Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I feel like I shouldn't be writing about this, but then maybe the statistics shoot up every year because it is such a taboo subject.

I have a 17 year old cousin who comes from a good family (brushin my shouldas off), drives a nice car, is popular, has nice clothes. He lives in a small town and has recently been fighting with his parents about curfews and drinking/pot...normal stufff that most kids fight with their parents about. Well, kids that don't know how to just do it and get away with it like me (just kidding, Mom!). Anyway, after a fight with his parents, he hung himself on Friday. His mom found him hanging in the closet by a ripped up pillow case. She cut him down and did mouth-to-mouth. He was life-flighted to Houston where he stayed in a coma on life support for about 30 hours. My aunt and uncle had no idea if he was going to make it or, if he did, if he would have permanent brain damage. Luckily, he woke up early Sunday morning. Since he was intibated(sp?), he was unable to talk, but communicated by blinking. They took out the tube yesterday and he was able to talk. He doesn't appear to have suffered any brain damage, but he is very confused. He told the nurse he was in a boating accident and almost drown. When I was there yesterday, he asked his mom if he was sick. He's got a huge bruise all the way around his neck and he feels absolutely miserable physically. It is going to be a long road to recovery.

This has been absolutely heartbreaking for my family. I hope that this will call attention to a very serious problem that is on the rise. More teens are committing suicide now than ever. Please be sensitive and watch for warning signs. They don't realize how precious they are.

Update: Psyche came to visit my cousin. He swears up and down he was in a boating accident and that his parents have some sort of conspiracy thing going on. He thinks the bruise around his neck is from the oxygen and thinks the doctors are saying what his parents want them to. They moved him to a regular room and have a 24-hour sitter with him. Does anyone know about this type of thing? Is his denial typical for this type of thing?


Blogger bronxbt said...

my gawd that is horrible... thank you for sharing your thoughts and the story during this terrible time for you and your family.

big luv goes out to you and yours... and you're right, these things are on the rise, and parents, friends and families need to be aware of the signs... it's NEVER NOT OKAY to NOT talk about it!!

please be well... my heart reaches out to you, since i've lost friends to this as well in my past.


8:58 AM  
Blogger The Mop said...


The world overall seems very bleak right now.

I was reflecting on how complicated the world is to people. We are just a few decades out of the caves, and suddenly we have to Make Lateral Career moves. Negotiate the Land mines of Office Politics.... All while wondering Why?

When every essence of our being wants to leave the cave in the morning and hunt a deer.... Collect water... and find some Berries or roots....

9:19 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Thanks you guys. It's a scary thang. I am going to update soon. I appreciate y'all thinking of my family.

9:47 AM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

I'm glad that he was rescued before it was too late. Teen suicide rates along the Wasatch Front (where I live) are one of the highest in the nation. I lost a coworker a long while back to suicide. He crashed the family car and his parents really let him have it. This was the last straw for him, I guess. I think when there is so much going on in a teens life that feels out of control it doesn't take much to send them into dangerous situations.

As for the "boat accident", well, my best guess is that this is his way of defending himself from the trauma of what really happened. Amnesia with a bit of denial, but not in that conscious, pathetic sort of way. It seems to be more a result of shock and trauma.

I hope he keeps getting better.

10:15 AM  
Blogger J-ME said...

crystal, my heart is hurting and my chest is tight reading this. it's like something you would read in a piece of fiction, especially his boating story. i can't even begin to put myself in his parents' and your family's position, but this story will be on my heart for a long time. so terribly, awfully sad.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Fat Sparrow said...

Oh my god, I am so sorry.

No, the reaction he is having would not be called "normal." Has he had an MRI? If not, he needs one, and he needs to be immediately evaluated by a neurologist. It is possible that he suffered a mini-stroke, also called TIA, or something similar.

I doubt that is the case, though. Given his history and his age, it is much more likely that he is exhibiting signs of a mental illness. He would have several presenting signs for schizophrenia: Male, age 15 to 25, history of previous problems (yes, those things you think are minor do count), mental crisis, suicide attempt.

It is possible, but not likely, that he is experiencing a fugue state. Most people in fugue snap out of it after undergoing physical trauma, such as what he has gone through with the suicide attempt.

Don't freak out at the thought of schizophrenia. It is highly treatable these days, especially with early intervention and education on the part of your cousin, and more importantly, his family.

After the MRI and neuro consult, he should have a consultation with a psychiatrist, once he is stabilized. Even if the hospital pooh-poohs the idea, he should still have an MRI, or at the very least a CT with contrast, to rule out any physical diagnoses. It's best to play it safe and establish a baseline right away.

You take care, you hear?

5:34 PM  
Blogger Dina said...

Sorry to hear about this.

Just wanted to say, I agree with Fat Sparrow. My cousin had a suicide attempt around the same age, and my family has a long history with Schizophrenia. After, he had to be restrained in the hospital and said my aunt was trying to kill him. He's better now.

Sorry, I'll be thinking of you guys.

10:11 AM  
Blogger CheekyDani said...

I've been reading you in the background for some time now. Just wanted to say my heart went out to you when reading this post. I very much wish you and your family well x

12:03 PM  
Blogger Jesslyn said...

I am *so* sorry to hear about this. My heart goes out to you and your family, I hope you don't forget to take care of yourselves while trying to deal.

5:34 PM  
Blogger AmyO said...

I'll say a little prayer for him and you.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous denise said...


So Very Sorry to hear that your Family has to go through this. Teenagers have so many issues to deal with - hormones and boundaries and peer pressures... and seems that parents are too often left without a clue as to what is actually happening in their lives.

I HOPE your cousin gets the help he needs, and is able to see that the Family cares for his best interest and future survival AND success!

Life is Toooooo precious - believe me, as one who is fighting, I KNOW!

Love You, GirlFriend!
Surviving Breast Cancer

1:44 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I am just checking in on youa fter a long time...and wow. what a thing to check in on. My prayers are with you and y our family.

and, no, this doesn't sound "normal" to me...Have him checked ASAP.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Jay Ferris said...

You are allowed to write about whatever you want here. In fact, I suspect many of us would be bothered if you held back.

That being said, I hope things are starting to look up for you!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Sassy Pants said...

Oh God that is horrible. I'm so sorry.

As for the boating accident, he probably really does think he was in a boating accident. He could possibly have amnesia, but I'm agreeing with Sparrow on the schizophrenia thing. A person can have schiz their whole life with no symptoms, until a traumatic event happens and then it will manifest. I've seen it several times in the ICU, so it isn't that far fetched.

12:52 PM  
Blogger bryan torre said...

sorry crystal. :-(
woman i date just went thru suicide attempt by her 20yo son last weekend. a hard, hard thing. hope things turn out ok.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Anthony S. said...

I didn't know you have been posting for so long!

I'm sorry, crystal. I hope he is getting better.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

I am hoping things are better for everyone involved in this information and I have a small story to tell and I hope it helps. I had a friend I went to college with. She got married and I was her maid of honor. It wasn't a very good marriage and I remember when she left. She started "batting for the otherside" and I imagine for a religious southern girl this was hard for her psyche to take, along with her failed marriage. One night, in her apartment, she had this old rocking chair that used to be her grandmother. It looked out of place to her and she picked it up and put it back down. She did this continually, as if she were in a trance until the solid wood rocking chair was in a pile on the floor - and she didn't even remember doing it. I didn't witness that incidence but I did witness the one where she was jamming some ceramic yard trolls under her couch (that really wouldn't fit) and wouldn't seem to give up. When I asked her why she did that (I didn't interfere when she was doing it) she had absolutely no recolection of it.

Through time and patience and counselling she went on to get her PhD and have a happy life so I hope the same for your fella.

I learned in Psychology class that when there is something just too heinous for your mind to comprehend, it will basically make up a story for you. I do believe with time and love that he will be a lot better.


11:51 PM  

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