Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our First Visit From Agent E

Last night about 9:30 we got our first unannounced visit from Agent E and Agent M. Agent E is a very nice man and I know (well he told me) that he likes Kenny and hopes that he will be able to help Kenny and keep him going forward. We chatted, we were friendly, except for Kenny's dog Ryker who jumped all over him and Lily. Lily was scared to death that they were coming to take Kenny to jail. I even invited them to sit down!

But darn it there is something about a man or group of men that can walk into our home anytime and look through our drawers and closets that is just disturbing to me. I know, I know you reap what you sow... I also know that if I were to put a lock and key on my bedroom door they wouldn't go through it, but I don't want a lock and key on my bedroom door.

Kenny wasn't even here last night. He was at an AA meeting. He is never home at night. So, for the next two years I will be gracious and kind and open my doors to these men who may or may not go through my underwear drawer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I will be listening to a lot of people talk in the next few weeks. If you are in or around Utah you can join in on the listening.

October 27th at 7:00p.m. KUED (I believe channel 7 throughout Utah) will be telling "the powerful story of people in Utah living with severe mental illness and their struggle in a world that often turns away. It is titled "On the Edge."

Immediately following that at 8:00p.m. is a follow-up program with community experts and resources.

Then on November 4 from 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. at the University of Utah Union Building (200 S. Central Campus Drive, SLC, UT 84112) is the NAMI Utah Annual State Conference.
Speakers will be:
  • Duane Cardall - "My Two Sons: A Divergent Medical Experience"
  • Noel Gardner, MD, MDiv - "Finding True Healing"
  • Gary Burlington, PhD - "Measuring Recovery"
  • Leon Evans "A Focus on Community Living"
  • Brian Miller, PhD "Finding Peace in Chaos"
  • plus topics on Grief, Metabolic Syndrome, Alcoholism and Mental Illness, Community-based options for youth, Community-based Programs for the Uninsured, Raising a Mentally Healthy Child of Color, Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) for Youth
There is a cost, but well worth it. Kenny will be joining me for the NAMI conference and hopefully will join me when I watch the T.V. show. Tonight though Kenny went to the Utah symphony to listen to The Haunted Symphony. I hope he enjoys it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Calling All Parents

Since I have started the journey with this blog I have found several blogs written by people with mental illness. They are coping. They are finding their way. I have hope.
I would like to see more parents blog. I want to connect with them. I want to know how they handle situations. There are a few that I have found. I will follow them. I wonder if parents are embarrassed, ashamed, or just plain to busy to blog about their child. I know I could use my time more wisely, but I don't want too.
Those that have commented on my blog have left great words of advice. Of course if  anyone does leave a negative comment I will just delete it.
Back to the blogs I have found. They are talking about the same things that Kenny deals with distorted reality, sleep problems, ups and downs, and downs and ups. I am glad I started this blog. I think it will be helpful.
As for Kenny. He has slept all weekend, except at night; which isn't new. He got frustrated Friday night and threw my cornbread that I had made for a church party. He is damn lucky that it didn't get ruined!!!! I made him take Ryker to the puppy training class on Saturday. He said he was taught how to make Ryker wait at the door, but he couldn't remember what they told him. Luckily he brought an instruction sheet home. He goes to AA every night and played on an AA softball team. Friday night was his last night of softball, they got the sportsmanship award. I am sorry to see that it is over. It got him out and exercising, even though he smoked almost every time he came off the field. Tonight he called me to ask if our house could be used for the Thanksgiving 24 hour AA meeting house. We have a great setup that would allow us to host something like this so I said yes. Guess I should go talk this over with hubby now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Side of Suicide

We knew a few weeks before the actual event that Kenny was not well. His older brother and I were driving in a car talking about how we were scared. We were both crying knowing that there was nothing we could do. I was also angry because I didn't know if Kenny knew that life would go on without him.
Then Jeff got the call.
We were downstairs, trying to go somewhere with Lily. I knew by the tone something was wrong. Then I heard the words cut his wrists. I think I screamed. I remember Lily crying. No one was home to take care of Lily. I started calling the boys, no answer. I called Henry's girlfriend, she answered. I didn't care where she was or what she was doing she was to get over to our house right away. Jeff told me to go ahead of him. He would wait for Brynn.
My mind was numb. I was trying not to speed, not to panic, not to completely lose it. I called my mom. She didn't answer. I left a message, I wish I hadn't. The first word was "MMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!" a gut wrenching wail. She told me later when she listened to the voicemail and heard that first word she hung up the phone.
I got to the hospital. THEY MADE ME WAIT! When I got to his room he was out of it. His left wrist had been loosely bandaged. His friend that brought him to the hospital told me what happened. It was all because of a girl.
It seemed liked the doctors and nurses were moving at slow speed. This was my son! He was dying! They were trying to figure out what Kenny has taken. I tried to ask him. That's when I realized how bad he really was. He was incoherent. He was drooling. His eyes weren't focusing. I started listing his meds. He nodded when I got to the one he took. What we didn't know was that he had taken a lethal dose of Tylenol. He had taken at least a third of a bottle containing 500 pills. What we also didn't know was that the amount he had taken could cause liver failure very quickly. As soon as the blood work came back and the doctors saw that they started giving him IVs full of an antidote. It was already to late to try charcoal.
The doctor then started to work on his wrist. I wasn't prepared for what I saw. Kenny had not only gone across his wrist, but up his wrist. The doctor said he was serious. I found out going up the wrist is worse.
I didn't want to learn those things about Tylenol and how to cut a wrist, but I did. I didn't want to call my parents, friends, and Kenny's doctors to tell them what my son had done. I didn't want people telling me I should go home and rest. There was no way in hell I was leaving my son.
That was two years ago. Kenny still struggles. I still worry. I don't like to look at his wrist. The other day I got a glimpse of it. The scars are fading. Life goes on.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Few Moments

Last night we had a few moments together as a family. It was good. It did take some doing to get Kenny to come up and eat with us, but we sat at the table together. Then that fighting in a cage show was on so we all went and watched two grown men pummel each other into bloody pulps (Dancing with the Stars was not on).
I would watch the fight show all day long if it meant time together as a family.

Lily likes to take random pictures, she captured this one of Kenny and his dog Ryker

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Agent E

With Kenny's recent trouble with the law he now has a probation officer, Agent E. The first time we met Agent E he told us to be at his office at a certain time and day. Kenny tries to work full time so we asked if we could change it to a day when Kenny had other required meetings so Kenny wouldn't lose so many hours. Agent E agreed.
Well, Agent E has only made it to one of the 4 scheduled appointments. The one appointment he did make it to he made it clear to us that basically the whole family is on probation.
As long as Kenny lives in our home:
  1. we are not allowed to have alcohol or drugs in our home (no problem for us, we don't drink or do drugs)
  2. we are not allowed to have knives anywhere but the kitchen or a tool box (my son Tim is a chef, so we had to get special permission to have his knives in his room)
  3. we are not allowed to have guns or ammo anywhere on our property (not even an empty shell casing) this could lead to TEN YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON for Kenny if these items were found on our property.
  4. Kenny cannot move from our home without Agent E's permission.
  5. Kenny cannot go on vacation without Agent E's permission.
  6. Our home can be searched any time day or night.
  7. He can't keep company with convicted felons unless at an organized AA activity (that's fine with me!)

So at the last court meeting some guy came up to Kenny and told him to be at the probation office on certain morning. I called Agent E and told him the conversation and he told me no, Kenny needed to show up on the scheduled day and if he (Agent E) wasn't there to talk with Agent M. Well we went to the scheduled day and again Agent E wasn't there so Kenny tried to talk with Agent M. Agent M told Kenny he would not talk to him and to show up on the morning that Agent E told us not to show up at - aaaggggggggghhhhh Agent M is an arse!

My husband and I are responsible people and we have taught our children (even Lily) that they need to be responsible for their actions. Kenny has done very well to try and right his wrong. He is trying to be responsible but the system is making it very hard!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Then He Goes and Does This!

I found this on Kenny's blog today along with one about his older brother.


My Little Angel

Lily, you're my little angel,
Your laugh is like the sound of a beautiful bell,
Your presence is absolutely breath taking,
When you smile I know you're not faking.

You couldn't be a better little sister,
You're so fun to play with, you're a little trickster,
You bring joy and happiness to my heart,
Ya little stinker, you've always got a better fart.

You've made our family better in so many ways,
It's funny when you repeat what your big brother says,
You're amazing Lily and that's a fact,
Whenever you need me, I've always got your back.

You're so cool Lily, my little sis,
When you're not around, it's you I miss,
It's so hard to see you cry when you're sad,
You're a perfect little girl, nothing about you is bad.

It's so cool how fast you learned to swim,
Your big brothers are Henry, Kenny, and Tim,
You're our sister, and we'll always love you,
I love how you put 100 percent in everything you do.

Lily, your family loves you so, so, much,
If anyone picks on you, it'll be me giving them a punch,
Lily, let me know if there is anything I can do,
Love you Lily, and i know you'll always love me too.

I want my son to be happy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm Sick of It!

NOT a good day today and it's only 10:30 in the morning!

I am so tired of bouncing all over the emotion ball with Kenny. Saturday mornings are for Ryker's dog training classes. I asked Kenny when we signed up and I paid $125.00, if 9:00 on Saturday mornings would work for him. Oh yes! Are you Sure? I'm sure!

Well it didn't work this morning!

We got to class, but I knew Kenny was not there. He had zoned out. So here I am trying to keep a 60 pound puppy under control and get a zoned out Kenny to participate in class. Kenny finally handed me Ryker's lease and walked out. He didn't just walk out though he also had to throw his puppy training bag in the parking lot! Yeah that's real classy.

I'm sick of him not caring about my feelings. He could care less if he embarrasses me in front of others. I really don't know how much of that he can control and how much is attention/control over me. So, I get to just let it go! Don't stir him up to really get him going and bash holes in walls.

Hubby is not a real help either! A$$hole! His advice. "Get rid of him!" My response "WHO KENNY!" I'm not getting rid of the dog now. I've invested to much and I'm attached to the damn dog.

It's going to be a crappy day today.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Money Tree is Withering

Kenny is impulsive.

Being that way has caused many problems for him and for me. He works a full time job, actually about 65 hours with all the appointments he has during the week. He gets paid every two weeks but the money doesn't last that long. I must say he does pay bills first. I am very proud of him for that. The rest though does not go to savings to buy a car or to save for school it all goes to things, stuff, clothes, cigarettes, food, Cd's. Then of course when it's gone he comes to me. I am learning to say no.

He has close to $1,000 worth of car stereo equipment sitting in his room because all his cars have either been wrecked or driven to death. His grandmother give him stock for his college, that went to rehab (I would use that money for that again if needed) but it is all gone now.

His recent legal stuff is costing $250.00/hour for an attorney. We won't do that again, and he knows it. It's like a one time get in big trouble pass. Next time he will get a court appointed attorney.

I am still paying on hospital bills from his last car accident and the monthly meds cost hundreds of dollars. I know I am not the only one out there dealing with the expenses of a sick child. I believe we would all do it over again for our child, but it's hard. It's hard not being able to go on family trips or worrying when the next doctor's office is going to call for their money. Car insurance will go up because "his friend" drove Kenny's car up the canyon, got it stuck, blew up the transmission (totaled the car) then put Kenny in the drivers seat and bailed. Kenny was so drunk he didn't have enough sense to tell anyone he wasn't driving. "Friends" will be another post!

The one thing I did allow Kenny to get was a dog. I thought getting him a companion dog would be a good thing. Well, most of the time Kenny is gone and he goes where the dog can't go. So I am now stuck with this horse of a dog that has to have food and puppy training classes. The dog, Ryker, is growing on me. Just one more thing to take from the money tree.

How is your money tree weathering the seasons?

First day we got Ryker

Ryker got caught inside the bunny cage with Bunny

playing dress up with Ryker - don't know if blonde's have more fun or not!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Good Day

Today has been a good day. When Kenny has a good day we all have a good day.

He was told at work by another coworker that he had done a good job which in turn made the coworker look good and it also made his job easier. Things like that can make such a difference in anyone's life.

Kenny went to see his therapist. That went well too. He came out and told me a joke. I just looked up the meaning of the word he had told me and never before realized it was a dirty phrase so I will leave the joke out of my post! But, when Kenny is telling a joke all is well.

I then took Kenny to the high school where he graduated from. He has remained good friends with a few of the teachers. One of them asked him to come and talk to the class about mental illness, drugs, jail, and then Kenny read some of his poetry. The students were able to ask him questions. Kenny is very truthful, so I think it may have opened some kids eyes.

These kind of days are few and far between right now. I cherish them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Loving My Son

Will anyone ever love my son?

A lot of his pain comes from girls. He smothers them with love. He picks the ones that need saving. I'm sure he does that so he doesn't have to focus on himself. He would be a good pick. He works hard, he's very good looking, he's funny, he's spiritual, he's smart, he's good with kids (well at least Lily, most of the time)he loves his family. We have treated any girl he brings home with respect and kindness. Although there was one that we were very happy to see gone!

His other two brothers have been in long term relationships. His oldest sister is married. His father and I have been married 25 plus years. Lily even has a boyfriend. I want him to find someone that will stay with him for a long period of time.

I contacted one old girlfriend (before they were committed) asking her if she was prepared to get involved with Kenny. I told her what his history was. I told her he would treat her like a queen, but he would want to help with everything. Of course she ignored me. They dated for a while and then she left him. He went downhill.

Is there a girl out there for him? One that will put up with his mood swings, his really really funny sense of humor and his lower than low depressions. Does he look at AA or NAMI? Does he find someone with a history of drug abuse or mental illness that will understand where he is coming from? Or, does he find someone who has never done drugs and is somewhat normal in her thinking so she doesn't have the possibility of slipping and bringing him down?

I want my son to have the experience of loving a person who will laugh with him until tears run down his cheeks and someone who will think he is still handsome and desirable when he thinks he is old and fat.

We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.
Mother Teresa

A good catch

Friday, October 8, 2010

All Rise

Kenny was always a good kid, still is. But, he is compulsive doesn't think things through.

So imagine how I felt when at 3:00a.m. one day in May when I get a call from the county jail. On the other line is Kenny, in tears.

He's been arrested.

I asked him if he was okay but I was angry. What now?!? We have had to deal with speeding tickets and car accidents. Most of the car accidents were not his fault, but either way they are a pain to deal with.

This was not a speeding ticket or a car accident. He got caught with drugs.

I was speechless. I was sick of my stomach. I was terrified. I wanted my baby boy home so badly at that moment and I couldn't have him.

Then I found out that my oldest son knew and hadn't told us. I was furious! The police had told him not to tell us to let Kenny do it. For clarity, my other son, Henry, was not with him when this happened but when Kenny was arrested he told the officer to call Henry to come pick up the car.

Well, the next day I called a friend whose husband is an attorney and asked him for references for a good attorney. We got one, he's very good, he has done an excellent job.

Instead of jail time Kenny was sentenced to what is called Mental Health Court. Every Monday he has to go and stand before a judge and tell the Court how is life is going. He has strict conditions that he has to comply with. Show up to court, no alcohol, no drugs, no spice (YES, this is nasty stuff!) There will be random drug tests. He has to continue seeing his therapist and bring a note from the therapist stating he is talking and taking his meds. He has to check in with his Probation Officer "Agent E" every Wednesday after he goes to his NAMI Connection class. NAMI is not actually court ordered and he was going to it before he was sentenced, but the Court highly recommend he continue going. The Court also wants him to continue with AA.

He is sentenced to do this for 2 years. If he fails to comply with any one of these conditions he could be put in prison, not county jail, prison.

Kenny knows this. He's been told this. He understands this. I actually think he enjoys being able to go before the judge and say today I am 70 days clean and sober. Everyone claps for him. I hope and pray he continues to go.

Yes, I take him every Monday. I want to. We (hubby and I) rarely let him drive anymore. So, I have cleared my calendar every Monday and Wednesday for Kenny. I take him to make sure he gets there and he is on time. I take him so I can clap for him. I take him so I'll know if he's not in compliance, put in handcuffs, and taken off to jail. I'll know this time.

Jail is not a place I like to visit my children.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I use to like fall a lot more than I do now. Years ago by this time in October all the decorations would be up, and the front window painted with a Halloween scene. Not so much anymore, although I am working on getting things done.

I get interrupted more now than back then. Kenny cuts now. Kenny attempted suicide in October 2008. Fall is no longer the same.

I have heard for many years that people suffer more from depression in fall and winter. I know I get more down in the winter season when it's darker and colder out. The medical field has now given this a name SAD (really they couldn't come up with a better name?!?) Kenny's APRN NP suggested he get a therapy light. We got him one that looks like this, but we got it at Costco and it didn't cost as much as this one. He uses it a lot. I really don't know if it works or not. I am going to try it one day, maybe for my Sane Time.

I had no idea back then, when Kenny went as Abe Lincoln for Halloween, that Lincoln had mental illness.