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by smallwolf
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Topic: My younger brother has gone to jail, and I'm struggling to hold it together

  1. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline,
    Thanks for the idea of sending magazines . He was sent a picture of one of his cars he restored.
    Thanks for sharing some of your experiences with PTSD and ways of coping with it… lifestyle changes and how you manage it and your commitment to it. It must be hard if you still work in the environment it happened. I glad you have got to the point it doesn’t control you or affect you as often but I have seen how debilitating also from a friend who is an ex detective
    I know these last 2 years have seared in our minds a series of experiences we would rather have been with out and are sometimes triggered by watching a police show or driving past a police station or law court or people talk of criminals prison (we have never been able to visit the prison due to COVID and he never replies when we asked ). Nothing like your PTSD or my sons PTSD I am sure , but I understand the concept of triggers, causes and emotions. Opening my door when I was on my own to police wanting to search his room was something only seen in the movies !! Something only shared with a selected few people. I have seen someone to deal with the impact of those and other memories and their triggers and doing well. I too find exercise, food, diet, hobbies, music and sleep helpful.
    My son let his PTSD control him and he was resentful and every family event was a reminder of what others had that he didn’t, how he was different and what he didn’t like about himself . Easier to blame us . He felt hurt and betrayed by the lack of support by his employers and would rather send them angry messages (lor be angry with us ) made worse by his “self medication “, than search for ways to help himself or continue with help until he was arrested and on bail . I have mentioned other stuff in previous posts and I don’t want to dwell on this, but rather the fresh start we will have the positive changes there has been and how we
    facilitate it. .. continued in next post

    nameless 1

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    27 October 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline

    No CCO but longer parole with treatment for his mental health and continued support for prevention of drug use as set by the court, and regular testing. Psychologists , like for you, didn’t seem to help before but only reminded him of past events and talking only brought them back to relive. Was that the same for you? He did like the forensic psychologist he spoke to in prison. It will interesting, now he is clearer and sees the need to improving himself.
    I do worry that he might not have thought about some things for a while that might trigger a reaction, so it is good to hear you get them talking about future plans and communicating. I heard from one mum that her son said he hears many prisoners crying at night.
    Do they have regular prison officers that they get to know or do the prison officers move around different areas. Do you some much time talking and are they happy to talk about their lives? I hope that he has spoken about what has gone on before prison, and had a chance to see how he can change his reactions to it.
    More calls are helpful in us reconnecting. At the moment he is asking for recipes and describes his work and the things he does and other day to day stuff he didn’t talk about before . I still take care what to ask and tell him and hope he asks more when he is ready so he can ease back into the outside world. Overall he is sounding positive and keen to know when parole is.

    Thanks again for writing.
    Nameless 1

  3. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    391 posts
    28 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Heya!! That's good news about parole....hopefully it comes through sooner rather than later.

    To be honest I don't ask much at all about their personal lives. It's more observational stuff I/we do....can see if their on the phone alot, can see if they get regular visits etc.

    They don't typically share information about their personal lives with officers. It is frowned upon by other prisoners to see an inmate talking to an officer on a personal level.

    For the most part they'll come to me if they're having an issue....such as DHS visits, issues with phone numbers etc.

    A good officer knows their case load prisoners.....they know their court dates, know their release date, know their temperament and how to approach them on certain subjects etc

    Jails like to keep regular staff in units, so yes is the answer to that question. Prisoners get to know staff very well....they learn our routine...when we're on, what weekend we're off, who they can approach for help on certain things etc....they're very good at working out which officer does what best.

    It's a hard answer for psychologists, because every individual has a unique experience and response to how they receive treatment. The problem with ptsd is that it is very complex and treatment styles vary considerably as their is no one type of therapy to treat it.

    As ptsd is an form of extreme anxiety most therapies are around treating the physical side of it....hence medications for anxiety, or mindfulness techniques to relieve anxiety and stress....but they don't really address the underlying cause of the ptsd....and personally I feel treatments only look at symptoms....not what caused it.

    Its a very individualised illness ptsd....theirs no one size fits all approach to treatment. Follow the professional practioners advice is all i can say really.

    hope that helps

  4. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    28 October 2021 in reply to Petal22
    Hi Petal22
    Thanks for you encouragement through all this. I have appreciated the support.
    I know anxiety is normal as you said however many of our support people haven’t been around the last month or so and we are missing that. We realise how important they have been to us this last year or so.

    Our counsellor went overseas for month for his mother’s funeral, another friend has family issues needing her to care for a mother going through broken relationship, a Covid scare and a brother who’s ex girlfriend had a baby and now has full custody. The other two also have children with mental health issues that have flared up in Covid and so not so easy to catch up. Of course when we all can, be are supportive of each other.

    However, only these few know about our son being in prison as he didn’t want us to tell anyone. We however needed to tell the right people for our own mental health and guidance.

    Our son had withdrawn from family and friends already and they all presume he is away and just needing his own space.
    We just say the basic “has work, keeps busy, goes to the gym, … he’s an adult now… contacts us when he wants to….lives in the country.. Covid etc Little do they realise….. Not a lie, but still hard knowing I am having to hide the truth. At least my husband and I have each other and can pray.

    Anyway, thanks for listening.
    Nameless1
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    29 October 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline

    Thanks for replying
    It is interesting to hear your side of a day in a prison from a prison officer.

    Yes I understand the need for distance to be kept from both sides. He has only mentioned with no other comments or opinions or details obviously, the very general role of the prison officer or “screws” (I guess that is the prison slang) …in the wake ups, check ins, advice and help giving, help and general banter about the day.

    It took a long time fir him to be able to tell us about the routine of the day and meals and courses and work and processes. I did look up stuff myself but there is not much information understandably. When he seemed in a better place we would listen and ask questions based on what came from the conversation so we learnt a bit more of what the place and rooms and areas were like and about getting hair cut or seeing the optometrist and dentist etc, what he buys etc, what they eat, activities he does. Now he is a lot more relaxed it is easier to talk and he even rings us back again the same day. He has stayed healthy he said, so that is good. Our only experience of prison is from TV shows and I am sure that is not accurate and probably makes you cringe. It’s hard having any in depth conversations.
    Another question: he talks of friends he has made… do they usually want to reconnect after prison and is it recommended? I can see the reason not to of course , but I can also see that when prisoners come out particularly when still on parole they
    might drawn to people find who have gone through the same experience easier than answer the questions of other friends who have no idea of his experience. I presume the parole officer will talk through these issues . There might be friends who once they find out he has been in prison may not want to be around him anymore though I suspect he had pushed a lot of those long term friends away and he has made friends that weren’t a good influence. As he lived a way from home for a year and always went out when he moved back home and was an adult , we didn’t know his friends except one or two. We have told no one where he is.
    Thanks again for insight into the different things I have asked.

    Nameless1

  6. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    391 posts
    29 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Your questions a good one.....and as the saying goes "they come to jail and leave better criminals". Unfortunately they create networks in prison, find more access to drugs and money etc.

    Prisoners will tell him to call such and such when they get out, if they call this guy he'll give them X to make Y....etc.....before you know it re-arrested on trafficking charges, possession etc, and each time the sentencing gets longer and so on.

    If he/ or anyone is serious about changing their life, they need to cut ties with anyone who is not above board.

    Everyday I see them return, same people, same charges, same excuses....the revolving doors or prisons.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    29 October 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline

    I agree he needs a total separation. My biggest fear is reconnecting with those above board, not because he will want to , as I believe he really wants a fresh start , but because of pressure by others and because can’t fit back in to a new life or can’t get work to occupy him. That’s why the magistrate gave him parole … to help with transition he said I have read stories and articles . I have read from another post about the heartbreak of having family coming our being positive but ten reoffending, returning to prison coming out only to reoffend again. We don’t want that and nor does he . I know he doesn’t want to go through this again
    That is high on my list of how we support him. I too think it is VERY important to cut ties from those not above board … to avoid any temptations.
    I am fearful that though he wants a clean start that when people find he is out someone will contact him… people that he knew before eg and put pressure on him , others who may not be happy with him for getting caught may contact him.
    I hope he can become the young man he was … who hated doing the wrong thing and was a caring and loyal friend and can get the right job where he can help people as he wanted to do.
    . Any other advice you wish to give is welcome.!!
    He finished a programme to find out about help available after release and is trying to do a few more before he is released

    Many thanks

    Nameless 1

  8. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1540 posts
    29 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless1,

    I understand it would be difficult not to have your support network and I also understand how it feels knowing you are telling a lie to people in regards to your son.

    But you have told the people you felt that needed to know for you own mental health and guidance and that’s ok… not every one needs to know as per the wishes of your son which you have respected.

    I hope when your son is released he will want to live a positive way forward, he is on parole so any offence will land him back in jail which I’m sure he is well aware of and doesn’t want this to happen.

    I guess it can be hard on the outside for prisoners when they are released because they have all of those influences around them again but if he can keep clean he has more of a chance to keep a straight head so he won’t re offended.

    I hope your son has a renewed mindset and that he wants to live a clean life but that’s totally up to your son.

    I understand that his mental health may have him wanting to self medicate so he can have some relief but I hope that he can find relief in new positive ways…..

    Yes yourself and your husband can always pray 🙏

    I wish you and your family the very best for a positive future together ❤️

    I’m always here to chat to you

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    391 posts
    3 November 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Have personal visits started at the jail housing him yet? It might be nice for him to see and hug his mum.

    Do you transfer money into his prison account? If you can afford it I'm sure he'd appreciate it....maybe tell him you'll give him some money for special spends to buy some protein to help with his training....or to buy headphones or something.....little things like that make such a difference for them.

    Maybe remind him you'll be there to pick him up on his release day etc....little things that might remove some stress etc

    I hope you are well

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    5 November 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal 22 and borderline

    My son rang to let us know that he received a letter saying the parole application has progressed and various reports are being considered. How long depends on how busy the board are and if they need more information. So it is progressing at least.
    Conversation otherwise stayed around his work and daily routine and finding out what my husband and I had been doing . We are happy to be finally talking more no matter the topic but he was excited about his work so happy to listen and encourage .
    He has said he wants to prove to everyone he can make a change. He had told us not to tell friends and family where he was, as he wants to explain himself. Having stopped attending family events and not being around and struggling with his issues our explanations seemed to satisfy inquiries or were to polite to comment or ask more. That discussion is still high on the list of things I worry about… how the family will react to him a d to us for not discussing it with them but that is up to him to manage his way. They are all pretty forgiving and accepting fortunately.

    Thanks for ongoing support

    Nameless1

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    6 November 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline

    Thanks for the replies .

    Sadly no visits yet. He rings a lot and chats to both myself and his dad.

    We have sent the maximum amount of money we can every month and he has bought things and done special orders… watch, shaver, windcheater runners, good. He has a lot of phone money saved up as he didn’t ring often before but we help sending money for that.
    what happens if family don’t support them with extra money?
    Is there anyway division between prisoners over that?

    We sent undies, socks, and tshirts when we were allowed then that stopped and then wasn’t encouraged unless really necessary.

    Yes we do need to let him know we are happy to pick him up if he would like to be picked up (or they do provide transport If he prefers ).

    I mentioned in another post about a gone. He is about to fill out his application to call in his warrant. He tried to before but it was too soon. We know his fine is now just past the date due on his final demand so should be at the warrant stage by now surely but have received no further mail. We haven’t had anyone coming here demanding payment either thankfully!!! We did ring Fines Vic time served programme as you suggested and got further advice and information which was helpful.

    I hope your days haven’t been too stressful with COVID lock-ins like at some prisons .
    Nameless 1


  12. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1540 posts
    7 November 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless1,

    Thats great news that your sons parole application has progressed.

    I think it’s great that your son is sounding excited about his work.

    I understand that you’re son wants to explain to people himself and I think that’s understandable I hope when he does open up to people they can react to him with an open positive mind.

    Your son sounds like he has a stronger mindset which is really positive ……

    I wish you all the very best

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    8 November 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal22

    Thanks for the reply
    He said he feels a bit more mature as he is one of the youngest he said so has had to connect with people a bit older than himself, and has had to change the way he thinks about doing things.

    Now lockdown has ended the protective bubble around myself and my husband is going. More questions and queries about our son and some excuses we can’t use any more. More news about other friends sons and getting married and their new jobs snd successes. It was a bit hard to hear about these things yesterday and felt a bit sad. I thought about opportunities he is missing out on
    Bit…Actually
    I love the work our son is doing and I am pleased it allows him to develop a skill had done little bit before.. I am really proud of what he has learnt through it as well. He spent quite a a while telling us all that was involved .

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    391 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Heya, no they can only earn money working in the prison industries, its about $27-$35 a week.

    They are not technically allowed to share or divide their canteen, but it is not something that is enforced within the prison.

    But $140 extra plus his prison wage is plenty for them to live on. They're supplied 3 meals a day regardless.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline

    Thanks for the info .
    Are you able to say how much notice a prisoner gets about when they will be on parole. The parole officer who interviewed us about accomodation said between 1 week and up to a months notice. Things are progressing he was told but depended on how many before him and if they require extra information . My husband and I want to visit family interstate before he comes home m, that I haven’t seen in 2 years. My mum passed away and we couldn’t go even when she was sick or for the funeral due to lockdown which was hard …but then she died at the time of our son’s arrest snd going into remand so it would have been hard explaining why we couldn’t go. !!!
    Thanks for your help again

    Nsmekess1

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    21 November 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline.
    Parole granted!! Home soon.
    Next part of the journey begins!!
    He rang and talked about how he was feeling and some plans and wanted us to tell family so they had time to process it. That made a few things easier. Timing will be interesting as a sister from interstate had organised to stay for a few days shortly after he gets home and we were having his brother and sister and nephew over as well.

    we had mentioned this to him and he sounded okay. I think he has made some gifts for us all .,, he seemed proud of. .. very excited to see them

    A few outstanding things to deal with He hasn’t been able to call in his fine as vic roads dragged out the process so much it hadn’t reached warrant stage yet like it was meant to and he spoke to ATC and was waiting to hear. Not sure if it still can be done on parole .

    I haven’t heard conditions of parole yet but I presume he will know by know and have a letter about that.

    We have a bit of a drive home after we pick him up so not sure what to expect . quietness, talking or questions.
    Into the unknown!!
    Nameless 1

  17. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1540 posts
    22 November 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless1,

    Thats fantastic! Enjoy your time with your son….

    I really hope that your family can be positive towards your son and let the past stay in the past……. He’s done his time.

    All the best for yourself and your husband you are both great supportive parents.

    Im always here if you ever to chat.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    22 November 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal22,

    I will still be checking in very regularly . He is still serving a sentence and has requirements to fulfil hopefully willingly and productively.
    The family is very supportive as are the few friends he asked me to contact. His brother offered to come over and help
    sort out car parts and our garage that had been left in a mess when our son was arrested. He wanted room for his gym equipment as he has been going to the gym everyday.

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    30 November 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline and everyone

    Well he is home!! On parole till next year.

    Newroutines now. Twice a week to the parole officer, and to urine tests.
    Talk has been filled with stories. Probably only some of the bad, more in the early stages after his arrest, and some good thing he did and made and learnt, and stories of prisoners and “screws”, food etc.

    He wasn’t sick once, and learnt how to adapt his food with canteen food.
    He has out on weight and muscle . That helped he said to look less vulnerable and frail. He was very thin going in. Also in the different accomodation it allowed him to cook with a group with a few experienced cooks so has been cooking many of our meals… exceptional !! …and or cleaning up . Likes it neat… good improvements!! He used his time wisely and learnt many new skills… however
    long evenings a meant he Watched lots of TV bit that seemed to include lots of documentaries that was good.

    He even saw how they made homemade yoghurt … not allowed apparently. Learnt some patience and understanding and the importance of respect and the need for it and benefits. He has heard stories of what happens when anger gets our of control and you kill or hurt someone.

    Many people, many different walks of life and ages and nationalities. How to get on. Stuff was left to him as people moved on and he left stuff to others before he left.

    Lots of hugs to us and grateful for the money we sent and emails even though he didn’t say at the time.
    Buying protein shakes and magazines and extra things was important as you said.
    He kept busy but prison was boring and wouldn’t want to go back… I’m very thankful for that!!
    He seems to have a very good mindset. He is punctual to meetings.
    Meeting family was hard and his weekend home was the same as a return visit from
    his sister who had flown down who we hadn’t seen for a long time. He didn’t speak to any of them… too much to soon and we didn’t push and he apologised and explained to us, though he did give his sister a brief hug when she thanked him for an amazing gift he and made .

    He feels different and found it weird being home, but each day gets easier. He has his new skills and valuable experiences in life..He has learnt resilience and learnt how to survive in a difficult situation.

    I will never know all he went through or his ongoing thoughts ..or see into the future , but for now he is off to a good start, staying positive,rebuilding broken relationships.

    Many thanks.

    Nameless1

  20. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    12 December 2021 in reply to Evie15

    Hi Evie15

    just wondering how you have been going? I hope you can update us as I think of everyone and worry and hope all is ok

    Nameless1 1

    us

  21. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    12 December 2021 in reply to Leth

    Hi Leth

    nust wondering how all is goi f with your brother and yourself?
    just reading back over the thread.

    I am grateful to Borderline too deo his comments and advice especially as my son is now out on parole ans we are hearing the stories about prison life… good and bad and funny and sad .
    hioe to hear back soon

    Nameless1

  22. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    391 posts
    12 December 2021 in reply to Nameless1
    I truly hope he's learnt a life lesson by coming here, its not a place to waste your life away.
    1 person found this helpful
  23. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    12 December 2021 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hi Borderline.
    He said he was told by those who had been in and out, the regrets of wasting their lives and was told to change his life so he doesn’t come back. …Men in their fifties who had been in and out all their lives. One man in his 70’s in for life.

    He saw what anger can do and lead to.

    He told us similar things to what you said.

    He felt the difference being away from what led him there and the hold it had on him and over him.
    He sees what he gave up and regrets it.
    He is showing independence, better problem solving, team work, self discipline and order and respect.
    It’s sad it took him going to prison to learn it, but know he uses this for his advantage.

    As one who was always busy, he experienced the boredom, which is why liked his job as it meant he could keep as busy as he wanted.
    We will never know all that went through, the untold stories, his experiences etc as he dealt with the last few years.

    He has learnt some important lessons and I hope he remembers them and that what he says and tells us matches up with his actions in the future…
    and now it’s up to him with our support.
    He is now started reconnecting with siblings, and a young nephew. Not sure about friends now he has a phone,( which he didn’t miss), but
    he doesn’t want to go out anywhere yet, not even in his car.

    One thing though, He loved his work there so I hope he finds work soon that he loves just as much.
    We listen, we talk, we watch, we encourage, we support.at
    Littel steps every day.

    thanks again for helping me through this far .
    I will keep checking g in to encourage others and to get support as I need it

    Nameless1

  24. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    22 December 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi all,

    Thinking of everyone in their different situations and send good wishes and and blessings for the week ahead.
    These times can trigger reactions and reactions from everyone including ourselves . I know I do that and my Counsellor has worked in that and I’m trying to stay positive so that I am not the one to spoil the day by anticipating the worst in others from past years, and then those things don’t happen because the people have matured and learnt and understand . . ..I don’t want it to be that they have changed but I am the one who isn’t moving forward.
    Keeping things simple and easy and relaxing. Changing things to be stress free and flexible.
    The year has been demanding and I am tired. Navigating the new path is full of lots of positives but still exhausting. Focusing on the message of the season .. love joy and peace … and healing . Thanks for the support from everyone
    Nameless 1
    Lokk forward to hearing from you all.

  25. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1540 posts
    23 December 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless 1,

    Thank you, I wish you all the very best for this week 😊

    I understand, just remember we can’t control what is happening around us but we can always control our reactions towards it. ❤️🙏

    I really hope that things are going well with your son, it must be nice to have him home for Christmas.

    If things get tough between relationships I always tend to try to choose understanding……. every one is on different levels and you can only do your best for yourself and your family.

    Have a wonderful Christmas 🤶🏻 🎄

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    2 January 2022 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal22 and all
    After a few very anxious weeks leading up to Christmas Day, Christmas day went well thankfully for us all and things were calm and peaceful for the first time for a few years . He won’t talk about his Christmas in prison last year. Although inwardly nervous , he outwardly made an effort and seemed to enjoy the family time … only 8 of us, and it was close family. His young nephew was a real ice breaker!! Since coming home, making food is his safe place, learnt from the cottages he lived in for 4 months, so he did most of the cooking.
    As the day progressed I relaxed more but it was still hard to completely relax wondering how he would be the next day. Again, no obvious outward signs, apart from being pretty tired as it has been fairly emotionally draining readjusting. More challenges still to come . He has started projects to do with his cars he was doing up so has plenty to do and keep busy rather than sit around too much.
    We just take one day at a time as he reconnects with family. He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to rush out seeing people, bit I know he has been checking up on Instagram and Facebook on what people are up to. He is focussing on getting into his own new new routine after 18 months of fitting into the prison’s routine. He has learnt many new disciplines he is sticking to though. He doesn’t share any of his deeper thoughts and feelings really so it is hard to really gauge how he is feeling. I’m not sure how much I should ask . He sees the parole officer but don’t ever push for him to tell us anything unless he wants to but I think he has goals for each week and things to achieve. Talks about the safe topics mainly, but happy he comes to talk about anything really and joins in when family is over. That is a huge step on its own!!

    Thinking of you all , all the time and look forward to hearing from from you

  27. Evie15
    Evie15 avatar
    6 posts
    5 January 2022 in reply to Nameless1

    Hello Nameless1,

    Wow!!! I’m so happy for you and your family. Such great news to hear about your son.

    My family and I were luckily able to visit him the week before Christmas and it was so nice. The guards allowed for us to see him for almost two hours which we were so so grateful for. My Mum and I held his hand for the whole visit (we couldn’t believe how big his hands were and how much taller he had grown in the last six months!) The first Christmas without my little brother was tough. He called us three times that day, and I could tell he was feeling really down. His girlfriend told us he started to break down crying when he was on the phone to her as the announcement for their 3pm lockdown was announced over the PA. It broke my heart hearing that.

    I’m so glad to hear that your son is doing well out of prison. It gives me hope that my brother will do the same! Your son’s experiences sounds very similar to my brother’s. I remember him saying that he knew a young guy in his “pod”…so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was your son? The older men also look out for my brother because they know he is the youngest of all of them. And he has also put on some healthy weight, which we are also pleased about because he was also very skinny and underweight. Mum and Dad have also been sending him singlets, shirts, sock and undies…he really appreciates it and looks forward to receiving his gifts.

    I look forward to hearing his voice and talking to him. I spoke to him yesterday and I couldn’t believe how mature he sounded and how excited he was to talk to me. Visitations have been cancelled again because of the number of cases in Victoria so i’m not sure how long it will be until we get to visit him…fingers crossed that it won’t be for too long!!

    Thank you so much for checking up on me Nameless1. Especially around this time of year. I really appreciate it 💛

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays. Sending you and your family love and light.

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    Petal22 avatar
    1540 posts
    6 January 2022 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless1,

    Thats great Christmas Day went well for you all!

    Im glad your son also enjoyed his Christmas with family.

    Its also great that he’s taken up cooking…he must enjoy it.

    I’m so glad that you’re son is doing well and that you are all back together 😊

    It sounds like your son has had some personal growth while he was in prison.

    Keep enjoying your time together I’m sure there will be good times to come 😊

  29. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    145 posts
    6 January 2022 in reply to Evie15

    Hi Evie15

    Lovely to hear from you !!
    Last we heard from you, you were waiting for the sentencing which was to be in another 3 weeks
    What was his sentence in the end?
    I’m so glad you got to visit him.
    We never got to have even one visit in person at all in the 15 months due to Covid and being in a regional prison .
    One things my son wishes now is that he was more in contact with people and in letting people know where he was. However at the time he was focussed on being okay and surviving there. It’s not always easy but it certainly matured him and you can aliready hear it in your brother . As he settles into a routine he your brother will

    become more aware of other peoples lives and crimes and cultures and the need to look out for each other. Borderlines information and advice was spot on.
    Hearing each other’s stories as they got to know one another, made him think and
    realise a lot of things. They have a lot of time to think .. too much if they don’t stay as busy as possible.

    A huge change was not having a phone and social media

    Had you visited the prison before?
    We hadn’t till we picked our son up. I had googled the prison so I could see what it was like and know the areas he talked about.
    He was very glad he did a skill and worked. He said last night it was like therapy. Gym too. He put on weight with regular meals and buying from the canteen … so the money is important. Then in the cottages the working in groups as borderline said was really good for him … structure and routine in the house which he has stuck too.. a positive thing. If he shows respect to the older guys and is polite to everyone, careful what is said, does what he is told by the prison guards and goes out of his way to help someone out , then life will be better. If you stayed out of trouble with the officers you get more freedoms gradually, I guess like earning rewards

    My son did things like helped out people who didn’t have good English, or helped cook in the open areas, mend things in the art room, and you always passed on things to other prisoners to use especially when you left.
    Working gave him a place to go and some things to plan . H

    Je bought paddle pop sticks and made things.
    I am not surprised there is lockdown again. Sometimes within the prison there was lockdown fir a few days which was hard. When he got to the the cottages at least they still has the whole house and could see three other people, not just the cells .
    Write soon

    Nameles1

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