New excerpt from the upcoming book On the Edge.
Looking back, Mindy sees the signs of mental illness throughout her son’s turbulent adolescence and early 20s, but during eight years of crises and even earlier in his childhood, she didn’t.
She didn’t even want to think about that possibility.
When Connor, the blue-eyed boy with a winning smile she and her husband Lance adopted as an infant, had night terrors around age 7, they took him to a therapist and were relieved when a professional described his problem as “normal.”
When he acted out in middle school, they had him evaluated for ADHD. They sought counseling to help him with impulse control, but the chance he might have a serious chemical imbalance in his brain was outside their realm of thought. One psychiatrist they consulted told them serious mental illnesses wouldn’t manifest before age 21.
Their son had been called unruly, rebellious; he was known for always pushing the line. When the athletic and gregarious boy dropped out of sports and maintained only a core circle of friends, Mindy chalked it up to the raging hormones middle schoolers are infamous for.
Unbeknownst to Lance and Mindy, however, Connor started experimenting with drugs the summer after eighth grade. He just smoked a little marijuana in the beginning, but his drug use quickly escalated. Soon he was using cocaine, then methamphetamine.
At 15, he was caught stealing CDs from Target and put on probation.
The rest of Mindy and her family’s story will be published in On The Edge, the book, due out soon.