PRISON WIDOW UK VIA EMAIL
Prisoners Families are not kept in the loop at the best of times, and the COVID19 pandemic has made it worse.
The reason I am not mentioning the name of the prison my partner is in, is because the staff there are doing their utmost best at trying to protect themselves and those in their custody. The only issue I have and have always had with the prison, is that they do not communicate well with prisoners families.
The last thing I want is for my email to be a woe is me and poor old me ramble, because that is simply not the case. I'm not a victim, don't claim to be, and my partner knew full well the consequences when he committed the crime and landed himself in there. His choice at the end of the day. That said, I love him, he is the father of my two children and he is a good man. I guess you could argue, ''how can he be a good man if he is in prison''? Fair question, but sometimes people make insane choices and whole heartedly regret those choices. I make no excuse for his choices. It is what it is.
For prisoners families, the not knowing is an emotional rollercoaster ride. The national lockdown in March, and like many other individuals, sent my anxiety levels through the roof. We couldn't see family members, but at least we have social media, Facetime, Facebook, and the many other internet platforms that enable us to at least speak via video and keep in touch. But there was one person missing, and that was my partner. Sometimes he telephoned and others he didn't. Then there's the media. Reports on COVID invading prison's all round, and inmates and staff testing positive with COVID19. Probably like many other prisoners families; I found myself clued to the news feeds and frantically searching Google to see which prison had the most cases etc.
I too am increasingly concerned about my partners current mental health state. I have been receiving his letters in a timely fashion, but I am his partner, I have lived with him for ten years plus and I know just by the tone of his letters that he is in a dark place at the moment. The prison has been on lockdown, partial lockdown and it varies from week to week. I have also found that my letters to him haven't been overly cheery because all I keep saying in them is asking him if he's OK, if there are any new COVID cases, if he wears a mask, if he washes his hands constantly and so forth. I need to know if he is taking good care of himself. I am on Facebook and I am in a few prisoners families support groups which have helped and a lot of partners of prisoners and family members are equally anxious and worried, more so now as we have entered a second wave which appears to be spiking daily. It's not just me, I have noticed that many prisoners families on support groups are experiencing anxiety and it's building up again to the point of obsessiveness searching for news on prison's our partners are in. Basically, I just wanted to say to your readers that you are not on your own and all we can do is ride the storm and see it through. Many thanks for reading my email and hearing me out. I would also appreciate it if you can refer to me as Anonymous/Partner of a Prisoner. Thanks.