This is the beginning of My Story. I will continue to make further entries over the coming days, until the full story has been posted.
One day in March 2006, I arrived home from work at lunchtime to discover my 18 year old son, Barry, going through his things. There were bags and bags of “rubbish”. Being a hoarder, this was uncharacteristic of him. For us, alarm bells went off. What was he doing? Was he planning on moving out? Was he planning on returning to his father?
We approached him about it. We told him that we loved him and that we didn’t want him to move out. He assured us that he wasn’t leaving and that he was only getting rid of his school books. As Barry had finished the Higher School Certificate only four months prior, I accepted this. My son was no longer a student; he was looking for a full time job. He no longer needed those old school books, assignments etc.
It wasn’t until after my son’s suicide that I realised that he had thrown away more than his school books. He had thrown away just about everything he had treasured in his life. I was devastated by this discovery. I sat in his room, wanting to be surrounded by his things. I needed to hold his trinkets. But it was all gone.
Was he trying to help me get through this terrible time, by sorting through his own things? Did he want his private things to remain private? Or, did he think his things meant nothing to anyone but himself? I’ll never know the answers to these questions. I can never get those things back and I long for them so much.
This was the first sign of what Barry was planning, but we missed it. Now I realise that the alarm bells meant something, but I missed that warning too. Deep in my heart I have this overwhelming desire to fix things. I wish I could turn back the clock and put things right. I wish I could take Barry into my arms and tell him that there are other options. There are always other options. But it’s too late.
Click here to go to Part 2: The Lead Up