Monday, February 14, 2011

dad from hell and fears for the future

I’ve been haunted over the weekend by something I witnessed outside The Galleries shopping centre in Bristol on Saturday. It involved a young family – a father and a mother (I assume) and two young boys (say 3 and 5 years old). It all happened within the space of perhaps a minute. It seemed as if the mother and the youngest child had been a little late getting to a pre-arranged meeting point. “Dad” was absolutely FURIOUS – not in a huffing and puffing sort of way, but ABSOLUTELY furious. Dad was the only person making a noise – the other three remained completely silent. Dad was shouting a torrent of appalling abuse – he must have used the “F” word at least 30 times in this short period. He was SCREAMING at the woman and literally spitting out his venomous diatribe. It was really frightening and it was utterly sickening to behold.
The bewildered boys simply looked on; there were no tears, but they looked absolutely petrified. The mother remained silent. Perhaps unfairly, I got the impression that this was in no way a rare event and, by the level of the father’s rage, I couldn’t help thinking that the relationship was probably a violent one.
Since witnessing this, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the woman and her sons… in my head, I’m urging her to leave her partner and I fear for what the future holds for the boys. Have their lives already been stained forever? Will they simply “inherit” their father’s parenting “skills” and regard them as normal?
It would have been futile for me to have intervened and yet I feel massively guilty for not doing so.

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