Thursday, March 13, 2008

I tried..... talk myself out of writing this post, I really did....but I kept coming back to it over and over again the past few days. I want to talk about something I have heard referenced on a few blogs lately. Andrea Yates. She has been created into the poster child for what can happen to a mother that is "forced/coerced/tricked into/insert implication here" into having many children.

I get upset because many dont KNOW what really happened in Andreas life and the things that led up to the tragedy that day. Many have made assumptions that she was naively led by her husband and others to continue having children even while she was sick. This was not the case. Andrea was a very involved, loving mother of her boys and loved being a mom and wife. After the birth of her 4th child she became very mentally ill. After attempting to kill herself she was admitted to a mental hospital and after trial and error they found the right combination of medications and she was once again herself.

Here is where people insert their judgment upon this couple without truly putting themselves in their shoes. She was well and had a great longing to have more children. She slowly weaned herself off the medication and even after having been off them for a while she was still well, so she became pregnant with Mary. Rusty and herself knew now what meds worked and felt confident that she could be "brought back" with these same meds if they were needed in the future. They put thought into their decision to have more children and had a plan in case things got bad again.

She had Mary and was still OK until her father died, which threw her back into a psychotic state. Rusty had her admitted and told the new Dr. what meds she needed to be on, but he did not listen. She declined very rapidly mentally after that. The Dr finally put her on the meds they asked for but then took her off again a week later, a few weeks after that she killed her children.

Now dont miss understand me, what she did was horrific. So horrific that you never think a mother would be capable of such evil. My point in all this is only to say that Andrea was mentally psychotic, off of the correct meds. I know many will throw rotten fruit at me, but she loved those babies, the REAL Andrea loved those babies. She loved being a mom and wife. The sick Andrea was delusional and wanted to keep her children from going to Hell.

This families tragedy has been used as a "see we told you so" "too many children" "crazy religious folks" type of story. When the truth is much less dramatic. So there....I'm sure I have lost all my readers....but I had to speak up.

DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. Matthew 7 I go, I'm pressing publish....I know I will regret this.


Michelle B. said...

I'm not leaving I'm staying. It is interesting to know more about what was going on with this woman that would lead her to something so horrible.

rcsnickers said...

Me too... I could never leave. It is truly sad what happened. I am not up to date on news or some blogs, so is she out of jail yet or soon will be? How long has it been? Did you know her or a friend of someone who knew her?

Thanks for that. All I know of the story was from reading in World magazine.

Robyn said...

I thought that was an excellent post. You'll have to try harder than that, to lose me as a reader. :-)

Sarah said...

Mental illness is a difficult at best, multi-faceted thing. It is an ILLNESS, not a weakness. You have reminded us to look beyond the illness and think of the person. This is a good post. :)

Anonymous said...

thank you thank you!
First, people are taking the exception to make a rule with this case.
Second, like you said she was mentally ill and not on the correct meds.

Do we condemn all car driving because a heart patient didn't take their meds had a heart attack causing a car accident and killed someone??

Anonymous said...

Good for you. My heart still aches for her and her family. I haven't read anything about her lately but I sure am glad you spoke up.

Blondie said...

I followed this case closely when it happened and read everything I could get my hands on regarding the Yates for a couple of years. What you wrote is absolutely right. The problem is most people don't know the details and are quick to judge. Excellent post!

motherofmany said...

I agree that people who claim this is an example of what having too many kids will do to you are forgetting the many MORE cases of child death at the hands of parents that have been in the news that did not involve any of the same circumstances. It has been many years, so I do not remember names, but there was a woman who strapped her two boys into their carseats and pushed them in a lake. There was also a woman about to lose custody so she shot her 2 year old son in the head while he was sleeping. Neither of them had 'too many' kids. Neither of them was very 'religious' either, so that's out as a panoramic excuse. People will take anythign they can and run with it to condemn what they ALREADY fear, not the other way around.

prayzgod said...

THANK YOU. I too am tired of the "too many children" lie. :-?

craftycherry said...

I suffered (suffer) from a extreme form of OCD and have terrrible thoughts that can overwelm me. I UNDERSTAND how the mind can become very very sick and the thing is I have never felt anything but sadness at the Yates story. You can absolutely tell she adored and loved beyond reason those children and she really was insane when the tragedy happened. I just think about how she will be coping if (when) meds are restored properly and the real her lives with what happened. Thats the thing that haunts me. She should never have been in prison. I loved your post and enjoy your blog.

Kaira said...

Thank you for posting this - I have long thought that people are so hateful when it comes to her. That poor, sick mother... I imagine no one is more horrified than she herself. I have always felt so sad for her.

Christine said...

I don't think having all the children was an issue. However, I question the judgment of a man who keeps reproducing with a woman who has the mental history that she does. I think limiting the amount of children that are exposed to a mom's mental illness would be the best course. So what if the meds worked-Nothing lasts forever and it was just a matter of time before they needed to be re-worked or she needed help again. NO CHILD should go through Mommy's mental illness if they don't have to. Even having a "plan" to bring her back does not take into consideration what the children will be exposed to while that happens.

After trying to kill herself after the 4th child I think I would be done and would hope my husband felt the same way. It is tragic-Truly tragic.

Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Duet 5:29