I am writing this letter from one mother to another. I pray this letter finds its way to you. My name is Crystal and I am located in a small rural town in West Texas called Merkel. I have a 14 almost 15 year old son, and I’d like to share a little piece of Fowler’s story with you.
Fowler has always been a very bright child. He is the youngest kid in his grade, tested as Gifted & Talented in school and is extremely witty and fun. He’s had big goals and dreams for his life- always knowing he wants more than the small town life.
Fowler has also had struggles in his young life. At age 5 he was diagnosed with ADHD. At age 11 diagnosed with depression and anxiety. He has constantly struggled with impulse control. At age 13 he was further tested and also diagnosed with traumatic syndrome stemming from abuse by his father. Fowler learned in a very bitter way during my divorce from his father, that his father wasn’t actually his biological father. As you can imagine at 11 years old, that took a blow on top of the divorce. Our household now consisted of a single FT working mother with 3 kids to support and a now absent father. Fast forward to 2020, Fowler began speaking with his biological father over FB and text messages and then phone calls. He has not seen or spoke to his “adoptive” father since 2019.
That is some back story to Fowler’s young life. He has struggled on and off medications, several counselors and in school due to impulse control.
On Father’s Day weekend 2021, he had an emotional meltdown and threatened suicide before running away from home. We searched for hours and finally a Texas Dept. of Highway Patrol officer found him walking along the interstate. I was so relieved when they found him but knew he needed some intense help. So I admitted him to a mental hospital. He spent 5 days there and it was not a good experience. As sad as it is, the reality is these places are grossly underfunded and understaffed. Quality mental healthcare- especially pediatric mental healthcare in West Texas is non-existent.
5 days after returning home from the hospital (June 30, 2021) Fowler hit his lowest point and overdosed on prescription medications. It is heartbreaking as a mother to not be able to fix the hurt in your child. Thankfully he called me and told me what happened saying “I just had a bunch of bad thoughts in my head and I can’t make it stop”. I rushed him to the ER where he spent the next 2 days in the hospital dealing with heart complications from all of the medication that he took. From the hospital he was transported to another mental hospital where he has been inpatient since the incident. This is a newer hospital in a much larger city (Ft. Worth) where he has better access to quality care. They specialize in adolescent mental health care.
Now for the reason for this letter. For years now Fowler has been a huge Juice WRLD fan. Repeating his song lyrics at the dinner table, falling asleep to his music playing in his ear buds or just lying in his room listening. I’ll be the first to admit when he would want me to “listen to this song, Mom” I brushed it off. I wasn’t interested in listening to a genre of music that I did not understand. Small minded of me, I know. I am working on myself too. However, when this incident happened on June 30th, we went back and had his Alexa play the last song he listened to. It was Lucid Dreams. I now realize deep down Fowler resonated with your son’s story and the struggles he himself faced. Fowler came to me several weeks back and told me when he was old enough he wanted to get “999” tattooed. Once again, my small-mindedness brushed him off thinking he was trying to get under my skin. However after educating myself, I now fully understand the message that your son shared with the simple “999”.
I believe in your cause. I believe in using your platform to reach the youth who are experiencing these mental health challenges. To know they are not alone. Fowler talks about how the group therapy part of his treatment was more beneficial for him than any of it because he was able to hear and share stories of like-minded people. Others who were going through the same real life struggles and battles he was.
I am reaching out to you in hopes to help spread the message and awareness for mental healthcare and addiction- especially in this fragile adolescent age group. You stated in an interview that if just 1 life could be touched by your son’s legacy, you’d know his destiny was for a purpose. I feel your message could help Fowler.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.