I’m Struggling Too!
Today is a bad day. I wish I could say that I've never had one before, but bad days consume my life. I have no escape from them. Today is a day when I wonder… Where is the support for me
When a man asks a woman to wait for him while
he's in prison, does he realize what an incredible emotional sacrifice it is? Does he realize the pain and never-ending loneliness that attaches itself to her heart and soul? Does he realize that yes; we are in this struggle too?
When I made this choice to do this bit with my man I didn't know what it would mean to consciously hand over the control and happiness of my life…not to my man, but to an institution. From the very beginning, my man told me that I had the power in the relationship because I was the one who was free.
How am I free? What power do I have?
I buy my clothes according to what is
acceptable for visits. At anytime, I can go anywhere my heart desires, but my heart's desire is trapped within that prison compound. So, where am I going? I stalk the mailman and won't leave the house until he comes, waiting for a white envelope with that familiar handwriting that has taken the place of hugs and kisses. I check the phone several times a day to make sure it's working, waiting to hear it ring and see "unavailable" appear on the caller ID, a sight that has taken the place of the sound of my
doorbell or his car horn.
I set my watch to the clocks in the
prison. I schedule my bedtime around "Count." No, I don't have any power. The phone company has the power. The prison and the guards have all the power. Today, I feel helpless and out of control.
Today surely is a bad day, and yes, I am struggling too.
Today, like most of my bad days that pass, I see a little bit of my life that has slipped away; another memory not made, another dream that doesn't come true. Another day my son wont know
what its like to have a father in his life, One more day my family is separated. One more day I'm without a real home. I am so often standing on the
line between sanity and insanity, I have to keep telling myself, "He's real, this is real, our love is real, and the end will come."
Today when he called I had to fight off the urge to beg him to come home to me. "Please come home. If you really loved me, you'd find a way." Today I blame him for keeping us apart. Today I am so very angry with him. Today is definitely a bad day, and yes, I am struggling too.
A good day can turn bad in the blink of an eye, a tick of the clock, or a beat of my heart. I am on an emotional roller coaster that changes course without warning or consideration for my mental
state. It never asks permission. Attacks of loneliness, despair, confusion, and frustration hit me and consume me from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head and every crevice of my body in
between. Some bad days I want to curl up in my bed and sleep. Sleep the days away. Some bad days I can't sleep or even eat. Sometimes I have to make my heart beat and my lungs take in oxygen.
Suicide is never a thought, but dying from loneliness is always a possibility.
Today I have no answers that make sense to me for the thousands of questions running through my head. My mind is cluttered with doubts and confusion and this makes my heart heavy with guilt and shame. How could I question the one real joy I have in my life? There are so many people who are lonely, without love and passion in their lives, so as difficult as this ordeal is, I know that what he
and I share is the most precious of all gifts.
But today, I can't remember all the unconditional love, support, and non-judgment that my man has bestowed upon me. Today I can't remember that my man is the only one who really understands and accepts me, and the good and the bad. Today, I can't remember all the desire and passion that my
man has brought out of me. Today, I can't remember that he plays no games, tells no lies, and wears our love like a badge of honor. Today, is obviously a bad day, and yes, I am struggling too!
While I wouldn't change one second, erase one tear, or forget heartache, I can truly understand why a woman would choose not to wait. The reality is that I am in prison too…I am also doing time and the only thing I am guilty of is being in love with my man.
For every one of us who stands by our man, that can endure the bad days and savor the good, there are many who can't. Many just don't even try. To the men whose women have chosen to move on, you
must always remember that there are always two sides to every story. Your women might not tell you what's in their hearts, but if you listen hard enough you can hear them. You can hear their confusion and their fear pleading with you to understand, to
forgive, to accept, and to remember…
Not every woman is strong enough to endure the bad days that the struggle brings. Thank God, I'm strong enough!