Monday, April 25, 2005

My Brother Tommy

Something that has been weighing heavy on my mind is my little brother Tommy.  His last letter from prison is very depressing, not that they have ever been light reading, it is just this last one he seems even more sad.  He has been moved to another prison and is in "Lock Down" because he lost his temper and threatened another inmate.  He claims he is mentally ill and is hearing "voices" and is not getting any help for it.  Now if you know my brother like I know him this is his MO.. attention getting.. poor is responsibility..its not my fault.. what am I going to do..God doesn't love me and why would he bother with me.. same old same old.  Some times I want to roll my eyes at his letters and other times they make me cry.  There is NOTHING I can do for the boy but what I already have been doing.. praying for him.  Last year when he had asked if you could call once a month from prison I agreed. I said ONLY once a month because it is VERY expensive to take his collect calls.. to the tune of $25 for every 15 min. call. (a scam to me)  But he could not follow that and I had to put a block on my phone.  Granted I have not written him like I could but I have a life.  I did go up Sunday at church to have prayer for my brother and ask God to keep working on him and to silence the demonic voices he claims to be hearing.  My church family is aware of what is going on and my pastor even has started writing him.

To bring newbies up to speed.. my brother lived with us for awhile and was doing well, graduated from Job Core, had a good job in security, moved in with a coworker who was very nice and kind of a father figure to him.  But Tommy could just not stay away from drugs.. crack to be exact.  He is a Crack Head.. in the real sense of the word.. he is not just an idiot.  He lost his job and his co-worker at witts end form the lying and stealing kicked him out.  Tommy was in and out of state rehabs and was at a half way house and then eventually homeless.  He moved back up to Wis and got in more trouble there.. robbery and some other charges he had hanging over his head from before he moved down here and then got a prison term.

  Any one else who has a friend or family member who is an addict can understand about how you have to come to a point and cut them off, tough love.. let them get to their lowest before they can find their way back.  Addicts can be very manipulative and love those who are their enablers.  I forgive him for all he has done to our family.. the money is written off.. we know we will never see that again.  But I don't want to fall into a trap again of feeling so sorry for him that I let him back in and he screws us over AGAIN.  And my husband wouldn't let it even get that far but I do love my brother.  Our children do love their Uncle Tommy.  We don't talk down about him to the kids.. we just use him as an example of what not to do.  They write him and make cards for him.  I had to hold in a laugh and tell my one daughter she might want to redo a card she had made.. she had a picture of Tommy in prison strips behind bars on the front of it.

The Lord says we are to forgive but he did not mean we had to let it keep happening to us.  I want to say to him I love you and will let you back into my trust but that trust is so broken only an act of God can repair it.  I want to take my block off my phone so we can talk and he can hear my prayers for him but I know that he will not keep his calls down to the once a mouth.  I should talk to Josh about it and see if he is willing to at least try it and if anything if he starts to call more often we can put the block back on.  He has at least another year in prison, if not two.. I am not sure.  I know there is a scripture about visiting those in prison but since he is in a Wisconsin one it is just not economical for us to go often.  My little sister and Mom go from time to time and that is encouraging to him.

When my brother is NOT on drugs and has his stuff together he is a decent person.  He can be very kind and go that extra mile to help another person.  He loves my children and my sister's children very much and feels ashamed that he is in jail and is not a good example to them.  Tommy can be very loyal to his friends.. when he is not on the drugs.  We grew up in the same household so I can see how he is screwed up and may want to go to the drugs.. but hey there comes a point when you have to grow up and deal with those hurts and find healing and not keep blaming others for your problems.  If you have read my testimony at all you see that if it wasn't for the Lord coming into  my life I may very well of been right where my brother is at today.  My deepest desire for my brother is that he too can come into that relationship with Christ and know his LOVE and find that HEALING and PEACE that only Jesus Christ can give.  With out it I don't think he will ever turn around and sadly will end up in HELL.. an even worst place than he is in now.

So Please friends keep my little brother Tommy in your prayers, for his recovery, for his redemption, for a life change.  And if you do feel lead to write him an encouraging letter, e-mail me for his address.


  1. aww mary, i was hoping that God would have touched tommy by now. have you asked your mom if a church does prison visit there? or if he attends any services in the jail? those are the only things i know that could help in a direct manner. i'll keep him in my prayers as always. sending blessings and love, jess

  2. awwwwwwww IM so sorry to hear this. I know it must weigh heavey on you . This is one of those its got to BE GOD things. That is so hard I know it is.

  3. I will write to him.  I have a friend who was a drug addict as well.  I know, it's rough.  My friend was suffering from these symptoms as well... the hearing of voices and whatnot.  It was terrible.  He's in my prayers always.  "If it's hard for a rigtheous man to be saved, how much  moreso for the sinner and the ungodly."  It doesn't say we can't be saved... it just means it's rough.  It's not easy.  

  4. Crack is horrible.My sister and her family were homeless because of it.Her husband was a crack head and the kids suffered so much for it.Can you imagine living out your car with 3 kids!!? we could not help because they do need to hit rock bottom before they can climb up.Thank God he is off of drugs and they are doing better.
    I hope the house works out.It is a long stressful journey.It does sound pretty good.Good luck!

  5. mary thanks for asking everyone to pray for tommy.  and anyone who wants to write would be wonderful and helpful. I keep telling him to pray and ask for help. and he says he has been doing it.  He is lonely and afraid. he knows he is responsible for what he has done but he is afraid to trust in the lord and let him lead him through it.  I don't know in the new prison if he can see the pastor there or not while in lock down. I am working on getting a paperback bible to him since he is not allowed to have the hard cover we sent him.
    Yes he has had the poor me attitude about things like mary says but  there are times now i think he sees it is up to him to stand on his own two feet and that we aren't going to take care and trust him anymore he knows he has a long way to go before anyone will trust him again
    I love my son very much but i also know that i can't take care of him anymore it is up to him to move ahead and i pray that with the lords help he will leave the devils grip and follow the true path.  all we can do is keep reinforcing that the lord will help him if he asks.
    thanks for your prayers and letting me ramble.  mom

  6. Tommy is poor.....poor in Spirit that he hasn't found and cannot feel Christ's love!  I will be praying that God will throw open the shutters on his dark and clouded mind and reveal Himself to him in a way that he cannot deny!  And I will also hold up you and your family as you deal with the fall-out of his sins and addiction.  God Bless!   -   Barbara

  7. (((Huggs)))  I have 2 brothers-in-law who have been/are? fighting a seemingly endless battle with methamphetamine.  Both have been in trouble with the law (manufacturing, dealing, using) but for some reason they have not been sent to prison.  My husband's mother and father have exhausted all of the money that they should be enjoying in their retirement for lawyers and bail and long distance calls when they were in jail.  It is so frustrating to feel so helpless!  I also have a brother who is an alcoholic (although "functioning"), and have struggled with addiction myself, so I know how difficult it can be to fight these demons.  Only with Jesus!  My prayers for your brother and for your whole family.  IHN, Gwynn