Friday, September 22, 2006

Inmate Drama

My inmate penpals are wearing on me. I know, thankfully not first hand, how miserable they must be, even when they put on the best of face. I know I have a couple who have little outside support. But the drama and now some games are wearing on me.

One pal is constant drama. I think he brings a lot of his troubles on himself Every letter is how everyone is out to get him and make him miserable and deny him everything. I just feel so helpless to intervene. I try to rationalize that just writing and listening can help. But the constant turmoil is hard on him and me.

Another pal, which Texas moved around from prison to prison and then back to his original assigned unit, now is asking for $$ every other letter or so. This last one was for $50 to send to another inmate's family so this inmate can get him in to a program in a leather shop. Not going there.... now instead of writing a friendly chat letter, I have to say no and wait to see if he decides not to write again. The letter before that was for some $ to get items that he lost in the moves. I tell all my pals, money will come at Christmas and on birthdays, anything else do not ask. This pal has gone quickly from me excited to get a letter to "what does he want now?"

I have not heard from two in a while, one of which is probably hacked that I would not pay for an online ad at another site after I placed a free one for him. The other one has a lot of support so I guess I am low on the list.

One is getting released in a year. He is great, but has tons of family and friend support. This his letters are nice but usually just a short page or so. At least he is not asking for something.

Sigh... I know it is not easy to be pals with an inmate. I think why bother? Then I remember why when one of them writes this in a recent letter:

"All friends, whether they know it or not, help me and all of us here just by being there, listening to us and loving us and sharing their lives with us. It gives me hope. It helps me remember that we are indeed human beings, loveable human beings, and not just thrown away, forgotten trash. The system and the guards want us to think that and treat us that way. Thank you, and thank all for loving and caring for me and for anyone in the system, thank you all for even caring about us. That means more than you'll ever know."

Thus I continue.

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