(Sorry...no image today...they all seemed wrong somehow...)
What do you know. How freaky weird.
Mommies in trouble (see last post) must have been on my mind. And I mean beyond my little range of friends and family.
My mind must have registered the local trial of Andrea Yates, even if I assiduously avoid the local news (which sucks rotten, green eggs if you must know. OMG the local news is godawful bad...well beyond if it bleeds it leads. Either this is the most violent city in the US or it likes to think it is. Car chases? Every damn day. Dead kids? Every damn day. And let me tell you...the news leads with and beats that rug dead. The only thing likely to supplant it is the Weather. As in, Hurricanes. And the only thing worse than the local news? Is the local radio. It's enough to make a penny pincher buy satellite radio for the car. Sheesh. And for the record, I've lived and been to MANY places on earth and trust me, here? Is the worst.)
Happily, Andrea Yates is from literally around the corner. How cool is that.
Not at all.
It's stomach turning sickening.
I get sick thinking that she did what she did. And yes, I avoid writing it. Just skimming by the thought of it is enough to make me keep my kids awake all night kissing them and swearing to never go that stark raving mad. And as a recently completely non-functionally sleep deprived mom, that's saying a lot.
But I want to revisit the "stark raving mad" point I just made. Because sincerely, I believe she was quite stark raving mad.
Listen, I know from post-partum depression, and what's worse, I know from multiple kid sleep deprivation along with post-partum depression. People...in this state of being we should not even be allowed to drive a car. Much less...anything else. It's a scary state. I scared myself.
I scared myself so badly---while everyone around me was in total denial or ignorance---that I took myself to my OB (who had wanted to put me on anti-depressants during my pregnancy my symptoms were so bad) and could say NOTHING AT ALL. I could only sit there and SOB and say, "I'm so afraid and I can't sleep or eat or breathe and I just want everything to END."
And that? Was enough. He put me on meds right there in the office.
Why did I do that? Probably because of Andrea Yates. Probably I took my symptoms and feelings seriously, and got help. Because of her. And what happened. And all the press, and media and talking heads expounding on PPD and how serious it was. I didn't think how I felt was OKAY or NORMAL or I'd get over it.
I didn't think (thank goodness Tom Cruise hadn't opened his ugly blathering mouth yet) that diet or vitamins or exercise would fix it. I ate well, exercised regularly, and took my prenatal like it was candy.
What fixed it was Zoloft.
And I got labeled by my insurance company. Who called me weekly as if they did that for everyone...to make sure I hadn't gone all Andrea Yates on anyone.
You see? She is more than just a person.
She's a syndrome now.
I think she was---had to have been---post partum psychotic. Seriously, I was only diagnosed as post partum depression and THAT was scary enough. I can't even fathom PPP.
It makes what she did...a little well...I can't say understandable...but I will say...I have sympathy.
I don't think prison was the right place.
I don't think the criminally insane need to be jailed. I think help in a mental health facility is justice.
What she did was HORRIFYING. Really, it makes my stomach turn. And I don't mean in the "I forgot my Pepcid and digestive enzymes" kind of way. I mean in the "OMG I wish I had a time machine and could INTERVENE NO NO NO THIS did NOT happen!" kind of way.
But putting her in prison makes my stomach turn too.
Here I blog about my experience. My husband 100% disagrees with my point of view and is appalled and repulsed by the outcome of the trial. I do understand what the jury foreman said about wishing he could have found her "guilty but insane." I also understand why he broke down and sobbed while saying he had to bathe his children after looking at photos of the Yates' kids...after. And lost it. And was nutso at the pool that weekend.
But back to my husband...I'm not sure what he thinks of his wife admitting publically she was bonkers after having baby #2. I never even told family.
But in light of this? I'm coming out of the closet. Silence apparently gains nothing.
Maybe...maybe others will be helped here too..maybe Andrea Yates' lawyer is right and this will turn the justice system, modernize it, fix it so it can actually undestand and accept both horrifying guilt, but also insanity.
I don't think Andrea Yates is off scot free, like I've heard some say. Oh no. That woman will suffer every day of her life. Actually, her own family said the good days are the ones when she isn't lucid and asks about the kids. The bad days are the ones when she is lucid and knows what happens and suffers the torment of the ages.
That right there is more punishment than any court can ever dole out.
By Julie Pippert
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