Charles’ new Rap is online on iTunes. I don’t wanna be a patient.

Charles was a Rap artist among his many talents. His notebooks and music were his salvation while he was alive and probably the only reason he lived until 20.

When he was away at a therapeutic boarding school, they did take his notebooks which made me angry. Writing is therapeutic. I don’t hate the school but I didn’t think taking his writing away because they didn’t like what it said was the right move. There were many good people who went there and worked there. It saved lives. Others didn’t make it. Some still struggle.

Charles … Read more...

Did I ever think he might be better off dead?

I know Charles thought this. He wrote it. And my wondering it is not the same as wishing it. I never wished it. But I did have this as a fleeting thought after a particularly difficult crisis. Was my intuition trying to warm me what was to come?

When you have struggled with a child’s mental health issues combined with drug abuse problems for many years –and you’ve watched that struggle, at some point, you wonder if they are going to make it.

The lack of support and search for resources is utterly and completely exhausting. You advocate and advocate … Read more...

A hug from heaven?

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Last night I had an unusual experience. I woke up from a series of short scary dreams. Not necessarily nightmares but the sort of stories Charles used to tell to spook me. When I woke up, I was verbally talking, telling Charles to quit pranking me because the dreams were messing up my sleep.

I was lying on my left side. Then I get this odd but pleasant tingly feeling all over and feel gentle pressure everywhere on my body like I’m being wrapped up in something warm and cozy.Truthfully it was the most surreal experience I have ever had.

Then … Read more...

Did Charles show warning signs for teen suicide?

Looking back after my son Charles Aubrey Rogers’ death, I see that he did exhibit signs of being suicidal. Of course I have often asked myself what I missed.charles rogers I had been a mental health advocate and board member at Beacon Tree Foundation for several years prior to his suicide. Although I had been to one suicide symposium, I still did not connect the dots when it came to my own child. 

Frankly, he didn’t check that many of the boxes on the list of suicide risks they presented that day.

His father and I have been married 30 … Read more...

Why did he kill himself? Answering the why

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Charles in Wilderness Program for troubled teens. It was here that we finally got a great diagnosis. He did embrace the program after 4 weeks or so.

I learned a lot about Charles after his death by suicide from his RAP diary where he wrote his songs. You can see his notebook in his hands in the picture on this page. Many of his friends know what I’m talking about since he carried them with him. They were his lifeline.

It’s in those pages I saw just how much he hurt. Every single day.

And why he ultimately gravitated to … Read more...

Educating a child with mental health issues is a challenge

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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...

Signs of depression in teens. Not the same as adults

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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...