When I wrote in our last issue of Choice 4 Truth about a boy named Josh, the article was posted on our web site (see Fairy Tales Don't Come True: Impressionable Kids and Homosexuality) as well as on the web site of Concerned Women for America’s Culture and Family Institute. As a result, one mother responded to CWA with her own very real experience. Here’s Jennifer’s story:
“Your story about Josh has many parallels to the story of my son Jason’s life. He took his own life at age 23, just 8 months after he graduated with honors from a very well known university. The promiscuity he began in high school progressed to an addiction to the ‘party hard’ life-style, drinking, smoking, experimenting with drugs, and eventually to experimenting with and eventually identifying with homosexuality.
”Although, my son grew up going to church twice every Sunday, and every Wednesday night., he had a misunderstanding in high school with some adult Christians which made him angry, and after that, he stopped attending church. But by that time, we believe, he was already being tempted by an exposure to pornography.
“Back when Jason was 13, I begged my husband not to bring the Internet into our home. He did it anyway, and not long after that, he discovered that Jason had been viewing homosexual websites, probably just out of curiosity at that time. But it planted a seed that I think began the process of changing the principles he had been taught all his life concerning moral issues, including homosexuality. I have no doubt that when he died he was totally confused and had begun to realize that the behaviors and choices he had gradually taken on were not what he believed they would be.
“My son was extremely handsome, full of personality and charm, but confused and troubled. He left the teachings of his youth for the allurements of the world. We lived near a big city where bars were numerous and easy to get into as an underage teen. The ‘gay’ bars were in the ‘party’ district of that town, and while in high school, my son began losing the ability to set boundaries for himself in his behaviors. He grew more and more distant from us, and in several close relationships, showed an explosive temper.
“He began taking risks and challenging most people in authority who disagreed with him. His dad and I always backed down. Our mistake! By the time he was a senior in high school, he was staying out every weekend night till 3:00 a.m. or so in the morning and sometimes not even coming home. Jason went on to excel in college because he had big dreams and plans for his future. Being very bright and gifted in business, he always seemed to succeed at that point in his life in everything he did -- except socially. All the time he was succeeding in other ways, his involvement in a promiscuous lifestyle was become more and more apparent, and his once innocent and tender personality was changing him into an almost unrecognizable person to me, his mother.
”The fact that he was involved in homosexuality appeared in signs in the last two years of his life, but I know I stayed in denial, not believing it could be possible. After graduating from college, my son's dreams were not working out as he wanted. Job expectations were not what he believed he deserved. Life just became very hard for him, and he became depressed. He went to a psychiatrist who accepted and sympathized with his homosexuality choice (we later came to realize), which did not help, because this doctor prescribed various drugs to treat his depression, without dealing with the underlying issues. My son had also been diagnosed as ‘bi-polar’ about two years before he died. He was also on Accutane for acne, although he did not really have an acne problem, but he wanted to look perfect. It‘s a very strong drug with some serious possible side effects. All these drugs mixed with the alcohol and then experimental street drugs took their toll on his life in the last eight months. I think he was strung out and not able to think clearly at all.
“After Jason left college, his job prospects did not turn out as he wanted. He had some failed job interviews, and ended up taking a job in South Korea, which was a disaster. When he returned, it was only four months later that he took his life.
“I have reason to believe that my son may have been taken advantage of at some point during those last two years by an older homosexual. He had made a statement to a friend before he died that he was just ‘a piece of meat.’ This tore my heart in pieces when I heard it, for my precious son meant so much to me. His father finally asked him about homosexuality, which my son confirmed. His father then called a family meeting and told me, his sister and his brother. We reacted with frustration and disappointment, rather than thinking before we reacted. We had not even really had time to process the reality of his homosexuality before he took his life, overdosing on the prescription medicines his doctor had given him.
“What was so heart-breaking was that there had already been one suicide attempt before this. My husband and I were separated, and my son was staying with my husband when this happened. My husband had not shared that first attempt with me, so I did not know what bad shape my son was in. My son had begun ‘coming out’ to some friends at that time. I think once he ‘came out’ it began the spiral down. He had declared himself ‘gay’ and then maybe didn’t know how to get out of it. Jason was also confronting his psychiatric illness and the future looked bleak, especially with job prospects not working out.
”So my advice to parents is please be aware of what your children and teenagers are doing, whether on the Internet, in games, TV, parties, etc., because our society is eroding the minds of our children. They are being desensitized by presenting promiscuous behavior as normal, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Nothing embarrasses anyone any more. Everything is accepted. The times we live in have become much like the times of the Roman Empire just before its fall. It would behoove all Christians to heed the warnings the Bible teaches about right and wrong, or our children, teenagers and young adults will fall into the traps of Satan himself.
“My son died just 19 days before his 24th birthday. It's the most profound and painful type of grief to bear. It haunts me continuously that my own flesh and blood made these choices, and especially the choice of death instead of life. I thought I'd done all the right things by taking him to church and teaching him about Jesus all his life. I prayed for him that he would change and return to his roots, to God. It wasn't enough. He needed firm, consistent boundaries in his youth, and he needed a gentle safety net at the time of his death to surround him and keep him from falling into that endless abyss of despair.
”I hope you can use Jason's story in your work to help other parents who struggle with rebelliousness in teens, or who might be in denial of the dangerous activities their children might be involved in. Keep educating people about the dangers of this horrendous lifestyle. For the love of Jason, I would hope that my efforts to tell his story would help save the life of another.”