Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Jon back. Sorry, this isn't directly a post about Kyle.

In my last post, I mentioned getting off Zoloft. I said there were withdrawal symptoms, although I didn't really feel them. That was only part of the story.

I lost my temper the other night. It wasn't something that was a huge deal, but I screamed like a madman, ranted, raved - I completely lost it. My anger was uncontrollable. I could have easily posed a physical danger to Karen, or Kyle, or one of the other kids. At the time I felt nothing was wrong, that it was perfectly normal behavior. In fact, it's the first time in my life I can say I really had no control over my behavior. It just happened, and was the most normal and natural thing at the time.

I have always considered people who claim they had no control over an action either liars, or too weak to really try. This opened my eyes to the fact that this could have happened to me. Had I been angry enough to commit homicide, it would have seemed a perfectly natural thing to do. In my case, it was a minor thing that set me off, but it was a MAJOR blow up.

Folks, this is some serious stuff. It's "only" an antidepressant, and it's a very mild dose. Yet the ramifications of not taking it were HUGE.

I am going to get back on it, and stay on it for probably at least a year. When I get off it will be with a doctor's supervision. Frankly, I am a more pleasant person to be around when I'm on the drug, and I want my family to be happy. But it does make me uneasy. Of course once I'm on it again I'll think it's wonderful...

Sorry about the detour. Next post will be about Kyle.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Jon writing today.

As many of you know, I started on a very light dose (50 mg) of Zoloft a couple of months ago. This was brought on by depression surrounding trying to "handle" Kyle, and also for anger issues in trying to deal with him. About a week and a half ago, I realized most of my meds were gone. A month's worth had disappeared. Kyle claims he doesn't know what happened to it, but it's a short list of who could or would have taken it. Rather than go back to the doc, the pharmacist, and the insurance company and try to explain what happened, I decided to just go off of them for a month.

While I don't physically feel withdrawal symptoms, they're there. I'm demanding, confrontational, mean, and physical. I have a shorter fuse than I've ever had. The family is keeping their distance, and I don't blame them. Yet, I don't feel my frame of mind and the anger surrounding situations that have arisen is wrong. It's just the way it is. Has anyone ever experienced this?

We started calling Kyle our ghost. He has a way of appearing and disappearing that is spooky. We don't hear him come or go, he's just there or gone. It's like he goes through walls. He still meets his friends somewhere besides our driveway, they pick him up a block or more away. I think this is bizarre, but Karen says it's because he thinks we'll try and keep him home. So, he fades away, slinks up the street, and is gone. He often isn't home when we get up in the morning, even though he may have been there when we went to bed. I guess as long as he's not a major distraction it's probably better to have him around our house than elsewhere. But it does make me uncomfortable sometimes.

Now the good stuff. As we mentioned earlier, Kyle works in a sandwich shop. He is taking his job seriously, and we're proud of him. He's working 40 + hours per week, and getting to work on time every day. He's just doing great. Saturday, he brought me home a sandwich. No reason, he just decided to bring Dad a sandwich. It wasn't that I was hungry, but he was thinking about me. I was so happy. Isn't it funny how something that seemingly minor can bring so much happiness? I thanked him 3 or 4 times. That's Kyle. His bad side is terrible, but his good side is so incredibly sweet and thoughtful you can't help but love him.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Karen back again. I wrote that I hadn't blogged because I have been busy but that wasn't entirely true. I have been so disappointed in Kyle, myself, and life in general. I felt that this blog which was suppose to help support people really wasn't helping at all. As a parent you try to help your children learn to solve their problems and assets. And with Kyle I felt that I had failed. I felt that nothing that I was doing was working. Then a man came to check out at my work the other day. He started talking about his daughter.

I gotta go. I will write about his daughter tomorrow

Friday, September 26, 2003

Karen back today, finally. I am sorry I haven't blogged. I have really been expecting the best and ignoring the worst in Kyle and concentrating on our other children. I have been working 43 hours between work and church. Plus September is open house month for our schools. So I have been working all day and I am running around at night.

My mom just left with Kyle. She dropped by to bring us some things she had picked up. I asked if she could drive Kyle to work. She is Kyle's biggest fan. I poured her some coffee and noticed that Kyle must have made it because it was very strong. She said that Kyle and her get along great because they both like their coffee strong. Then I showed her our new shower. She noticed some paint on the woodwork and said Kyle would never have gotten paint on the woodwork. He painted the inside and outside of their house.

I found a disturbing note that Kyle had written. It was about spending his entire paycheck and people using him. I questioned him about it and he blew up at me. Then he calmed down and said he wanted to buy a car today because otherwise he will spend his entire check. I told him he should give his money to Grandma to put in the bank. She won't spend it and she won't give in to him spending it either.

He has been working 40 plus hours a week and getting there on time. He has been more manic but seems reasonable. His sisters adore him. We were saying prayers one night. Amy was talking about all the things Kyle had done wrong. Her sister, who is very conservative and follows every rule, said, " I know he has done a lot of bad things but we need to forgive him and give him a chance to start over ......again." Having Kyle has certainly made me more accepting of people. And I think our children are, too. Even our oldest son who has been rather critical of people in the past has mellowed. Kyle has humbled me and at the same time makes me feel very wise. The storms we have weathered together have given me confidence to face about anything.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Jon back again today. Karen is somewhat depressed, especially after today.

Kyle went to the psychiatrist today. Because he's 19, Karen couldn't get any information. But when Kyle showed her the prescription he was given, Karen about fell over: Prozac.

For those who may not know, Prozac is potentially dangerous for many suffering from manic depression or bipolar disorder. It can induce mania. There have been many documented cases of crimes committed by people suffering from bipolar disorder and being prescribed a standard anti-depressant. Ditto suicide. When she found this out, she called back to the office, and was told that if they felt Kyle was bipolar, they wouldn't have prescribed Prozac. They said they felt he had a few minor depression issues.

Now, I hope nobody out there takes this the wrong way. But, there's a couple of potential scenarios playing out here, and none of them are pleasant. If today's diagnosis is correct, then we are, in effect, being told that he's been a screw-up for pretty much all his life. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that. If their diagnosis is incorrect, the medication could send him on another crime spree, or worse, cause him to try to harm himself.

They based their diagnosis on questionairres administered by counselors over the last few counselor visits, and on a 15 minute appointment today. They don't know that he has NEVER, even as a child, had regular sleep patterns. He would get up and spend the night playing as a child - he seemed to love having the house to himself. They don't know the manic and crazy episodes we witness all the time. They don't see the fits of anger that leave walls in our home punched in and doors broken. They don't see the drug use that he can't seem to avoid.

I'm trying to balance these emotions in my own mind. I don't wish him to be bipolar, but I think there has to be a reason for his behavior since he was a baby. If this isn't it, then what is it?

We sat down with him again tonight. We told him he's going to have to really watch himself for signs his mania is getting out of control once he starts on the Prozac. He is willing to try it, feeling the Zyprexa wasn't right for him. He did hate taking the Zyprexa. We also gave him 2 days to tell us how he plans to turn things around, so he can continue to live with us. I really don't want him gone, I love him dearly. The house is truly a happy place when Kyle is around and happy. And I don't want him gone when the Prozac starts to kick in. But I won't tolerate drug use or disrespect of my family or house.

Nobody said this parenting stuff would be easy...

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Jon back again tonight.

Well, it looks like Kyle's going to have to leave again. When he asked to come back last week, he promised a lot of things. Meds every day, curfew, church each week, no drugs, and so forth. He has followed through on none of it.

He got paid Friday, almost $400. He has spent it all. On payday, he was very manic, and really angry he couldn't withdraw more than $100 from his just-deposited check. He refused to go to church with me Saturday night, and also with the rest of the family Sunday morning. Tonight he pulled up with some kids in a Lexus, he ran into his bedroom, rummaged around a second, and ran back out. Karen and I exchanged looks, and went down into his room. There we found 2 empty plastic bags sitting in plain sight on his dresser, both obviously having recently held pot by the smell, and a dinner plate with enough remaining to know he cleaned a bag on it. Also, he has not been sleeping this week, letting us know he's not taking his meds, or IS taking his meds but counteracting them with something like meth. One way or the other, he has not changed.

Karen wants to keep him around until after his psychiatrist appointment on Tuesday. It took months to get into this psychiatrist, and it's one of the things she's been clinging to. That's the way she's been this year, thinking the next upcoming major event will be the one that turns the tide. Instead, it always makes it worse. Graduation, first arrest, second arrest, jail, release from jail, trial, getting kicked out of the house, coming back into the house, and now, psychiatrist appointment. She's been disappointed so many times, and I know this will be the same. I'm OK with keeping him around until his appointment Tuesday, but I think we should tell him now so he can make some plans.

Damn. I really thought he was serious this time.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Jon here, for a change this isn't a blog about Kyle.

I was going through our statistics for this blog. It lists search strings that bring people to your website or blog. Here are some examples of search engine strings that brought people to our blog:

Yahoo: completely uncontrollable 16 year who is breaking up the family. no hope

You can feel the frustration in this, can't you? And the statement "no hope". That's rather chilling.

Google: disappear manic-depressive move friends

I can relate. This is how I enter search strings. Another frustrated parent, at least in my interpretation.

Google: pill markings identify green dan

I have searched for pill IDs many times after finding meds around the house.

Google: Bipolar Wife SO support

Fearing I'm a touch bipolar myself, I wonder if my wife has spent time researching ways to live with me?

Working 2 jobs and raising a large family, I can't promise much time to anyone. But for those people out there in pain, or fear, or anything else we may have experienced ourselves, we are willing to listen. I can't offer much beyond that, as I'm not sure we have handled things well ourselves in the past, and I wouldn't presume to give advice. But if anyone stumbles on this site and needs to vent or know there are people who have been through it themselves, don't hesitate to drop us a line. Also listed to the side are other blogs, and several of those are written by people who have been through more than I can comprehend. Don't hesitate to drop in on their sites, and see if their experiences match yours. They are all wonderful people, who would welcome a message from others.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Jon here again today.

Kyle has been wonderful to have around! He's been friendly, respectful, fun, exactly the kid we knew he could be. He came home from work last night, and actually sat down and talked to us. He told us about his day, and mentioned he was VERY tired in the morning, but then remembered he had started back on his meds. He wasn't complaining, just stating how it was.

I talked to him about the future, and he listened. I told him I would like him to think about starting a business, and we talked about ideas. I told him my job probably wouldn't exist in 5 years, as they're shipping much of my company's IS and programming to our offices in India and the Phillipines. I would like to start a business with him, and once things get going, turn it over and work for him. He seemed impressed I would have this kind of trust in him, and I absolutely do. If I can get him interested in something like this, he will be the best, guaranteed. The business could do nothing but succeed if he sets his sights on success for it.

That's it for today, keep Kyle in your prayers that he has the strength to stay on the right path and make the right decisions.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Kyle's dad here today. Such big news, I hope Karen posts today also.

We had Karen's folks over for a cookout last night in honor of her mom's 83rd birthday. Kyle showed up, and we welcomed him in and asked him to stay for the party. The girls were really enjoying him, and he was playing with them, and we all were enjoying him. We always do. I hugged him a couple of times and told him I was looking forward to the time he would be coming back.

After Karen's folks left, Kyle told us he wanted to talk to us. THAT was a shock - Kyle initiating a discussion. He asked us what he had to do to come home. He said he would do anything, curfew, church every week, take his meds, and while he didn't specifically mention drugs, he said something like "all that other stuff is behind me". I told him he was back - nothing else needed to be proven. It was the greatest thing a father could hear. It brought tears to my eyes.

Things are looking great right about now...

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Kyle's mom here. I feel very good about Kyle today. He showed up Tuesday and I was leaving for work. I stopped by the sandwich shop and asked if he would mow our old lawn. I picked him up an hour later and we spent three hours together working on it. I gave him a little bit of money. I asked if he had any and he said not much. He said he had loaned John a lot of his check. That is the boy he is staying with. I asked how he was feeling without his pills and he defiantly said, "Just Fine!" He worked as hard as ever and got the yard looking good. He is so incredibly strong. He loaded up the truck with ladders and helped me move them. He joked with the girls which I always enjoy.

Today I didn't spend much time with him but he mowed our lawn here. He worked at 4:00. I told him that I couldn't pay him but he said he didn't care. I hugged him. He didn't seem quite as defiant. I am struggling with accepting him for who he is but not tolerating his drug abuse. He is continuing to go to work on time without any help from me.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Kyle's mom here. After I wrote the blog yesterday I felt so sad. l went into Kyle's room looking for clues about him. His clothes were laying on the floor and I held them and smelled them. I prayed for him. I found a list of goals he had made. Quit using marijuana and cigarettes. Join the service. Put money into savings. I wondered if because he couldn't join the service if he wouldn't do anything on the list. It reminded me of when he was in school. If he was getting all perfect grades he would keep trying. But the first bad grade would come and he would completely shut down.

I smiled because he left his work hat on our deck. That was his way of letting me know he would be coming back and in that I was comforted.

I had nightmares all night. I was trying to get Kyle to take his pills. Then I had to keep unpacking boxes. I would go back to our old house and then same boxes that I had unpacked would be waiting again.