Did you ever at any point want to throw in the towel and just give up on dealing with a man in prison?
Anonymous from Atlanta, GA
In the beginning there were times when I wondered whether I could wait two years, and then when he got flopped that two years turned into three and then four. I didn’t know if I had it in me, knowing there were women who had waited much longer and seemed to be resigned to that life. I didn’t want that life—the life of visits and phone calls and weekly letters—to become my new normal. The good thing for us was that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Even when the odds seemed stacked against us, I knew he had an out date. Some men didn’t. Though it was incredibly hard, I never wanted to throw in the towel. I loved him too much. I couldn’t imagine leaving him to do the rest of his time alone. I feared what that would say about me—what he would think, and more importantly, what I would think of myself. I am an overachiever. Failure is not an option. This kind of thinking can be unhealthy, but it’s the fuel that kept me going. Once I made the commitment to be with Shaka there was no turning back. It helped that Shaka was especially sensitive to my needs and tried his best to make things easier on me. We discussed how to do the time differently to help me deal with the frustrations that come with this life. For example, sometimes we cut back on calls so I could catch my breath financially, and then sometimes we increased the calls when I was feeling especially needy. I felt like had a partner in this and that made the difference for me.