Half-ar**d suicide attempt or reckless idiocy or something between? And how to react?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child is okay. If he gets really lucky I or his dad will not kill him either. Though that is still under consideration. Those were the good news.

    I got one of those wake-ups one doesn't want. Call from the 'official' number. I first thought difficult child had gotten himself into jail, instead he was in the hospital and wanted a phone number of his former coach/mentor figure to ask for dry clothes and a ride. Getting even that out from him required some serious work, but in the end I think I do have most important facts (many came from his mentor with whom I have had few long calls today.)

    difficult child's latest gig ended last week and he was back to his old town for two days to have his psychiatrist and therapist appointments and meet friends. Next gig is lined up starting Monday. He had been clubbing Friday night with the friend he was staying. However some way he found himself falling from the bridge to water before 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Mind you, it is almost -20 F around here. I don't know if it was heavy stream that kept the water open or kept open for boats or why it was open water, but I do know he fell, and was incredibly lucky to be able pull himself out - and even luckier there happened to be an early dog walker who heard the splash and called emergency number and helped him once he was out from the water. In that weather, even after getting himself out from the water, he would probably had 10 or 15 minutes time to coherently look for help, after that hypothermia would had done it's deed. Just couple weeks ago a refugee was dead only an hour after getting over border river in Estonia, and it was much warmer there at the time. And just getting himself out from the water - that Whelp has more lives than a cat.

    Okay, it is clear that once in the water he put on one helluva fight for his life. And he adamantly denies any other self-destructive behaviour except extreme idiocy. He claims he just got this idea to walk on the rail of the bridge and it was slippery and he fell. Why he was out that time was because he was walking from 'somewhere' to his friend's house, according difficult child's former coach the friend tells he left difficult child to the club around midnight with 'some girl.' (Bridge happens to be on the route from where his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend lives to friend's house, and new boyfriend happens to be on the road with his team over the weekend. I don't care if difficult child and ex-girlfriend keep screwing each other but it causes me some worry over his mood when he fell.)

    I could buy the idea this was because extreme impulsiveness if he would had been drunk, and he does say he drank quite a lot at the club, but then again he is a big guy and many in my family have very effective livers and he did turn out sober both in breathalyzer and tox screen in hospital. He can be a total idiot for such the smart boy, but he is not totally clueless. We are avid outdoors people, he absolutely knows better than get himself fall in the water in - 20 F.

    This is also far from the first time when difficult child gets himself in danger with elements when he is upset. One time could be a coincidence, but two times is a habit, three is a pattern and after that it is about statistical evidence. And difficult child is well in the stats area here.

    However, when he did hit the water, he certainly didn't have any plans to die any more (it really takes a lot to get yourself out in those conditions, he was extremely lucky to be so young and good shape he is.) This certainly wasn't done for attention or 'cry for help' either, not only does he deny any suicidal ideation (and did so also to police and in hospital) I'm quite sure we would have never heard about this, had his phone not gone dead in the cold water. Our numbers were only ones he remembered and he had to call us to get a number of his mentor in the town, because they were not letting him go from the hospital without dry clothes and a ride. I sincerely think that had his phone worked, he would had called his friend to help and sworn him to secrecy.

    I don't believe this was right out, planned suicide attempt, but my gut says it wasn't an honest accident either. I can imagine him playing with an idea and standing on the rail and then slipping from icy rail. One thing that makes me believe that scenario, is, that he actually admits being an idiot. He is not blaming this or that for the fall, but tells he was an idiot and reckless and so on. That is not like him and tells me he is lying and admitting a lesser 'charge' to avoid truth coming out.

    He is already home now, or just now in in-laws. He had a huge fight with husband (scared is one of the feelings husband doesn't do well) and to be honest, I too went straight from scared to angry over this one. This has not been a fun day over here, but they have not come to blows at least. husband doesn't want to hear a word about it being anything else than plain reckless idiocy. I just am far from sure about that.

    IF this was more than dumb accident, I'm clueless how to react. Try to talk to him and convince him he has to talk about it with his therapist? Try to give therapist a heads-up? Though that could be difficult because confidentiality issues, both him even talking with me and also that would be a huge breach of trust in difficult child's mind. Try to talk him to reconsider his next gig (all two weeks, though likely to turn rest of the season and at home (in meaning in this country and less than two hours away)) and take some time to recover? That is not going to happen, I think. Try to talk him to get a new therapist he actually can see in person? Again, this darn two-week/two months at tops gig. Tell his psychiatrist my worries about possible depressive symptoms he showed after Christmas and this? Again, would that mean he would not want to meet that psychiatrist again? Warn the doctor of his new team? Something I would really loathe to do, and extreme breach of trust, if you ask difficult child. And again husband doesn't even want to hear there could be anything but plain stupidity involved.

    I'm not actually worried difficult child would make a real suicide attempt soon. I do believe he certainly decided against dying when he hit that water. However I'm really worried about less direct self-destruction.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gosh how scary! He is certainly a lucky young man.

    I can understand your predicament. Its not a fun spot to be in as a parent. Personally I dont think I would tell his team a thing. Maybe a heads up phone call to his doctor but Im not even sure about that. You seem to have a good relationship with your son so maybe just have a talk with him telling him how worried you were and how upset you would be if anything happened to him...and also leave it open that if he ever feels bad he can talk to you about anything and then leave things be.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry and sending supportive hugs your way. Lord knows I give advice and opinions freely but this time I'm stumped. I'll mull it over and see if I have a flash of brilliance. I am wondering, however, what the responsibility of his Mentor may be in sharing this info. Geez, these difficult child's cause so many sleepless nights and far too much anxiety. DDD
  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I have no words of wisdom. I am posting to say that I am so very glad he is ok. And please tell difficult child it's time to give his guardian angel a break- she's been working overtime. Xo
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    You said the tox screen was negative? Is it possible he was stoned on something they missed? I imagine a pro athlete might know how to come up with clean results. I'm wondering if he may have been high on something like ecstasy and so didn't recognize the risk he was taking.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I doubt he was high. Tox screen should show even quick in and out drugs so soon after possibly taking them. He was tested soon after he fell. It is also some what unlikely he would have been using drugs in the company he held on that night. And drug use is much less common here than in the most Western countries so availability isn't that easy. He would had had trouble finding a dealer in that town considering he isn't living there. And he acted coherent in the hospital. difficult child doesn't have history with drug use either. It is of course possible, but unlikely.

    I will certainly not inform anyone else in the new team except the doctor. But even that seems risky. And difficult child would certainly consider it huge betrayal so most likely not worth it. Now difficult child is still acting defensive and irritated so no chance of having a good talk with him. But when he will calm down I may have chance to that. Best outcome would of course him talking about it honestly with his therapist, but that is not something I can force or even know if it happens.

    His mentor is not likely to tell anyone about this. He is not willing to betray difficult child's trust either. And certainly not to cause him career troubles. But of course career troubles are small thing compared to difficult child's mental and physical well being. But again, trying to tell someone, even his therapist, is not guaranteed to be helpful and can backfire.

    husband is still not wanting to hear a word it maybe being anything but stupid accident and he and difficult child already had a new shouting match during breakfast.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad he's alright. Have you been able to see him? You probably won't feel alright yourself until you do.

    I would not go over his head to tell anyone.

  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Cedar: Yeah, I have seen him. He is currently home. Physically okay and more irritated, sullen and argumentative than anything else. Seems to think it stupid that I and husband (and also his Mentor) make 'such a big thing over nothing.' (Yes, he actually said that - and no, I didn't smack him, about which I'm rather proud of.):stupid:

    He will be leaving for the next gig early Monday morning and that is good. He and husband are really clashing and I do think it takes husband at least few weeks if not longer to calm down over this. And difficult child's attitude is not making husband (or I) any less angry with him.

    I have calmed down a bit from yesterday and I'm quite confident difficult child is not in any immediate danger to do anything to himself. After mulling it all over and over again last night I can't see anything I could actually do to this without it backfiring. Except waiting till difficult child is ready to talk about it with me, if he ever will. Anything else would hurt the trust he has on me too much. And likely do nothing good.

    If there was some deliberateness in this (and I still believe it wasn't a total accident), only way for him to get any help is, that he trusts people and admits whatever happened and however he end up falling. Breaking his trust will not help in that.

    I will try to encourage him to talk with his therapist about what happened, but I can't make him to do so.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad he is okay! His guardian angels must work overtime.

    I would not talk to anyone official in his life with-o his permission, at least not on this topic. It is hard to worry with-o acting, but all talking to his bosses or therapist or mentor will accomplish is one VERY angry difficult child who might start to cut you out of his life on a much greater scale than a normal son might do at his age. It also could damage your relationship with him forever.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Susie: That is what I fear. Well except this mentor figure of his. difficult child is well aware that we talk and especially his mentor will call us if there are worries or something he thinks we need to know. And difficult child knows we will talk to the mentor too. Their relationship goes deeper than sports and currently they have nothing official to do with each other. But difficult child considers himself accountable to him and the mentor has referred difficult child as an extra nephew. So that relationship is little different.

    I doubt difficult child would have called him either if he just had had a number of his friend. But he didn't have and neither had we so he had to ask help from the mentor even knowing he was in for some serious trouble from him and him calling us and telling whole sordid tale.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Well, that wasn't a fun weekend. Luckily difficult child left this morning. He and husband kept clashing all the time and lots of ugly things were said by both, things neither actually means and what were meant only to hurt. I'm not happy with either of them.

    However, this morning difficult child seemed fine enough. I don't believe he is in any immediate danger of hurting himself. Other than that - well, if he wants to make his life harder than necessary, it is his choice. If he didn't get himself to more agreeable state of mind before he hit his new town and team, he will be making life very uncomfortable for himself.

    I did promise him that I or his dad would not tell anyone about his new found winter swimming habits and will tell Joy to keep quiet too and that I don't think his mentor will be speaking either. But that he has to take account that it is a small town and people talk. Even if his friend doesn't talk, it doesn't mean someone else won't. The dog walker may have recognized him, even though that is unlikely and while police and health care workers do have legal confidentiality, it doesn't mean it could not come out. And his mentor probably mentioned to his wife and maybe kids about it. And while his wife probably doesn't tell and his kids are difficult child's friends, they may not consider it something they shouldn't tell their friends about. And if people will start to gossip, many will wonder how on earth he end up to water and suicide attempt will be first in many people minds (it is common way to commit suicide and unfortunately not an uncommon way for young men to die around here.)

    After he left I also send him a note in WhatsApp there I begged him to be honest about what ever may have happened with himself and his therapist. That he never has to tell me or anyone else, but whatever it was and however things happened it was a very close call and something he needs to go through and make sure will never happen again and best way to assure that is take a honest look to whole thing and really talk it through with some professional. And if he doesn't want that professional to be his therapist and wants to see someone face to face in this new town, me and his dad are more than ready to pick up the tab. And that while it may appear to him that his dad and I were just angry with him, that was because he scared us so bad. That loosing him would be unimaginable for us and that it came way too close this time.

    None of that he really allowed me to say to him on his face, and I'm not sure if it gets across any better in writing, but I had to try at least.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you handled it very well. Sometimes the most difficult thing we parents can do is.............nothing............perhaps his dive into the water may have awakened in him a new sense of the preciousness of life that he hadn't realized before...........when we are fighting to live as he was in the water, any thoughts he may have entertained about dying previously, may have been permanently removed. He may find some meaning in his "accident" that you will never know about. And, you doing nothing allows him to figure out the meaning of his "accident" by himself. I'm sorry that you had to go through the anguish you did. Hoping you are feeling back to normal now...............hugs...........
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Doing nothing goes so against every fibre of my being it is almost intolerable to do so. Even when I do know it is the best course of action.

    I have to take a same stance my difficult child so often takes: There certainly is an error in the world. Something so precious as my son's life should not be left to hands of someone so flakey as my son. It simply sucks!:tantrumsmiley:
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child has had his two first games of his newest gig. He has done extremely well in those, so he is at least functional in some level. He also seemed coherent and okay in interview after last night game. Of course on the field he is in his 'safe place.' I got answer to my message almost right away at Monday; it was: "Yada yada yada!"

    Haven't heard anything else from him, but I do hope he will make his customary Sunday call . Though I doubt this subject is something he will be willing to discuss again in some time. Of course with him you never know. He may quite as well never agree to talk about it again, apologise some time next summer that he worried us or there may simply be a letter with the therapist bill in my mail in three weeks with the note from him stating that I promised we would pay it and more would come. He is unpredictable in that way.

    However I will sleep my nights a bit better knowing he seems to be handling things okayish at least in some fronts. Of course nagging worry of depressive symptoms we have seen and possibility to further self harm is there. But at least playing well makes it more likely he will find a good (and stable) place for next season and that giving him a chance to tackle his therapy with full force again.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    He indeed did call. And I think I have to tell you about that call for sake of levity. He certainly is the tallest five-year-old I have ever met. Because he did call, and that was it. You have to understand that these Sunday calls (15 minutes at least) were part of requirements we put on him before we allowed him to move out when he was still a minor and even when he has turn adult he has kept a habit, and nowadays calls also both his grandpa and Mentor right after me.

    So now he called me in normal time but line was totally silent. I of course started to call helloes and are you there's and finally he said something: "I'm calling you." And that was an only thing he had to say to me. Sometimes it is unbelievable how childish he can be. But hey, he did call! ROFL

    He had talked normally with his grandpa and father in law chatted to us about it and things difficult child had told to him about this team so I don't worry for his radio silence to me. He is just moping.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  16. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I got an extra bill from difficult child's therapist yesterday. Apparently difficult child has booked couple extra appointments for this month and even travelled to see therapist face to face according the billing. He is still not talking to me, but seemingly doing okay with sport at least.

    husband still doesn't hear about anything but difficult child being reckless idiot so I don't think I will mention anything about the extra bill to him. I do feel quite low with going behind his back but I'm not feeling up to fight either just now with so many other, totally not difficult child related, things going on in our lives right now.

    So I just paid the bill and sent difficult child the receipt. Couldn't resist adding the post-in note with 'Attaboy' in it even though that likely costs me week or two extra radio silence. Of course I have to say that even he isn't able to be annoying when he keeps quiet and is hundred miles away so him giving me silent treatment gives me a break from his obnoxiousness.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    Sounds like things are going well, SuZir. Glad to hear he is keeping contact. Even if it is silently!