Anonymous: I am an advocate because my son hung himself after years of trying to get help. The system failed him and made him feel like a problem that didn’t deserve their time. I talk to kids at high schools, online in many countries and to parents wanting to understand. My son went un-heard and for as long as i live and know about a situation occurring no one will ever be un-heard.
Michael S. Wyatt Teen Help Foundation Our goal is to help teens and young adults build self-confidence and responsibility. My aim is to make sure that all teens and young adults get what they need from a system that is so seriously in need of compassionate people to see that the mental health crisis for our young people is a very real and often fatal issue.Be Yourself In Spite Of Everyone Else!
In Memory of Michael S. Wyatt…March 22, 1984 – October 25, 2000
My son planned out and carried through with a plan of ending what he thought of as trouble in everyone life. Himself. My promise to Michael and all other parents and kids out there is that before I go, this Country will know of the serious gaps in the mental health system due to people who just don’t care, stigmas that go with having a mental illness, and how no one takes depression in teenagers seriously enough in this Country.
Michael was born on March 22, 1984 in Yuma, Arizona. We lived a long ways out of town so Michael’s first years were spent learning about horses, cows, chickens, etc. He loved animals from the very beginning. Especially the horses. He cut his first tooth on my reins while riding with me one day.
From the very beginning Michael was very eager to please. He acted silly and always tried to make people laugh. Especially me. Things were hard for him, his sister TracyLee and myself but the three of us made a family and we were all we had. It worked. But, he never felt good enough. Never felt like he was doing well enough.
Problems started when he was about 8 ½ years old. He was in the 3rd grade and signs of ADHD started to appear. I had never heard of this but his teacher told me that I should get him checked. There were brain maps, EEG’s and every neurological test they could come up with. They found inconsistencies in Michael’s brain’s ability to process information correctly and in proper order. He would do things backwards a lot and he and I had developed our own “language” so to speak because I was the only one that seemed to understand what he was trying to say or accomplish. He loved the movie “Forrest Gump” and would always tell me “Mama always has a way of saying things so I can understand them”.
There were a lot of problems with school because they did not believe that Michael had problems. They put him in an Alternative classroom and that did not do anything for the self-esteem he already lacked. He was labeled as a “bad kid”, “trouble maker” and “loser”. Michael tried real hard to shake that but with the school systems, and worse, the stupidity, ignorance and the plain not giving a shit attitude of the mental health “officials” that this College Station has it was impossible—in his mind. We had many Minor In Possession charges and they eventually put him on probation because Michael smoked cigarettes. His probation officer and that whole system is a whole other story . Just know that as a parent, you have more rights than they will let you know you have.
Michael liked to joke a lot and everyone always remembers him as the kid that was always smiling no matter what was going on in his life. He always did whatever he could to bring someone up if they were down. Even if he was not in the best frame of mind at the time.
I used to get so mad at him because for such a skinny kid, he ate like a horse. Or at least that’s what I thought. It was not until after he left us that I was told by a lot of kids that they could always come to Michael’s bedroom window at night and he would give them food. He even gave some of them his clothes. If I had only known, well, that’s just one of many “guilt” things that I will live with forever. The screen on that window is still there. It’s mangled and ripped but it will always be on that window as a reminder of the giving person my son was even if he knew it was going to get him in trouble.
Michael was bipolar manic-depressive with Schizophrenic . However, after years of therapy, pills and crap, he could not shake the label of “loser”, “worthless” or “trouble maker”. Michael was none of these things and everyone that knows him and has come to know him through his foundation knows better. Michael used to say to me and to his friends, “God knows the type of person I am so I don’t care what these preppy snobs think”. He was right. There were many, many ups and downs for the 8 1/2 years that Michael fought this battle. He felt responsible for everything that went wrong in the world. He always somehow found a way to blame himself for things happening to people he didn’t even know.
Michael was also a cutter. He cut himself so deep sometimes that I took him to the hospital and was sent home because their attitude was “He’s just looking for attention”. Well, DUH! I had one Dr. tell me that if Michael were his son he’d take him home and “whoop him”. Thank goodness Michael is my son.
Michael had the bluest eyes. He was the most sincere and insightful kid I had ever had the pleasure of knowing. He could talk to a person for 30 seconds and have them pegged 100%. He loved everyone and everyone loved him, especially the girls! It was really quite comical at times in that area. He loved fishing, playing golf with his dad and adored his dog Cody. His skateboarding skills were up there with the best.
Michael was not a drug addict although we were continually told his tests were dirty. (I have the autopsy report showing Michael had been clean and free of drugs for at least a year). The mental health facility asked Michael if he was doing drugs. What they should have asked him was “what drugs are you doing?” Michael was on Zoloft and in his mind that was a drug. He was sent to ****. That place knew of Michael’s mental illness and when THEY asked him if he was smoking pot or doing coke, he replied truthfully “NO”. So, he was sent back to the mental health facility. He did this for eleven days. Back and forth, back and forth with no one listening to him. How awful it must have been to know good and well something was wrong and have people telling you there isn’t. All of that just reinforced his feelings of being “bad”. I often wonder if they ever think about the devastation that their inaction and omissions of information to me have caused. I doubt they even give it a thought. They told him he was just “bad”.
Eight days before he left this world, he asked alot of questions to anyone that would talk to him about God. He was looking for peace and I pray with the smoke and sage that now he has it.
Michael was also very proud of the Native American heritage in his family. He wanted to learn all he could about all parts of him. His thirst for who he was overwhelmed him at times. One time we were listening to Buffy St. Marie and she was singing about Wounded Knee. He listened and he looked at me with tears in his eyes in total disbelief that people could do that to other people. He was literally shocked and appalled. It was then he started learning everything he could about his Navajo heritage. He was 10 years old at that time.
Michael is missed by everyone that ever knew him. His generosity, his compassion for people and animals, his infectious laugh and smile. So, in his name is the Michael S. Wyatt Teen Help Foundation, Inc run by me, Michael’s Mom. The song “Youth of the Nation” by POD is the Foundation’s theme song…….
You all are so important. Please write me if you think for even a split second that this world would be better off without you. That is SO not true. Mission: Our goal is to help teens and young adults build self-confidence and responsibility. My aim is to make sure that all teens and young adults get what they need from a system that is so seriously in need of compassionate people to see that the mental health crisis for our young people is a very real and often fatal issue.