Chapter 20. Outside Contact

One of the most frustrating of all areas regarding prison life is dealing with outside contacts.  From the arguments and yelling over a telephone to the disappointment of enjoying a visit and it coming to an end, to the hearing of news you hadn’t expected hearing, all from having outside contact.  Yes, lest I forget, even letters.  Those anticipated which never come, to the, “Dear Johns” that do arrive, to the asking of other inmates to arrange for someone to write, comes, too, the many frustrations when dealing with the outside contact.

Today, while coming from chow, a man I rode up with shared news he was getting married next month.  When inquiring further, it was learned he met her two months ago, via mail, and plans are being set for marriage already!  He’s never met her and contact has been only through the phone or letters and hear him tell it, “She’s in Mississippi and I need to leave the area when released for a new start, with a new woman, and I can get conjugal visits in the facility I transfer…”  He prefaced this conversation telling me he was hit at the Board for another 24 months and probably hit for another later and will be forced to “CR” (Conditional Release) in 40 months!  Yet, nowhere did he ever state he, “loved” this woman and answered readily to another inmate that his, “wife” was fine, already giving her a sacred title to a relationship doomed from the beginning.

My situation is similar in nature, communicating with my fiancée since being locked up for now over a year, but we’d known each other for four years prior.  Had never seen her physically due to her living in the Philippines where I intend to begin a new life upon my departure in less than two years!  I do, “love” her as well as she loves me, but we can wait.  Another inmate asked to ask her, my fiancée, if she had a friend who’d be interested writing him, but I turned the request down for I am not interested in being the intermediary for a relationship doomed from the start due to improper motives.

Except for the fact if there are children involved, contact with those outside should be kept to a minimum.  You need the time to work through your own problems, while family and friends need to work through theirs of your being missing in their lives.  You are not there and you need to accept you are not there, and let God take care of the both of you—separately.  There is nothing wrong with an occasional letter, phone call or visit as long as it does not affect your psyche nor the mind of those on the outside.  I constantly state, “If things with your loved ones were so good, you’d never end up here”, so why all the attention now?

God brought us within these walls for a reason:  to save our souls.  While He’s doing the work only He can do, for us, He’s doing the same for them out there, and we’d be wise to keep from interfering with whatever is going on out there need to remain out there, so we can get together what is going on within ourselves.  How many times have you experienced bad feelings when a letter arrives too late or doesn’t at all, or a phone call goes unanswered, or a package does not arrive, nor a visit?  How many thoughts led to words being spoken, or written, which were regretted later?  Consider these bits of advice regarding outside contacts and know, the best One who will be with you from the day you came inside until they let you out, is God.  Let Him be the Contact you most spend time with.

Chapter 21

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