He wrote song lyrics, poems of various length, all about pain.
He left them out on his dresser one day, and I spotted them.
It is how I found out that my son had been bullied.
He suffered in silence through the middle school years. As grades began to fall, a perceptive guidance counselor suggested a meeting with a school appointed psychologist.
He was tested for depression. The results were negative, but we knew better. We knew of our family history with the illness.
A few years later, I confronted him about the song lyrics. He was in a few bands by then, all of which featured what was known as hardcore punk music.
The rhythms were very fast paced, the vocals were as much screamed as sung, the themes were always dark, angry, hard to discern.
He wrote lyrics, composed music, played bass and did vocals.
Most of the themes could be traced back to those middle school years. He shared with me some of the horrific and potentially dangerous incidents that he’d hidden from us.
He claims he wanted to handle it himself, didn’t want us to worry. He also didn’t want us to interfere.
What he could not hide was complications to his gastrointestinal tract. He was making himself sick, and we noticed.
A series of comprehensive tests and procedures with a GI specialist revealed no physiological cause. Medicines were prescribed. None of it helped. They said he might outgrow it.
By now, he was about to enter the college years. His academic performance was average in high school, exceptional in college. He took a degree in professional writing.
He kept on with a few other bands into his early twenties, mostly for the fun of it.
He still writes music today, but of a much more peaceful and harmonious nature.
I am so proud of what he has overcome, what he achieved in the process, how he maintained his loving, sensitive spirit through it all.
He arrived on a sunny afternoon, on his due date, 30 years ago today.