One of the themes of this movie is FORGIVENESS. How do you forgive after such a traumatic event? How do you forgive the people that you told that something was wrong? How do you forgive yourself? How does your family forgive you? How does society forgive women? And this has been a huge conversation amongst all the women we interviewed. This forgiveness, or lack thereof, is causing women to fall into deeper depression, withdrawal and loneliness. In some cases even to the point of ending it all. My heart hurts everytime I interview a woman about life after postpartum psychosis and she tells me how many times she contemplates taking her own life. Particularly if infanticide has occurred.
Which brings us to Kathleen Hammil, State Appellate Defender. Her client was Debra Gindorf. A huge case in the 80's. She unfortunately, took the lives of her two children. She also tried to take her own three times but did not complete it. She ended up serving over 20 years in prison and eventually got her sentence commuted. READ HERE the news article about Debra's release. And if you can stomach it, please take a minute to read some of the cruel and callous comments towards this woman. Many articles about her and so many other women, label them a "baby killer". A monster who doesn't deserve to live. If you hear these labels about yourself pretty often, how long does it take for you to believe it? And after you believe it yourself, how do you even forgive yourself? How CAN you??
It's pretty clear how society treats women who have committed infanticide. How even some of their family members treat them. My question, my challenge to you dear reader: How will YOU treat a woman who has been through something like this? Are you one of the people who hear these news stories and automatically judges and condemns? Do you dismiss the claims of insanity. Do you squelch the cries of postpartum psychosis?
One of the intentions of this film is to hold a mirror up to this ugly illness. A mirror not only on the illness but US, our very own natures. Our own ugliness inside the depths of our souls. The ugliness of hatred, the ugliness of unforgiveness. The ugliness of being unmerciful. The crushing of someone's soul with our own quick unthoughtful harsh judgements. Our own wretchedness. Who's more wretched? The "baby killer" or the soul killer? Will you recognize what the mirror shows? This isn't pretty, this isn't neat and tidy, this isn't black or white. This is different shades of grey, messy and hard, and cruel and intricate. But we can't shrink back, we can't put the mirror down. Don't look away. Our women are suffering. Families are suffering. The pain is overpowering! So look intensely into that mirror and then hopefully you can at least talk about what you see. And after you have looked, after you have examined, pass the mirror on to others.
Watch Kathleen's statement below!