19 August 07

Dear Mum

After reading your blogs, I was so moved, that I’ve stayed up way past bedtime writing this. I hope it makes sense, and that I don’t sound like I'm preaching to you.

I created the situation which has caused you pain and suffering for the past five years, and you know how sorry I am. But your therapist is right: my incarceration is almost over. This is a period for celebration. How you choose to look at it will determine how you feel. I’m also at fault for your anxiety in the sense that I’m prone to offloading my anxieties on you. The fact that my venting upsets you is apparent from your writing; so, I must set about doing my best to temper my rantings. I shouldn't be transferring my anxiety to you. Until I read your blogs, I didn’t realise how much you were being affected. Although I should have, and I apologise for my insensitivity.

Having been through various treatments and therapists since I’ve been in here, I can see that your therapist was slowly laying down steps to guide you toward more positive thinking. You may not realise it, but learning to deal with your anxious thoughts will accelerate your personal development and you’ll became stronger.

Try looking at some positive facts about my incarceration. I haven’t been shanked, raped, or had my nose flattened. It’s been the education of a lifetime. I feel as if I have shed the excesses associated with my former immaturity. The situation has not only brought our family closer together, it has also brought us closer to many kind people around the world. I’m not emerging from this now, sadly, as so many others emerge, addicted to hard drugs, infected with diseases, institutionalised, unemployable. I have so many plans for my future, which will make you proud.

I’ll try not to pass my worries on to you as part of a pact whereby you agree to think about these positives when you feel the worries coming on. From your therapy, you've learned that how you think determines how you feel. Anxiety exists for a reason - to make us act. Accept some anxiety, allow it to pass, but don’t allow it to escalate into neurosis.

As you condition your mind to think positively, you’ll unlock the happiness within you. Perhaps the horrible things you’ve experienced or thought about have put you on the path to freedom, a path along which you’re learning to surrender your negativity. What’s going to happen is going to happen – irregardless of how you view it – so don’t add any more to your burden.

So what if there are some delays in my release – I’ll deal with. Don’t worry that I’ll give up. What I’ve endured so far has made me strong. Any extensions are more time for learning and personal growth. So please work on worrying less, and maybe you’ll find peace of mind. It sounds simple, I know, but it's not easy. It takes practice and determination – you can do it, Mum.

Sorry for the pain I have caused. I love you and couldn’t wish for better parents. Your support has kept me from insanity. The future will be my opportunity to show you what a better person I’ve become.

All my love,


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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

Damn, that made me cry.
Shaun's mum - your son loves you, and through his writing on this blog he obviously realises the errors of his way.
Hold on to that love - no matter what he's done in the past, he's still your son. Keep going through therapy and use the tools you learn from that.

Shaun has a strong (albeit skewed) future ahead of him, he's still young enough to make something of himself.

Shaun, when you get out of there, you give your mum the biggest hug ever, and prove to her what the majority of us readers already know. You can do it and you will do it :)

Anonymous said...

Sue couldn't have said it any better!!!


tslandry said...

Jon, your Mum knows how much you love and and that you are sorry for the pain your actions have caused....and yet I still think it was the right thing to do, to put it in words for all to see. I know you make your parents proud each day, and you will continue to do so once you are home! Im just wondering what your going to think of the bedspread your Mum has bought you! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Shaun, although we've never met, I've been following your blog and hearing all about you from my friend, your mum. I'm so pleased with the things you've said to her here! I'd just like to add that I know that she loves you unconditionally. It's not about you having to redeem yourself in her eyes to stop her worrying. She'll love you no matter what befalls you - rich, poor, happy, sad. It's just that the worry has become a habit which she is having to struggle to free herself from and it isn't easy. Optimism can seem like a dangerous option when things have been tough for a while. It becomes much easier to believe that the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. But the worst IS over for you and your family! Not long now and the best is yet to come! Go for it and enjoy it! (..and that means you too BB!)

Anonymous said...

Make sure you take care of them when you get out. The way they've taken care of you.