And there were clues of suicidal thoughts

“…Also when I’m feeling this low in the wilderness away from my family on a sleepless night, I might do something that hurts my whole family even more. I don’t want to do that, but when I’m feeling like that I don’t think about others only ending my suffering. I know it sounds selfish, but I’ve been that miserable out here and it’s only getting worse.”

In going through old letters from wilderness for the book, I came across this letter from Charles. I’m only showing an excerpt here. He did drop clues over the years about his thoughts of suicide that we somehow missed.

Or maybe we thought they were just threats because he was angry with us for kidnapping him out of his bed and depositing him in a wilderness program against his will where he had to do number two in a hole he dug himself. Of course he was angry. Who wants to be kidnapped and dropped off deep in the woods to sleep under a tarp?

Charles didn’t suffer thoughts of suicide because of wilderness. He had long been having them. Over the years there were clues like his frequent fascination with people who died young.

It’s just painful to see the clues and not to have realized. what they meant.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, 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. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

6 thoughts on “And there were clues of suicidal thoughts”

  1. I am living that same pain. Seeing all the clues that were there for 3 years is so hard to process. A lot of what ifs to contend with. As a parent I trusted my son to always come to us with his troubles. So sad that drugs complicated his beautiful mind and made him suffer such psychological pain. A month before Riley took his life by suicide he said I know I am loved. I know you know how much I love you all but I don’t know how to love myself. So sad that drugs took the colour of the world away from my beautiful boy.

  2. I can only imagine your pain reading this. For myself, I would ask why he didn’t share? How did I miss this? All the same agonizing questions ….

    I totally understand and no one can lay blame.

    To feel this way is tragic. So grossly overwhelming. I felt it for a period of my life I have to say. I can only say my mind remained open enough that the lies and sadness never convinced me that my children would be alright with this somehow. Luckily I had a counselor that kept drilling that into my head and I heard it above all else.

    Thank you for sharing. Perhaps someone else will cling to something to convince them otherwise.

    My girl felt it too. I know she did. I tried to get her help and she flat out refused. Drugs only complicated and hijacked her brain. Although she didn’t die by suicide, I know she fought that blackness many times. She said she could beat it herself. And believed those lies.

    It’s a bad place. I don’t think it’s necessary to say more.

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