Wednesday, 29 June 2016

An open letter to the women in the car park



Today something pretty horrible happened to me, nothing awful or life threatening, but in the absence of Chris being here to vent too, I am here in front of my laptop with an overwhelming urge to write.

I was meeting a friend at Haysden Country Park, somewhere I have been going for around 20 years. I drove into the car park behind a line of cars, one by one they parked up, but the front of the car park was pretty busy.  The car in front of me, appeared to pull over to the side, as if waiting for a space, or waiting for someone.  With plenty of room, I moved around the car and drove to the back of the car park where it was quiet and empty, and where I could get a parking ticket without having to leave Fred out of view to get one, when I reached the back of the car park I saw the machine was out of order, so I turned my car around and parked in the middle. 

I jumped out and began putting up the pram and filling the basket with all the mum crap I would need for the morning, eagerly looking forward to our toddler/mum date.  I suddenly became aware of someone staring at me, just standing, staring.  The lady soon identified herself as the car in front of me on my way in.  She then began to hurl the most vile abuse at me.  According to her I drove into the car park like a 'maniac' 'overtaking everybody' - I calmly explained that I was sorry, I thought she had pulled over but I could assure her I wasn't driving more than the 5mph limit, I had noticed when I had glanced at my petrol gage. I carried out sorting out things out, but still she did not stop, she told me she hoped my child would be run over one day because it's what I deserve, that people like me shouldn't be mothers.  I asked her to leave me alone and stop being so vile to me.  She continued to ridicule me, saying "just look at the state of you" which was a favourite one she enjoyed repeating.  when I asked her again to leave me alone she said I needed to leave her alone, and she began to laugh at me, mocking  me, and continued to tell me I was an awful person, mother, driver and was an embarrassment.  How I held myself together I do not know.  I count myself as being a fiery person, but I just turned to mush.  In those 10 minutes, which felt like 10 hours she completely destroyed me. I was having a full blown panic attack, and I could do nothing but shake. She eventually left, people were staring at me, and luckily before I just threw myself back in the car and drove off, my lovely friend Sarah arrived and reminded me why I was there.  Unfortunately we had to walk past her on our walk, She stopped to the side and glared at us like we were scum of the earth. She judged us instantly. Ironically her dog had a muzzle on.

Anyway, I don't wish to dwell on the incident, which really was verbal abuse.  she verbally abused me in front of my young son.  Of course in my complete shock I forgot to take a picture of her car or her, so in the absence of getting any real justice or satisfaction by naming and shaming and reporting to the police, I have decided to write her a letter here. She won't ever see it, but right now it's not the point. But maybe it will apply to someone else, and it will make me feel better.

Hi Lady in the car park.  Let me just tell you something.  Firstly because I am a grown up, I will apologise if you felt I was wrong to drive around you in the car park, maybe I misread your actions, I am sorry if you felt I was driving too fast. I am an extremely safe and cautious driver, ask anyone who knows me, but of course we all sometimes  make mistakes, maybe I did, maybe I didn't. 

My mum always taught me if you don't have anything nice to say, don't speak.  I think maybe you should try and live by that one a little more.  Of course if you felt my driving was not ok and felt the need to have a quiet word, tell me it wasn't ok, then fine I can live with that, but the things you said to me were not ok. 

My (almost) husband is away for pretty much 5 whole weeks, so I am taking care of our young son on my own.  And keeping house, and working.  I'm spending 90% of the time being completely on my own.  I had about 3 hours sleep last night, it took a lot for me to go out today.  To be honest, it takes a lot for me to go out any day.  For what you didn't know when you were screaming at me in the car park is that I suffer with crippling anxiety.  I am super nervous about going out in public especially on my own, but I push myself every single day, I was feeling pretty proud of my self, getting out the house by 9:30, and for managing 4 days solo parenting, and you and your nastiness knocked me right back down again. Shouting at me that people like me shouldn't be parents and that I am clearly an awful mother? Seriously? When the fuck did it become ok to put a mother, a women, a person down like that.  Like us mums don't worry enough that we are not good enough. 

 I also have the joy of having Type 1 Diabetes, the adrenaline that left me shaking from the abuse you hurled towards me has now affected  my blood sugars all day. Your behavior towards me today left me with a blood sugar of 24. Do you know how serious that can be?

Luckily I am pretty confident in my parenting and a high blood sugar can be fixed, but do you know the worst thing. laughing at me, ridiculing me. telling me I looked a state.  That is what has hurt me the most.  I might be young, I might have had white skinny jeans and flip flops on in a muddy park but you should never ever judge a book by its cover.  Every day I critique my appearance a million times. I tell myself everyday that I am fat, or that I feel ugly compared to others. To be humiliated like that in a car park full of people staring at me, watching as my confidence went ten feet under the fucking ground. Shouting at me like I was some thick idiot and you were superior to me. 

I certainly learnt today not to judge a book by its cover, a nice older lady out walking her dog? Or an old bitter twisted witch who  feels the need to belittle and ridicule a young women in front of lots of people when they have no one to fight their corner.   Guess it's hard to tell the difference these days. 

Also when did it become acceptable to behave like that in front of a child.  Even if I was guilty of your accusations, your behaviour was ten times worse.

To say to me you hoped my child would get run over, because it would serve me right? Have you ever met a parent whose lost a child? I have.  I used to work at a Children's Hospice.  Imagine saying to one of those parents, your child deserves to die. Imagine. How sick do you have to be to say something like that. 

Why is the world full of hate? Why are you so angry and full of hate? That is not a normal reaction from someone driving around you in a car park.  Do you know what, I actually feel sorry for you.  I really do.  It must be a sad lonely life to be like that inside. 

Did you get a kick out of intimidating me? Did you enjoy watching me struggle to lift my baby out the car because I was shaking so much? Did watching me cry in a busy car park make your day any better?

I am going to end on this. One of my favourite quotes; "Everyone around you is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind, always.  I fought a lot of battles to be in that car park today.  Thanks for making me feel like a piece of shit. For god's sake just be kind.  Be kind to those around you.


7 comments:

  1. Massive hug to you mama. You're doing a great job. Don't let the actions of a hateful stranger get you down x

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    1. Thanks lovely, definitely not going to let her get to me!xx

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  2. Massive hug Mama, that vile women shouldn't knock you down. Your doing amazing. Props to you for staying carm. I would have let rip at her! x

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    1. Thanks hunny, I still can't beleive it happened. not gonna let her bring me down though! Ive learnt in my old age silence says a thousand words, and if I had shouted I would have just looked like a young gobby shit and I dint want her to get anymore amunition! xx

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  3. Amie that is horrific. My blood is boiling just reading what she did to you - how DARE she?!!! How dare anybody think they have the right to attack someone like that?! And in front of their child?! A young woman on her own?!
    She sounds to me as though she has some SERIOUS anger issues and she certainly can't be a very happy person to snap like that - but it's no excuse, people need to think more about the consequences their actions can have on others.
    I hope she didn't knock your anxiety too much - no matter how badly you may have driven in her opinion, it does not warrant that kind of attack.
    You are 10 times the person she will ever be because you recognise that her behaviour is absolutely unacceptable - what a horrible life she must lead to think it's ever justifiable to treat another human being that way. Karma is a bitch.

    I hope you're ok lovely - I only wish you'd have suggested she put her dogs muzzle on her f**ing self! xx

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    1. Thank you so much lovely lady. The lovely comments I have had have honestly made such difference to me. I don't understand this culture of finding it so easy to be rude and put people down, but no one would ever dare say something nice to someone. I have tried not to let it make my anxiety worse, but I haven't been out on my own this week, but I have a plan of action to get back in the saddle on Friday. She was such a vile nasty lady I wouldn't want her to win. The worst bit of the whole thing is that there were so many other people in the car park but not one person stepped in. In fact most of the older people just looked over at me like I must have done something, just because I am young!

      I cannot believe I didn't notice her dog had a muzzle on until I saw her a bit later on, otherwise I certainly would have given her a good muzzle related come back! xx

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  4. Wow just came across this and it's absolutely heartbreaking!! You poor thing, I don't know what I would have done if this was me. Amazingly written by the way xxx

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