Important Note: Sensitivity Alert

Hey There,

Today, we’re diving into a deeply sensitive subject – suicide. I want you to know that your well-being is a priority. As such, if this topic is unsettling for you, please feel free to skip this post and explore our other content that resonates with you.

If you have uncontrollable thoughts of suicide, you are not alone. Those I love most have been tormented by suicide ideation. We hope you can find relief through connection with others, yourself and a Higher Power. Isn’t it ironic that we often need the guiding light of God the most when the clouds of life make it hardest to see, the comforting embrace of a friend or family member when we feel we are furthest from them and the gentle touch reserved for the most valuable, sensitive souls when we can not stand our own inner voice?

I hope this post is helpful. If it causes you pain, I am sorry. My hope is you can gain a bit more understanding and draw strength from the these perspectives.


2 Dads Discuss Suicide

Connect and Conquer
Connect and Conquer
2 Dads Discuss Suicide

Youtube Video


[00:00:00] Kyle Jetsel: Hey everybody, this is Kyle Jetsel. I’m your driven autism dad. Today I’ve got with me Cameron Watson. Hey Cameron. How you doing?

[00:00:09] Cameron Watson: Doing great. Hey everybody.

[00:00:11] Kyle Jetsel: So this is a touchy subject and it’s interesting how we came across this. We’re gonna talk today a little bit about suicide and our a s d kids and some of the things that can happen.

[00:00:21] Kyle Jetsel: So a couple of days ago, uh, Cameron called me outta the blue. We’re good friends. We’ve been good friends for, I don’t know, 10 years or so, Cameron, something like that. And uh, and we just started talking. Cameron was checking in on me. I was checking out on him. As as men do sometimes, you know, I guess not too many men do that.

[00:00:40] Kyle Jetsel: But anyway, as we got to, as we got to talking, I don’t know how we got on the subject. Cameron, do you remember how we got on the subject of, of suicide?

[00:00:49] Cameron Watson: Um, I don’t know. I actually can’t recall. We just got onto it and you know, it, it, it’s one of those subjects that I’m kind of passionate about. [00:01:00] So I probably went off a little bit, but Yeah.

[00:01:03] Cameron Watson: Yeah,

[00:01:03] Cameron Watson: Cameron, Cameron actually jumped up on a soapbox, which is pretty interesting ’cause Cameron is six foot eight, so when he jumps up on a soapbox, he’s like seven feet tall. And so it, it matters when Cameron steps up on a soapbox. Right. So, uh, let’s do this, let’s just jump right into this, Cameron. And, um, first maybe tell us a little bit about your family so people can, and you just a little bit to kind of get a, a good feel for who you

[00:01:29] Cameron Watson: are.

[00:01:30] Cameron Watson: Sure. So, um, my wife and I have been married for over 25 years, and we have eight kids. Um, we have three kids that have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, uh, with a s d and then some other diagnoses like O C D and um, uh, ac uh, attention deficit hyperactivity thing. I, so I live in Ada County. I used to do some, uh, consulting and some work for the ADA County Highway [00:02:00] District.

[00:02:00] Cameron Watson: So anytime I go to say hyperactivity, uh, whatever, I instead I say A C H D, which is Ada County Highway District, so we know what you anyway. Yeah, yeah. So anyway, so, um, and my oldest is, uh, in her, she turns, today’s her birthday, actually. Oh, happy birthday, Elizabeth. Uh, she’s 24 today, and my youngest is seven years old.

[00:02:25] Cameron Watson: And we are probably, um, just, we have enough in our family that we, we can relate to. Most families, we, there’s very few things that happened that someone says, oh, this is going on. And I’m like, well, that’s foreign, or, oh, that’s new. Um, typically we are like, oh, interesting. That kind of relates to this little chunk of life that we’ve experienced as well.

[00:02:50] Cameron Watson: So, perfect. And,

[00:02:51] Kyle Jetsel: and Cameron and I, we worked together for a few years. And so as we worked to get Cameron Smiles, because uh, we

[00:02:59] Cameron Watson: had a lot of [00:03:00] fun. We sure

[00:03:01] Kyle Jetsel: did. But we also, you know, Cameron was a great resource for me because we, you know, as you, as you face these challenges in your life, it’s nice to have someone that you can talk to that’s very, uh, unemotional about these things that can talk to you in a more strategic way.

[00:03:19] Kyle Jetsel: And so, I know Cameron and I have had a lot of discussions about a lot of different things, uh, marriage, our kids, raising kids, which is super important to both of us. Um, and so it was interesting when we got on this subject and I, I, maybe I can start by, I wanna set some groundwork here because, uh, many of you know, my wife passed away almost two years ago, but prior to her passing, she used to have this saying that I thought was pretty interesting.

[00:03:48] Kyle Jetsel: And she would say, kids are like Velociraptors, right? And Cameron has heard this. Uh, and what she meant by that, if you’ve ever seen the original movie Dress Park, uh, you [00:04:00] know, as they, as they created these dinosaurs, they, they put these velociraptors in a pretty sophisticated cage. That cage was pretty big, pretty tall walls, and it was surrounded by electrified fences.

[00:04:12] Kyle Jetsel: And in the movie they say these, these, uh, velociraptors are really smart. They’re always trying to get outta their cage, right? They’re trying to escape and take over, basically, is what the whole thing is about. And they’re so smart that they’re systematically testing the fences all the time, every day, all day long, to see if there’s any weaknesses in the electrified fence.

[00:04:38] Kyle Jetsel: So, um, you know, my wife in, in, in the movie, it, it’s interesting because at one point they have to shut down the electricity for only what, maybe two minutes. In those two minutes because the Velociraptors are checking the fences very consistently. They escape. They start killing everything. They take over the whole island, and there’s a lot [00:05:00] of, you know, screaming and yelling and running.

[00:05:01] Kyle Jetsel: Right? But my wife has, she likes to call. She says, kids are like velociraptors because they’re always gonna test the fences right now. It’s not because kids are bad, it’s because kids are interested in learning how to do things that work and.

[00:05:19] Cameron Watson: I was gonna say, um, the one thing I would add here is that kids are natural veloc raptors.

[00:05:26] Cameron Watson: In other words, it’s not something they’re consciously trying to do. They’re not doing it with intent of malice or anything. It’s just the natural tendency of being who we are, man. And, uh, testing our boundaries to see what happens. And from when kids are little, everything goes in their mouth, right?

[00:05:46] Cameron Watson: Because they’re like, what is this? And it’s, uh, do you remember the mystery yuck stickers from No, I don’t. So we, we had a huge campaign when I was in elementary school where we were given these packets of Mr. Yuck stickers. [00:06:00] And, uh, they were ugly, green and black, and they kind of smelled yucky. But if you made the mistake of licking it, oh my goodness, you would nev uh, It was so offensive to your tongue anyway.

[00:06:15] Cameron Watson: And you would, you took these home and you give ’em to your parents and you said, Hey, mom and dad, the school told us to put this on everything that’s poisonous so that we don’t stick it in our mouths. And we’re in elementary school. We should have known by this point not to stick things in our mouths, but we still, they still, uh, sent us home with these stickers so that if you would accidentally lick it or purposely lick it, you would know that, oh, that is something to stay away from the little electrified fence.

[00:06:41] Kyle Jetsel: And it’s natural, I think for all of us when somebody says, don’t do that, to say, why not? Right? Yeah. And so we, we have this tendency to do that, but yeah. So my, my wife was always it, this, it was really, it’s very, it’s a very visual thing to think about the fact that, and, and the reality is [00:07:00] kids do what works, right?

[00:07:02] Kyle Jetsel: So if kids are misbehaving or they’re having some difficulties or they’re doing things, it’s because it works for them. It achieves something they want. And, and frankly, you and I are the same. Cameron, we’re all the same. We do what works right for us. When things stop working, we adjust, we make adjustments.

[00:07:19] Kyle Jetsel: Right? And so, uh, I think to start with that groundwork with our kids on the spectrum, uh, a lot of time times typical kids have kind of a, a, a line in the sand they’ll draw that they know this is over, this line is too much. Right. They know they can inherently start to understand typical kids that stepping over this line is not good.

[00:07:43] Kyle Jetsel: Right. And I’m not gonna, that’s a line I’m probably not gonna step over. Now some kids do and we have to address that, but our kids on the spectrum don’t necessarily have the cognizant, cognitive ability to understand where those lines are drawn. [00:08:00] Mm-hmm. And so they can, they can start doing things to get what they want that are way outside of the range of what.

[00:08:06] Kyle Jetsel: We would normally think of as, right. As, as testing the boundaries, right? Yeah. And for instance, Cameron, you’ve experienced this too, right? Uh, meltdowns, rage, uh, I mean, I’ve had my eight year old come at me with a butcher knife, right? That’s way over the line. But because he is, you know, on the spectrum, he doesn’t see, there’s nothing that seems to be over the line.

[00:08:33] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. And so kids are, are always trying to, when you take things away from them and they stop working, they start looking for more and more things that do work. Right. And they’ll move up from, I’ll run away to I’ll commit suicide. And committing suicide is kind of the Trump card for a lot of these kids.

[00:08:54] Kyle Jetsel: And, and I, maybe it came up because I was talking about, I’ve worked with families who’ve had kids that have threatened [00:09:00] suicide if they didn’t get their way, but. I’m not an expert in this area. I mean, I, and, and I don’t know if anybody’s a true expert, right. Nobody knows everything. So I wanna, I wanna create a disclaimer here.

[00:09:14] Kyle Jetsel: This is for informational purposes only.

[00:09:16] Cameron Watson: Mm-hmm. Take this and things that we’re still trying to figure out. Yeah. I, I’m hoping as we’ve discussed this, we actually get some more insight. Um, I certainly, uh, as much as I’ve been exposed to individuals who have committed suicide successfully and those who have attempted, and then those who ideate on it, uh, I am still not a, i I, I am very shallow in my understanding of what’s going on.

[00:09:44] Cameron Watson: Um, let, let me jump in and just say there, there are probably two instances that we’re talking about here, and we need to be aware that there’s a difference. One, uh, as you use your, um, the, the, the Raptor analogy, [00:10:00] there are some raptors that get injured. They, they no longer test the fences and they just hunker down and they die, or they just don’t, they stop being vela Vela.

[00:10:14] Cameron Watson: How do you say it again? Velociraptors awesome. Hey, seven years of speech to be able to talk as poorly as I do. Uh, I love that. So there must be LSS in there, uh, that I can’t, uh, my mind can’t grasp. But, um, anyway, so when, when we’re talking about suicide or the threat of suicide, uh, there, there are kids and a adults because my, I have a, uh, adult relatives who have, uh, successfully ki killed themselves.

[00:10:48] Cameron Watson: And, um, when I say successfully, I mean they, they’re dead caused by the mental illness or whatever it is that made the decision for them and. [00:11:00] So as, as we talk, I’m gonna start, I’m gonna start using language differently, um, just because it’s such a sensitive subject. And you know this, I, since you invited me to come on, my mind has been spinning about thinking about my loved ones that will likely listen to the US talk and how I can be respectful of the things that have already happened.

[00:11:26] Cameron Watson: And then thinking about those strangers or those friends that, um, haven’t experienced, uh, the tragedy of someone, uh, succumbing to a mental illness. Uh, who in the future will, or who, no, no matter what they do, the, there is nothing they can do to prevent someone who’s determined to end their life. And that’s a horrible statement.

[00:11:51] Cameron Watson: And, um, and maybe I’m wrong. But someone’s gotta tell me. Okay. Well, what is it that you can real do in your [00:12:00] circumstance to absolutely prevent somebody from taking their own life or ending their life, who’s determined to do so? Because it, uh, you know, for us when, um, I have, um, two kids who ideate on suicide and would, maybe we should go over the different levels that I, you

[00:12:22] Kyle Jetsel: know, what I was gonna, I was gonna suggest that, and we can, you know, I wrote down three levels, uh, do it.

[00:12:29] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. Right. I also wrote down attempt it. Mm-hmm. And then I wrote down threat of it. Hmm. Okay. Now, I don’t know if those are the right words and if they aren’t the right words, please forgive us. Yeah. Right. Because we don’t, we don’t really know. So we can, we can step through each three of those and we can go in either direction, however you wanna do it, Cameron.

[00:12:49] Kyle Jetsel: I mean

[00:12:49] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Let’s change the word threat. Okay. Because one thing I’ve noticed, and so my sample size is not just my family. I’ve had I neighborhood kids who’ve come to [00:13:00] my home saying, I’m not safe right now and I want to kill myself. Can I hang out here? And we’re like, sure. Yeah. And we talked to him.

[00:13:08] Cameron Watson: Right? Right. Um, and that’s a weird place to be, to, to have it be that a neighborhood kid who’s 14, 15 years old, um, comes over, uh, because you happen to have seen him on the side of the road one time running down the road, full bore barefoot, just running barefoot on Rocky Road and, uh, pulling over and saying, Hey, are, is everything okay?

[00:13:36] Cameron Watson: And him just sobbing and saying, no. Nothing’s okay. And then telling him get in and taking him home. And because of that one instance, then later when he is struggling and the demons are trying to get him to take action, he’s not threatening. He’s trying to prevent it the best he can. And he came over to our place because his parents were not available, and [00:14:00] he knew that if he was alone, he was likely going to act.

[00:14:03] Cameron Watson: So,

[00:14:03] Kyle Jetsel: okay. So would, would the word ideate be better or considering, I mean mm-hmm. One

[00:14:08] Cameron Watson: of those I, I like ideation. Ideation, okay. Yeah. Ideation is a word that the professionals use as well. Perfect. Let’s do

[00:14:16] Kyle Jetsel: that. Let’s do that. And again, please forgive us if we, Cameron and I are just talking straight out, we’re, we don’t pretend to be.

[00:14:26] Kyle Jetsel: No. And, and if we’re, and if we’re offensive in some way or another, we have no, there’s no intent. To do that, right? Yeah. The intent is totally and completely to be helpful and, and share our personal experiences so that maybe somehow we can be okay. I just wanna make sure we’re clear

[00:14:43] Cameron Watson: on that. If it feels like we’re making a point, the, the points that we’re likely to make is based on love and acceptance and action.

[00:14:54] Cameron Watson: Perfect. Um, there’s not things we’re the any points that come off as judgmental? Well, I think that [00:15:00] might be more inside of their heads about how they feel about the subject and loss, about how we are gonna be talking

[00:15:07] Kyle Jetsel: about, and that may be offensive too. And if it is, we’re doing this in a spirit of love.

[00:15:11] Cameron Watson: We love you. And we’re sorry that you, you know, Cameron,

[00:15:15] Kyle Jetsel: I think one of the reasons Cameron and I connect so well is because one of my, one of the pillars of success in my family is to do things in a spirit of love, especially when it’s really, really hard. And Cameron and I have talked about this and how we both have that.

[00:15:31] Kyle Jetsel: Now, do we always succeed? No, we don’t. But it is, it’s, we’ve tried to make it part of our core, right? So the things that we try to do are, I would say, most of the time in the spirit of love, and if they come across as harsh, uh, it’s because it’s just who we are. Right? It’s not, yeah, it’s not, it’s not meant in that direction.

[00:15:53] Kyle Jetsel: So, okay, so we’ve got ideation, we’ve got attempt, and we’ve got done it. Now I’m gonna, [00:16:00] I’m gonna kind of pass it to you here and let you decide. Maybe you can just share some experiences and I, I liked where you were going with done it, so maybe we start there and we go backwards. Okay. Because you said something yesterday that, that really, it was unsettling to me, but it was also very honest and forthright.

[00:16:22] Kyle Jetsel: And you said something like, listen, if somebody is going to commit suicide, and they’re determined, There’s not a lot

[00:16:31] Cameron Watson: you can do about it. And when you say a lot, you, you edited, I said, there’s nothing,

[00:16:37] Kyle Jetsel: there’s nothing that’s even, that’s even more

[00:16:39] Cameron Watson: unsettling. It’s as concrete as I can. And if someone who’s watching this knows of something that you can absolutely do, if someone is bound and determined to end their life, how you as an external person can prevent it forever, then tell me, because I, I’ve [00:17:00] gone over this in my head because my kids who’ve, uh, been uh, struggling with depression and with suicide ideation have, have attempted twice.

[00:17:11] Cameron Watson: And then my nephew who was successful and then my, uh, other nephew who attempted, and that’s a story I should probably tell you at some point. Just the how messed up sometimes more mortality is, but their. You can’t watch ’em all the time unless you’re locking them up. And even when you lock them up, it still happens.

[00:17:35] Cameron Watson: And we, you hear these cases on the news where, uh, someone who is under protective custody, who’s had every means taken from them, still figures out a way to end their suffering and end their life. And generally speaking, um, I,

[00:17:56] Cameron Watson: so for me, as my wife and I dealt [00:18:00] with, um, our son who was extraordinarily depressed and just wanted to end the pain that he was going through, we talked about all the things we could do. And just to give you an idea of how, so let, so let’s, so

[00:18:16] Kyle Jetsel: now we’ve stepped from Oh, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve stepped from done it to attempt and this Okay.

[00:18:22] Kyle Jetsel: Let’s, I just wanna make sure. Yeah.

[00:18:24] Cameron Watson: Let, let’s actually go back to done it. Okay. So, Um, my nephew, uh, c uh, committed suicide and, uh, he’s gone. He, he’s, uh, he doesn’t have any interaction with us or the family any longer, and his parents are still suffering from that decision and the consequences of that act.

[00:18:52] Cameron Watson: Now, there are probably hundreds of thousands of what if questions and things they think [00:19:00] maybe if I had, possibly, if I could have, if only, and I’ve watched them outside looking in, and I’ve just wondered at what point they can possibly get to where they recognized that there was literally nothing that they could have done.

[00:19:24] Cameron Watson: If their son was determined to end his life because now they’re stuck and are they making progress? Well, I hope so. It’s still too fresh, you know, it’s, it is extraordinarily fresh. Right. You

[00:19:42] Kyle Jetsel: know. Can I, can I stop you there and just suggest real quickly here that when Shelly passed away, a friend of mine came to me and said, you know, they had, they had also seen another gentleman who’s, well they had somebody in their family whose wife passed away and they said to [00:20:00] me, when, when these kids’ mom passed away, they lost both parents.

[00:20:07] Kyle Jetsel: Oh, interesting. Because the father fell into, I think maybe what you’re talking about here, the what ifs and the, all these things that can just tear us down. And I apologize. I mean, I, I’m not apologizing for being emotional ’cause I can feel this. Right. I know how easy it is for us to start stepping into the what if, what could I have done differently?

[00:20:31] Kyle Jetsel: What? And it can ruin us. It can sap our energy and, and take us away from being who we need to be for other people and for ourselves. It can, that can damage us to, right? Yeah. That, that tragedy can, can ruin it for us and for, for our kids. Our kids that are left. Yeah. And so I, I wanna make sure, you know, I’ve talked about that in, in my program, how living in those, [00:21:00] living in those feelings, I, I tell people it’s okay to visit, but you don’t wanna live there because it’s, it can really damage it.

[00:21:07] Kyle Jetsel: So, I, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I wanna make sure people understand how, how devastating a tragedy can, can be a tragedy, but can also have long lasting effects if we’re not, if we are not careful. Yeah. And we, and we live in it, so I know it’s, but it’s hard to not do that.

[00:21:26] Cameron Watson: Right. And I’m gonna go a little bit further and say that no matter what, you’re going to be devastated.

[00:21:36] Cameron Watson: Yeah, of course. No matter how careful you are, the recovery, there are some things that you can do that might make it better. And we’re, Kyle, I think what makes you unique is I watch you try everything to get better in every aspect. If, if someone says, Hey, uh, try this thing that will improve your whatever by [00:22:00] 25%, you’re like 25%, that’s, that’s worth it.

[00:22:02] Cameron Watson: I’m gonna try that. And you will attempt it and you’ll put your all into it and then measure the results to determine whether or not you’re gonna continue to do it. Um, what I’ve noticed is those who get into tragic circumstances with without having a plan for how to deal with tragic circumstances.

[00:22:20] Cameron Watson: They don’t know that there are things that they can do, or they don’t know what things they should do that might make it better. Um, if I, if I was talking to my, um, relatives whose son is gone, they would probably say there’s nothing that can make it better. He’s gone. And how, how are they supposed to prepare for this?

[00:22:44] Cameron Watson: You know, this is not, anyway, there, there’s a lot of things there as well. So if, if someone, um, if a loved one, someone that you’re close to ends their life, that [00:23:00] is gonna be devastating. And one of the things I, I talk about on my, in, on my end is to avoid the devastating question of why and switch that to be for what reasons?

[00:23:13] Cameron Watson: ’cause it takes a little bit of the. The stuck aspect of the question of why and turns it into a purposeful number one, it assumes that there is a reason for it. And then number two, it’s um, when no matter what, when you were a little kid, if you, the why was always followed by punishment, right? Why’d you spill the milk?

[00:23:40] Cameron Watson: Uh, it slipped and you’re in trouble, right? Uh, why didn’t you go out with your friends on Saturday night? Well, ’cause I wanted to, I’m now in trouble. And so every time our mind thinks of why I think we’ve been programmed or conditioned to, to withdraw and actually not deal with it because [00:24:00] punishment discipline always was part of that discussion.

[00:24:03] Cameron Watson: So just switching it for, to, for what reasons? And then the now what, for what reasons and now what that can really help. You decide to try some things that might help. And I hate the fact that those are so soft. Okay. So I wanna,

[00:24:25] Kyle Jetsel: I wanna, I wanna come back to this because one of the things I wanna do at the end of this is revisit done it, attempt and ideation.

[00:24:35] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. And talk about plan. Okay. I think that’s the thing that saved our family after our tragedy is immediately I said, this is, I’m not the first one that this happened to. I’m not gonna let it destroy my family. And I worked to create a plan. Yeah. Right. And I, and so let, let’s move from, if it’s okay with you, let’s move from done it [00:25:00] to attempt, because you have some experience in this area.

[00:25:03] Kyle Jetsel: Yep. That. I just want you to kind of tell the story and then at, at the end, I wanna go through and let’s talk about plan. Right? Okay. Because I think the one thing I like to do is say, here’s the challenge, right? Mm-hmm. What can we, what can we do about it? I mean, you and I can talk about it and we could say, you should make a plan.

[00:25:24] Kyle Jetsel: Well, okay, what plan, right? So I wanna talk about that at the end for each of these Okay. And kind of map out some things that maybe people can start with. So this is super helpful for people. Gotcha. So let’s move, uh, if you’re ready. I mean, if you have more Yeah, I think you’re okay. Let’s move to attempt, because I wanna, maybe you can share some of your experiences with that.

[00:25:43] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. And you’re, and not necessarily get into your plan, because I know you have, I know you’ve created one, right? Oh yeah,

[00:25:52] Cameron Watson: absolutely. Okay, let’s go. Let’s work, let’s work through that. Okay. So let me, I’ll tell a couple stories. Perfect. Um, [00:26:00] uh, this, so my nephew, um, His life was ended due. And the, the way that I treat this respectfully is identify that it was a brain issue for him.

[00:26:12] Cameron Watson: At least that is my true hope. I can’t imagine that he did this to cause as much pain as he, as his actions have. So, uh, when he passed away, uh, it was shocking to my family. Um, my daughter’s best, he was my daughter’s best friend. They communicated, she was the last one he talked to before his life ended.

[00:26:37] Cameron Watson: Um, when we would go camping, my son and him would go, they were the closest in age and we’d go camping with his, uh, family every year and they would go do things and be adventurous together. And, um, it impacted him dramatically too. And so what. [00:27:00] I, I remember my son going into a depression and we started trying to do all the things that we’ll talk about later.

[00:27:07] Cameron Watson: And we, one of the things, we went on a trip to Moab and on the way back from the trip from Moab, I was watching and you know, just constantly watching what was going on with my kids who were at risk. And I noticed that my son started kind of pulling out of the deep depression, the ongoing depression that he was in.

[00:27:31] Cameron Watson: And I was like, oh, maybe we’re turning a corner. And he asked if he could go spend the night with his other cousin. And because we were stopping in Salt Lake, and I was like, sure, go for it. And so he went and he spent the night with his, um, cousin and connected with a friend that he’d had from Boise that had moved to that area.

[00:27:53] Cameron Watson: And things were going great on. So we go home, it’s Sunday. And [00:28:00] I remember I was in my bedroom and uh, so I was in my bedroom and my son Hyatt comes running in and he says, dad cousin is on the phone and he’s killing himself. And I was like, what? And he’s like, he’s on the phone right now and he’s killing himself.

[00:28:21] Cameron Watson: And so I took the phone from him and with my phone, I started calling his dad and I started talking to my nephew, asking him for details. And he had taken a bunch of pills and he was hidden from his family. So he had decided that he wanted to get out of the pain. He had decided that this was his option and he had taken a bunch of pills and then gone.

[00:28:55] Cameron Watson: To away from his family to to die. He wa he didn’t do this [00:29:00] in the home. He did this away where they, in theory couldn’t find him. So I’m on the phone with him talking hi, asking him questions. I get ahold of his dad and I say, you need to find your kid now. Find him. And, uh, he’s like, well, he’s a re you know, he does the wait, he’s not here, right?

[00:29:22] Cameron Watson: And then they find him, they get him to the hospital and they save his life. That was an attempt, that was a horrible circumstance. Now, why did he call my son? Maybe there was a twinge of I don’t necessarily want to die, maybe, right? But he had set himself up to not receive help. He had set himself up to end the suffering and pain that he was going through.

[00:29:54] Cameron Watson: I, I will say that now, years later, he is doing much better. And from what I [00:30:00] understand, he doesn’t battle suicide ideation and he hasn’t had any other attempts. But that, that attempt with my son who had just lost his other cousin that he was fairly close to, and then this cousin who he was really close to, and oh my goodness, there were, uh, four deaths in my son’s peer group that he w was close to, very close to, or at least knew well enough to feel the impact of their passing.

[00:30:33] Cameron Watson: Sure. And for him, it, uh, a little bit of evil thought just got stuck in his head, which was, everyone’s gonna die and it’s not worth it. Mm-hmm. And, uh, that, did he, did he verbalize that troubled?

[00:30:52] Kyle Jetsel: Did your son verbalize this to you?

[00:30:55] Cameron Watson: Not at the time. Not at the time. Okay. But later on. Okay. Yeah. [00:31:00] In fact, you know, there’s a, remind me at some point to tell you about a friend of mine, his name’s Antonio, he lives in South Carolina.

[00:31:10] Cameron Watson: Uh, one of the things I know we’re getting into what to do, but one of the things we did when we started to struggle with this is a couple people who had dealt with the loss of their son or dealt with, um, mental health issues or suicide, they reached out to us and they started coaching us. And, um, they started to give us insight into their experience.

[00:31:34] Cameron Watson: And one of the families, I’ll, I’ll just call ’em the Hansons ’cause that’s their names, but there’s lots of Hansons. Um, they, um, their son died a number of years ago and they came over and they just laid it all out. From their perspective and had a very open conversation and then reached out to our son who was struggling on a regular basis trying to see [00:32:00] if maybe might, this might help.

[00:32:03] Cameron Watson: Right. It was all about the mights. The might. Go

[00:32:07] Kyle Jetsel: ahead. No, go

[00:32:08] Cameron Watson: ahead. I’m sorry. Okay. So anyway, that, that was extraordinarily helpful and gave us perspective and watching where they are now. Uh, here isn’t something else, by the way, and I talked to the dad about this years before our family was exposed to, um, the trial, but, um, we were talking about spirituality in connection with higher, uh, a higher power.

[00:32:36] Cameron Watson: Um, and he said in his experience, it’s interesting, when his son died, he, he tried to draw closer to the higher power. He needed to rely on something bigger than himself. And then he talked about years later, watching others go through a [00:33:00] similar circumstance and they would withdraw from the higher power as if the higher power betrayed them.

[00:33:10] Kyle Jetsel: It’s something we all go through it, it’s a question we ask ourselves in the height of those difficult moments. We’re not above, no one’s above it. I’ve, I’ve experienced that myself. Yeah. But you, you, you’re absolutely right. There’s no better place to turn. Right. I, I find it interesting that people are believers, right?

[00:33:30] Kyle Jetsel: And, and I think people that are watching this know that I am, and they obviously know that you are now too, but yeah. People are believers and then when something goes wrong, right? You can’t, you can’t decide to be a believer when everything’s great and then just turn on it when things go bad. Right. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to God.

[00:33:47] Kyle Jetsel: Right? And so it’s when it’s the hardest, right? When you’re at your most vulnerable, and I’ve experienced this, that is when the adversary says, [00:34:00] ah, they’re at their most vulnerable. If I can get ’em to turn now I have got them. I can make them miserable and unhappy and right. And it, and that thread is real.

[00:34:11] Kyle Jetsel: I have felt it. Yep. And you just described it beautifully in your, in your statement about Right. And it’s hard. You don’t want to turn you, you feel like they could have been saved. God, God can save anybody. That’s true, didn’t he? Why didn’t he? Right. And so it’s easy to turn away when it’s the worst thing you can do it.

[00:34:34] Kyle Jetsel: It’s just gonna, it’s gonna damage you. You’ll fall into depression. Like you said, there’s depression, there’s anxiety, there’s discouragement, there’s fear, there’s, and all those things are emotions that lead us away from goodness and away from God. Yep. So, sorry Cameron.

[00:34:49] Cameron Watson: No, no, that, that’s great insight. So anyway, I know that’s part of the, uh, plan.

[00:34:56] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Talking to others, finding others who’ve gone through it [00:35:00] and have the results that you kind of want afterwards. ’cause, you know, and um, the other thing is if, uh, just to throw this out there, you and I talked quite a bit about loss of spouse and my spouse is still around, but I feel, I don’t ever want to test this, but I feel more prepared than I would’ve been had we not had the discussions.

[00:35:23] Cameron Watson: I. Oh yeah. I’ve got

[00:35:25] Kyle Jetsel: a pretty serious plan, Cameron. I’m willing to share with anybody. Yeah. And my plan works, which is really great. You know, I, I mean, as, as horrible as that is to say, right? Mm-hmm. I think it’s, yeah. Let’s, let’s, can you share,

[00:35:43] Cameron Watson: do you want me to share about one of my son’s attempts?

[00:35:46] Kyle Jetsel: Let’s do that.

[00:35:47] Kyle Jetsel: And then let’s get into your, you mentioned yesterday, another, you know, the, the ideation as well, so let’s, let’s yeah. Do that.

[00:35:56] Cameron Watson: So, um, my son was [00:36:00] saved, uh, from his two attempts, uh, one by himself and one by someone who, well, I guess there were three.

[00:36:11] Cameron Watson: So let, let’s talk about what makes an attempt. An attempt is when you have gone through all the ideation, you have a plan, you have a. A means, and you have a date and the date comes and you decide to act. So that’s my definition. Okay. I don’t, you know, clinically who I follow. Your trusted advisors, don’t trust some guy on YouTube or Facebook.

[00:36:34] Cameron Watson: You know, if this rings true to you, study it out. And if it resonates, then maybe it will work and help you in your situation. But you should talk to some trusted advisors anyway. Sorry. Um, you know what, before,

[00:36:48] Kyle Jetsel: before you move forward, I wanna ask you this, because yesterday we talked about signs. Yeah. And, and people’s fear.

[00:36:58] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. Of paying attention [00:37:00] to signs. Yeah. So maybe that’s more important than even your personal experience, right? Is what did you see that, that, or did you miss? Oh, yeah. And what and what, um, Because that’s the first thing. Right. And and how did you overcome the fear of thinking? I know a lot of parents when they come across this, they think, my kid’s depressed.

[00:37:26] Kyle Jetsel: How depressed? Oh, I don’t want to, I don’t wanna get into that. I don’t want to. If you’re so depressed, I can’t handle that. Right. Mm-hmm. But you, so let’s talk about the signs and why you have to, it’s vital that you do step into it.

[00:37:43] Cameron Watson: Yeah. So, um, when, when my son was in, even when he was in the worst state, he would usually communicate with me.

[00:37:57] Cameron Watson: And, um, the, [00:38:00] the thing that probably, I’m gonna call the, the thing that made it so that he’s still around more than anything else is we had established a relationship that where he could share, I. Things that, from his perspective were awful to me. And I would accept the fact that he just shared something without the typical judgment that a lot of parents might feel.

[00:38:28] Cameron Watson: I felt them, but I didn’t let the feel come out in my reaction. So, um, a lot of it was, oh, and then I would ask him a question, so I was accepting of what he was sharing. And then I would ask another question. Um, when he

[00:38:45] Kyle Jetsel: was this, I’m gonna stop you there because this is an important point, I think, Cameron.

[00:38:49] Kyle Jetsel: Okay. What you just said was very non-emotional. Yeah. Right. And I think that’s a, a key to this thing is [00:39:00] we almost have to say to ourselves, listen, I, ’cause we as parents can get very bent or very emotional if our son comes to, if my son came to me and said, dad, I’m super depressed and I’m considering suicide.

[00:39:11] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. I might go into fight or flight. Yeah. Fight or flight would be shutting down the line of communication. Yeah. Right. Because the son would say, I don’t wanna deal with that knucklehead. I’m not talking to him anymore about this situation in my life. Right. Yeah. So I think it’s an important one. One of the things you said there that really, that really resonated with me is that our kids should be able to come to us with problems and really hard stuff, and we have to take a second and breathe and say, I need to listen In a non-emotional state.

[00:39:47] Kyle Jetsel: Right? Yeah. A logical state. There are emotions involved for sure. Mm-hmm. But if I let my fight or flight because I’m scared or I don’t like what’s happening, if I let that take over, the kids will slow. They, they’ll [00:40:00] discontinue that communication. Right. Because they don’t like the re they, they just want to, they want to tell us without any, like you said, judgment, punishment, consequences.

[00:40:10] Kyle Jetsel: They wanna be able to share these things. Mm-hmm. Right. And so that’s, that’s good for you to, it’s good to know that. And we got, we also, it also, well, let me just stop there and let you let you finish, because I think for parents, one of the things that you’ve done, that I’ve seen is been able to step out of the emotion of it and say, oh, oh, really?

[00:40:32] Kyle Jetsel: Tell me more. Right? Yeah. And I, and I’ve become an expert at this too, when my son gets heightened and screams and yells and threatens to hurt me and I’ll kill you and all this stuff, I say, I don’t, I don’t want you to kill me. I would never kill you, and I’m not in Right. I, I have a plan to address those things so that we don’t both go into this fight or flight and it escalates tremendously.

[00:40:51] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. So,

[00:40:53] Cameron Watson: and I, I think, uh, one thing that might help others is to recognize what their job is as a mom, [00:41:00] dad loved one mentor peer. Whatever their, what is their role in dealing with another human? Um, and one of my primary first beliefs is that it’s someone else’s right to choose. They get to choose, um, that agency that to be able to act for themselves, including children.

[00:41:23] Cameron Watson: To some extent, there’s boundaries there, right? But it, it is the thing that I’m, my job is to not prevent them from making a choice or to force them to make a specific choice, but my job is to help them deal with the consequences of their decisions. And of the, so there there’s a couple, there’s three things.

[00:41:45] Cameron Watson: Okay? One, mortality has trials being alive, you’re going to get sick, you’re gonna have headaches, you’re gonna lose an arm, you’re gonna break a back or three in your family, you’re going to have trials because of mortality. [00:42:00] Other things are consequences of other people’s decisions. Someone’s going to, uh, injure you emotionally, spiritually, or physically, uh, someone else’s decisions.

[00:42:13] Cameron Watson: Uh, you might get laid off from a job, things outside of your control, but, uh, but because of someone else’s decision. And then I do believe that there are trials given by our higher power to help us grow. Now, I’m not God, and so I can’t tell which one it is. So my response when I’m working with one of my kids or someone I love, or, or someone that has happened into my home and is sharing with me that they want to end their life is to deal with the consequences of that situation, whether it was caused by their own decisions, whether it was caused by someone else’s decisions, or if it was caused by being mortal.

[00:42:58] Cameron Watson: In, you know, [00:43:00] being a human, I don’t care. I don’t need to know the reason that it’s happening. I can just deal with the fact that I get to help that individual deal with the consequences of where they find themselves. So as a dad, um, I didn’t adopt that with my oldest two or three, but I got it. I figured it out by number four and I’m applying it and we’ll continue to see how it works out with five, six, and seven and eight.

[00:43:29] Cameron Watson: You know, he’s still seven, so there’s, there’s not a whole lot of, um, going on there where we get a practice it, but, gotcha.

[00:43:37] Kyle Jetsel: So number one signs is when communication stops. Yeah,

[00:43:42] Cameron Watson: when isolation, they withdraw.

[00:43:44] Kyle Jetsel: Withdraw. Okay. And you mentioned yesterday, uh, When they change their patterns. Yes. Right. And, and if a kid is outgoing and he changes his pattern, or if a kid is isolated and he changes his pattern, so it’s, it can be, it’s just a change in pattern.[00:44:00]

[00:44:00] Cameron Watson: Yep. That it can be, you’re the alert bells to go off so that you’re paying more attention. Okay. So pay attention to those alert bells. Okay. Yeah. The hard thing was, uh, when, uh, someone might have bipolar where they’re, they have their ups and their downs. Right. It might be difficult because they’re swinging in, you know, in the course of a week they might swing twice from up to low and then back to up.

[00:44:24] Cameron Watson: You might not, you’re, you might get exhausted from the swings because you’re constantly being told to be on alert. And you know what, at some point you need to establish that, oh, that swing, that’s their pattern. Okay. Right. And so you don’t have to be as. Um, hyper aware. The, you know, I love good, uh, heist movies, uh, and I love good heist stories.

[00:44:52] Cameron Watson: And one of the ways that you can, uh, go and steal something is the p person on guard. You cause a bunch of false [00:45:00] alarms because then it’s the boy who called cried wolf syndrome and they don’t pay attention. You can go in and steal it. Diversion. Yeah, there you go. Yeah. So anyway, uh, for my son, he was, um, w well, one time he was in school and, uh, he had decided to end it.

[00:45:22] Cameron Watson: He had a way to, and he had the, he could get to the way to, and he had a date and so he left school to go and in his life, and some what a blessing, some teacher noticed him leaving school and, uh, that once again, Hyatt is a, an extraordinarily good kid. He has actual moral o c d, that’s a diagnosis thing, and that’s the easy name to say.

[00:45:53] Cameron Watson: I can’t remember the one he said.

[00:45:54] Kyle Jetsel: Moral. Moral O c D.

[00:45:56] Cameron Watson: Yeah.

[00:45:57] Kyle Jetsel: Oh yeah. So not [00:46:00] so he has to be perfect. Yeah. In God’s eyes or what he perceives to be God’s eyes. Oh yeah. So if he has a bad thought, it beats him up. Or if he has a, if he sees a pretty girl and if he goes down a path he has, he beats himself up. Oh, wow.

[00:46:16] Cameron Watson: Yeah. That, that’s rough. It is. And it’s hard for him to apply, uh, the atonement of Christ because he shouldn’t need to. Right, right, right. Which is what Right and wrong is. And then, oh, something else that he’s really done great at, um, figuring out and overcoming, but for a while there, he, it would cause him distress and pain for someone else who knew the rules.

[00:46:42] Cameron Watson: Chose to break them. Oh. Because, you know, oh my goodness. He was carrying their weight as well. He was. Yeah.

[00:46:52] Kyle Jetsel: Boy, that’s, that’s heavy. Yeah. My weight alone is heavy enough. I don’t really need to be carrying any

[00:46:59] Cameron Watson: goy. [00:47:00] Gosh, what, by the way, one of the things that helped him, uh, put it into language that could be understood is, uh, for him to transfer that load to someone else is, uh, a giant swimming pool full of water and you have hoses connected to you and you’re absorbing water.

[00:47:20] Cameron Watson: You don’t need to absorb other people’s water. You can take that hose and give it to God. Yeah. And so it’s still being dealt with. ’cause it, it must be dealt with. Right. But that’s not your responsibility to filter the pool. You can hand that to, to god, to filter’s a good

[00:47:35] Kyle Jetsel: mental picture to create for all of us.

[00:47:37] Kyle Jetsel: Right. In c in circumstances.

[00:47:39] Cameron Watson: Yeah. I like that. So this teacher recognized, well, that’s unusual for this good kid who is almost perfect, right? Who strives for perfection to leave and, you know, go truancy to, to leave the school. So he just latched onto him and started walking with him and talked to [00:48:00] ’em and didn’t let ’em be alone.

[00:48:03] Cameron Watson: And that’s one of the, one of the how to when is to have to be there and have somebody there. Connection. Connection with others. Yeah. So they’ll be the connection with self stuff that we’ll talk about and there’ll be the connection with deity and there’s the connection with others and this tool, I am so grateful there are kids that, um, I, I can’t help to but get emotional when I think about them because without prompting and without coaching, They were there for my son when he was having a really, really rough time battling suicide ideation.

[00:48:48] Cameron Watson: And, um, I’ll tell one other story. So the teacher prevented him from being able to act another time, uh, once again, break in pattern. I always [00:49:00] tells us where he’s going. We communicate about everything. Well, he left without telling us, and I looked on his phone and once again, he had, he had been in a low, and then it stabilized as a low, and then he went lower.

[00:49:15] Cameron Watson: Mm-hmm. And so Sarah and I were talking, and Sarah, you know, mama, the, the, she said, will you check on Hyatt? And I couldn’t find him in the house. And so then I pulled up my phone and I could see that his phone was moving, uh, in the neighborhood, and he had gone pretty far away. Uh, and he, you know, by foot and, um, his, uh, at the time, the way that he had planned his other suicides and attempted was a motor vehicle accident.

[00:49:50] Cameron Watson: So, um, I, that, you know, sent me into a little bit of a panic. And as I drove to go [00:50:00] find him, I was trying to figure out what I could do and I wanted to go pick him up, but I wasn’t, I felt like I, I shouldn’t. And so instead I found him, got eyes on him, and then as I drove far enough behind that, I was away from him.

[00:50:25] Cameron Watson: I started thinking, am I going to see my son kill himself? Because when I was 14, 13, or 14, a friend of mine, his name was Jeff, And, uh, he killed himself with a firearm. And from what I understand, and once again, I’m, you know, I was 14 at the time, so what information do I have that was actually real? From what I understand, he did it in front of his dad who was chasing him, trying to get the gun away.

[00:50:54] Cameron Watson: And so here I am, those thoughts going through my mind, looking at my [00:51:00] son who just wants the pain to end. He wasn’t his suicide notes, they were calling anyone out for failing him. It was all apology. And it was, he actually wrote, please don’t blame the driver. I’m gonna make it. So he couldn’t avoid me.

[00:51:27] Cameron Watson: So this kid, even in his last act trying to escape the pain, I just didn’t want anyone else to, to suffer more because of him. And so I’m watching him and he notices me and I just stay far back. And, uh, later on I, you know, eventually, um, I sent him [00:52:00] a text message, you know, and I saw him get it and he looked at it and I just said, Hey, I can give you a ride wherever you want to go.

[00:52:07] Cameron Watson: If you want to get away from the house, I’ll take you. And, uh, eventually he responded and I picked him up, got him in the car, and we just drove around. And, um, Hyatt had been hospitalized five times to prevent his death. And, uh, um, I, I can’t actually remember if this was one of those times that we hospitalized him, because I.

[00:52:34] Cameron Watson: He willingly, he got in the car and we started talking and the communication started happening again. And I asked him, well, how come you didn’t do it? And he goes, well, I I didn’t wanna do it in front of you. I was Okay. Thank goodness. Yeah. Right. So, so golly.

[00:52:57] Kyle Jetsel: Wow. [00:53:00] Okay. We’re gonna, I, I think we need to step away from this for a second.

[00:53:04] Kyle Jetsel: Okay. We’re gonna, we’re gonna move. Let’s, if it’s okay with you, let’s move to ideation. Yeah. Because I wanna, I wanna end this with, with some helpful, like plan. Like I want to talk about a plan, but we, we’ve, we’ve gone on, right? And I’m, I’m appreciative of you sharing this information. Let’s talk about ideation a little bit because I, I’ve, I, I’ll just start by saying I never had any thoughts of, right.

[00:53:40] Kyle Jetsel: So I’ve, I’ve, that’s not, who have you thought about death though? You know, after Shelly passed away, the idea of dying was pleasant. Yep. Not because I’m not, because I can’t carry the weight of this world. Mm-hmm. But because the [00:54:00] seeing her again sounded so great. Now, I, I don’t think I’m brave enough. I don’t, I’ve never made a plan.

[00:54:08] Kyle Jetsel: I’ve never set a date, you know? Mm-hmm. But I’ve never even experienced that. I’ve never in my life experienced saying I, I’d really rather be dead. Right.

[00:54:20] Cameron Watson: Okay. So what’s interesting, Kyle, is the language you’re using, you’re identifying different levels. Of what could be considered suicide ideation. So one, the one that most people can at least relate to is wondering what it would be like to be dead questioning one’s mortality.

[00:54:40] Cameron Watson: And if you’ve not wondered that, now that I’ve talked about it, your brain’s gonna automatically go, yeah, I wonder what it is like to be dead. Whe whether you’re a person of faith or not. So that’s like one level and uh, most of us have experienced that. Then you have the, where you [00:55:00] wish you were dead, or one way to that people phrase it is, and I say people, the people I’ve talked with is, I just don’t wanna wake up in the morning.

[00:55:10] Cameron Watson: I wanna pass away in my sleep and not deal with what I’m, I’m dealing with. Right. And that’s another level, that’s the desire to be dead. So one is, what is it gonna be like the other one is, oh, that, that looks better than what I have now. Okay.

[00:55:29] Cameron Watson: And I’m sure there’s an infinite number of degrees and gradations between there, but this is what I’ve identified with my kids and with my, the neighborhood kids and the people that I’ve interacted with now. Uh, so you have that questioning that, by the way, for me, I questioned, um, what it would be like to to be dead as a young, young child.

[00:55:56] Cameron Watson: Huh? So after this life, we go into this [00:56:00] world and then we, uh, we we’re in the spirit world and we wait for the resurrection. What is that like, you know? And so from just a happy kid, never suic, just wondered what it would be like then, um, that progresses. And so you have, um, wanting to just have something else take you out.

[00:56:22] Cameron Watson: The thought of you dying from something natural causes or someone else’s actions or, um, you know, your body breaking down that has, that is no longer fearful or to be avoided. Right. So there’s some risk taking that can take place at that point. Right. There’s some things that people that young, uh, people who are battling depression and pain or chronic pain, they might put themselves into higher risk circumstances, not to kill themselves, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if they did.

[00:56:56] Cameron Watson: Right. And, and that’s what you were [00:57:00] talking about, right?

[00:57:00] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. And I have those thoughts have, you know, people told me after my wife passed away, you really need to take care of yourself. And the thought crossed my mind. I wonder if I don’t take care of myself, I can die naturally a lot faster and be with Shelly again.

[00:57:19] Kyle Jetsel: May, and that seemed like a reasonable option.

[00:57:22] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Reasonable. I’m, I love that word. I love

[00:57:25] Kyle Jetsel: that word. I’m not taking my own life, but I do get to see her quicker. Yeah. And it’s natural. Mm-hmm. Right. It’s natural. Yeah. And then people can’t be mad at me if it’s natural. Right. They can’t say Kyle gave up if it’s natural.

[00:57:40] Kyle Jetsel: Right. Because I’m, I, I’m, and I’m not a give up guy. That’s not who I ever want to be. Right. But, but that’s, that’s a side of the point. Share with me a little bit about, you share with me a, a story about your daughter not wanting to, uh, do something and how [00:58:00] Okay. That, that was an interesting picture of it there.

[00:58:04] Kyle Jetsel: And I want, I want you to share that, and that might lead us into, that might lead us into how to create a plan for each

[00:58:11] Cameron Watson: one. Yeah. So, uh, My daughter, uh, has been struggling with depression and battling, uh, anxiety for a couple years now. And, uh, I learned something Kyle through my son’s experience, and that is we do more harm removing things that are uncomfortable for our kids than we do, than we help them.

[00:58:38] Cameron Watson: And I am I, because my first principle is agency, right? You people should choose, including kids. I’ve now added they should be able to choose including kids, but kids have boundaries, right? Right. So, uh, one of the things, uh, my daughter who was, who gets social [00:59:00] anxiety, and it, it, it is a little debilitating and I say a little bit, she’s not able to, the anticipation of the activity.

[00:59:09] Cameron Watson: Kills her. She goes into a slump. She doesn’t, uh, the dread and the fear of what’s gonna happen. It just is a turmoil inside. She’s not as communicative as my son is. So, um, by the way, my son has given me permission to talk about this with anybody as I see fit. My daughter hasn’t, so I won’t be using her name Perfect.

[00:59:32] Cameron Watson: But, uh, yeah, so Hyatt’s like, yeah, get this out, because I want people to know, I want them to be able to deal with it. He’s in a different spot than my daughter. So, uh, anyway, my daughter, there was a social activity that was coming up that she was going to go to, but as the, as the time approached, she then told her mom that she wasn’t gonna go.

[00:59:56] Cameron Watson: She didn’t feel well. Well, what does that mean? [01:00:00] What does not feel? Well, you know, Cameron Watson from 30 years ago would’ve been like, well then you shouldn’t go. If you don’t feel well, that’s a good enough excuse. Don’t go. Um, me, uh, this last week would be, okay, tell me more. What does it mean you don’t feel well?

[01:00:19] Cameron Watson: And so I started asking her questions and she was nervous. She had anxiety and she didn’t want to go. And I said, well, you need to go because those are not reasons not to participate for her. Right? Every child is different. You have to be use judgment and discernment. But then she said, well, I just don’t feel safe.

[01:00:40] Cameron Watson: And I was like, ah, tell me more about that. ’cause that is a card that kids will learn in therapy, gets them out of doing a lot. Because if a child is not safe, all the adults in their lives are by design. Protectivism going to make them safe. [01:01:00] When they don’t feel safe, there might be a reason they aren’t safe.

[01:01:04] Cameron Watson: And so a lot of parents will take, I don’t feel safe as, uh, oh, this is trouble. Let’s help this person be safe because they’re not safe. If they don’t feel safe, they’re not safe, so we gotta help them. Well, that’s not true. If they don’t feel safe, that need, you need to find out more and they might be safe.

[01:01:24] Cameron Watson: And the way I look at it is I have a fear of heights. And yes, the joke is, I’m scared all the time because I’m tall. But I, when I get near an edge of something, even if there is a rail, most of the time the rail is just low enough that it would cause me to spin on my way down to my desk. Right? So I don’t want anything to do with the edge of things.

[01:01:48] Cameron Watson: I’m, I have, I might feel very unsafe, right? But I’m still safe, right? So the feeling doesn’t equal reality. Now, as an [01:02:00] adult, I recognize that as a teenager I recognize that I went repelling. Is there any sensation worse than transitioning from an upright position where you’re on your own two feet to in, uh, leaning back into a harness where you’re supported by a rope when you’re scared of heights?

[01:02:15] Cameron Watson: Right. I don’t know, but I did it ’cause I knew, I knew that my feeling wasn’t reality. So with my daughter, I had to help her identify, number one, is this reality or is it, there could have been a couple other options too. Was she doing it just to avoid the activity? And you know, what if she just didn’t want to go to the activity, that’s one thing.

[01:02:42] Cameron Watson: But she never said that. She actually said, I actually love the activity. I just don’t feel right. Well, let’s talk about it. So, um, she threw the safe card out there. I was like, okay, tell me more. What, what are you not safe with? And I said, are you concerned that you’re going to hurt [01:03:00] yourself on purpose?

[01:03:01] Cameron Watson: She’s like, no, because there are consequences if someone is going to hurt themself on purpose. And she, you know, she threw out the safe. And then I, as I got more details, it was that she emotionally didn’t feel secure. I was like, well, is someone going to be bullying you there? ’cause my appropriate response is to, of course not have you go to that situation and then I’m gonna go prevent that bullying the bully from interacting with you, or we’ll figure out a place to make it safe.

[01:03:32] Cameron Watson: So it was identifying whether the feeling was legitimately not safe. And that’s where a lot of parents, because of the mental illness aspect and the counseling and the therapy and all the professionalisms that come into play in the hospitalizations. But, you know, uh, my child, uh, my daughter who’s dealing with this, we’ve never hospitalized her because we know.

[01:03:55] Cameron Watson: Uh, we, we can tell because we talked to her and we identify where [01:04:00] she’s at. Now, could we make a mistake and could she end her life? Yes. Would that be awful? Absolutely. But because we know the different levels of suicide ideation, our, and we’ve been conditioned a little bit that, hey, unless you’re about to attempt, we’re okay.

[01:04:20] Cameron Watson: Right? We don’t have to take action unless you’re about to attempt. And so that’s, um, that’s a weird place to be as a dad. ’cause that means you can accept your child who’s having all the feelers of suicide and ideation on suicide and is at a level eight as far as they want to die. They have a plan. They have a means, but they haven’t set a date yet.

[01:04:44] Cameron Watson: You can deal with them without, you can talk about life and you can, you can help them deal with the consequences of being in that situation. It’s where. Some parents, and when I say some I’m talking about me at first [01:05:00] when it was like, I want to end my life. Oh, okay. Do we need to put ’em in a straight jacket?

[01:05:05] Cameron Watson: Where do we build a padded room?

[01:05:07] Kyle Jetsel: This is, this is, this is fight or flight, right? Yeah. This is, and it’s natural. Yeah. Now I, I got a quick question for you. I’m gonna deviate just a second. Sure. Because I have seen, I’ve worked with a lot of parents who have had kids that have used the threat mm-hmm. As a Trump card to, you know, you mentioned, I think when we remove things from their life that are good for them, we could be doing more harm than good.

[01:05:35] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. But kids understand, they figure out, right. Their velociraptors, they say, Hey, if I say I’ll kill myself, everybody backs down. And so are there, I have seen occasions where that threat is made because, It’s a tool in a kid’s toolbox.

[01:05:57] Cameron Watson: Can I, can I say this? Yeah. No matter [01:06:00] what, if a child says they’re gonna kill themselves, your response has to be the same, and it should never be to back off.

[01:06:10] Kyle Jetsel: Perfect. See, this is what, this is where I, we Come on.

[01:06:14] Cameron Watson: Okay. This is the, this is the soap box, right?

[01:06:17] Kyle Jetsel: Right. Yes. This is what I think

[01:06:19] Cameron Watson: to be wrote out. I’m sorry that was judgmental and not in a spirit of love. Yeah. But let me get back to the where we wanna be. Okay. If a child is saying that they’re gonna commit suicide, I don’t care the reason.

[01:06:36] Cameron Watson: Whether they’re trying to avoid something that’s uncomfortable, or if they’re wanting to truly die, your response needs to be the same, which is to find out more information, find out if they have the ability. If so here. Okay, now we’re gonna get into what I do. Okay. This is Cameron Watson. Not any perfect doctor thing.

[01:06:59] Cameron Watson: Perfect. That’s the

[01:06:59] Kyle Jetsel: only [01:07:00] person you know, right?

[01:07:00] Cameron Watson: That, that’s right. So I, I asked them, okay, so where are you at? So you say you wanna die. Have you thought about ways to die? And then I, I usually coach them, especially the younger they are because, um, I was talking to a mom and she has an 11 year old who she is so concerned is probably suicidal.

[01:07:21] Cameron Watson: And she said probably suicidal. And she’s scared to death to interact with them. ’cause she doesn’t wanna push ’em into suicide and she doesn’t wanna give them ideas. And I, I get that. But you know what? I don’t think it’s, I, I think they’re, they all have the ideas if they’re going to have them. And if you ask the questions in a.

[01:07:42] Cameron Watson: A certain way, it’s less likely that you’re going to give them ideas. Okay. Right. So for me, um, I start off and with my eight year old at the time, he’s, he’s now nine when he was having a really bad D day and just said, I just don’t, I don’t want to anymore. [01:08:00] I was like, well, so tell me, have you, you know, what does that mean?

[01:08:03] Cameron Watson: And he goes, I just don’t want to do anything. I was like, oh. So, you know, uh, and I I, I just said, when I was a kid, I used to think about what would it be like to not be here in mortality anymore? Have you ever thought about that? And what are some of the things that you have thought about? And I said, that’s typical.

[01:08:25] Cameron Watson: A lot of people do it because there’s a lot of kids who think that there’s something wrong with them and that they have to act because if, if it, they don’t realize that a lot of people think of these things and so, It’s normal to think about ’em and it’s normal not to act on them. Right? So if you can help them recognize one, hey, a lot of people have these sensations and a lot of people deal with them, and you don’t have to act on them.

[01:08:52] Cameron Watson: Okay. I’m gonna go

[01:08:52] Kyle Jetsel: back. Let me, let me stop you real quick ’cause I wanna go back to something. Okay. Keep, we’re gonna keep going back to this, which is [01:09:00] number one, you don’t go into fight or flight when kid says, I’m gonna kill myself, right? Yep. And you approach this situation, which is how we should approach all situations with all of our kids in a spirit of love.

[01:09:14] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. Right? And I’ve noticed that you, you go straight into it, but I know you because I know you. Yeah. And I know you don’t say you don’t do it. You don’t say, well, tell me what you mean. You don’t have that gratitude. Right? You say, oh, I do. You say, I love this, I love you. I, I wanna know what you mean. Tell me what you mean.

[01:09:36] Kyle Jetsel: And it comes, it feels different. The kids know, they can inherently feel when you put your, when you say, I’m gonna do this in the spirit of love, especially when it’s hard, and I know you enough to know that when you, you know, I’ve talked to parents who, I give them the steps, but they don’t do it in a spirit of love.

[01:09:56] Kyle Jetsel: They walk through these steps and it almost sounds, it, [01:10:00] it almost sounds like they’re condescending to their kids. Right. Oh, really? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. You’re gonna kill yourself. What do you mean? Yeah. Now that’s, that’s gonna get you in trouble, right? Yep. What’s not gonna get you in trouble is saying, tell me what you mean.

[01:10:13] Kyle Jetsel: I need to understand and open that line of communicate. Don’t run away. Don’t go into fight or flight. Go into a spirit of love and start to communicate. Connect. Yeah.

[01:10:24] Cameron Watson: Okay. Can we talk just a second about the difference between compassion and empathy? I’d love to. Yeah. Okay. So my goal is to show compassion.

[01:10:37] Cameron Watson: I used to when I was growing up, and in fact I listened to a cassette tape to say, you can really become an empathetic person by matching the breathing of the other person and matching their posture so that you can really feel what they’re feeling. And I used to think that that was like the highest level of human connection was empathy.

[01:10:59] Cameron Watson: What I’ve learned [01:11:00] now is it is dangerous to get really, really good at being empathetic with people struggling

[01:11:12] Cameron Watson: with death and depression. And so I’ve now changed it. I’m no longer trying to teach my kids empathy. I’m trying to teach them compassion, which is why,

[01:11:23] Kyle Jetsel: why is it, why is it dangerous? Empathy, dangerous in those situations?

[01:11:27] Cameron Watson: Because when, let’s use something extreme, let’s use, um, so someone killed my child. I hate the person who killed them, and I want to go out and I want to murder that person, and I want to torture them, and I want to in their life so passionately.

[01:11:51] Cameron Watson: Now, someone else less mature, if they have empathy, what are they able to do to help me? [01:12:00] If they have empathy, all they can do is feel the exact same passion and hatred towards this other individual. Does that help me get out of this rutt where I’m contemplating doing evil in response to the situation?

[01:12:13] Cameron Watson: Okay. It doesn’t help at all. It just reinforces it, right? Oh, you’re right, man. Hey, there’s a type of knife, right? What? That’s extreme. I’m morbid. If you haven’t figured you. No, no, it’s okay. Yeah, but, but compassion on the other side. It doesn’t matter how mature you are, you can learn compassion. That is to identify and say, oh man, I can tell you are hurting.

[01:12:41] Cameron Watson: You are passionate and I have concern for you. Instead of feeling what they’re feeling, you have compassion for where they’re at and what they’re going through, and when your child is suicidal or worse when a relative of yours has [01:13:00] lost their child. And if you have empathy, it’ll shut you down too. It’s risky.

[01:13:06] Cameron Watson: Compassion. Absolutely have compassion, but don’t fall into the trap of empathy where you get stuck

[01:13:14] Kyle Jetsel: and, well, empathy. Empathy is more of a, I’m, I’m gonna probably use the wrong words here, but empathy seems like you can understand how they feel. Mm-hmm. And that’s, there’s no question that we can, obviously you can’t get the full scope unless you’ve experienced what they’ve experienced, but you can be empathetic.

[01:13:34] Kyle Jetsel: Without,

[01:13:34] Cameron Watson: well, you’re the, you’re the one who teaches how powerful the mind is. Yeah, for sure. You’re the one who talks about how you can create emotion off of the thoughts. So if you’re imagining and you’re trying to be empathetic with someone, you can get yourself pretty dang close to the same.

[01:13:51] Kyle Jetsel: Absolutely. My, yeah. And my point is, my point is, uh,

[01:13:58] Kyle Jetsel: connection with people [01:14:00] is powerful. Yeah. And so empathy is a powerful tool to connect, but your outward expression should be of compassion, right? Mm-hmm. Because you am, I, am I jumping, jumping the gun there? Well,

[01:14:14] Cameron Watson: I, I think that the risk of empathy, compassion is,

[01:14:17] Kyle Jetsel: to me, compassion is a, let me, let me, compassion is an action word, right?

[01:14:21] Kyle Jetsel: Okay. And so compassion creates action for other people. Empathy is just this connection. I’m not sure it, it creates action, right? Yeah. Uh, and maybe I’m jo, maybe I’m wrong there, but I

[01:14:35] Cameron Watson: don’t, some connections. So

[01:14:38] Kyle Jetsel: people here, here’s, here’s what, and lemme tell you where I’m coming from this. ’cause I, I see all these PA pages out there of people who are struggling.

[01:14:45] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. And people get on there and they struggle together. They say, I know how you feel. I’ve experienced this exact same thing, uh, expression, empathy. It’s hard. It is what it is, you know? And what can end up happening is they can all get in this big [01:15:00] bucket of pain and suffering together. Yeah. No action is taken to escape.

[01:15:05] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. Now they do feel good because they get empathy. They go these pages because they don’t feel alone, but they don’t feel alone in their pain.

[01:15:14] Cameron Watson: Right, right. I see what you’re saying.

[01:15:16] Kyle Jetsel: Compassion to me, compassion is going into those things and saying, listen, I get it. I’ve lived it. I’ve been there. But you don’t have to live that way.

[01:15:25] Kyle Jetsel: You don’t have to stay in that state. Yeah. Right. I can connect with you with empathy. But I can also help you escape and move forward with compassion. Right? And so, and, and by the way, I get kicked outta Facebook pages all the time because I say, you don’t have to live like that. And people say, just, just listen and support me.

[01:15:44] Kyle Jetsel: And I’m like, okay. It becomes this, it becomes this, uh, echo chamber of everybody thinking there is no escape. Right? Yeah. Everybody’s so empathetic and so understanding, and we experience it too. We’re all in this together. Then it’s an echo chamber and [01:16:00] people say, well, everybody’s feeling like I am. Nobody has escape.

[01:16:03] Kyle Jetsel: This must be the new world we live in. Right? Right. And then if you come in and say something alternative to that, Hey, listen, I get it. You can even be as as empathetic as you want, but the minute you say, you don’t have to stay here, you don’t have to live this way. You don’t understand my personal situation.

[01:16:22] Kyle Jetsel: I’ve got this unique child and this unique, and they jump to these, right? They all wanna talk about how unique they are, and we all are unique. Between you and I, we’ve experienced quite a bit of stuff that’s probably pretty similar, but you don’t have to live there, right? That, to me, that’s compassionate saying, I wanna help you.

[01:16:40] Kyle Jetsel: I saw something recently that said, uh, you know, the hero and the villain both have the same backstory, right? The villain has been abused and damaged and ex experienced a lot of pain, and now is gonna, is gonna, is [01:17:00] gonna fight back against the world and he is gonna make the world suffer for his pain and suffering.

[01:17:06] Kyle Jetsel: Right now the hero has experienced pain and suffering and been abused and and faced this kind of stuff. And he comes out of it and he says, you know what? I don’t want anybody else to have to suffer. I’m gonna make sure nobody else suffers, so I’m gonna save people. Right? To me, it’s kind of the different it.

[01:17:26] Kyle Jetsel: It’s almost per, you know, empathy perpetuates it. Maybe compassion helps you move above. Right. And, and, and I’m sure I’m really adding a lot of this to what you’re saying, but hopefully,

[01:17:38] Cameron Watson: hopefully you’re not No, I think, I think I get what you’re saying. And so for me, uh, empathy is such a trap that because if you, if you truly do empathize with someone who’s depressed, you will feel depressed.

[01:17:53] Cameron Watson: Yeah. That, that’s the bottom line for me. And it’s a trap. So I recognize that I can start to make that [01:18:00] connection that is similar to empathy. Right. But it needs to be in the realm of compassion. Perfect. And so that’s where I really try to, to shift my, uh, my focus is to not completely understand them. To identify and be able to have compassion where they are, which requires me to know where they’re at.

[01:18:23] Cameron Watson: But it needs, it removes that feeling so that I don’t also feel that way. And, um, I, you know, when your wife died, it messed me up, Kyle. Yeah. I I had too much empathy for you. I shut down for a full day. And I know that sounds ridiculous because I, as much as there, sorry, this is probably a little too real, but when I got that voicemail from you telling me that, uh, Shelly had died, uh, [01:19:00] I broke because all I could do was think about what would happen if Sarah died.

[01:19:07] Cameron Watson: And it was not good. It was not healthy. And, um, I. I recognize that that ability to have empathy for you didn’t help you at all. And that ability to feel empathy myself didn’t help much when I shifted it to be compassion later on and say, oh wow, what would that be like? And I could do it from a compassionate thing instead of trying to feel it.

[01:19:44] Cameron Watson: And that’s the difference. And empathy truly is, you know, feeling what the other person is feeling. And that’s a trap because if they’re struggling or if they’re in a dire situation where they’re not able to take action or the action they want to take is not [01:20:00] healthy, then you’re in that trap too. So compassion is where I’ve recognized as a higher, uh, more beneficial way of connecting with people.

[01:20:10] Cameron Watson: Same, same. In same. Beginning as empathy, but it deviates before you get trapped yourself. So,

[01:20:19] Kyle Jetsel: yeah, we kind of got off on a tangent here,

[01:20:21] Cameron Watson: didn’t we, Ken? Yeah, we did. But I love that, that’s why, anyway, this

[01:20:26] Kyle Jetsel: is two, two guys who’ve been through some stuff that are just chatting about their experiences. Right.

[01:20:30] Kyle Jetsel: Let’s talk about, let’s, let’s just jump to, I wanna go back to plan, right? Okay. And one of the things I teach in my program is a formula called the cost formula. Uh, um, it’s what is the challenge? What is the objective, long-term objective? What’s the strategy and what’s the tactics, right? Yep. And then adjust, adjust, adjust.

[01:20:52] Kyle Jetsel: Right? So cost is challenge, objective strategy, tactics. And I think too [01:21:00] often, uh, we either, when we face tragedy and it actually happens. Mm-hmm. Right? We’re forced to make adjustments. Okay. We have to, we either fall apart or we rise up, right? There’s, there’s basically two options, or we just kind of are in limbo, I guess for a long time.

[01:21:24] Kyle Jetsel: Two of those options are not good, right? Yeah. For us or for others. And just being in limbo or falling apart doesn’t help anybody. So I, you know, I believe my personal opinion, and you and I have talked about this, is any trial, it’s only a trial if you don’t know what to do, right? If you have a plan and you act on that plan, then you’re working at learning and growing and, you know, rising up and becoming better.

[01:21:48] Kyle Jetsel: So I, I mentioned the cost formula. What’s the challenge? What’s the long-term objective? What’s the strategy and what’s the tactics? But let’s talk about, and we’ve kind of covered it a little bit as we’ve [01:22:00] gone, but when we’re talking about, you know, step one, which is, you know, we called it, uh, ideation. You are, you’ve, you’ve kind of given the plan in your stories.

[01:22:13] Kyle Jetsel: Right? Right. Number one, always approach it in a spirit of love. Don’t, don’t, don’t, um, don’t fight or flight. Right. Which is hard. Mm-hmm. But you almost have to, you almost have to, you should. Only, my opinion is this, you should only fight or flight once. Once you fight or flight once, then it’s a challenge and you need to address that challenge.

[01:22:35] Kyle Jetsel: Right. Yeah. Your, your friend who’s afraid to talk to her son is not addressing that challenge. And it’s gonna, it could possibly escalate. It could go away. It could, yeah. But it could also possibly escalate. Mm-hmm. And she’d be even more and more scared and not step into, in a spirit of love, communicating, asking questions, connecting.

[01:22:58] Kyle Jetsel: Right. All those things that you [01:23:00] talked about are the most powerful things you

[01:23:01] Cameron Watson: could do. Yeah. The risk for her is that it’s gonna turn out to be what you said, which is the tragedy will occur and that will fo force adjustments. Right. So you can choose to step into it now, or you might be forced to step into it later.

[01:23:20] Cameron Watson: Right. And,

[01:23:21] Kyle Jetsel: and my, you know, you know my opinion, right? If I face, you know, after my wife passed away, things happened. Yeah. That my, I would go to Wal, I mean, I, I went, it was the month before Thanksgiving, and I had to go to Walmart and buy a Turkey all by myself. I’d never bought a Turkey before, right?

[01:23:43] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. And I’m walking around in Walmart, falling apart, and then I see an old couple and I get mad because I wanted to, I wanted to grow old with my wife. And I’m, I’m walking around in Walmart. I must have looked like an [01:24:00] idiot. I mean, I had physical tears running down my face, you know, it was horrible.

[01:24:07] Kyle Jetsel: And I, I came home and I thought, you know what, maybe I should think about some things that may, may affect me and I should probably create a plan for managing myself, my emotions in a better state. Right? And so I think a lot of people don’t wanna do that, right? If they face something, this is what creates anxiety.

[01:24:25] Kyle Jetsel: And it’s hard to come home and say, I don’t wanna face that again. Mm-hmm. Right? But you will, there’s no, you’re gonna have to face stuff. And so I came home and wrote up a plan, right? The next time I go to Walmart, here’s my, here’s my steps I’m gonna take, here’s the tactics, right? Yeah. This is the Walmart, Turkey strategy, which is so silly, but I needed that.

[01:24:47] Kyle Jetsel: Right? I can’t be falling apart everywhere. And again, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s natural. Mm-hmm. But I’m, I’ve become so accustomed to when I see a challenge that I think might be a problem, [01:25:00] I don’t want it to grow to, to the tragedy. Yep. Right. I wanna say, Ooh, I see. That could really become something severe.

[01:25:09] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. Right. So when my wife passed away, we weren’t the first p people that that had happened to. Right. Right. I, I knew my kids weren’t the first kids that had lost their mother. Right. Your your wife actually was one that I talked to and asked a lot of questions. I don’t know if you even know that, but at dinner one night I started peppering her with questions.

[01:25:32] Kyle Jetsel: ’cause your wife lost her mom. Her mom, yep. Yeah. And I started asking her questions, what happened? What, what did you do? What’s going on? How did you feel? Because I knew I needed to learn from others who had experienced it. You talked about modeling? Mm-hmm. And that was all part of me creating a plan for my family moving forward.

[01:25:50] Kyle Jetsel: Right. Yeah. The challenge is, it’s gonna be hard without shell. Long-term objective is, I wanna be happy. I want my kids to be happy. I want them to [01:26:00] be well adjusted. I want them to live their fullest and happiest lives possible. Doesn’t mean tragedy won’t happen, right? What’s the strategy? And so I, I sat down and created a strategy and said, what are my tactics?

[01:26:13] Kyle Jetsel: Once a month, I’m gonna take each one of my kids individually out. We’re gonna have real conversations alone. I’m gonna connect with them, ask ’em how they’re feeling. So, you know, I, I think the, the, the, the challenge here is for parents who see depression and say, oh my gosh, I hope that doesn’t grow. Yeah.

[01:26:39] Kyle Jetsel: Or, I’m gonna pray hope and a prayer is wonderful. It’s not, it’s not a plan, right? Mm-hmm. Hope and a prayer is hope and a prayer. And it’s wonderful to have hope and a prayer.

[01:26:53] Cameron Watson: I think you’re supposed to have hope and a prayer after you make a plan. After

[01:26:57] Kyle Jetsel: you make a plan. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Maybe, [01:27:00] maybe that’s, maybe that’s, but too many don’t.

[01:27:02] Kyle Jetsel: Right? They say, oh, I hope they grow out of it. All right. I’m gonna pray to God that they grow out of it. Right. These are things that I think, can we all do? Yeah. That next step is a plan. Right? And so, if I’m understanding you correctly, it all starts with connection. Paying attention to your kids. If you have kids that are depressed or they’re discouraged, it’s time to start talking to ’em and asking ’em how they’re feeling and what’s going on, and helping them navigate these difficult times.

[01:27:28] Kyle Jetsel: Right? Yep. And find other people that have experienced these things. Get real with them. Ask them to share with you. You’re gonna, you’re gonna learn what not to do from

[01:27:38] Cameron Watson: people. Yeah. They will share

[01:27:40] Kyle Jetsel: as well as learn what to do from people. Yeah. Yeah. When, when Shelly passed away, I learned what not to do more than I learned what to do.

[01:27:46] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. Right. Because so many people that that tragedy. Has ruined a lot of families, and I met way too many of them. Mm-hmm. And I said, that crap ain’t happening to us. Yeah. I am [01:28:00] not having that, so I know what not to do. Right. Yeah. I’m on the path to what to do. But a but a big part of it is if your kids know too, there’s no greater expression of love for your kids than for you to, to say, I care enough to talk to you in a spirit of love, to communicate with you, to understand how you’re feeling and what you’re feeling, and know exactly where you’re at.

[01:28:25] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. Pay attention to your patterns and be in your life. Right. Yeah. And kids, I I like to say, you know, kids don’t respond to them hearing I love you. They respond to them feeling, I love you. Oh yeah. Right. And, and that’s really where it happens is, is, you know, you, you mentioned a couple times, we can’t take away, we shouldn’t try to take away, if we do take away.

[01:28:50] Kyle Jetsel: Difficult things from our kids. We’re doing them more harm than good, number one. Mm-hmm. Number two, in a spirit of love, learn to [01:29:00] calm yourself. When, when the chaos erupts, when the storm comes, you have to be the calm in the storm as the, as the parent. Yeah. And you have to go into it in a spirit of love.

[01:29:11] Kyle Jetsel: Right. And it’s one of the, the three pillars of our family are we’re always gonna do what’s best for our, for our family long term, even if it’s really hard. Mm-hmm. We’re always gonna do what’s best for our kids on the spectrum long term, even if it’s really hard. And sometimes that’s hard. Yeah. Right.

[01:29:27] Kyle Jetsel: Sometimes that means letting them suffer and struggle and Right. And we’re always gonna do it in a spirit of love, especially when it’s really hard. Yeah. Okay. And so if we can catch ourselves early on and say, listen, I need to, I need to address this. If I see something, don’t ignore it. And don’t say, don’t open in a prayer.

[01:29:46] Kyle Jetsel: Right. Connect. That’s one of the things that you talked about over and over and over is connecting. Yeah. Right. In a spirit of love, calm yourself. Don’t, if you’re in fight or flight and you’re, and [01:30:00] you’re talking to your kids in fight or flight, you’re

[01:30:02] Cameron Watson: not helping. That’s right. And the having your, having your response plan dialed in so that you respond the same regardless of whether or not it’s life-threatening, immediate, or if it’s the beginning of a long road to recovery, it doesn’t matter which, which way it is.

[01:30:24] Cameron Watson: Your response is the same. Right. Which is what, talking about the costs aspect. Yeah.

[01:30:30] Kyle Jetsel: And this is the, what is the challenge? Write it down, spell it out. Right? Mm-hmm. If, you know, in, in, in this case, your, your friend who’s, she’s worried her 11 year old. Mm-hmm. Write out the challenge. I’m worried. What’s the long-term effects?

[01:30:43] Kyle Jetsel: How is it gonna affect my son, my family? Write it all out because it creates a bigger why for you to get involved, right? Yeah. Your objective. Oh, it’s for objective. Long-term. I want him to feel loved. I wanna connect with him. I want him to learn to manage his emotions. I need to [01:31:00] manage my emotions, right?

[01:31:01] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. These are my objectives. What’s the strategy?

[01:31:04] Cameron Watson: Maybe? And I think on the objectives, it’s completely appropriate to prioritize them. Perfect. ’cause sometimes your today, your objective long-term is to keep them alive so that you can do the rest of the objectives, right? So some of the objectives are more important immediately than the others.

[01:31:24] Cameron Watson: And it’s helpful to know that there is a difference and give yourself a little grace, a little bit of permission to mess up your priorities, but to have ’em written down

[01:31:33] Kyle Jetsel: and maybe, maybe the first one right here is right. I’m gonna mess up my

[01:31:39] Cameron Watson: document here. Fear of love. Yeah, there

[01:31:44] Kyle Jetsel: you go. Right. That should be your first objective, right?

[01:31:47] Kyle Jetsel: Mm-hmm. Always approach it, right? And, and be the calm. Maybe the second one is be the calm in their storm. Right? Let me just write that

[01:31:55] Cameron Watson: in.

[01:31:58] Cameron Watson: What’s fun is the spirit of [01:32:00] love is also strategy, and it’s also a tactic. Yes.

[01:32:05] Kyle Jetsel: You know what? That’s true. And maybe I should just put ’em down there too, right? Yeah. Yeah. So we’ll leave that there. But I, uh, and then the strategy, you know, one of the things that I think has helped me is I give my strategy silly names, right?

[01:32:18] Kyle Jetsel: You know, the Walmart, the Turkey, Walmart strategy. That’s a very specific strategy to me, and it has tactics. And you, you mentioned this, have an action plan. Mm-hmm. What am I gonna do if my son comes to me and says, I’m depressed. I, I don’t, I don’t wanna wake up tomorrow, right? Mm-hmm. Fight or flight. Not effective in that moment.

[01:32:38] Kyle Jetsel: Nope. Hope a prayer. As wonderful as that is. Okay. Not a tactic, right? Yeah. So write out your tactics and get these things, and, and I’ll share this worksheet with whoever watches this video. Um, I’ll make sure they can grab this worksheet. I’m gonna, I’m gonna unshare it now. But, but again, you, you talked about it, it, one of the most beautiful things I think having [01:33:00] a kid on the spectrum taught me is I have to have a plan for a lot of different things that is very unique for him, right?

[01:33:07] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. And I have to have tactics spelled out to a point where I can internalize those tactics. So when he does x I know, okay, I’ve got winning every meltdown strategy, I’m gonna Right? Boom. Mm-hmm. Boom, boom. I know what to do. First, second, third, fourth. Now, what happens is, I don’t join the storm. I calm the storm, right?

[01:33:31] Kyle Jetsel: ’cause I go into a spirit of love, right? Mm-hmm. I, I don’t join the storm. I, I become the calm, right? And those, those are two really powerful things. Uh, but again, the other thing that you said that I really appreciated is even me, we, we’ve all had these thoughts. I think you’re right. Some kids think that I shouldn’t have these thoughts or they’re wrong, or I shouldn’t share ’em, or for you to share with your own child that I’ve considered this too.

[01:33:58] Kyle Jetsel: It’s normal. [01:34:00] Mm-hmm.

[01:34:00] Cameron Watson: Right? Yep. And we don’t have to act on ‘

[01:34:02] Kyle Jetsel: em. You don’t have to act on ’em. Right. That’s right. You don’t have to act on ’em. Right. And I, frankly, there’s hundreds of thoughts we have that we don’t act on, that we shouldn’t act

[01:34:12] Cameron Watson: on. Yeah. Yeah. And, and maybe a better way to say it, in fact, I’m gonna add this to my flow chart ’cause you work on worksheets.

[01:34:19] Cameron Watson: I work in flowcharts. There you go. Uh, my, uh, I think what I’ll do is when I identify and say, oh, and the way you act on it is important ’cause you should talk to us. And right here, you might not need to talk to us when you’re thinking about this, but if you think about this, That’s a, that’s you, you should get some help here and this is how we can do it.

[01:34:43] Cameron Watson: And one other thing I love about your costs, uh, worksheet there, Kyle, is if you can come up with a universal, uh, so the challenge for me would be if I was writing it down, would be, um, I can’t know beforehand what the [01:35:00] issue is Correct. And then have my long-term outcome be, be able to deal with the situation the right way eventually.

[01:35:09] Cameron Watson: Right. And then my strategy is to not overreact and not, uh, and to ex uh, make sure I understand the, the consequences and the tactics are all about, Hey, this is how I’m going to ask these kids. So if my child comes to me, um, my daughter Elizabeth interviewed me recently and said, what would you say if, um, uh, would you bail me out of jail?

[01:35:33] Cameron Watson: And I was like, no. I wouldn’t bail you outta jail. And she was shocked, right? Because I’m, I’m the helpful, I’m the helpful dad. And it is still like, well, why were you in jail? You know, there’s so many things there. Um, and then she asked what would happen. She was just trying to, you know, life questions. Well, what if I stole a lot of money from you?

[01:35:56] Cameron Watson: And I thought about it, I was like, well, I’d probably prosecute you [01:36:00] and help you then deal with the consequences of being prosecuted. And it was so fun because I have this, this flow chart developed already, which, so no matter what happens, immediately my mind shifts into, you know, actually it was another one of your techniques, the, um, the swoosh technique or whatever it is.

[01:36:23] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Swoosh. Um, I use blinking. So I, I change my state by a blink. So as soon as I feel panicked or emotional, I do a, a blink. I’m like, I reset back into my, and I use it for all sorts of things, but that allows me to help with whatever the situation is, no matter what the degree is for the, the, my kids or now other parents who are coming to me and saying, oh my goodness, my kid is cutting themselves.

[01:36:55] Cameron Watson: Oh, blink, compassion, [01:37:00] spirit of love. And, and then I can go into it and ask them more questions about how they’re doing, what, what, how, where are they at? And then say at some point, I’ve dealt with cutters and I, I have some insight that may or may not help your situation, but I’d love to talk to you about it as you move forward.

[01:37:18] Cameron Watson: That’s, and, and the

[01:37:19] Kyle Jetsel: cool part about that is you can start with a framework for them and they can make the adjustments. Right, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of people say, I don’t know what to do. Mm-hmm. And, well, somebody’s experienced what you’re experiencing, believe me.

[01:37:32] Cameron Watson: Nothing’s new under the sun.

[01:37:33] Kyle Jetsel: Nothing’s new under the sun.

[01:37:34] Kyle Jetsel: As a matter of fact, there might be a whole book, a whole section of books on your experience. Yeah. At the library. Right? But you’d say, well, my situation is unique, and you’re right. Mm-hmm. But you could start with a framework, which in my cost formula, a framework, I say, listen, challenge, objective, strategy, tactics, and then adjust, adjust, adjust.

[01:37:59] Kyle Jetsel: Right? Yeah. But [01:38:00] you’re, what’s, what’s happening when you do that is now, instead of saying, oh my gosh, I’m working on a hope and a prayer, God save him. And then maybe God doesn’t, and you’re mad at God. Right. And that being your plan, now you say, okay, the next time this happens, I’ve got a series of steps I’m taking.

[01:38:18] Kyle Jetsel: I’m gonna watch what happens. Mm-hmm. I’m gonna see the results. I’m gonna fall, I’m gonna be very connected to this thing. And as I need to make adjustments for my unique, specific child or situation, I can do that. Right. But at least I’ve got an action plan instead of sitting back and worrying and letting it, you know, I know too many people sit back and they just worry.

[01:38:40] Kyle Jetsel: What if, right? Yeah. No, no, no. What if, if, if you feel like it’s an issue, pull out the formula. What is the challenge? What is the long term objective? Create some tactics, start applying those tactics, and now you have a plan in life. Mm-hmm. Right? You’re not just taking the world, beating the crap out of you.[01:39:00]

[01:39:00] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. Which we’ve, the world has beat the crap out of me. Yeah. Right. People say, how can you be so buoyant and happy? I say, ’cause I gotta plan. I gotta plan for happiness. I gotta plan for joy. And sure, I could sit back and the world could beat the crap outta me, and I could be beaten and bruised. And by the way, that’s what you see.

[01:39:23] Kyle Jetsel: There’s no hiding the beating I’ve taken. Right? Yeah. But I don’t have to live in a, in a beaten. World. I don’t have to live in a beaten state. Right. I got a plan. Yeah. And I’m working my plan, and if my plan fails me, I’ll create a new plan. I’ll make adjustments. I’m, I’m always working at it. Right. And it gives me, it gives me strength, it gives me courage.

[01:39:47] Kyle Jetsel: It makes me feel like my prayers and my hope have a better chance. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So, well, Cameron, we’ve talked about a lot. We’re at, we’re at an hour and 42 minutes [01:40:00] here. Did you realize that? Yeah. It doesn’t

[01:40:02] Cameron Watson: surprise me.

[01:40:03] Kyle Jetsel: What do you wanna, if, what would you like to, to close on? I’m, I mean, I know you were working on a program mm-hmm.

[01:40:12] Kyle Jetsel: That maybe you’re ready to share, maybe you’re not ready to share. I’m sure. People, or I’m just gonna, what would you like to close with Cameron?

[01:40:20] Cameron Watson: Well, uh, let me just start by saying how grateful I am to be able to talk and record this as nervous as I was. I could have chosen to say I don’t feel well, um, because this is a hard subject.

[01:40:36] Cameron Watson: Sure. Um, but I can’t imagine talking about it in a recorded format with anyone, uh, and have it be as likely to come off with the right spirit than you. So thank you for the invitation. I, I really do appreciate it. And, um, you know, we have a website, it’s called Connect and Conquer. And, um, I’m, we [01:41:00] we’re, we focus on helping other people overcome adversity, depression and anxiety through connection with deity, others and themselves.

[01:41:10] Cameron Watson: And we’re putting out a lot of content. One of the ways to have connections with others is actually through gameplay and games. And so, uh, this all started with my son who, um, I. Was he had a good two weeks. And I asked him, I was like, what, what is it you’re doing that’s so that you’re elevated? What’s different?

[01:41:33] Cameron Watson: And he’s like, well, I’m playing this game. And I asked him what the game was, and it was called Senior Assassin. And the concept was that you take a, a token in the, in their friend’s case was dinosaurs, plastic, little dinosaurs. And you touch the other person with your token and it assassinates them. And then you take their token and you go after their assignment.

[01:41:54] Cameron Watson: And I was like, well, why don’t you do this more often? This sounds like it’s fun and, and it’s creative. And you know, they did things like traps [01:42:00] where they would hang the dinosaur from a fishing line above the door and their assigned person would walk out and they would let it drop and it would hit ’em, and the, the person would be out, you know, just lots of fun.

[01:42:12] Cameron Watson: Uh, and they said, well, it’s too hard to kind of figure out the round robin and someone has to be in charge and make the assignments, and then sometimes someone won’t play and they’ll leave the geographic location. And so it’s hard. And I was like, you know, I could write an app for this. And so we started talking and decided on a, a concept that we, uh, it’s called Snapshot capture.

[01:42:34] Cameron Watson: So you’ll sign up for the game and it’s being programmed. Right now we’re, we’re paying for it out of pocket. Um, have a, have a pretty good team actually working on it. And I’m really excited. It should be done by, uh, I think the beta version will come out first part of September. And the idea is that you’ll enter a game code and that puts you into a game with others.

[01:42:57] Cameron Watson: And then you have to get a selfie [01:43:00] with them in the background. And that’s how you capture them. You capture the selfie with them in the background, and then you would take on their assignment. And it’s a way to interact in the real world, in a kind of fun way to connect with others. And we have a bunch of different versions of the game that we’re going to be developing over the next couple years.

[01:43:21] Cameron Watson: But, uh, that one, um, we’re hoping that it allows people to connect and then to conquer their anxiety and the depression and the adversity that they’re going through. So that’s, you connect, kind.

[01:43:33] Kyle Jetsel: We’re going connect and conquer. Mm-hmm. Dot com or?

[01:43:37] Cameron Watson: Yep. Okay. Connect and So is it a and d?

[01:43:42] Kyle Jetsel: Yes, it is.

[01:43:43] Kyle Jetsel: Okay. Connect and Okay, perfect. Yeah, you got, so you guys that are watching, I, I know a lot of people are, I’m gonna post this on my, you know, parenting at Home Autism Challenges in the Spirit of Love Facebook page. Right. Which I haven’t changed the name of yet, but I realize I need to. [01:44:00] But, um, if you guys are, if you need help, reach out.

[01:44:07] Kyle Jetsel: That I really want because you’re not the first, you’re not the first parent who has seen these kind of things. Right. And, and don’t be afraid to don’t being fearful of something. And, and I have seen on, on occasions where kids can see the fear in their parents’ eyes if they say these things and they use it as a tool.

[01:44:31] Kyle Jetsel: I’ve seen this a lot in the autism community. Kids will ramp up to, to get what they want. And this is behavior, we can call it whatever we want, but kids do what works. And if they say that they’ll kill themselves and they get what they want, they, they keep doing it. And it may or may not be reality. Right.

[01:44:49] Kyle Jetsel: Right. It may just be a tool, but it’s not something to ignore, like you said, ever. That’s right. Right. Open up the line of communication, put yourself in the spirit of love. Open up the line of [01:45:00] communication, start asking a lot of questions and be prepared. For your kids to be resistant to this. Especially if, if you’ve done things that may or may not be in the spirit of love and we all have as parents, right?

[01:45:16] Kyle Jetsel: Yeah. So, you know, the key to this whole thing, I think is probably just number one. You said it at the very beginning and it’s, it’s morbid and it’s harsh. But if someone is determined to do it, there’s really not a lot you can do. Yep. You know, and if you do know what you can do, then tell us. Tell everybody.

[01:45:41] Kyle Jetsel: The world needs to know. That’s right. Um, but if you, if you do get the inclinations or you have this fear, hope, and, and prayer is not a plan, it’s good. We recommend that highly. But maybe you pray for guidance on creating a plan. Right. And sit [01:46:00] down and write down how you’re gonna address this and, and start with.

[01:46:03] Kyle Jetsel: Do it in a spirit of love. Start to communicate, connect with your kids, make sure they feel your love and, and don’t be critical when they share hard things with you. You’ve gotta listen. You gotta, you gotta be the calming, the calming their storm, right? Yep. And, and I know it’s hard, believe me, I face, we, we’ve both faced this quite a, quite a bit, right?

[01:46:27] Kyle Jetsel: It takes practice to be the calm of the storm. Oh yeah. But if you need help with that, I can help with that. Obviously. That’s one of the things I do best is help parents learn to calm themselves so that they can actually apply the strategies they wanna apply. So, Cameron, man, I really appreciate you getting on the call with me.

[01:46:44] Kyle Jetsel: And I’m gonna, once I, once I stop the recording, I, you’re gonna stay for a minute too or two here. But, uh, I appreciate you doing this. I know it’s, it’s a touchy subject. I know there’s people that can apply shame [01:47:00] to it. There’s people that can, right. So we just need to put it out there. Um, so I really appreciate you sharing your experiences.

[01:47:08] Kyle Jetsel: You know, I don’t have the same experiences. It’s interesting that I learned something about myself today that, that I learned a lot more about how deep of the ideation I’ve gone into. Oh, yeah. I didn’t realize, I, I like to think I’m not, I take pride in being very positive and motivated and, but after talking to you, I realized that I’ve, I’ve, uh, dived a little deeper into it that I would probably like to admit after Shelly passed away.

[01:47:42] Kyle Jetsel: And I think it’s probably understandable. Again, not something to be ashamed of. Mm-hmm. Just that it does happen. Right? Yep. And I think, and I think that maybe that’s the point of this whole thing, is to say, listen, I. This is not something we have to be afraid of. This is something [01:48:00] we need to face and we need to address, and we don’t need to be ashamed of it.

[01:48:04] Kyle Jetsel: And we, and, and we need to, to make a plan. Right. And get help and reach out. So hopefully this has been helpful for you guys. Uh, I think Cameron and I are such good friends. We kind of, we were pretty relaxed in this thing, and if it seems like it’s trivial in the way we handled it, it’s not. But Cameron and I know each other so well.

[01:48:26] Kyle Jetsel: Yep. We, we love each other so much that we can talk so plainly about hard things that it’s a wonderful thing. So. Agreed. The other thing is too, if you don’t have somebody like that, find somebody. Yeah. Right. Find somebody that you can have hard conversations with that you know, loves you, that, that will just have these conversations and it, it’s amazing how much you can learn from each other.

[01:48:55] Kyle Jetsel: And I, and I know I, I have relied on Cameron for so much. I don’t even think [01:49:00] Cameron knows. And I, and I think it’s kind of been that way both ways, right?

[01:49:04] Cameron Watson: Absolutely. Everybody has been me relying on you, so Yeah.

[01:49:08] Kyle Jetsel: So find somebody, look for somebody. Uh, if you need help from Cameron or I reach out to me, I can tell you how to get in touch with this.

[01:49:16] Kyle Jetsel: We want to help. You know, that’s, that’s kind of our, um, I know it’s, my purpose is to help parents to, to parent at home. Autism challenges in the spirit of love. I know what it, I know what it feels like to struggle and I know what it feels like to, to be in a top 1% happy family. And it takes work. But you’re gonna work anyway.

[01:49:37] Cameron Watson: That’s right. It’s time’s gonna pass. You’re gonna have to do it. Hop up and hustle. You should, you should link that anyway. That there, we could, we could talk another seven hours.

[01:49:48] Kyle Jetsel: But we won’t, we’re gonna tie it up, Cameron. Alright. Hey, thanks so much. Uh, thanks so much for your time, Cameron. And I’m gonna, again, you guys reach out to us if you need any help.

[01:49:57] Kyle Jetsel: Uh, we’d love to be helpful. I’m gonna post this [01:50:00] on, uh, YouTube. I’m gonna give a copy to you to post wherever you want. Great. So, yeah, and I think I’m gonna post it everywhere I can and please share it if you know anybody that’s struggling or needs help and, uh, you know, hopefully it’s been entertaining and, and educational and you feel like you’ve, you’re better for it and maybe have a plan.

[01:50:21] Kyle Jetsel: So thanks everybody and we’ll talk to you next time. Thanks Cameron. Thanks, you all righty. Bye-Bye everybody.

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