Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents

The Beginning

By Davis81 – Research Intern

Can you imagine being ten years old going from the life you knew to a new life without one of your parents? I can vividly remember walking from the bus stop with my younger sister and cousins to get home and see that my mother wasn’t home… How awkward was it for something to just change up without any warning? That was the first experience that I could recall that made a significant impact on my life. I had to readjust in a different city, make new friends, and learn to be without my mother and siblings at ten years old. Some people may think that was an early age, but she’ll be alright, but the truth is some days I was okay, and other days I wouldn’t be. When I found out my mom was going to prison, it hurt me to the core because my provider wasn’t going to be there anymore.

I eventually then moved in with my Aunt, but she could not take care of my mom’s four children, my teenage Aunt, and her one child plus herself. That was too much, so I voiced that I wanted to go live with my father. She thought about it, talked it over with me, and then my father. I then made a move to a completely different city about two hours away from my family. Once I moved in with my dad and his wife, I realized how much I missed my family back home. I cried so many times, I really did not know what to do. I went from being the “big sister” to three other children to being the only child. I began to warm up and try and get used to the new life I was living, but it hurt me because I missed my mom so much.

My mom was incarcerated for about three years; within those three years, I probably only spoke to her on the phone once or twice, and I believe that was because my dad and stepmother did not want me to talk to her. There were times when I would sneak mail-off letters to her because I wanted to make sure she was actually getting my letters. I never looked at my mom any different. No matter what she has done in her lifetime, I still loved her. She is honestly my superhero, my “shero,” and I cannot wait to tell you all why. STAY TUNED!