Thursday, January 29, 2004

Jon here again. Thanks for the notes of encouragement. I have really been down lately, and I've realized that I'm stuck on myself. I sometimes have a hard time remembering that it's all about the family, not me, and Kyle is one of the family. I was expressing my frustrations, but the bottom line, a part of our family has been hurt. That affects us all.

While Kyle probably could have taken off walking from where he was at the time, he was worried about putting in that much time and not getting paid. He would have been walking on feet already numb and damaged. He was asking for breaks and to warm up, and they wouldn't give them to him. He decided to tough it out, not knowing an hour would stretch into 6 would stretch into 12. Kyle has a check that shows 17.5 hours, and no breaks, lunch, or anything else. The more we think about this, the more angry we get.

Karen called the company and asked them if they would cover the medical bills. As you might imagine, she got nowhere. She finally got the name of their insurance company, and contacted them. They were concerned, said the company was in trouble because of this, and said of course Kyle's bills would be covered. They also encouraged him not to consult an attorney.

Which is, of course, exactly what he'll do. The doc today said he will lose parts of several toes, and they are already blistered on the tips. We don't know how much permanent damage he has, and what has to be done from here, but most likely some skin grafting. The bottom line, while Kyle could have walked away, it was the middle of the night, it was freezing, and he really wanted the money. He toughed it out. The company did NOTHING to look after his safety and well being. They gave him no breaks. They should shoulder this financial burden.

I'm off to the second job. I'll try and update this somewhat regularly for the near future.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Jon here.

I thought I was completely done with this stuff, just looking forward to the future. This all changed last week.

Kyle had been coming back off and on, and Karen let him stay one night. Then a few days later, she let him stay another night. The second time, she said he wanted to go to the Army recruiter's office the next day. I had my doubts that would happen, but told Karen to use her best judgement, and if she was comfortable with it, it was her call. The next day, she called me a few times, very frustrated, as Kyle would not do anything. He wouldn't get ready, he wouldn't go anywhere, he just sat at the computer playing with himself. I was at work, with a very hectic day already, and she called me to tell me what was going on. I told her to give him a few minutes to get out. She said she'd try, and hung up. I called back a few minutes later, she said he wasn't doing anything, and I told her to tell him again, and I'd wait. Well, he started yelling and swearing. She said she'd call me back. I called her back in 5 minutes, and he's going crazy, screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs. Worried about Karen's safety, I left work and headed home. I walked in the front door, and Karen was visibly shaken up. I asked about Kyle, and she said he was still downstairs. I walked downstairs just in time to see him slipping out the door. I called to him, and told him he'd have to stay away if he was going to act like that. He went crazy, kicking and beating the door and window, the side of the house, the garage doors, and everything else he could slam or kick. I lost it. I attacked him, hit him, and gave him a cut under the eye, and also a black eye. When Karen saw what was going on, she called the police. Kyle left, swearing and yelling at me. The police came, and we told them what had happened. They told us we needed to make a decision, he's either in or out. They said if we let him back in, we're essentially creating a tenancy, and we'd have to give him legal notice prior to asking him to leave. About then, Kyle came back, and wanted to talk to the officers. He wanted to file charges against me for hitting him. They gave him a hard time about his behavior, and he got angry and left, saying he'd never be back. It was one of the worst days of my life.

Kyle's still staying with his friend up the street. In the last few days we've had a ton of snow. Yesterday, he got a cash job shoveling snow. They paired him with a plow driver, and took off for commercial buildings to shovel and plow. Kyle was at it for 18 hours straight. He called Karen today and said he had a problem. His toes were so badly frostbitten they're black. Karen took him to the doctor, they have to give it a couple of days, but he will lose parts of, and maybe even complete toes. I shudder to think of how much pain he's in, but I'm also incredibly angry that he wouldn't have the sense to stop. Karen can't believe I'm so callous as to be angry about this, and she's basically hanging this whole situation on my shoulders. She claims he's mentally ill, and not capable of telling them he had to stop. She says it's my fault he feels he can't come home again, and so couldn't call us, and basically had to keep on going. I don't feel this whole scenario is my fault, and really resent being made to feel that it is. Karen wanted to bring him back to stay with us, and I wasn't comfortable with that. I asked if he could stay with his grandparents for a day or two while we sorted this out. I then said that if he was staying with us, he would need to sign a contract saying he was a guest, and he understood we were not creating a tenancy, and he would leave when we asked him to leave. Otherwise, if we had another problem like we had last week, and the police see we let him back in, they'd tell us to go through the courts, and to leave them out of it.

I don't know how any of this is going to shake out, so keep Kyle and all of us in your prayers.