Hi. I'm Sam and I am from the North East of England. My ex husband is a lifer.
I admire the strength of prisoners families and I understand the hurdles that come with being in this situation. Raising awareness for families of prisoners is in my opinion a hard corner to fight. To do it well you have to be outspoken. When my husband at the time was on trial, his court hearings were published in the newspaper. I knew it would be but it didn't prepare me for what was to come. I had my windows put through, dog dirt through my letterbox, fireworks through my letterbox, eggs thrown at my windows, my car scratched, the tyres on my car slashed, hate mail and abuse thrown at me in the street and the list pretty much goes on. I had to move house and to a completely different town where no one knew me and I had to start all over again. I lost my job, my home and my confidence. When I moved area, I changed my surname and started living a lie because the new friends I have made have no idea that my ex husband is in prison serving a life sentence. Imagine if my new friends knew why I had to move away from my previous town? I know people will say that true friends wouldn't judge but I don't want to risk it either way. I also don't want to talk about the past too. I have cried until no more tears were left and I have to move forward the best I can. Sometimes I feel very bitter because when he was remanded after being arrested, he was safe in prison, he didn't have to face the music. He left that to me and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd ever be thrust in to a situation like this. People used to call me all names under the sun and said I was vile for marrying him. But I didn't marry the person he'd become. The crystal ball never indicated that my husband was going to commit a serious crime that would end in a life sentence. He had no previous convictions when I first met him and this was his first offence so how could I have predicted what was going to happen? But you try telling people that and you try explaining to people that his crime had absolutely nothing to do with me.
We have a son who is in his 20's. He also had to move away with me and has changed his surname because of the situation. He too is living a lie because he has also made new friends and does not want to discuss his Father and where his Father is and why. It's too painful and he as well has to and wants to move on. He hasn't visited his Father and doesn't wish to. If one day he wants to, it would be his choice and I won't stand in his way. He has often said he wants answers but for now he is content and getting on with his life.
I won't visit him, take his calls or write to him. That's my decision and I don't wish for any answers. If you print my email, please refer to me as anonymous and thank you for getting our stories out there to raise awareness. I wish you all the very best.