Sunday, August 20, 2006

p.28 “I dreamed a dream in times gone by*…”

Life is certainly a surprise, a never-ending circus with a bipolar kid!

Here’s a step back in time…

Da used to hang out with this guy while she was in middle school, especially the 6th grade once she was settled in the same school for the year.

This guy, Charles, had the kind of mom that was very involved in everything. She felt that a kid shouldn't have down time, but be busy like her self. Now I am not talking about the kool-aid, cookie kind of mom, she was the Suzuki violin lessons, karate, and she swimming in master meets, (she actually talked me into it one time). She also keep a detailed job scheduled posted on the door to her basement, the kind where you would put stars, but instead of star there was monetary rewards, I bet these kids were pretty rich by the time they were 18 – I think this worked best for her younger daughter. In addition to Charles she only had this other kid, a sweet, little girl.

Up until today, we have always had a saying in our house – you know when things go wrong and no one wants to fess up – the saying was/is “It must have been Charles!” Even though in the 7th grade he and his family had moved to Missouri.

Da and Charles were very much a like - they were always in trouble. I would call his mom sometimes, but she would take the extra step to make sure they were brought together and would make Da say what happened if Charles blamed her as the perpetrator, which is how it usually went.

Charles would do things like, break a window, tear off the Barbie doll heads, mess up the room, be mean to my younger girls and take off with Da on a bus for adventures etc. I don’t want to know what else it was that happened. The one thing I will always remember is Charles was the first house she “toilet papered” – you know that right of passage, kids do. Sometimes this is referred to as “rolling a house”.

Da, being she, would always get caught at everything she did –sometimes I really think this saved her life. Well when she decided to sneak out and “paper” Charles’ house – first, she was caught single-handed, secondly it was the way she did the deed.

Some of you might remember smoking cigarettes in high school bathroom - back in the old days, like the early 70’s. We would also make wads of wet paper and throw them up at the ceiling. Have you ever tried this? It was almost like paper mache, once it dried, it was like a rock. Well when Da decided to “roll” she proceeded to fill up a bucket and took her trusted Charmin to Charles’ house, which was one street over, and instead of throwing the rolls over the trees… she soaked it in the bucket and threw it at the house. We did not get over to clean it up until it had dried enough to be an awful pain!

This led Charles mom to once again think he was an innocent young man with just bad influences surrounding him. I must say in her defense, she was always good to Da and never treated me like “one of those moms”.

Since they moved and we lost touch, I am not sure when she and her husband came to the realization that Charles might have a more serious problem than “just kids at that age” or “boys, will be boys”. As I have stated before, people really need to wake up and smell the roses. If something does not smell like a rose, or doesn’t look like a rose – it is not a rose and they better bring in a professional to figure it out.

I watched a “48 hours” mystery one night. It was about a kid named Chuck. “Chuck” had a dream; it was a really scary one… you see he remembered he and his buddy killing a well-loved sportscaster for no reason. “Chuck” turned states evidence to receive a lesser sentence, and of course his parents, I am sure his parents, pray he was dreaming, and it didn’t really happen. I can’t imagine the nightmare it turned out to be for them.

“Blame it on Charles”, can never be said here again, Charles dreams, Charles is called “Chuck” now. “Chuck is doing 25 years and his buddy that he told on is doing 45. I am sure the job chart is off the basement wall, and his active mother is now either an advocate for prisoner rights or she is sadly hiding in her house.

A lot of mother’s hide in their houses for periods of time, ones like me that do it not out of embarrassment, but of that crippling depression we can experience for the cards we’ve been dealt.

Do they get to play cards in prison? Are mothers allowed to bring them when they visit? It was heavy glass with a hole, and telephones when we would visit Da, for those weeks she chilled out in the Justice center.

Lord help these families, and especially the family of the man so brutally killed. The one Chuck dreamed about.

  • Dream Killer


  • The young man that got caught up with Charles and is now serving time is Ryan Ferguson. His family is really pulling for him - I thought it only fair I post this link to Ryan's famlies site:

  • Free Ryan Ferguson



  • * © 1985, the words of Les Misérables are the registered trademarks of Cameron Mackintosh Overseas Limited.

    2 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Like the blog. Hits close to home sometimes. I've created a blog of my own called "A Bipolar Perspective" Check it out at http://bipolarperspective.blogspot.com/ I just started it so there's not much there but I will be adding to it. Peace.

    9:07 AM  
    Blogger Peter said...

    When Jess was growing up as a young adolescent, her best friend was pushed into every activity under the sun. Sarah's dad was/is my best friend and we would talk about his aggressive schedule for Sarah. "I don't want her to have any spare time" ... "Let her burn up all that energy in an organized activity", he would say. But Peter (my friend and I have the same name) would allow Sarah to quit an activity at a moments notice. "What does she learn from that?" , I said. She learns not only to quit when she doesn't like something she also DOESN'T learn to finish something she's started and that she's letting others down in the process. I have never understood the logic behind it, even from my best friend. We still argue over those days. Still, I think Jess learned to value the few things she had and to make the most of them.

    12:22 PM  

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