“…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.