So much hurt in his lyrics

I’ve been writing a book and Charles will be my co-author since I will be publishing some of his lyrics–ones published and some not published. The point will be to show you inside the mind of someone who suffered from addiction, depression and thoughts of suicide. It offers such insight and understanding of the two diseases and a death by suicide. It answers a lot of the “Why?”

Today, I was trying to transcribe one of his YouTube videos. Originally, I submitted it to a company to transcribe it but they refused. I’m sure the mention of angels and devils and the curse words were the reason. They don’t get it perfect but it gives me something to start with.

So it was up to me.

He talks so fast I can’t catch some lines although I get most of them. When I listen to Charles, then someone else, I’m struck by how much faster he is, how much more intelligent and emotionally insightful his rap lyrics are.

So that I got it right, I decided to look through his notebooks to see if I had the written lyrics. I had not remembered seeing it and I didn’t find it.

When I open those notebooks, I am unable to  focus on looking for one title. I always get sucked into reading his writing. It’s just so amazing to see the depth of his creative genius.

What struck me today was how often he felt like ending his life. The depth of his depression. The frustration of his sleep disorder and how utterly worthless he felt as he became drug dependent and then addicted.

He suffered such feelings of abandonment and anger and he was far more aware that he was chasing a high he could never find again. Intellectually, he knew this disease inside out but could not write himself a solution. I never got into his phone, but these lyrics reveal a lot of things I didn’t know.

I will never paint a picture of Charles as the perfect kid. He wasn’t. Like many who suffer addiction, he did sell drugs to support his habit.  That was not who he was or who he was meant to be and he felt intense shame for it. He writes about how he has wasted his life. When we lecture, we tend to think they don’t know all this. And they do.

I also felt something else. I didn’t blame myself today. The sheer volume of despair in those lyrics made me feel like I couldn’t have possibly fixed this. I also realized what someone in recovery has to go through to find themselves again. So many layers of pain and so much work to do. I read about rehab and felt his withdrawal and I had a new respect for those who have found recovery. Now I see why family and love and support are so important. What it takes to drag yourself out of that level of despair.

The amazing thing is how many do survive and find recovery.

Ultimately, I didn’t find the original lyrics and there were just phrases I could not understand due to my being a middle aged mom. So I decided to reach out to his friend Max, a talented friend of Charles who did the beats to many of his songs. I sent the lyrics his way to help me with some of the lines I missed or got wrong.  That was a great move and he was able to translate and shed light on what I was missing.

I got it done! The most important one.

Sometimes it still doesn’t seem real to me that he’s gone

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

12 thoughts on “So much hurt in his lyrics”

  1. Anne, you are such an amazing Mom. It will be an honor to read Charles’s insights. I admire your strength.💖

  2. That’s so good (“good” by our definition) you’re able to discover more details on his mindset leading up to the event. Even though we know the psychological autopsy needs to end at some point it really never does. Mine has yet to uncover any overt expressions of such despair by Daniel. There are plenty of hints. Like this song https://danielkyre.bandcamp.com/track/what-if-im-right-single he published 5 months before he died. The line “What will I see, when my eyes stop working?” is so haunting. We witnessed his eyes stop working in ICU as he was brain dead. Interestingly people are still buying this song 2yrs and 4 mths later along with personal messages to him. I see the purchases thru his email account I was able to hack. But back to you Anne Moss. I’m so happy to read such a sense of relief from you. I know from your writings that you have suffered greatly from reliving that fateful day regarding the last exchange you had with Charles and wondering whether you should have responded. This is all too surreal isn’t it.

    1. I will check out that song. I think this proves that our children suffered a lot in silence and wore the face of a clown. And David I think it’s pretty wonderful he has fans buying the song. I think it helps people. I know you had to let go and watch him die and that is not an experience we had. I don’t know if it’s bad or good but I know it would have to have fulfilled that longing to be able to say good bye. As heart wrenching as that was, at least that. We never got to do that. We have to take every little thing we have. It’s a process. Thanks for diving in with me.

      1. As close to a goodbye as we could get. They called us on way to Columbia SC airport to fly to LA and said he was dead. I asked if they could keep him on life support until we got there. They did. I realized later that was mostly for the organ donor vultures. Organ donating is good but I say vultures because when we got back to Columbia after the two days we spent in LA ICU they called me on the way home from airport and asked if they could have his arms too. Yes the semblance of life was better than nothing. Ok on to exercising. I’m in training for grief you know.

        1. I remember your telling me that now. What a call that would have been. About the arms. Holy cow isn’t the yes enough? They had to make a special request. Maybe I need to specify on my license so there is no question and my loved ones don’t have to answer questions like that.

          David. You gotta write me a story for Emotionally Naked.

    2. I just listened. To us where we were, it’s very subtle. Now looking back we can see that as a sign. I do think it reveals suicidal ideation and I’m going to bet he had a lot of it. Males especially, hide their depression.

  3. Such a hard and beautiful process, Anne Moss. I love how it changed you as well. Such a creative genius… Can’t wait for your book. ❤️

  4. Wow. Him being a lyricist for his own songs must be like a discovery inside to see what he was thinking and feeling. Despite hearing the pain in his voice and agony in his writing, at least this is something that gives you understanding of what he was going through. Although, I never meet him, he seems like a one-of-a-kind unique individual. That picture of him I like.

    1. Exactly Michael. While it’s painful, I have answers. And I need to share these with everyone who has lost someone to addiction or depression because it reveals an uncanny sense of self awareness I didn’t realize.

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