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I wish Charles had been arrested

When we got the call from the police, I was hopeful Charles had been arrested. Elated really. It wanted it ever since he had walked out of that drug detox facility. If he was arrested, it would mean he was safe.

Those with substance use disorder often have behaviors that land them in jail—for crimes they committed to feed their addictions and keep unbearable withdrawal at bay.

After that call from the police, I had that moment of elation for a few seconds before my thinking brain kicked and and introduced logic.

I realized the police wouldn’t drop in and make a courtesy call to inform us our 20-year-old son had been arrested. I remember wanting the logic to stop and to hold onto the fantasy–that he was alive and in jail.

I told myself to not jump to conclusions but I did know and I wanted to be the one who didn’t know– just a little longer. Push it away. It was such a contrast–the unbearable dread while still clinging to that last shred of hope because I had not heard the news yet.

I remember Randy saying, “They’re here.” He was out there so fast. But I was moving in slow motion. It was like I was in a different dimension than everyone else. Why couldn’t I move faster?

That surreal, out-of-body experience started then and continued for days, and weeks after we found out our son was dead.  I still have it occasionally-that utter feeling of disbelief hitting me like a brick wall.  I will be driving along and suddenly think, “Oh my God. I am a mom whose son killed himself. Charles is not here anymore.”

I’ve met that moment so many times now but it still takes my breath away. Brings tears to my eyes. It’s now my moment to cherish the memory of my youngest child, and accept that this is my reality.

I have survived. Just like I told myself I would the day I got the news.

The parking spot

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

6 thoughts on “I wish Charles had been arrested”

  1. I’m sorry Charles was not arrested. The moments that take our Breath Away collectively I guess will always be. 💔

  2. Yeah that surreal wave that still hits when you say to your self my child killed himself is truly a feeling of insanity. I just came out of a 2 day grief wave that still overwhelms at the cellular level 2 yrs 7 mths into this journey. You can feel the fatigue and extra sadness coming and usually culminates in crying for its final release each time. Good luck with the birthday coming up. I know it’s hard.

    1. David- I love that you comment here and share. There are not many men who do and it helps me to understand your journey, too. And you allow yourself to grieve. I think that is so important. On Charles’ birthday, I’ll make a toast to Daniel with my alkaline water. 🙂 Both our creative geniuses are collaborating in heaven.

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