My son overdosed

Handful

New Member
My oldest son overdosed earlier this month, three months after his 18th birthday. He moved out of his sober house (because he was going to get kicked out for using) two days before his death. He was still attending his therapy appointments but probably lying to therapists. He did not tell us any of this, and the sober house didn't have to, and not even his probation officer (who knew he left and talked to him about it the day he overdosed) got a new address. When my son stopped answering his phone, no one could track him down and I was very worried. We found his body with the medical examiner about a week later, but it took more than another week to officially confirm his identity. His "friends" had called 911 but it was too late and they did not even give the EMTs his name and then they stole his things.

Our oldest daughter knew that her brother had left his sober house and that he was going to a weekend-long party. She did not tell us this or even offer it after the fact, though she did help my husband track down some of his belongings through mutual acquaintances. We only know that she knew about her brother's activities because we have his phone now and can read their conversations. She has her own mental health struggles and it is clear from her texts with her brother that she is using some of the same dangerous substances. I was so frustrated when she sat at my Thanksgiving table and cried about how much she misses her brother. I do not doubt her grief, but I am livid at her behavior. I know I can't undo what is done, but I am having so much trouble with the aftermath. She is making this all about her, but does not want to have a real, honest discussion about her part.

To top that off, our oldest daughter has been crashing at her boyfriend's house against his family's wishes since she got into a physical altercation with her landlord (probable drug dealer) at the start of the month. She convinced her dad to go help move her stuff out of the room before her ex-landlord threw it all out, and then dumped everything in my driveway for me to go through yesterday. It is mountains of dirty bedsheets and pillows and crusty underwear and used tampon applicators even. The disorder and level of filth in her things is concerning, and I think there will be another housing crisis any day now, as soon as her boyfriend goes back to school when his break is over. She failed out after she started dating him last fall, and won't apply to any other program. I will not let her back into my house for safety reasons, but I do not want to be unkind. I am struggling with how to move forward with my relationship with her. Thanksgiving was hard and I worry Christmas will be harder. Sigh.
 

Not Unique

New Member
My oldest son overdosed earlier this month, three months after his 18th birthday. He moved out of his sober house (because he was going to get kicked out for using) two days before his death. He was still attending his therapy appointments but probably lying to therapists. He did not tell us any of this, and the sober house didn't have to, and not even his probation officer (who knew he left and talked to him about it the day he overdosed) got a new address. When my son stopped answering his phone, no one could track him down and I was very worried. We found his body with the medical examiner about a week later, but it took more than another week to officially confirm his identity. His "friends" had called 911 but it was too late and they did not even give the EMTs his name and then they stole his things.

Our oldest daughter knew that her brother had left his sober house and that he was going to a weekend-long party. She did not tell us this or even offer it after the fact, though she did help my husband track down some of his belongings through mutual acquaintances. We only know that she knew about her brother's activities because we have his phone now and can read their conversations. She has her own mental health struggles and it is clear from her texts with her brother that she is using some of the same dangerous substances. I was so frustrated when she sat at my Thanksgiving table and cried about how much she misses her brother. I do not doubt her grief, but I am livid at her behavior. I know I can't undo what is done, but I am having so much trouble with the aftermath. She is making this all about her, but does not want to have a real, honest discussion about her part.

To top that off, our oldest daughter has been crashing at her boyfriend's house against his family's wishes since she got into a physical altercation with her landlord (probable drug dealer) at the start of the month. She convinced her dad to go help move her stuff out of the room before her ex-landlord threw it all out, and then dumped everything in my driveway for me to go through yesterday. It is mountains of dirty bedsheets and pillows and crusty underwear and used tampon applicators even. The disorder and level of filth in her things is concerning, and I think there will be another housing crisis any day now, as soon as her boyfriend goes back to school when his break is over. She failed out after she started dating him last fall, and won't apply to any other program. I will not let her back into my house for safety reasons, but I do not want to be unkind. I am struggling with how to move forward with my relationship with her. Thanksgiving was hard and I worry Christmas will be harder. Sigh.
I am so heartbroken for your loss. Your son sounds so much like my son. I am sorry about what you are going through with your daughter. I have to remind myself that I am on this site because I truly care about my adult son and I am distraught that I cannot fix him. The guilt And shame and remorse for all of it becomes overwhelming. But I do know that that is the truth, I cannot fix any other human being. I am not responsible for any other human beings choices/mental illness/drug addiction. My son is in yet another psychiatric ward which he was escorted to by the police. He told me a couple of days ago from the psychiatric unit phone that they so freely let him use that he was going to cause grave harm to me because I told him that we were tired of giving him his $40 of Western Union codes every couple of days. I know I should’ve just remained quiet, but sometimes the words leave before I can pause. Two days later he called me to tell me he wants to join a book club with me and can I send him some books to the psychiatric unit. Oh I feel so powerless. Thank God that I believe in God. That is my constant source of why this is all worth it to keep on keeping on. Many people say to me I don’t know how you keep going, well, the other choice is not any better. I hope you can find some peace in knowing that you are human being worthy of it.🥰
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
I am very heartbroken for your loss. It is what all of us fear the most. You have my deepest empathy and prayers. I hope you reach out and get grief therapy soon. Hon, honest, this is not your daughter's fault. I assume she is also very young. Please dont talk about this with her unless both of you are with a good therapist in the room. Please. It was not her responsibility to tell you what her brother did...her brother probably begged her not to.

This tragedy could most likely not have been avoided if you knew. The blame game for a young adult, like your daughter, is in my opinion not the way to go. You are not a therapist and do not know the best way to handle this. I am sure siblings all over the world neglect to tell parents what their difficult siblings are doing and sometimes terrible tragedies happen. It does not help to make your living child feel guilty. I am sure she already feels sick about it. The person responsible for this tragedy....is/was your son. You did all you could and I'm sure his sister tried to stay friends with him, which, with young people, usually does not include telling parents what is happening.

Nobody can save our kids. None of our kids. It is all on them. I mean the next sentence in a kind way
Do you want to drive your daughter away too or maybe make her feel so guilty that she does the unthinkable? Please....hand your grief to a therapist. Don't make a tragedy worse. If you have God in your life, your church family can be so helpful.

I will pray for your healing and hope you seek out help. I again beg you to keep your daughter out of it...she needs to heal too and needs to have family support....or you never know if worse can hsppen and I know you dont want that. This post is not condemning you in any way. All I hope for you and yours is healing and love and for your family to help one another. Seek out help from professionals who know how to help others grieve. Don't try to do it yourself. Tbh it sounds like all of you could benefit from family counseling. Together if everyone will agree to go.

Update us please. Let us know how you are doing. We all care.
 
So very very sorry for your loss. At the end of the day there is nothing you could have done to prevent this. His choices were his choices. That doesn’t however take away the pain you and the family are left with. Please gte help and support, practise self care and let the universe guide you to next steps. And please stay in touch! We are all here to love, support and hug you From all parts of the world!
 
My oldest son overdosed earlier this month, three months after his 18th birthday. He moved out of his sober house (because he was going to get kicked out for using) two days before his death. He was still attending his therapy appointments but probably lying to therapists. He did not tell us any of this, and the sober house didn't have to, and not even his probation officer (who knew he left and talked to him about it the day he overdosed) got a new address. When my son stopped answering his phone, no one could track him down and I was very worried. We found his body with the medical examiner about a week later, but it took more than another week to officially confirm his identity. His "friends" had called 911 but it was too late and they did not even give the EMTs his name and then they stole his things.

Our oldest daughter knew that her brother had left his sober house and that he was going to a weekend-long party. She did not tell us this or even offer it after the fact, though she did help my husband track down some of his belongings through mutual acquaintances. We only know that she knew about her brother's activities because we have his phone now and can read their conversations. She has her own mental health struggles and it is clear from her texts with her brother that she is using some of the same dangerous substances. I was so frustrated when she sat at my Thanksgiving table and cried about how much she misses her brother. I do not doubt her grief, but I am livid at her behavior. I know I can't undo what is done, but I am having so much trouble with the aftermath. She is making this all about her, but does not want to have a real, honest discussion about her part.

To top that off, our oldest daughter has been crashing at her boyfriend's house against his family's wishes since she got into a physical altercation with her landlord (probable drug dealer) at the start of the month. She convinced her dad to go help move her stuff out of the room before her ex-landlord threw it all out, and then dumped everything in my driveway for me to go through yesterday. It is mountains of dirty bedsheets and pillows and crusty underwear and used tampon applicators even. The disorder and level of filth in her things is concerning, and I think there will be another housing crisis any day now, as soon as her boyfriend goes back to school when his break is over. She failed out after she started dating him last fall, and won't apply to any other program. I will not let her back into my house for safety reasons, but I do not want to be unkind. I am struggling with how to move forward with my relationship with her. Thanksgiving was hard and I worry Christmas will be harder. Sigh.

My deepest prayers, hugs and sympathies to you on the loss of your son.

Your son's death was an unpreventable tragedy by you or anyone other than him and he was probably even helpless to stop the pull of drugs. Anger is the second stage of the natural grief process (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) but you will find yourself moving from one stage to another and back in no linear fashion. It is ok and perfectly natural to feel angry in this situation and I'm sure seeing the texts lot a fire of frustration inside that you are dealing with now with your daughter. Coming here to vent is a good step. We are all here to listen and understand and offer whatever advice that we can. Your daughter made a mistake but probably stayed quiet bc she was scared or felt she was somehow protecting her brother. You both are going to need one another to get through this incredible loss. Don't let his death make you lose two kids. Take some time to process everything and forgive yourself. Mediation, prayer, counseling, group therapy. Uniting with other parents on bereavement can help. This will help you to work through these complex feelings of blame, guilt, and unanswered questions. Two people from my high school class just each lost sons to overdose and it is a world wide epidemic. Right now take it day by day or even hour by hour. Prayers for peace and light.
 

Handful

New Member
Thank you for the kind words. We have been in therapy for years, have done so much DBT and parent groups and IOP and PHP and even though he left the sober house without our knowledge, he was still going to his therapy. He just thought he was smarter and faster and stronger than everyone and that consequences would not ever fall on him. He got such a charge out of his various double lives and he was able to mask really well. I know that no one is responsible for my son's death but him.

I think I was not clear before. I am not angry at our daughter because she didn't tell us what she knew. (Ok, maybe a very tiny bit because we couldn't find him and the hospital couldn't find us, he was not identified. Maybe I could have held his warm hand one more time, but the hospital took him off life support. I would never say any of this to her or in front of any child, but I understand that this board has many parents who have been through sad, rough times with their children so I feel ok writing it here. I know she is young (almost 20) and I know she has some of the same mental health issues that prevent her from wholly being in the real world, we adopted them as sibling group after we had fostered them a long time. I do admit to being ticked at the probation officer who okayed his move-out but did not get an address, and that guy didn't even try to find my kid when he knew something was wrong. I have a personal therapist, though, and I bite my bitter tongue around all the kids because I don't want to taint our family with negativity.) I think I am struggling now because I saw how she stoked her brother's fantasies. She bragged about the partying she was doing, and borrowed money from him—that he earned at his job, she got fired from hers—to buy drugs when she knew he was doing a court-ordered sober living program. They started one-upping each other with terrible drugs and risky behavior. Of course therapists and doctors and psychiatrists and family counselors and teachers had explained the dangers, for years.

I'm just so sad that he spent so long trying to be better, and we worked hard to get him treatment and resources, we supported every sports activity or creative endeavor he ever wanted to do, and then he only made it two days on his own.
 

Blighty

Member
So sorry for your loss. You tried so very hard to make opportunities for him all his life. It's heartbreaking.
 

Deni D

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
Handful, I hope you are okay after today, but then I know you are not. All I can offer is a hand, a heart, a hug, a prayer to hold on to you during these most heart wrenching days for you.
 
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