Friday, October 31, 2003

Jon here. Sorry for the lack of updates, but we really don't have much to report.

Kyle hasn't been around. He still gets into the tub of clothes we leave on the deck, but has made no attempt to take the clothes anywhere, or get any more of his stuff. So he's not staying anyplace permanent.

All through his childhood, Kyle collected baseball cards. His first hero was Nolan Ryan, then Frank Thomas. He has literally thousands and thousands of cards, including some valuable cards. We found on his dresser empty frames from a Nolan Ryan card display, and a Frank Thomas card display. He removed the cards. At some point he got in and took some of his valuable cards to sell. They're his to do with as he pleases, but it makes me sad.

He's still around, he was seen by one of our boys sitting in a vehicle in a parking lot yesterday with a couple of other guys. That means he likely is still living his drug lifestyle. His 15 year old brother wanted to get hold of him earlier in the week to show him his newly pierced ears, and get earring advice from Kyle. But he couldn't find him. The siblings in our family are really pretty close, and it hurts them that Kyle has turned his back on them.

I'm feeling a little sadness today - thinking about taking Kyle trick-or-treating with his brother. How proud I was of those boys, remembering how Kyle used to run between houses, and how careful he was to say thank you to everyone. He actually ran back to houses he forgot to thank and thanked them. He was always the most thoughtful child in that way. Now I have to stop, I'm tearing up...

Monday, October 27, 2003

Karen here. I am going to work soon but I just wanted to blog a couple of lines. Kyle wasn't around this weekend. The last day I saw him was Wednesday. We leave a tub of clothes on the deck for him, and he gets into them from time to time. Jon left him some money and a note on Tuesday in his clothes tub. We presume he took it. Then he showed up Wednesday and took a shower. Jon got angry that I let him in, as he took Jon's razor and who knows what else. He pops in and then out. Our youngest girl was upset because he didn't say goodbye to her. My niece is in town and I was hoping he would see her.

Jon fixed the lights in his room, and we're trying to clean it up a bit. Then last night I found on his dresser a piece to the garage door opener from our old house. He evidently went through our drawers, and took the garage door opener. I drove over there and unplugged it. I would rather that he come home and talk to us than sleep over there. The neighbors said that they hadn't seen him and they would watch for him.

It is hard to have him gone and hard when he comes home. He will come home and leave the house a mess. And he has no remorse. Then he disappears again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Jon here.

Sorry we haven't kept this updated as often as I'd like. I'm significantly busier at both jobs I work, and it's really busy at my primary job. And Karen's working more hours also.

Well, Kyle has been gone for over a week. He still hangs around, he still hasn't picked up his tub of clothes on the back deck. I know he comes around, as the clothes in the tub change from one day to the next. We also found a lawn chair pulled off the deck close to the house. I think he hangs around here during the day. He was staying with a friend up the street, but the friend is still in high school, so Kyle needed someplace to go during the day. On Friday, I stopped at his job, and they told me he hadn't been there for several days. They knew he was going through some tough times, and they said to tell him they want him back, and his job was still waiting for him. I thought that was pretty cool. One of the employees said they saw him sleeping in his friend Brian's car, a black Lexus. Remember the black Lexus from a few weeks ago? He's the rich high school kid that sells drugs. I heard tonight that he's been sleeping the last few nights in this car. This has me worried - what is Kyle doing for this kid to be able to live in his Lexus?

He was back 2 days ago, and Karen asked him to cut his Grandma's grass. Karen said he'd come back that same night and we could talk. I knew she had given him the idea he could come back, and I asked what he had said. He said he was done with drugs, but wasn't emphatical about anything. He said he wasn't going back to his job. He wouldn't commit to another job, to helping around the house, to anything. I got upset, and told her he wasn't serious, and she knew it. She told me I didn't know how it felt to be a mother and go through this. We talked it out, and she knows it wouldn't accomplish anything to let him back now, so she told him no, not until he was serious. We haven't seen him since.

We're experiencing record high temps right now. But this is the midwest, and it could conceivably top out at 20 degrees tomorrow. It's not supposed to, but at some point soon will certainly get that cold. He can't be sleeping in a car when it's like that. With no job, he can't afford to live somewhere else. He will soon be either in jail or home. That worries me either way...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Jon writing today.

Kyle came back this morning, he thought everyone was gone. I don't know if he has a key, but he was cold. I showed him where Karen had put his clothes in a box on the deck, brought him a warmer jacket and a stocking hat. I gave him a letter Karen had written, and told him yesterday was the final straw. He needed to make some tough decisions before we would let him back, if ever. He rolled his eyes when I told him he could check himself into the hospital, and it's doubtful he'll do it. But I don't know what he's going to do, or where he'll stay.

A part of me says we're over-reacting. I mean, the only drug he seems to be using is marijuana, and sometimes alcohol, and marijuana seems to me to be somewhat benign. In fact, at times I think they should consider legalizing it. When I was 18 years old, in the mid seventies, I could drink legally in Iowa. Add to that all the other stuff going on in the seventies, and I came through it OK. But the scary part with Kyle is that he seems completely unable to control it. Like yesterday, smoking a joint where his mother could see him, and hiding something when he came back out to the car. I was NEVER that out of control. But he doesn't drive, so he's not really in a position to harm anyone, at least not that I can picture.

So why are we so concerned? He is a bad influence on his brothers and sisters, and he's giving us a bad reputation in our new neighborhood. He spends his entire paycheck within hours of receiving it, and that's not good. He seems to have fallen head over heels into the drug culture, and I'm worried that he may be dealing to support his marijuana habit. He's not dealing big-time as he never has a dime to his name. But selling enough to keep himself in smoke is another possibility. He seems to be hooked on porn, we find traces of it constantly on the computer. But, is this really any different than many other 19 year olds?

Is this really enough to justify checking him into a hospital for treatment? I've known people who did that, and it's like they're REALLY screwed up when they get out. This worries me. I love him dearly, and his personality is so remarkable when he's around and interacting with the family. I don't want him to lose that. I think he'll probably someday grow out of this, but it seems now like he's falling deeper into a pit with every passing week. I suppose he has to hit bottom sometime so he can start back up again. I just wish he was able to do it on his own.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Karen here. I am very upset. I came home from work today and Kyle was home. I asked when he worked and he said five. It was pouring rain outside so I offered to take him. I told him to work on his room and he gave me a smart aleck answer. We drove two blocks and he told me to let him out. I said that I would wait for him. He glanced at me and then ran to a house. He knocked at the basement and walked in. An adult bringing in his mail glanced at me suspiciously. I looked in the window of the house Kyle went in. I couldn't see real well but you could tell they were smoking a joint. He came out with his arms curled around something. I was furious. He smelled like pot.

There was an article in this morning's paper about the aftermath of two brother's lives after their older brother who had been diagnosed as mentally ill shot and killed their father. It depressed me all day. It made me wonder if I was being weak and putting my family at risk with Kyle, especially my husband. When Kyle dared to smoke basically in front of me that was all I could take. I gave him the article in the car and he refused to read it. I said he couldn't stay because he was putting our family at risk. He was going to get out of the car in the middle of a busy intersection. I made it through the intersection and dropped him off by work. He became manic and refused to go in. He then slammed the door and stuck his middle finger at me.

I drove home and called Jon. I called my friend who has a bipolar mom. She said I should go the hospital. One hospital said they couldn't take him because they didn't have any beds. Then I got ahold of one that said they would take him but he would need to commit himself. She said that it would be hard but I would need to call the police. Jon said Kyle would need to come home first. Jon was going to drive past our old house which Kyle broke into lately. I am so worried about Jon's safety. And so here I wait and wait and wait.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Karen here. Yesterday was my only day off and it was crazy. Kyle gets paid every two weeks on Friday. He has spent every one of his checks in a matter of minutes. My plan was that if I caught him early enough he could get his check deposited in an account with my mom. Then he wouldn't accuse me of taking it, it would be at a bank that he couldn't walk to, and he could start saving for a car or college.

I took our one daughter to school and the other and I went to the doctor. We got flu shots because I especially don't want to be around my dad if any of our family gets sick. Before I left I told Kyle that my mom would be coming. He went to work and was getting off at 1:15. I asked if he wanted her to come before work or after. She offered to pick him up from work. He said that he might have to stay. I told him to call her. At 1:00 I started to get calls from his "friend." I told him that he would be getting off soon and then had to go back to work. He said he knew that and even knew his exact schedule.

Kyle came home and I started on him about the check. He lied and said he would have to go back and get it. He got into the shower and the kid called back. His name comes up Trenton Knox. Another name came up while he was in the shower. It was the same kid but under the name Paula Earlewine. I told him he was in the shower and he told me it was an emergency and I needed to get him out. I said, "I'm sorry I won't do that." Then I went into the shower and made Kyle jump out. I tried to talk to him. I told him I found his paycheck stub and knew he had cashed it. He told me he owed people money. I asked him why? He begged me to let him get dressed since he was just in a towel. I told him if he snuck out on me I was done with him. I accused him of drugs and he got manic and pulled on his hair. He kept saying that I didn't understand and begged me to let him get dressed. I agreed and he went to his room. Not even two minutes later I heard the door shut. I looked out and there was a black car with tinted windows. I deadbolted all the doors.

Kyle came back and I told him that I was done with him. I told him that he blew his last chance. I knew he worked in an hour so I let him in. He said he just wanted to explain. He said Brian McGuinness was buying pot from a kid at work to sell. He said this has been going on for a long time. It happened so much that the kid Kyle worked with increased the amount of pot and didn't require any money until after Brian sold it. Then Brian blew the kid off. Kyle said he gave the kid his phone number and address but he still said Kyle was responsible since he is friends with him. The kid said he would break all of our windows if he didn't get his money. I asked about his other checks and Kyle said he bought pot for all his friends but he wasn't into this. I know how easy it is for him to lie so I kept pushing on him. He said that he wasn't having anything to do with Brian and neither was John (who lives on the next block.) He said that John was afraid of him because he was getting in too deep in the sales and would get caught. I asked how much he had left and he showed me thirty dollars out of a four hundred dollar check.

I told him that he needed to come right home after work. He said he was going to a show with Tom. He is the pastor's son at the church he hangs out with. I agreed to that thinking he would get back with some kids that are not doing drugs. We talked about putting money aside so he can go to college or buy a car. I am still very apprehensive about him driving. I was thinking, well he got himself in a mess but now he is out of it. I hoped he learned a lesson. He said he didn't owe anyone money. He said his next check would be in two weeks and I could go with him to pick it up.

Here it was 3:00 and my only day off wasted. I had gone to the doctor, spent two hours getting rid of a weight bench (boring story) , two hours dealing with Kyle. I looked around and our house was a mess. I cleaned the kitchen. I thought that I should skip the pumpkin patch. Last year we never went at all. But I had promised our girls. I wouldn't have any more time for a week. I called Jon. He said that he would be working late. I thought, "I can go out the pumpkin patch and come home and straighten things up before he gets home." I took the girls and had a wonderful time. I can't remember the last time I did something fun. Jon was very upset when I got home and rightly so. I brought the girls where our youngest son was babysitting and cleaned. Then I went to bed. Our youngest son never came home and neither did Kyle.

This morning our youngest son came back. Jon scolded him. He had spent the night at a friend's and tried to call. Jon said that that wasn't good enough and that he was grounded. Our son went to his room with tears in his eyes. I know it was wrong of him not to come home. I also know that he is such a great kid. He does the most caring things. Last week he skipped homecoming to go to a handicapped boy's party. He was afraid no one would come. He never ever fights with Jon. He may go into his room and cry but he never fights. I don't want to say he is my favorite child but he has been the least amount of trouble and the most fun to be with. I felt bad because Jon handed out the grounding without talking to me.

Anyway, I talked to our youngest son and he said he saw Kyle in the park with Brian Mcguinness, whom he supposedly has nothing to do with. Now his story which I truly believed is nothing but another pack of lies. I am afraid to kick him out and afraid to let him stay. I am going to have to give him another ultimatum and hope he comes clean. Or let him go and hope he doesn't get killed. Jon said this morning he was looking again at porn. I wish that I could help him. His lies are so tremendous. Jon can cut through them better than I . But he was working. I work in a couple of hours. I feel that I will need to let him go until he hurts bad enough to change. But will that day EVER come!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Karen here. Things have been going pretty well this week with Kyle. He got another raise at work. I overheard him tell someone on the phone that he was going to try to get into the army and if he couldn't he would go to college. He also said that he could never imagine living in a different house than our old one but he really likes our new one.

He hasn't mentioned counseling. He has been busy working and I have been busy working. My mom is going to take Kyle to the bank on Friday when he gets paid to open an account. She will have control of his money so he won't spend it. He agreed to this because he has been spending and giving away every penny.

He helped me clean last Friday to get ready for my in-laws visit. I do have to say that no one can clean like Kyle. His mania is a really advantage in cleaning. He wouldn't stick around to see them, though. Jon felt bad but I understood. Kyle feels like he has to play act around certain people. He presents himself like he is in a play. But he has explained to me how hard that is for him.

He played football with our youngest son tonight. I can't even begin to explain how much I love having him around. He accepts people like nobody else. And yet he rarely feels accepted. Once we were driving in the car and I was venting about a relationship. Kyle said, "Mom, I know that person bothers you and I know you are right about her. but why waste hours going over this in your mind when you are only with her for a few minutes. You are ruining all of your time thinking about it." I thought that was such brilliant thinking.

We drove up to see our oldest son at college this weekend. He broke up a fight between two guys. One was going to hit the other with a baseball bat. He said that the one kid went nuts. He told me that I have him thinking that everyone is bipolar. I suppose I did for a while. Since we don't have any bipolar history in my family I have been looking at our history with a magnifying glass for clues. Then my girlfriend whose mother is bipolar told me that not everyone is bipolar, some people are just crazy. She has repeated that a number of times and it still makes me laugh. And it is pretty much the truth. I am not trying to water this problem down. It is just that Kyle seems to be doing better to me. He has a lot to overcome but then again, don't we all? Jon hates the word crazy but I love it. It sounds more positive to me than mentally ill. I always laugh at the politically correct word. Our kids have all been pretty smart. When I was a girl I was in accellerated classes. Then they were called gifted classes when our oldest was in school. Then they called them challenged classes. Now my daughter got a note saying that she has been put in a class for high achieving learners. Crazy or mentally ill. I think it is best put by a saying my mom brought me up with. Everyone is crazy but you and me and sometimes I wonder about you.

I will try to write more often. Our youngest daughter's birthday is tomorrow. She will be five and is so excited. And Kyle is home and life seems like a party (although one that is raided) every day!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Jon back today.

More problems. Kyle has really been all over the board with respect to his emotions. Mostly manic, moving from sheepish and quiet to a screaming maniac in minutes. It's quite disturbing.

Yesterday, Karen left our youngest, a 4 year old girl, alone with Kyle for a couple of hours while she was at work. Normally Karen's mom stays with her, but there was something going on and Karen said Kyle could handle that for 2 hours. When Karen got back Kyle was passed out in a drunken stupor, and our daughter was watching TV in a closet, unharmed and oblivious.

When I got home from work last night, we told Kyle he'd have to leave, and he stormed out with a blanket and pillows. He laid down on the sidewalk, yelling and daring us to call the police. Naturally, Karen brought him back in for "one more chance". She thinks he'll die of exposure on the streets. I feel he can't stay, that something really bad will happen if he does.

This was a really bad scenario in a couple of different ways. We could possibly have been arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor for not locking up our liquor, Kyle is 19 and had a friend over that is only 17 or 18. Our daughter said they went out on the deck, and wouldn't let her out with them. They were probably getting high. Another potential scenario is if someone calls the authorities on us, they search our house and find drugs. They may be able to show we are harboring Kyle knowing he is possessing and using drugs.

I really feel we're enabling his behavior, and need to pull the rug out. Karen thinks that is giving him a death sentence, as it's cold enough that he could die of exposure on the streets, and she'll proceed to mother him some more. Kyle is genuinely repentant about his actions, but someting will happen again in another week or two. That's a fact.

So we are left with very few options, and Karen and I are pulling apart on this decision. I say in frustration that since she's not willing to listen to me, she can handle it herself, and she accuses me of taking the easy way out by washing my hands of him. Yet, if we allow things to continue as they are, which is basically what she is doing, we run the risk of facing HUGE problems at some point in the future.

Here is what will happen: Mark my words and check back again in the future for confirmation of this: We will compromise, and say he has to leave, but he has a week to find a place to stay. He won't look for a place, maybe he's not capable of handling that task, maybe he knows he can manipulate his mother, but either way he will not find a place. He'll work hard, be a model citizen, and generally wow both of us in the coming week. We'll give in, and find ourselves in this exact same situation 2 weeks later, when it's much colder outside and Karen will be even more reluctant to kick him out. And the act or behavior that takes place next time could be much worse, even tragic. It scares me to death, knowing it's coming.

I'm not sure how to proceed on this one.