By the time my son was nine, he had built up a reputation for being unpredictable where we lived. The local kids would torment him to get a reaction. It developed into a crescendo of spiteful and vindictive behaviour by those living around us.
They’d throw his food on the floor. Write with permanent marker on his clothes, or flush them down the toilet at school. Smash our windows, damage my car, accuse him of stealing and abuse us all. They broke in and stole from us, my sons’ bikes frequently disappeared
While these pre-teens were roaming the streets till late, mine were fast asleep in bed. Yet I was considered the bad parent!
Soon enough, we became too scared to leave the house but too scared to stay inside. I now had parents coming to the door threatening to beat me up over something my son was supposed to have done. Living my life was exhausting, work felt like rest bite from everything that was happening at home. It was the place that was preferable to be, where the demands were actually less stressful.
We weren’t even able to sit out and relax in our own back garden as the kids would throw stones over the fence at us. Egging our front door was a weekly occurrence. Writing obscene words about my son, to cause distress. Urinating up my front door. I was advised to keep a diary so that the police would be able to see what we were going through. I’d call them, but their only suggestion was for us to move. I owned my house, and this made moving not so easy. I don’t think I’ve ever been as scared when the street kids eventually attempted to put lit matches through my letter box.