Sunday, April 14, 2013


Today is minus 10 degrees; it's too crisp to busk.

This week my clients included a married couple who asked me to share their story, which is really the story of their son who has schizophrenia.  I have been close to this family for years.

Here are three early poems about Kenyon, written by his father:


Mommy, I want to tell you something okay
Mommy, I want ice cream on a brush you know
And pretty soon the monkey will come
My fish flew away, Mommy.

Kenyon in the Bath

He splashes the water
And sinks his toys
He whoops and hollers
And through the noise
He shines.
Tub of bubble
Tub of Kenyon
Blonde, blue-eyed and
Bounced from Heaven.

The moon in the afternoon

The moon in the afternoon belongs to my son because he looks at it and laughs.
It used to belong to me, but at night I never laughed. 

And this is the first of many letters written to Kenyon’s psychiatrist: 

Dr. M,

As you requested, here is a summary of Kenyon’s behavior since his last appointment: 

Since Kenyon’s last visit with you, things have been okay (even though he refused keep any scheduled appointments with you, refused to attend any NA meetings, and refused to admit he had problems).  Kenyon has just re-registered into another high school (for morning classes only, has again taken up snowboarding, and has resumed weight training with me.

However, this past week has not been pleasant.  As I called your office on Monday, and then spoke to you Tuesday, I really did not expect this Emergency admission at 4:00 a.m. today.

Monday, Kenyon was quite argumentative. Tuesday, Kenyon was very argumentative, extremely rude and aggressive and yelling in conversation.  At 2:30 A.M., Kenyon had all the downstairs lights on (main floor, too), and also the television; he was completely dressed (he had probably been outside having a cigarette).  He was pacing about the house, his face contorted and twitching.  We tried convincing him to get back to bed (which has lately been the family room couch, for reasons known only to Kenyon), but it was very evident that he was confused, even disoriented.

This was Kenyon’s second consecutive no-sleep night.  He had skipped school yesterday because, according to him, he needed sleep. Surprisingly, Kenyon went quite willingly to Emergency with me.  While waiting in Emergency, he was clearly mixed up, noticing things on the blank white walls.  (I thought he was hallucinating -- he stated he wasn’t).  He tried convincing all the medical staff in attendance that it was I, who woke him, made him dress, and then drove him to the General Hospital.

The attending psychiatrist called my wife at home at 5:00 A.M. to get more information, especially regarding his twitch.  Kenyon was then formally admitted to 1D West.

And last, cannabis was detected in Kenyon’s urine sample.  (Is this a good thing?)

Hope this is helpful.

This letter was sent when Kenyon was 18 years old, old enough to be admitted (committed) to 1D West, the psychiatric unit of the Regina General Hospital.  Upon his release from 1D West, Kenyon was institutionalized in a group home for 18 months, after which assigned to a supportive agency apartment for another 18 months.  Due to his non-compliancy and drugging behaviors, Kenyon was ousted from this arrangement and forced to live entirely on his own.

Kenyon is now 32 years of age. 
By his parents’ accord, Kenyon, generally, had been the perfect teenager.  Gifted both academically (he was an A student, his IQ measured above 130 on a Wechsler scale), and athletically (a Bronze Medallion swimmer, and a Saskatchewan U14 provincial soccer team full-back and striker), he was, in every regard, the amicable team player.

Kenyon’s physical presence was Appollonian.  He was 6’1” and weighed 165 pounds of solid muscle.  (He had been a constant club member, pumping iron at both the YMCA and at the University Fitness Centre.  He had a thick shock of blonde hair, was socially entertaining, and pleasant to be around.

When his was fifteen he secured a part-time job in a skate-board shop, and when he was 16 he got his driver’s license and worked part-time at a lumber yard.  Kenyon always had lots of friends, including girl-friends, and was the guy everyone called upon to organize the teenage weekend parties.  Kenyon was the poster-boy of science and mathematics and fun. 

Then Kenyon got into drugs.

According to psychiatrists, his drug use triggered his SCHIZOPHRENIA. Since the time of this printed letter above, the bandersnatch Kenyon has been admitted to the Psychiatric Unit over 15 times.  He had a 90% average when he dropped out of high school; Kenyon, now, rarely reads.   Kenyon has managed to work at some part-time jobs over the years, none of which having his previous passions and fervor.

Kenyon is now in the buskerhood; sometimes a buskmate (at his parents' request).  When he is wired on nicotine or caffeine or alcohol, Kenyon is not much fun to be around.  When wired he spews salad one-versations and chain smokes. When not wired, none can play the bongos or pan drum better than he.

Next post … I’ll comment on the present Hobson’s choice of his parents (e.g., buyers of Henry Ford's Model T had any choice of color, provided it was black), and the continual story of Kenyon laughing in the shadow suite.


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