I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, will be published in the fall. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015.
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
Those of you who have a child with special needs, mental health issues, learning or physical disabilities know how hard it is for that child to earn a high school degree. There are countless road blocks, problems, run ins with teachers over homework etc. Providing Charles with the support to finish high school was so difficult and expensive, it was a full time job in and of itself.
We enlisted the help of an educational consultant, Martha Kolbe who has since passed away. I would highly recommend that step. While we ultimately had to choose a boarding school, there … Read more...
I know so many don’t know what to say to those who’ve suffered a loss, particularly that of a child and in the case of suicide.
Unfortunately, I can check both those boxes.
Suggestions on what to say
I made a pact to welcome any and all comments and never pass judgement on what someone has asked or said because it takes guts to speak up. After so many years of suffering in silence since he had such stigmatized illnesses, it’s a relief to let it out.
Figuring out what someone else in the same shoes wants is tough.
I loved the Harry Potter Tour in London. But once they opened the doors to the studio, it hit me how much Charles Rogers would have loved this tour. I lost it and it was dark so I thought it was enough to hide my grief and my tears. Sometimes it just hits me like a punch to the heart.
So I find a seat in the crowd and as I am struggling to pull it together, a concerned Warner Brothers staff member comes up to me and asks me if I’m OK.
Probably one of the toughest things about having a child that died, especially one that died by suicide, is that many people avoid you and say nothing. And yes, we notice. In fact, we are hyper sensitive to it.
It’s isolating and devastating enough without the added stress of someone obviously avoiding you or the subject because they don’t know what to say. I understand why. But it still hurts.
And sometimes when I have brought it up to eliminate the elephant in the room, people wave me off or turn away like it’s too ugly and they don’t … Read more...
A painful day. Meetings provided some distraction.
I was at the Comcast office today and I asked the CSR what his tattoo represented. He said it was for his mom who died when he was 15. He was about 28-30.
I asked him flat out if she had been a heroin addict and died from that disease. And he said yes. How did I know to ask? How did I just know that sun tattoo represented a mother who died of addiction? How could I have been so bold to ask that of a perfect stranger? I don’t know. I … Read more...
Signs of depression are different for teens than they are for adults. Some teens can look so happy and well adjusted because they are masters at hiding depression.
Charles could be moody, sullen sometimes but he was actually hypersocial– always needing to be surrounded by people.
He was often described as “unmotivated,” another telltale sign of depression.
Charles always got sick. He caught absolutely everything.
I never knew it until recently but getting sick all the time is a sign of depression– especially in teens. Charles was diagnosed with depression at wilderness but he never admitted it. Too much stigma. … Read more...
I didn’t. There is something called the “nod” where someone using heroin will nod off.
Sometimes an addict will sleep 24 hours straight due to heroin being laced with Xanax. In many areas now, they lace heroin with (fentanyl). Last drug test I gave my son indicated multiple drugs mixed in there, at least 9 out of the 12-panel tested on the screening test.
After using the drug, the addicted person has upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting.
Heroin is snorted or injected so you might not be aware your son or daughter, husband or … Read more...
This was originally posted on the blog of the business I owned for 6 years.
Anne Moss Rogers’ son, Charles, 20, died by suicide June 5, 2015.
Charles was a creative genius who was articulate, intelligent, funny and loved to rap. He was currently in the process of producing a new album when he died by suicide.
While he lit up every room he ever entered, he struggled with anxiety and depression, addiction, ADHD and a sleep disorder. A deep, soulful and sensitive young man, Charles loved and treasured family and loved dogs, funky socks, drama and writing. But most … Read more...