It is a sad reality for many children have to live with — having their parents living behind bars. Millions of people are in the prison system across the United States.
Being in prison or jail is no walk in the park and can cause mental and physical pain for those incarcerated. The pain their children feel is something that isn't often heard of. But the kids whose parents are in prison have to deal with mental anguish, a variety of different emotions, and social stigmas against them and their parents.
Many kids whose parents live behind bars don't even like to talk about it. They even lie to people and make-up stories about their life to keep the truth hidden. And who can blame them?
Some things are private or just too painful to talk about. Some of these kids turn to the anonymous app whispers. It is a way for people to confess, anonymously, things they need to get off their chests.
From the funny to the sad stories like these, millions of people have used the app. Having a way to get a truth out, but still hidden, is therapeutic.
18 Tears And Guilt
A persons father is in jail for shooting a police officer, and the writer feels sad and cries over all the things they will miss out on. Then they state they try not to think about their dad and feels guilty.
It's quite terrible, to have to deal with all of these sad and unfair emotions. Emotions the person is having to live with and deal with due to the actions of their own father.
Granted we don't know the full situation, but it sounds life a heavy one. An officer was shot, and that certainly brought about a long sentence for this dad. It's hard to understand why some things happen, and for this person, this is one of those times.
17 When The Truth Is Too Painful
People deal with things differently.
The confession above states that the dad has been away for 15 years. The person now just tells people he died. It is a truly heartbreaking thing to do, but one that it completely understandable.
People have to be able to move on with their life at some point. Having a father or mother in prison is going to cause some serious baggage.
The person who decided to tell people he died. It was a way for them to cope and not have to deal with constant questions and having the thoughts of their dad in prison being resurrected.
I can't say I blame this person, especially when the dad has been away for so many years.
16 The World Doesn't Understand
We live in a society that is quick to cast judgments. It's not good to judge people and their situations as we can never know what really goes on unless we lived it.
The person writing the confession says they wish people wouldn't be so judgmental about their mom being in prison. The person lost their mom and would do anything to change what happened.
The fact is people go to prison, and it's not really up to anyone to throw stones. Especially towards those left on the outside, trying to pick their life up after having their parent go to jail. It is also wise to remember that there are many people in prison who don't belong there.
Mistakes happen, society needs to think about that before casting judgments.
15 When Prison Is A Good Thing
This user says when their mom is in prison they secretly like it because they don't have to worry about. They know she is fed, off the streets and being provided for. Not hurting herself or others. As someone who has a couple of relatives who had "problems"; I grew up knowing it was easier for the family when they were in jail. For the very same reasons listed here.
It may sound harsh, but I get what this person is saying. It is nice not to have to worry about someone. Especially, if it is one's, own mother. It is a sad confession, the whole situation is sad. It is obviously a situation caused by the mother. The user sounds relieved and there is nothing wrong with that.
14 It Could Have Been Prevented
When a parent makes a bad judgment and winds up the prison, we have established the kids suffer.
The simple fact that their parents are in jail is hard. It makes for a sucky part of their life. Then to throw in all of the holidays they will miss out on sharing with their parents, it's like salt in the wound.
This anonymous post states they wish their dad wasn't so selfish, and how it could have been prevented. He's missed birthdays, Father's Day and all of the holidays to come.
The pain that comes with having parents in prison is ever ending. There is always something else to be sad or angry about. There is nothing to be done about it, no way to fix it. Everyone involved is in their own prison.
13 No Longer In Harm's Way
Parents are supposed t keep their kids safe. But all too often this is not the case. There are many people, men and woman across the U.S. that are in prison for endangering and abusing their own kids. It takes a sick person to do that.
The child is left scarred for life and scared for their life. Until the parent goes to jail. This user says they feel safer than they have ever felt, due to their father being in prison. It is so heartbreaking that is how they feel. They didn't know the feeling of safety by being protected by their parents.
Instead, they knew fear and dread because of their father. Thankfully now, they have that sense of safety, and the dad is locked away.
12 No Pity, Just Loneliness
The loneliness one feels when having a parent gone is incredibly difficult. There are countless numbers of people whose parents have died, abandoned them or are in prison.
Being a parent means being the protector of your child. Putting their needs first and realizing that the consequences of their actions will directly affect their children. The thought of having a mother in jail is enough to make any feel sick to their stomach. It is a horrible thought. It is even worse when it is a reality, the way it is for so many people.
The Whisper user sounds like someone who is trying to remain strong but still has an emptiness inside. A yearning for a mother who probably won't ever get out of jail. Simply heartbreaking.
11 No More Sympathy
Not feeling bad about their father being in prison is the Whisper users confession.
What makes it so sad, is they also ask "What it wrong with me?". Nobody can be sure about how they will feel when their parent goes to prison. There aren't always good explanations for our emotions and feeling like there is something wrong with one's self is common.
Sometimes when an emotion is lacking, like with the person in this confession, it leads to more complex feelings or emotions.
Feeling like something is wrong may be from the guilt they are feeling for not caring. When their parents went to prison there is no telling what for, but probably brought some feelings of resentment from the confessor to their father. Which is pretty understandable.
10 The Foster Care Lie
The dad in this one was put in prison for money laundering.
The child, too embarrassed to tell people the truth says they were raised in foster care. Feelings of resentment, sadness, and anger seem to be a pretty common trend amongst kids whose parents are in jail.
Embarrassment is one of them too, but it doesn't seem to be talked about as much. The user is so embarrassed they would rather have people believe they were raised in a foster family, which is so sad.
Once again we have a parent who didn't think about the repercussions of his actions and how his child would be affected. The child will have to deal with this the rest of their life, even when/if the dad gets out.
9 Easier Not To Care
It is so common for people to lie about their feelings and emotions. And it makes sense to play things off like we don't care than to have to deal with the issues plaguing us.
This Whisper user states they tell people they don't care about their father being in prison. Yet the truth is that they do. Certain times it is just easier for a person to pretend they don't care.
Maybe if they can convince others, eventually they will convince themselves.
It doesn't always work that way. The person in the confession is obviously sad and upset of their father being in prison. Who wouldn't be?
It's a sucky situation to be in. It is completely understandable for them to want to keep their feelings to themselves.
8 Bad Daughter
This Whisper user says her dad tries to stay in touch, but she gets annoyed with his repetitive small talk. Then she feels guilty for being a bad daughter.
While it is nice that her father tries to stay in touch, it probably is a very awkward and annoying situation to be in. It seems the people in jail don't fully understand the effect it has on their loved ones.
Especially parents in jail with kids on the outside.
Trying to maintain a relationship with a parent in jail is probably incredibly hard. The emotions, the frustrations and the fact that they are so far apart. The daughter in the confession should not feel like a bad daughter in my opinion. She is a person dealing with a hard situation.
7 Wishing He Was Gone
Dealing with a parent in prison is extremely difficult.
I have never had to deal with it (thankfully!), but know of people who have. This Whisper user says they wish their dad was really gone, not just gone as in prison, but GONE. It would be easier to deal with, they say than having to deal with the different scenarios they think of about seeing their dad the next time.
The stress and anxiety this person is having are normal for people in situations like this. It doesn't make it any better, but it is common.
Thinking an unkind thought, or wishing for a person to go away, even it is a parent, may seem mean. But one can't control their thoughts. And after dealing with a parent in prison, they can think whatever they want.
6 9 Months Later
This user is actually excited, which is a big contrast from the others on the list so far. This kid is actually excited to see him, as well as terrified.
Seeing your father for the first time in 9 months after they have been in jail is a pretty big deal. The spiralling of emotions from excitement to terror seems natural. What is nice about this confession is it seems happier and lighter than the other ones.
Perhaps the dad went in for something minor or somethings that weren't even his fault. The kid obviously doesn't have or seem to have resentment and other mixed emotions. The feelings they have are simply about their father being released. And that seems about as good of a happy ending as one can get in this situation.
5 Following In Dad's Footsteps
This confession is particularly interesting.
There is a father in prison, his daughter has a child of her own, and she is worried about her daughter turning out like her father. It's quite sad, the woman not only has to deal with the tremendous weight of having a father in prison but the fear of how her own daughter will turn out.
Will her daughter wind up prison? Another heartbreak for the mom. It is horrible enough to have a parent in prison, but then add your own child?
The woman writing the confession obviously knows there is a chance for her daughter to turn down a wrong path, and it must weigh on her mind constantly. It seems she is a good parent though, like her own father, and cares about her daughter's outcome.
4 A Different Set Of Tears
This is another one where the writer isn't mad about the parent being jail. However, they are upset they are unable to bail their father out.
Obviously, in these short confessions, the whole story can not be conveyed. It does imply though the father didn't screw up enough to cause damage to his offspring. No resentment or anger, just a child trying to help their father out and being unable to do so.
It is certainly a bad situation. The child is crying because they can't help. That is hard, and I'm sure many of us have been in a situation where there was nothing we could do to change it. The person writing this is hopeless, and their pain reaches through their words.
3 A Father She Never Had
Every little girl deserves to know the love of her father. The father-daughter relationship is one that is truly unique and special.
The woman writing this confession is 25 years old, and her heart is still hurting for the love she never received from her father. She says it hurts when she hears her father is back in jail, leading us reading to think he must be in and out of jail. Probably since she was a little girl.
She must feel her father is extremely selfish for putting whatever lands him in jail above her. He didn't give her the love she desperately needed growing up and now at 25 years old, she is still having hurt feelings over it. My heart goes out to her.
2 The Big Fear
It is common for people to keep certain things to themselves.
One thing many people keep to themselves is if they have a parent in jail. It can make a person feel embarrassed and ashamed having a parent in jail. So for some, they live their lives with a deep, dark family secret that eats at them daily. They do this so they do not have to deal with the social stigma and judgment others could place on them.
The writer obviously needed to get their secret out there, and this was the right forum to do so. It is hard reading these confessions though, hearing the desperation and pain through these kids voices. It doesn't matter if they are adults or not. They're still someone's child and their parent is in prison.
1 Writing As A Coping Mechanism
While many people choose to ignore their parents in jail, some feel it is best to keep in touch. The writer of this confession says they write to their father to help bring out stress.
It doesn't say where the stress is coming from. Is it just from life in general? Or the dad being in prison? Maybe it is a combination of both. Who's to say? What can be said is the person found a way to relieve their stress and stay in touch with a parent who is incarcerated.
The situation of a parent being in prison is unideal to put it lightly, but at least having a healthy way to cope with it is possible. Hopefully, this method of dealing with stress continues to work for the confession writer.