I know you’re not really the hugging type but I can give you one right now if you like?

I said to the woman standing one metre away from me in the office kitchen.

Her tears of frustration, disappointment and desperation rendered me as helpless as her.

She showed me the messages on her phone from her son.

He didn’t get out of bed and go to work that morning. He sent her aggressive and abusive messages asking her why she was hassling him so much.

She told me that she plays bad cop to her husbands good cop in regards to his ice addiction.

How sometimes if she pushes him hard enough he’ll crack and tell her the truth. Tell her what’s really bothering him. Give her a chance to hopefully show him that people care about him.

But not so hard that when pushed he shuts down and the whole process starts again.

She asked me if she was a bad mum.

I said of course not.

I said that he was safe.

She told me she was going to go home and check his Facebook page because he sometimes stays logged in and it’s one of the rare chances to actually find out what he’s up to and how bad it is.

She cried for a while and then wiped her tears on her sleeves.

A little while later I asked her if she wanted a biscuit or a chocolate and she politely refused just as she had done with the hug offer earlier.

You don’t have to like them you just have to love them.

And even now days later I picture this incredibly strong brash woman crying for a son who doesn’t want her help.

Yet. (I hope.)


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