It is quite another to drown someone else in that pain.
I wish I didn't have to write this. I wish this didn't keep happening. But it does.
On September 3rd, Kelli Stapleton locked herself and her 14 year old autistic daughter, Issy, in their van, lit two charcoal grills, and waited to die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Police discovered them both unconscious. Issy is still unconscious in intensive care. Kelli is facing possible murder charges, and rightly so.
The usual nonsense is being thrown about. "The system broke and then it broke Kelli", "I feel bad for the father, his daughter is in intensive care and now his wife is facing possible murder charges", "We must have compassion for this mother, raising our kids can be extraordinarily difficult", "All she wanted to do was to put both of them out of their misery."
You know who I feel bad for? Issy. Because her own mother tried to MURDER her.
Yes, the system needs to be fixed. It is not kind to autistic children or disabled children of any kind. But I cannot sympathize with someone who thought the best option for her daughter would be death.
Kelli Stapleton made a selfish decision when she put Issy in that car. She attempted to cut short someone else's life based on her own misery. That was not her choice to make. But many are calling this an act of love, because she refused to leave Issy behind.
But Issy had a life, independent of her mother, as all children do, independent of their parents. You can see her life, splashed across the pages of the blog her mother wrote. She had friends. She had a cat that she loved. She had her own thoughts, feelings, and desires. From the day we are born, we are no longer entirely a part of our mothers - we are out in the world, with our own individual identities, for better or worse. Our parents must let us go, on many occasions in our lives, with the trust that they have provided us with enough to succeed in life - whatever the definition of success may be. Kelli Stapleton could not cut that cord - and that's a problem. If you cannot trust your child to have a quality life without you, you have failed as a parent - because part of being a parent is knowing that you have to let go. It's nowhere near easy, but it is necessary. Kelli Stapleton didn't think about Issy's own life - she only saw her own struggles. Seeing another's life only through the lens of your own is the epitome of selfishness.
People say that we should not judge until we know the facts. But a mother tried to kill her daughter. What else do we need to know?
Until and unless there is justice for the Issy Stapletons of our world, for the Alex Spourdalakis', for the George Hodgins' and the Tracy Lattimers, these tragedies will keep happening. Because you can't get away with murder - unless your kid is disabled.