My mom attempted Suicide today

My Mom called me while I was at work today. She was upset, but that’s not terribly unusual. She often calls me crying when my father and her have had a fight. I stepped outside to get some privacy and that’s when she said it.

“I just swallowed a whole bottle of Klonopin”.

She was sobbing almost uncontrollable at that point and the adrenaline hit me in the face like a hammer. I almost started to shake and I could feel my lungs contract a little because my body was preparing itself in a fight or flight sort of way.

“Mom, call 911 right now.” She refused. “Mom, for your only son, please call 911 right now.” She refused again and the crying became more intense. “I just want to go and see Jesus” She said. The crying became uncontrollable at that point so I hung up. I took a deep breath and knew it was essential that I stay calm so I could handle the situation; however I couldn’t for the life of me remember my Mom’s address to call 911.

By the time I was able to reach 911 I was informed that parametics were already on the scene. Apparently my Mother also called her sister. I honestly believe that her “attempted suicide” was more a call for help than anything else. She didn’t really want to die.

More to the Story
Oh, but the story gets more interesting. After rushing to the hospital some hours later I find my aunt who has interesting news for me.

“They found Meth in your Mom’s system.”

My only question was who is she getting it from. “She’s getting it from your Father – he’s addicted to.”

So great – though my parents are separated they occasionally share a few hits of Meth together – how romantic. I can’t say I’m surprised though, I’ve had to deal with this shit my entire life. Fucking druggies and liars – you can’t really have one without the other. My parents are both.

I immediately called my father to get the whole story because as it turns out my aunt is a notorious liar too. I have to be a goddamn CIA agent to get any truth out of anyone. So my tactic was to seperate each, question them, and compile the truth from each of their corroborative stories.

Not surprisingly my Dad lied. He first said he had no idea what I was talking about. He said it so convincingly I’m sure he believed it himself. After about a half hour of questioning and begging him to simply “man to man, level with me” he came clean. He has himself been on Meth for years and occasionally shared with my Mother. This is not surprising since each of my parents have done stints with drugs that they finally admitted to me over the years. My Dad, though he does Meth daily and will not quit, claims he is not addicted.

So here I am – a guy trying to live his life. A mother who attempted suicide today, a mother on Meth, a Father also addicted to Meth – and just wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do with this mess. I have shielded myself and my wife from my family with a veil of selfishness – a refusal to recognize my parents’ problems as my own and continued successes in my own life. I refuse to bring myself down because of them. I’ll handle this shit just like I do everything else. If/When I have kids one day – they will never have the burden of their parents to worry about.

I think the helping my Mom to move closer to me is out of the question now, but we’ll see how this plays out. The idea of bringing that kind of trouble into my life may be worse that leaving her to rot in her own soup of destruction. This requires more thought.

She was asleep when I arrived at the hospital so I didn’t even speak to her. The hospital refused to wake her because she was “extremely aggressive” when they brought her in. More good news.

What’s Next
So for the next few days my Mother gets to stay in the hospital. I get to drive 60 miles (one way) to visit her and eventually they will transfer her to some sort of mental hospital for a week or so. At least I’ll have something to write about for the next year decade.


23 thoughts on “My mom attempted Suicide today

  1. galudwig

    Wow man, that sucks hard. I can somewhat relate because my mom once swallowed a bottle of pills and called me too, though the circumstances were entirely different (in my case it was related to money and lies rather than to drugs and lies).

    I wish you all the best in dealing with this. At the very least, I’m happy to hear that you refuse to let your parents’ crap impact your own life and that of your wife. It’s all good to try and help, but compromising your own life needs to be out of the question.

  2. shanoboy

    You’re making an argument for human compassion. Do you leave people like your mom to sink or swim, and potentially have to watch them sink and drown when they can’t cut it on their own.

    Are we willing as a society to allow this? Some of us are, some aren’t. As a whole though, with a society claiming things like healthcare, housing, and many other first world luxuries are “human rights” you’re going to hear some pretty polarizing arguments from two very angry sides of the fence.

    I would personally say, let the woman flounder and die if she can’t clean up on her own. But in reality I would never be able to do it to my mother. The only other viable alternative is to tuck thoughts of her away in a deep chasm in the back of your mind and forget she exists.

    Then one day, when you’re old and she’s long gone, you’ll remember her, feel deep shame for something that was of no fault of your own, and you’ll die a miserable, sad old man full of regret.

    Sorry bro.

  3. Jon Whiting

    Atticus, It is a tough situation you are in. I give you alot of credit for speaking so openly about it. I think simply being open and honest about such situations is the first step to recovering from them.

    Both of my parents are addicts as well. There is no one answer. The answers vary as much as the individuals involved. The only thing I can say for sure is if the person suffering from addiction does not truely want to help themselves, there is NOTHING anyone can do for that person.

    I would never advise anyone to give up on their families, to me family is everything. But it is so important that you keep your own well-being first. Your own life is the only one you really have any control over.

    My heart breaks a little as I read your post and look back over my own life in dealing with similar situaions. It is very sad to me that people like you and I, and so many others, are brought ino this world and these situations by no choice of our own. Unfortunately, we do not get to choose our parents, we do not get to choose our upbringing. Really… There is very little in the beginning of our lives that we have any influence over at all. Eventually though, that changes, and we begin to make choices for ourselves and from that point on we are in control of our own destiny. For me that was a very freeing revelation.

    I hope things work out in the future with your mom. I hope she finds what she needs to recover. More than that, I hope that you do not have the feelings of responsibility or guilt for her own decisions. Too many of us children of addicts carry these emotions, and for me that is the true injustice of addiction.

    Best of luck to you in the coming days, my friend. Stay true to yourself, and remember that the only thing you can control is your own next step. It is the only way I have been able to keep a little peace of mind, hope you find the same…

  4. Atticus Finch

    Thanks Jon. I sincerely appreciate your words of wisdom and encouragement. It is comments like yours that make this blog worth keeping up and help me work through it all. Again, I really appreciate it.

  5. Jon Whiting

    I wish there was more I could offer you than words. But that’s all I have. It is nice to know that there are others who can relate, but I hope you also know that there are people out here who care. You’ve come to my mind several times today, and I was glad to see your reply when I got in this evening.

    I would also like to say, by the way, you have an awesome blog. I like the way you write. Your open, honest, and sincere. Those are rare qualities. I hope you do continue to write for another year or decade… That way I’ll have something worth reading for a while…Hang in there man.

  6. confessionsofacrazyfox

    Atticus, what a heart breaking story written from the gut of despair over something you have no control over. I admire your courage to tell it like it is. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have parents such as you describe, but think you are wise enough to put it in the perspective it belongs. Not your fault!

    When I can’t think of any words of wisdom to console someone dealing with something I’ve never experienced, my first thought is to add them to my prayer for peace list. You just went to the top of the list. I don’t know if it helps but I don’t think it hurts anyone either.

    God Bless!

    1. Atticus Finch Post author

      It couldn’t hurt and I certainly appreciate any thoughts and prayers sent my way. I really do appreciate the kind words everyone has given me in support – especially from relative strangers. It shows that there really are some pretty good people out there.

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  8. philebersole

    Atticus, I, too, wish I had words of wisdom to impart, but I don’t. Probably if I was in your situation, I would want moral support more than I would want advice from people not on the scene. I hope you are able to bear up all right, and I respect you for sticking by your parents and for trying to figure out how to balance your obligations.

  9. IslandsRN

    what can I say… I find myself in a simular scenario.. my mother every few years attempts suicide..Shes a bipolar alcoholic liar. I have tried even her living with me. It only made me miserable too. I live a great life and I wish she could find some happiness on her own or atleast stay on her medications.. I got a family cc’d suicide note email 2 days ago.. but shes fine now??? Is there anything I can even do … Im guessing no.

    1. Atticus Finch Post author

      Sorry to hear that. I’ve found that ultimately a person’s behavior is their own. How they feel belongs to them. The only thing you can do is show them you love them and be there for them when you can. Other than that wash your hands of it and enjoy your own life to the fullest.

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  12. Heather

    My mom also swallowed a bottle of pills today. It’s not the first time, and although she has suffered from severe depression most of her life you’d never know it. She is the kindest, most caring person I know surrounded by people who love and support her, and my 5 year old son is the light if her life. All this seems to be meaningless, now lying in a hospital bed. She will recover (again) but for how long this time? How do I manage my life and my family (which is amazing)? These are impossible questions, but I found your blog by searching moms and suicide and your post and all the comments were really helpful and I wanted to say thank you.

    1. Atticus Post author

      Hi Heather,

      You really made my day. I honestly think that sometimes knowing that there are others out there who can relate to you and offer kind advise is all a person needs to feel a little better – and a little less alone. Good luck with your Mother I know it can be difficult at times.

  13. Jess

    My mum attempted scuicide yesterday, after swearing profusely at my fourteen year old brother, thirteen year old sister, and sixteen year old me. The worst part is my father never gives me straigh answers. I had to call the police to do a, ‘welfare check’ and they put her in hospital. My father wouldn’t tell me her condition, only that she was in hospital. I’ve had to deal with is my whole life, I remember the police showing up on mums doorstep after she broke into some bodies car.
    I was at work at the time and my brother was home alone with her, I had packed his lunch for school the next day and had done everything.

    I’m more mad at her for the traumatisation of my younger brother and sister, than for anything else. Sometimes I think it would be better if she did off herself, just so my brother and sister didn’t have to live with her.

    1. Atticus

      I’m really sorry you are having to go through this – especially at a young age. My only advice is try to hang in there. Things get better and all the adversity you go through in life can either hurt you or make you stronger and better than everyone else. If you choose to be stronger and use the lessons as a learning experience – something everyone else never had the opportunity to grow from – then you can have something to offer no one else does. Strength and experience before your time.

  14. Not important

    I cant believe I am actually reading this. She is your mother…. I hate cultures that do not value families or familial links. Helping your Mother does not mean creating trouble for your family. It means teaching by example ; This world is tough and when you teach your children that they face life together, that brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and even grandparents and grandchildern have a duty towards one another to help each other when one faulters then you will have strenthened your own family, and helped your self and them. Trust me, I live in a family like that. I saw my dad give away everything for his brothers and sisters, and I saw them offer to do the same for him. The greatest asset I have in life is that I know that whatever happens, I will have a strong family that will always stand by me and help me out just as I would do for them if they ever need it. You can only give that to your future children by setting an example… your mother is ASKING for your help. I am sure you have done many mistakes in the past. You may have been luckier, had more judgement, but at the end of the day she is your mother, the reason you are who you are, and it is your duty to help her as it will be your childrens’ duty to help you god forbid you ever need them to.

    1. Jess

      My mother kicked me out of the home we were living in at 12, I had to live with my father who couldn’t handle children as he had a night shift job. Every attempt at reconciling with my mother has ended in naught but tears and frustration. I understand where you are coming from, but any dealings with my mother have brought grief. There is a point in life where I have given up on her. There may be other, stronger people out there who could stand it, but I cannot. My father gives most of his life up for his children, he could be earning 150,000 + but instead works a mediocre job due to the fact he cannot rely on my mother to be able to look after my youngest sister. Since writing my initial comment, my mother abandoned hospital treatment and instead drinks continually. My sister decides to live with her regardless. My brother now lives with my father and I.
      In all honestly I cannot imagine her getting better.

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