We’ve all had our tough roads to travel. Some roads are harder than others. Is that any excuse to kill your own child because your fake FarmVille universe was intruded upon?
This story makes me want to slam my head through a closed window:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Alexandra Tobias, a Florida mother accused of shaking her 3-month-old son to death after he interrupted her FarmVille game on Facebook, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The 22-year-old was charged in the January death of her baby, Dylan Lee Edmondson. She entered her plea on Wednesday. Tobias told investigators she became angry after the baby cried while she was playing the computer farm simulation game, and she shook him. She also said she smoked a cigarette to compose herself and then shook the baby again, at which time he may have hit his head, the station reported. State guidelines call for 25 to 50 years in prison, but a prosecutor said Tobias’ sentence could be shorter than that.
This story hits me not just because a mother killed her own child. It’s a story of addiction. My impression is that this woman has an online gaming addiction, which can be just as insidious a disease as alcoholism, drug dependency and, in my case, binge eating.
That’s where my sympathy ends. In fact, I can’t say I have any sympathy. My friend Lori MacVittie sounded off on this case in language I wholeheartedly agree with. On her Facebook page she said:
“There’s an excuse for everything, even killing a 3-month old child over a stupid game. I’m addicted, I’m depressed, I was deprived as a child, wha, wha, wha. Grow up. It’s called choice. Everyone has them. She made the wrong one.”
I can speak from experience on this. As readers know by now, I’ve been around the block a few times. At any point along the way I could have used my troubles as an excuse to go into a life of crime and maybe kill a few people along the way. I certainly had my moments where, if you interrupted my binge or gave me shit about my OCD quirks, I would fill with rage.
I’ve thought about punching people many times. But I never did.
Because I had a choice. I chose not to step over the line.
Now, to say we all have choices and we all have the power to do right or wrong is to oversimplify things. When a person suffers from an addiction or a mental struggle, they are not always in their right mind. When that happens, you’re capable of all kinds of evil, no matter how hard you try to hold back.
I strongly believe there are suicide cases where the person is so far gone into the world of depression and despair that they no longer have the capacity to make sane decisions.
My childhood friend, Mark Hedgecock, became a thrice-convicted pedophile because of his baggage. The baggage was only part of it. He had a choice and made the wrong one three times.
He acknowledged as much over the phone a few months ago. He knows he’s a monster and that he probably shouldn’t be on the street. Bottom line: He did what he did and has to pay for it for the rest of his life. It’s sad, though. It’s a waste. But he was trolling for teenage girls on Facebook over the summer, showing he can’t help but repeat his mistakes.
He had a choice. He made the wrong one.
This FarmVille-addicted mom had a choice. She made the wrong one. Now she’s gotta pay.
That doesn’t mean we have to like it. She killed her kid in a moment of insanity. It’s a tragedy. period.