Friday, November 28, 2003

Karen here. Kyle is at an n.a. meeting. One of his old friends who is going to a local college here has been calling and went out with him last night. Kyle told me yesterday was his favorite Thanksgiving. He said he really enjoyed the food and company. It was just our immediate family and my parents. Before they came he asked me who was coming. He really dislikes holidays where he has to visit with people. I know his discomfort because I remember as a child feeling the same way. I think sometimes it is just too much for him. He never came to his brother's graduation party. He told me later that he just couldn't face everyone and didn't know what to say.

When dinner was over, Kyle started clearing the plates. It seems like such a small thing but it was major to me. He was helping and thinking of someone other than himself. And he is the only one who offered to do this. I complimented him on it and he jokingly said, " That's just me." He raked leaves with his brother and dad in the morning. He cleaned out the gutter. Jon said he really enjoyed being with him. He is undoubtedly the hardest worker. All our children are. They have had to be. He played cards with his dad and brothers later even though his friends called. He disappeared before dinner but his oldest brother went driving and found him. I really wanted him there.

Today, I told Kyle that I am really proud of how he made it through school. The boy who killed himself last week had problems similiar to Kyle and shot himself. Kyle said that he probably didn't have as strong of faith. I told him that I know how tough that last year was especially and he didn't give up. I have been getting rid of papers and I keep finding all of his lists of things to do. He struggled so hard with school. I had put together a book of letters for his graduation. He got some wonderful letters. One of my friends just sent him one with our favorite quotes. She had a high maintainence child also who just graduated. Her nephew is bipolar and I confided in her. Kyle's brother wrote an amazing letter but it is still on a disk.

I think all of us struggle with things that seem so easy to others. I hate seeing Kyle smoke cigarettes and he really doesn't let me. Jon thinks it helps him and is more accepting than I . I think that is why he goes off sometimes. But I really do admire his ability to cope with things such as when he was in jail, or failing in school, standing up for the underdog, and even being able to live on the streets. I think he has a strength inside of him that will get him through. I know his faith has so far.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Jon here today.

As you can tell from Karen's post, Kyle is back living with us again. When I heard he was attending NA and AA meetings regularly, I immediately invited him back. I don't want him out of the house if he's willing to follow the rules. He adds so much to our family.

I am a little hurt that he is actively avoiding me. I don't know if he's embarassed, or afraid I'll give him a hard time, or just doesn't want to face me. But he does what he can to avoid me. Of course, I leave the house at 7:30 AM, and don't get back from the second job until 10:00 PM. That does make it easy to avoid me, and I'm not always in the most jovial mood after working that long. I have been known to be quite irritable if the house is not in tolerable condition when I get home, and perhaps he doesn't want to face that. I hope he gets more comfortable around me, and I'll have to work on that.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and we have a lot to be thankful for. My wife, our kids, Kyle's safety, our families and friends, my jobs, the house, our new friends reading this blog, and countless other things. I will attempt to give thanks for all this. It will be the greatest Thanksgiving ever!

Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. We'll have more tough times, but I'm confident the worst is behind us...

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Karen here. Kyle is back and his older brother is home from college. Kyle says he is going to Narcotics anonymous. He showed me a couple of cards he got. I hope he is. He is a lot of fun to have around. Jon went hunting for five days and I had to pick up our oldest from college. A storm was coming and I have an old car so I called and told him that I was coming early. Then I told Kyle we needed to take a road trip. Everyone wanted to go but I had to leave our youngest son home to go to school. We got there at 2 in the morning. I joked with Kyle and told him how much he would like to be going to school. The students were walking the streets. He went in with his brother and they both came out laughing. Everything seemed so perfect. We were driving home and they both kept playing music. I think music is a bond for our whole family.

I think the best thing for Kyle might have been his friends' getting busted. They are going to the na meetings.

The other day while I was working an old friend came in . She was one of my favorite people years ago. She has a remarkable spirit about her and is tremendously fun to be with. I told her a little about Kyle and she told me that she is bipolar. She told me to tell him the thing that helped her the most was something someone told her. You are not your mind or your body... you are your spirit. She said it made a big difference in her life.

Last week was rather hard. A friend of mine has a friend who had a bipolar son. He shot himself with his dad's hunting gun. He was having trouble with graduation requirements very similiar to Kyle. I am glad Kyle got that accomplished. I am so sorry that we didn't get to have his party. On our way home from picking up our oldest son, he played a John Mayer song Real World. It is about how real life is not like high school. I think it is a great song. He played it for Kyle which I thought was so nice.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Jon here today.

I'm worried things are spiraling out of control for Kyle. We find out bits and pieces of what he's been up to through our son who's 4 years younger than Kyle. Kids at school tell him they saw Kyle, who he's staying with, and so forth.

We found out he's been staying with his friend Brian - remember the Black Lexus from a few months ago? That's the kid. Brian's still a high school student, and so Kyle has to leave with him in the morning. Kyle spends the day sleeping in that Lexus. Brian was busted yesterday, with a couple of ounces of marijuana and a box of baggies. Why Kyle wasn't in the car when they tossed it I don't understand, but he wasn't. We heard this yesterday shortly after it happened, and we knew he'd be home before long. Well today he shows up. Karen asked him about it, and Kyle gives her a story. Karen searched him and found a small digital scale in his pocket. She tossed him back out.

A week or two ago, another friend of Kyle's vehicle was being searched by the police. I haven't heard anything more about that, but I have heard this kid was selling mushrooms.

Kyle's in neck deep, and I'm worried he'll be in jail soon.

We'll let you know if anything comes up, but keep him in your prayers.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Karen here. Jon has been trying to get me to clean Kyle's room. I couldn't bring myself to do it before today. I went through his clothes and smelled them. It made me cry. He even smells sweet. I hung up his clothes and washed some. His box on the deck hasn't been touched. Then I started to go through the huge box of pictures and drawings that were plastered on his wall in our old house. There was a postcard that Kyle had gotten from his Uncle Mark. It was of a Van Gogh painting of a skull with a cigarette in it. It is kind of strange that he had saved it. And I found it rather amusing since Van Gogh was bipolar. I am going through the pictures and putting them in a drawer. The pictures are all contrasts like his life. He has running quotes and bible quotes. Then he has some bizarre quotes that make no sense at all. I am trying to make it look welcoming for when he comes home, if he comes home.

Our eight year old daughter drew a picture of Ryan and wrote Saint Ryan at the top. She told me it seems like he is dead because we don't know where he is most of the time. I have the same dream every night where the police come and get him and take him away in handcuffs.

My friend called and was complaining because her sons were fighting. They are 17 and 19. I thought that was strange and then I thought maybe it is strange because our boys don't fight and haven't fought for so long. Our youngest son was so proud when his oldest brother made fraternity president and likewise his brother has been proud of him. I can't really remember when any of them last fought.

I really hope Kyle checks in soon. He came over on Halloween and took a shower. His brother let him in because I was at work. I would have loved to see him and hugged him. He was wearing a big coat.

I'm glad I cleaned his room. It is full of creative energy underneath all the debris.