IMG_4046I’ve written and deleted so many words about Issy Stapleton and her mother today. I can’t stop thinking about them. What it comes down to is this:

Issy: I am so sorry the person you probably trusted most in the world did this to you.

Parents: I know that they system is broken. I know it is all but impossible to get what you need for your child and your family. But the decision to kill your child because you think she would be better off dead? That is not your decision to make.

I wish I knew how to make this stop. I wish I knew what to say to desperate parents. I wish I had a way to finish the sentence, “If you ever get to the place where you think the answer is to murder your child, you should __________,” but I don’t have one. I wish I could end that sentence with, “call 911 and they will make your child safe until you can be there for her again.”

Unfortunately, there is no fix-all solution when it feels hopeless. There is no answer except to keep putting one foot in front of the other. There is no answer other than trying to reach out to someone—anyone—who can keep your child safe. There is no answer other than remembering how much you love your child and understanding that self-determination is theirs.

There is no way to finish that sentence except to say, “If you ever get to the place where you think the answer is to murder your child, you should stop.

I’m so sorry this happened to you, Issy.

15 thoughts on “Issy

  1. “You should stop. ”
    Yes. And find someone who will hold you tight to keep you and your child safe.
    I’m so sorry too Issy. So sorry.

  2. I completely agree with you. Totally. The thing is: when you are in that place – as I was during post-partum depression – none of that registers. The desperation and sadness and grief and confusion are so totally overwhelming that you don’t really operate in reality.

    Please understand – I am NOT disagreeing with you. And I, too, am so incredibly sad about this. Beyond words. :(

    • Melissa I completely agree, which is why I urge everyone RIGHT now to create a crisis plan, like you would for when you might get physically ill or something. My husband and I have discussed again our crisis plan for what happens when our eldest has a crisis that requires me to be unavailable as a anyone else’s caretaker or the home etc, a plan for if I have a mental health crisis etc. I have been very honest about what that might look like (and has looked like), what the symptoms could look like, red flags to watch out for, signs of pending burnout, etc. It is a scary conversation, but so necessary. Please everyone, take the possibility seriously even if you think it could not and would not ever happen to you.

      • Ange, can I share this comment on my FB page? This is a really good idea.

        I agree with you too, Melissa, depression and mental illness put you in a place where nothing makes sense. Ange’s idea is one of the best I’ve heard about how to prepare for that possibility.

  3. How terribly terribly sad. I can’t imagine the despair she must have felt to do this. [And I’m not excusing her actions, clearly.]
    What you said sounds right: “to reach out to someone—anyone—who can keep your child safe.”

    That COULD be 911, or a crisis hotline, or clergy, or a therapist, … Anyone.
    Are there caregiver support groups for parents of children with autism? If not, there really should be. And if there are, I’m guessing they are not widely available.

  4. Pingback: Your Life is Worth Living | aspermama

  5. i think a ‘crisis plan’ is a very good idea, especially for all those parents that have the ‘i canNOT die’ pressure at the back of their head and are completely burning themselves out, thinking no one else can take their place, not even for a few days, or hours, to recharge their own forces.
    i will not even relate to the case of Isabelle now, but i think the answer to fill the gap, even if you are not yet thinking murder, is really “surrender”. give up, trust others, the system or people in your life, you will end up helping yourself and NOT harming your child.

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