Please tell me this isn’t what I think it is.

30 May

Kids hanging in a closet with their mother. One is found alive. The mother is young, kids not spaced the far apart. The father is not in the picture.

The mother is described as depressed. Her home is dilapidated, peeling, run down, a trailer park.

Please tell me someone noticed, someone tried.

Please tell me that this isn’t the fault of a medical system that doesn’t believe mental health is to be worried about. Please tell me that somewhere, a nurse, a doctor, a sister, a husband, tried to help, tried to fix this.

Please tell me that someone cared.

What will it take to stop mother’s killing their daughters? What will it take for everyone to stop believing that depression, post partum depression, mental illness of any kind is something you can rationally control? What will it take for people to see it for the sickness is really is?

Hold the image of a baby, a toddler, a preschooler and a child hanged with their own clothing in your heads. Perhaps only then will someone realize that Gilberta Estrada, Andrea Yates, Dee Etta Perez and many MANY others needed our help. Hold the image of 8 month old Evelyn in your eyes, alone without a mother.

Please tell me it’s not what I think it is.

15 Responses to “Please tell me this isn’t what I think it is.”

  1. Jennnifer May 30, 2007 at 9:51 am #

    I saw it.

    I started to write about it.

    I had to stop. I started to wonder what it was like in her head. I wondered how she felt tying a rope around her babies necks, I wondered how she felt to see the light drain out of her eyes. Then I was almost sick.

    I don’t doubt that it may have been PPD or PPP, however the husband apparently had left her. She was only 23. TWENTY THREE. With 4 children already living in a trailer park. She was a minority which just compounds things.

    This is why mothers need help. All mothers.

  2. thordora May 30, 2007 at 9:55 am #

    I ache for this woman. That many babies. That young. No father to help.


    Women deserve better than this.

  3. Suburban Mum May 30, 2007 at 10:17 am #

    How awful, how heartbreakingly awful. I have tears in my eyes just trying to imagine what could drive a Mother to that level of dispair.

  4. Netter May 30, 2007 at 10:49 am #

    I have so many different thoughts on this. There’s the rant about the class system in this country that left that poor girl alone with four kids with nowhere to turn. The stigma of mental illness, the belief that since she’s a woman she’s supposed to be mother instinctively. PPD screenings should be standard and if the mom can’t get to an OB/GYN or other doctor, someone should come to her. It’s not like the statistics on births aren’t available. Someone needs to figure out something so that more babies don’t die.

  5. Judy May 30, 2007 at 12:12 pm #

    My husband read the headline over my shoulder, then stopped, nearly sick.

    I had to read it all, hoping some kind of understanding would make it easier to deal with.

    The article I read pointed out how many of these cases have come from Texas. Just by sheer size and population (second biggest state, second highest population) there will be a disproportionate number of any kind of bizarre case. (It is often pointed out that Texas has the highest number of cases of kids being forgotten in locked cars in the heat, and found dead, but its population and climate makes that one make sense)

    I can’t help but wonder if there’s something more to it, and if it doesn’t say something about Texas, and Texas as representative of how we treat some things in this country. There are thigns I love about this state – its beauty, its climate – but an equal number of things I hate.

    If it was PPD/PPP – and in retrospect, is there any way to know? – this woman was not the monster she will be painted as. She needed help, and anyone who saw that and didn’t help needs to share in the guilt. I, as a woman who has not been very vocal in speaking about PPD, share in the guilt.

    And that poor little baby girl. I ache for her.

  6. Heather May 30, 2007 at 3:10 pm #

    It is what you think. And worse.

  7. karrie May 30, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    I had not heard of this until now. How incredibly tragic, all around. 😦

  8. PrettyMommy May 30, 2007 at 8:03 pm #

    So tragic. I cannot even say anything more than that.

  9. ann adams May 30, 2007 at 11:26 pm #

    I saw the headline but it’s a busy day and I hadn’t seen the details until now. Or maybe I was trying not to see them.

    It happens here too; perhaps not as many but even in this small town we’ve had one.

    And it’s heartbreaking and infuriating.

  10. Mad Hatter June 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    I didn’t know this story but I do know too many others. And yes, it is what you think it is.

  11. Chani June 10, 2007 at 10:43 am #

    It is what you think.. but mental illness is only part of it. My understanding is that the mother in this case didn’t have the financial resources to get help.

    That is where it all starts: poverty. And people in desperate situations do desperate things.

    Found this via Just Posts. Thanks for bringing it up for discussion. 🙂



  12. thordora June 10, 2007 at 11:18 am #

    What really gets my goat is that suddenly, it’s not news. No lessons learned, no best practices to take from it to learn what can be done.

    Just dead children.

    I’m so sick to death of how women are treated, especially poor women with mental illness.

  13. Indigo Children June 12, 2007 at 11:13 pm #

    I am so glad you wrote about this. I read about it and then obsessed over it for days. I also considered writing about it, but my brain was too heavy from the weight of it. I pictured the beautiful babies in my mind and wondered what was going through their minds as their mother hung them in the closet. It scares me, sickens me…

    I know it is complex, and I will never be able to wrap my mind around this. It made me think of so many things….what if’s. It made me feel powerless.

  14. thordora June 13, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    I wavered on writing about it myself. It hurt. It hurt to read. But it hurt even more to not remember them in anyway.


  1. build a ladder to the stars » - June 10, 2007

    […] not just a spin cycle of pain and damage that has hurt them, and will hurt their kids in turn. to Thordora, who wrote a raw, fierce post a couple of weeks ago about the turning away that meets mental […]

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