Lisa Montgomery

I read about Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row in the United States, and she is going to be executed in January next year. The reason she got this sentence is because she murdered a pregnant woman and cut her open to take out the baby, who survived the ordeal. 

I am not saying that I don't think that what she did is horrible, but I read on the Huffpost website that Lisa experienced extreme horrors from a very young age, such as getting raped by her stepfather, being passed around to his friends, forced into prostitution, and repeatedly gang raped, beaten, and neglected. Lisa's cousin, a deputy sheriff, stated in a sworn statement that those men beat her if she "did it wrong" and urinated on her like she was trash. Even in her marriages, she was abused and after having 4 children with her step-brother, she was pressured into sterilization. Her half-sister Diane Mattingly, shared on how they were treated by their mother Judy and it seems to me that Judy tried to deal with her own childhood trauma by being the agressor to the children. In all the stories that I read in order to heal my own messed up childhood, I discovered a common theme that people either deal with trauma by keeping it in and become depressed, suicidal, isolated, and show risky behavior and continuous self harm or they deal with it by becoming just like the person(s) who hurt them and they target that aggression to people that are the same age as they were or somehow remind them of themselves. Especially the part where she said that Judy was able to find out what hurt you the most and use it against you was shocking to me, as I learned this ability too from the people who continuously hurt me. When I got bullied in class, I somehow immediately figured out what their weakness was (such as their height, weight, appearance, secret crush on someone, being not as smart, etc.) and impulsively hit them where it hurts the most with words, even though I knew it would make the situation worse. The part, where they were carelessly left in the hands of perverted men with bad intentions, is strange too, as it is exactly how my parents were. Maybe, they were too busy living their own lives and too trusting or they just didn't know how to be parents and creating the distance felt more comfortable, as caring too much means that it will hurt when something bad happens. I still cannot forgive them for not protecting me when I needed them the most and they didn't just do nothing, they even actively damaged me further and made things worse, but at least, they are trying (or pretending; I learned to not trust anybody) to make up for it. 

I can really empathize with her, as I also grew up having to look after myself with nobody protecting me. I felt so alone and helpless. Everybody trampled on me and they diminished my self worth (I kept brainwashing myself that I was worth a million bucks to undo the damage). If it wasn't for the rare good people who believed me and supported me, I don't know if I could be the person I am right now. 

According to the UN news, Lisa's former partner had threatened to take custody of her children, shortly before the murder, and she told her new partner that she was pregnant. It may seem strange, but it all makes sense to me. First, her own precious children is taken from her, who might be the only reason for her to live on, her ability to give birth was forcefully taken from her in the past, and all the rapists she met made her believe that her body is only for sex and making baby's and that that is where her value lies. So, to be accepted, loved, not beaten up, and protected by her new partner and to have a reason to live on, she desperately needed to get a baby. The way that she chose to get one was very extreme, but considering her circumstances, seeing how everybody failed her so many times, I don't think she deserves this punishment. I want her to get the mental help she needs and live the rest of her life peacefully.

Mental illness is not a crime and let's end this cycle of violence together. 

Small addition: I didn't study psychology, but when I read what Lisa's daughter gave as an example of Lisa's erratic and inappropriate behavior, "acting like a young child in public, twirling and skipping with her arms swinging with abandon", which she viewed as bizarre and embarrassing, I thought that it is a clear sign of DID (Dissociative identity disorder). It is the little girl that she used all her might to protect, the little girl that doesn't know of any bad thing in the world, the little girl that gets to come out in moments of peace and safety, the little girl that is still happy. It may look strange, as she has the body and appearance of an old woman, but I don't think it is right for her own daughter to call her embarrassing.  

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