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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This is pretty powerful! PYHO/WW Combo

But first something fun before I get all serious...  WORDLESS WEDNESDAY!


Photography by Baby Girl


Now for the deep stuff.



I don't know if y'all have heard about the South Carolina woman who drowned her children or not, but when I did, it brought back thoughts of something similar that happened a few years ago.

Here's the back story: 

When I was a freshman in high school, there was a group of 5 girls that were pretty popular (think Mean Girls, but nicer) & I was in this group (along with 2 of my current besties).  We ruled the 9th grade & had a blast doing it. We were thick as thieves until 2 of the girls had a falling out, over a boy I'm sure.  This split our group & over the next couple of years, one of the girls (who I no longer hung out with) started acting stranger & stranger, kind of crazy (not my kind of crazy, crazy, crazy).  After high school, I lost all contact with her until 2005.

Then I hear about this...


On the morning of Sunday, July 16, 2005 she drove her 2002 BMW sedan into the Cahaba River near Chace Lake Country Club. After it hit the water it was washed about 300 feet downstream. The water was high and muddy with runoff from recent rains associated with Hurricane Dennis. She escaped the car and screamed for help. Golfers on the nearby course rushed to her aid, but were unable to get to the submerged car. Her children Ashlyn (5) and Bryson (18 months) were found dead, still buckled into the back seat, later that afternoon.

Now I knew she was a little off & maybe into drugs, but this was awful.  I know I wouldn't have gotten out of the car without my children. I sent her an email (or letter, some kind of correspondence) & told her how sorry I was for her loss.  I never heard back.

Then this happened...

She was subsequently indicted on two charges of manslaughter. Shelby County prosecutors claimed that her conduct "created a substantial and unjustified risk of death to her children, that she was aware of that risk and that she consciously disregarded it."

I was floored.  A girl that had once considered one of my best friends, murdered her children. It brings tears to my eyes as I type this.  I understand post-partum depression & mental illness (somewhat), but this was not the girl I was friends with, not the Brandee I knew. 

We never heard if she served any time.  Or much of anything about her until this...

Skinner died of an overdose of drugs before the case came to trial. Her attorney, Tommy Spina, said it appears the death was unintentional as her prescription for bipolar disorder had recently changed and she left no note. Skinner is interred next to her children in Georgia.
 
Brandon "Brandee" Leigh Whitaker Skinner (born c. 1975 - died May 14, 2008 in Macon, Georgia) was a mother of two residing on Mountain Laurel Court in Riverchase.

 CREDIT

I have my thoughts on this & while I don't want to offend anyone, if you don't feel like you are fit to be a mother, give your children who does.  I know this sounds harsh, but kill yourself, not your children.  Those babies did not deserve to drown to death strapped into their carseats.  I wonder what was going through their minds, especially the 5-year-old, as they were dying.  While I did not even know these children & hadn't scene their mother since 1993, this will forever have an effect on me.

32 comments:

Joy said...

I did read about that story yesterday, and it just floors me. I don't know how any mother could ever hurt her own child. how you could be so sad as to cause harm or worse death to your own flesh and blood, a child you made. I agree there are MANY women out there for what ever reason can not have their own children and they long for a child, if you feel you can no longer take it drop that kid on the door step of a church or something!

I am sorry but I just don't buy into the whole "I was so depressed I killed my own kids, but it's not my fault" plea you still killed another human and you deserve to pay the price. that woman will have to live with herself and what she has done and eventually she will not live and she will face her maker and will pay the ultimate price.

stepping down from my soapbox now:)

Mo 'Betta said...

wow. that's horrible, and sad, b/c it's just one of many cases like that. of course, it's got to be different when you actually know the person. but I agree, kill yourself, give the kids to someone who cares, but why hurt them?! it breaks my heart. and...you make congestive heart failure sound like no biggie! I'm a nurse, so....take care, hope it's nothing that can't be quickly cleared up!

mommy said...

That is so sad! I just don't understand how someone could be so sick as to kill their own child! It blows my mind. It's one thing to be depressed and want to commit suicide but why would you do that to your own poor innocent child??! Oh and the poor things to be strapped in like that in their last few minutes of life wondering why is my mommy doing this to me? Breaks me heart...

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

A budding photographer for sure.

It breaks my heart to read stories where people kill their children.

blueviolet said...

Anything having to do with harming children makes me absolutely nuts. Those poor sweet babies...

Jessica said...

How awful and sad. I think hurting children is one of the worst crimes around.

Helene said...

Oh dear God, it gives me chills, reading this. Like the whole Susan Smith situation all over again. I suffered horribly from PPD but never in a million years could I have done something like this. I had scary intrusive thoughts but somehow I knew I'd never act on them.

It makes me cry to think of how those children suffered. It's too late now but I wish so much that both that woman in today's news and your old friend would've had the frame of mind to at least ask someone to care for their children if they knew they couldn't. Such a tragedy.

Jennifer said...

It is sad, and scary, and terrible and lots of other horrible words. I know when the kids were just little and I was all jacked up on the hormones sometimes I would just get so over it, and then I would walk away. I mean really, just walk away.

I was living in Houston when the whole Andrea Yates thing came out when she drowned her children. So many people knew she was sick but just let her keep the kids anyway. It always makes me wonder when something like this happens how many other people knew the kids were in danger and did nothing. Ultimately it is the mother's fault, but still. I think there are other people that can carry the blame.

Shell said...

I can't even begin to imagine this. I was tearing up thinking of those kids in the car. Keep your kids safe and then do what you will with yourself. That probably sounds harsh, but it's so tragic that it's often the kids who get hurt or even killed in situations like this.

Just Another Mom of 2 said...

These situations always hit me hard. I have anxiety, and while not currently severe or terribly active, things like this flare it like no other. I cannot imagine having known someone who was once a friend do this- I'm sure it has an emotional effect. Any situation is tragic, and while I understand not wanting to offend, it's still simply horrific.

Heather's In The Land Of Crazy said...

That really breaks my heart when people kills their kids. I agree if you can't take care of them, let some one else take care of them. There is no need to harm your kids.

Life Without Pink said...

My heart was racing when I read this. I just watched on the news last night a woman in my area did the same thing. How could anyone hurt their child???? Hearing stories like this effect me as well. I dont even know them but it breaks my heart.

singedwingangel said...

I posted on this last night as well. It simply sickens me.. period..sociopathic personalities is the only description

The Newsham's said...

Love your blog!

Jennifer
http://livingachangedlife.blogspot.com/

Amber said...

I think about this horrible situation so much and I hate it so bad. I can not imagine what in the world she was thinking. Those poor, poor children. It's terrible! And I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't say this but I am. There is NO WAY IN HELL I would have gotten out of that car alive without my child! I would have died trying to get them out!! I think she killed herself and I don't think it was an accident at all. She was not the same person we knew. Crazy puts it a little mildly I think. It's so sad.

High Heeled Life said...

Wow ... I would like to believe this mother was not in her correct mind, to carry out such a horrific act.
There are so many families who are not able to have children of their own ~ who have so much love to give and truly want to be parents. - I'm not able to carry a child since my accident - so Hubby and I are exploring both surrogate and adoption. So this affects me deeply.

In cases like these I always wonder did no one around this woman, notice any odd behaviour? If she was known to be bi-polar, were there no safety precautions put in place for the care of these innocent, beautiful children?

Life is so precious ... to have it shorten at the hands of anyone let alone a mother, is devastating and disturbing.

My dear friend I can't imagine how this must be affecting you. Try to remember her as the happy teenager you knew. No one will ever know really what happened - was she a monster - and if so what made her that way? Was she ill, and if so - why was no one around to help her and her children? I'm praying for you, to be able to find peace and comfort with your family - God's gift to you and them. I pray for the souls of those beautiful innocent children and even their mother ... that may be able to rest at peace in God's home. Blessings..HHL

RN Mama said...

I heard about the story too. And not that it makes a difference, but I read that she actually killed the children in a hotel room first and then put them in the car to make it look like an accident.

Clearly, there is no excuse for this, and as someone who has suffered from PPD, my heart breaks for everyone involved.

Babes Mami said...

I don't know how someone could do that. If this were someone I knew I would be...I don't even know. I feel the same as you do and I also think that I would die trying to save my kid rather then save myself and yell for help!

So tragic.

SueMac said...

I know the story all too well as I live in Birmingham. So, so very sad..... and yes, give your babies to me as I'm unable to have children of my own (my girl is mine)...... but couldn't afford adoption or the desire to adopt, but if someone came up and handed me a baby, I would take it!

Button said...

I lived in Hoover when this happened and I remember thinking roughly the same things you've written. I cannot begin to imagine things being so bad that you would think that was your only way out. So sad.

Evonne said...

I don't understand this. Anyone who could take the lives of their own children who haven't had a chance to even live a life is just a monster (in my opinion). Nothing can excuse those actions.

Lourie said...

I have suffered post partum depression and possibly even post partum psychosis. I have depression. My sister is bi-polar. And never not even once did she or I hurt our kids. I can understand the feeling yes, but I never did anything. The scary thing is, this stuff happens more than people realize and their are women out there who are suffering from this. Thank you for sharing this. It's such a sad story.

Gracie Beth said...

That is just so sad. Have you seen the show Deadly Women on ID they psychoanalyze the woman that do these things, even FBI profilers cannot believe that a woman could murder her own children it just baffles me.

Sandra said...

That story is hard to read...I don't even know what to say...I just don't...

Kelly said...

*tears* ... breaks my heart. Bless the children.

The Princess of Sarcasm said...

Awful. Just plain awful. My good friend from college graduated hs with Susan Smith. She was floored. My husband saw her in prison when he was on site with a contractor. I wish he could've gone over there and snapped her neck in two. I look at my boys and wonder how a mother could ever do something like that. Awful.

MainLineMommy said...

I was crying as I read this. I have a 5 year old and a 4 month old. They are both so ridiculously precious in my mind - one because he's so new and innocent and one because she's become my absolute best friend and is sometimes indistinguishable from a teenager. I could never imagine ever hurting them in any way and I don't understand how anyone could do this to their kids. I agree with you completely about everything you said and I too wonder what could be going through a five year old's mind when her beloved mother does something so incredibly horrible and cruel to her. There are things in this world I just will never understand.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I have mixed feelings....when it comes to mental illness, I wonder if she truly understood what she was doing, and the true impact of it? I don't mean to excuse her actions, but I firmly believe mental illness is a sickness just like physical illness and I don't think they always can be held accountable for their actions.
Such a tragic story.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Oh WOW... that doesn't really adequately express it, but wow... how heart breaking. I wanted to ask... does it make it somehow easier to understand that a person who would do that would have to be completely utterly insane...when it was someone you knew and you can't equate the person you knew with the one they became, so insanity has to be the only answer? I just can't even imagine...

brainella said...

The first thing I thought about that horrible situation was, "I bet she has some mental issues." I dearly wish she had left those babies with her mother and just drove away. Not only did she kill her children, but now she has to live with that knowledge the rest of her life...even if she DOES get the help she needs. It's truly tragic.

Sarah said...

That is horrible...and we do wonder how someone could do that to a child. I have a better understanding of mental illness now that I had a mental health class. (I'm currently in nursing school.) Mental illness is certainly not an excuse but it makes that person's brain work differently, their brain chemistry changes and they are no longer in control. Again, I'm not saying that this excuses her actions but combine mental illness with drug use and you have a double dose of mental illness. Lots of people with mental illness do drugs to be "normal" because that's more normal than how they feel. It's such a tragedy when this happens but I do feel that the family of a person with mental illness has to take some responsibility and get that person some help. I am so sorry about your friend though, that is so very sad.

MommaKiss said...

oh for the love of god, it's heartbreaking. these instances, the mom in texas who drowned her babies in the tub. just awful. i know my 5 year old would be fighting like mad. Heartbreaking!!

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