Thursday, January 22, 2009

There's Nothing Brave About Being a Bad Mother

When a man sexually abuses his own child it's abhorrent and despicable to us, we recoil at the idea that a parent could harm their own flesh and blood in such a manner, but when a mother does it -for me- that's even worse. I don't know why I feel that way, I just do. I feel if you've carried a child within you and given birth to it you ought to love it and protect it with every fibre of your being. I'm not saying fathers feel less love or protectiveness for their own children either, but just that mothers, well mothers should be mothers.
The case of the woman who abused her six children in Roscommon is awful, what those poor kids when through is horrific. The statement made by the son she sexually abused almost had me in tears.
That poor little fellow, he'll never be the same again.
The news emerging that a right wing Catholic organisation delayed the removal of those children is alarming to say the least and I expect over the coming days there will be a lot of anger directed towards them and question asked about their role in this mess.
But being a bad mother is not just about physical or sexual abuse and as usual the Daily Mail has managed to do what two cups of strong coffee could not and jar my sleepy self into a wakefulness. Cross wakefulness.
Reading about this sort of shit in a way is just as upsetting as reading about the Roscommon case. Not because this woman Shelley Price has physically abused her child, but because she is emotionally abusing her and because the stupid bitch can't keep her big mouth shut about it.

Shelley is about to admit to one of the great taboos of motherhood. No matter how hard she has tried, she says she can't bring herself to love her elder daughter, Catherine.

'I know what people will think. Everyone will hate me. I'm the woman who doesn't like her own child. But I'm speaking out because I'm convinced I'm not alone,' says the 33-year-old.

My heart goes out to the poor little girl in question. How horrendous must it be for her to know that her mother has to force herself to be nice or interested in her, how painful must it be for a little girl to seek affection knowing it is conditional. What about this girl's development, her self worth, her confidence, Jesus, her happiness?

"When she wasn't well with teething and tummy aches - all the normal things babies go through - I took her straight round to my mum. I couldn't get rid of her fast enough.

'I would never have let her come to any harm, but I didn't want to deal with her myself."

I'm sure Shelley Price would be horrified at what went on in Roscommon, she might read it and ask 'how could she?' Well I'll tell you something, I don't feel any less disgusted by Shelley Price and her 'brave admission' than a woman who forced her teenage boy to have sex with her. They're both guilty of damage, both guilty of putting their own fucked up wants and needs before that of their children. They are both guilty of abuse. The only difference I can see is that one woman has admitted to her monstrous behaviour and the other is still dressing it up.

UPDATE) On the Roscommon case. Oh the hateful hands of interference.
"Senior childcare workers with HSE West told the judge that on September 30, 2000, a voluntary agreement was reached between the health board and the mother, to have the children cared for by an aunt and uncle.

But the mother had become involved with "a right-wing Catholic organisation" to finance and support her going to the High Court to get an injunction restraining the Health Board from acting.

The mother personally moved the injunction at the High Court three days later, Judge Reynolds heard.

HSE West childcare manager Paddy Gannon said that after she obtained the ex-parte injunction restraining the Health Board for carrying out the care arrangement, she personally presented it to childcare officials in Co Roscommon.

"It was a bolt from the blue," said Mr Gannon.

"The Health Board was prevented from moving the children from the home as part of a care plan."

Mr Gannon said that around the time of the High Court application, he received correspondence from Mina Bean Ui Chroibin, stating that it was support the family needed and not intrusive action by the health board.

Mr Gannon intimated that he believed Bean Ui Chroibin's organisation was behind the application to the court, but he had no evidence to that effect."

LIke I said over on Twenty's site, if this is true and this woman stalled the removal of those children I hope Mina Bean Ui Chroibin is feeling proud of her involvement today.

"A Co Roscommon mother-of-six has been to sentenced seven years in prison after pleading guilty to incest, sexual assault and neglect of her children.

At Roscommon Circuit Court today, Judge Miriam Reynolds said she would have given the 40-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a life sentence had she been a man.

However, Judge Reynolds said she was restricted by the terms of 1908 legal act, which carries a maximum seven-year sentence for incest cases involving women.

The woman had pleaded guilty to two counts of incest committed in June 2004 and on a date unknown between July and October 2004.

She had also pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual abuse against a son on the same dates and to neglecting and ill treating each of her six children from 1998 to 2004." ( Irish Times)

Wow, seven years for a lifetime of misery. That's a messed up ruling right there- albeit the only one the judge could hand down.The 1908 act clearly needs to be reviwed.



Blogger laughykate said...

Sometimes firearms seem like a really good invention.

9:28 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

No sure how they'd help in these cases really. The damage is already done.

9:42 a.m.  
Blogger Sweary said...

I know what you mean about there being a difference, at least in our own heads, about abuse coming from a mother. I often suprise myself by stating on cases like this that "A woman shouldn't behave this way", and I don't know why either. Should I expect there to be some kind of solidarity with my own standards just because the subject is also a woman, or a mother?

I hope it's not because I have this "Irish mammy" notion in me that a man's bad behaviour can't be helped, whereas a woman should know better,

9:59 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Rightly or wrrongly I just expect a woman to be nurturing to her children, to be naturally protective of them. As a woman I find it hard to wrap my head around it when another woman fails so badly in this regard.
My own mother was a hateful bitch when I was growing up, she'd like to claim differently now, but the past is unchangable. Angry and frustrated and spiteful, she made it very clear that I was nothing more than a nuisance to her. So when I read of people like Shelley Price I most likely personalise it slightly ( or a lot). The damage they do is pretty lasting and it takes a will of iron sometimes to shake it off, if you ever do fully.
That other woman just makes me sick to my stomach.

10:17 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Hmm, i wouldn't lump them in the same category at all.

They're both bitches, but I'd compare it with someone who doesn't help someone being raped as opposed to the actual rapist.

sort of.

hmm, my explaining gland is acting up again, i'd better get my coat.

11:17 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

That Price woman in England thinks she's the victim - her daughter's unloveability has made her feel maternally guilty.
And there she is pictured with the eleven-year-old cause of her bad self-esteem. I would kick Price's her arse for her so she'd feel something real and the Mail [Femail section!] is ethically bankrupt publishing that article and photograph.

As for the other case, there's more to emerge - less said the better for the moment.

11:24 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Put just coat away, you're right Morgor, I should have made it clear thay I find they're both abusive, although not in the same boat.
Conan, that's what riles me, the 'I'm only doing this so that other women can identify with me and thus I can continue my victimhood.' This is -in an extremely round about way- a bit like Sweary's post on babs the other day. If you feel something strongly enough about something then do it or say it, but don't declare it and then temper it with 'I'm doing it for other women'.
Actually that's not even a good analogy, this woman should have shut her damned yap and not subjected her daughter to the knowledge that her mother dislikes her and now the whole bloody world knows it too. Imagine what goes on in that poor child's head.
And yes the fucking mail is just hateful in posting it with picture of the poor child. But I've bloody linked to it so my culpa cup is brimming too.

11:32 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

*put your, not put just* I'm a bit demented today, please excuse the typos.

11:34 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Conan, does a Tridentine Catholic called Mina Bean Uí Chroibín ring any alarm bells with you? It appears this might be the spokeperson for the right wing C group who intervened on behalf of the Roscommon mother.

12:17 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Sure does, she'd be well-known for her fervour, long predating SPUC, I think. She must be a 'good age' now.

She'd put the Ní Mhathúnas, O'Hanlons, Bennises, Binchys, Phillipses etc in the Ha'penny Place.

The 'interference' in the family angle is the classic fanatical recourse to the provision in the Constitution.

12:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

AH! I don't really understand her power source, or why the HSC backed down when the high court became involved. Why were they unwilling-I wonder- to proceed if they had evidence that the poor children were being neglected?

12:50 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

If it had started out as a voluntary move by the mother then they may not have had the evidence necessary. Then Article 41 of the Constitution comes in:
“1. 1° The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

2° The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.”

It's an abuse charter for toxic families.

12:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Thanks Conan.

1:01 p.m.  
Blogger Sweary said...

Nothing wrong with personalising these kinds of stories, fmc. If we were only all so empathic!

1:01 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Btw, as I intimated earlier, I think there's likely to be further proceedings, taken separately, in connection with this case.

1:03 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Unless I'm mistaken that'd be the 1908 Children's Act. Used by our moral guardians (up to relatively recent times) to remove happy children from their loving single mothers... on grounds of 'moral danger'. And put them in institutions where they were a valuable revenue stream for Mercy Nuns and Christian Brothers.

I have to stop now... blood pressure spiralling...

2:18 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Take two Panadol, it helped my headache, might help your BP.

2:28 p.m.  
Blogger PI said...

All I can do is pray the abused children will be safe now and the little unloved girl will find a loving home.

11:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Sheesh said...

I haven't commented for ages (I always read though!) - but the stuff about Shelley Price struck a horribly familiar chord: I know, I know; different league from the story about the physical abuse; but having a parent who picks and chips away at you throughout your most vulnerable formative years is horrible. It affects your self confidence, self esteem, ability to trust and form relationships, and ability to be happy. And it feels somehow worse when that parent is your Mother - with the smell of burning martyrdom. (I still am not quite comfortable with why I feel that it is worse when it's the mother; but I do and there you go.)

But to make it public, what a truely selfish, nasty, horrible person that Shelley Price is. I'm caught between fuming and sadness for her poor daughter. Nasty, pure and simple.

12:16 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Morning Pat. The Roscommon children are in foster care and the little Price girl remains with her mother.
You're right Sheesh, it's incredible how much damage that constant undermining and rejection can do. That poor little girl is only eleven and already she's been rejected by both parents and her mother has now publically revealted her dislike- all as you say with the violins playing for her of course. Vile woman, utterly vile.

8:58 a.m.  
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