I made an Inmate cry

Today I had to cover a clinician group, which are groups ran by psychologists usually and not Recreation Therapists, but with people out for the holidays they had to tag me in.

I can usually tell what kind of group it is going to be within the first 5-10 minutes or so. It usually depends on the dynamic/relationship of the guys, and what mood they’re in. This day 5 of them showed and 10 minutes into group I could tell this would be a group I can dive a little deeper with.

They seemed comfortable with each other and were all patient with one of the inmates who liked to burst out with random health facts. Like no joke, I asked what their new year’s resolutions were and as one Inmate was pouring out about how he wants to improve his relationships around him, the other inmate bursted out loudly with…

“Did you know apples are healthy? They’re skin has (some word I don’t know) and it’s really good for you.”

It went on like that for most of the group but they all played along, it was fun to watch actually.

We got more into the conversation about New Year’s Resolutions and began to expand more on the relationships topic. As we did, I began to ask for song requests since we were getting towards the end of the group and I like to give them a chance to listen to their favorite songs if there is time.

The song I Remember by Lauren Hill was requested. The song began to play and since we were talking about relationships he mentioned that his first wife proposed to him with this song a long time ago. I was intrigued because you don’t hear of women proposing to men very often so I asked him how she did it…

The way he told it was a little choppy but this is what I was able to gather: they had known each other since high school and were actually dating other people. He had a girlfriend and she was dating some guy but they were still good friends and talked a lot (and maybe more…). She ended up breaking it off with that guy and I guess asked him to come over one day. And then they had a conversation that went something like this..

Woman: “You the only one I can see fit for raisin’ my child”

Inmate: “You pregnant??”

Woman: “What No! I’m just sayin. You’re the only one WORTHY enough of impregnatin me, because you the only one I know that can teach my kid about the bible and about God.”

Inmate: “You mean you wanna have sex with me.”

Woman: “Not outside the confines a marriage.. here let me just say how I feel through this…”

*Woman plays and sings I remember by Lauren Hill, and asks him to marry her*

As he told that part of the story, tears started streaming down his face, and he had to stop talking…  he slowly  gathered himself and shared how that marriage lasted for 9 years.

After the group he walked out of the room shaking his head in what looked like disbelief. He stopped in front of me, looked me in the eye, and said “Man.. I haven’t shed a tear in over four years,” then continued to walk out.

It was a touching moment, and it’s not very often I can say…. I MADE AN INMATE CRY

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