When a Mother Snaps

I keep reading all these articles in our Rhode Island paper about the Camden Fry murder case. It happened just a few miles down the road from me. Yes, it happened here, in tiny Rhode Island, but it’s a story that’s all too familiar around the country….a mom, struggling with her own depression, commits an unthinkable crime.  In this case, Kimberly Fry is accused of strangling her own daughter, 8-year-old Camden.  It is so scary for me to even imagine that. We all remember Andrea Yates,  from Texas, who drowned all five of her children one-by-one in the bath tub at home. She was apparently suffering from postpartum depression.

Andrea Yates and the 5 kids she killed

Camden Fry was a bright-eyed girl who would be in class today with her friends in North Kingstown, RI. Instead, police say, fed up over arguments involving bathing, Kimberly Fry wrestled the young girl to the ground, covering her nose and mouth so she would be quiet. Too quiet. That was the last breath Camden Fry ever took. We’re told Camden did have ADHD and would have fits of crying and kicking on occasion.  Parents need to make sure they are educated about how to deal with their rage and to walk away or get help from others when they can’t handle a situation.  I know in this situation things were probably more extreme; someone who goes as far as killing in my opinion must have some sort of mental breakdown or illness.

Camden Fry, 8-years old when killed

Police say, that fateful night, Kimberly Fry, also dragged her limp and lifeless daughter to bed, laid her on her side, pulled the covers up over her, and then tucked her stuffed animal under her arm. Fry’s attorney says the death was accidental.   Camden’s dad, Timothy Fry, was playing hockey in Cranston. He peeked in on his daughter sleeping, and then checked on his wife asleep as well. In the morning he noticed his daughter was not up in time and went to find her in bed. She had obviously been dead for hours. Timothy called the police, woke-up his wife, and was in complete shock.  Prosecutors say the night of the crime, Kimberly tried to commit suicide taking a potent cocktail of painkillers and anti-depressants.  Kimberly Fry has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder. Her trial continues, this week, in Rhode Island.

Kimberly Fry, accused of murdering her daughter

While researching how moms can actually lose control and turn to murder, I found some very interesting information. First of all 30% of murdered children are killed by their own mothers. Also, here are characteristics that these mothers seems to have in common (information found at MomLogic):

Some of the issues involved with these moms include mental illness, isolation, anger, and fear. They also have poor coping skills to handle stress and may have little emotional support from family or friends.

What has been found is that moms who murder usually fall into one of the following categories:

Altruism: These women believe their children are suffering or are in some type of pain and they believe killing them will put them out of their misery. These moms usually are severely depressed.

Psychosis: These moms suffer from schizophrenia or another psychotic disease such as postpartum depression with psychotic features. They often hear voices telling them to kill their children.

Unwanted Children: This mom doesn’t want her children. They are inconvenient to her lifestyle. These moms usually have narcissistic or borderline personality disorders.

Maltreatment: This is the most common category. These mothers kill their children in the course of abuse without the intention of murder.

Revenge: These moms want to punish the father by taking away what she believes to be the most important thing to him: his kids.

Obviously all of these characteristics involve people that must be very mentally ill. I think kids need to be removed from homes that have parents with extreme mental issues, or,  at least, the situation needs to be very closely monitored by others. Many times the spouse is aware their partner has mental issues, but never thinks it will lead to murder. Timothy Fry knew his wife was depressed and on medications. He testified he even heard her say life would be easier without their daughter around. People need to be aware of signs and get help for the moms that are in trouble. If help is not found for a sick mom, it could result in the death of a child.

Here are more stories of moms who have killed their children, as well as resources to help those who might need it.  Let’s all work together in our communities to spot moms who need help.

Here is a link to the Camden Fry Memorial Fund, set-up by father Tim Fry to honor his daughter.

Kristin Wheeler

Fighting the Blues with Love

Maybe it’s because my favorite season is drawing to a close, or perhaps it’s the looming allergies of fall, but I usually have a big case of the blues in September.  Most people love this time of year – crisper weather, the prospect of New England’s leaf colors, apple picking, and maybe even the advent of the school year.  I feel the opposite.  It’s like a little death for me when summer ends.  Couple that emotion with the recent anniversary of that horrific day 10 years ago when thousands of innocent people lost their lives, and you have a recipe for major blues.  I’m from NY, so there were people in the towers that I knew.  I cried for all those deceased, their families, and myself this week.  In retrospect, it might not have been a good idea for me to read two books with deeply sad themes, Sarah’s Key and Room, at this tender time, but they are book club selections, so I read them anyway.  By doing that I just may have unwisely tipped the scales of the appropriate amount of grief intake, making it just too hard to absorb so much at once.

The night of September 11th, 2011 I lay awake at 2 a.m. thinking about loss and all its incarnations: in addition to the grief of our nation, I lost my brother a year and a half ago to a heart attack.  Due to recent unpleasant events, I lost a relationship with a formerly close friend.   Last week a lovely woman therapist we greatly admired, and sometimes consulted, lost her battle with cancer.  All this sorrow came crashing around me like discordant music, creating a clenching feeling in my heart.  As I lay there quietly sobbing, a Barred Owl hooted her haunting bark-like hoot somewhere in our woods, breaking through the noise in my head.  I slid over to my sleeping husband and pulled his arms around me.  He must have felt my shoulders heaving because he held me close and stroked my hair.  His warmth and gentleness eased my pain, and I became acutely aware of the comfort of human contact, of love.

I am not prone to dwell on the negative, or to allow myself a lengthy pity party, but sometimes too much is, well, too much.  So, having had a good cry, I awoke the following day exhausted, but renewed in my commitment to love and comfort others as well as myself.  Each of us is undoubtedly and indelibly affected by 9/11’s tragedy, and life is always throwing us curveballs, so in the face of that reality, I embrace today with my heart open and my arms ready.  Loving human contact, kind words, thoughtful gestures – these are the keys to a good life.   When I watched the History Channel’s show called “102 Minutes That Changed America” I was struck by the humanity of those around Ground Zero as the horror unfolded.  Brave doesn’t begin to describe these people.  They are my inspiration as I move through my sadness – their goodness, caring and selflessness are my goals today.  Love is the answer.  One day at a time, one person at a time.

All You Need is Love

-The Beatles

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

-1 Corinthians 13:13

 

 

 

Photobucket

Do You Have the Post-Event Blues?

If you compete in sports, I am sure you can totally relate to the feeling of complete accomplishment and exhilaration that you experience when taking part and finishing a sporting activity.
As some of you may know, back in May of this past year I completed my FIRST MARATHON!    I had promised to report back once I had completed the race to tell all of you how I did.     I remember the unbelievable feeling I had crossing that finish line and getting my medal.   I was trying to hold back all the tears when hugging my loved ones who were there to be a part of the special day.  It was a day like no other, and one that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life.  However, I woke up the next morning to find myself feeling very down, sad, and dare I  say, even depressed.  I should have been ecstatic, but instead I was left feeling empty inside…and more than a little sore.
How is it that I was sad and ready to cry even though the goal that I had been working so hard for was finally accomplished?!  I was mad and upset with myself for how I was feeling.  I could not understand it, and, unfortunately, that made it all the more harder on me.  I thought I would feel better in a day or two, but I was mistaken.  Fact is, I was still feeling down after a full week had passed and I was starting to become concerned.   I did what any person would do and turned on the ole’ computer and started to GOOGLE my heart out!   After some research, I realized that what I had been feeling was in fact, normal.   I was experiencing the post-event blues, my friends.
Post –event blues?  What is that? This type of sadness or depression can be commonly found in runners, but can also be found in musicians or people planning  a big event such as a wedding or a reunion, etc.  When anyone spends large periods of time either mentally or physically preparing and training for an event such as a marathon and then, in what feels like a second, it is over, it can be hard to deal with– on an emotional level.   It is similar to the letdown many of us experience the day after Christmas or after a huge event or fundraiser for which you have been working and planning.  It was such a relief to know the feelings I was experiencing were normal and natural.  So, now, the question became, what do I do to feel better?  Can I feel better? You certainly can fight those negative and depressive feelings, and here are some tips that can help.\
1.         Rest and RelaxTake some time off and just rest your mind and body.   I trained for over 18 weeks for the marathon, and I  needed at least a week or two off to rest and help my body heal.   My body had just gone though a huge ordeal, and it needed some time to recoup and rest in order to be back in working shape.   If you have just planned a huge event and you are suffering from the letdown of the day being over then  you can take this opportunity to catch up with friends or go out to that movie you have been planning to see.   Do something for YOU!  You accomplished something extraordinary and special to you, and you need to enjoy and revel in it.
2.         Get back into a routine After the mini-vacation, you need to get back into a daily or even weekly routine.  It is important to start slow and take your time.  Your body and mind are going through a huge emotional and physical roller-coaster, and it takes a lot of drive and willpower to get back into the grind.  It is not going to happen overnight. You need to get yourself back to being energized and focused on the next event in your future.  Set a pace that you are comfortable with and proceed from there.
3.         Plan New Events And Set New Goals for Yourself This one was very important and necessary for me to get out of my depression.  A huge part of why I was feeling so depressed was the fact that I had accomplished this huge dream of mine, and I no longer had that to look forward to.  It really hit me harder than expected. I needed to set a new goal,  and once I did, I found my spirit and enthusiasm returning as quickly as it had disappeared.  I started to set my sights on another full marathon for the end of October. Focusing on setting a new goal for my finish time and starting a new training schedule felt good…and I was quickly becoming myself again.

If you have experienced anything similar to this, or if you have any remedies for helping to fight the depression, please share.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Photobucket