Huge Trauma...can anyone help me?

I don’t know if this is the right forum to put this, but I just received a call from my son and he told me he tried to kill himself a couple weeks ago. He said he is going to work tonight, which I think is a good thing, but he also said he feels insane. I’m so distraught (sp)…I don’t know how to handle it. I told him that he needs to lean on the family, and that we can find an answer together, but that just sounds so lame in my mind. Is there anyone out there?

Get in your car and go!!! I cannot stress this enough. Go to him and be there and if worse comes to worse, get him professional help. He was extremely courageous to tell you in the first place, and you need to pick up on that. Don’t let him go now, he reached out to you, and maybe he’s too tired or embarrassed to actually ask you for help, so you need to provide it. There are hotlines you can call to get help with this too, both for yourself and your son. Go, go, go. If (God forbid) you don’t go and he makes another attempt, you will never be able to forgive yourself.

Thank you Soda. I don’t have a car. He said he’s going to work. I told him to concentrate on work, and to call me. I don’t know if I should have someone go to his work, like maybe someone from a hotline. He was crying because his girl left him. He’s about 40 miles from me. I know that I shouldn’t take it lightly, and I don’t. I don’t think it is an immediate possibility, but I’m going out of my mind with fear that it could happen.

Borrow a car. Make someone take you. Go to him. 40 miles, that’s less than an hour, and he needs you. He may not say so, and he might not even admit it even if you ask, but he does need you. Do you know anyone where he lives? Does he have room mates, class mates, friends that you know of? Call them and let them know you’re worried. Your son might get mad that you told someone about this, but if he has attempted suicide, anything you do is fair. You’re trying to save him. Don’t forget that. If you have no one else to call, and absolutely no way of going to him, call a hotline and ask them what to do.

I have to leave my phone line open for a bit, in case he tries to call. Thank you, Soda. I’ll check back in a bit. Thank you for being there.


Good call, GirlFace. Feel free to e-mail if you need to talk.
Take care of yourself and of your son.


I’ve been on your son’s end, and all I can say from being there is just to be there for him. In any way, any possibility that you can. About a year ago, I was REALLY screwed up, got in a fight with my boyfriend, had been drinking and called my best friend to tell her good-bye. She called the cops to have them see me, and I was Baker Acted. It was the best thing in the world that could have happened to me.

My family and friends were there for me, making sure I got the help that I needed and helping me get through it all. Some of these people weren’t even physically there, but were people I could call, e-mail, write… anything to lean on when the chips were getting down.

Going to work is a very good step for him, but it doesn’t mean that it will make everything all right. It doesn’t mean that his ordeal is over. (And I know you probably understand this, I’m just reiterating) If you CAN’T be there for him physically, be there emotionally. Hug him a lot when you can see him. It’s not something easy to go through. He’s lucky to have a mom like you, though.

And if you ever need anyone to talk it out with yourself, maybe if he says or does something that doesn’t really make sense to you, my mailbox is always open. I’ve been there, and I’ll try to help as much as I can.

Thank you! I tried his house, and there was no answer (good sign?). Then I called a suicide hotline. The woman I spoke with felt that there probably wasn’t an immediate emergency, but she feels that he needs counseling. I hope to talk to him in the morning and stress the fact that he needs some help. It’s so hard when he’s an adult and all. Thanks for caring. I’ll be back.


Well…I told my husband (his step-dad). At first, he was very concerned. Then, when I told him it didn’t land my son in the hospital, he became very detached, like my kid is the same as a million kids crying out for help. Then he went back to what he was doing. How the fuck am I supposed to react to that!!! I mean, is that what is to be expected from the average American step parent? Oh my god…

Where are my manners!? Thank you, TruePisces…I, too, have been in my son’s shoes. I have to wonder if it was me who taught him how to deal with stress and problems. I’m glad you’re fine today. Thank you so much for caring! I don’t have any solutions, and all the input is such a help! Thank you! Thank you! I need to split for a bit, but I’ll be back soon.

As hard as it is, you have to turn his feelings off in your mind right now, because your son is your first priority. There could be many reasons for his reaction to be the way that it is, and it’s not for me to say why. But you need to be there for your son. It’s not the way any step-parent should react… I was lucky enough that my step-mother was there for me as much as my father was. I hope he comes around and sees how much you need him right now, but in the mean time, I meant what I said about if you need someone to talk to.


[sub]And there are lots more where that came from[/sub]


Melin posted this link on the Fathom board in reference to another thread recently. It’s a message to anyone contemplating suicide.

It also has some good references for someone who knows someone who is contemplating suicide.

I wish you the best. I know you’re scared.

You and your son are in my thoughts and prayers.


Like everyone else has said. Go to your son. He called you. It was a request for you. Have your husband monitor the phone. Have a neighbor monitor the phone. Call a taxi. But go to your son.

Ask your son to make a contract with you that he will not harm himself today. Renew this contract as often as you need to. Emphasuze he made a deal with you not to harm himself and he can choose not to, even though he might feel he wants to. Then hit the phone book to find some help. Have the hotline people refer you to sources they think can help. Good luck.

Damn, if I didn’t have my kids this weekend, I would drive out right now and take you there myself.
It does sound like a cry for help, but just because he has not done anything physical does not mean he is alright mentally. I would do whatever it takes…

Where does he go to school? Can you get him to go to a counselor there or do they have ra’s or something similar?

Sending good wishes…


I’ll chime in with everyone else here. GO. Right now, not later, not tomorrow, not next week.

Your son needs you there. Do not feel guilty about any of what you are hearing here, just get to where he is right away. There is absolutely no replacement for the moral support of a family member. You obviously care, act on that principle, NOW!

I have nothing to add that hasn’t already been said, except to wish you and your son well.


Without knowing the details of the conversation that you had with him, my opinion (semi-professional, I work at one of those hotlines) is that he’s in no immediate danger of trying again, however his feelings of insanity and the fact that he’s tried before make it an increased chance that he may try again. (note, this doesn’t mean that he WILL, but the possibility is there).

Be there for him. I wouldn’t say that you need to rush out there to him… he may see this as over-reacting - after all, it was a few weeks ago. But if he wants you there, go. There’s no harm in asking him. If he wants to talk, let him talk. If he doesn’t want to talk about something, don’t force the issue. If you feel that he wants to talk but is keeping silent, try things like “I feel that there’s something bothering you”. If he refuses, don’t get upset at him. Just remind him that you’re there for whenever he needs you.

Also, check out his feelings of “insanity”. Do this asap, and professionally. It might be his way of describing severe depression, or it might be something more.
Also, if you feel that he’s getting suicidal again. ASK HIM: “Are you planning to try to kill yourself?”. Asking someone doesn’t put an idea into their head. Usually it’s just the opposite. it allows them to talk about it. Suicide and suicidal feelings are taboo subjects in our society, and some people feel that they can’t talk about their feelings. if you break the taboo first, it gives them permission to talk about it with you.

This has been a very long post. I hope you’ve got something out of it.

Good luck.

Thank you all for your support. I will be calling him when I finish this post. I tried him last night, but he works late, so I think he put a full day in at work, which is a good diversional tactic, I think. If he doesn’t have to work today, I’ll get together with him and we can just have some good mom/son time.

He doesn’t go to school. He’s 24 and he has a roommate (other than the girl who left him). I will also try to talk to him and see if he can offer additional insight.

Thank you all again. I’ll post here again to let you know how things are working out. You are all wonderful.

I’m not sure if a diversionary tactic is the best thing. It’s a band-aid. As someone who has been both suicidal and severely depressed, I know that the last thing I wanted to do is to admit it to my parents. I felt helpless, and if I couldn’t fix me, how could they? It was to help them from feeling helpless.

That said, he called you. And told you. At the risk of sounding redoundant, get to him. Hold his hand. Tell him that one day he’ll wake up, and he’ll realise that the sun is shining. And maybe the world isn’t a horrible place. Maybe there is a place for sun shine and babies laughing. It may not be tomorrow or next month, but it will come. And it will come faster if he gets a doctor and a therapist. Get on a bus, Gus. Take a taxi.

And when you go see him, which he was unconciously begging you to do, bring with you the contract that Cyn talked about. It doesn’t have to complicated, but it will remind him that his actions effect you deeply. I don’t want to scare you, but the majority of people who sucessfully kill themselves experiment with it. Good luck.