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Coming Home Dedicated to discussions about our loved ones that are coming home soon. Discussions here should not fit any other category.

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2018, 07:51 PM
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Default Brother in law getting out of Prison, coming to stay with me in 2 days

Hello,

First time posting, I am pleased I found this community I am hoping to get some advice. I don't have much experience with the prison system personally. My husband and I are 29, I've known him and his family for 9 years. He has a brother 2 years older than him that has been in prison for the last 14 years. He is being released into the free world this Friday. My husband was 16 when his brother went in barely a legal adult himself. I've never met him, my limited contact has been saying hi how are ya the few times when he was able to get ahold of a cell phone. My husband and him write letters a few times a year, and his family has only had the means to visit him a handful of times as his facility is far. Now that he's getting out I assumed with so many proclaiming how happy they are there would be several people to step up to the plate and offer him a place to stay. But that hasn't happened, they all seem to have taken an attitude of well I love him but I can't have him at my house because of abc, xyz, etc.

At first I really didn't want him here either, even though he's my brother in law he is in reality a stranger to me and has been in the system his entire adult life. He has said some concerning things to my husband before about being in a prison gang, but added that it was something he had to do while there to survive, and that he had little choice but would leave all of that behind when he gets out. My husband misses him terribly but has told him that he's not the same kid that he'd take on crime sprees with, he's lives a normal adult life now with a job and has responsibilities. He got out of that life. His brother says he understands and that's how he wants to be. I feel like his family expects the same kid to come out that went in. It made me so sad to think of him having nowhere to go on Friday except a shelter, so after talking we are going to let him stay with us until he gets on his feet.

So I've been reading some articles on things to expect, but would love some personal experiences and advice. How should I act? As in should I leave him well alone while he's here and go about my life or should I be trying to talk to him and take a more active role in what he does while he's here? Would he like a welcome home party with all his friends and family to celebrate when we pull up or should we have a quiet arrival? I don't want him to think no one is excited he's back. Should we shower him with love or keep our distance? My husband has been a nervous wreck all week, just short tempered and not sleeping well. He says he's worried about his brother getting out and going back to the same stuff, possibly trying to drag him into it. Or just stressed about how theyll get along after this much time. I'm trying my best to be patient and understanding with him. Growing up they were best friends and partners in crime. Now they're different people, but still brothers.

Thank you for reading, sorry for the length.
Meow
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:14 PM
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My advice would be to feel it all out. I wouldn't be all up in his face when he comes home. Just go about your daily life and treat him like you would treat any family member. He's going to need time to adjust to everything so take things very slowly and don't get frustrated at him because he's not going to be familiar with anything unless it's fourteen years old. I'm gonna say no about the party as well. He's not going to be ok at first with big crowds of people. Just welcome him with open arms and take things slow. I'm sure others will have more input. I wish you all the best.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:35 PM
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Thank you for the kind words and advice, others agreed the party might not be a good idea so I'll leave that off the table. I'll try to be as easy going as possible and make him feel included without too much pressure to participate in things with us. I just really hope hes serious about doing right and staying straight once he's out I'm always told I'm too nice to people so I'm hoping he doesnt take advantage of the situation. I'm cautiously excited it feels strange to know my husband and the whole rest of his family so well for so long yet there's been this huge hole of his life (his brother) that ive never known. Until now.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:42 PM
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Hello and Welcome to PTO. I moved your post to the "Coming Home" Forum as this is the forum where you will get the most advice about someone coming home from prison.

Whatever you do, be yourself with your BIL. Go on about your life, but if he asks for advice or help, do what you can. Don't smother him. Just be yourselves with him. He'll need to get a driver's license and social security card and all that good stuff. He may not know where to start. That's where you and your husband can help.



Help him with what you can, but let him do for himself. Remember, he is your guest. Neither one of you owe him a thing. Just be there for him.

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Old 05-09-2018, 08:46 PM
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Yes thank you! Now that I found this section I'm finding tons of good resource i was looking for. I don't know if you can tell through my writing but I can easily be the "smothering" type if I don't check myself I'll drive my husband crazy asking what's wrong, are you ok, do you want some tea, are you SURE you don't want any tea, etc haha so I'm already having the dialogue in my head telling myself to COOL my jets and not bombard this guy with trying to fix his whole life in one day. Driver's license and id wow I'm disappointed I didn't even think of that but that's great I'm making a list of some things to do asap and those are at the top. I appreciate your input greatly ❤
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:55 PM
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I have a list so far of some necessities we have to bring with us to pick him up like socks, underwear ,size 34 jeans, a t-shirt, he'll need a cheap cell phone I'm guessing. Going to try to get all that done tomorrow. I would have done more earlier if I'd known no one else would take him in but I kept thinking one of the many people who "had his back no matter what and would do anything for him" would be there but they all got real quiet when it came to asking for help for his release. But I suppose after 14 years relationships just deteriorate. Last minute prep is better than nothing I guess.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:07 AM
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OK, so you know you're a caretaker...now STOP! You've done enough. He needs to get his feet under him on his own. He needs to feel like he's capable of being on his own, not living with another prison guard.

Read up about Post-Incarceration Syndrome, too. The coming-home is only the beginning of the fight for freedom, because you're not free 'til prison is out of your head.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:43 AM
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If he will be on supervision (parole/probation) they are going to have things to say.
(number one being no guns/weapons in the home, drugs etc)

For sure helping him get an id/drivers license will be #1 on the list, as well as SS card.
Next is a job. That one will be difficult with a felony on his record and no work history for 14 yrs.

I'd let your husband deal with most of it.
The one thing that may be a nice thing to do would be to ask him what he would like for his *homecoming* meal. Maybe your hub knows what his fav used to be.
He will likely have a few issues adjusting to outside life. Like turning off lights, being around a lot of people....He's been told what to do and when to do it for 14 yrs now.

Good luck! Im sure you are nervous, but for sure dont be a *fixer* and be an unsmotherer.....lol.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:29 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk. Try to be patient when you experience some rough patches with him. He is entering a new, confusing world.
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:13 PM
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Welcome to PTO and I'm glad he has a supportive system to come home to. ❤
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:52 PM
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And get that man a fresh pizza! Best of Luck! I’m so happy for him that he has you two for a family
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:08 PM
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I'm not gonna lie I teared up seeing the pic. I'm so happy your hubby has his brother out!!!! You are such a great person for opening your home up to him. I look forward to hearing updates.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:03 AM
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Hey just wanted to make another update. Things are going well, not sure what I was so nervous about. Yesterday we took him to visit his parole officer, he passed his first UA. I must say I'm surprised at the severe miscommunication between the prison and the admin offices. The address and phone number they gave him when he left for where to report to were wrong. After several calls around the city we found the correct place, and once we made it they had the wrong paperwork for him there. They didn't seem to care much about the potential problems that could cause people with a 24 hour deadline to get there. But anyway we got that taken care of and got a check cashed for him from the DOC for about $50 they released him with, and got his social security card. Next up is drivers license.

Some things about him that I didn't expect. I would have thought when he walked through those doors he would shut that door of his life for good metaphorically and not look back. But since being out he has talked to his friends still in there nonstop. They call and text all the time, talk for hours, I didn't consider that although he had family on the outside, those people in there have been his family for the last however many years. Twice we've had family members of his friends still in prison stop by my house with clothes, toiletries, a few bucks, etc for him and they hug him saying how happy they are to finally meet him. Prison bond is strong.

He leaves the sinks on, like I'll just hear water running and go look and he'll say oh shit I'm sorry. He said his cell sink was set on a plunger thing where you push it once and you have so many seconds of water so he's had to get used to remembering to turn the water off. Every night I make up his bed for him, and every damn morning he strips it down and folds everything, mattress cover, sheets etc into perfect squares at the foot of the bed. I haven't said anything I just re-make it later. He eats a LOT. He's made himself sick full a few times even, I don't think he's used to having unlimited amounts of food. Sunday morning I made a big country breakfast with just about everything you can think of, it could have easily fed 6 people but it was just us 3. After he was convinced we were done eating he ate EVERYTHING that was left. He was pouring gravy over everything, said how much he missed it and that they had "gravy" inside but in his words "it's NOT gravy". Then afterwards he laid down sick as a horse moaning until he ran for the toilet. That's happened a few meals.

Sleeping is getting better for him. The first few nights he didn't sleep much at all, he said he kept waking up to the cats moving around the house, jumping on things and it would startle him out of bed. So then we started closing the cats up in our room over night and that seemed to help. He still doesn't sleep that much though, he wakes up at 6am every morning, does some exercises and starts cleaning the house or goes on a walk. Overall he seems really motivated and positive. I know it may not stay that way and there will be ups and down, but I've been pleased.

Yesterday he finally got ahold of one of his friends from way back, before he went in, and him and his brother went over there to visit. They came back pretty quick, husb said when they got there it was pretty clear they were still in the drug/street life and first thing they did was offer his brother some dope and he was proud that he said hell no get that shit out of my face, and minutes later said he felt uncomfortable and wanted to get out of there. Driving home he watched him delete that dude's number out of his phone. So doesn't look like there will be much history with him and his old life.

Funny side note on the first night I had one of my super blonde moments and I was flipping through movie choices for us and yell "Hey guys how about Shawshank Redemption that's a classic!" and my husband looks at me wide eyed like what the fuck is wrong with you and I go oh my god, I'm so sorry, I don't know why I even said that I'm an idiot and his brother starts cracking up.

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Old 05-16-2018, 06:56 AM
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Glad he deleted that dudes number out of his phone. Good move to gtho of that house!! (glad his brother went with)

The over eating thing....yikes. (I know the feeling sometimes)
Guess that will be one of those things he needs to learn to control. Maybe walk away after he's eaten a *normal* portion and do something...then if he's still hungry make another plate.

The bed making thing.......guess that is just conditioning from prison too.
Nice tho that he folds everything lol.
The sleeping pattern thing will pass as well. He will settle in.
Good on the walking......
Not sure about the constant contact tho with other inmates.
Could be a violation of his parole. (no contact with known felons)
Might want to rethink that.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:24 AM
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Putting prison in the rear view mirror will be a gradual thing, at least it was for me. It will never be erased from his memory, but the longer he is out, the fewer the "flashbacks". Sleeping is a common issue, I was conditioned to wake up at any sound too.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:36 PM
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Well, it is with great regret and sadness I report that my brother in law is already back in. A week later. Seven days is all it took. Cue the shock and confusion and tears throughout the family. The happiness was short lived. Starting a few days ago his phone started ringing a lot, and he was ignoring it a lot, like he was avoiding someone.

Then yesterday afternoon someone knocked on my door. I answered it, and it was a guy about my age that I instantly got bad vibes from. He was wearing a cap with a clover on it, had a fighting Irish tattoo. Was driving a nice car. He said hello ma'am I'm looking for ___, is he here? I couldn't even open my mouth to say you got the wrong house get fucking lost before my brother in law pushed past me saying "I got it, this is my friend he's cool we're gonna talk outside for a minute" and went outside closing the door behind him. I tried to peek through the curtains and eavesdrop but I couldn't hear anything.

A few minutes later brother in law comes back in, tells me he's going to go hang out with his friend for a few hours but that he'd be back by dinner. I asked if he was sure, what's going on, but he seemed cool calm and collected insisting I was over worrying. Grabbed a few things and as he walked out I hugged him and said "It you get into a jam, or any kind of trouble please call me, I'll come get you no matter what time it is or where you are." He laughed and said ok all sarcastic, my husband yelled "Don't do anything stupid", and he left. My husband and I just sort of looked at each other like well what can we do?
So we waited for him to come back. When midnight got here and he still wasn't home, or answering our texts and calls we started to worry. I checked the local jails and hospitals, nothing. We went to bed. Then in the middle of the night we got the call. He was in jail 2 states away. He called to tell his brother he's sorry he let him down, and he loves him. When asked why, he said he had to. He said do you understand what would happen if I went awol on the only people that had my back for the last 10 years? And ever ran into them again? The call only lasted a minute before my husband just hung up on him. We still don't know exactly what happened with his arrest or how. So we cried. I listened to their mom sob over the phone from across the room as he delivered the news to her. I got ready for work. Now I'm home picking up all his things just sad. Sad that it's a wrap for him. His life is likely over. Just like that. I'm sad for my husband and his whole family that is hurting from the choices made.

So I suppose in closing, my time on this site will be short. But I've so enjoyed this thread with all of you and getting seasoned advice and input from people I'd never have talked to if I didn't find this site.
I'm so sorry. I am guessing he got involved with certain things inside that he couldn't get away from. He made deals and obligations. Unfortunately, he saw no way out of it. I'm sorry for all of you.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:53 PM
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I'm sorry for your family and I can see why you are hurt and surprised at what he did. Unfortunately some folks are in the revolving door to prison, but you went out of your way to offer him the opportunity to stay out.

I'm surprised that he got caught so quickly.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:26 AM
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I am so terribly sorry to hear this. I can only imagine how heartbroken the family is. You guys did your level best. The rest was on him.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:30 AM
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Your amazing! You tried so hard, you did everything you could, I am so very sorry this happened to your family.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:11 AM
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As soon as you said he was calling and texting "friends" I knew he was messing up. Sorry you went through this but a guy fresh out should have cut all ties!!!
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:14 AM
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As has been said, you did everything to help.
Im sorry because I know it hurts you and his family.




Maybe one day he will realize those are not his *friends*
Not at all.


Good on you for trying. I only wish he'd tried harder.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:55 AM
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I'm trying to figure out how to delete this post, as recommended by someone I agree. Did not set out with intentions to post such personal info I was just feeling emotional. If you're reading this I still haven't found the delete button. Help lol.

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Old 05-18-2018, 01:57 PM
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Looks like I can't. Oh well.
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:40 AM
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Looks like I can't. Oh well.


Maybe an Admin will be able to delete it for you. Im not an admin but I know sometimes they make exceptions and can delete posts.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:42 AM
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I'm trying to figure out how to delete this post, as recommended by someone I agree. Did not set out with intentions to post such personal info I was just feeling emotional. If you're reading this I still haven't found the delete button. Help lol.
I think it helps to have people read posts like yours. We all have great expectations when someone gets out. I am sorry that your brother in law screwed up, don't feel like you failed him he failed you.
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