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  #1  
Old 10-14-2007, 07:59 AM
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Default Sibling but have a question only a parent can answer!

My brother is incarcerated. I recently got back from a visit with my parents and told my mom about PTO. She had said he has been here but it was when my brother just got put in prison. She said it was to ruff being in PTO. She is still having a tuff time dealing and so is my dad. I told her she needed to get back in here and that it would really help. My dad on the other hand wont even talk to my brother on the phone. It's been REAlly hard for him. He somehow blames himself for being to easy on my brother. I told my mom to do it on her own time. They are coming to visit my brother in the summer of 2009. Myself and my hubby only live 30-40 minutes away so we vist often. I jsut want to help my parents threw this but don't know what to do or how to start. I do send them pictures that we get taken together and tell them of my visits. It just doesn't seem to help sometimes. What can I do as a loving daughter for my parent's?
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:15 AM
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I am sure they are disappointed. If it is like my family DE-NILE just ain't a river in Egypt!
I would have a talk with them..on exactly what you said here.
I use to tell my son, you can do it crying or smiling..but your doing it. And by that I mean, It is what it is...
I think maybe your Dad is feeling guilty like it is his fault...you need to reassure him.. we alll have choices
in life..Your brother made a bad choice. Maybe tell them they need to be strong and supportive, so he get'a clean crime free start.
Good Luck to you.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:54 AM
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I thought I could help, but as a parent, I don't get it. I do know that my husband's mom has done the same thing. She refuses to visit or write. She said it was too hard on HER. What I told my guy is this, how much do YOU want this relationship? Because You will have to do the work until she is ready. So he writes her and sends holiday cards and when he is at a unit with phones, calls. Everytime she sees me, he's all she wants to talk about, and yet won't write back!! I think it is a question of self-protection. She's been hurt and let down so much, she's not willing to risk it again. Does your brother write them? If it's just YOU who cares about patching this up, it's not going to work. I bet if he wrote, they'd read the letters, even if they couldn't admit how much they meant.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:26 PM
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My brother does write our parents. my mom is the one that does write back and sends pictures. My mom does talk to him by phone but she is still having some harsh feelings. my brother is going to live with them when he get's out. My mom is affraid he is going to steal and get back into drugs again. They have no faith in him after he get's out. They want to put up a little apartment on their land apart from the house so he doesn't have the oppurtunity to do anythong to their home or steal anything. My mom is so worried. She ask's me questions about the visit and if he has changed. I have no idea what to say.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:36 PM
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Your mom's fears are understandable. Your bro is going to have to prove himself when he gets out. Maybe your mom can write and tell him how hopeful she is that he's changed and that she has faith that he will not cause any more problems. She should also lay down the ground rules and explain to him what she expects from him if he's going to be living with her. Your father will come around. I practically had to force my husband to answer the phone when our son called but he's better about it now.
You are a good sister and a good daughter. I hope your brother appreciates your efforts.
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:27 PM
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Your parents are right to worry about the drugs still being a part of his life. Not too much in the prison experience is a worthwhile treatment for addiction. The numbers are staggeringly high that addicts will return to using - and usually quite soon. Just look at how many of us here have been through this over and over again. Incarceration as a solution for addiction is a terrible use of time and money. It is very hard to allow yourself as a parent to let your guard down when you know in your heart that he is likely to be right back where he started in no time at all. Keeping your distance is a protective mechinisim.

My guess is if he steals he did it during his drug use and they feel like they have been burned. Truth is they have. And it is very hard as a parent to not feel like a failure and full of shame when you raise someone who is a drug addict in prison. Now I know this all sounds really pessimistic and I have been thinking about what it is that has helped me go through this process and not cut my son completely out of my life. First of all I think it has made a huge difference to us that our son has apologized. He has completely acknowledged how his life choices have imposed upon us and let us know how sorry he is. I have asked him if there was something in his life that happened or something we did that led him down this path and he has told me many times that the answer is no. It was not our fault and he doesn't want us to feel any blame. THis has been a huge blessing as a parent. It has actually made us proud of the person he is because he truly owns his own life and doesn't make excuses for it. Maybe this is something you could talk about with your brother. He may have different feelings but if he could be truthful with your parents maybe they could understand him better.

Another thing that my son has said to me many times that has really helped me is that it is difficult when we only look at the part of him that is a drug addict. He is a whole person with many wonderful qualities and when he is using we are tempted to "throw the baby out with the bath water." I don't condone using for one tiny second but the truth is it does not make him less of a worthy person because he is so caught up with drugs. What if the whole world decided that my weaknesses were unacceptable and wanted to lock me up every time I behaved badly. I guess what I am trying to say is that when I remember to value the great things about him (or anybody else I know for that matter) then I am able to be less critical and more compassionate. That is the kind of person I admire and therefore want to be like. Not a judgmental narrow minded person.

Maybe if you explain to your parents that the people here are working to understand how this happened in their life and trying to live their lives with dignity it would encourage them to give PTO a chance. Maybe you could print out some posts that you think would help your parents understand why folks come here and get them started. Good luck - your brother and parents are lucky to have such a loving person in their lives. But you make sure to look out for yourself too. Ultimately it is between the 3 of them and it would be a shame if you ended up feeling badly cuz you couldn't work it all out for them.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meandmybro
My brother does write our parents. my mom is the one that does write back and sends pictures. My mom does talk to him by phone but she is still having some harsh feelings. my brother is going to live with them when he get's out. My mom is affraid he is going to steal and get back into drugs again. They have no faith in him after he get's out. They want to put up a little apartment on their land apart from the house so he doesn't have the oppurtunity to do anythong to their home or steal anything. My mom is so worried. She ask's me questions about the visit and if he has changed. I have no idea what to say.
Wow! if your brother plans on living w/ your folks on discharge, I would think they ALL need to do some talking with one another -- the cards all laid on the table kind of talk. When does your brother get out? Soon? I hope your parents will take to heart what the others have advised. It's good advice! Would it help to print these up and send them to your folks?

Best wishes. You're a good daughter and sister for caring.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:55 PM
lanello lanello is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesliezack
I am sure they are disappointed. If it is like my family DE-NILE just ain't a river in Egypt!
I would have a talk with them..on exactly what you said here.
I use to tell my son, you can do it crying or smiling..but your doing it. And by that I mean, It is what it is...
I think maybe your Dad is feeling guilty like it is his fault...you need to reassure him.. we alll have choices
in life..Your brother made a bad choice. Maybe tell them they need to be strong and supportive, so he get'a clean crime free start.
Good Luck to you.
I really like the way you put things in perspective. I say all the time it is what it is. I often struggle with the what ifs etc. But my son gets out in 2 1/2 monthes and it is time to move forward. He will have done 10 1/2 monthes and I like to think he will have become a stronger, better person.....glass 1/2 full? It was a charge from 5 years ago and he got his life completely straighted out and I felt so gyped that so many people could not see him doing time for a 1st offender etc. My son took it like a man. He said I will seee you in 10 1/2 monthes<. I do not want visits but I will call and write. Now it is so close to when he gets out. He is very excited. But you are right. WE all have choices----every day. My son made a bad choice and he is paying for it. It could have been worse. It was a theft and no one was hurt. During his drug days he could have hurt someone but he didn't. When he gets out he can live a good life and be productive and move on. I will support him and be there for him as long as that is his choice. People who are in jail need love and support to get to the end of their time. I am glad that person has a sibling standing by him. It is a long road alone.

Last edited by lanello; 10-14-2007 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:28 PM
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I have lots of thoughts running through my mind, so I hope I can make some sense here. First, I understand how your parents feel. I don't think I could go without writing, but it does sound like it's a protective measure. And, I don't think it's a matter of not having faith in him, it's having the knowledge of what common behavior for a drug addict is. It's really a matter of trust; and trust takes time, especially when it's been broken again and again. Both my sons are addicts. Both have been in many treatment programs; nothing worked. Both have been in jail numerous times; one just got out of prison. I don't think it's always a matter of what kind of "treatment" an addict is getting. It's depends on where he or she is at in their life and whether or not they have hit "bottom," which is different for each person. Prison may have been what my one son needed. Time will tell. All I know is nothing else worked.

Your parents need time. I can even understand them wanting him to live apart from their house. I'm guessing they have said he could come there to live, so at least they are willing to help him out.

Maybe your brother needs to realize how deeply they've been hurt by his past actions. I think they both love him unconditionally; they are just afraid to let their guard down too much at this point. Even during the times we hoped one or both of our sons had changed, we would change our garage code on the opener if we left on vacation, plus we'd not only lock the doors, but block them from the inside. It's sad, but we just weren't comfortable because the trust wasn't there yet.

It's hard to describe how a parent feels when they hope against hope that their son has changed, but are also living in fear that he'll fall back into his old ways. You want to believe they've changed, yet you want to be wise and protect your heart because you've been disappointed so many times before. The Bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick, and it is so true. Your parents' hearts have been broken. Your dad probably blames himself like you said. My husband blames himself. Believe me, it's very difficult for a dad to have a son go wayward. They carry guilt and anger and heartache.

I don't know as if there's anything you can say that will change things at this point. I think it's just going to take time. As far as PTO, maybe when your mom is ready, she'll come back. Maybe she will read this thread anyway, if you think it would be of help to her.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. And, yes, they are all blessed to have you in the family.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2007, 11:18 AM
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Thanks to everyone so much! My brother has almost done 2 years of a 10 year sentence. This is his first conviction. He skipped out on his probation officer so the judge gave him the book. He is in for 1st degree assult on a minor (his ex girlfriend). The funny thing is he was the one that was all black and blue but he was an "adult" at the time. I still think 18 is to young to be considered an adult. Anyway in 2 or 3 years he will be up for parole. My parents live in New Mexico and my brother is in Missouri. They think if he stays around here he will get into the same things and they would like him to live with them for a change of inviroment. I will print all your answers out and send them to my dad and mom. They really helped me and I hope it helps them.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:21 PM
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What I love about this site is that you get back twice what you give. I understand a little bit more how my mother-in law feels now. I didn't even know he had a drug problem until he went in. Won't give up- I love how you see your son as a person and not a drug problem. One thing my husband has told me is that when everyone gave up on him and expected him to be a loser all his life, he gave up too. He said when he met me, I believed in him and saw him as a person and it made him try. I actually got a letter from him this week talking about how he is worried he will slip when he comes out and that I will leave him. He has never talked so openly about his fears of coming home and living up to his responsibilities. I feel BETTER because he's no longer saying drugs are not an issue. I am so new to this world of drug addiction. If you or "Believing" have any suggestions for me , or anyone have ideas, to help him with his transition, I could really use them.
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