so sad

I was reading on CNN.com today, an article titled:

Sheriff: Woman suffocated sons before submerging bodies in car

The story goes:

Unemployed, single and apparently fed up with criticism from her mother, a 29-year-old Orangeburg, South Carolina, woman suffocated her two toddlers with her bare hands before strapping them into car seats and submerging her car in a river, authorities said Tuesday.

Here’s what I find the most sad about this:

However, he said, “this wasn’t a hardened criminal. This was a young lady in trouble, in trouble in more ways than she realized.” Duley has no previous criminal history, he said.

More ways than she realized. She was broke, unemployed, and living with her mother, who from reports, was a strict, critical woman. Not only that but the children she killed were 2 and 1. Clearly, to me, this looks like this was a woman on the edge, and perhaps she has some undiagnosed postpartum depression. It’s one of those gut feelings…sort of the, takes on to know one diagnosis.

She didn’t lie to authorities. She didn’t run away. She simply suffocated her ‘problems,’ buried them in the water and told authorities what she did. If she was a criminal, someone who premeditated this, I feel as if she would have run away and denied she had her hand in this.

A person full of remorse would tell the truth. A person who wasn’t mentally stable would be honest. Sure, she changed her story a few times, but bottom line:  A Mother. Suffering.

In the time I spent with PPD, I had never once imagined hurting my child. I more or less imagined hurting myself. But during that time, I spoke with many mothers who had or were suffering and they have reported feeling the urge to hurt or neglect their child. I had read a blog, where the mother openly reported she wanted her child to run into a steak knife she was holding. Instead, she got help and was on the up and up.

For those who have never suffered with PPD, or never been around someone who had been honest and spoke freely about their suffering, that sounds horrific and shocking. Truthfully? That didn’t surprise me. I felt so bad for the woman writing and could feel her pain. It was clearly palpable.

But how many women out there suffer in silence? How many women imagine hurting their child because they don’t know what else to do? How many women actually do?

I’m not saying Shaquan Duley has PPD. I’m not even saying she’s not wrong. Anyone who kills their child is wrong. There’s no right about it. But how could this have been prevented? Why did it have to come to this? Clearly, she needed help. One way or another.

The economy is tough, people are jobless, families are going hungry. Something’s gotta give.

“Whatever compelled Shaquan to do what she did … Lord please be with her,” said Simpson. “I cannot judge Shaquan. I will not judge her. But God, be kind to her.”

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on August 17, 2010, in Cassie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. It’s the stigma of “not being okay”, I think. It’s a hard thing to admit you need help or don’t have things under control. And EVERYONE looks down on a mother, any mother, that isn’t the perfect mother, or at least gives the appearance as such.
    Such a sad story. The more it gets out there, the more people will start to realize that PPD, and just regular depression are very real and not “all in your head”.

  2. I’m looking, also, at the other mother in the story. There’s another lesson for you… if you think your ultra-high standards and whithering criticism are “helping” your struggling daughter (and grandchildren), you’re probably wrong. Dead wrong.

  3. Cassie, you wrote this with great heart. It is a sad situation all around, I agree. Surely there had to be red flags missed by someone. PPD is a real issue and one to which we need to pay more attention. I cannot judge her, but I grieve for them all.

    • I wish there was more talk about it. What makes me most sad about that is when Brooke Shields came out with her book, Tom Cruise went all postal on her. What? Because she needed help from her brain’s chemical imbalance?!? Ass.

  4. Oh, Cassie. How horrible.

    The best thing about you and others talking openly about PPD is that people are more likely to look for it now and recognize the signs, which has probably already saved a lot of lives. Too bad this woman didn’t have that kind of support.

    • And the best of the best was the support that you readers gave me during my horrible time. I always look at women like this and think, “That could have been me.” You never do know.

  5. I wonder what her healthcare options were. Is there a better example for why we need access to quality healthcare for all Americans? It’s not just lazy people who don’t want to work. There are people with issues and needs. And there are kids involved. Or, there were. I can only imagine that a mother suffering from PPD in Fox Chapel has different options than this unemployed woman in South Carolina had. That’s the biggest shame.

    • I totally see this as a need – a GREAT NEED – for universal healthcare. My healthcare company calls me every 4 weeks to ask me how my pregnancy is going and if I need anything or have any questions. They also plan on screening me for PPD. Everyone should have access to that. EVERYONE. I’m not saying everyone would accept it, but at least someone’s trying. This is sick enough to make me scream.

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