This morning I was thinking I’d take a minute or two to post something funny that I wanted to remember. Sophie says "lemelade" for lemonade, and it’s very cute. Maybe you had to be there, I don’t know.
But, I read the paper today and saw this story about the woman who killed her infant daughter by cutting off her arms. All day I’ve been thinking about it. About why this happens and if it can be prevented and if it happens in other places and if it used to happen a long time ago.
This is probably a weird thing to say, and I know that it could really be taken the wrong way, but, usually when I read about women who have killed their children I feel a medium amount of sympathy for them. I don’t ever think that it is alright to harm a child, of course, but I feel sorry for these women who are so desperate that they end up doing things like drowning their own babies. I don’t know if it’s true, but it was reported that Andrea Yates’ husband came home from work after the murders and the police wouldn’t let him into the house. He sat on the back porch. One of the officers asked if he would like a glass of water and the man said that he doubted they’d be able to find a clean glass in the house. I thought to myself, okay Mr. Asshole Yates, maybe if you’d pitch in and help your wife with taking care of the house where you live and eat and sleep, and maybe if she wasn’t taking care of her elderly father and her five (or was it six?) children all by herself, and maybe if you didn’t think that you should never use any contraceptives and have as many children as god gave you, and maybe if she had some help from you with her depression, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. I’ll be honest; I have had moments when I feel so overwhelmed and undervalued and like such a monumental failure at everything that I have fantasies about living all by myself in a place where nobody knows me or wants anything from me. And I am very happy with my life, even when I have to clean poop off the kitchen floor. I’ve never thought that I wanted to hurt my children, but I do think of escape.
So, usually, generally, I feel like these women have been let down by those who should be helping them. And I imagine the woman in Plano was probably not getting the support she needed, though I have no fact at all to base that on. This time, though, I don’t have any sympathy for the mother. None. I guess it is because of the violence and the sickening way she killed her baby. I don’t know. It reminds me of that awful rape case where the attacker cut off the woman’s arms. It’s like something from a Greek tragedy.
I find that I’ve been crying about it a lot and that I have a really strong phsyical desire to just hold that poor little baby. I need to go get my boys from school.
I am always stunned by stories like the mom…but like you I feel bad for the mom too.You are right , someone wasn’t paying attention..and on the flip side she wasn’t listening to her own clues.I’m sure she gave off some signals and new she wasn’t “feeling right”.
Its all very sad..buton the other hand I can imagine how a mom can just snap. I think as moms we always fantasize about escaping..lol Sometimes one more “MOM ! ” from the fighting kids bellowing from the other room, or the “I only want mom for everything ” is enough to make me want to run away..BUT I love them and hurting them is not an option we dont even spank….however in jest, there’s always that trip to the closet or a nice knuckle sandwich..:)
wow. powerful. i am not a mother. so i can only imagine what it feels like to have that responsibility.
i really appreciate your honesty. i am always amazed when i hear people automatically determine that the mother must have been a bad mother, rather than really considering all the possible factors that led up to killing one’s own child.
and even when the child is killed by the father, somehow blame gets directed back to the mother.
the media has yet to really acknowledge and examine the co-relation (sp?) between the deaths/serious injuries and mental illness.
i point the finger at the media b/c it is so influential in shaping our thoughts about this issue.
i am rambling.
again, thanks for sharing, mama. 🙂
I completely agree with your post! These stories of mothers killing their children are SO incredibly tragic! I have thought a lot about the Plano woman, as well (I happen to live in the next town over, too). Usually, though, it upsets me too much and I have to move on, mentally. So,so, so incredibly sad and awful, though.
I have been avoiding mention of that woman. I actually live in Plano so it has been on the news and, even though I don’t watch the news, even in the little news blurbs between shows. I don’t want to know anything about it because it would give me nightmares. I do feel sad for her and other women like her; I have been in that deep postpartum depression and feel grateful that I was able to get the help I needed to pull out of it. I feel even more sad for the kids, of course.