One of the most terrifying things about divorce is how dark it can get. Unfortunately, the news is filled with tragic tales of spouses taking revenge on their soon-to-be ex -- with their own children. It would be a wonderful world if every divorce was handled with maturity and the children foremost in everyone's minds -- but sometimes that isn't the case. Another terrible story of a divorce gone wrong happened in Jenks, Oklahoma. A woman reportedly struggling with a fractured family locked herself and her two children, ages 3 and 5, in their garage with the car running. Two of them did not make it out alive.
Police were called to the scene after the children's father, who is unnamed, returned home to find the garage door locked. He reportedly forced his way in, and what confronted him was the most horrific sight imaginable. His wife and his 3-year-old daughter were dead in the car, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.
His 5-year-old son was in the corner of the garage -- perhaps he had managed to escape the car -- and the dad got him outside to safety, where he survived. But it was too late for his 3-year-old little girl, whom he failed to revive at the scene.
Police don't believe this was a tragic accident. Reportedly, there were notes within the home that the woman, 39-year-old Jamie Nicole Helms, had written. Police Chief Cameron Arthur told Tulsa World:
[The notes] seemed like they were from somebody that really felt helpless and felt like there was no way out.
Reportedly, Jamie had filed for divorce from her husband in December. A month earlier, she had been charged with domestic assault and battery in front of a minor. Videotape that the husband had taken reportedly showed her attacking him as he tried to drive away from their home. She had also allegedly hit the van with an ax -- in front of their kids.
This was obviously a family in turmoil. Why the mom was still allowed unsupervised visits with the kids is unclear, but no one probably thought she would ever turn on them.
You never think divorce will get this bad. But it can. It's so important for people to think about their children, and put them first, even during times of enormous pain, but some people just don't have the capability, or they choose not to.
Thank goodness the husband was able to get home in time to at least save one child. There is never any excuse for killing your children. They are not causing your pain. They love you and trust you.
Please, if you feel suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
What can people do to ease the pain of divorce?
Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr