WILLIE'S STORY - THE IMPORTANCE OF FATHERHOOD

Willie Wright.jpg

My name is Willie G Wright Jr. I’m 38 years of age and I’m a free man, well somewhat. Meaning after serving 10 years in federal prison, I’ve been home for almost five years and still have another five years on federal supervision which is not easy, but I would not trade the feeling of being a free father out here for nothing in the world.

Trying to be a father inside of prison is not an easy task and trust me the pain that comes from both sides -  the children suffer more then anyone could imagine - makes it hard, as a father, to cope in a place that I had to be on point and focused so that I can return back to my children and back out into society. Prison is a place filled with people that belong and some that don’t and that is something I had to be aware of.

As a father in prison, it’s like being handicapped - not being able to put my foot down, losing my bond with my kids to where they don’t even listen to me anymore because my presence hasn’t been felt in so long and they don’t have the same respect for me. It’s painful. I have five children and for the most part we are close. My oldest is now in college and I am very proud of him, but unfortunately he and I are not close at all. I imagined that we would be best friends and at times I cry about this situation because I use to lay in my bunk and wonder how I would get home in time to be able to get him his first car. He was 7 years old when I went away to prison. Also, while in prison, I had not seen him since he was 7 years old because his mom was upset that I went away to prison. It wasn’t something I wanted, but she held it against me and kept him from me which likely played  a part in why I lost the bond with my son. 

Today,, I have my own business and I’m doing well. I was able to finally purchase him a car and it was the greatest feeling to see him happy. However, that temporarily worked to repair our relationship. Nowadays, he barely picks up the phone up for me. I have one daughter and 4 sons. My other sons love me to no end and my daughter is in my corner to the fullest.  She is upset with her older brother because of how he ignores me but this is what can happen when you go to prison and leave your children and loved ones.

I lost so much more then material things for sure while in prison. I ask God everyday to make things better with me and my son. I had to get myself together and that meant me forgetting about people, places and things until I was were I needed to be.I found myself losing myself because there are no programs or jobs that are guaranteed for you upon your release. I know a lot of formerly incarcerated guys who ended up back in prison because of the pressure of freedom.

I understand the pressure because some days it gets tough and people belittle these guys and say they are dumb, but no one can speak down on something or someone who has not been in the real world surrounded by technology for five years to a decade. It’s hard trying to adjust and not being able to provide for your children and it seems as if there is always something or someone trying to pull you back into your old life. 

However, I am strong because I never want to crush my children hearts again. They have felt the loss of my presence more than anyone and I NEVER want them to feel that devastating pain again. 

However, I am strong because I never want to crush my children hearts again. They have felt the loss of my presence more than anyone and I NEVER want them to feel that devastating pain again.