Can This Family Be Saved: An Intervention: Kelly, Tony

Is His Home Ready?

"My son, Kyle, is 16, and he's at a rehab facility called Hazel Street Recovery Center," Kelly says. "Kyle started to do drugs. We found out he was smoking marijuana."

Kyle admits, "My usual day was wake up in the morning, smoke a bowl in the bathroom, and then go to school, maybe smoke more. School is so boring; why not just smoke a bowl?"

"Grades went down, and he eventually got kicked out of the water polo and swim team," Kelly says.

Kyle's stepfather, Tony, says, "From A-minuses and Bs to Fs. Particularly in the last year, it's been horrendous. It's been awful. He's been expelled from school. He's been suspended from school."

"When he was expelled, I looked at his phone and saw that there was a lot of dealing that was going on. Pot references: orange crush, purple kush. He was also doing raves and ecstasy," Kelly says. "My dog went under Kyle's bed, and I heard this ‘clink!' I found two empty beer bottles under there."

"He would use Xanax, alcohol," Tony says. "One night, two of his friends brought him home. He couldn't even stand up. He was intoxicated. I knew we had a problem."

"I stole my alcohol from the stores. I would just go in there, and slide it under my jacket and walk out," Kyle says.

"He stole a car. He stole a golf cart. He went in and out of his window. He's just on his own plan. Like, he doesn't respond to authority," Kelly says.

[AD]"He and his friend were walking home from school, and there was a construction site, and there was a huge water truck. Kyle gets into the truck and starts driving around the construction site," Tony says.

"We'd smoke in the truck," Kyle remembers. "We thought it'd be a fun idea if we just drove it around, and we drove it around and crashed into a fence on purpose, because I was high. I thought it was funny."

"The police called and said they have Kyle, and we need to come get him. I told them leave him there for a while, let him just get a taste of it," Tony says. "His attitude was no big deal."

"Kyle used to steal money all the time," Kelly says. She and her husband had to keep their bedroom door locked.

"I've stolen a lot of money from my parents, over and over again," Kyle admits.

"Kyle is defiant with me. I tell him, ‘I need you to do your homework,' and he just says, ‘I'm not going to do it.' There's nothing you can do," Tony says. He explains that Kyle flies into a rage. "Kyle has attacked me a couple times. He tried to hit me and kick me. He just gets so frustrated and so angry that he just lashes out." Tony says Kyle cut the screens on his bedroom window and would sneak out at night. 

"I snuck out a lot, when I wanted to go to a party or something, and I just wouldn't even ask my parents; I'd just go. Because I figured, if they were going to tell me no, or then they'd be mad, I just don't tell them," Kyle says.

"These are all things that tell you your kid needs help," Kelly says.

Tony wrote to Dr. Phil because he knew they didn't have the skills to handle what was happening. "What we were doing was not working," he says. "The actual day of taking Kyle to Hazel Street, the transport company came to the house at 4:30 in the morning. I was up, waiting for them. I walked them into Kyle's room, turned on the light, Kyle kind of woke, like, ‘What's going on?' And I left."

"I didn't know what was going on," Kyle remembers. "They just pulled me out of my bed. I was like, ‘What are you doing?' I was pretty mad and disturbed, and I didn't get to say goodbye to my parents. I didn't get to say goodbye to my dog or anything. It was pretty scary at the moment. I saw my stepdad come in and wake me up, and then they came in, so I mean, it was their choice. I had no control over it."

[AD]"I knew in my heart that that was the only way he was going to go," Tony says.

"It's kind of like an intervention," Kelly says. "If you think your kids are in peril, you only have that time to work with when you're in control."

"I'm amazed at how quiet and how low-key they were. And I timed it: They got Kyle dressed and had him in that car in nine minutes," Tony says. "So, they were very, very good, and then they called me and said he was safe at Hazel Street."

Kyle has been in rehab for more than four months. "The first month of Hazel Street, I was like, ‘I hate my parents. Why did they send me here?' But afterward, I figured out it was for my safety," Kyle says. "You know, you see others, like alcoholics and addicts in the AA meetings or NA meetings I go to, and their lives are, like, bad. They've been messed up, and for 30 years been on drugs, and that could've been me. I think I've done so much growing up in there, and those are all good things to have when you're an addict."

"Kyle says that he really wants to come home, and he's been there long enough," Kelly says. "I worry very much that when Kyle comes home, he's going to get hooked up with the bad kids again. I worry that he's going to fall into the same routine that he was in."

Hazel Street does not recommend that Kyle come home yet. They asked that the family meet with Dr. Phil. When Kelly arrived for the interview, she demanded to meet with Kyle off camera first.

Kelly and Dr. Phil have a rocky first start.

 

Kelly tells Dr. Phil she just wanted to tell her son that their relationship was more important than the show and that she loves him.

Dr. Phil tells her, "You want to control and manipulate the situation, which is how you've gotten into this predicament already."

Tony tells his wife that they've learned a lot from watching the show, and it's up to them to accept the help.

[AD]Dr. Phil tells them his only interest is Kyle, but Kelly is making it all about her. "You're pouting, you're pissed off, and you want to get your way, so instead of us talking about Kyle and how we move him to the next level, and how we solidify the progress that he's made, how we help this young man get some traction and direction to continue the hard work that he's been doing, we're talking about you being mad, because you don't control the schedule and agenda," he says.

"That's interesting," she says. "It seems like you say that to a lot of moms."

"The ones who enable their sons hear that a lot," Dr. Phil acknowledges.

Dr. Phil agrees to run Kelly's agenda and asks that Kyle be brought in, so Kelly can have her moment with her son. She greets Kyle with a warm hug and says that's all she needed. Dr. Phil excuses Kyle once again.

"So, what do y'all want to do now?" he asks them.

"Dr. Phil, I apologize," Tony says. "I really thought that things were going to be positive with Kelly and that she would understand, but she has her own agenda. Kyle has improved dramatically. In the family sessions that we've done with him, he's really done a remarkable job. He's really done his part in this deal. And as you told us a long time ago, this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we have as much work to do as Kyle does."

Dr. Phil tells them that if they don't make major changes, whether with his help or not, their son's life is still in danger.

Kelly and Tony agree they probably aren't ready for Kyle to return home. Kelly says she worries that their neighborhood isn't the best place for their son, and they don't have the right school for him to attend.

Dr. Phil questions why they think their neighborhood is bad. "I've driven through your neighborhood," he says. "It looked like a beautiful place to be to me."

"It is," Tony says. "There's no question that the environment at home has been a contributor. It's been unstable. It's been volatile. It's been inconsistent."

Kelly agrees, saying they fight a lot, and she's more likely to cave in when it comes to Kyle's discipline.

[AD]"Look, if you guys fuss and fight, that has an impact on this young man. If he knows that there are no boundaries, there are no consequences, there are no requirements that he's going to be held to, why would he ever respect anything that you have to say? He knows that it's just nothing," Dr. Phil says. "Kids need to know that they have unconditional love but very conditional privileges. They need to know that you love them, no matter what, but they need to know if they do an F level of performance, they get an F lifestyle."

Kelly explains that she understands that now, but that's not how her childhood was. She got whatever she wanted, no matter her grades. She admits that way of growing up didn't turn out so well for her.

Dr. Phil digs further into Kelly's history with drugs.


Dr. Phil acknowledges the tough decision they had to make about sending their son away to rehab but says the tough part is not over. In order to make sure Kyle succeeds at remaining clean and sober, they have to make sure the home environment is ready and that they're not enabling him or modeling bad behavior.

He introduces Dr. Frank Lawlis, chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board, who can help them get the best plan in place for Kyle's return, including a complete workup and concrete diagnosis of what Kyle is facing, such as whether he has ADHD or not.

Find out how Dr. Lawlis says he can help Kelly as well.

 

[AD]Kelly goes through her list of medications she's tried, which have all taken a toll on her.

Dr. Lawlis says she can meet with 13 specialists at the PNP Center to find out exactly what's going on and what she need to do to feel better. Kelly agrees to give it a try.