My Thoughts on Murder–Part 1

Okay, as the mother of 2 kids with ASD (and suspected ASD, myself) I feel I’d be amiss if I didn’t comment on the Issy Stapleton situation… if you need background, that’s what Google is for. The internet is awash with information about Issy, and her mother, who is (as far as I know) awaiting sentencing at this very moment. I have far too much to say about this, and I’m trying to make it as brief as possible, so here goes:

1) Everyone knows that murdering people is wrong. If you try to murder your child, you are in the wrong. No one–regardless of their compassion for the family, including Issy’s mother–is trying to say otherwise. If anyone actually believes otherwise, they need a throat-punch… or, some crazy pills/counselling/etc. Which brings me to point 2;

2) I felt compelled to kill my kids, once. I *immediately* realized that my thoughts were batshit-crazy, and I got some help, and actually made my partner risk losing his job by having him take 2 weeks off work while we waited for my meds to kick in (they did, SO fast–I thought it was all kinda bullshit, and they wouldn’t do anything, but after 2 weeks on an SNRI and about a week on a standard SSRI plus an anti-anxiety med, I could think, again… and I spent DAYS weeping over how close I came to doing something that, in my right mind, I would never never never have even contemplated). But perhaps some background, re: feeling like I had to kill my kids:

3) First of all, it was never my eldest–she’s the more severely/obviously/classically autistic–because I figured she’d get a free pass, on the Day of Judgment. More background? Oh, alright. When I have a near-psychotic break, apparently I fall into an extreme depression with a distinctly hellfire-and-brimstone flavour. So, I was going to ask God for forgiveness, then kill myself and my “higher-functioning” son, because *I* was toxic and ruining my kids’ lives, and I wanted to spare *him* from Hell by making sure he went to Heaven when he was young enough to get in. (Why did I think I was literal poison, to my kids and everyone else? Why did I think my boy would go to Hell, but my daughter’s more severe autistic traits would cause her to be spared that eternal punishment? I’m not qualified to examine that question, really. Give me another few YEARS of these psych classes I’m taking as and when, and I’ll get back to you on that… but how about, “I was FUCKING CRAZY at the time,” for starters?) But moving on to how this affects my view of the Issy and Kelli Stapleton debacle:

4) Because of my background, I am always going to assume that a mother who hurts her child/ren isn’t quite right in the head. Because I remember how I felt, when murder-suicide seemed like the only right choice, I am never going to assume that someone else isn’t SUPREMELY fucked up mentally, when they pull a stunt like that. For that matter, any time I hear of *anyone* killing themselves, I don’t see it that way… as someone else said, depressed people don’t kill themselves–depression kills them. Or schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness, when it becomes so bad and so distorting that the reality of others is no longer a reality you’re even aware of. Which brings me to my final point:

5) Unless you’ve personally lived with the kind of mentally-distorted perspective that can make you believe, e.g., your presence is literally poisoning those around you, and you HAVE to cut yourself out of their lives, quickly, as soon as you can, like so many cancerous cells from a human body… unless you’ve been there, you don’t have the right to comment on other people’s (fucked up, undeniably wrong, morally indefensible) actions without some empathy and compassion. And if you HAVE been there, then, like me, I’m guessing you watch these sorts of proceedings in a perpetual state of heartbreak, tears ever-present at the back of your eyes, thinking no thoughts at all without the ever-present mantra repeating endlessly inside your skull: “There, but for the grace of God, there, but for the grace of God, there, but for the grace of God….”

[And…. I will continue this tomorrow, I think]


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