Family member going to prison - confused about my emotions
My brother is about to go prison, probably for several years and I am confused about how I am reacting to the news. Although we(the family) found out about it around 10 months ago it's been the elephant in the room and no discussion has taken place about it. The trial was this week- he didn't tell us- and was on the front of the local paper yesterday. I feel like I have spent the day wandering around with a sign saying 'criminal's sister'
As far as I am aware there's no doubt that he did what he's accused of so I'm not here protesting his innocence I just need someone to talk to about my reaction. I guess I just don't know how I'm going to cope without him around as he keeps me sane. Outside work my family are the only people I talk to and my brother is on my wavelength.
There's a practical consideration as I do rely on him to do stuff around the house - He doesn't live with me- Since I was ill 2 years ago there are some things I find difficult to do.
What concerns me is that I'm obsessing on how I'll cope without him and not about what he's going to go through. He's hardly streetwise and he can be very argumentative sometime- I'm terrified that he'll be stabbed and I'll have to bury our parents alone. But again that's all about me and the effect it will have on my life.
So yes... I guess that's my questions- How do I cope practically and emotionally and why is it all about me?
Well, I'm sorry to hear about your brother. It's never a good thing whenever people get sent to that barbaric place we call prison, but I guess that's the punishment and that is what he will endure for whatever crime he committed.
I don't think it's unfair to think of how this impacts you, and it's good that you at least acknowledge you're not thinking about things from his perspective as much as maybe you should. Thing is, your brother leaving has an impact on you and your family. He didn't take your family into consideration whenever he did what he did. And now there might be people you know who all want to talk to you about the latest news - that your brother is going to the big-house. I doubt this will tarnish your own reputation though - you aren't responsible for what your brother did. In time, new news will come along - your brother's circumstances will become old news.
I don't know how important his being around is, if there are things he does for your parents that will change now that he is gone. I assume he lived with your parents, and you live on your own? But with your health problems, it's not like you can physically help your parents as much as your brother could. He was there with them and that made you feel more secure about your family, it gave you a piece of mind.
I think it's fine to feel these things right now. But at the same time, you are exposing the simple reality of the situation. The fact of the matter is, your brother was the only pawn piece standing between you feeling fine and you worrying about things. Why is that?
You know, I guess we become comfortable with the way things are sometimes, and then when they change we're not prepared for the new norm. But that's life Titan'. You know, you could just as easily get severely injured at work, or in a car accident, and be put on life support. Your parents could end up having to deal with the burden of outliving their children. But that's a could. Your brother could also be changed for the better by prison, and never make the same mistake again if he is eventually released. Life throws us curve-balls sometimes. At least you're not deaf and blind like Helen Keller was - life could always be worse.
I think all you can do is focus on the now, and not worry about what-ifs.
Your brother has his own thing he's going through. When the time is right, maybe you can go and visit him and see how he is doing in prison, if you want. I think you'll be able to relate with your brother a little better over time, but this is ultimately his situation. I know that may not make you stop worrying about if he's doing okay, and it might not make you any less uneasy about how you'll manage with other things. But you can only focus on him so much - you have to keep focusing on you and your life.
Sorry if that doesn't really tell you what you were looking for, but I hope my feedback was constructive and useful. I hope you are doing well.
I get what you're saying, in that in some ways its inevitable I am worrying about the impact on my life. after all without him I can't live the way I currently do.. can't bring the shopping in, can't clean the kitchen floor... can't get the washing hung out...After a couple of months without him my house will be a horror story.
The strange thing is that he seems unconcerned about it- I am assuming that it's a front as he's never been a very demonstrably emotional person, and maybe that's impacting on my reaction.
As to why? well I've always been the one in the family with 'issues'. Enough medication and life stability has given me 'some' peace but this is a huge spanner in the works to topple that.