The New York Times recently reported a story about a young couple divorcing. Custody of their young son was at issue, and Husband was having his first unsupervised visit after a few weeks of monitored visits due to issues of domestic violence. Tragically, Husband, in a confused and distraught act, threw himself and the parties’ son off of a highrise building, killing both.
Obviously, these kinds of extreme cases are rare in family law. Nevertheless, it’s one too many. Mental anguish can alter our reality and push us to do things we wouldn’t normally consider. Failure to seek out a counselor or therapist puts pressure on the suffering party to handle it all on their own, and that rarely helps.
We certainly cannot know precisely what motivated Mr. Kanarikov. Revenge, sadness, control, perhaps some or all of these. As I frequently tell my client, check in with yourself. Talk to a mental health professional or spiritual resource to get some perspective and get things off your chest. These helping professionals are trained to both listen and advise. In that way, they can be better than simply talking it out with your friends, who often blindly support you. We often need both kinds of support when times are really tough. During times of extraordinary stress, we mustn’t forget to take care of ourselves.