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What I Wish My Spiritual Community Would Have Done to Support Me 

October 21, 2022

By Folashade Olatunde

I wish my church and spiritual community would allow for an open dialogue about my dad being incarcerated. Instead, I feel that I have to hide that part of me. I wish for a space where I feel comfortable sharing my story, rather than feeling ashamed about it. I wish I had a weekly support group where I could gain an understanding about how my dad being in prison affects my overall wellbeing—especially my spiritual wellbeing. 

 

When you have a parent in prison there is a disconnect within yourself. When you're young you don’t know that there is a disconnect, but when you get older you start to see it. When part of you feels missing, spirituality helps you to reconnect and heal those broken wounds. Spirituality can give you peace within yourself.

 

Overall, I wish that I could speak my truth, feel that my experience was affirmed and mattered, and know that I have a voice instead of going through life feeling voiceless. Spirituality is not only about healing and finding peace, it is also about making meaning of your broken pieces and putting the pieces back together to make you feel whole. This helps you to heal, to find your voice, and to tell your story. And then, you can help someone who may feel the same pain as you to heal.

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Support Us (SUSU) raises awareness about and increases support for children of incarcerated parents. SUSU is a year-round effort with national partners, culminating in a month of action in October. Learn more at www.susu-osborne.org