General Question

anartist's avatar

How does one wrap one's head around the murder of a woman's own children, or murder/suicide with one's own children.

Asked by anartist (14779points) April 15th, 2011

According to her one surviving child, the woman who recently drove into the Hudson with her kids could only say “I made a mistake, I made a mistake” at the end. If these last moments become what she takes into an afterlife, that would be hell indeed.

The woman who sent her children into the lake in a car down south, allegedly disposing of her children so that she might have a relationship with a wealthy local man who had no interest in a “ready-made“may be even more sickening

The woman who drowned 5 children in a bathtub because “she was a bad mother” brings in the craziness factor—-

but what I cannot understand is the breaking of the most basic of human bonds—the bond of unconditional love between mother and child.

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21 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

I think some people can become so depressed or so distraught that they can’t think straight or rationally. To an un-rational and extremely upset person, killing themselves and taking along their loved ones so that the kids won’t be alone or won’t have to suffer any more or be left grief stricken is completely logical.

Seelix's avatar

I think that the only way someone can do something like this is if there’s something seriously wrong upstairs. Rationally-thinking people can’t do such a thing, at least in my opinion.

choreplay's avatar

It is utterly and profoundly and totally incomprehensible. I can’t even begin to understand such a vantage point. Not even for the flash of a moment.

janbb's avatar


wilma's avatar

I can’t wrap my head around it.

deni's avatar

There is something wrong with them in the head that leads them to think things that us normal folk cannot even come close to comprehending. That’s all I can figure.

Pandora's avatar

You don’t. Crazy is crazy. Obviously she put someone elses opinion above her own instinct to survive and above the instinct to protect her children. Sounds like the instinct arose when she felt her own life was in danger. Seems she had a moment of sanity before she drowned. I feel sorry for the survivors but not for the guy who jilted her. If he had no intentions of getting involved with her because she had 5 kids than he should’ve never fanned the flame. Idiot. I hope he feels guilty as hell, but these type of people never do.

rooeytoo's avatar

I find it interesting that society heaps much more guilt, blame and plain old hatred on a woman who harms her children than a man. Why is that?

To answer the question I think they must be mentally ill. It is the only explanation for a woman or a man abusing a helpless kid.

aprilsimnel's avatar

In a world filled with possibilities, we must accept that there isn’t this fabled 100% loving bond of a mother for her child. Some mothers never wanted the child to begin with. Some mothers suffer from post-partum depression. Some mothers have a personality disorder. Some mothers, like the recent one in Newburgh, were undergoing a lot of stresses all at once and momentarily snapped. We can’t know why, we can only guess. I ache for the poor little boy knowing that his mother’s last words to him were those of regret.

illyasviel's avatar

This may be caused by a psychological imbalance in the mother. Sometimes these illnesses cannot be determined as easily as others. I am just starting my college degree in Psychology but the closest example I can give you is Hattie Dorsett, the mother of Sybil Isabel Dorsett. The book is entitled Sybil. It was written by Flora Rheta Schreiber. You can read an overview here(book).

SpatzieLover's avatar

I always see this as either
A) the woman before having kids, already had a psychosis that went untreated
B) The mom had postpartum from day one with one of her first born kids, had one kid after another, and no one noticed she was having significant trouble bonding with her kids due to her severe depression.

I see “A” as why the hell didn’t her family get her help when she was younger, and why’d they ever leave her alone with children?

I see “B” as why the hell didn’t the dad tell the doctor something didn’t seem right? And why isn’t the dad as much to blame as the mom? I thought about that a lot with one of the past cases..the five kids & the bathtub seemed like that woman seriously needed help, and everyone ignored her completely…it was like she was just the mom of five to those around her…not an individual at all

illyasviel's avatar

@SpatzieLover I agree. The thing in question is the mother’s psychological instability, not the supposedly innate connection between the mother and child. I think the mother’s love for her children does not necessarily have to be non-evident or inexistent. I think it’s there, it’s just hindered or corrupted by the mother’s instability as a person.

DominicX's avatar

Mental illness can cause any bond to break and any line to be crossed; there are no limits. It’s a good thing that it’s unfathomable for most of us, but some people are in the state of mind where it is more than feasible…

MacBean's avatar

Mental illness.
But I reject the idea that unconditional love between a parent and their child automatically exists. Frankly, I’m skeptical that unconditional love exists at all.

illyasviel's avatar

@MacBean how so?

But let me rephrase what I have said: I think the love may be there, it’s just hindered or corrupted by the mother’s instability as a person.

MacBean's avatar

@illyasviel I just think there are always conditions. They may be extreme conditions that are unlikely to become relevant issues, but they’re there.

illyasviel's avatar

@MacBean I see. what would these conditions be in the form of?

choreplay's avatar

@rooeytoo, Anytime a man harms his children I find it utterly and profoundly and totally incomprehensible. I can’t even begin to understand such a vantage point. Not even for the flash of a moment. I am a man and when I think how much I love my babies I get nauseous at the thought of any harm coming to them. Incomprehensible how anyone can hurt a child.

MacBean's avatar

@illyasviel Dunno. Could be anything. Something serious like committing a horrible crime. Something that’s none of their business like having an “alternative lifestyle.” Something petty like career choice. Think of all the things parents disown their kids for.

My own parents are far better parents than most I’ve observed, and yet they don’t speak to my eldest sister because she had a baby with a black man. They haven’t spoken to her in over twenty years and they don’t acknowledge that grandchild. I wouldn’t call that unconditional love.

anartist's avatar

@MacBean That’s so sad, for all of them.
Do you keep in touch with your sister’s family?

MacBean's avatar

@anartist It’s been a while, but I’m sort of in touch with my niece. When she was in middle and high school, I used to go to her band and chorus concerts. She had a baby about a year or 18 months ago, though, so her life’s a little hectic at the moment and we haven’t had a chance to catch up. As for my sister, I made an effort to keep in touch with her but she didn’t seem interested so I gave up and I just leave her alone now.

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