Is an Eye for an Eye Always Necessary?
I remember at the very end of my trial when the judge sentenced me to the commissioner (back into AMHI) and said there was nothing he could do to punish me more than what I had already been through. That was just the beginning of my realizing how correct he was….
I guess I became more and more aware of this as I sat in therapy, sometimes daily, and talked about everything from as far back as I could remember all the way to the present. Everytime we had a court date and I listened to testimony about how the biggest danger I posed was to myself. I didn’t seem able to impress upon people enough how suicide
was no longer an option for me.
You see, it took several months for me to wade my way through the fog of postpartum psychosis when I was first committed to AMHI in 1999. I cannot give you a clear, concise timeline of events. As the months passed and I got closer to discharge that September I do remember more and more until I am clear headed. I would say the first two months are in random, skewed order. I have to ask the people around me if and when certain things happened.
I don’t really remember my son’s funeral. I recall people bringing me from the hospital (AMHI
) but I don’t know how many or who it was. I know my father and aunt were there. I know they had a rocking chair and let me sit and rock my son before anyone else came in. I remember I wasn’t allowed to look at him. I remember just trying desperately to try and feel him through all the blankets and whatever else he was wrapped in. My next memory is sitting next to my ex-husband and resting my head on him and crying. I remember these things but I can’t see them clearly in my mind. I don’t know if it was the crying of just the foggy mind but my vision seemed impaired for a while.
So when I was finally convinced that I had to live for my daughter, that was what I was going to do. I engaged in therapy for the first time in my life. Something that had been a long time coming. So, therapy helps educates you on how to keep yourself healthy. You can get as much as you want from your therapy. I suppose that also depends some on the providers as well. I had some great people helping me.
But there’s a certain amount of grief and guilt no matter what that just won’t go away. Should it? I guess I had a much more drastic approach to this kind of thinking very early on in that I thought I
deserved all the bad feelings I felt and no matter how much guilt or no matter what anyone said to me it didn’t matter because I just deserved it. I’ve had some pretty horrible things said to me.
I guess over the years my thoughts are much less drastic on the matter but still have a flavor of the same approach.
I believe I no longer have the right to commit suicide
. Some of you might think I never did. But we are all here with free will. I feel as though my “Punishment” is living. That probably doesn’t make sense to many.
When you have been responsible for taking someone else’s life, coupled with that of your own child, ‘living’ is hard. No, no… living is painful; everyday. Every single day. People don’t make it easy on you either. Oddly certain people act as though you forget what you’ve done and think you need a reminder. So they make it their special duty to point out how awful they think you are. Not realizing they don’t have to do anything. Because even when I have a good personal front, I’ll never forget.
So, while I do get up and try to live the best life I can, there was a time when I would have decided that when all the walls around me came crashing down and everything seems it’s bleakest, suicide would have been the answer. Now, that’s not an option, I feel like I have a Life for Death as a sentence. Maybe that will always stay with me. I can live with that, I have to.