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When the Relationship is Over... This forum is about discussing your thoughts, feelings and issues now that you and your incarcerated (or formerly incarcerated) loved one are no longer together. (This forum is NOT for bashing - please read the rules before posting.)

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Old 11-07-2018, 02:36 AM
lwopstudies lwopstudies is offline
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Hello everyone,

I am a physician, lawyer, prison/sentencing reform activist, and author. I am also the former sister of an LWOP prisoner whose sentence was commuted to life with parole. He was released at the end of 2017.

Over the last fifteen years of my brother's stay in prison, I was tremendously supportive of him emotionally and financially. I believed him to be a good, decent, and honorable man, one who did a great deal of work on his own rehabilitation. I was happy to do all I could for him to make his life in prison more comfortable, ensure he got necessary health care (he was seriously ill at one point and I was able to get my medical colleagues to intervene with the prison healthcare system on his behalf), and do what was necessary to get his sentenced commuted.

When he got the commutation, I could tell things changed between us. He was increasingly distant, and asked me to be patient with him because he was extremely stressed with the prospect of release. Shortly after he got out, I had major surgery with life threatening complications. I was in the hospital for nearly 6 weeks, some of that time in the ICU on life support. My brother came to see me only once, saying that the transitional house and his parole officer would not allow him to visit. That was the last time I saw him.

Shortly after I went home from the hospital (still very ill, unable to walk and requiring 24 hour care), his calls and texts decreased dramatically. Finally he sent me a 2-line text saying he "needed time and space to figure out how to make this life work." About a month later he sent a one paragraph e-mail saying he had to "extricate himself from our relationship," which he realized was "toxic." He never talked to me face to face about the issues of concern to him.

Before my surgery, I paid for driving lessons for him, loaned him money for a laptop, and wrote a prescription for a year's worth of heart medications. (The prison had released him with a one-month supply of his medications and had not signed him up for any health care programs.) He had a job and a car, and once I had provided those final things it seems he had no more use for me.

It has been crushing to learn that my brother, whom I considered an honorable and fully rehabilitated man, was actually so cruel and callous that he could turn his back on me when I was facing my own death.

I learned about PTO as a community in which I might find support for my situation. I was astonished to read so many heartbreaking stories similar to my own, of people who have supported loved ones in prison for years only to be discarded shortly after release. These cruel and selfish actions cause immense pain and suffering for so many people.

It also occurred to me that parolees are able to engage in this kind of callous conduct with impunity, because while it may be an act of moral turpitude, it is not a crime or a violation of the conditions of parole to abandon one's family and friends upon release. Such sociopathic conduct indicates the parolee has no empathy or compassion and is certainly not rehabilitated. I wonder if the parole board knew of the prisoner's intentions (to use people for their own benefit and then discard them), it would still find them suitable for release.

I think there needs to be some kind of official mechanism by which such behavior can be brought to the attention of the parole officer and/or the parole board. The meaning of such behavior needs to be taken seriously, rather than blaming the "too gullible" family member for failing to see the "red flags." Perhaps a hearing should he conducted to determine if the parolee actually does pose an unreasonable threat to the community if they are so completely devoid of empathy. At least, such a mechanism would discourage prisoners from using and manipulating family and friends to gain financial and other support all the while intending to end the relationship as soon as they are out.

Because of my brother, I have long advocated for the ending of LWOP sentencing. I believed that everyone deserves the chance to demonstrate they are safe to rejoin society. I still want to believe this, but my brother's actions have brought about a crisis of faith. He was in prison for 38 years, and during that time convinced many, many, many very smart and savvy people of his rehabilitation and remorse. Now I wonder how one can really tell if a prisoner is safe to be released.

I think my brother, a brilliant man with an uncanny ability to read people, was able to perpetuate this facade over decades far better than most prisoners. Most likely, his conduct does not reflect the behavior of the vast majority of released prisoners. Still, it is disturbing.

I have come to the conclusion that I still support ending LWOP and other forms of extreme sentencing, but there needs to be additional safeguards in the parole process to ensure the prisoner is no longer capable of the cruelty and callousness which led to the original crime.

I have been extremely moved by reading the stories of pain and suffering on this site, and believe they need to be told to a wider audience. If you are willing to share your story with me (names and details will be changed to protect your privacy) and give me permission to use it in a book or magazine/newspaper/blog article, please either pm me or write it here.

Thank you all so much for reading this.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:49 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk. I'm sorry for the disappointment your brother has brought you, especially during your time of need. Unfortunately some people care for little beyond themselves, and never change.

I hope you are well, and don't take his actions (or lack thereof) personally.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:12 AM
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All that said, Im sorry your brother has decided to break contact with you. Especially in your own time of need. That is sad. Does he have any contact with any other family members? You dont have to say, but it might make it easier to learn how he's doing.
And Im not sure how to say this but.........just because he's decided he cant have a relationship with you might be what he feels is best for him trying to stay *in line*


I dont know what his parole conditions might be but its hard to imagine that having a relationship with his family would be forbidden as one of his conditions.


Maybe he feels guilty for having things done for him? I dont know.


Again, Im so sorry he's hurt you.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lwopstudies View Post
He was released at the end of 2017.

Over the last fifteen years of my brother's stay in prison, I was tremendously supportive of him emotionally and financially. [...]
When he got the commutation, I could tell things changed between us. He was increasingly distant, and asked me to be patient with him because he was extremely stressed with the prospect of release.[...]
About a month later he sent a one paragraph e-mail saying he had to "extricate himself from our relationship," which he realized was "toxic." He never talked to me face to face about the issues of concern to him.
[...]
It has been crushing to learn that my brother, whom I considered an honorable and fully rehabilitated man, was actually so cruel and callous that he could turn his back on me when I was facing my own death.
[...]
It also occurred to me that parolees are able to engage in this kind of callous conduct with impunity, because while it may be an act of moral turpitude, it is not a crime or a violation of the conditions of parole to abandon one's family and friends upon release.
First, thank you for your dedication to the injustice that is LWOP. We need educated, impassioned voices to keep speaking until we see the last WO commuted.

With a deep breath and a bit of trepidation that I may offend-- your brother spent the majority of his life, and presumably near all of his adult years in prison. While he may have been criminally rehabilitated and have insight vocabulary ad nauseam, in no way does that indicate the emotional and mental fortitude it takes to see someone go through a life-altering event.

What you did for your brother was admirable and presumably because you felt, in your heart, that it was the right thing to do. Many, many family members cannot or choose not to do what you have done and ultimately "abandon" their incarcerated loved one. They feel guilt, shame, frustration, a deep sadness, helplessness. I would wager that at times during the long years your brother sat without legal hope, you may have experienced some of these emotions. For whatever reason, you were able to press through them. Perhaps even use them to fuel your path in life. I know my husband's experience has influenced my path to a degree that I wouldn't know myself without it.

But your brother did not have the same access to the world that you and I have had. Our confidants and support systems were not other inmates or correctional staff. Our education was that of our choosing and opportunity. Our emotional grooming came from "normal", outside interaction. Theirs did not.

Simply put-- he may not be equipped to deal with the things that come with something so big. I could absolutely see my husband feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of losing me to something beyond his control. In fact, we've had these discussions because I live with multiple chronic illnesses and it sort of hangs over our heads that this may well be the case one day.

Your brother has been out less than a full year. Some people who have done far less time struggle to be stable well beyond that time-frame. While I do not understand his choice to label the relationship 'toxic', and I suspect that it may have been a way of ensuring he was able to make clear that he needed space, it's clear he isn't able to be there for you the way that you would hope. That's not criminal. It's human.


As much as his release means he needs to learn to adjust, his care has been a huge part of your life for a very long time. You, too, have adjusting to do. You cannot make him reciprocate in the way that expect and that hurts.

My advice would be to heal what you need to heal, physically and emotionally, and if it's healthy for you to leave the door open to him to return, do it. He may just need time.

Best to you.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:07 AM
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All that said, Im sorry your brother has decided to break contact with you. Especially in your own time of need. That is sad. Does he have any contact with any other family members? You dont have to say, but it might make it easier to learn how he's doing.
And Im not sure how to say this but.........just because he's decided he cant have a relationship with you might be what he feels is best for him trying to stay *in line*


I dont know what his parole conditions might be but its hard to imagine that having a relationship with his family would be forbidden as one of his conditions.


Maybe he feels guilty for having things done for him? I dont know.


Again, Im so sorry he's hurt you.

Thank you for your response!

I have decided to go "no contact" with my brother because his actions hurt me so deeply. Because I cannot tell whether the person he portrayed himself to be while in prison was real, I cannot believe anything he might say in the future about the reasons for his actions and am not open to resuming the relationship.

At the same time he turned his back on me, he also filed for divorce from his wife, whom he married 30 years ago while in prison. She has had serious mental health problems (especially over the past 20 years), but nevertheless was devoted to him. Now that he had an opportunity to try to help her in the free world, he abandoned her, too.

I don't believe any of this speaks well for his character. His writing has been published widely and he now speaks publicly about the need to end LWOP, work we were planning to do together once he was released. From what I can see it doesn't sound to me like he is struggling to adjust. Unfortunately, it sounds to me like he doesn't want acknowledge the help he had from his family and others to get out of prison, against all odds, and just take all the credit for himself.

It wasn't just my serious illness, either. There were signs things were not right between us after he learned his sentence was commuted, although I attributed this to stress and anxiety over this massive change and remained as supportive as I could. He did not invite me to pick him up from prison on the day of his release (I don't know who did, but it wasn't his wife either), but asked if he could stop by my house for 5 minutes on that day to pick up $120.

He made it clear he only had 5 minutes to spend with me. I felt really used by this and told him no. After everything, I should've been more to him than just an ATM.

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Old 11-07-2018, 11:49 AM
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First, thank you for your dedication to the injustice that is LWOP. We need educated, impassioned voices to keep speaking until we see the last WO commuted.

With a deep breath and a bit of trepidation that I may offend-- your brother spent the majority of his life, and presumably near all of his adult years in prison. While he may have been criminally rehabilitated and have insight vocabulary ad nauseam, in no way does that indicate the emotional and mental fortitude it takes to see someone go through a life-altering event.

What you did for your brother was admirable and presumably because you felt, in your heart, that it was the right thing to do. Many, many family members cannot or choose not to do what you have done and ultimately "abandon" their incarcerated loved one. They feel guilt, shame, frustration, a deep sadness, helplessness. I would wager that at times during the long years your brother sat without legal hope, you may have experienced some of these emotions. For whatever reason, you were able to press through them. Perhaps even use them to fuel your path in life. I know my husband's experience has influenced my path to a degree that I wouldn't know myself without it.

But your brother did not have the same access to the world that you and I have had. Our confidants and support systems were not other inmates or correctional staff. Our education was that of our choosing and opportunity. Our emotional grooming came from "normal", outside interaction. Theirs did not.

Simply put-- he may not be equipped to deal with the things that come with something so big. I could absolutely see my husband feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of losing me to something beyond his control. In fact, we've had these discussions because I live with multiple chronic illnesses and it sort of hangs over our heads that this may well be the case one day.

Your brother has been out less than a full year. Some people who have done far less time struggle to be stable well beyond that time-frame. While I do not understand his choice to label the relationship 'toxic', and I suspect that it may have been a way of ensuring he was able to make clear that he needed space, it's clear he isn't able to be there for you the way that you would hope. That's not criminal. It's human.


As much as his release means he needs to learn to adjust, his care has been a huge part of your life for a very long time. You, too, have adjusting to do. You cannot make him reciprocate in the way that expect and that hurts.

My advice would be to heal what you need to heal, physically and emotionally, and if it's healthy for you to leave the door open to him to return, do it. He may just need time.

Best to you.
Thank you for your response.

I am sorry, but I don't think he deserves a pass for how cruelly he treated me. It wasn't just my illness, either--I could tell as soon as he got the commutation that things started to change between us, although he continued to ask for and accept my help in things like paying for his parole lawyer. There were subtle signs that he had no intention of continuing to be close to me once he got out, but I attributed this to his stress and anxiety over such an enormous transition.

At the same time he turned his back on me, he filed for divorce from his wife, whom he married in prison 30 years ago. Despite serious mental health issues over the past 20 years, she continued to be devoted to him. I don't think there is any excuse for his callous conduct towards her, either.

I think he seriously lacks the ability for empathy and compassion, and cares only about his own needs. I have been so hurt by his conduct I have chosen to go "no contact." I am definitely not open to having him back in my life under any circumstances.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:49 AM
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It's possible that he used everyone who wanted to help him. I hope what you are doing will help you to get past what happened, that is the most important thing. Don't forget, but also don't let it affect you either.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:57 AM
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It's possible that he used everyone who wanted to help him. I hope what you are doing will help you to get past what happened, that is the most important thing. Don't forget, but also don't let it affect you either.

Yes, I think that is highly possible. My friends and colleagues who did so much to help him have heard nothing from him since he's been out. Not even a text to say thank you.

Unfortunately, it does affect me because for the past fifteen years my work has been to end LWOP. Now I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about this work because it is connected to someone who betrayed me. Yet, the thousands of people in this country still serving LWOP (and de-facto LWOP, sentences exceeding the human lifespan) don't deserve to suffer because of the actions of one cruel and narcissistic man.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:33 PM
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That's often what happens though. Willie Horton and people like Jack Abbott etc. poison the public against prison reform initiatives.

Jack Abbott wrote "In The Belly Of the Beast" in 1981 which exposed the brutal beatings regularly given to prisoners by corrections officers in California. He became a cause celebre for Norman Mailer and other entertainers, which eventually got him released from prison.

Unfortunately, especially for his victim, Abbott then stabbed a NY cab driver to death in an argument over his taxi fare, which then became a cause celebre for the tough on crime politicians.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:45 AM
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That's often what happens though. Willie Horton and people like Jack Abbott etc. poison the public against prison reform initiatives.

Jack Abbott wrote "In The Belly Of the Beast" in 1981 which exposed the brutal beatings regularly given to prisoners by corrections officers in California. He became a cause celebre for Norman Mailer and other entertainers, which eventually got him released from prison.

Unfortunately, especially for his victim, Abbott then stabbed a NY cab driver to death in an argument over his taxi fare, which then became a cause celebre for the tough on crime politicians.
OMG--Since this happened I have felt so strongly that I have been Jack Abbott'ed. My brother published a book while in prison, and one of the last things he told me before cutting off our relationship was that his publisher got him an agent and he is probably getting a new book deal and a movie deal about his first book.

One of the things that played a role in convincing me of his rehabilitation was his writing. Now I see how dangerous that can be, because it is possible to hide the truth about one's ability to empathize and have compassion for others behind brilliant writing. That is also one of the ways he attracted so many supporters who used their influence to help him get out.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:30 AM
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I am often surprised by how much good -- even brilliant -- writing skills confound a fair assessment of character. There are a number of 'celebrity'prisoners who enjoy a great deal of support, admiration and love because they are brilliant at the gift of the gab and pen. Writing talent unfortunately obscures clear sight of the writer's qualities as a person. They are by no means mutually exclusive, but they are independent variables.

Your story is heartbreaking. I am sorry you had to confront the truth of your brother's lack of empathy in such an extremely painful way. Yes, many of the stories in this sub-forum are discouraging and very depressing. Sometimes I go to the Now That They're Home section just to get an antidote to the doom and gloom. There are also some beautiful homecoming stories there. Sadly, I cannot linger there too long either, as my husband is serving LWOP and, as he put it, a zombie apocalypse is more likely than a ommutation for him (not necessarily due to his crime as much as the political embarrassment it caused the prison authorities).

I understand completely your sense of outrage and betrayal, but... a lack of empathy and compassion are not parole eligibility requirements -- nor should they be. Most people living in society are fairly wretched, selfish, and lacking in compassion and empathy. The most important and relevant parole consideration should be whether the person is likely to commit more statutory crimes upon release. I definitely want the law to keep violent people who carjack, rape, murder and rob at gunpoint -- habitually -- to be sequestered. I'd love to live in a world where there is way more compassion and empathy -- but its lack should not be a factor for incarceration. When I read your story, I was deeply grieved by the unfairness, but, as someone not personally involved in the situation, the foremost thought in my mind has been, is your brother likely to commit the kinds of crimes that landed him an LWOP sentence to begin with.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:05 PM
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I am often surprised by how much good -- even brilliant -- writing skills confound a fair assessment of character. There are a number of 'celebrity'prisoners who enjoy a great deal of support, admiration and love because they are brilliant at the gift of the gab and pen. Writing talent unfortunately obscures clear sight of the writer's qualities as a person. They are by no means mutually exclusive, but they are independent variables.

Your story is heartbreaking. I am sorry you had to confront the truth of your brother's lack of empathy in such an extremely painful way. Yes, many of the stories in this sub-forum are discouraging and very depressing. Sometimes I go to the Now That They're Home section just to get an antidote to the doom and gloom. There are also some beautiful homecoming stories there. Sadly, I cannot linger there too long either, as my husband is serving LWOP and, as he put it, a zombie apocalypse is more likely than a ommutation for him (not necessarily due to his crime as much as the political embarrassment it caused the prison authorities).

I understand completely your sense of outrage and betrayal, but... a lack of empathy and compassion are not parole eligibility requirements -- nor should they be. Most people living in society are fairly wretched, selfish, and lacking in compassion and empathy. The most important and relevant parole consideration should be whether the person is likely to commit more statutory crimes upon release. I definitely want the law to keep violent people who carjack, rape, murder and rob at gunpoint -- habitually -- to be sequestered. I'd love to live in a world where there is way more compassion and empathy -- but its lack should not be a factor for incarceration. When I read your story, I was deeply grieved by the unfairness, but, as someone not personally involved in the situation, the foremost thought in my mind has been, is your brother likely to commit the kinds of crimes that landed him an LWOP sentence to begin with.
Thank you so much for your wise response. I am so appreciative of your kindness and compassion.

What concerns me about such extreme lack of empathy is this is one of the qualities that makes it possible for people to commit crimes. When he was nineteen years old, my brother brutally beat a homeless man to death simply because the man was sleeping in "his park." I believed he had developed the ability to have empathy and compassion for others such that he would no longer be capable of such an act. Now I am not so sure.

I wonder what the parole board commissioners would think of their decision to release him if they found out how he treated his family, those who were dedicated and devoted to him for decades? I know he presented a lot of evidence to the Board about the good, decent, and honorable man be became while in prison, and all the courses he took and facilitated focusing on the development of skills of empathy and compassion. I wonder if his extreme lack of empathy is not an indication that given the right circumstances, he could kill someone again? Would the parole board want to take a chance on that?

I am still struggling with all of this. I continue to work to end LWOP, but at this time my heart is definitely not in it.

I pray that someday the laws will change in your state so that your husband will have a chance to get out.

Thank you again for your kindness.
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Old Yesterday, 10:29 PM
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Thank you so much for your wise response. I am so appreciative of your kindness and compassion.


capable of such an act. Now I am not so sure.



I know he presented a lot of evidence to the Board about the good, decent, and honorable man be became while in prison, and all the courses he took and facilitated focusing on the development of skills of empathy and compassion. I wonder if his extreme lack of empathy is not an indication that given the right circumstances, he could kill someone again?

Would the parole board want to take a chance on that?


I am still struggling with all of this.

I continue to work to end LWOP

but at this time my heart is definitely not in it.

.
First:

I am going to negate(respectfully)what most are citing here at this nice forum,PTO and say he is a selfish human being, period.

not even a text for um "others who were there, helping him, and familia, etc., and others,smh" SELFISH to the core,and plain wrong.
NO EXCUSE.
NADA...
NO EXCUSE for this.
-

Ergo:

I am chica, sending you genuine supportive hug tonight, you need it. I feel your pain, i really do.

Second,
he beat him to death?(RIP)to such victim, my god.

Third, i understand you're saying that you are now not "sure" and i don't blame you for feeling this way.
---
I wanted to thoroughly read this a few times prior to my lengthy response, chica. hola.

That is so sad. How dare he.



-If this happened to me blood-kin or not, i would not have anything to do with such ungrateful/selfish/disrespectful person, familia or not. Life too short for such pain, such disrespect.

-I ACHE for u, i really do, and i feel your pain insofar as your brother.

I can't imagine, a sibling doing this to me, or any one, i "love." I think the board imo(in my opinion) wouldn't be too happy hearing this at all, and or i also know they look at such factors insofar as how the inmate is doing inside first and foremost.

In any event, you're to stay strong,and realize GOD sees his actions ,and i know some will call it(coming his way BAD karma)for how he treated some 1 who was there for him, as wonderful you were to him, but do not let this keep you down and i pray for happier days healthier blessed rewarding days for you, chica,
and feel from to PM me anytime. May god bless you. Please keep up your advocacy...I love doing such mi self for a strong decade +three years)
so altogether, advocate work i do in totality (13 yrs altogether/writer/author/artist empowerment motivational work,speaker,
and i hope you will not allow his awful selfish immature selfish disrespectful actions preclude you from continuing your advocacy work chica.
Hang in there, it will all be ok. God will see to it, that you're going to be just fine. Him? Not so much. Hugs + blessings,for you this evening.Adios.
Noche...(g-night)
__________________
#TAAS (there are always signs,so DON'T ignore them)
Lead with your MIND + not your heart.
CONSISTENCY,communication"is key.Without action, it just isn't real.


Last edited by a.rare.love; Yesterday at 10:40 PM..
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Please don’t use my story

My LWOP is the son of a friend who went away at 22. He’s now approaching 40. My friend died a few years back, so the kid (he will always be a kid to me) really has nobody left in his life from the outside world.

After the shock of the crime wore off, it seemed to me to be pretty predictable that he could commit the kind of crime he did, that he believed what he did, and that he murdered the person he murdered. His first love was involved, and because of the tragedies in his early life - the deaths of 2 sisters and his father's suicide, some form of difficulty was to be expected. I am sorry it went in the direction it did and that he had to commit his crime.

Now, he has LWOP, lucky he didn’t get death. Like most people who firmly believe they will die in prison, he has resigned himself to the world as he sees it. He has mastered prison life and gets along well there. He has friends in prison, and the prison world is his entire world for the most part. He has mastered relationships with the outside world because they are so structured and limited - emails, letters, once in a while a visit. He works on himself and with others and has a pretty decent understanding of his crime and the underlying motivators for it.

Yes, like most long term sentenced prisoners, there is the fantasy about getting out. But the reality of it is something they truly entertain or feel. A guy who goes away at 22 has no idea what it is to be outside as a 40 year old. Holding down a job in prison is very different from finding and holding down a job in the outside world. One's house in prison is very different from finding a place to live in the outside world. Hell, when Shane went away, MP3s were just catching on and Apple was primarily an iPod company. Cell phones were flip phones and pagers were just dying out.

Just as society has changed and matured, the maturation of a person in prison is prison maturation - it is a hard translation to the outside world that takes a lot of time and effort. Without a lot of preparation and willingness to learn and adapt, success is rarely possible. Mastery of the prison world does not translate to mastery of the outside world. Starting over in the outside world is difficult under the most ideal situation. You are both starting over from prison.

I, too, have a brother who has served time. Altogether, he’s probably done as much time as your brother, but mine did it on the installment plan. I am no contact with him as he is a sociopath. One of the things to remember is that almost everybody who goes to prison can be or has been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. APD is much broader in definition than psychopath or sociopath, but the prison population does have a fair percentage of those people in their ranks. Further, they tend to be fairly successful at prison and at charming the parole board.

Like most serious sociopaths, my brother showed signs early. Today, he’s probably be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder by the time he was 8 and getting himself brought home by the police or expelled for almost killing a kid on the playground. His behavior and thinking went unchecked and untreated. The result? A sociopath.

This differs from Shane, the kid doing LWOP. Shane, as a child, was a pretty sensitive kid. I can remember him helping others with no expectations of getting something in return. I can remember him protecting his younger sister. I can remember him at 13 treating a kid for a scraped knee. I also remember him at the casket of that same little sister, and the wail of pain he made when we told him his father was dead and he couldn’t leave his room until they had removed the body. In other words, I remember the kid as a kid of compassion. I don’t have the same sorts of memories of my brother.

So, we have 2 completely different types of people who’ve been in prison. One is a murderer, but like the Class of ‘72, I’d wager money that he would never murder again. Parole violation so he could go back to prison where he has friends and a life? Sure. The other cares only about himself, does the minimum necessary to get what he wants, lashes out at others when he doesn’t get his way, and has been busted for DUI in at least 4 states and is on his DUI 5 (yes, addiction does play a role in who he is, but he was offending fairly viciously long before he took his first drink or smoked his first joint - his drugs of choice along with cocaine).

Look, I don’t know whether your brother is a psychopath or not, but it is clear that he hurt you. That really sucks. If you’re like me and thought that the relationship you had in prison would continue on the outside even though he’d never had that sort of relationship with you before, then it really sucks because yeah, he played you. During my brother's first major prison stint, we exchanged letters. I’d never had a letter in my life from him. He gave me advice. I’d never had advice or any sort of help from him despite him being older. It was like finally, I might have an older brother. Of course, this was all a fantasy in my head - he was creating a portrait of universal family support for the parole board, and it didn’t matter if he hurt me in the process or not.

If, however, you remember a brother who was largely a good guy before prison, then there may very well be change, once he has a better handle on the outside world. If you became his main anchor to the outside world and with the outside world and then got sick - wow! Talk about a threat to his ability and desire to survive on the outside.

No matter - he has a bunch to make up to you should he try to get back into your life. But, before you go diagnosing him as a psychopath, do yourself a favor and look at him as a little kid. Most of the more egregious psychopaths, the ones higher up on the Hare PCL, had indicators that they would develop into psychopaths long before prison entered into it.

I hope for your sake that he is just taking some time to come to terms with the outside world and his role in it. I hope that he is able to apologize to you and actually take affirmative steps towards repairing the damage he caused.

Above all, I hope you are doing well. I did 6 days in the ICU in 2015, and 5 weeks in the hospital before getting sent to rehab and then home. I understand how difficult that time is and how much time and effort it takes to recover not just physically but emotionally from such trauma. I hope your support system is better than mine and you are much further along in the process.

Still sucks to have a brother who's a louse.

Keep up the good work with LWOP.
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