kids

"In just two minutes, a man demonstrated every behaviour I didn’t want my kids to ever see."

To the man who terrified my two daughters in a bout of violent road rage,

As my husband and I pulled into a Melbourne petrol station to fill up our car with petrol with our kids on board, you should know as many people do, our expectations were pretty straight forward. One of us would hop out of the car, fill the car up, go in and pay and off we would drive.

Instead, we were witness to something my children did not need to witness. In fact, it was something that no one needs to witness.

Something that can only be described as a grown man having an epic tantrum because something got in his way. It was even more than a tantrum because even when my kids (four and five) have tantrums they don’t swear. They don’t yell viciously. They don’t intimidate others. They don’t scare other people. They don’t do any of these things and they definitely don’t do it on purpose.

And you know what else? They have tantrums because they can’t cope with their emotions, you are a middle aged man. I have a message for you. I want you to know that your disgraceful meltdown that you somehow deemed acceptable, all because someone parked in front of an air pump at the petrol station that you wanted to use is in fact not acceptable. Not acceptable at all.

shona hendley
Shona and her daughters. Image: Supplied.

We saw it all. Yep this lady parked in the wrong spot, she wasn’t filling her tyres up but she was parked there right in front of the pump…. for a whole TWO MINUTES! Wow what a f***ing c***. That’s what you called her wasn’t it, at the top of your aggressive voice?

If this wasn’t enough of an event to have to try and explain to your kids you then deliberately park this woman in so she couldn’t get out even when she wanted to. You yelled another list of the most top notch expletives directly at her while she is frantically trying to reverse her car to escape, to escape you. “Oh now you wanna f***ing leave - well you can wait,” you tell her before storming off to put air in your balding tyres.

I look at my two young girls, they are scared. Their eyes are wide in absolute bewilderment and they are sitting low in their seats so they can be hidden from view. They are silent. The other patrons at the petrol station lift their windows too, adults, yep they are scared as well.

The woman at the hands of your utterly disgraceful behaviour is still trying to manoeuvre her car to get away. But you don’t stop there you yell at her some more threatening her not to hit your beaten up bomb that has purposely trapped her in. Then you get into your car and drive up closer to her, with your windows down yelling some more. As she is finally able to drive away, you yell out one last insult, “you stupid b****,” and proceed to stare down everyone as you speed off.

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In a period of two minutes, you managed to demonstrate every behaviour I didn’t want my kids to ever see. You managed to terrify them as well as the other witnesses and the woman you preyed on that day. None of this is acceptable.

I hope in writing this it somehow makes you realise what a horrible person you are. But it probably won’t. I hope by me writing this that you now understand that your behaviour left my two young children absolutely scared, confused and subject to behaviour that is not in any way OK. But I doubt it. I hope by me writing this that you are aware of the impact you had on everyone that was witness to your behaviour that day. But I doubt you give care at all. I hope by writing this that you can feel remorse for the impact you would have had on that innocent woman and how it will probably always affect her.

Lastly, I want to apologise to the woman who undoubtedly suffered the most. I apologise that no one came to help you that day, including myself. I apologise that you suffered and I watched you suffer and my children watched me, watch you suffer. That is also not acceptable and for that I am sorry.

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