To the Mother Who Stabbed Her Children, We Failed You as a Society

Shanynthia Gardner…

My heart goes out to you.

We failed you as a society.

Although I truly want to, I cannot really fathom the depths of despair which caused you to commit such a heinous act against your children; your flesh and blood.

I can only imagine that you must have been in such turmoil with your mind and body having gone through so many pregnancies so quickly with no time to recuperate. You probably have not slept a full night in more than 5 years.  Your pregnancies probably depleted your body of all of its nutrients that allow for someone to think logically and with reason.

I do not know your circumstance and I can only speculate about what kind of person would continually get you pregnant so quickly after having so much strain on your body.  I truly hope you were not also in an abusive relationship.  A person like that to me could not have been a loving and understanding father, husband, or partner.

I cannot imagine what it would be like, but I do want you to know that I am mourning the lives of your children and hoping for the best for your surviving son.  He is going to have to endure all of the ridicule that you receive and his heart will be tortured for many years to come.  Some people do not think about these things when they quickly judge someone else’s action.  For that I am truly sorry.

I really hope that the other partner/s involved in this tragedy do not exploit these circumstances for financial gain when he or they are culpable in this matter.  Women do not have babies alone and real fathers have compassion for their wives and partners.  Real men help with the children and try to relieve stress on the mother.

I too have been in the deep shadows of the depths of despair where psychosis lurks. It is not enjoyable to rise from those places back into the light and realize the pain and destruction that you have caused.  You can never go back.  You must now forever live with this guilt and for that I am really sorry, and I do not judge you.  My heart goes out to you and your family.

Human beings whom are reading this, if you know a mother who too has had this many children in such a short time period please give them some stress relief!

Cook them a good dinner.

Clean their house.

Watch the kids and give them an afternoon off.

Hang out, laugh, and do laundry together.

Do not make them feel bad for having gotten pregnant yet again. It happens.  What is done is done.  The least we can do is help make life a bit easier so that the next generation of human beings can grow up to make this world an even better place where tragedies like this, that are preventable, do not occur.

We can learn from this.

We are all in this together.

http://www.survivingppp.com/2016/01/postpartum-psychosis-can-you-forgive.html#.V3gGUDVRKAU

View story at Medium.com

http://thehealthcure.info/this-chilling-story-of-postpartum-psychosis-will-make-you-rethink-maternal-mental-illness/https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201202/postpartum-psychosis-scary-treatable

*Edit Note: I was informed via Facebook by George Brown of WREG that his understanding is that not all of the children were Shanynthia’s biological children and that we do not know if her husband was supportive or not.  He also added that we do not know if she sought, turned away, or was turned away from an kind of treatment.  I wanted to add these because I wrote earlier from the heart after hearing such negativity about this story.  I did not do any research and did not claim that I was reporting in any way about this story.

I would like to note that women can have postpartum psychosis from only one pregnancy.  It does not just occur after multiple pregnancies.  Also I would like to note, that I thank all of those fathers out there that do their best to be supportive, my husband is one.  You guys rock as well as any aunts, mother, sisters, friends, and the like that support our mother’s in this world.  We need people like you.  We need deeply caring and compassionate people to support us in any way possible.

Advertisements

The Inherent Goodness Found in Domestic Violence

I began this as an exercise to help me emotionally heal from past trauma, but what started out as a short exercise quickly turned into many hours and pages of writing with no sign of stopping. It just poured out of me.

I was a bit unprepared and really should have been working on my commissions, but the universe had other plans. I feel deeply that sharing my story will bring forth more healing than I could have imagined.

The result of my Exercise:

“Get in the truck!” Mike yelled at me from the doorway of my friend’s house.

He had driven his truck through the yard, and parked right in front of the porch. This wasn’t an unusual event. Mike parking his truck in the yard. His urgency and tone however were a surprise to me.

Everyone I knew used the yard in such the same way. The small property usually was filled with mud covered vehicles some of which were filled with 4-wheelers and beer packed coolers. The house was rented by two twenty something brothers and their female cousin. Located in a dry county this property still saw its fill of liquor and drugged induced parties. The brothers may have paid the bills, but the house was claimed by many as home throughout the week and late into the night on the weekends.

I first met the brothers of the house through my friend who dated one of them. How we as teenage girls became involved with guys more than 5 years our senior is a distant memory, but we quickly became a regular presence at the house. Mike was 8 years older than me. I met him through the brothers who lived down the street from Mike’s parents house. Dating underage girls was not the only thing that went on against the law in that house.

“Where are we going?” I asked Mike as we walked outside.

“Just get in the damned truck,” He snapped back at me.

I quickly heeded his request wondering what his intentions were. As I closed the door to his truck, he promptly demanded, “Pull down your pants!”

“What!” I look perplexed at him as quickly as I felt violated.

“NOW!” He yelled. “I fucking said now! Pull down your pants!”

He was so angry and I couldn’t conceive of why. I was pretty high at this point in the evening which may explained some of my dismay, but I had not done anything to deserve this kind of abuse from him. I had been given some money earlier in the evening by Mike’s parents. They had agreed to watch my daughter and sent me out to do some roaming just as their son had done earlier in the evening and many evenings before. They may have saw the discontent in me about my relationship with their son. They were first hand witnesses of our relationship since we had lived with them for more than a year now.

In hindsight dating an adult guy who lives with his parents might not be the best choice for a 17 year old, but I was naive and at the time the relationship worked.

I happily took the money from his parents, called my friend Cam, and made plans to hang out. I made the 20 minute trip from my house to Cam’s. Darkness set as I made the drive down the long country roads. I couldn’t have imagined where my night would have ended.

As I made my way down the curvy road to Cam’s house, I passed the street that led to the Farm. Thoughts began to swirl in my mind. Thoughts that could not be harnessed. I imagined and then re-imagined that feeling. That feeling was what comes over one when you take the first drag of a pipe loaded up with crack cocaine. It was the feeling of consummate euphoria. My mind supposes it is the feeling of divine union with God himself. The thought of that feeling made my heart race and my mind fill with emotions. I quickly assessed the time. I pulled over into a church parking lot not far past the road to the Farm. I couldn’t think straight. I searched through the console and then the glovebox. I didn’t have anything I could use to create a makeshift pipe if I could score some dope. I didn’t think. I immediately pulled back onto the road and made my way to the Farm. “Cam will wait. It won’t take me long,” I had thought to myself. I didn’t have much cash on me, but I had enough to get a good sized rock.

I made my way down the dark and narrow one lane road. There were no street lights and very few houses. That is until you make it to the Farm. The road is still one lane but the trees opened up. There was an eerie red hue from the brake lights of other vehicles being approached by runners. The runners were the guys who ran with the money and brought back the dope in return. They ran the dope to get dope in return. If one doesn’t know what they are doing the runner will take your money and never return. Sometimes they will try to pass off soap or peanuts as dope. Either way you will be at a loss. The runners have an upper hand. I slowly made my way around vehicles and spotted a runner I knew from previous encounters at the Farm. I rolled the my window down and shouted at him. He helped me score and then I asked him about getting hold of a pipe. Some runners kept pipes on them for trade. The runner suggested I take him down the road in exchange for use of a pipe. He showed me a pipe while explaining his plan. I hesitated, then I looked at my ashtray where I’d stashed my rock. I took a quick look around at vehicles entering and leaving. Fear comes over me. “Where is Mike tonight?” I think. He could have had the same thought as I and could be pulling up any minute. A question ran through my mind, “What if he catches me?” I didn’t have time to think. I agreed with the plan and unlocked the door for the runner. He jumped into the front seat. He was an older white man who looked to be about in his 40’s. His hair was thin and long as well as his scraggly beard. He quickly directed me where to go and thanked me for the ride. “You can’t catch a break, man, they all want a piece…ne’er leave a fella alone,” He lamented to me his problems with smoking his payments around the other runners. He then began to fiddle with the radio. I was a bit relieved. He reminded me of my dad with his short stature and lanky malnourished body. I relaxed some and followed his directions. We pulled off the road, through an open gate, and out onto a gravel drive. He assured me we won’t be bothered here and reminds me of his promise of pipe privileges. I again wondered if I had made a mistake. It was all a mistake. I pulled behind a fence of bushes off the drive and parked. My lights had been off for most of the drive to our secluded spot. He quickly loaded up his screen with dope and took a long slow hit of the pipe. Finally I was allowed to take my euphoric trip to another world. It settles my mind for those short lived seconds. Quickly I am back to reality as we took turns until all we had was gone.

I made the trip back to drop off the runner. This time, though, while turning around to leave, I see a familiar truck. It was the truck of one of the brothers. He immediately spotted me, got out of his truck, and came running over to my car. He scolds me for coming to the Farm by myself. I wondered if he saw the runner get out of my car. He made certain to let me know that he did not approve of my actions. Him, here to make his own score, did not approve of me. We argued for a few minutes. I pleaded to him to not tell Mike. I promised to leave and never return. He seemed amiable at that point and promised not to say anything. I quickly return to my previous night’s engagement.

Cam and I spent some time at her place and made a trip to town. We of course ended up at the brothers house. Nothing was ever mentioned about my trip to the Farm.

I was a bit relieved at not ending up in the horrible perpetual cycle of scoring, getting high, then scoring again, getting high, then wanting more dope.

I was pleased with myself for showing some restraint.
This had been the first time in a long while that I had scored some dope. After moving away from the town and beginning Vo-tech classes, I had sworn off getting high. I was on a clean road to becoming sober. I had begun a full-time job at a local dollar store and had begun planning to make something of my screwed up future. I looked at this score as a minor set-back, but I was definitely showing signs of more control.

“What for!” I question Mike as he begins pulling at my shorts to unbutton them.

“Because I said so, you fucking whore, that’s why!” He retorts.

I am at a loss, but I did it anyways. I pulled down my shorts and underwear in the front seat of his truck. He reached over and grabbed the fabric between my legs.

“It’s fucking wet. Who’ve you been fucking tonight, you fucking whore?”

I was speechless as I embarrassingly pulled my shorts back up. I knew the brother reneged on his promise and that Mike apparently knew nothing about female anatomy. In that moment I felt like a helpless child. There was a sunken feeling in my chest. I just sat there frozen.

Mike pulled away from the brother’s house. My car was still parked in the driveway. “I’ll get it later,” I thought to myself.

Mike continued to yell questions and profanities at me as we drove down the road. I tried to argue my position. I tried to explain his parent’s generosity. He didn’t believe anything I had to say. I knew that I had done nothing wrong in regards to our relationship. I had never even thought about cheating on him. Nothing I said could calm him down.

He reached over and slapped me on the left side of the face with the back of his open hand.
“Shut the fuck up whore. I know what the fuck you were doing.”

My heart sunk deeper. I hadn’t done anything in my mind. I did do some drugs, but that didn’t hurt anyone but myself. My child was being cared for and he was out doing stuff too, but I knew the life I was living was not right. I knew I should have never went to the Farm. I wondered why I couldn’t control myself. At this point I was more disappointed in my lack of willpower than I was with the man that just degraded me in so many ways.

I felt disgusted on so many levels. My face hurt, my heart hurt, and my spirit hurt.

We had been together for about a year, and my daughter was only a few months old. That night was not the first time Mike had hit me, but on some level I felt as though I deserved the punishment.

Coming from a home of corporal punishment, it wasn’t a far cry from what I had been used to. From a very young age I had been yelled at and hit when my choices were deemed incorrect.

No matter what my choices had been, though, I had not deserved the degradation that I had received.

I can’t claim to know the first time Mike hit me, nor can I recall every circumstance that he did. I have some difficulty with recollection these days. I can’t say for sure why this is. Was it the drug abuse or the physical abuse? I do know that there were many times that Mike caused traumatic brain injuries with his explosive rage. He claimed, usually through tears, not to remember what he did during the worst attacks.

I’ll never know his side of the story, or what his childhood trauma was.

This January will make 13 years since I last smoked crack cocaine, and 14 years since I finally had the courage to reach out to my family for help. I had seen myself as a failure for so long, that admitting my mistakes was a very difficult task, but I knew that my future and the future of my daughter depended upon it.

Many times I have questioned my soul’s purpose here on earth. And I still do not full understand why I am existing now. I lived through so much trauma in those days and tried committing suicide numerous times to alleviate the hell I felt trapped in those 2 years.

I do not hold ill will against my aggressor. We were two lost souls who crossed paths in the no so best of circumstances.

Our eyes were jaded by poverty and drug abuse.

I have many good memories alongside those atrocious ones.

We celebrated the birth of my first child. I shared my first moments of parenthood with that man. I went through the process of moving into and decorating my first home with him. Together we took many trips and had numerous happy memories. I will not allow the tragedy that beset me make me forget the good I found in him and our time together. It is that hate/love that made it so hard to let go in the end.

I have learned much about myself from reflecting upon those experiences and the reactions that I had to them.

I am today who I have allowed myself to become despite my experience.

My daughter and I

My daughter and I last fall.

The Black and White of the Gray State

Gray State

Wow.

This concept has been floating around in the minds of many for quite some time now. I actually was not one of the millions who viewed the trailer since its first release in 2012, and as of the time of this post I have not yet viewed the trailer or the documentary. I plan on doing that after I express my ideas. I am not sure either if making a trailer for a film that is still just an idea is a thing or not. I believe when pitching a film maybe one does this, but it does seem a bit overboard in my opinion just from what I have read.

Now, as a life’s purpose project, I definitely could see myself pushing this hard to get my idea picked up…I think. I have three books I’m writing which are near and dear to my heart and yet I have only spoken in extent about them to a few friends and family (well that is until now). I also have never seen war firsthand nor have I worked for our government in a militaristic capacity either. Maybe this fervor that David Crowley had came from his personal experiences. I have known many, who did serve the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they did not have much good to say about the situation, and many have also ended their lives.

To me there is a huge dichotomy being created at the moment around the film release of American Sniper and by the release of Gray Matter: The Rise. It is a reprieve for those who are against war and our ever increasing militaristic government.

I rather not go into my opinion about American Sniper nor its media aftermath, but I am compelled to share some thoughts on this Gray State production.

A comment on Facebook that was made on behalf of Gray State, that I can only suppose was David Crowley goes as follows:

“Sometimes I feel like it was our will alone keeping national disaster at bay. But I will   tell you this: A SERIES, which could be produced and released WAY FASTER     than a film, has the potential to subvert the system. How can it not? Sorry guys but Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, while entertaining, lack a real-world purpose. Gray State will not fail you. How could it?”

I would like to say that intuitively I feel as though David had become destitute in his journey to get his message to the public. He felt as though he needed to drastic measures taken and he calculated vehemently as a mad man would and came to the conclusion that a mystery death would bring about the needed controversy to push his agenda. I am reminded of the protagonist Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

David Crowley may have settled on an problem-reaction-solution just as the CIA and FBI have been known for. “Why not play their game against them?” He may have asked himself.

I do not judge him in his actions. He did in his reality, what he perceived as the correct move. I do not judge in the same way as if those “big bad secret guys” in black suits came in through his back patio and set the whole thing up. (I do not think the latter, however, since I have a romantic notion that humanity hasn’t stooped that low.)

I may, though, postulate opinions according to my experience, but I do not live in their lives. I do not see the world through their experience spectacles. I do love a good movie/book/TV series which I feel allows me to very briefly see the world through another’s eyes, but I can only view these with my perspective and my perspective is only mine. This is the same with everyone else, unless I have lived your experience I can only suppose how you feel about things, that is, unless your help reveal your truth to me. I love swapping opinions and views with others, especially when the others are truthfully exposing their opinions for the sake of the exchange.

This may be why I enjoy reading the comments of others on things that I see on the internet. To me the comments are more important than the actual information from the media that initiated the comments.

I love changing venues so to speak and listen in to the conversations. There are all types of people represented in any given place. Say for instance, I just viewed a Youtube video about Ancient Aliens (you knew that was coming, right?) and I saw many people commenting against the premise of the video…I wondered about those people’s intentions. Why watch something one is against and then start discord amongst a group of people? I can see a stating of opinion, but it gets way worse than that in YouTube comments. These are things many would not wail at another on the street. These are usually words that could get someone arrested if spoken in public and created a scene. (Yes, just because we have free speech does not mean that we can just tear out the hearts of fellow humans around us and get away with it.)

I create this scenario in my head:

“Hey, how about I go watch this video about aliens in the suggestions. I don’t believe in them, but I just want to watch anyways….”

*video incites negative thoughts*

The ego of the person does not like that he may be wrong….he must defend his position.

“Hey, now let me comment and let everyone know how stupid I think they are because I don’t believe in what they believe in.”

*nastily comments to others calling them derogatory names according to their avatars*
Ego gets an uplifting boost from the undermining of others, person now feels on top of their game.

*Gets flushed and has rush of adrenaline when others begin to comment back*

*Gets very pissed off that others commenting back are against him *

“I better just keep bashing them all, let me watch this debunking video about aliens, they know what they are talking about.”

*continues to switch back and forth between dissenters of his opinion with those who agree with him…Ego grows ever stronger*

This is like mental flexing. I love this game and the internet is my playground.

However, the continuation of comments on the Facebook page for the production Gray State is a bit disconcerting. I am radically confused. People are still commenting to comments months after the initial Q and A comment back in September 2014. This is despite the Google results I get that mostly speak of the death of Crowley. What is really odd is that it seems David never commented after that date. A lot of his comments also have a PR feel to them; very vague and cheery. He practically shuns all fan funding and apparently completely ignores others extending helping hands.

I can only guess he either never intended on full production or he was very disillusioned about the whole Hollywood production process.

Another comment made on behalf of Gray State:

“It’s already too late. Know yourself and be free anyway.”

which was prompted by the comment:

“Will the movie be ready before its to late?”

I again can only postulate that David was already well on a lonesome road to disillusionment about the entire current state of our world. He was slowly becoming in his mind a messiah figure to the Enlightenment movement that has spread across the plane of the internet.

I am sad at the loss of lives, but it is all rather entertaining.

That is why we continue on anyway…the entertainment of our minds.

In this moment I may not seem to be one your side, but that does not mean that I am against you.

Wish I was as Good as This Guy…

Video

This guy does such a better job at explaining what I was ranting about weeks ago.

All that college education that I am currently paying for while employing myself usually gets jumbled up with my emotions from the present as well as with memories from my childhood and the knowledge that my children will have to suffer more extraneous if I don’t help do something to help change our current situation as humans on this Lone Pale Blue Dot.