Pelipost is launching a new series devoted to the stories of those incarcerated. In honor of that, we are featuring the story of Tyrone Toliver called ‘My Journey Behind Bars.‘ This is part three of Tyrone’s story…. (get caught up with part one and part two)
Written By: Tyrone Toliver
I used to ask myself why my family did not love me. Today, I ask myself, why it is so hard for my family to believe in a family bond or connection, despite being separated by prison?
On October 20, 2012, a wonderful woman by the name of Kristy wrote the first of many letters to me. It shocked me how I could easily feel the honesty and truth in her words.
I struggled with whether or not I would enroll in self-help groups, take correspondence self-help courses and noncredit correspondence college courses. I knew that therapy groups from the mental health department would give me an easy transition, so I signed up for them. How else would I get Kristy to see that I loved to laugh and that I appreciated a great sense of humor if I was still stuck in this dark place?
Kristy helped calm my spirit with her words of encouragement, focus, dedication, and commitment. I knew I wanted to marry her, but I knew very little about relationships, marriage, honesty, balance, and supporting someone emotionally. I decided to dive head-first into becoming sober and rehabilitating myself.
‘I came to grips with the fact that some of my family members needed to hear what dedication, commitment, loyalty, and being family is all about.’
Cleaning up my system allowed me to clear my head. I came to grips with the fact that some of my family members needed to hear what dedication, commitment, loyalty, and being family is all about. They needed to hear from me in a way that only they could understand. So, I wrote all my family members and told them this: I am part of this family, regardless of the choices I made, which have cost me dearly. I’ve been taken away, and yes, I’ve struggled. But you all, no matter what, should have been around throughout this 30-year journey. I was a family member who needed your love and support to connect me to you all…
Learn more about rehabilitation, recovery, and loved ones in Part 4 of Tyrone’s Journey Behind Bars coming soon…