I was talking to someone I work with today about writing to inmates. She's really interested in it and wants to do the same, but is worried how her husband and daughter would react.
Anyway, after explaining to her what it was like (in my own experience) it really got me thinking.
I've been writing to inmates for about 18 months.. not a long time compared to a lot on here, and as well as hoping it adds something to their lives I now realise how much it has added to mine.
Of all the people I've ever met, some of the most honest, genuine and caring have been my prison pen pals. They do not judge and they are never false. Ok so you meet a bad one once in a while but that's all.
I no longer get irratated by stupid things like queue's in the supermarket and traffic jams. I have so much more to think about. I think about how my pals would be so glad to be even in that traffic jam. They would look out the windows at all the other cars, the scenery and the other people and enjoy being in a comfy chair listening to the radio.
When my boss is an ***, it doesn't get me raged.. I just think "he's an ***" and it doesn't anger or upset me... He may speak harsh words at times, but he'll never be my CO.
I truly believe I am a calmer and more rational person since establishing such bonds with my pals. I know it's now as valuable to me as it is them.
As I write mainly to those on life sentances or death row, I know the future is going to be full of different events. On the harsh side dealing with the death of those I truly care for, but on the positive side by the time that I am retired and probably quite grey looking, they will be released. This actually gives me something to look forward to as regards to growing old.. I hope then to be able to share a coffee with them all in the free world.
I felt compelled to write this after some of the recent press relating to the whole prison pen pal issue. If I could swear here, which I can't and won't then I'd say **** em.
These people have no idea what they're talking about and only serve to prolong the problem that is the lack of concern, forgiveness and concentration on rehabilitation in the prison system.
You realise we are all activists?.. whether we choose to be so or not? We are choosing to write to these guys and girls offering a hand of friendship that the system does not.
We are not emotionally in-apt freaks like the media would like to portray us as. We're the good guys surrounded by a world of insensitive vengeful idiots.
I really think the world of all you WAPster's you know.. I think we have a totally unique and wonderful community on here that stretches worldwide.
Let's keep it that way.
Love to all of you from the cold and slightly damp UK!