By rachp
1/31/2012 8:55:57 PM
Wishing I could go to a meeting tonight. I can't so I am reaching out here. I have struggled the past week or two. I have a brother who had been in prison for the past 10 years and he was released last week. I have had no contact with him for the time in prison and now that he is out the rest of my family expects everything to go back to normal. I honestly want nothing to do with him. He abused me as a child and I just do not feel safe with him around. I know he can never hurt me physically again, for I will not allow it. But it is still hard.

My family just doesn't get it. They want me to just move on with life and invite him back into my life like everything is ok. I don't want to keep holding on to the hurt and I feel for the most part I have let go. After 10 years of no contact, I don't know how to have a relationship/not sure if I want a relationship but my family doesn't get why I don't. Please tell me I am not crazy for being resistant to sharing my life with my brother.

One of my biggest triggers is family stress which the past week has been filled with it and I have not coped well at all. I just want to run and hide from everything. Yet I still need to go to work (So I can pay bills)!, be present for my little guy I am fostering, and because running does nothing. I get that. So I am focusing just on making it through tonight. One day at a time, one hour, one minute, one feeling at a time.

I can't even imagine spending the last ten years in a physical prison. I relate somewhat for somedays I feel like I am in a prison of addiction, So I am trying to understand and have some empathy, but it's hard....

Anyone have experience with family members being in prison then released and how its been for your family.

So glad I have a safe place to express what is going on.


"I did have a family member in jail who I did not see for over 10 years. Unfortunately he ended up dying there. Very sad story.

Boundaries. Never allow anyone in you family to guilt or push you in their direction. Healing takes time. Forgiveness does not mean that we open ourselves up for trust. Trust takes lots of time.

It is okay for you to not see him until you are ready (if ever). You owe him nothing really. I guess you owe him kindness as all humans deserve kindness.

Just remember what your purpose in not seeing him is. If you are judging him (which doesn't sound like you), that is not cool. But if you need distance to feel safe, that is completely healthy and acceptable.

Keep the strength, and be right with god, and all will be well."
posted at 02:10:12 on February 1, 2012 by Anonymous
"I do not have experience with family members in prison, but I had a brother who also abused me. I'm not going to go into all the details, but just enough to hopefully give you a little insight. He did not have any contact with our family for many years, so I guess in that sense it was kind of like being away in prison. Anyway, very long story, but he got sick to the point of not being able to hold a job and no one in my family would take him in and I could not bear the thought of him living on the street, so I took him in. He lived with me for a little over a year. I woke up during the night one night and he was standing over my bed. Of course, it upset me terribly because I immediately thought back to what he had done to me as a child and assumed he was going to try something. I callled my best friend who came up from TX and she helped me find him a place and move him in less than a week.

Why do I tell you this? To say it isn't worth putting yourself at risk for a lot of reasons. You do not owe him or your family for that matter anything except what the anonymous post says above and that that is extending human kindness.

If you know family stress is a trigger for you, then you know that you must avoid that. You have the rest of your life (or theirs) to work on relationships. Right now, you need to work on you and taking care of yourself and getting yourself well. Whatever is required to do that is where you need to direct your energy.

It's OK to stay away.

Be strong and pray hard. It sounds like you need an extra dose of HF's love right now."
posted at 05:40:44 on February 1, 2012 by want2change
"Your story brings a lot of questions to mind. Does he seem repentant? Was his incarceration because of his abusive behavior to you or others? Does your family know about his abuse of you? Is your family just trying to sweep the problems under the rug and not deal with them? You don’t have to answer any of those questions, they just come to mind.

I agree with everything anon and want2change said. We are commanded to forgive, and at some point you will need to do that for you to progress in your healing. You never, ever have to trust him again. That is coming from someone who has hurt others a lot. If I don’t trust myself, why should it be required of those I have hurt? You need to feel safe. I had to formally break off my relationship with my dad before I really started to heal from our previous relationship. I didn’t do it for very long, but it somehow made me feel that I had control of it now. “I broke it off once; I can do it again if I feel it is needed.” Our relationship is good now, but it has been 12 years and a lot of steps along the way. It was just in the last few years that I went to him and forgave him.

If your family is just ignoring the issues that really ticks me off. My mom is that way. “We are all here together, so everything is fine.” She could ignore an elephant in the middle of the room! Don’t let them push you where you don’t want to go. The Spirit will push you if that is needed. You take your time and follow the Spirit. You need to feel safe.

I wish you healing,
posted at 11:02:23 on February 2, 2012 by justjohn
Thank you    
"Thank you all for your feedback. It gives me much to ponder about over the next while. It reminds me ultimately that I need to do whats best for me and if that means staying from family functions for a bit, then that's what I do and it's okay that I do it. Overtime I think things will be different and I will be able to handle being around my brother. I do love him and I care for him as a person and I want him to have a successful transition back into society and to be able to move forward in life. He has paid his dues and from reports (from my siblings and my ssiter in law) he is a changed person.

I have to remember this is all new, and to expect anxiety over it, but remember I am in control of when and if I am around him."
posted at 21:11:50 on February 3, 2012 by rachp

Add a Comment:

***Anonymous User***     (login above to post UN-anonymously)

"In a decaying environment, the mind is the last redoubt of righteousness, and it must be preserved even amid bombardment by evil stimuli. Christ is competent to see us through, “for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” As promised, He will make either “a way to escape” or a way “to bear it”."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987