Thursday, July 17, 2003

Kyle's dad again today. It's my wife's birthday, and she's taking a welcome break from Kyle, and trying to put the worry behind her for a single day.

Kyle is still at his grandparents house, spending most of his time sleeping. He is obviously in his "down" or depressed phase. He'll spend his time there in that phase, he won't hit a manic phase again until he gets somewhere else. That being said, he can't stay there forever. The way I see it, we have a couple of options:

1. We bring him back to live with us, so we can care for him, make sure he takes his meds, and try and motivate him to do something with his life.
2. We leave him at his grandparents, but that's only temporary. He'll eventually hit a manic phase, and they'll have no idea how to handle him (of course, neither will we...)
3. We dump him on the streets, take him to a mission, or similar. Best case: He'd be in jail within 2 weeks. Worst case: He'd be dead within a month.
4. We go to court and have him committed and institutionalized. This is a last resort. If his meds don't even him out, and we can't handle him for a second more, we may consider this.

Now all of this talk makes Kyle look like a monster, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Of all our kids, my quality time with Kyle is more enjoyable than with any of the others. I don't know why, but when it's Kyle and myself one on one fishing, biking, or anything else, he's the greatest companion a father could ever have.

He's thoughtful, gentle, and loving. He hugs everyone, and you can feel the love in every one of his hugs. He's extremely thoughtful, and will do anything to help you when he's not at one of his "poles". His siblings miss him, and want him back home. His mother and I miss him, and would enjoy having him back home, if we could avoid the problems.

Even in his manic phases, he's lovable. He dances, sings, and entertains us all. He pulled some stunts at school that had the whole school buzzing - he ran full speed through the cafeteria, yelling, and did a swan dive through the tray return window, sliding face first into the dishwasher at the other end. He emerged, soaking wet, to a 1000 person standing ovation. Even the teachers couldn't help themselves from laughing. He streaked a graduation ceremony, fortunately not too many people learned his identity in that incident. He has performed with high quality regional theater groups and musical groups. He is loaded with talent and energy. He was a letterman in track and cross country, and a hard working member of the wrestling team.

Kyle is a deeply religious person, and for most of his life was able to channel his excess mania into religious directions, and use that to avoid drugs and other temptations. He wants to be a pastor or a lay pastor, and work with youth. But recently, he's slipped into drugs and a bad crowd. If not for the drugs, I could handle most of his swings. JPUSA (Jesus People USA) sponsor Cornerstone Festival, and are looking for devoted people for street mission work in Chicago. He would be great at this, if he could channel his manic energy into something positive. And that's the type of atmosphere he could do that. He would shine at this. But we'll have to get past his court date, see what comes from that, and work out getting him enough spending money for a year away if he decides to go that route - if they'll have him.

Since this blog is getting more readers, I don't want people to think he's a monster. He's a loving, giving, talented young man. He just has this incredible burden to bear through life, and I pray he can find a way to live a full and enjoyable life given his condition. I know he can, but he needs ALL of our prayers...

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