‘My son was abusive and aggressive towards me and I feel unsafe’

Jul 15, 2019
This writer was physically assaulted by her son and left with permanent injuries. Source: Getty Images

Last year, my middle son was moving house. I’d been there to help him clean up so he’d be able to get his bond back. I’d paid $1,800 and the landlord had given them back half to help them pay a new bond in a new rental. When I left the rental around midnight I was sure the house was sparkling. I doubt it had been cleaned the entire time my son lived there.

The following morning my son called me and asked me to meet him at the house. He said the landlord wasn’t going to return the remainder of the bond and, in his words, said he was “losing it”.

My husband and I drove to the house and met with my very agitated son. We were able to calm him down and spoke with the landlord. According to the landlord, my son hadn’t paid rent for the previous two weeks and also he’d overstayed his term in the house. The landlord said he would keep the remaining bond, which was roughly what he was owed in rent and because he didn’t want any more fuss, he agreed to give my son $200 so that he would leave the premises quietly. We agreed.

While the landlord was getting the money we tried to explain the situation to my son. However, he became extremely violent and started to threaten the landlord and his wife, while also biting my husband. My husband had recently had heart surgery and I was concerned that the aggression being aimed towards him could have serious consequences, so I tried to get between the two men.

I pulled on my son’s t-shirt from behind and yelled at him to stop with his behaviour. He turned to face me with a look I’d never seen before and with clenched fists, he punched me in the chest. Stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) have left me with no reflexes, so I fell backwards and was knocked out.

I don’t recall much after that, but was aware of muffled voices around me. I’m told my son was quite concerned by what he’d done to me. I remember the paramedics attending to me, but when I tried to speak nothing of any sense was coming out. Was I having another stroke?!

My husband and I were transported to the local hospital in the ambulance and the police were following us in a car behind. I felt I was in some sort of nightmare, only I couldn’t wake from it because it was real. I’ve been told that I drifted in and out of consciousness.

I had an MRI, X-rays and CT scans before the head neurosurgeon came to see me. The left side of my head was swollen and my ear was closing over. I remember hearing the doctors talking about how serious my condition was. Five centimetres to the right and I would not be here writing my story.

My head was shaved where the wound was, the skin had split and needed to heal. A result of this incident is that I’ve lost my driver’s licence — the head injury and losing sight makes it impossible for me to drive now.

I’ve had no contact from my son since this incident and nor do I want any. He has lied about his actions. I have even changed my mobile phone number. My husband and I are selling our house and moving to a gated community, where I hope I will start to feel safe again.

If you are concerned about domestic and family violence in your family, friends or workplace, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732, Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978, Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 for confidential support, advice and referral that will help you explore your options.

Is this an experience you can relate to? Are you concerned about domestic and family violence with a family member or close friend?

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