It seems like every single day I log onto social media I am bombarded with articles, stories, etc about another husband/wife & dad/mom that has chosen to end their family’s lives. I find myself trying to find out as much information about these cases that I can.
I relive my past with every story that I see about families being murdered by a father/mother (see https://3rdmomof3.com/2019/01/30/leave-or-stay/ for my post on my experience). It is something that is always on my mind. Could this have been me? Could this have been my kids? Was I going to be another headline? Yes! I strongly believe that my kids and I would be dead. As much as that statement puts a lump in my throat, it is my reality! It is something that I still deal with on a daily basis, even though my abuser is dead.
I read all the comments on the stories. The ones that get me are, ‘Why didn’t she just leave him?’ ‘It’s her fault because she didn’t leave’ etc. We as a society choose to blame the victim or make excuses as to why these things happen. Some say ‘He was such a good person’, ‘You never saw him angry’, ‘He just snapped’, well honestly abusers have the capability to change their personality to suit the environment they are in. And most times they don’t just ‘snap’, there are always signs… But the puzzle pieces don’t always fit together until they commit the unthinkable! Instead of judging we need to be better understanding.
Family Annihilation does not discriminate based on social class! One of the most recent cases that has been on the news is the Todt family. The father was a prominent Physical Therapist, a family man, a very giving man (according to multiple charities), etc… But he made a choice, he chose to murder his wife, their 3 kids (ages 13, 11, & 4), even the family dog! Why? Some say it’s because of the Federal charges coming his way due to fraud with his physical therapy business. Some say he didn’t want his family to suffer financially if he went to prison. Some even may say it was because they were being evicted from their Florida home. I say he was selfish, he did not HAVE to hurt his family. This was HIS choice, not theirs!
Another case is the Watts family… The father (again) seemed to be a family man, a doting father, a loving husband, we even saw videos showing all of this on social media. Obviously we don’t see that he’s having an affair on his pregnant wife, he’s leading a double life. He was very good at hiding this other life, even the couples closest friends didn’t know. People that knew him say the same things ‘He was such a good person’, ‘You never saw him angry’, ‘He just snapped’… I have seen so many people online bashing the wife and blaming her, he even blamed her at first. He said she murdered their daughters and that’s why he snapped! In the end, he confessed that he murdered all 3 of them because he didn’t want his daughters to be left without a mom or a dad. Again, selfishness, this seems to be the most common denominator in these cases, right?
I have been there, I’ve had that same fear that these moms must have had seeing what was about to happen. I am one that has survived a family annihilator. I know that if I wouldn’t have had the strength to leave, my kids and I would be one of those headlines.
As a society we cannot let this become our new normal! Check in on your neighbors, check in on your family members, even I need to be better at this. If you are in an unhealthy situation there are ways that you can get help without the other person knowing.