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TW: My son tried to end his life.

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TW: My son tried to end his life.

Casual scribe

TW: My son tried to end his life.

Yesterday my son tried to end his life.  He's not a teenager, he's 27 years old.  He's been mentally ill since he was young.  He was in the psyche ward for 4 months with psychosis when he was 17 and his life has been difficult since.  He's struggled off and on, he was on medication and then weaned himself off because he thought it was causing him to loose too much weight and it was affecting his memory.


He's bipolar and he's been off his meds for about two years now.  He got a job and was doing really well even though he has no high school diploma, he was going to work to be a truck driver.  Then slowly his life fell apart.  He quit his job, he got another one that barely paid him.  He had an apartment and had bought a car.


The past three or four months I've seen his life spiral down.  His hydro was cut off twice, until we paid for it.  He's behind on his rent.  His car has been turned off because he can't make the payments.  His phones been shut off.  Then he gets pulled over and find out that his license has been suspended because he didn't pay a parking ticket 6 months ago and his court date isn't for another month, which means he can't work.


Yesterday he messages me and tells me that his internet has been shut off.  He goes to McDonalds for their free Wifi and we were making arrangements for him to get his internet paid so he could have access to a phone so he could call and get put on social assistance, but then he had to leave.


He tells me a month ago that he was feeling suicidal and called the police, who took him to the hospital, but he refused treatment because he wants to go into the military and they won't let him if he's mentally ill.


So yesterday he's at Tim Hortons using their Wifi to message me and he tells me that he's going to end his life, he asks me to find a good home for his pet and tells me he loves me.  I told him I was on my way, that I was coming to him and he said "ok".  That's the last I hear of him.


I drive to where he lives, it's 2 hours away, in a blind panic but I thought he would wait for me to get there and I'd take him back to where I live.  I thought he'd wait for me.  He knew I was coming......he didn't wait for me.


I get a message about an hour later saying that he was at his local hospital because he tried to end his life and failed.  He called the police before he could think of another way.  They put him on a 72 hour old.  He waited for 2 hours and they admitted him.  I told the hospital that I was there when I arrived and he said that they told him I was there and asked him if he wanted to see me. He said "yes".


After sitting in the waiting room for two hours i finally get up and ask about my son.  Would they have let me sit there all night??  They say that i can't see him but they'd give me his keys so I could take care of his pet.  I drove for two hours, waited two hours and they wouldn't let me even give him a hug.


On the way home he calls me.  I never heard him sound so low.  Sounded like he was speaking to me through clenched teeth.  He said that the nurses wanted to speak with him but he told them he was too upset.  He was upset because they told him he could see me and then they didn't let him.  I told him I loved him and that I was proud of him.  I told him all the things a parent should say to their child and when he got off the phone from sounding so small and quiet and clenched, I cried the entire two hour drive home.


I got up this morning and I still can't stop crying.  He didn't wait for me.  

Star contributor

Re: TW: My son tried to end his life.

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Hi @Yissy and thank you for your courage in reaching out for support after such a heartbreaking day for you and your family Heart


It sounds like your son has been going through such a tough time, with so many things in his life going against him right now. I can't begin to imagine how hard it would be as a parent to see your son feeling so much pain. It would have taken so much strength and courage for him to pick up the phone and call emergency services last night- he did the right thing to seek help and hospital is the safest place for him right now, surrounded by support and people who can watch over him while he starts the recovery journey forward Heart


Do you have supports around you to help you through this? Who are the support people in your life?


I can see that you are joining us from outside of Australia, so I have had a look for some resources and services local to you that might be able to help you take steps to support your son's recovery from here Heart This website gives a number of supports in Canada for individuals and families recovering and surviving after a loved one tries to end their life. There are also some great resources that could offer some options for support including this toolkit from the Canadian Mental Health Commission, and this website where you can hear from other families who have come through this experience. 


I am going to send you an email to follow up as well Heart


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Casual scribe

Re: TW: My son tried to end his life.

Thank you for your response. I really wasn’t expecting anything. I guess I needed to just get it out.

I do have support. My husband is super supportive but his priority is me. My sons father, my ex-husband is flying in from another province tomorrow and my mother, brother and nephew are driving up from the states to be there for him.

My other children who are daughters 25, 19 and 16 tell me I should seek help for myself. My husband says the same thing.

Ever since my son was a teenager, every day when I’d see his bedroom door closed I’d be terrified I’d open it and find him dead. His mental illness has really taken a toll on me especially now, but for his whole life.

I didn’t have a child so that his life could be so difficult. When he was born i was so full of hope and had dreams of what he would become. I didn’t intend for this, for him to suffer his whole life.

He saw the psychiatrist today and my son said he’s open to going back on medication which is such a relief. It was a quick visit so they didn’t start him on anything. He says he has a longer appointment tomorrow.

My husband and I went to visit and we spent most of the visit sitting looking at the flowers. He didn’t say much but I was hoping me just being there was enough. I only got to see him for an hour and a half.

When we left we went to his apartment to get his bird, whom he adores, so we can take him home with us and his house looks like it’s been ransacked. He warned me ahead of time.

Thank you for your kind words. I feel so lost and bereft and like I’m on the edge of a breakdown. I know my family has to say encouraging things, but their sons didn’t try to end their life.

Thank you.

Star contributor

Re: TW: My son tried to end his life.

It is good to hear that you have support and that the family is coming together to show their support to him.

What do you think about your daughters and husband suggestion to seek some help for yourself?


It sounds like you have been through a lot but I can also hear how supportive, loving and caring you have been and sometimes that is the greatest gift a parent can give to their child, so being there even when not much is said can be a comfort.


It's good to hear that he is open to going back onto medication and hopefully the process goes smoothly.


What you are feeling is a normal reaction to the very difficult situation you have been through but if things feel like they are too much at the moment it might be a good idea to consider what you need (what kind of support etc.) to get through this very difficult time.