Diane S. – A Prisoner’s Wife

Prison wife. Christ Follower. Overcomer.

Those are three things that pretty much define who and what I am in the current season of my life.  I find myself on a journey I would never ever imagined. I am married to a convicted felon who began serving his 10 year sentence for a sexual offense at Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution on May 5, 2015. His release date is January of 2024.

I am the wife of a ‘SO’ and I have chosen to continue to be the wife of a ‘SO’.

We are very new to this path and I’ve already learned so much, much in part to “The Oakdale Chronicles”. There is very limited information about self-surrendering and other things one may find important when you are about to walk into a prison facility to spend the next 10 years of your life. The information I was able to read here helped me immensely in the very beginning of our journey.

When we received the letter of surrender and knew what facility he would be going to, I immediately started looking for any and all information I could find about the facility he would be entering. There is NOT much information on the internet about this topic. I thought everything was on the internet and I was frustrated at the lack of information. That is how I came across “TOC” and ended up emailing Tony.

My first email to Tony was to ask a simple question about the color of the Bible my husband could take with him on the day he surrendered. I sent it one night about 9pm and I was hoping I’d get an answer back within a day or two. He answered back within about 15 minutes and it wasn’t just a quick answer. That email was the most comforting thing I had seen about this journey we were about begin to date. That seemingly simple email changed a great deal from that point forward and that is why you are currently reading about me on this page.

God put Tony on our path. We exchanged emails for about a week prior to my husband’s surrender. The peace of mind and the comfort he was able to give me through his experiences at Oakdale were something I will never be able to thank him for. I had so many questions and concerns and he was able to answer most all of them and gave my weary mind much needed rest.

I never thought those emails would earn me a new friend and bring me to a point where he would ask me to do regular posts on ‘TOC’ as a way to sort of take ‘TOC’ in a different direction, and offer stories from a different perspective. I do believe the experience of a prisoner’s wife is a very different experience than that of a prisoner.

In my posts on this blog you will find the reasons why I stayed, the ways that I cope, and where my strength comes from.

Writing is therapy for me and journaling these posts has been very helpful for me. What you will read here on TOC by me is very raw, very personal, very emotional and at times very painful…but it helps me. I can only hope that another man’s wife who might find herself in the same position may come across this and find some hope and comfort in the words written here.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you found something encouraging here.  If you are a prison wife, family member of a prisoner, or would just like to send me message, please do so at d.shellhart@yahoo.com.

In His Grace,

Diane S.

This is my all-time favorite photo of us. I believe it was taken in the summer of 2014.Chris and Diane


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