Friday, March 16, 2012

When someone else I know loses their child...

I was surfing my Facebook page last night and it hit me! The rant my niece had posted the other night about bullying and judging people and causing a young man to give up hope all came into focus. Her friend, a person I used to babysit and who was a friend of my own sister, had lost her son. My niece didn't give any specifics, but it sounded like suicide. I had just spoken with this particular young man's grandmother a few weeks before and she was telling me about some of his struggles and his involvement with drugs, particularly heroin. The realization of who had died just hit me hard and I burst into tears.

I shared the posts with my husband and sent a few messages, one to my niece and one to her friend. Then I went up and cried myself to sleep.

I don't know what all drugs my own son might have taken, but I know he was high a lot during his senior year of high school after he broke his leg and couldn't play sports that year. He dated a girl who I am sure introduced him to drugs other that pot and I don't know exactly what they were. I questioned him a few times after he had a mental break, but he never admitted to anything like ecstasy or heroin or meth. I don't know if it was any drug, or genetics, or accident of birth that altered his mind, but he became paranoid and mentally disturbed. As far as I can tell, it was classic Paranoid Schitzophrenia.

He really did try to help himself. He ate healthy, home-cooked foods all the time. He did not use any drugs for at least the last 2 years of his life. He went into Lenten fasting during the last weeks of his life. We thought he was just getting into religion more. Now we see he was preparing himself for death.

All I do know is that my son's mental state deteriorated, I couldn't get him the help he needed, and he is dead.

I also know that my friend is going through the same pain, having the same doubts about herself and how much she could have, should have, might have done to prevent this outcome. I think I did everything I could have done short of having my son committed to a mental hospital. He did spend a few days in one being evaluated, but then they released him and recommended a treatment plan. That doesn't work if you don't follow the plan. We couldn't get my son in to see a psychiatrist for a few months, and once we got him there, he wouldn't continue the sessions. We couldn't force him. He was 23 years old by then.

I sure do hate those drugs!

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