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His son died of a drug overdose – he now wants to give hope to other parents

After he lost his son in a drug overdose dropped Tommy Karman gain a foothold. He wrestled with the difficult feelings of guilt, and felt he failed as a father. Still throws the grief shadows over his life.

In the book ”When the seas fell silent” tells Tommy about how he could never meet his son's silent cry for help. He stood there nonplussed, and unable to understand something that was not his, he felt a wall between his and his son's world.

– Life continues when a child dies. Though it becomes very different. My book is an attempt to give hope to parents who find themselves in a similar situation then a well-loved children died, " says Tommy Karman.

a gråkall novemberdag at Sergels torg in central Stockholm. The place is a known hangout for drug users and drug dealers. Tommy thinks that it feels good to talk about his book right there. He remembers the phone call the where majdagen eight years ago.

his Son Victor have post haste brought to the emergency room at Karolinska university hospital from an apartment nearby. He is 27 years of age.

I run through the gate and penetrate me up to the reception, but may not present a word. In the waiting room, I see some police officers. I vankar forward and back. Everything is to and the minutes become long.

Hard to be a parent to adult child abuse

As a young nurse up and show how he'll go. In a room sits Victor's mother, his sister and her boyfriend. The eye is quiet and empty. The doctor says ”we lost him ... we could do nothing ... we found amphetamine”.

So a new room. Where is Victor with the body covered by a sheet. Two candles are burning still.

– I feel love and a great sadness. I have not been a good dad. We were nevertheless quite often and was close, but yet so far away ... we were alone together.

in a family of fishermen outside of Gävle. At home, printed all the forms of the true christians, the bottom – regardless of whether they were sprung from joy, sadness, or anger.

After Victor's death, I have many times wondered about my childhood and upbringing contributed to that I as a father could never meet my son's strong emotional outbursts. A parent should support their children, but also set boundaries and be clear. Maybe could I do it later.

Victor loved to create, and I think that music, art and the movie could have been his way into the adult world, a way out in life. But that was not the case.

Tommy and his then wife had long tried to have children, but have not succeeded. In the beginning of the 1980s, they applied instead to adopt.

When Tommy was 37 came the positive news. He and his wife sat on a plane to the taiwanese capital, Taipei. Where, in an orphanage, expecting a little boy on his new mom and dad.

– He was nine months and a lovely little children. We named him Victor, and he was early, exuberant and smart. He talked early. In school it was fine, even if some teachers felt that Victor was a little too lively and sometimes put to it.

" My wife and I thought it was charming with a child who not only sat still, but wanted it to happen. Later I understood that his emotions were always close and that they were difficult to check, on good and evil. If he received a diagnosis that small had enough adhd have been close at hand.

to paint and draw. As twelve, he borrowed his dad's film camera and wore it with almost everywhere. He learned to edit, and Tommy has still left many of the movies.

Victor loved to create, and I think that music, art and the movie could have been his way into the adult world, a way out in life. But that was not the case.

Tommy Karman and his book ”When the oceans stopped”. Photo: Tommy Karman and his book ”When the oceans stopped”.

Around the turn of the millennium, met the Victor with Oskar Linnros, today an established and popular artist. They were united around music, mostly rap. In an interview in the Swedish Radio program ”Soul” mentioned Oskar his friendship with Victor:

”... one of the most talented rappers I've heard ... he was absolutely superior to the rest of us ... he had been able to become an influential artist, but he walked on the wrong track ... he is my secret reference ...”

at Gröna Lund in the end of August 2018 acclaimed Oskar Linnros his friend by playing the song ”Born to fight” for 15,000 people. Hidden in the mass audience, stood Tommy.

" I often think of what had been able to get Viktor to choose a different path of life. He left the music and began to use drugs, but perhaps he had also done it earlier but we noticed something.

Tommy says we can't tailor our children, get them exactly as we want. But we can be curious about their world and, hopefully, get an insight of it.

" I realize today that Victor searched for an identity, maybe something that is extra important for those who are adopted. He searched for more or less dangerous subcultures where there were drugs. When he was convicted of aggravated assault ... it was something that behaved completely out of the question for us.

" I think it was all about a annorlundaskap where he wanted to find himself. It was, therefore, he applied to various subcultures.

divorced, Tommy and his wife, but they continued to be friends and have close contact.

" I'm thinking, of course, on how the divorce affected him. We had a few years earlier adopted a little daughter, and that adoptive parents might have an extra responsibility to keep it together, but in our case it didn't work. My wife and I chose to leave each other.

It is not enough to say ”I love you”. Parents also need to show it in action. The words should be accompanied by something tangible, a proof. But I had not the insight then.

" No, I am not in all cases and not directly. Which is horrible to have to admit. His mother was probably more clear.

– A person with serious life are often skilled at hiding them, sometimes so skillful that it becomes a double life. That loved one is so filled with compassion and love that turns a blind eye to reality. The scale of the problem is reduced and every little improvement is overrated.

Tommy says that there were warning signs, a vague gut feeling and the wondering over Victor's changing behavior.

– It is not enough to say ”I love you”. Parents also need to show it in action. The words should be accompanied by something tangible, a proof. But I had not the insight then.

joined Tommy in talk therapy twice a week, in total there were twenty-four visits. He says that maybe it made no small advantage, but that he probably would have waited to bring out their thoughts and feelings.

instead, I applied myself to the sea and nature. When I let myself be surrounded by the sea and rests his gaze towards the horizon occurs something that can almost be likened to a religious experience, a kind of rebirth.

– Nature heals and give me strength to meet new people and those who are close to me.

Tommy says that he aspired to change that perspective when he sought comfort, he wanted to turn the compass towards new goals. He walked often around at night, and when morning broke the darkness of the night, rejoicing over, he see children and parents on the way to the nursery. Then he felt hope.

" Over a period of time, it became for many the god of consolation glass, and the piles of ashtrays and odiskade coffee cups grew. It is also part of my story. I became my own dad. I went and thought too much.

– now, When I meet my daughter's children, my grandchildren, I feel how the pleasure takes hold of me. I become a different me, the one I was before Victor's death. The debt will disappear more and more, soon maybe its the shadows are gone altogether.

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