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Bullying and suicide(10 Posts)
Two and a half years ago my then 15 year old son attempted suicide. He was found by the police at 4am on a bridge over the motorway on the wrong side of the fence. Unbeknownst to me he had been severely physically and mentally bullied for 4 years. I have two problems here. Firstly and most importantly is his mental health. He has always been a quiet geeky sort of boy but has now become a recluse. He never leaves the house except to go to school (different school, he never went back to the one where he was being bullied). He won’t talk to me or his dad about anything. He had counselling at the time and wouldn’t talk to them either. He is going off to uni in October and I’m worried about how he will cope. Secondly is my mental health. Every night I go to bed and have anxiety attacks. I can’t get the picture out of my head of the black bruises covering his body. I am awake 20+ times a night and am permanently exhausted. How do I get over this? How do I help my son when he doesn’t want to be helped? I don’t know what to do. Please any words of wisdom?
I read your post this morning but didn't reply as I had no practical advice to offer but I just want to say to you this evening how sad it made me to hear what has happened to your dear son and that I hope things improve for him and that he can go forward to live the happy life he deserves x
How very sad. Have you had counselling to help you to process the emotions around this? What does he enjoy doing , is there anything you have in common?
Thank you for your replies. I have referred myself for CBT today which I’m hoping may help. I’m not sure how long things take but it feels like I’m at least doing something. He spends all his time in his room on his lap top. He only comes out for food. I’ve tried and tried to get him to do other stuff with little or no result. I need to just keep trying.
I'm really sorry to hear what happened to your son. No wonder you are not sleeping.
My thoughts on this
Doing other stuff may not help him and people telling him to do other stuff may make him feel bad. Do you know or have any inkling as to why he was bullied? Has he any skin problems or features or anything that make him seem an easy target?
When I was going through a tough time (never tried to commit suicide as I was told from a young age suicide is never an option) I only wanted to be in my room. I hated socialising. I don't think people realised that when I tried to be normal, people would put me down. Being alone was really hard but far easier than being around people. In the end what helped me was finding my exit strategy. I moved away and being away was still very hard but I removed myself from all the people and hurt.
I look back and wish I did get out more but realistically that would have been the last thing I would do then. I'd rather have not been constantly asked to do stuff that society expects as I was obviously not the norm.
What you could do as a parent to keep the love flowing is just be there for him by not asking him to something that society expects of him, some people just prefer to be out of the way than in it full force and being bullied or put down because they're different. Cook his favourite meals often, hug him, tell him you love him. I really wouldn't keep trying with making him do stuff. Honestly that would have really upset me and actually it did.
Him going to uni shows he's happy to make an effort. Otherwise he probably wouldn't have applied and would have continued staying at home in his room. Maybe that's exactly what he needs, to get away from everyone and have a new start. He may still be quiet there but he won't be around the bad memories.
At this moment in time, you accepting him wanting to stay at home and be on his laptop all day will hopefully be enough to build his trust. Asking him to go and do stuff may be really upsetting to him and mean you don't get it. I would never have explained it to my parents as they wouldn't get it. There wasn't any point trying.
Hopefully this will ease your heart a little. Be there for him, don't keep trying with making him meet the outside. He will find his way.
Thank you babba. That has give me some great insight. The only thing that stands him out is that he wears glasses. But he is a handsome lad, 6’ 4” with great skin. He’s always been quiet and has always lacked confidence, even when he was a toddler. He had two close friends in primary school and he was happy with that. He struggles with social interaction (slight Asperger maybe?) and thinks he may be gay. Which means he probably is. I have told him many times that I just want him to be happy. If he is happy, I am happy. I tell him I love him a couple of times a day and he says it back sometimes too. I guess I have to let him find his own path in life without pushing him. I try not to. I try to be encouraging rather than pushy. He is very lazy!
I’m hoping the CBT will help me too. My lack of sleep is out of control. Thank you so much for your reply x
OP if your son is a quiet geeky, possibly gay boy then it is highly likely he will 'find his people' at uni
I hope so! I’m convinced he just needs to find the right people to connect with. I hope he has a blast!
My DH is shy/quiet but not gay of course. He found me, we were a great match. Brought out confidence in each other. I could have all my girly chats with him (which I would hate to have with other girls, not me) and he'd let go and be himself, relaxed, crazy, whatever he wanted to be with me and in front of people we'd put our shield on. It's great! Look back at us growing up though, we both struggled. Maybe it's just what 'quiet' people are like although I was not quiet at home but I did become a total recluse and also not gay.
Thank you Babba. Getting insight from someone who has been there really helps.
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