There are several things you should be aware of when a loved one released from prison. That’s why I’ve written numerous blogs on the subject. It’s a time for many emotions and uncertainty.
Your loved one will have a lot of feelings to process. You may think they’ll be feeling excited, but there’s much more going on inside. Aside from feelings of excitement, your loved one will also be a little anxious and overwhelmed. They may even feel scared.
There are a lot of unknowns that your loved one is facing. These unknowns often cause emotions to swell. You may even notice the person is stressed or irritable as they prepare for the next phase of their life.
When your loved one is released, they probably won’t be the exact person they were when they got locked up. Being in prison changes a person. It’s a different world in there. Your loved one will need time to adjust to the outside world again. Don’t expect your relationship to be the same or your loved one to act the same as they did before going to prison.
You will need to work through some things. Have an open dialog, set boundaries, and find your new normal with each other. Give the person time to work through their feelings and encourage them to join a support group or see a counselor upon release. Seeing a counselor together may be helpful as well.
While you can’t expect things to be status quo, you can work on your new normal. Most importantly, your family member or friend needs to know they’re loved. They need to know you see a future for them and believe in second chances. Before they’re released, consider how you can support them.
Your loved one has a hard road ahead of them. There will be a lot of things they’ll need to figure out. Be patient and understanding as they navigate these unknowns and the emotions that come with them. Second chances are real, but they don’t come easy. If you work together your loved one will have a chance for an amazing future.
[Monalisa Johnson is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel and a certified life coach as well as a mother and entrepreneur. In no way is anything that she writes, speaks or shares considered medical advice or clinical therapy. Consider all that you receive to be life coaching and guidance.]