When my loved one was arrested in 2009, I genuinely questioned if I would make it through his incarceration. Some days the thoughts find themselves in my mind, but not quite as severe as they once were. This quickly became an extremely dark and lonely time in my life. I always wanted someone to understand exactly what I was going through. Not someone who understood what I was saying, but someone who understood what I was going through. Of course I have family, but we were all facing the same thing we had no idea how to talk about. I wanted adults outside my family to understand what I was going through. I wanted my friends to understand what I was going through. I wanted family friends, distant family, anyone to understand what I was going through.
In 2009 when my loved one was arrested social media just wasn’t what it is today. In 2009, before the ability to share in such a grand way, I relied on writing. Any writing. Journaling, poetry, random stories, etc. Writing became my way to process emotions. I couldn’t work through an issue without journaling through it. I say couldn’t, but honestly I’m still this way. I solve most of my issues through morning pages. Through writing in school, I always brought one of my notebooks to my favorite teacher. This notebook was filled with what I chose to be the first draft of my story. My novel. My imprisonment novel describing every single dark, hard, angry, sad, difficult detail of my story. Once things became too hard, I stashed this notebook away to visit at another time in my life.
While the time wasn’t exactly right seven years ago, I’ve grown so much. I’ve healed. I’ve accepted. I’m moving forward. About two years ago I decided the time was right to visit this notebook again. I came back to the words of a broken teenager. A broken girl with nowhere to turn. Reading every word on these pages brought me down to her. Once again I felt her pain. I felt her pain so vividly. I felt her pain and reflected upon where it hurt in my body. I questioned why I hurt so badly? Was it the lonely feeling that haunted her? Was it the desperation she carried? Was it the conviction in every single word she wrote? I reflected on this pain calmly, and this was when I decided the only way I could bring her freedom was by finishing the words she spent so long painfully writing. I realized the only way I could free her of this pain was to be the person she needed most. I decided I would be her comfort. I would be her love. I would be her strength. I decided I would visit her in my memories with every post and be her hope of a brighter future.
I love the internet, and love how powerful it can be. Knowing the amount of people my blog has a potential to reach I knew this would be my home. I would blog and offer everything I can to every single soul who felt the way mine once felt. When I decided to start Incarcerated by Association, I decided I would do my best to help free every single reader of the pain I once felt, even if only temporary. I will be your comfort. I will be your love. I will be your strength. With each encouraging word of a war once fought, I will be your sincere hope of a brighter future.
Due to children like myself, it is important that resources for family of the incarcerated have as many resources at their hands as possible. As a child who grew up so close to the prison and justice system, we need to involve the negatives of incarceration on the family in more conversations. We need to offer more resources. There are so many children living in constant survival mode and we need to talk about it.
My mission is to advocate for any person who has a loved one in prison through my personal journey and experiences. For every child who lives in the same survival mode I lived in. For everyone who has felt like an outcast among their peers due to a loved ones incarceration. Through the last ten years of this incarceration, I have learned coping skills, hobbies, wellness habits and many more that personally helped me. While I cannot guarantee these will help you, I hope to provide a relatable story to reaffirm that you are NOT alone.