couples

To the abusive man in the carpark yesterday.

“I wondered what you were capable of. I wondered if you would actually hurt me?”

Yesterday, as I sat at the boom gate of the carpark exit trying to remedy a pretty standard situation, you decided it appropriate to start hurling abuse at me. Maybe you were having a bad day (actually you know what, I don’t care) but despite only being held up a few minutes, you took it upon yourself to call me a “stupid bitch” a “dumb slut” and a “fucking moron” at the top of your lungs out the car window. I could hear you. Just to make sure you shouted “Are you fucking deaf you idiot, I said move your fucking car.”

You could see that I was getting more and more flustered when time after time the car park attendant ignored my calls for assistance, but you were relentless, weren’t you? You obviously saw I was distressed. I had tears running down my cheeks. But instead of trying to help me, you got out of your car and started yelling more obscenities at me, right in my face. “You stupid fucking bitch. Move your fucking car or I’ll move it for you.” You were uncomfortably close to me. There was no reason for you to be standing next to me.

I had my kids in the car. Both looked on as you approached me screaming. I could hear my eldest son crying “Mummy”. He was frightened. As you moved closer and closer to my face, I could feel your breath on me as you hurled every expletive you could think of towards me, a complete stranger. I wondered what you were capable of. I wondered if you would actually hurt me? I’ve heard of random acts of road rage violence and grew concerned for my safety (as well as my children’s) and I questioned whether you were the kind of person capable of it. Your temper was obviously uncontrollable and as a woman, I was scared. No man has the right to make a woman feel like that. Actually, no body (man or woman) has the right to make another person feel the way I did.

"Your temper was obviously uncontrollable and as a woman, I was scared."

What you didn't care to know was that I did had a valid parking ticket. The delay in exiting the carpark was not my fault (although to you, it wouldn't have mattered what the reason).  My ticket however had been validated incorrectly at the museum and as I tried to leave the carpark (after doing all the right things) the machine was demonstrating an obscene amount of outstanding parking fines. I was doing my best to fix the situation quickly. I know you were held up. I was well aware you were there. I was feeling stressed and pressured as I tried desperately to get an attendant to answer my calls. The pay station directly to my left was unattended which made me feel more vulnerable. There was no one else around that I could see.  You would have seen that too. As I tried again and again to buzz for help you slammed your hands down on the ticket machine next to my face in a threatening manner. The look in your eyes scared me. The purpose of your actions was to achieve nothing more than to intimidate me in a dark carpark.

Before our encounter, I had taken my two kids to the museum. It was a rare outing into the city as a special treat to them. Both my husband and I have been working long hours and after a severe battle with a vomiting bug, it was the first time we had left the house in some time.

I researched the game plan with military precision, as is required with young children, and found the recommended place to park. My dinosaur obsessed three-year-old was beside himself with excitement to see the exhibition featuring all things pre-historic.

"The purpose of your actions was to achieve nothing more than to intimidate me in a dark carpark."

The morning by all accounts (until you) was fantastic. I spent some quality time with my little people and we left feeling great. You ruined that. Your lack of patience and understanding in a situation that pretty much all of us have been in at some point destroyed everything. As my children sat in the car and watched a complete stranger verbally attack me simply because you had been held up a few minutes was disgusting. They were scared and confused. I sit here now angry that you felt you had the right to do that.

ADVERTISEMENT

All in all the delay probably cost you ten minutes out of your day. For that I apologise. I tried to do that in person but you were not interested in hearing reason. It's almost as if you just wanted an excuse to behave in such a manner. I understand the frustration of being stuck behind someone at the boom gate. Yeah, it sucks. But you know what? It happens. Your response was beyond the realm of normal behaviour. As I stood in front of you, with tears streaming down my face desperately trying to find someone to help me you continued. "How fucking retarded are you?" You questioned. "Get your fucking ticket and move your fucking car." Believe me you asshole, I was trying.  I wonder now how many times a woman has stood crying in front of you wishing for you to stop berating her? I'm guessing this was not the first time you felt you were above another human.

Looking back I should have contacted the police then and there at the time I was just focused on getting myself and my children out of there. You were aggressive and I had no idea if you were on drugs or god knows what. You used your stature to make me feel threatened all the while knowing that there is nothing I could have done to remedy the situation. Your car was blocking my ability to reverse (and even if it hadn't been I and the faulty car park ticket would not allow me to leave.) What exactly did you want me to do?

"The morning by all accounts (until you) was fantastic. I spent some quality time with my little people and we left feeling great. You ruined that."

As your tirade became worse I made the decision to pay the extraordinary amount of parking fees, simply because I needed to get away from you. I got in my car and locked the door. The boom gate lifted and I drove away as fast as I could.

I called my husband the second I was sure you were no where near me. I was a mess. Frightened, exhausted and trying to explain you through tears and sobs. He was angry and rightly so. You know why? Because he is a real man. The kind of man that cannot fathom treating anyone (let alone a mother with her children) in the way that you treated me. He questioned if you would have behaved in the same manner should it have been him at the boom gate. My guess is no. Because you are the true definition of a bully. Sadly, people like you do not learn from the school yard. You used your position as a larger man to threaten and scare me in a situation I had no control over.

As I write this now, I'm angry. I'm angry that people like you get away with this kind of behaviour. I'd like to let you know that it's not going to happen this time. I have since made attempts to locate footage of our encounter and obtain the details of your license plate. From there I will contact the police and make a formal report. You have no right to treat other people they way you treated me yesterday and I will make sure I do everything in my power to make you accountable. If I can teach my three year old son some empathy for other people, I wonder what the hell happened to you.

What would you have done if this happened to you?

Want more? Try these:

“I broke up with my car. And I haven’t looked back.”

The one time of the year when all car park etiquette goes out the window.

Follow iVillage on Facebook

When you become a parent, you don't leave your brain in the delivery suite. That's why mothers with kids of all ages come to themotherish.com; because they're still interested in news about entertainment, health, current affairs and food along with an inspiring and useful stream of parenting advice and support.

Most importantly, they come because they want to hear personal stories of parenting directly from other mothers, without fear of judgement.

[iv-signup-form]