Two Family System
We are unprotected and are placed many miles from home and the families that love and depend on us. Often to remote corners of the state. Such long distances away and apart it isn't economically [feasible?] for our families to see us like they would want to. As for us any contact with our loved ones is stolen happiness and the rare times that we can be ourselves. the visiting rooms are full of grown men smiling, laughing, crying, playing games with their children. Any other day you would not even think of speaking to these men.
We prisoners have all been there and seen hard men reduced to real people with real emotions. Its not normal but we don't stare at the tears of joy on that mans face and stare at the tough guy who isn't so tough after all. He's no punk or showing a weakness. We look away and wipe our own tears away and steal our precious minutes of happiness and wholeness of our family. We have all been there we all know how it feels and we long to return to that happy place that visits offered us.
But what happens after you say goodbye to your family. After the last hugs and kisses are exchanged we suit back up into our body armor. We wipe our noses and tuck away our feelings. We pass through the portal of now. We are the hard men who nothing [faces?], and emotions don't matter.
We go back to the men who have become family. People who share your meals, work and yard. Family that you vent to who offer you advice and guidance. After 18 years in prison it is safe to say that I have more family inside than outside.
We replace our real feelings with a new one. We have to let people in, people who have been where you are today [whom?] have been there yesterday and know what to do and say. It takes a long time to foster this new family, but the rewards are there and [longable?].
No one will ever replace my real family that I will return to, but we treat our inside family the same way we would treat our outside family. We stand beside them through right or wrong. Good and bad times.
The odd thing happens with the two families. We don't tell our outside family how bad things are, all the horrific things we have seen. We don't want to worry them so we say there's no danger or sorrow, its safe and comfortable. The outside family does the same thing though. We never hear how bad it gets for them, all of the struggles they go through. They don't want to worry us. Some how this works, and both worlds are separate and it works.
We divest and share our pain with our inside family. they have lived it, felt it. They know loss and agony. Our inside family surrounds us and lets us know its going to be alright. These men are my brothers and family. I know if [they'd?] comes and if they read this they will know that I refer to them. they know who is apart of my family. I also hope that they know that I sincerely hope that one day my two families can combine in the real world. These bonds are strong and the bonds of brotherhood and family so beyond these walls and cages. I hope to see all of my brothers living a free and good life.
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