When Rachael discovered she was pregnant, she thought of suicide; married to a poor sharecropper she did not want another mouth to feed. She felt anger, she feared God’s wrath, but would take that chance. She did not want the burden; she was determined to kill the unwanted seed. The cries coming from the bed told Rachael that the baby was alive; there was nothing in her heart but hate as she placed her hand over the baby’s mouth and nose, to suffocate life from the tiny body; its journey on earth was cut short. Rachael rolled over and smiled.
Rachael is a fictional character in the “100 Word Story” however, hundreds of children are killed each year; mothers are most likely to kill newborns because of mental illness such as postpartum depression or because they cannot handle the stress of caring for a baby. The research on this subject reveals that the day a child is born is the day a child is most likely to be killed by a parent. Mothers who kill tend to do on impulse and then there are those that just do not want a child.
Psychiatrists say parents who kill their children tend to fit one of five categories:
- A parent suffering a psychotic break.
- A parent who thinks he is killing out of altruism because he doesn’t want a child to grow up without him.
- A parent acting out of revenge against a spouse or partner.
- A parent who kills an unwanted child.
- A parent who kills from neglect or by recklessness
If you are aware of someone that possibly comes under any of these categories; reach out to them and offer your help.