My mum was released from prison, we weren’t prepared

My Mum was released from prison just before Christmas 2016.

She managed to keep her own house, and therefore a few days before she was released we tidied up, cleaned, made sure she had a little bit of shopping in, like the essentials: bread, milk etc.

Also I contacted her doctor for advice and found out that she needed to register again with the practice. I got enrolment forms for her to fill in and handed them back as quickly as possible so she could get an appointment, as the prison only give a limited supply of medication.

I took control of her finances, made sure all the utilities were up to date, and bought her a cheap mobile phone. I also contacted the Department of Work and Pensions so that she could phone and get her money started again.

That was the practicalities sorted… what I wasn’t prepared for the emotional side!!!

Firstly it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders – knowing we wouldn’t have the weekly trek for an hour long prison visit was a particular relief. But soon I started getting stressed and felt like I was being smothered.

My mother became very nervous about being on the outside after having been inside for 2 years and relied on me too much.

She became a recluse and expected me to continue doing the shopping etc. I had to be cruel to be kind and encourage her to start doing things for herself. It was difficult at first, but she eventually started going to the shops and going into town.

As a grown married women, I found it was difficult knowing that my mum wanted to know my every move, the continuous phone calls and the panic when I didn’t answer. Eventually I had to say to her and be firm.

I did let a lot off my chest to my friends and family, however I felt that they didn’t really understand. I found one good friend however. They had been in a very similar situation to me and kept me grounded. They assured me that those things were all normal and to stay firm.

Also, the people I found really helpful were her social workers and police liaison who were assigned to her case. They kept me in the loop every step of the way regarding her progress and also kept me grounded.

There’s been a few bumps along the way; it takes time to settle down, life won’t be the same as before as it does take a lot of adjusting, but you do get there.

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