There are just days when I cannot bear to read the news. Today is one of them. Two stories I found are Woman on Trial in Baby’s Microwave Death (from The Washington Post) and Somerset, PA, man accused of assaulting 11-day-old infant (from the Times Leader).
Yes, the first story is exactly what the headline describes. Wow. It just leaves me speechless. The woman (27) apparently confessed to it, saying, “I killed my baby” and the baby “fit right in” the microwave. Her defense attorney claims that other people had access to the baby, that she was drunk to the point of being on the edge of blacking out when the baby died, and also questions the reliability of science to determine what effect microwaves have on humans.
In the other story, a 31-year-old man has been charged with assault on the 11-day-old infant after it was discovered that the baby’s arm, leg, skull, and nose had been fractured. It seems that the injuries occurred when the man attacked the baby’s grandmother (the suspect’s girlfriend, apparently) while she was holding the baby – he beat her and the baby at the same time. What a charming individual.
It is days like this that I really wonder about the future of our society. How do people like this come to be? I’m aware of the “cycle of abuse”. I’m aware that alcohol alters people’s behavior significantly. I know these things, just like I know that people can have trouble coping with crying babies, sleep deprivation, and the like. But there is help available! Frequently family will help. If not family, churches can sometimes help out and there are some community/county/city programs that can help. It is a matter of reaching out, of asking someone around you for help.
I have two children now, two young children. As I look at their small, beautiful faces, I cannot imagine losing control of myself to the point of hurting them. I have been terribly tired, sleep-deprived, and completely without privacy for any longer time than that required for a shower, but I still cannot imagine it. Yes, I get angry, particularly when I’m overtired, but I can step away. I get out with friends from time to time. When the grandparents visit, my husband and I go out and leave the children with the grandparents.
Of course, in some cases there are other underlying issues. For example, in the microwave story, the prosecutor says that the woman and her boyfriend had argued over whether they had been faithful to each other. She didn’t want her boyfriend to know whether he was the father because he had said he would leave her if he was not. What happened to admitting to a mistake, breaking up, and moving on? What happened to being faithful? If you don’t want to lose your boyfriend, wouldn’t it make sense to be faithful? Seems so easy to me.
These things make me so sick. Add these to the stories of teachers seducing children, either ones that they teach or others that they know and you have to wonder what happened to society. Yes, I know these things probably happened before the advent of television and they are just getting more publicity, but that doesn’t comfort me.
How can anyone other than a thirteen-year-old be attracted to a person of that age? I know that when I WAS 13, I didn’t like 13-year-olds. Why, why, why would someone be attracted to a child? I just don’t understand at all. I suppose that I should be grateful for that.