TSS ♦ Ranting, Cause I May Explode Otherwise

This weekend is the Natal Day long weekend here in Canada. The weather began to clear up a few days ago and the forecasters were calling for bright, sunshiny days, and warm summery nights. Around our house it was meant to be a relaxing couple days for everyone. We’d not planned any major trips or events. We were just going to chill out and enjoy whatever happened to come up.

Now it’s Sunday afternoon, and I can say with all honesty that no one in our family expected this weekend to play out the way it has. There’s been no real fun, the laughs we’ve shared have felt forced, smiles are hard and our minds all seem occupied on other things. We’re all drifting in our own currents trying to figure out how to get things back on track. We are trying to keep things as normal as possible, but for me it’s really hard. I’m angry. More angry than I’ve ever felt in my life.

I’ve got a story I need to tell, for purely selfish reasons. I’m not looking for sympathy by sharing what’s happened. I’m only trying to use this blog and my ability to write whatever I want to release some of the anger that’s making me into a really unbearable person.  

The story starts out normal enough, a few days ago shortly after supper my son asked me if he could go over to a friends house to practice their HALO team game. Him and a group of friends have been participating in the local MLG competitions for some time now. (MLG is Major League Gaming – video gaming at a professional level normally involving co-op strategy/war games.) Anyways, it was about six-thirty in the evening, the sun was still shining and would be for at least four more hours. For my son to get to his friend’s house he would need to walk about ten minutes from our house. Along sidewalks in a suburban neighborhood of single family homes. Halfway there he would pass by the local high school, one of the most desirable schools in our area. Along with the school there are basketball courts, tennis courts and a nice playground for the younger kids, all well-maintained and in use most every day.

My kids have always had pretty strict rules they must obey. They’re never allowed outside past dark, we must always know where they are and who they are with. We drive them and their friends wherever they would like to go. And they always carry cell phones in case of emergency. But at fifteen I felt my son was mature enough to walk the ten minutes to his friends house. At some point as a parent you need to loosen the reins and give them a little freedom. And really it was only a ten minute walk. I know that allowing him to go was right, but I feel guilty that I didn’t drive him. Which is unreasonable I know.

Back to the story, my son has just passed by the high school I mentioned earlier and is only a few minutes away from his destination. But instead of walking the rest of the way, he ends up running as fast as he can. He needs to get to the safety of a friends home and a telephone. But why would he be running for a phone? He has the cell phone in his pocket to call for help if he needs it, right? No. He doesn’t have a cell phone anymore, or his iPod, or his backpack. And he’s scared to death.

What the hell happened? In a nice neighborhood, within shouting distance of people enjoying the sun, mowing their lawns, walking their dogs, pushing kids on swings – in this setting two men told my son that whatever he had in his pockets was worth more than his life.

About twenty minutes after saying good-bye to my son, I answered the phone to hear him screaming that someone tried to shoot him. Without letting him say another word I demanded to know where he was and screamed to the hubs to “GO GET HIM!” Hubs was out the door in seconds and I stayed on the phone with my son until hubs got there. Then I went to join them.

When I pulled up to the house, son was in hubs car and the police were there. They wanted the whole story and then for us to go home and wait. Here is what my son said:

I was walking along the sidewalk and two guys were walking toward me. I hopped on the curb to let them pass, then an arm grabbed me and spun me around. The guys got on either side of me and walked with me, talking like old friends. Then they told me to give them everything in my pockets, my iPod I was listening to and my backpack. When I said no, thinking they were joking, one guy pulled a gun from behind his belt buckle. So I handed over everything. They looked on my cell phone and asked if the name on a message was me, then told me that they knew who I was and that I shouldn’t tell anyone since they knew me. They pushed away from me and one guy said, you know we normally stab people so they can’t run, but you’re pretty young so you better run fast.

Can you believe that? I’m outraged that this could happen! Who are these assholes? But wait there’s the catch, the thing that makes me feel like a rabid dog, the thing that makes me want to go find them and murder them. To hurt them, slowly, so slowly. I want them to scream. I want them to pray to whatever god they believe in. What is killing me is that I know who these men are. But I can do nothing.

After talking to the police and being assured that they would be working on finding out what happened, I headed back home. But I decided, completely on a whim, to pull into a local convenience store to ask the owner if these two men came by. My son had gotten a very good look at them, he knew what they were wearing, what they looked like and most importantly – one of the men had a scar that went from the top of his cheekbone down to his neck. That was a pretty good and unique identifier. When I asked the clerk, he couldn’t recall a pair like this coming in, but then a person I knew came into the store and overheard. This person knew exactly who I was talking about. I was told that these guys were dangerous and with a promise to not say where I’d found out I got their names. Names that apparently the police are very familiar with. Names that a few other people have confirmed as the guys that assaulted my son.

Thankfully, they never physically harmed my son, but it is still assault. My son is and may continue to suffer from what they did to him. He can’t sleep, his appetite is gone and he’s scared. How do you fix these things? After being called and summoned to the police detachment my son and us spent hours, giving statements, answering questions, looking at photo spreads the police arranged. I understand that there are certain procedures that must be followed. I do. But my instinct is demanding vengeance, blood, pain. We know their names, and I want to just throw all the rules aside and go after them. The police try to say that it will work out and hey we might even get my son’s stuff back. But I don’t want his stuff back, that’s not the point. I want to scare them, I want to terrify them, I want them to experience what my son felt.

This is what I am fighting against at the moment. My mind is constantly thinking of how to hurt these bastards. And it’s wrong. Not for any religious or moral reasons, but because I know that if I do anything it can definitely ruin any chances we have of receiving justice the lawful way. We’ve been told these perpetrators will likely go to trial and receive jail-time. For now this is enough to slightly calm me, to focus on not blowing up in front of our family. But I worry that this instinct I feel to attack them is too strong and too natural to vanish completely. I understand that there are basic animal instincts that human beings, no matter how civilized, will always have in their genes. And I now believe that the mother’s instinct to protect her cubs is the strongest and most violent. It is a reaction that came so naturally to me, and I still feel that if I saw these two men walking down the street, it would be impossible not to tear them apart, to revel in their destruction.

Not such a nice story to hear on a beautiful August day, but I needed to get this off my chest. I’m hoping that by writing out my thoughts it might lighten my mind for just a minute. If you’ve made it this far I thank you. Thank you for listening to my rant. Thank you for sharing this experience with me. And if I seem to be less active or chatty or good at blogging and commenting, this is why.



© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

46 comments:

Stephanie said...

Joanne - I am SO SORRY your son had to go through this. The poor kid is still probably scared to death. I really wish there was something I could say that would make you feel better. But at least you know who did, the police know who did it, and they will pay for what they did.

I don't think you should apologize for being angry. You have every right to feel the way you do. I know if it was me, I'd feel the same way. Before I had kids, I had no idea how strongly the motherly instinct would affect me. You want to keep your kids safe and you want them to be happy. And you will go to end of the Earth to make it happen.

Thankfully, your son wasn't hurt. It really could have been a lot worse. It's such a shame that the world we live in has gotten so scary since we were kids.

Vent away. And know we are all out here for you, if you need anything.

Icedream said...

Oh Joanne, I am also so sorry that your son had to go through such a terrifying violation of his safety! You are a mother- loving, kind and caring- and you are a mother- fierce, protective and dangerous if need be. No need to feel any conflict for being both, just hearing your story and sympathizing makes me want to shred the SOB's myself. I hope justice is served but even more I hope your son heals in his own time. HUGS

E. L. Fay said...

Oh my God. Joanne, I am SO sorry. Don't apologize for being angry.

Literary Feline said...

Joanne, no one should have to go through that. My heart goes out to you and your son. I would be so angry too.

I still remember the night someone broke into my family's house while we were all sleeping to rob us. That was years ago, but that feeling of violation has never completely left. I can't even imagine what it was like for your son, having his life threatened with a gun like that. It's wrong on so many levels.

Lezlie said...

I wish I had some brilliant words of comfort. All I can say is we're all here for you.

Lezlie

Debi said...

I hope it did help to get it out. I know nothing will make this better. Nothing. You'll never be able to reclaim that feeling of safeness. But you have every right to spew your anger and get it off your chest. I just can't tell you how sorry I am. My heart is breaking for your son. And for you.

bermudaonion said...

I can certainly understand why you're so angry. The things that were stolen can be easily replaced, but your son's sense of safety and well being will take quite a bit of time to heal. I am so sorry that your family is having to go through this right now. Please keep us posted.

kathleen said...

How awful...I feel so sorry for your son and all of you for going through this. I have a 15 year old son myself and can't imagine what going through something like this might do to him. You are right to feel angry and everything else you feel. It's not the things you want back, you want back the secure feeling you used to have when your children left the house. You were secure in knowing they were good kids and you are in a good neighborhood and now that is gone, at least for now. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Amy said...

I'm so sorry Joanne. I hate that peace of mind has been stolen from your family. Hate it.

I am glad your son is okay in the physical sense. Peace to you friend....

Chris said...

OMG, that is crazy! I'm so glad he's okay, poor kid. I don't blame you for being angry- I'm angry for you. I would be too. No one gets between a mom and her baby.

Chris said...

My God! Some people are such friggin assholes!! And that's putting it extremely tamely. I'm so so sorry for your son and for you Joanne. That is just so awful and these bastards have some real nerve to go and do something like that! Things like this just get to me so much. Don't people realize the lasting effects stuff like this has? It can traumatize kids. Some counseling might work for your son if you could find someone who works well with adolescents. In the meantime, you have every right to feel as angry as you do! That's a completely normal reaction to something this atrocious. I seriously hope that they find these guys and that they learn a lesson. Hugs to you Joanne! Hope y'all are doing ok.

cj said...

My God, Joanne. I understand how you feel. I would be feeling the same way.

Now, if you don't mind some practical advice - think about counseling for your son. He needs to rebuild his faith in mankind and that's not an easy task. Professional help can be a very good thing.

Also, a support group for you might not be a bad idea. Shared experiences help you understand what you're going through.

One final suggestion - are their victim's rights advocates in Canada? If there are, they can be a God send.

My best advice - hug your kids a little tighter but find the courage to also let them go. Unfortunately, I have no idea how you do that.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

cjh

Care said...

My first thought was OH MY GOD! and how I almost typed OMG which seems like such trivial gibberish and I don't want to diminish this terror you and your son are experiencing. but I don't know what to say. I acknowledge your need to rant and vent and my hope is that writing about this does help in some way. Gosh, I'm being wordy. hugs, Care

christina said...

Seriously. I am not a mother so I can only imagine what you must feel. The closest I can come is thinking of my relationship with my mom and I can hear her in my head shouting, "I'll kick their a**."

It's a screwed up situation. I hope that they get what they deserve Joanne. But I'm of the mentality that they what they deserve should be scaring them so bad they crap their pants.

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

I don't have kids, and I've never experienced anything like this firsthand, but I can't imagine that any response other than the one you're having would be normal. Of course you're furious. Of course you want revenge. Of course you want those men to pay for what they robbed your son of, and not just in a material sense.

It's perfectly okay that you feel all these things you feel, and I think it would be okay (and even beneficial) for you to express these emotions and encourage your family to do the same. Not talking about it won't make you feel any better, and putting on a brave face doesn't help anyone in the long run.

Heather said...

Oh Joanne. What a terrible thing to happen to your son and your whole family. I am so thankful nothing worse happened. I don't blame you a bit in your anger; I can't begin to imagine the white-hot rage you must be feeling. I have small children myself and I know I would be feeling the same way as you! I think you are perfectly justified in wanting revenge and I admire your strength and resolve to get it through the proper channels, no matter how long and exhausting that will be. And don't regret opening up on your blog, it's good to get those emotions out. Don't keep them in, they will only fester.

I hope you are feeling better today.

Jennsbookshelf said...

Oh I'm so so sorry this happened to your son. Please don't apologize for your anger. I would be doing the exact same thing.

Lady Lazarus said...

Joanne, I think your reaction is perfectly rational. Any parent would react that way if that had happened to their child. What an awful thing to happen to your poor son, and, ugh, even *I* get angry thinking about what those ***holes did. I can't imagine how angry and upset you were/are.

Hugs to your whole family. I'm so sorry this had to happen and I really hope those creeps get brought down for this.

Kailana said...

I can't get passed this! You live in what I consider a safe place compared to others, so for this to happen shocks me like you wouldn't believe! I have been thinking about it since you mentioned it the other day. It is not good when you don't feel safe in your own neighbourhood... I hope you can find some closure in this situation. I am mad about it, too, and it wasn't even me!

Sarbear said...

Joanne, I'm so sorry that happened! I'm glad he's okay. That must have been so upsetting. So many of us use to walk all over the place when we were kids, no problem, so try not to be upset with yourself. I'm just glad he's safe!

Nymeth said...

Oh wow, I'm SO sorry, Joanne :( Don't apologize for being angry or for venting! I hope that writing your thoughts down did help you some. I was angry just reading about it, so I can't even imagine how you feel. If there's one thing I hate it's bullies.

Belle said...

Joanne, I am so sorry that this had to happen to you and your son. I am shocked about what happened, especially in your area which I would have thought would be so very safe. As a mother of two teens myself, I understand your anger. You don't have to apologize for feeling this way. It's a very natural reaction. I'm keeping you all in my thoughts.

Veens said...

ohh CRAP! Bastards... morons.. gosh! if I could get my hands on them.. i would rip them apart :(( argghhH!

I feel real sad for your boy. I mean .. he is so young.. poor thing.. i hope he feels better soon... comes out it.. Anf finally feels SAFE!

i m so so sorry.. you had to go through this!
sh** Bastards! I swear! Horrible.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I don't have much else to add except that sucks and I'm so sorry it happened to you and your family. Please keep us posted with what gets figured out.

Dar said...

Joanne, I am so sorry this happened to your son. He must still be terrified. I know I would be. It is ridiculous that someone can't even be safe in the brightness of a day anymore and in good neighborhoods. It just doesn't seem to matter anymore. I don't understand what this world is coming to most days.

I hope he'll be able to get past his fear but it's going to be hard. You don't just get over something like that. Your anger is completely understandable. I'm angry for you. We're here for you to talk about this. Hugs my friend.

Kristina said...

Oh my goodness Joanne, I am horrified that your son had to go thru that and more than that horrified that you can't do anything to them. I understand the protect your young thing, I would definitely want to exact revenge on the man who did that to my son! I'm so glad he's ok!!

Kristina said...

Oh my goodness Joanne, I am horrified that your son had to go thru that and more than that horrified that you can't do anything to them. I understand the protect your young thing, I would definitely want to exact revenge on the man who did that to my son! I'm so glad he's ok!!

Suey said...

Wow. Scary scary stuff here. I can't even imagine. I would totally feel the same as you. I would be a wreck. I'm glad you were able to rant to us all though, and hopefully it did help a little. Hug your son for us and I hope he's doing better.

Lee said...

My sister used to call that her maternal rage. She said it was utter rage that she felt towards anyone who even came close to hurting one of her daughters. Your feelings are perfectly normal and understandable, don't worry about that part. Good luck to your whole family - it will get better in time.

Zibilee said...

As a mother I can totally sympathize with what you are going through. It's terrible to have your child victimized like that. I am so sorry for your whole family to have to go through this, and I would be mad as hell too! Don't apologize for feeling angry at this. I would be boiling over as well.

Zibilee said...

As a mother I can totally sympathize with what you are going through. It's terrible to have your child victimized like that. I am so sorry for your whole family to have to go through this, and I would be mad as hell too! Don't apologize for feeling angry at this. I would be boiling over as well.

naida said...

Wow, I'm sorry that happened to your son and your family! I completely know what you mean, a mothers instinct is to protect her children no matter what.

Sadly, theres jerks like those guys all over, thankfully your son wasnt physically hurt.

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

softdrink said...

Oh Jo...what a horrible thing for your whole family! Hope everyone is doing okay. And that they catch the fuckers.

Bybee said...

Joanne..I didn't see this until now. I'm so sorry your son had to go through this. I hope those guys are caught soon. And don't apologize for your anger. It's right.

Andi said...

Joanne, I'm sooo sorry to hear this. I hope that your family can find some peace after this, and I hope someone bigger, badder, and meaner scares the hell out of these guys so that good people like you don't have to. They will certainly get what's coming to them.

Lenore said...

Why are there people like this in the world? I'm so sorry! I can completely understand your frustration and fury.

bookreviewsbybobbie said...

OMG Joanne!!! I am so sorry that those BEEPING A-holes have threatened your son's life and victimized all of you; I know that you were right to vocalize your thoughts and feelings because it might release a tiny bit of the tension and righteous hate & anger that is surely burning through your body and mind right now. My son is only a few years younger then yours and I swear by all the is holy, I would feel exactly as you do and want the exact same revenge...there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with how you feel; but the powerlessness and the guilt you have inside you (again, very natural and okay)is going to tear you apart unless you tell your family; I think your son and the rest of your family needs to hear from you, just how pissed off you are at those two bastards...team up (as I know you are) with your son against those nasty pieces of crap who could have ended your son's life! I recommend that you have a family gathering, and introduce that they all need to share what they are feeling...any descriptives allowed and swearing is perfectly okay!
I honestly feel so deeply for you all and what has happened to your son and your whole family. Honestly, I want to beat the living crap out of those two guys for your son!!!! GRRRRR, how dare those low-life, son's of BEEP BEEP think that they have the right to do and say things like that!!!!
I had to take a deep breath...I am so very sorry that this has happed to you all, Joanne. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.
Sending hugs to you and your family and death wishes to the thugs!!!

Truly,
Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Susan said...

When I read about your son, and your feeling of anger, it made me remember what my son went through when he was held up. He was 13, and at a local Mac's Milk (corner grocery store here in Ontario), and he and his two friends came out, and an older teen pulled a knife on them and asked for all their money. The boys gave him what they had, but the thief was so mad (they didn't have much) that he hit them. My son ducked, but the other two boys were hit, one with a black eye after. They ran to the nearest boys' house, where the police were called. After making statements, we thought that was the end of it. A week or two later, my son stopped wanting to go to school, and finally said that it was because he thought he'd seen his attacker at his high school. So of course he was afraid to go. I went in to talk to the principal to explain what had happened, and she asked if my son was able to do a visual confirmation of the suspect. My son agreed, and he went with the principal during a lunch time and ID'd the attacker. The police were called, and then the two other friends were shown the picture of the suspect separately and all agreed that was he who had attacked him. It turned out the suspect had a long list of offenses and was a well-known repeat offender with the police. He was taken off school grounds and not permitted to come again on - had to go to another school - and was eventually sentenced in court and found guilty. Because the boys were underage, they didn't have to testify in court, their original statements and later identification was enough to use in court. After that, my son had no problems going to school, but I have always considered that both traumatic to have happen, and the bravest thing he's done so far. So your son did the very best he could do to survive, and I (and I think all of us bloggers) really pray your son's attackers can be put away again. Thank heavens your son is ok. And he will be. some said to me after my son went through it, that it was like a horrible right of passage for teenage boys, and indeed, around the same time, my husband's cousin (who is two years older than my son) was also attacked by a group of older teens, also walking from the corner store. He was ok also in the end.

Take it easy, and give yourselves lots of hugs, though I know all about the anger too, and certainly my son did have about two years when he would reimagine the event with him preventing it somehow, or attacking the robber - anger, etc, - which I said to him was a way to not feel vulnerable, but that he had done the only thing he could do to survive, and that was what was important.

sorry this took so long to write out!

Susan said...

PS I also had plenty of shaking and anger for quite some time after the event. My son also refused to let me mother him, although I hated him going to that store for many years afterward! And my husband's cousin is in England, so it's not just Canada!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Joanne, my googlereader was filled and I'm sorry that's only now that I could read your message. I hope things have calmed down at least a little since last week and that your son is feeling better. Hopefully this will all get resolved soon and those people will get what they deserve! Don't apologize for being angry; I can only imagine how you feel right now. :(

Dreamybee said...

I'm so sorry that this happened to your son, and your rage is completely understandable. Theft alone pisses me off, I think people who do that kind of thing are the scum of the earth. The fact that they pulled a gun and threatened your son--yeah, rage is justified.

I wouldn't get your hopes up regarding justice. I'm not trying to be negative, but I don't want you and your son to be disappointed if you are honestly expecting some semblance of justice from our legal system. The best you can hope for is that someone will take them out using their own methods. Okay, okay, I know that doesn't actually help make the world a better place, but it sure would be satisfying. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that they really do receive some jail time as a result of this and that your son is able to feel safe again soon.

Dreamybee said...

I just saw somebody else mention that you are in Canada-I forgot that you are there. Hopefully your legal system is better than ours! Good luck.

Hapi said...

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J. Kaye said...

That is so freakin' horrible...OMG - I am without words at this point.

Darla D said...

Oh, Joanne, your post gave me the shivers. I'm so glad your son is all right, and that he did absolutely the right thing by handing everything over and calling for help as soon as he got away. Smart kid. That photo of the wolf expressed exactly how I was feeling as I read your post! Hugs.

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads said...

I'm really struggling for the right thing to say on this. I'm so sorry that it happened. I cannot imagine what your son must be going through, and you as well. Our instinct to protect our children is incredibly strong, and when there's nothing we can really do to immediately fix a wrong, we feel powerless, and it's horrible. I hope the police get those men, and I hope you and your son will feel better. I wish I knew what to say, but instead I'm stumbling.