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‘I think what we did when we sent him away is we just delayed the inevitable. And the inevitable was very ugly.’
Rick Reiss was scared for his teenage son, Gabriel. Gabe was struggling with depression and mood swings, and no amount of therapy or medication seemed to work.
But when Gabe became violent, Rick wasn’t just scared for his son; he was scared of his son. Rick and his wife felt as if they had to do something drastic. So they made the decision to send Gabe to a wilderness therapy program.
Nearly 18 years later, father and son talk about the decision that changed both of their lives and how their relationship has grown now that Gabe is an adult.
You can read Rick’s original Modern Love essay, which came out in 2005, here.
Modern Love is hosted by Anna Martin and produced by Julia Botero, Christina Djossa and Reva Goldberg. The show is edited by Jen Poyant, our executive producer, and Anabel Bacon. The show is mixed by Daniel Ramirez and recorded by Maddy Masiello. It features original music by Pat McCusker, Rowan Niemisto and Diane Wong. Our theme music is by Dan Powell. Fact-checking by Naomi Sharp.
Special thanks to Daniel Jones, Miya Lee, Mahima Chablani, Nell Gallogly, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Nina Lassam and Julia Simon.
Thoughts? Email us at [email protected].
Want more from Modern Love? Read past stories. Watch the TV series and sign up for the newsletter. We also have swag at the NYT Store and two books, “Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption” and “Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less.”