Friday, September 6, 2013

sleep hope wake and then: On Issy Stapleton, To Issy Stapleton, About Issy Stapleton

Reprinted from sleep hope wake and then

TW: Attempted murder and victim blaming, suicide mentions

This is messy. Not at all polished. Not at all well-organized or well-put together. It's an assortment of thoughts and opinions and ideas and frustration and anger. It can't be well put together. Because it is anger and anger is messy.


Issy Stapleton's mother attempted to murder her.
Attempted murder is attempted murder.
Attempted murder of your child is still attempted murder.

Do we feel sympathy for people who attempt murder?
No. No, we do not.
Do we give them "our unconditional support"

You know who we feel sympathy for?
The victim.
And you know who the victim is?
The person who was almost murdered.

And that is you, Issy.


But for some reason, that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, the response seems to be "unconditional support" towards the attempted murderer. Of stress and depression and overwhelming overwork. And "walk in their shoes" and "don't judge" and "well, you just don't understand."

What is there to understand?
Murder is murder.


But THAT NEVER ENTITLES YOU TO KILL SOMEONE ELSE. Your child's life is not your life to take. No matter how much trouble you are having. No matter what. Your child's life is hers alone.


And people might say it's your fault. That it is your fault that someone tried to kill you. That it is your fault for "being difficult" and NONSENSE LIKE THAT.

It is not your fault.

And please don't ever believe that.

It is never your fault when someone tries to kill you.


And we live somewhere where people are obsessed with criminal cases and with motives and with murderers. And with crime. And so it is hard to escape hearing about crime . I can't even imagine how hard it would be to escape inside of the story. How hard it would be to see out and realize the way everything is twisted.

And where things are twisted against you.

And where it seems like everyone overwhelmingly agrees and gives sympathy to the one who attempted murder, and not to the victim.

But Issy, it's not your fault.

And you, only you, should be getting the sympathy.




Dear Issy,

I hope you recover. I hope the rest of your family will love you and take care of you. I hope you will grow up into a wonderful, amazing person. I hope you will not be ashamed of being autistic. I hope you will not blame yourself for something that is absolutely, positively, completely not at all your fault.


And I feel bad writing this and publishing this, even, because I can imagine, that after this, when you are out of the hospital, that this is not how you want to be remembered. Who wants to be remembered as the girl whose mom tried to kill her? And that the world sided with her mother?

But not everybody did.

And there are people who agree that it is not your fault.

People all over who know that it is not your fault.

It is never your fault.

There is no possible way on heaven or earth that it could be your fault.

I am so, so, so sorry that this ever had to happen to you.

I am so, so sorry that even more happened after.


And I read the comments and I read the ideas and I read the support for your mother and I am

Because it is absolutely ridiculous.

I'm scared for the world.

One day I am hoping to have autistic children. (Because they will be mine, and it is likely they will be autistic.) And I promise I will never try and kill them. Because that is not what parents do. Parents are not supposed to kill their children.

I've wanted to kill myself before.

But there is absolutely, positively, completely NO WAY that justifies killing other people.

You are supposed to protect your children.

Did you ask Issy if she wanted to live?
Or did you think it didn't matter?
Does being autistic mean you don't get a choice?

Because it does matter.
Because you should protect your children.

A loving mother does not murder her children.
A loving mother does not attempt to murder her children.




Why were you able to decide that it was ok?

The more I read, the less I understand. The more I think about it, the angrier I get.


Dear Issy,

Your life is valuable. So incredibly, amazingly valuable. You are valuable. You are amazing. You are wonderful.

Don't forget that.

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