Perception behind prison walls

Perception

“What you see is what you get” this is a statement that I used for many years. Looking back this statement sounds as if I am being transparent, saying “this is who I am” the ugly truth is I had a very small understanding of who I was. To people I said “look at me” on the outside but on the inside I was saying “I am fearful I may not be who you think I am.” The perception I had of myself was chaotic, I didn’t understand myself so I put a mask and acted as if I didn’t care. In reality I knew I made many mistakes but I gave the impression of a careless person. The fear of rejection was great and so was just the thought of it, so the perception most friends had of me was far from transparent. 

My perception stood, that I would not get any better than the repetitive mistakes I made. I felt as if I deserved a lot of the pain that came my way in life. We are our worst enemy, condemning ourselves, with that perception can come a lot of heartache. We are a unique people, God breathed life into us, a divine creation and yet we look in the mirror we can see our guilt shame or even beauty and pain. It all comes down what our perception is of ourselves. What is on the outside is the reflection of what we see on the inside.

I had a certain way of viewing things and thought perception was black and white. I thought people may not all agree with my views but they must have understood them. The way I viewed things before, I believe, was due to my environment. The way I see things and people now as a women of faith, a wife, married to a man in prison are much different, more compassionate. In the perception process stereo typing was a part of who I was.

 I thought women who married men in prison had low self-esteem and were being taken advantage of. My sympathy did not reach far, though they were married to men in prison, which was partial truth, I generalized all women in this area has gullible. I also hid the fact that I was married for the first six months because I was worried how others would stereo type me. Due to the fact we have to deal with how people may perceive us in the negative view. We have used the negotiation component of perception.  

How I have used negotiation in my marriage was by researching and seeking guidance with mentors on my marriage. I use to neglect my husband’s needs and was not empathetic of the fact he was incarcerated, due to how I perceived women in my situation. My faith is also another reason I was able to see that my marriage does matter. Through negotiation I realized we said our vows the same as any man and women when they get married. My vows are to honor my husband and to be by his side through thick and thin. I see marriage as a sacred union so just because my husband in prison doesn’t undervalue our vows. I have also realized that just because a person is incarcerated that doesn’t mean they should be deprived of love. 

Setting Personal Boundries

                                                           

When we talk about boundary issues, what we are usually referring to is "working out a respectful way to communicate with others." So how do we set limits to take care of the other person and ourselves?
1) Is it in line with my morals and values?
2) Do I feel okay doing it?
3) Do I feel uncomfortable saying yes?
4) Do I feel guilty saying No?

If you are not comfortable with any these options, It is a good idea to set back and see what are your limits, what are your boundaries. Remember you are Priority!

Example: Instead of saying "No" or explaining, another approach could be " I unable to commit at this time however I appreciate you asking me."

In personal and working relationships, communication is key.
Having a family member is prison or having a past of substance use is not always information that is easily shared. There can be judgement passed by those that don't understand, be wise what you choose to share, remember a supportive and recovery environment is necessary.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. Proverbs 31: 10& 11

 Story

While cement walls, bob wire and distance are our obstacles, it is difficult to keep the connection in the relationship.  We live in two different worlds where time is short at the same time it is at a standstill. Communication barriers are constant yet the situation of a loved behind bars is always changing. So how do we find a place of our own, how do we find the place to grow, as a woman, when our emotions seem so out of control? Are we capable of being such a women?

~Thought for the day~

 The separation of being apart from the one we love can be a friend or foe. Take the time of separation to examine our hearts and find the areas of improvement. Looking within and loving ourselves first is the self-care that will connect these two worlds and love will conquer all the insecurities, fears and barriers.

 

Challenge

Love your husband right where he is mentally and emotionally. Respect him for the man you chose, love him. If he is frustrated and chooses to take it out on you, listen and respond by letting him know you can empathize with his frustration and remind him you are his biggest fan.

Who Can Understand It?

In one minute, we can go from recovery to relapse who can understand it. We know the path of destruction is ahead and yet we choose to entertain thoughts of using and then the act itself. Without any thought of who will be affected and who will lose, it ends up that we are the thief in our own temple. With temptation surrounding us we still have a choice, a choice to say, “I am worthy” and a confidence to stand as a pillar when all other influences seem to nudge at our recovery. So how do we beloved women find this confidence, by understanding our existence. Our existence before the mistakes, before the shame, and the guilt. We are created for a greater purpose then what we see in the mirror, even at our best, even when we have been in recovery for years, there is still more to achieve in recovery. Know you are women of influence, the backbone of the family and a pillar in the world. Find your purpose.

·        Meditate- weather you believe it or not you are created for a unique purpose. Stay humble and walk with a grateful heart for the many chances we are given daily.

Prayer- Pray for a heart of gratitude and to find a place of being content so that no matter what circumstances we face we will overcome. Pray to grow in knowledge so we may give God glory and be a testimony of strength in recovery for other women.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:

 If one falls down, his friend can help him up.~ Ecclesiastics 4:9&10