A Parent’s Nightmare

January 7, 2008 Kyron No Comments

I got an email the other day from my friend Anita. She was Katherine’s teacher for her first two years in middle school. What I read shook me to the core. It’s truly one of a parent’s worst nightmares.

cayle A Parents NightmareAnita’s friend Kristen was writing to all of her friends to spread the word that her sister Cayle had gone missing on the 29th of December. She was hoping to use some social networking to gain the attention of the major news outlets. Another Georgia woman had disappeared a couple of days after Cayle, Meredith Emerson, and it was her story that was picked up the news media.

Who knows why these stories get picked up – what pulls a news division to pick which story to cover and which to pass on. I can tell you why I’m posting about Cayle’s story tonight. Cayle is bipolar. From what I know she’s a otherwise normal functioning adult. Everything I write to you about today is what I have picked up from emails, the limited media coverage and Cayle’s blog. Certainly she’s not developmentally disabled like Katherine. I honestly don’t know this woman, or her sister. I know her mother – metaphorically speaking. Cayle’s mom is going her level best to stay strong to persevere to find her beautiful daughter. She’s panicked beyond reason over a whole host of things including the fact that her daughter has been off meds for a week which as a parent of a bipolar child I can tell you to say that’s not a good thing is an understatement.

My personal concern is that this case is not getting ENOUGH coverage BECAUSE she’s bipolar. My greatest concern is that this case is not getting either law enforcement action or media coverage because they think Cayle is just some treatment non-complaint mentally ill person and because of this its not worth their most exhaustive effort and coverage (there is no indication in the media at this writing that she was not medication compliant). The stigma with mental illness HAS to be broken. Treatment compliance is unfortunately one of the most insidious pieces of the disease of mental illness. The medication makes the person feel well again.

Think about how hard it is for you to finish a round of antibiotics when you start feeling better, you slack – admit it. Well people with mental illness are still people like you and me and it’s hard to think you need to keep taking the meds when you seem to be feeling and acting ok. There are others who really don’t like to take the meds because it truly does change your personality – while this might be imperative to protect themselves and others – the mentally ill don’t necessarily see it that way. A bipolar person in a manic phase has incredible energy and usually needs very little sleep or no sleep – sometimes for weeks at a time. That’s a pretty powerful draw – I can put together a list a mile wide with what I could get done with energy like that!! Problem is too often it’s a destructive energy.

I hope you all will take a moment to click over to visit Cayle’s Blog by clicking here to see what the latest is. I hope that you’ll also consider contacting some of the media links listed there and let them know this is a critical story. Cayle must be found. Consider contacting some of the major news channels – CNN in particular – there is a current effort to have Nancy Grace, a Georgia girl herself, cover this important story. Please reach out. Please help one of us. Let’s help Cayle’s mom bring her daughter home. Let’s speak out and say we need to take special care of our special kids. We parents expect nothing less.

Post note – As I was writing this note tonight it came over the news media that Ms. Meredith Emerson’s body had been found. The individual suspected of murdering her was arraigned today. Our very sincere condolences go out to the Emerson family. As parents we all know no parent should have to deal with the death of their child, let alone in this manner.

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