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Adult Children and Siblings of Inmates For Adult Children, brothers and sisters of prisoners

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2011, 08:07 AM
doejane doejane is offline
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Default I need a succes story!

Spoke to little sister's counselor...she told me I needed to step back and not do too much for Sis. Actually said do not do anything! Dont send money dont visit, etc... Said prison is the best thing for her! She needs to understand that there are consequences. She says sis is good at manipulating people and that if I help her I'm enabling her behavior. I realize there's probably lots of truth in what she's saying... But how do I step back and let sis go to prison without anyone here for her? Not sure what to do or how to keep a balance.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:05 PM
CC'sMom CC'sMom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doejane View Post
Spoke to little sister's counselor...she told me I needed to step back and not do too much for Sis. Actually said do not do anything! Dont send money dont visit, etc... Said prison is the best thing for her! She needs to understand that there are consequences. She says sis is good at manipulating people and that if I help her I'm enabling her behavior. I realize there's probably lots of truth in what she's saying... But how do I step back and let sis go to prison without anyone here for her? Not sure what to do or how to keep a balance.
What the counselor probably meant is that you should not enable your sister. Which means you let her suffer the consequences of her behavior. My son's story is a success story. Prison saved his life and here are some key points that contributed to his remarkable improvement:

1. We did not bail him out when he got in trouble the last time.
2. We did not get a private attorney.
3. We never got angry at him.
4. We visited every two weeks, even when the visits were difficult because he was not in a good space emotionally. If he was too angry at us, we would say: "We have to leave when you feel this way, but we will come back next scheduled visit and if you are still feeling this way, we will just leave and try again."
5. We sent him only $10 a week after we got him things like, fan, shaver, etc. and when he got work in the prison we did not send money anymore because he was making approximately $60 per month.
7. His sister visited him, wrote to him often, send him lots of books but refused to send any money even for his birthday (he never asked her for many either).
8. She took his collect calls and he did not abuse the privilege at all.
9. I wrote daily and showered him with cards during the holidays.
10. None of us told him what to do -- we just listened to him and empathize if it was appropriate.
11. I asked our close relatives to write to him. They did. This transformed him, specially the care his sister showed. They are very close and he had isolated himself from everyone when before going to prison. He learned how liked he was, how much every one cared and that they were not ashamed of him.
12. His sister always let him know when she did not approve of what he did or said. He took constructive criticism from her well, because he knew she cared and he respected her. She puts up with no BS from anyone :-)

All the above equals full out emotional support without enabling. This Christmas all siblings and their families are coming over to our place to celebrate with him the occasion, his sobriety and his new ways and clear mind (like his sister used to ask him "How does it feel to be so clear minded? when she visited him in prison -- she lives in a different state so she was able to visit 2 or 3 times in prison and about 4 times in jail).

I believe that our approach was very balanced. Now that he is free, we are very supportive and loving but maintain very firm boundaries. And we do not check on him, do not tell him what to do, etc. He has taken full control of getting himself all the help he needs including medical help and is in full compliance. If he gets into trouble, he already knows that we will be there for him but no rescuing.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:18 PM
CC'sMom CC'sMom is offline
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[quote=CCmom;6489139]What the counselor probably meant is that you should not enable your sister. Which means you let her suffer the consequences of her behavior. My son's story is a success story. Prison saved his life and here are some key points that contributed to his remarkable improvement:

[snip]

I forgot to say that we provided him with shelter but gave him NO MONEY before he got arrested. We decided in the last 6 months prior to the arrest that we were not going to enable him ever again. We never ever denied food. And once we decided not to enable, we would not give him even $5 when he asked. When his behavior was of immediate danger to himself or others, we called for help. Did we ever get blamed by him for doing that! But after the time in prison where he had time to heal his body and was able to take full responsibility for his actions he completely understands what we had to do. He feels bad about it, but we are not interested in fostering guilt on him for his past behaviors. What is important is that he continues to work on self-improvement and is taking care of himself. Last night while visiting us, he refused a cola drink because it had caffeine and it was past 6 pm. We never dared think that he would reach this level of awareness.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:49 AM
doejane doejane is offline
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ccmom, thank you! That sounds and feels right. All I want in this world is for her to come out of this whole. I want my sister and I want a relationship with her. I haven't had anything close to that in so long. This is her chance and I want to do my part. If that means stepping back, I'm willing. She is in county jail waiting transport to CMCF. She has been there 3 months. I get to see her 10min. Every Saturday. She's clean and clear headed. Omg what a sweetheart! she says all the right things but she has always known how to do that. I'm learning to watch & listen with less reaction. Balance. I'm learning. Truth is, thankfully, there's no bailing her out. Couldn't if I wanted to.
What you have said, really helps. I will follow your lead about the $ too. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. You & your family will continually be in my thoughts and prayers. Please let your son and daughter know they their experience has both enlightened and encouraged me. Theirs is the standard of success I'm reaching & praying for.
Thank you & God bless you & your family!
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:32 PM
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from an ex-inmates point of view. When I was young, I got into a lot of trouble. in the beginning my family for the most part helped me get out of things. after awhile I burned that bridge (once I got myself straight I built the bridge with my dad, but didn't have the chance with my mom so that sucks). While I was in, I made the choice that I didn't want this life for ME anymore. I turned my life around and got a job helping others and i truly loved that job. Its not going to be all peaches and cream and I screwed up later in life and had to pay the price. but I got back on track and although I can't work anymore, I still help others thru this site and others. You have to be supportive yet firm. More importantly though, your sister has to want to change.

Joe
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