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Gina R Autrey

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Member Since: Jun, 2007

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Life In Prison - Relationships
By Gina R Autrey
Monday, July 09, 2007

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The relationships in prison

This is a sensitive subject, and I dont want to offend anyone, but I am going to be honest about this. 

There are many types of relationships that form in a womens prison.  Let's start witht the "family" relationships.  I was in my early 30's when I went in.  There are alot of younger women in there, ranging from 18 - 25.  Most of these young girls have not had a positive female role model in their lives.  They long for that "mother" figure.  I seemed to fit that role pretty well with several of the girls.  One in particular that I became very close to.  She was 19 when  I met her.  Her name was Shay.  She called me mom.  We would talk about everything.  There were several others who called me Mom or Ma.  Most of them were in the school trying to get their GED.  I would encourage them and help them in their studies.  I listened to their problems and stories of their lives.  I tried to talk to them about staying out of trouble and looking to the future and what they wanted to do with their lives when they were released - those that were going to be released.  I looked to a grandmotherly figure when I needed advice, her name was Mona.  She was a very nice person.  The family relationships are tight.  If anyone messes with one of your family members there is generally hell to pay from the rest of the family.  You look out for each other. 

The next kind of relationship is being girlfriends.  I was married when I went in.  I had been married since I was 18.  I had NEVER experimemted with any type of homosexuality or even been exposed to it at all.  My husband filed for divorce about 10 months into my sentence.  He left me for my best friend of 20 years.  He kept my kids from me for a while until I could get him into court for visitation rights.  He was really nasty about everything.  I was an emotional wreck.  I felt so abandoned and alone.  I had my parents and my sister, but I only got to see them for a few hours every other weekend.  The lonliness was such that it was like a dark cloud that just felt like it was covering me up and I couldnt breathe.  It was horrible.  I had never been on my own.  I didnt know what to do.  A woman befriended me and we got really close.  She had been locked up before.  She was bisexual both in and out of prison.  Her name was Nikki.  She made me laugh.  She was so funny.  She listened to me.  She was there for me as I went through the most horrible time and she truly seemed to care for me.  One day she kissed me.  I was stunned.  I didnt know what to do or what to say.  I felt weird.  But I wasnt mad.  We ended up being a couple.  We were together for over a year before she got transfered to another institution.  I know alot of people say they would never do something like that.  Well I never thought I would either.  I did what I had to do to survive.  She helped me not think about my situation so much.  I cant say that I am bisexual.  I am heterosexual.  I am in a relationship with a man now who I love dearly.  But I did participate actively in the relationship in all ways. 

There are relationships that are for canteen.  There are some women who dont get any money or assistance from their family or anyone on the outside.  They hook-up with women on the inside who do get money.  These women become their personal bank.  They buy them canteen or whatever they need.  I learned to spot these women a mile away.  You can watch them operate.  They are very savvy and smart about it.  You cant understand unless you have nothing, but I didnt fault these women for what they did.  The women they preyed upon were getting something in return - companionship, protection, etc.

I dont judge anyone these days for whatever lifestyle they choose to live.  Who knows their reasons?  Who knows what they have been through to make them decide not to date or be with someone of the opposite sex?  Each person has the right to make their own choices.  That is why God gave us free will.  If in the end it is a sin, then they are the ones who will answer for it.  I wouldnt treat anyone any differently regardless of their sexual preference or their financial status or their race.  When we cut, we all bleed the same blood.


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