In today’s folk wisdom, communication is considered to be key to a strong, healthy relationship. However, even a family visit can be extremely painful for a prisoner:
Harry waited anxiously in a small visitation room, afraid and ashamed of what his parents might say. When his mother and father entered the room, Harry did his best to keep things under control, but his mother began crying, “How could you do this to us?” she moaned. “Don’t you know what we’ve been through? What did we do wrong? You don’t belong here, Harry,” his mother said, tears streaming down her cheeks. Harry’s dad didn’t say much, but he did say he would stand by his son, which greatly surprised Harry given the challenges of their past relationship. It was only a thirty-minute meeting, and Harry did everything possible to maintain his composure. But inside he was destroyed, so he told his parents never to come visit him again in jail. It was just too hard for him. ^
That communication can be difficult isn’t inconsistent with it being key to strong, healthy relationships. Prisoners and their family and friends typically recognize much value in their communication even within the real difficulties that it often entails.