Rebekah Amaya, a Pueblo, Colorado mother currently serving out a sentence for killing her two children while allegedly suffering from Postpartum Depression and Psychosis, had her appearance at Mental Health of America’s monthly meeting this past Wednesday when the surrounding community, including family, reacted very negatively to the idea of her speaking publicly about her experience. Katherine Stone has written an excellent post about the situation and I’ll leave the details to her.
I’m not really sure how I feel about the situation and rather find myself in the same boat as Katherine to a certain extent. When discussing my own experience, it really depends on the audience as to what details I share and how graphic I get. Intrusive thoughts can be horribly triggering to other women and newly suffering mothers but the details and intensity can also be very educational and helpful for professionals as it allows them a glance into the world those of us who suffer with these debilitating thoughts find ourselves encased.
I can understand the family’s horror and outrage. But as an advocate and woman who knows how powerful a voice of experience can be, I wonder what value she might have brought to the table. Was she ready to speak? What would speaking have done for her? What were her intentions? Is she really stable enough to be sharing these details? These are questions we’ll never know the answers to but regardless, the topic itself is one that does not need to be ignored. As Katherine states, not talking about infanticide and filicide will not make it go away.