Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents

What I Needed

By Davis81 – Research Intern

So this weeks blog entry has to deal with the listing of what children who have incarcerated parents may need.  Especially while dealing with something of this nature which could mess with your mental health and emotional health. I personally struggled with things regarding my mental and emotional health. When my mom went to prison and I moved with my father and step-mother I wasn’t really interested in doing things. I wanted to sit in the house all day and just keep to myself. My dad wanted me to get outside and make friends in the neighborhood since I was new in the area but I did not have any interest because I was still processing the fact that my mom was gone. I didn’t know when she would be coming back, and I was split from my brother and two sisters

Personally, I think there were some things that I needed to know/ needed when my mom left but I did not know them. So…. Here they are:

  • I wish someone would have told me it was not my fault that my mom got into trouble. I did not understand that my mom being in prison had nothing to do with me. She is/was entitled for her own actions but for some reason I held that on myself.
  • I wish someone would have told me everything would be okay. I felt like it was the end of the world but it was not. I actually do see some greatness in my Adversities.
  • I needed my family the most. Mostly, my maternal side because they are who I knew more. I honestly felt like nobody really cared about me because I was far away from all of them.
  • I wish someone would have told me they loved me more. Now, as an adult hearing the words “I love you” means so much to me. As a child I did not hear it as much so they made an impact in my life as well.

These are just a few things that I wish I would have had. It was not easy when my mom left. Honestly, I still kind of struggle with when we were separated as an adult. I just sometimes have separation anxiety on some occasions. There are children who are out there dealing with more than what I dealt with when I was in this situation and they need more than I needed. I think the most important thing everyone needs is love. To be loved and to know you are loved can take things a lot further.