I love analogies. I use them all the time, especially when attempting to describe something I am passionate about. They kind of just pop into my head and right out of my mouth. Sometimes they even make sense;-) I find it easier to give someone a story or a familiar image to ease them into a deep or difficult topic. Not everyone can just sail into an intense conversation. Some of us need an ice breaker. A moment to remember, despite differences of perspective, we are all here trying to make it.
All of us have heard comments from people, outside of our experience, questioning our choices. More often than not, our overall sanity is doubted by people that simply don’t understand. My own mother, who knew very intimately our situation, was not supportive of my marriage. “Why!? Why would you want to be legally tied to someone in prison!?” Gee I don’t know mom…seems edgy, and cool. I think it will be fun!
It took SPWF to find the support and understanding I needed to walk through this life. I’m so glad to say I’ve met some remarkable and strong women that I would never have known otherwise. Women not only holding their own, and holding it down, but who are also reaching out to help others navigate a very dark place.
Describing this group one day this analogy popped right out. “None of us grew up playing Prison Wife Barbie, but here we are killing it!” Obviously that was meant to sound just like it does, ridiculous. But it’s real! I grew up fantasizing about my perfect future. Cabin, horses, husband, kids… whatever, you get where I am going. None of us were prepared for this reality. Whether you had a loved one ripped away from you, or met an amazing person already incarcerated, your eyes are now open to things you never knew you never knew… Quoting Pocahontas there, haha. None of us knew how to manage stigma, or how to prepare ourselves for the ignorant comments coming straight at us from a judging world. None of us knew what an easy target our relationships would be for gossip and ridicule. We live in a world where the general public has such a weak sense of self awareness and low self esteem, the typical reaction is to attack something strange in the attempt to inflate personal ego.
I’m eternally grateful for Ro and this team for working so hard to fill this need for our peers. We, the caregivers, lovers of the forgotten, defenders of injustice, need support too. Strong Prison Wives and Families, provides a support system that keeps us from wielding our swords on the battlefield alone.
1 in 4 women, 25% of us have a loved one in the system. It almost seems to me that Mattel missed the mark. Maybe they should have made Prison Wife Barbie. I don’t know how many other versions of Barbie apply to 1/4 of the female population. They could even accessorize her with a clear bag for ones and quarters (SPWF has a custom made bag;-) and a wireless bra… instant gold. Most of us can laugh about that but it’s not funny it’s sad this is an epidemic. But keep loving strong and keep loving each other strong. We will get through this together and together we will make change. Namasté.