Wednesday, July 26, 2006

So, Andrea Yates finally got the sentence she deserved. Not guilty by reason of insanity. I haven't followed this second trial as closely as the first. Perhaps it was in the news less. Perhaps the first one just left me with too many bad feelings.

The kids. As is often in this land that claims to love our children, they suffered the most.

What shocked me was not the mysogynistic religious cult that placed unreal expectations upon her, not the callous husband blithely planting his seed as instructed by above mentioned religion, not the medical community that fails to understand post-partum issues, whether baby-blues or full blown pyschosis, not the doctor who yanked Yates off all her anti-pyschotic meds days before the incident. None of those things shocked me. Many women in American still live as second or even third class citizens in their homes and churches and workplaces.

What shocked me was the utter condemnation by other women. I understand it in a way. The crime was so horrible, that it appalled us to see a nice, religious, married former nurse guilty of it. Women had to pull away, to condemn, to reassure themselves that no, they would, could never be capable of such a heinous act.

A reaction born of fear, I think. Fear of recognizing that we are all capable of madness. Our minds can be co-opted by hormones or chemical imbalances that we have no control over.

It's too scary to look at Andrea Yates and think, there but for the grace.....

4 comments:

Sunnie (Kaytee) said...

I'm sorry, but I totally disagree with the recent outcome of her trial. Check out my blog and you'll see my personal opinion. Again, it's MY personal opinion. But for those that don't want to read, I too have suffered from post-partem depression. I've suffered from depression damn near my whole life. But never once have I entertained the thought of hurting my children. Myself is a different matter. I've thought of ending my own life many times. But not my children. They NEVER asked to be brought in to this world. And who the hell decides who's sane and who's not at any given time?
I apologize. I shouldn't be so rude on your blog. Feel free to curse me out on MY blog. I won't take offense because I understand we're all entitled to our opinions.

JanetLee said...

Depression and pyschosis are two separate and distinct illnesses.

Margo said...

My heart goes out Andrea Yates. She's a tormented soul. I can't imagine living with the pain she endures daily...that's punishment enough.

I am shocked, however, that she recieved no sentence at all. I'm not saying she deserves one. I'm just shocked. I hope it doesn't send the message that it's easy to kill and get away with it. I don't know??

I think she needs our prayers. Her children are with Jesus. She's living in a Hell on Earth.

Pam said...

Janetlee, I agree with you. It was a horrific act - but I just can't see her paying the ultimate price accomplishes when so many others were there to witness what was happening - her decline into mental illness/psychosis - and the almost oblivious way in which her husband (and the Drs really) handled it. It's was such a trajedy - but I'm relieved by the sentence.