Your husband has to make amends to your daughters and only when they are ready. He has to see this. One of the hardest aspects of being in the hands of the justice system, is facing the pain we have caused to our families and loved ones. If your daughters see that you are allowing and supporting them to come to terms with their feelings, then you may find they may be willing to follow your lead. Do not take on his battles and alienate your family in doing so. Part of desistance is the developing of a conscience and this is something no court, prison judge or probation officer can help us to do. Regardless of the mitigating circumstances around a crime, if we have been found guilty we have to accept and take those consequences. No matter the pain I was in, I had no right to do the things I did and hurt those I love. I have managed to move forward and while still estranged from my children, i am able to accept it has to be their decision to allow me to make amends. And when they do, I am able to openly and candidly answer their questions. I can do this knowing I have paid the price and come through. Which I have. I have all the time in the world to wait for them and be it next week, next month, or next year, I love them enough to give them this space. I wanted to reach out to you, from the 'other side' and hope this helps. You're in a very difficult position and in the middle of this. You do not deserve to suffer any longer and face the wrath of angry people because he has done wrong. He has to do that. You can offer him support, by all means, but do not own his crime, it is his. He must make the amends to his family now when they are ready. He has served his time to society, and in many ways, he now must serve his time with his family. I am still doing so even though I have made great progress. It is all part of a process. I hope and wish for a better future for you all. Warmly & best, Tracey.