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Successful lawyer drowned herself

(72 Posts)
foxinsocks Tue 28-Jul-09 19:01:55

story today on the bbc

I read this today at work and it made me feel really sad . Poor woman.

Miss Thompson said:"Ms Bailey was a very capable and professional woman and a loving mother of three young children who found it hard to meet the demands of motherhood and the high standard she had set herself."

It was that quote that did it for me.

Threadworm2 Tue 28-Jul-09 19:10:18

Oh god poor woman. That is awful.

HeadFairy Tue 28-Jul-09 19:10:22

Blimey, my friend works at SJ Berwin and is always stressed at the amount of work she has on... what a sad story.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 28-Jul-09 19:12:05

That is so sad and her youngest just won't remember her Mum.


TheCrackFox Tue 28-Jul-09 19:19:36

Her poor family. sad

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 28-Jul-09 19:28:46


edam Tue 28-Jul-09 19:31:06

desperately sad. So awful that she felt there was no other way out.

LuluMaman Tue 28-Jul-09 19:35:11

jesus wept sad

how tragic

I wonder if she had not felt able to broach being depressed and suicidal , in case people did not want to accept a succcesful , devoted mother and wife felt that way.when you have it all, you are not supposed to , or allowed to be depressed


foxinsocks Tue 28-Jul-09 19:37:46

yes I wondered that lulu

it's not like me to dwell on news stories like this or even post on mumsnet about them but it was just the fact that she felt she couldn't manage it all that just rang in my head

I do think the pressure on lawyers seems to be incredibly high - especially as they have to fee earn to prove themselves too

Issy Tue 28-Jul-09 19:48:13

Utterly tragic.

It's a long while since I've worked in a large law firm and felt the pressures of that job. It now seems unimaginable to me that there wasn't another way out for her, but perhaps the combination of the intensity of expectations, the feverish atmosphere of her work place and post-natal depression meant that she couldn't see it.

noddyholder Tue 28-Jul-09 19:51:45

sad.that level of pressure is just not tolerable for some people

MollieO Tue 28-Jul-09 19:57:05

It says that she hadn't long returned to work. I know when I returned to work I felt under huge pressure. Inside I felt like a nappy brain but externally I had to put on the 'I know what I'm doing and can perform to the same high level that I did pre-baby'. I reckon it took over a year back at work to regain my 'edge'.

oxocube Tue 28-Jul-09 19:57:55

How utterly awful

foxinsocks Tue 28-Jul-09 20:03:50

yes, I felt that too Mollie. In many ways, it's why I was pleased mumsnet was around because it's a semi anonymous forum where you can say 'look I feel I'm not coping, I'm not doing a great job at work and I feel like I'm abandoning the children' because it does feel like that when you go back to a high pressure job when you've just had a child.

A lot of it, of course, is pressure one places on oneself but if you are a high achiever in a high pressure job, it's very hard to avoid this, especially with the sort of economic conditions atm which make you feel you need to doubly prove yourself.

Ripeberry Tue 28-Jul-09 20:07:42

So Sad, why did she not just leave her job?
Is a job ever worth killing yourself over?
Those poor children...hope they don't take the work ethic to such damaging heights sad

LuluMaman Tue 28-Jul-09 20:41:43

why ripeberry? maybe she was not thinking rationally... the fact she was driven to commit suicide points to her not thinking rationally

maybe they had crippling mortgage payments to meet and she had to go back to work

maybe there was immense pressure to have it all , from external sources..

the work / life balance is so complex

she would have spent all those years at uni, then qualifiying, then the pressure of coming back to work after maternity leave, having to keep proving again and again and again that you can still be as good as you were, to all the people waiting for you to fall and say' she;s not as good as she was before she had the children'

i can imagine all too clearly how the pressure would mount and build and become intolerable and the only way out was suicide

devastating all round

scottishmummy Tue 28-Jul-09 21:09:32

stress and deprression can displace one's sense of self and affect judgement.what a sad loss for her family and husband

ripeberry,PND and depression are complex psychological-physiological imbalance affecting hormones eg serotonin.resulting in impaired judgement,low mood,feeling hopeless.depression and PND is a pernicious illness.affecting many women.too many.this isnt simply a sad tale about working too hard,or having it all.and perhaps best not to reduce it to working

BeccyCat Tue 28-Jul-09 23:55:30

This is an awful thing to have happened and I can't even imagine how Catherine's family are feeling. I do think, though, that this is their personal tragedy and comments such as those on the DM website to the effect that she need not have worked since her husband had a good job are at best thoughtless. I agree with everything that scottishmummy has said - that this is complex and not about working too hard or having it all.

JandLandG Wed 29-Jul-09 00:22:29

selfish. pathetic.

yeah, maybe it was somebody else's fault.

maggiethecat Wed 29-Jul-09 00:41:31

I remember when I first heard the story and the shock I felt as I knew her vaguely from work. Our first 2 girls are also roughly the same age and so there was that feeling of 'how could she do that to them?' But then I stopped to recall how I was teetering on the edge after having my second who was extremely whiny and of course I was sleep deprived BUT I had not gone back to work so soon to assume what I know to be enormous responsibility in an often hostile environment which is the corporate world.

foxinsocks Wed 29-Jul-09 07:57:45

No, not pathetic or selfish.

They don't know if she was suffering from depression or not. They have said she may have been (in the inquest). I guess they will never know.

I do think you can attribute some of this to working. These very high pressure jobs are hard to handle for a lot of people, especially when you've just had a child.

As Mollie said further down, it's that first year back that's such an adjustment. I wish more employers would recognise that tbh.

scottishmummy Wed 29-Jul-09 09:26:37

show some respect before squawking selfish or pathetic

a woman so displaced so depressed that suicide seemed a good option that doesnt need your derision

have some empathic abilities
imagine feeling so lost and empty that you take your own life
imagine being in the position of those left behind

GooseyLoosey Wed 29-Jul-09 09:34:30

I cannot imagine what she must have felt to have driven her to this. Poor woman. I am a city lawyer too and although I have been able to scale back work committments, I understand how hard it can be, especially if the bulk of the childcare and household responsibilities fell on her (which they usually seem to do).

twofalls Wed 29-Jul-09 09:38:41

I knew it wouldn't be long before someone said the word selfish (although I am saddened that someone has said pathetic).

Honestly, do you really, really think that someone who is in a dark enough place to consider taking their own life is thinking rationally enough to be classed as selfish. Many suicidal people truly, truly believe that the selfish thing to do is to stay and be such a burden to their familes.

It is of course utterly tragic, a complete waste of life and will have ramifications for her whole family and generations to come. I feel so sad for her and her family that she didn't seek some help.

princessmel Wed 29-Jul-09 09:55:46


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