I didn’t really know my son

demons up against me drugs

It wasn’t until after my son Charles died by suicide that I knew about my son’s agony. How could I have missed pain so monumental? I thought I knew my child reasonably well. His music lyrics revealed I knew little. And his struggles with suicidal thoughts went back years.

This was part of my struggle. All that I missed. The questions I never asked. The pain he kept to himself while he wore the mask of a clown to conceal it. I thought he loved life too much to leave it. But I also know he didn’t want to leave it, that suicide was something he was driven to.

I knew something was wrong, of course, especially towards the end. He had become addicted to heroin so it wasn’t like it was going so well I had visions of him graduating magna cum laude from Harvard. But suicide? It was never even a blip on my radar.

I was always mesmerized by Charles. And admittedly frustrated, too. He consumed so much space in my life. And then he didn’t And his death took up space in my life in another way altogether. All of which was overwhelming and confusing.

The point is I know him now. Better than I ever have but I know him. And he knows that I do finally understand him even though he’s not here to tell me.

I won’t say that I don’t suffer a nick of regret and shock at times. I do. But what was once a point over which I agonized, I’ve been able to accept and no longer torture myself. We never know what’s inside someone else’s head. Unless we ask. And then it’s up to us to actually listen.

In included my son’s lyrics in this book, every other chapter which has helped so many understand addiction, depression, and suicide from the point of view of the sufferer.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx 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 substance use disorder 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, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, 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. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

4 thoughts on “I didn’t really know my son”

  1. I have the diary of a broken mind. I haven’t read it yet. I lost my son Matthew 7 months ago. 24 years old. He had a mental illness for 5 yrs. We tried everything we could to help him, but he just couldn’t take the suffering any more. My heart is broken and I will never be the same again. Thank you for your support.

    1. Glenna- I’m so sorry. It’s still so raw right now. Thank you for getting the book and read it when you are ready. The first three chapters are intense. Funny after that but you have to be in a place where you have more time invested. Thank you for commenting.

  2. OMG YES! We don’t know until after. Only the good die young. The survivors will always survive. A generational difference in need of much research. We aren’t born addicts or alcoholics. It’s created to mask pain just as you state. A great fear of not being accepted by family, or friends. It becomes a part of their neurology. Impossible to rewire without a group of professionals that our society doesn’t have and can’t afford.

    Continue the fight, but move on in your wife. A grieving Mother and accomplished business woman can only handle so much. You both are so loved.

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