MAYBE I HaVE BEEN STUPID | Write a Prisoner

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MAYBE I HaVE BEEN STUPID

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NewGuy2
NewGuy2's picture
MAYBE I HaVE BEEN STUPID

Hi everyone. I hate to admit it but I feel like I have made a mistake. I started writing to a female inmate about 8 months ago. To make it short, I have been sending $45 a week because I care about her, I have the money and I don't want her to go without or have to be a scammer in there.

I admit she's very beautiful thats what got me. Her letters aren't deep at all. She just writes short letters that don't say much. I understand they don't always have much to say.

My problem is this. At first she always said thanks when she got the money. Now she doesn't even say thanks. I sent her money last week Tuesday or Wednesday she sent me a very short message that night. No thank you or any mention of the money. Maybe I'm just being silly but I would like a "thank you for the money,". The next day she message me asking can I send $20 more for music and games. But she didn't even say thanks for the $45 or for the weeks before. Plus reading these boards I found out $45 a week which is over $200 a month is more than wives usually even send their husband. We are not married just friends.

I really don't care about the money. I sent it because I wanted her to have it. But to not even say thank you really really sticks in my craw as they say. This lack of thank you isn't just 1 week. If she forgot once or twice I would ignore it but no thank you every week now then to ask for more when she's already getting $200+ a month and when she didn't even say thanks. I could jpay her and tell her I need a thank you every week I just don't feel like I should have to ask for it. Am I right or am I making this too serious ? Thank you

GalapagosDiver
GalapagosDiver's picture

Look, I hate to break it to you, but you're being scammed.  She already knows she doesn't have to do much - or anything at all, to keep receiving money from you.  It already seems that she has continued to recieve money despite not even thanking you at times in the past - so that doesn't seem to be an issue for her.

$200+ a month in prison is huge money.  If she maybe has 1-3 guys sending such amounts, that is some serious money. 

A "thank you" is just very basic human decency - it doesn't take much to do, regardless of what kind gesture has been received or done.  I'm guessing you wouldn't even be getting the short, generic letters if you weren't making her one of the most wealthy girls in the unit.

Up to you if you want to keep spending money on someone who is ungrateful and lacking basic manners - but me, and most others here will tell you to stop and focus your time on people who appreciate you more.

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

Cut the bullshit you're being scammed. My penpal/mwi doesn't even ask me for a cent and she gets annoyed when I send her things because she just hates not being able to pay her own way. Go find someone else to write to.
 

NewGuy2
NewGuy2's picture

Thanks for your replies and I guess I know ur right. I wanted her to have a little money thats why I started sending. Its just not getting a thank you anymore coupled by asking for more when the $45 from that week couldn't even have been spent yet has made me open my eyes a little. Wow I feel stupid but not that stupid. A simple weekly thank you would have kept the $45 coming -- $51.50 counting jpay fees. I have been told that I should just message her and tell her to say thanks in the future. I won't. I shouldn't have to ask. I just won't send anything next week and see what happens.

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

That's the litmus test, when she gets nothing and you see how she really reacts.

BabyBlueEyes
BabyBlueEyes's picture

I agree that not sending her money next week and seeing her reaction will tell you all you need to know.

ShadeyBiz89
ShadeyBiz89's picture

Holy crap, your post screams user ALLLLL over the place! Red flags everywhere! It's not your fault, but you should not put up with someone who will treat you with such little dignity and respect, not only is she using you quite blatantly, she lacks basic human decency as well! You're worth more than what she is doing, nobody deserves to be treated that way!

I agree with everyone, based on what you've said about her I don't think she'll keep writing you once you stop sending money, but maybe she'll prove us all wrong, time will tell! 

Metaxu
Metaxu's picture

Oh my goodness. My husband has never received 200 a month from me.  That's way too much.  Diversify.  Write a few more pen pals.  And don't pick the most beautiful ones.  They are getting most of the mail... and money.

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

I kinda disagree, the one I'm writing to the most now is probably one of the most beautiful ones. Looks don't really have anything to do with anything. Their personality is about as down to earth as you can get. They actually have self doubt issues though. So looks don't always have anything to do with personality.
 

PDS
PDS's picture

 

I met my husband during his incarceration and he never asked me once to send him money. He has asked me to buy him food or hygiene supplies but that has been very infrequent(twice in the nearly five years I’ve known him). My brother, on the other hand, gets $50 a month from my mom(she really is unable to even afford this) and my brother still sends letters asking for more money. Of course, that’s the only time he sends letters. He never sends birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, or any other greetings. He could use a lil of that money he gets to buy my mom a card every now and again but he never does. He keeps promising my mom that he’s going to pay her back....how? When? It’s not going to happen. He’s going to be locked up for the next 67 years and my mom is already 80yrs old. He won’t go to any of the A/A programs or take any self help classes that they offer at the unit he’s at. He just lies to my mom and tells her they don’t have those programs there. They won’t even consider patrolling him until he completes his ITP and in 9yrs of being locked up he’s not even tried to do one of his required items. I guess I just get frustrated when I see good people being used and scammed. For a very long time I didn’t let my guard down with my husband(before we were married) because of people like my brother. If they ask for money or items up front or in a round about way I consider them scammers. Anytime they take the pity train I’m done. One thing to remember, prison isn’t supposed to be easy. They are in there for committing crimes and the reason they are doing without is their own fault, not yours. Stop feeling sorry for them...they don’t feel sorry for you.  You are here for emotional not financial support. Let your pen pal know that from the beginning. If after a time you develop feelings for one another that’s wonderful, but you can’t know someone well enough after only a few weeks. Just be careful. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly but my words are mearly my opinion and not meant to be taken as gospel. Just remember if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck it’s generally a duck. Peace, love, and blessings to everyone. Spread love like peanut butter. PDS

 

 

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

It takes months to get to know someone especially in these circumstances and then it takes years upon years to actually know someone in these circumstances. If after many months you begin to develop some sort of feelings for this person like I accidently did, then you can consider things, but I set the boundaries. I'm not here to support them financially. I sent a gift for this Thanksgiving/Christmas because its one of the times in prison where they get something other than the things that don't really classify as "food" on their commissary. They actually put some good things on for Christmas and I will probably send her something for Valentines Day and her birthday after that.

But we've made it categorically clear that once she is working a good job again and not in school I'm not going to be the one to support her every need. A relationship works both ways and I don’t want to foster any codependency behaviours.

ShadeyBiz89
ShadeyBiz89's picture

Excellent post PDS, wow! My favorite part was spread love like peanut butter, LOL! But seriously though, my favorite thing you said was the reason they're doing without is their fault, NOT yours... SO many people need to remember this, yeah it's good to have compassion for people who are suffering, but there's a difference between that and being naive or gullible and feeling sorry for everything. In my opinion, we are already demonstrating compassion just by writing to someone in prison, going beyond that can be risky, especially if boundaries aren't set.

FrankieBones, you're being smart about that, I think it's fine to do financially and materially but I do believe boundaries should be set from the beginning, because if you don't things can get ugly, so if you can only do 20 a month just as an example or if you only want to do something on Christmas or birthdays as a special occasion type thing then explicitly tell them so. That way, if you've had that conversation, then they know what to expect and probably will be less likely to push you on it for more if you're clear from the beginning. They will likely test limits if you just start sending without discussing it, then they try to see how far you'll go, which is not a position you'd want to be in. 

Anyone new to writing in this thread should read through this whole thread, good advice given. Valuable insight by everybody!

Zarchery
Zarchery's picture

It's pretty common for the more attractive inmates to use their appearance as a means of manipulating people.  On the other hand, it's hard to say if it's really a scam unless you sent the money under false pretenses.  If you sent it just as a sort of charitable contribution and didn't expect this woman to become your girlfriend or something, it sort of sounds like you got what you paid for.... up to a point.  Clearly her recent lack of gratitude is bothering you.  You can either bring this up to her, or stop sending money.

However, it sounds like you got a really low quality pen pal.  If she doesn't write intellectually stimulating letters or put much effort into what she says, then I don't think she cares about you as a person and just views you as a cash cow.  I don't understand why you would want to fulfill that role.  I mean, I do understand a bit.  I can be a real sucker for the attentions of a pretty woman.  But I try not to let them take advantage of me.

I have sent money to my pen pals.  Usually it was for their birthday or Christmas.  One I sent money to because we had formed a strong emotional connection.  She's actually out on parole now and we still see each other in the real world.  I'm actually driving out to spend the weekend with her a little later.

So you need to do this pen pal thing for the right reasons.

@nderson
@nderson's picture

Let's check the https://writeaprisoner.com/point-contact :

"We do not encourage you to send money to an inmate at any time. [...] If this makes you feel at all uncomfortable, don't do it. [...] A few dollars can go far in prison, but you should never send large sums of money under any circumstances, nor should you ever send cash. Many pen-pals will send $10.00 or so on birthdays or holidays to the inmate they are writing. [...] The bottom line is, don't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and report anything that you suspect as unethical or illegal. For more information on reporting and researching postal fraud, please visit: Detecting and Reporting Fraud."

 

By the way, in the free world, I stop helping ungrateful people as soon as I detect that they are taking the help for granted. At some point of my life, I will need help, and this kind of people will be useless to me. I previously needed help, at a time I was really sick, and noone cared about me. I don't want to do that mistake again! "It is in giving that one receives".

NewGuy2
NewGuy2's picture

Thanks for all the replies. I guess I will just have to chalk this up to a learning experience because I haven't sent any more money, and unfortunately at this point itseems your suspicions were correct. Im not trying to sound like a big shot cause I'm not but the $45 a week doesn't matter to me at all. Its the lack of a thank you making me feel taken for granted along with always wanting more when I was already taking care of her well from what I read on these boards.

I guess I should have found this site first maybe I would have gone into this more prepared with what to expect. One thing that I think is crazy though is I always read on these boards how inmates are so good at the con game and know exactly what they are doing. She wasn't. I think she played it real bad. I would have been more than happy to keep sending her $45 a week thats $51.50 with fees. I fully intended to do it until her release. Also a Christmas package I was about to get her. All she had to so was say thanks and not keep asking for more. She would have got $3000 a year with bday and Xmas packages. So at least this one isn't that good at the game. I feel stupid but I feel she was more stupid. This has left a bad taste in my mouth, not sure I would ever do it again although I am sure there are some who would return your caring.

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

I'm not going to call you a fool because your not. Good hearted people like you are rare in this world that will reach out to someone in spite of their circumstances. What I may call you is a little naive... and that's not a slight against your character. Find someone and take your time with them, things take two to three times as long when you're writing someone two times a day by email and even longer when you're waiting for mail. Learn about the person and if they ask you for money within the first couple of letters then just cut and run... It's not rude, it's just a sign that you made a low quality contact. You can keep writing people... Don't let this experience make you bitter. Just be a bit more cautious next time simply by spending the time to get to know someone first. And if the conversation "I'd like to get to know you before we get any more involved" is too much then walk away.

BabyBlueEyes
BabyBlueEyes's picture

You say she’s stupid and bad at the con but she kept it up for 8 months. She didn’t even have to write meaningful letters. She would ask for more money because you so willingly gave it. 

“You’ll only get scammed if you allow yourself to get scammed”

Are you looking for a relationship or are you simply looking to ‘take care’ of someone?

Either way, as soon as large sums of money become involve it taints your penpalship/friendship/relationship and I feel you’re going to feel like this often if you continue to do it. I agree with Frankie, get to know them first, build a bond. Then if you so wish to help them financially, make sure it’s someone who enjoys your company as much as you enjoy theirs.

NewGuy2
NewGuy2's picture

No thats not accurate. I started writing her 8 months ago. If it was a con then she kept it up for 3 or 4 months. I didn't start sending her money weekly until July I think but it sure wasn't from day 1. The first time she asked was probably 1 month in maybe a month and a half in. I didn't send until probably 4 months in. I probably sent $700-$800 total.

BabyBlueEyes
BabyBlueEyes's picture

Ok, so it was for 3-4 months. 

But if you don't see how you're open to being scammed by sending $700-$800 dollars in that time frame, i don't know what to tell you. 

Sunnysideup
Sunnysideup's picture

I have to agree with BabyBlueEyes, but will add, if I had that sort of money sent to me in the free world, I would be on cloud 9! 

NewGuy2
NewGuy2's picture

Babyblueeyes I guess we are just talking about 2 different things. I never once mentioned the word "scam" but that seems to be the only thing people are preoccupied with. Guess what - I could never be scammed by her because I wanted her to have it just to make things a little easier in there. I am in the Seattle area and I saw where McDonalds out here is hiring at $18 an hour. You can google that. Its not hard to make $75,000-$100,000 a year out here if ur not lazy or stupid. My point is I don't care about $45 a week that isn't anything these days. I do care though when someone doesn't have the willingness to say thanks then asks for more when they didn't even say thanks. Thats the issue in my mind not whether people think I should have sent the $45 a week.

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

So your thing isn't about sending the money, but about appreciation, about being appreciated for it by her (or anyone else you'd give money) saying "thanks you"?

NewGuy2
NewGuy2's picture

Yes Kirsten exactly. And I don't mean anything over the top or even every time. But no thank you several times in a row. Well noone likes to be taken for granted. Oh well lesson learned I guess.

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

Well, I guess, your chances for that are much higher idf the person you send the money to doesn't get accustomed to it. I can only take for granted what I expect, can't I?

 

NewGuy2
NewGuy2's picture

Yeah I agree with that. This was a first time (and last time ) doing this for me. So I didn't know the rules or the does and don'ts if it. I offered a weekly amount so she could budget and would know what to expect was coming. But it was never enough always needed more. There are sites that make fun of people who write prisoners they don't know before hand. Write a prisoner ? What could possibly go wrong ? Those sites are a bit much but I do agree there is so much downside and so little upside. I am sure there are a few good ones, a very few. Not worth the risk. I'll try one of those child sites where the child isn't a drug addict, hustler, or murderer. Never ever again for me

BabyBlueEyes
BabyBlueEyes's picture

There are a lot of upsides to writing to a prisoner.

You’ll find prisoners are probably the least judgmental people you’ll ever meet. Most are very open and you can have great conversations with them. You also get to make their day a little better just by doing something so simply like writing a letter. 

I’m sorry you got a ‘bad apple’ but it also sounds like you were writing for the wrong reasons.

I also don’t see the relevance in bringing up there are sites who make fun of people who write to prisoners, why would you mention this?

This thread is starting to sound a bit off so this is the last thing I’m going to say on the matter. 

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

I told you not to become bitter, but hey whatever, be my guest.

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

Quote:
This was a first time (and last time ) doing this for me.

Truly sorry to hear that.

Quote:
So I didn't know the rules or the does and don'ts if it.

Neither did I when I started writing. I don't send money on a regular basis, but be assured, there were (and are) other things I need(ed) to learn. This is quite common when you start sth.

Quote:
There are sites that make fun of people who write prisoners they don't know before hand.

So what? There a a lot of ppl who make fun of anything and anyone they don't understand. Seriously, if I had a dime for everyone who ever made fun of me or things I did or said, I'd be a rich person. *shrug*

Quote:
there is so much downside and so little upside

Personally, I'm experiencing both tears and laughter, joy and worry, openness & confusion, humor & depth, closeness & distance. It's a very (I just don't know the right word...), it's sth. that is never static, always happening sth. But for me, no, I don't regret having made the choice to write.

I'm truly worrying about one of my pps  right now, but then again... hey... some things are what they are & I have no magic wand. But outweighing the positive? No. 

Whatever you decide for yourself: Look for the little things and don't forget there's still a lot of beauty and all the good things in life.

Thucy82
Thucy82's picture

I'm really sorry you got that bad experience and can understand why you would be disappointed. I also got really disappointed when I wrote to quite a few guys and only got 2 responses, one of them being from a guy who seems fishy. But, like Kirsten said, when it's with the right person, it's extremely satisfying and fullfilling. The one guy who is genuine is worth it and i'm very happy to be corresponding with him. 

And like Kirsten said (again) do try to look at the little things that are positive in life (and that's coming from someone who's not in the best shape at the moment). Whatever you decide, good luck with everything !

sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

I guess you wont be coming back to read this, and I know you feel stupid and hurt right now, but there is no need for you to insult other people. Pretty much everyone in prison has a hustle of some kind. Many are drug addicts (as are many people not in prison), and while murder is a terrible crime, those inmates are the least likely to reoffend with the same crime again.

 

If you simply WRITE to an inmate, then indeed very little can go wrong. If you use these sites as potential dating agencies, then you are going to get burned.

 

And if you prefer children, you might find yourself on the other side of inmate penpalling.

@nderson
@nderson's picture

Goodbye, then.

But remember Paul McCartney:

We all know that people are the same wherever we go
There is good and bad in everyone
We learn to live, we learn to give
Each other what we need to survive together alive

You could end up finding yourself again at the same situation, by helping a spoiled children. There is good and bad in children too; and some children grow up and end in jail.

ShadeyBiz89
ShadeyBiz89's picture

I have to agree with BabyBlue Eyes, Kirsten and Sunray on this, that last post by the OP sounds more than a little off. In case the OP does resurface, I'll just leave my thoughts here.

Sorry to hear this experience has put you off writing other prisoners, but I have to wonder, if one bad thing puts you off everything, as a whole in life, how far can you go with that kind of mentality? Not very far I'd suppose, life is full of setbacks, not just writing prisoners but everywhere else, and you don't get what you want (usually) by giving up just because something goes wrong. If you're going to give up after less than a year with 1 bad apple... then that doesn't say alot about your intentions of writing. That's where I think BabyBlueEyes is on to something when she said you're not writing for the right reasons.

She used you because you sent her exorbitant amounts of money very early on and continued to do so despite receiving very little effort from her. Like someone else said, when people see that they don't have to do much to get what they want from you, it is then that you are open to being used, taken advantage of, scammed, however you want to say it. Even still though, she may not have the right intentions, but that doesn't mean there are not other prisoners out there who are not like that and who will appreciate you for who you are and not for what you give them. They're out there, you don't always find them right away, but they're out there. Some people find them fairly quickly, others have to cycle through some bad ones to get to the good ones. Persistence is key.

But cycling back to what others have said (or tried to)... you starting out sending hundreds of dollars a month to a prisoner you have barely established a friendship with, if you continue to do so with others, I don't see how your situation wouuld turn out any different than this one. So maybe it's not just her, also your approach to writing. You met a bad match, but you also need to change your approach in order to find a genuine penpal. Your current approach will attract people like her, who want whatever they can get, but if you take some of the advice offered here, then you'll have better results.

Mommabear
Mommabear's picture

I am sorry this is happening to you. My Son has been in Prison since 2016. I send him money weekly, and pay for his phone time. He is constantly thanking me for my support, and has gotten his act together. I agree with everyone else, I truly think you are being scammed. DO NOT send anymore money, and see what happens. Good luck, and I hope your just able to move on.

DannyMay
DannyMay's picture

Get a grip man. It sounds like maybe she does drugs. They will always need more money and likely won't always say thank you. I heard as much as 70% of incoming female inmates are addicts and its gonna be nearly impossible to rehab living right in the middle of so many active addicts. I think this happen to me too. So just stop sending the money, you don't want to be the enabler. But really don't blame her its got to be tough in there especially for an addict. You seem to be wallowing in pity just realize you can help them by being there for them but sending a lot of money may not help them.

Littlebear
Littlebear's picture

Thucy.. I read a lot of posts of yours and have experienced all of the attributes you mentioned when writing gay guys. What have your successes been? How are you weeding the fake ones from the genuine one? I have been corresponding/dating a guy in Green River Corrections in Central City KY for almost a year now and have visited multiple times. Have you ever met yours in person? What was your experience if so?