Navigating High School and Late Childhood with an Incarcerated Loved One

If only I could just turn back the clock and tell small Chelsea what she dreamed of knowing. She would hate me because my answers are nothing she wanted to hear. It’s humorous to me that at this place in my life I thought there’d be no way of surviving for ten years. Hell, I think I genuinely thought it’d only last for three years max. So many days and nights were consumed with praying to my Christian God to “just please end this nightmare or give me the courage to end it”. I just knew I couldn’t make it beyond the immediate now. With each passing day, the brother I knew on the outside was quickly fading.

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Prison Talk: Visitation With My Incarcerated Loved One

I remember the first visit I had with my brother. I can’t describe the dreadful feeling I was overcome with leading up to the visit. Perhaps it’s only me, but this situation was very stressful for me so any and all visits – I was there. I refused to miss any opportunity to see my brother. In the following years, I began to look forward to these visits during the week. Most visits were great, but those awful visits are inevitable. With that being said, sometimes visits were just looking at each other. Almost like we were communicating telepathically. I knew everything he couldn’t say, and he knew everything we couldn’t say. These thirty minutes made the hours of wait time worth it. Some days we waited longer than others, and some days we didn’t get to visit at all. I would suggest to anyone visiting an inmate – familiarize yourself with the institution’s policies. I’ve been visiting my brother for a total of ten years, and it’s amazing how different visitation is now compared to the beginning of our journey.

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