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What kind of person...

I can't sleep again. The stress is too much.

I need to know.

What kind of person helps a sixteen year old pack up their bedroom and move out of their parents' house in the middle of the night, claiming later it was so the child had a 'safe place to go'?

This person obviously believed the child was going to run off and live on the streets, but never spoke to the child's parents, never spoke to their school, never contacted the Department of Children's Services, just drove a child away from his home in the dead of night without a word to anyone, and then believes herself to be a hero?

The police said it was bizarre.

The child is happy as Larry because, well, he wasn't getting what he wanted at home. He wanted to do VCE subjects in year 10 when he'd failed them in year 9 when he refused to attend classes because he couldn't 'see the point'. He didn't have his parents' permission, which to him was intolerable. His girlfriend's mother listened to him talk about how his parents were holding him back and how unhappy he was at home because of this, and she told him if he couldn't stand to be at home anymore, he could stay at her place.

She never spoke to his parents, not once.

He left a stripped back bedroom and neatly made bed, and a note to say he wasn't coming back, that he had been planning this for months, that he thought they could see how they survived without him. He didn't say where he was going. He caused panic and mayhem and distress to his mother, his father, and his three brothers.

She didn't call or message to say she had him. She said nothing.

He didn't answer his phone, but then he texted, 'I'm not coming home.'

His mum told him there was a family emergency and she just needed to know where he was - it was a lie, of course, but she was desperate. He told her. She asked for a number, he gave it.

His father called that night. The woman said, 'I know you're probably cross, I would be too, but I wanted him to have a place where he felt safe.' The implication was unmissable. Cross? How about devastated? How about afraid? How about betrayed!

She said she went to the police station as soon as she left the house with the boy. A constable on night duty remembered someone talking to him through the intercom, but he took no notes, so there is no record.

The child is happy. He thinks he has everything he wants. He doesn't have the emotional maturity to comprehend the situation fully. He has autism. He has 'won'.

Of course, the woman can't give the school permission to change his subjects, so nothing changes on that front, but maybe that doesn't matter anymore, anyway. Maybe he just wanted to leave.

The parents have no recourse, the child is sixteen, he can live wherever he wants.

They were just being parents, setting boundaries, setting consequences, trying to protect him from his adolescent inability to always think things through, but that means nothing now.

She can be his friend, but can she be a parent to him? Her child drinks bottles of Carlton Dry  and Crown beer from the fridge, will he drink beer from the fridge? Will he like the Carlton Dry better, too? Her child has her permission to break the school rules and leave the school ground, will he have her permission to break the school rules and leave the school grounds? Will she check his phone messages and wake him up in the middle of the night to yell at him, the way her daughter says she does to her, too? Will he still consider her place somewhere he can 'feel safe', then?

What will she do when he steals from her and lies to her the way he did to his parents time and time again? Will she set boundaries and consequences? Which 'safe place' will he run to when she does that? Will she call his parents when he runs from her house?

What kind of person doesn't tell the parents when she knows their child wants to leave home, but instead helps him pack his room into her car in the dead of night?


Anonymous said…
Oh wow. I don't know what to say. I don't how someone could think it was okay, or the right thing to do. I'm not surprised you are so shocked an upset. I hope they both realise their mistakes very quickly, and that your boy is back home with you soon. G xx
EvieK said…
Hi Sif,
I'm really sorry this has happened, and I'm with you on 'what kind of person?' very very odd.
The only thing I can think which might be positive is that he will get a taste of how other families live and not like it - he might be back sooner than you think.
The other thing is, can the police do anything if you know she gives 16 year olds alcohol? It is like he is moving from a safe environment to a very very dodgy one. I'm sure you are thinking like that anyway.
Anyway just wanted to say I am sorry this happened and my thoughts are with you. Evie
Sif Dal said…
In Australia it is legal for child, with the knowledge and consent of their parent, to drink alcohol in the family home. This woman's daughter is not quite 15.5. It is however, illegal for her to provide alcohol to OUR child without our knowledge. Of course, how would we prove she did such a thing.
Downtheroad said…
Oh my, who does that? Please, if you haven't already, notify the school. So so much wrong here.
Sif Dal said…
Yes, this all conveniently happen the very first morning of the autumn holidays. Will talk to the school next week.

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