What did Chris Watts HATE about Shan’ann?

What did he hate the most about her? What did she hate most about him? What this question really addresses is not only the family dynamics, or the interpersonal dynamics between the husband and the wife in their marriage, but also just two individuals living under the same roof. What was Chris Watts like to live with? What was Shan’ann like – as a person?

What are the things that generally agitate people in a marriage, after a length of time together? What things would have specifically chafed at these two particular personalities?

To adequately answer these questions we have to know more about who Chris Watts is and was. Fortunately we get to have a little peek into that area thanks to Ashleigh Banfield’s recent interview with Richard Hodges, a former roommate and college classmate of Chris Watts.

Take a look.

On the surface, and bearing in mind Hodges last made contact with Watts in 2005, there’s an impression of a hard working kid who is also very hard on himself. He’s trying hard and working hard to elevate himself into some significance. He’s trying to become someone.

Skip to ten years later and Chris Watts is in Colorado in a picture-perfect house, with a picture-perfect wife and picture-perfect family. One has the impression this is what he always wanted – the picture-perfect side of things. This is significance. He’d spent a good fifteen years building himself up, and for that matter, so had Shan’ann. Both of them came from humble beginnings and both worked their asses off to build what they had by August 2018.

So if they had so much in common, what did Shan’ann do “wrong” in Chris Watts’ eyes?

Let’s examine that through 3 prisms. Firstly, the Scott Peterson case. Secondly, the particular circumstances of the Watts case. And thirdly, through my personal experience with someone involved in MLM.

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A. What did Chris Watts Scott Peterson HATE about Shan’ann Laci?

Like Shan’ann, Laci also saw Scott as a sort of trophy. She hero-worshiped him in public. She idolized him. Scott was part of her idea of a fairy tale. It’s not clear that that was the case so much behind closed doors.

If Scott murdered Laci, then clearly what was happening was the desire to believe in something that wasn’t true overpowering the reality. In other words, Laci was more in love with the idea of being in love, than with the actual person. The same was true with Shan’ann and Chris, wasn’t it?

And this idea is mirrored in the fantastic amount of fairy tale but ultimately fake happy snaps associated with the Watts case.

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B.  The circumstances of the Watts case

Chris was dedicated to what he was doing, so was Shan’ann. Chris was working hard. Shan’ann was working hard. So what was the thing wedging its way between them?

In my opinion it was primarily two things. Shan’ann was suffering from a serious auto-immune disease, and this made her into a particular kind of person with a particular psychology. Although it manifested in some ways positively [wanting to better herself, developing a fighting spirit], she may have overcompensated in the sense of becoming a perfectionist and a control freak. Managing her anxiety about her health ended up becoming managing her world, and everyone in it.

In the oft played clip where she tells Celeste in a singsong voice to say “hi” to the camera, when Celeste doesn’t, Shan’ann barks at her: “Say hi!”. How often was that merciless tone used behind closed doors, when the camera was off? Because it’s a tone that brooks no truck with dissent. It’s my way or the highway.

In Two Face I explore this aspect in a lot more detail, using another example from her social media to reinforce this impression of an always-on pushy, controlling, oppressive person.

There is definitely something more to this, because even her colleague, Nickole Atkinson, describes Shan’ann as OCD. Her scheduling alone describes a very anal attitude to time management, a key trait of the perfectionist, and OCD. Some folks on the Websleuths forum have also picked up on the same thing. Chris Watts may have put up with this throughout their six-year marriage, and all things being equal, he may have taken it on the chin, and on both cheeks. But all things weren’t equal, and they weren’t equal in a very key, and very crucial sense.

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C.  My personal experience with someone involved in MLM

We can’t prove – at this point – that Shan’ann wasn’t making the sort of money she claimed she was making. Until we have access to the forensic files and financial data, we have to resort to some extent to speculation. What we do know is that as recently as 2015 the couple were bankrupt. We also know that their money troubles were still with them in August 2018 – they had a date in court with the local homeowners association which proves this. So even without delving into the debits and credits, we know the Watts finances for reasons unknown were fucked.

What were those reasons? Was it because a third kid was on the way? The finances were already fucked before that happened. Was it because Chris Watts was spending the money, or not bringing the money in? We see that he was in a stable if relatively low paying job, but he was reliable and hard working, and doing double time for Shan’ann in her job.

It’s her job, see, that’s the unknown factor. One way to decipher this aspect is to personalize it. What does it feel like to live with someone who is a multi-level marketing [MLM] type? What are their finances really like?

Below, in italics, I’ve provided a brief anecdote of my experience. This isn’t to indulge you, or myself, but as a way to better understand what Chris Watts may have despised, even hated, about Shan’ann. Before you begin reading, just be aware that this isn’t about transference. Whatever my feelings about MLM or yours, all this is is my experience with a particular person. It may or may not provide insight into this case, and it may shed more light on the unknowns that went on behind closed doors.

Harriet – let’s call her Harriet – lived in a big, beautiful double-story house in a posh suburb. She was a young, single mom. Pretty. Blonde. Blue-eyed. The house wasn’t hers. It belonged to her wealthy parents. Harriet was involved in AMWAY and Herbalife. Sometimes packages would arrive, and if Harriet wasn’t around, I’d sign for them. It was invariably AMWAY shit, sent by courier. I often heard her telling people  AMWAY’s “not a pyramid scheme”.

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I also often heard her rationalising about how great MLM was because once you’ve done the initial work you don’t need to do anything any more, other people work for you. She didn’t seem to recognize that that’s what everyone else was planning on too. If people allow themselves to be recruited [for a fee], and all the recruits rely on the fact that other recruits will do their work for them, who actually works? Who actually makes money? The only real money comes from the way the cumulative memberships and profits from product sales are distributed from those at the bottom to those at the top of the pyramid.

Although Harriet called the AMWAY MLM “her business” or “the business” over the course of five years she very seldom worked. I don’t know how much money she made from AMWAY but I do know she never had any money, and that her parents were always giving her money, and buying her things.  Often this money was given to her as part of an agreement or incentive to do something. She’d take the money but they never got her to execute on her end of the bargain. At one point when I was there they even bought her a brand new car as a gesture of faith. She took the car but later fell out of the arrangement they made.

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Occasionally, when her parents grew desperate and threatened her, there were spurts of activity. She’d have a few meetings at home or she’d travel off to AMWAY’s motivational workshops. Each time she’d arrive back from these workshops inspired, pumped up and ready to get to work. Harriet was someone who often overstated things, often exaggerated.

Harriet had friends but they were weird. While she saw herself as upper class, none of her friends were. One long-term boyfriend was about 15 years younger than her, whom she asked me to keep secret from her parents. The next was about 15 years older, who worked in a junk yard. Many of her female friends were over-the-hill housewives, almost all overweight, uneducated and ragged in some way. Since I’d known Harriet through a prior circle of mutual friends, now it was clear that virtually all those solid middle class friendships had fallen away. Had she pushed the MLM stuff onto them until they shut the door? I know she tried several times to recruit me but instead of buying into it or rejecting it, I simply said “I’ll think about it” even though I’d made up my mind.

What started annoying me over time was how hard I was working and her constant and very apparent laziness. And her inclination to complain about small things. I wasn’t the only one aggravated by this. Her parents, who often loaned her money, increasingly demanded that she find a real job. All told, in the five years I lived there she worked less than a total of six months in real jobs, and for the rest, told people she had her own MLM business. 

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Harriet’s finances weren’t my concern as a lodger, but what got extremely irritating was because she didn’t work, she had to find something to do. Since she was home all day, she soon began to worry and complain endlessly about whether I was dirtying her furniture by sitting on them, or dirtying the carpets by walking on them. She was pedantic about cleanliness. Her kitchen and lounge had those gadgets that puffs out toilet spray every few seconds. The carpets were repeatedly dry-cleaned, the house repeatedly painted. Everything was constantly being washed and cleaned.

Sometimes she’d arrive home with bags of shit-smelling compost, which would make the entire house smell of guano. Landscape designers would arrive every so often to deal with her garden.  The pets in the house began to gravitate towards me, because I paid attention to them.

In the end I placed sheets and towels over the furniture and carpets I used upstairs so that my filthiness wouldn’t disturb her. And so on and so forth. Harriet’s MLM didn’t bother me, but it didn’t endear her to me either. I simply thought of her as extremely high maintenance, a self-centered alien species that had lost her mind. I put up with her OCD, no matter how unreasonable it was, because while I lived there, I had to. So I did with minimum fuss.

I wasn’t married to her and I was never her boyfriend, but the OCD was a symptom of a larger malaise. Had I been involved with her, the MLM would have been the first to go.

All that is a very long way of saying something very simple. Someone with OCD is tolerable when they’re holding up the fort, and when there’s a fort that you also have a stake in. But it’s intolerable when they aren’t holding up the fort and you are, or when they’re ruining your stake in your own home.

There definitely is a certain point, an inflection point, when that happens. Everybody knows in a domestic situation that moment when they decide, irrevocably, they’re done. Some people tell those they share their living spaces about their change of heart, but that only makes everything worse. You’re wiser if you don’t, but then, for as long as you continue living there, you feel like you’re pulling on the short end of the straw.

I know I reached that point with Harriet and her junkyard boyfriend. A few months before I left, I felt I’d had enough of their bullshit. Obviously I didn’t tell her this, I simply started preparing myself and my affairs to move out. I spent less and less time at home and tried to manage things so that I never encountered either of them, even in passing. I was just trying to avoid communicating and thus confronting. So I was living with the enemy but eager not to be. I didn’t let on that I was pissed off about anything.

The exit, when it happened, wasn’t pretty. There were no dead bodies, and no one was strangled, but there was some anger, shouting and unhappiness. I won’t go into the details but it wasn’t pleasant.

I suspect that like Harriet, Shan’ann wasn’t actually pulling in 80K a year. Either the money wasn’t coming in, or it wasn’t coming in consistently. What happened to her mandatory Live videos in August? And if she was still bringing in the money, why didn’t they have any money? Why were they an ongoing foreclosure risk?

If it was Shan’ann’s fault that they were losing their home because she wasn’t holding up her end of the deal, because of the MLM hocus pocus bull crap, then Shan’ann’s OCD and cheery Facebook mindfuckery had to have become harder and harder to live with. Then, with the announcement in May of a third child on the way, Chris Watts had a serious sense of humor failure.

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Two Face is available right now on Amazon.com

33 thoughts on “What did Chris Watts HATE about Shan’ann?

  1. Yes, yes yes. I’ve said enough on the MLM subject – but to go back to your previous page, item #1 stands out exceptionally, but also on this page the former roommate and buddy says what we all suspected about young Watts is that he was a sincere, earnest, hard working young man. aka, normal. But to think in any way that he was not complicit in what took place, is to miss a point here. He wanted all of those things that Sha’nann pretended they had and could have. The big beautiful house, order, impeccable taste, a family, the fairy tale. But where was she putting all of her attention – on the company. He was shut out, except as prop. He was very lonely I believe. He tried to fix it by having affairs or affair, but he had to go back to it every night. There was alot of sound and fury in his household, but it signified nothing. In fact, it signified no money.

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  2. Part 2 of this story will be interesting. For all intents and purposes, and as Jen pointed out previously, Watts has been on suicide watch. It might be a plea for sympathy leaked to the media by the defense, but from what I read he has been sleeping all day, with no access to reading materials, television, or conversation with other inmates. Guards or deputies check on him every 10-15 minutes. HOWEVER, he appears to be rallying. 9/17 he filed a motion to deny the prosecution buccal swabs, finger and palmprints standing on his 4th amendment constitutional rights. You can find the motion online. I imagine his attorneys have advised him that the state could go for the death penalty, so he needs to snap out of his depression and get to work. By the time November rolls around I suspect will see the other face of Two Face.

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  3. Second blog I have read This is the second blog I have read from this site that had analyzed Shan’ann. I know we don’t have much on Chris but man, he is getting let off way too easy with you people. I don’t partake in MLM or the products that MLM tries to sell to potential customers, I have had many friends involved in beach body/monat/pruvit and although it’s certainly not my cup of tea, these people are not piece of sh!t either. One of my closer friends who is VERY involved in beach body had made quite a bit of money. Enough where she was able to live in Costa Rica with her husband and their 4 daughters for 6 months. Her husband, a carpenter and her a partner with beach body. Both also live in a 400K house in one of the nicest neighborhoods near the city of Pgh. This guy that you have in this blog that knows Chris that had last spoken to him almost a decade ago as a reference of who Chris is, A LOT can change over 10 years so to use him as some sort of proof that Chris is normal is quite weak imo. Why no speculation on his spending habits? Why no indepth thoughts on who Chris was with what you have? Why is Shan’ann the one who is set out to be the perp always in these types of blogs? Nothing, not one damn thing, is normal about stuffing the dead bodies of your children into oil tanks in an attempt to dispose of them. So try harder.

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  4. This is just a simple thing I noticed right away. Mom and the girls wore very nice clothes. No hand me downs here. Granted she used them as photo props for her “business” but the little shoes and boots and dresses along with her clothing are not something you’d expect from someone that has had serious financial problems. Also how did they buy that house after filing bankruptcy?Getting pregnant again?He didn’t seem too thrilled to me. Lot of stress going on there. What a tragedy.

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  5. I am a little frustrated at people blaming Shanann. First of all who is dead? Shanann is! Why would a man murder his whole family? Just because he is lonely and financial stress. BS . He wanted a new life. No kids, no bills . He wanted to be free. Chris was dressed just as nice as her and the girls. How do you know all her clothes are new? You don’t . She could have very easily been shopping at a consignment shop! You can get new and like new! I shop them all the time. People need to quit judging Shanann and blaming her. Do you know what it was like behind closed doors? No you don’t!!! She did not deserve to be murdered and thrown in a shallow grave! That sickens me! Than the poor girls put in crude oil tanks. He is a cold blooded Heartless Murdere! Sociopath, Narcassist and psychopath!

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    • Jean. Shan’ann donated a lot of her kids clothes, it’s across her social media. Never seen any mention of buying clothes at consignment shop though. She also says in her feed that she does the household finances and buys most of his clothes. Those are not judgments, they’re just examples from her own accounts.

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    • I agree. I got gery angry when I read the blogger’s pist. Shanann is not to blame, even if she was careless with money and pretentious.

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  6. I don’t think we’ll really ever know. Chris fucked up. All he had to do was disappear. But He didn’t want to leave something, or someone, so he made his family disappear. Now he’s in a cell and has disappeared. What a dumb ass. And all this for nothing. I’m thinking Chris might be pretty stupid..

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    • Well I think we will know, and perhaps already do know. Many people still believe the Scott Peterson case is mysterious or unsolved, or that there was no motive. There was. You’re wrong, he didn’t just have to disappear. If he could have he would have. For certain reasons he felt trapped in a nightmare. If we can’t see those reasons it doesn’t mean he was stupid or a monster, nor does it mean Shan’ann was to blame. It simply means we don’t have a handle yet on the family dynamics. One way to start getting a handle is to think about relationships you’ve been in, and what made you feel trapped.

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  7. What makes you feel trapped, and how do you deal with it. At first I didn’t understand. Then I did, but I couldn’t relate. I introspected a little more – painful as it was, especially as it pertained to my own MLM experiences and marriage, and then I could relate. I just dealt with it all differently. I noticed that when I get cornered, boxed in, and feel defeated, I disappear. I run. Fight or flight. I flew. Now can you relate? When it gets really bad do you fight for it, or do you run from it. How did Chris Watts deal with his situation – he didn’t leave – in fact I think he was HOPING he could stay in that house and that if were just him he could afford it, maybe even pay off the home owner’s association. He felt his way out was to get rid of the three people (and future little person) who were taking it all away, draining him dry, bankrupting him emotionally and financially.

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  8. I agree with the person who said think about what made you feel trapped in relationships you’ve been in. Something I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned in any of the comments I’ve seen about this case is the possibility Chris never wanted kids. Not that this is an excuse to do something horrible. But I think it’s highly likely that what made him want to marry her in the first place was that she told him she COULDN’T GET PREGNANT because of lupus. This literally happened to me minus the lupus part. The father made my life a living hell throughout the pregnancy and demanded an abortion over and over and over again even in the late months. Obviously this isn’t how Chris reacted but maybe that’s because he was already MARRIED to her and had to play along because that’s kind of what’s expected when you’re married(to have kids and be happy about it even when you expected your wife to “not be able to have children” like she told you). Then all the sudden he’s about to be a father of THREE and drowning in debt and has a girlfriend on the side. If people were more honest sharing kids in itself is a HUGE reason for people to feel TRAPPED. I myself constantly think about how if I leave, I’ll still be tied to the father and he’ll be able to legally harass me through the court system regarding the sharing of the child for years to come(and control me through the child as much as humanly possible as a way of getting back at me). In a sense you leave but you never really get away from the person. You still aren’t free. If people were honest the thought of separating and still having to deal with the person who can make your life hell in so many ways for years to come is enough to make anyone feel insane. Obviously most people just suffer through it because you have to deal with it, but some people apparently think they can get away with murder. The idea of you being single and getting a portion of their hard earned paycheck makes them sick. Watch forensic files, happens all the time. Just common sense.

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    • Excellent point and observation. I had a friend who was similarly led to believe his wife couldn’t have children, and so when she fell pregnant it was a catastrophe. It took years to recover from and I’m not sure they ever did. The firstborn was also a terror of a child, which made a difficult situation that’s much more difficult. Maybe his wife was also genuinely mistaken about whether she could fall pregnant, or she was naive or…?

      I have suggested that the third child may not have been “part of the plan”, not Chris’ anyway, but very much part of Shan’ann’s.

      It’s an interesting conjecture that none of the children were wanted by the father. It’s possible. I find it a slight stretch to think that would be the case with Celeste – if there was one child, why couldn’t there be another? On the other hand Celeste was conceived slap bang in the middle of their first bankruptcy issues. Was Celeste a dry run then – a ploy to keep Chris around?

      Also, there are many instances of Chris playing with the kids, and he appears to be enjoying himself. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. We saw he appeared to enjoy being a husband and being married – it didn’t mean he did. The more pertinent question [for me] isn’t whether he wanted kids or not, but if he didn’t want children, why not?

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      • Shanann said on video and to her friends that Chris wanted another child and she was unsure, stated later that Chris gave her the courage for a third in one of her glowing speeches about him. Takes it back to his presentation before he married shanann that a child can sometimes repair a marriage. Not sure why people always insinuate if there is a pregnancy in a troubled marriage the wife got pregnant on purpose to hold the man.

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  9. I’m reading about everything happening, really is something very sad, nobody deserves to die, not matter the circumstances, I have learned that a beautiful house, the best cars, clothes, the most beautiful photos and videos on social networks does NOT define that you have a perfect life or perfect family. A marriage is two, in good and bad times don’t care who does more, Nobody is perfect, just one try to do the right things for the family, so always I’m thinking if she had a divorce in mind, why did she entrust her daughters to someone she not longer trusted? My first impression was, my daughters are where I’m, now he is a sycophant, narcissistic, sick person but I’m woman, we don’t have a sixth sense to detect bad things, we have 10 or more open sense to realize that something is not working well, what was more important to be a success or my daughters? Something was wrong in this relationship, maybe this a reason I don’t use the social network because people smile when they are really crying, she post in fb saying “ my husband is my rock man” unfortunately she did not know him, sadly now they are successful tragedy , I’m sorry if I’m wrong but they are my feelings and still I’m praying for both families !

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  10. Well I have no idea why Chris didn’t want kids (assuming that was the case). In my case I was told mine didn’t want kids because there are a lot of things wrong with him (the father) that he didn’t want to pass on or think it was right for someone like him to be a father. Also, that this world is a horrible place and it’s not right to bring innocent kids into such a horrible place. That and the responsibility of having to pay for and protect them. Just random thoughts here.

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  11. One thing for sure you hit the MLM on the head man ! Do you realize the dinero she would have lost if he left her? Le-Vel has a divorce clause in the contract . I kid you not ! Plus do you think he really had time to be VIP car status while working in the fields ? Ha my bet she sold under his name and would lose her a@@ on her pay qualifications . I just wonder whose names on those Lexus cars they got on lease. With the bankruptcy by them in 2015 seems hard to get a lease and her parents filed that same year ! Looks like the parents even lived there with them according to the address.

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    • Of course it pales in comparison. That doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. Just as relevant is what Shan’ann – who knew him best – hated about him. Any ideas?

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      • I think Shanann mentioned that Chris “didn’t have game” in reference to a discussion she had with a friend regarding the possibility that Chris was having an affair. So what does “not having game” mean from Shanann’s viewpoint? I think it means disappointment and eventually anger in his not being able to deliver the lifestyle she felt she and the children deserved: big home, big SUV, big spending account, and ultimately a sense of security. I suspect these feelings of resentment toward Chris mounted as the MLM mythology failed to deliver its promise of wealth, thereby imposing more focus, pressure, and aspersions on Chris, who had a relatively secure but blue collar job. I don’t think it’s any accident that as Shanann’s regard for Chris shrunk, his muscles grew larger and more defined. What he couldn’t accomplish via behaving and providing like a man—in part due to his inherent introversion— he compensated for in at least looking more like a man via an embellished physical stature. That he sought further refuge from his circumstances and himself through an extramarital affair is no surprise, since the initial stages of ardor and idealization enable a self-fantasy with which the daily business of marriage and children can’t compete.

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  12. In the communication video of Chris, he states that sometimes having a child can mend a relationship. Shannan in her magical thinking took that message seriously by becoming pregnant for the third time.

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  13. Well, I agree with everything I’ve read so far, but I’ll like to go farther with Chris’ thinking. So he’s feeling trapped and can’t get out of his nightmare. Why did he choose murder? He is worse off now than he was. I know Two Face points to greed, but was murder his only option?

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    • For him it was. He thought it was. TWO FACE II goes into a lot more detail in this regard, and one starts to see how and why he felt locked-in in several respects.

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  14. Chris may have been in existential crisis like in the song Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads:

    And you may find yourself
    Behind the wheel of a large automobile
    And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
    With a beautiful wife
    And you may ask yourself, well
    How did I get here?

    And you may ask yourself
    How do I work this?
    And you may ask yourself
    Where is that large automobile?
    And you may tell yourself
    This is not my beautiful house!
    And you may tell yourself
    This is not my beautiful wife!
    Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
    Letting the…

    I’ve watched a lot of Shan’ann videos, and wished I saw her make videos without the need to talk to random strangers as she interacted with her family. Her videos kind of remind me of a Black Mirror episode. There’s an odd coldness about her that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s her OCD that has been already documented by her friend. Nonetheless, I think she is a great mom. By no means did she deserve what happened to her and her beautiful girls. Maybe if Chris communicated his unhappiness to her, they could have worked it out; gone to counseling, maybe started going attending church. QUIT THRIVE. Shan’ann was smart, articulated, and presented herself very well – beautiful lady. I know of so many technology companies who would have hired her in a second to work in sales/social media, probably from home. Companies that were legit – great health/vacation benefits, good steady salary – enough where she would not have to depend on Chris’ salary at all. Bella was going to kindergarten with CeCe not too far behind. She could have worked when they were in school and when she put them down for bed at 6:30.

    She says her kids are sleep trained “I just put them in their beds and they go to sleep. No cuddles, etc.”I was a stay-at-home mom and did attachment parenting with my oldest, mainly because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. It was just instinctual for me – the breastfeeding, co-sleeping, lots of hugs, kisses, cuddles. My children still want to be held as they fall asleep. We’re working on sleep training now and they are a little older than Bella & CeCe.

    Shan’ann had that Southern “Get Er’ Done” Grit that I admire. She’s definitely Alpha-Female, no question.

    Beautiful souls.

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