AceShowbiz - Liza Morales is still grieving over the death of her son Jayden back in 2006. In a new interview, the ex of Lamar Odom recalled the tragic loss that put both Odom and Morales in a dark path as Odom got into drug addiction, while she had severe depression.
"It's all connected," says Morales, who shares daughter Destiny and Lamar Jr. with the retired basketball player, to PEOPLE. "I lost myself in trying to co-parent with an addict, trying to guide my kids through the trauma of losing their sibling, of dealing with a father who's an addict and the constant headlines."
Morales admitted that she was "exhausted all the time" following her son's death. It was a sign of depression, but because she wasn't really aware of mental health growing up, she didn't realize her own situation. "I didn't know what to look out for," she shared.
She then noted that her "major turning point" happened in 2009 when a close friend recommended Morales visit her therapist. "She seemed super successful and happy, I had no idea she was seeing a therapist," Morales said. "There's a major stigma when it comes to mental health, that if you're seeing a professional, you're 'crazy.' "
That was when Morales was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. While she noted that therapy, meditation and CBD helped her, Morales said that "the trauma [of Jayden's death] never goes away," she said. "You constantly have to work on yourself when it comes to loss and depression."
Of Odom's struggle with addiction to the point he was found unconcious at a brothel in 2015, Morales said, "I was embarrassed that everybody now knew about our private family issues. But eventually I realized that there are so many other families who have to deal with addiction."
She added, "A lot of times, the addict sucks all the air out of room, and you lose yourself. But I learned the hard way that you can't change an addict, they have to want to get help. You cannot change somebody, you cannot pray away their addiction. I wish Lamar the best, but I can no longer force somebody to work on themselves."
Jayden of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to Mayo Clinic, it is an unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.