Would He Be Alive Today If He Had Not Met Her?

(This was the original note I posted to my FaceBook page in an effort to briefly share my son’s story as a warning to parents about what could be happening to their friends and family via the internet, cell phones, etc.  I could not possibly discuss all of the aspects related to this and until I have more time to consider how I would like to move forward, I have chosen not to release any other names but Max’s.  I am very aware that the ultimate choice to commit suicide lies within the individual, however, many people who have considered suicide have gone on to enjoy a full life.  With this forum, I also hope to be able to answer questions you may have and still have hopes that she and her family will not only reach out to me, but acknowledge what she has done and get her some help so that she doesn’t do this to anyone else’s loved ones.)
Thank you to everyone for your love and support. Although I have not been able to respond, please know that your prayers and wishes are priceless and have given me the strength to accomplish the difficult task of researching the last 4 months of Max’s life; in an effort to understand what drove him to such hopelessness, that he could not endure another minute of an otherwise blessed and privileged life surrounded by people who loved and respected him for the angelic gift that he was. This has been a painful yet necessary step on the path to awareness and exposing the dangers that coexist with the rapid evolution in technology and a new form of emotional cyber abuse that far exceeds that of physical abuse; yet has very little support within the current legal system.
On September 5, 2016, a 21 year old girl from Nashville, who had been secretly admiring Max on social media, sends him a message via Instagram… “You’re super cute”. She tells Max that she is “coincidently moving to CA (which never comes to fruition) and within 24 hours of texting is pressuring him for some form of a romantic commitment. Max had only had one prior relationship and it was for nearly eight years with his middle and high school one true love, Colby. He could have never predicted or been prepared for what was to come. After reading the texts between Max and this young lady, it appears that Max was being emotionally and verbally terrorized while having his love and empathy preyed upon; purely for attention and possibly a glamorous lifestyle in California. In only 4 short months, Max went from a happy, healthy, 21 year old, actively pursuing his dreams in Los Angeles; to someone who was depressed, sleep-deprived, unable to work, was rapidly losing weight and not only appeared, yet also felt, so sick that he believed he was dying from an undiagnosed disease. Ironically, he had a full body physical scheduled for January 22, 2017 where he probably would have learned that he was dying from a heart that was not only broken, but had been trampled on and slowly suffocated by the one person he thought he loved the most.
In reading these texts I have learned that very little of what she ever said was truthful and she even admitted to lying and impersonating her own friends and family members including aunts, uncles, best friends, etc. via texting apps, which ultimately confused, manipulated, bullied, terrorized, and eventually exhausted Max to the point of hopelessness. He endured constant references and threats of suicide (even requiring Max to frantically convince her brother, whom he had not met, to not commit suicide) as well as illnesses, tragedies, addictions, abuse and deaths; most of which could not have possibly been truthful. Anyone with the amount of empathy that Max felt for others, never stood a chance in a relationship such as this, leading to what I refer to as “Empathetic Depression”. Even after learning of some of the impersonations/spoofing and lies, Max chose to give her a chance to regain his trust and stood behind the “promise” she seduced him into making the first day they met in person…that he would never leave her. Sadly, unbeknownst to Max, she continued to lie and impersonate people even in the final hours of his life; leaving us questioning if the last person who texted him, AND SUGGESTED HELP WAS ON ITS WAY, was truly her Mom or was it once again she pretending to be her mother? There is also the possibility that after she said she had stabbed herself in the neck and sent Max an image of splattered blood which he soon discovered had been copied from google images; he was realizing and having to accept the unconscionable reality that she was still lying and manipulating him; which was simply too painful to accept.
I can not possibly condense more than 2500 pages (approx. 30,000 texts) and examples into a brief summary at this time. However, in an effort to educate and continue this conversation I hope to soon provide a link to a more appropriate and professional platform dedicated to the memory of our amazing son and brother, Max. Additionally, since she references that this was not the first time she has played a role in a romantic/suicidal relationship and often asked Max to kill her ex-boyfriend (which he always responded, “I am not a physical person”); I have reached out to his parents in an effort to warn them as I would have hoped someone would have done for me. We are concerned that this young lady may continue to impersonate/spoof people, only now including Max and our family and friends; so we ask that you contact us if you are shown or receive anything allegedly from us and it is not from an already known number, email or social media related account in your contacts.
Since learning that this young lady returned to her prior boyfriend (whom she too often referred to as an abusive, rapist, pet-killing, monster) immediately after Max passed away, I NEED to fight my way through the painful process of discovery in order to find answers, bring awareness, and even introduce legislature that will protect others from losing all hope at the hands of another’s silent, yet debilitating abuse through the internet, social media and all other current and future forms of telecommunications. We can’t help what we can’t see, hear or touch. Anyone who truly knows me, will tell you that I was a Mother that never missed an opportunity to be with and available to my children, never allowed myself to be distracted so that I would not see, and would probably be the least likely Mother to lose a child to something like suicide. However, even though I saw the decline in my son, did not care for this young lady, was seeking help, intervention and assistance; without knowing the extent of what was occurring in Max’s cyber world; the handcuffs locked on my hands because he was an adult male and I was being told by professionals that I was enabling him, he did not fit the “mold” of someone who would truly commit suicide, and that I needed to assist Max in learning to “self soothe” through this typical time in every 21/22 year old’s life; only left deep wounds as I tried desperately to remove them. Had I been aware of his cyber hell, I would have gladly taken it one step further and cut my hands free in an effort to save him. If we can’t see it, then we need to stop it before it happens again. With your continued thoughts and prayers, being an empath myself, I hope to be able to do this as well as guide this young lady towards seeking help, understanding the error in her ways, and maybe even advocating to help others through her metamorphosis. Max saw something in her and died trying to save her. Although it will be hard, I hear him telling me to do the same; but never at the expense of myself or while blinded in the dark, as he unfortunately learned on his journey.

September 2016
December 2016


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