To tell or not to tell? - By Anna


Dear Prison Widow UK. 

If I may, I would like to share my thoughts on children of prisoners after reading 
Cheryl's Story. 

I know that the subject matter can be tricky and I understand it is a personal one also.
My son's father was sentenced to just under 20 years, three years ago.
My son is 7, very inquisitive and a bright little soul. 
He came home from school around 6 months ago and asked me if his Dad was in prison.
He said one of his school friends told him.
I sat my son down and carefully explained that, yes, his Daddy was in prison. My family disagreed with my decision, but I would rather the truth come from me than my son hearing it all through his school years. His father was in the local and national news so there is no getting away from the cold hard facts. 
The truth always be out someday and together we can work through the jungle drums and face things head on if another school friend raises the same subject of his Dad. 
When his father was arrested and sentenced, I initially had no intentions of telling my son because my natural mothering instincts wanted to protect him and shield him from cruel remarks and comments. I was hounded on the street and looked upon like scum when my ex-partner was found guilty and sentenced. I'd done nothing wrong or played a part in what he'd done, but I was subject to some terrible incidents from members of the public who thought it was OK to taunt me, call me names and generally harass me for something my ex-partner had did. 
Maybe it will happen again, who knows, but this is another reason I wanted to tell my son. He's 7, and the older he gets, the more questions he will ask. His Dad will be in prison for a long time so I feel it's right to walk the journey with my son and be 100 percent truthful.
I wish Cheryl all the very best and thought it was brave to write about her experience. It is a hard situation to be in. Thank you. Yours Faithfully, Anna.