10.21.2005

Rest in peace, little ones

Grieve and pray for the innocents, but spare a prayer, too, for their mother, whose schizophrenia diagnosis and attendant inability to stay on the Haldol that helped her should have made the state deem her unfit to have unsupervised visits with her sons, aged 16 months, three, and six.

Late teens and early twenties, as I understand it, is when the worst of schizophrenia begins to manifest, and Lashaun Harris was in the grip of the disease,
it would seem, when she heard the voices telling her to drop her beautiful sons into the San Francisco Bay on Wednesday evening. You know I've got only revulsion for people who wilfully hurt their kids, but this case seems all too similar to the Yates tragedy, and once again a young mother who is known to suffer from mental illness doesn't get the treatment she so desperately needs, with horrifying results. Dark times.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such an important point - she deserved real intervention and treatment before this happened. Now she will ironically get the treatment she needed in jail and soon, like Andrea Yates, will know the pain of what she did.

More people need to wake up and realize that these are horrible debilitating biological brain diseases and that people need help. Check out www.psychlaws.org - there are ways to help someone who needs it before this happens. If it is happening in your family, PLEASE get help!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I have two comments.

1. I was frozen, gaped-jawed at the scene on the news last week. My three children are all under seven. I could imagine quite vividly what it would be like for those children to be stripped naked by their mother and then dropped on by one into the bay. I start shaking when I let myself think about it for too long.

2. I remember the Yates case particularly well because I was in the grip of my fourth and worst bout of PPD. Everyone was vilifying the mother, and all I could think was: why did her husband think it was okay to leave her with the children, and why is everyone so furious with the mom? I could understand her, though I wasn't so far gone as to imitate her. I think of each successively younger child, confused and scared at what was happening to each older sibling. How the oldest would have fought, how the next youngest must have fled, how the baby must have gurgled at her before going under. And yet, I understand the impulses and have finally learned not to be so ashamed of knowing and understanding.

7:44 PM  

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