Straight Up with Sherri

Friday, January 07, 2005

Who is the real COWARD?

Andrea Yates. Just the mention of this name sparks ALL kinds of emotion. Some are riddled with utter rage, while others regard this case as a vehicle to bring attention to the seriousness of postpartum depression. I am all for treating postpartum depression, or ANY form of depression, as a serious issue. I am full of compassion for those who suffer from severe depression. In fact, I just recently lost a dear friend to depression via suicide. Of course part of me feels that suicide is a cowardice act. Yet part of me understands the insurmountable feeling of hopelessness.

So, when it boils down to the nitty gritty, where do I stand. Suicide is cowardice. It is especially so, when the person suffering from depression refuses to seek treatment, particularly in THIS day and age. Does this leave me angry with my friend? Yes. I am frustrated because of the harm and pain he has caused to those who love him. He had to know we would all be wondering what we could have said or done. He had to know that we would all be blaming ourselves. He had to know that if he had reached out, we would have responded. He had no idea how beloved he was to us. He couldn’t have. He was too engulfed in the disease that devoured his self-worth. Yes, I am angry; but I am more saddened. I seek some comfort in the fact that he is no longer suffering, but little comfort in the fact that his family is riddled with no comprehension on how to proceed with each new day without him. Ultimately, as I recognize my anger, I forgive him, and love him nonetheless. I recognize that he hurt those who love and adore him. Yet, the decision he made was not made to hurt them, it was made to save himself from what he felt and thought he could not escape. I know he could have tried more, but he didn’t.

As for Andrea, these same things just don’t apply. It is known she had attempted suicide and was hospitalized for depression. So, she DID get help, yet still a tragic outcome. I have just a few things to sum up how I feel on this case. Number one- what was Dad thinking? Would you have allowed ANYONE else with her same record and history to stay alone with your children, let alone placing them in her care? If he had, we would all be outraged. I am furious with this self-absorbed idiot of a man. Can you imagine the stress of trying to care for 5 children, all 7 and under? Even the healthiest among us would be stretched to the limits of sanity, let alone someone suffering from such illnesses. HOWEVER- if she had killed someone else’s 5 kids, she would be frying! Imagine what our reaction would be if she had killed her neighbor’s 5 kids! Not only would we consider conviction a MUST; the death penalty would also be quite welcome. What if she had been a MAN, and had suffered from depression and HE had killed his children, or someone else’s children? In all actuality- she did kill someone else’s children. Those children had a father (not real fond of him, but they were HIS kids too.). These kids had grandparents, aunts and uncles. I haven’t even touched on the fact that

Imagine how these children must have felt in those last moments. One child had reportedly run to the door to try and get out, but mommy had locked the doors ahead of time. Imagine their horror, knowing that they were next. This was their mommy. Imagine their fear, their confusion, their hearts utterly breaking. If she had killed MY children, I WOULD BE THE ONE TRIAL, and I WOULD HAVE NO REGRETS!

You will find NO sympathy here for her, NONE! I have also heard reports about how she starts to come around and get a little more “sane,” and then realizes what she has done, and slides back. NO KIDDING? I GUESS SO! I would expect nothing less. For this reason, and THIS reason ONLY, I am glad she didn’t get the death penalty. I hope she lives with the horror of it for the rest of her life. And if SHE were to be successful in her next attempt of suicide, I wouldn’t find any compassion for her feeling hopeless. My only hope would be that whatever awaited her after death, would NOT include a reunion with her children. SOUND HARSH? Sound politically INCORRECT? I guess so. Political correctness never leads to true honesty, let alone an honest solution to any issue anyway. Overturning her conviction frustrates me to no end. I love my country. I love our desire to exercise the law in an honest and pure way. I don’t wish a trial on anyone that is corrupt or threatens the rights of those accused. But for sake of true justice, I hope this woman never sees the light of day unless through a barred window. She didn’t kill herself, she killed them. WHY? She felt like a bad mother. So kill THEM? Now THIS is a COWARD!

Was she insane? What was insane was leaving this woman in charge of the care and well being of these children. What is insane is that there is a father not charged with neglect, or cruelty to children. What is insane is that we have to spend so much time and effort in convicting someone who ADMITS to KILLING FIVE CHILDREN! THERE IS NO EXCUSE! It was a WILLFUL act. Anyone who can listen to the scream and pleas of ANY child, let alone their own, and physically fight them as they struggle to hold on to life and get a breath of air, and to just keep going. FIVE TIMES! FIVE TIMES! Five times. Five times. five times...........


  • Welcome back, Sherri. We miss you.
    The issue of family discord is always a tough one to rationalize. To think that Andrea's feelings about her children are anything similar to yours is a giant leap of imagination. We must judge people by their actions and not by their thoughts. This requires a great deal of faith in the Lord (specifically grace of the Holy Spirit) to do properly, lest we end up with totalitarian extremes vs. absolute permissiveness that each produce identical results.
    It is best to love everyone and then choose those we dearly care about and accept them, but try to help however we can. This is a normal human trait - it appears to be the postulate from which you arrive at your definitions of normalcy.
    When people ask how her husband could let that happen, there is an assumption regarding a husband/wife and husband/children relationship. This is very bad to interject your perceptions of normal relationships in order to evaluate other people's lives.
    So you affect the things you can change and accept those you cannot.
    I also think it is quite astute that you note the difference we place in a mother's action than a father's. Dad would have been summarily sentenced to death in Texas with very little fanfare.
    Incidently, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, the Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, said today that he expects the Texas Supreme Court to overturn this decision and keep Mrs. Yates in confinement with no new trial. I agree.
    Glad you're back!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:19 AM  

  • I don't have any understanding of Andrea Yates (and don't really wish to) -- so I am going off-topic and back to suicide. In my experience there are two underestimated reasons for suicide. One is physical pain -- the pain constantly refocuses a person on themselves and constantly brings them back to despair. In my experience when I take really unwise actions, I engage in a thought-process which by some mechanism constantly winds me back to the stupid action so that I cannot see the broader picture. Pain can be that mechanism. Friends in physical pain need to be closely cared for, particularly those in chronic pain. Secondly--life insurance. When I lost a job eight months ago, I realized that if I committed suicide I could get my family a certain 600K after tax by collecting on my employer-provided life insurance, while I was uncertain that I could earn that much for them. I happened upon a website which talked about how Japanese men commit suicide for that precise reason with some frequency on being laid off. The website (and I apologize for no linky) went on to talk about how devastated the families were by that course of action and that all of them would far rather have been totally impoverished with their husbands and daddies. The website immediately let me turn my thoughts to more productive thinking and away from any such nonsense as a duty to my family to kill myself.

    By Blogger levi from queens, at 1:40 PM  

  • I have to comment since I have had a life long struggle with depression, not to address the Yates situation but your friend. When we are depressed we are not sane and our mental pain is far worse than any physical pain you can imagine. I have had two back surgeries, so I am familiar with physical pain too. Unless this is a pain you are familiar with, you just can not imagine the agony. I would write more but am having problems with mt keyboard. It is not typing right and I do not know what is wrong. For example, I will write hello Sherri next. Maybe you can help. He336 Sherr5.

    By Blogger jlfintx, at 11:44 PM  

  • do you ever come back on and respond to comments on your blog sherri?

    By Blogger jlfintx, at 11:32 AM  

  • Sherri!! Welcome back and loads of hugs.

    Whatever is going through a suicides mind, it is rarely thinking about how this will affect others. Indeed, if it does it falls either in the "They'll be glad I'm gone and better off without me" or "They'll be sorry when I'm gone and realize what sh*ts they were to me." Many times, suicide is a spontaneous act of desperation to escape as you've stated. It's a permanent "solution" to a temporary problem.

    The horror that Yates visited upon her own children is almost beyond comprehension, especially for those of us who have/had our own. I have four daughters, and because of birth spacing, at one time I had the first three to care for all under the age of four. 1983 saw me, (then) hubby, and daughters 4, 2 and 5 mos, plus dog move into a new house (no fence, yard of dirt) then hubby having to go out of town on business for six weeks. We are talking some major stress here!

    But when we look at the Yates case, we are looking at two different considerations. One is whether or not she did it..and that was never under any doubt. The other is what do "we", as a society, do with her. If indeed her act was a psychotic break then this should only affect the KIND of incarceration we commit her to, not the instance of her guilt. Whatever failings of those around her, be it the doctors who didn't pickup on the seriousness of her mental state to her husband who was living in the denial of her being (and that's not an unusual scene by any stretch..spouses are notoriously in denial where it concerns picking up on clues), the hands that drowned the children were Andrea's alone. She can never, ever be allowed back in society at large again. Period.

    Sometimes a finding of mentally incompetent can actually have a person in custody a lot longer than mere criminal sentencing. I know of at least two other cases in my office alone (we get yearly updates from the psychiatric facilities) of two women who attempted to murder their children (and failed, thank God and people who intervened) who have now been in those facilities for a lot longer than they would have if they had just been sentenced for attempted murder.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:33 AM  

  • BTW jlfntx?Hate to tell you, friend, but it appears like your keyboard is acting just like mind did when I spilled a full cup of coffee on it. The electronic connections just under the keys are shorting.

    Time for a new keyboard (luckily they are pretty cheap)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home