I am writing this angry, and I probably shouldn’t. Even though I write my blogs straight from the heart, I should not write when angry. But I am.
In the past week I have had so many different interactions with people around fatal stabbings. This week.
Some I can talk about and some I can’t. All I know is that in the past week I am aware that many people’s lives have been torn apart due to fatal stabbings in one way or another.
My son looking me in the face and saying “They will only do half the time mum” I can see he is not happy and there are so many things I want to say bit I don’t for the moment. I bite my tongue. Allow him to be angry.
My son has seen fatal stabbings from many different perspectives now. He is 23. I wish it was just something that he saw on TV and ohh and ahhhd about. But it aint. He has decide that he wants to tackle knife crime from the top and has been privy this week to how serious violence is dealt with from the top, I had to let him do that, because the anger he has around serious violence has just been kind of festering for a while. I hoped that exposure to how it could be tackled would help him. And it has in some ways.
I tried to keep the news from him for a few days. The sentencing. I knew it would not be headlines and he may not see it. So, I waited until he was in a good pace and said, “Have you seen”?. “They will only serve half” is what I got back in the first instance. So, I just nodded and closed the door. I tried to not say the next line, but I couldn’t help it. I opened his door and said, “You know, they are also victims in this, His killers”. But my son does not want to hear this right now. I went to my room and waited. I knew what was coming. I looked at my phone when I heard his door open. 8 minutes. He came to my door and started to rant.
About people that are playing serious violence down.
About a lady he spoke to who said that Knife crime is rare.
About there being no solution.
I let him rant for a while. He never came fully in my room. Just sort of ranted half in. That’s him all over. Half in.
And the I said…
“Why do you care so much about serious violence, why don’t you focus on something else”. He looked at me like I had 2 heads for a second and then sort of stumbled on his words.
“Because…well… it’s not good enough”
SO, I said…. but why do you care so much.
And he slowed down and said
“Because its personal. Because it is affecting me”
Serious violence is affecting my son and seeping into my home.
Today I spoke with a woman who told me about a stabbing in her area. 13-year-old child stabbed someone. That’s in my head now.
Today I found out that 2 families have been ripped apart by a fatal stabbing. I can’t talk about it here. I don’t want to talk about it anywhere. Because I feel like I am failing.
And 2 people that I have a lot of respect for told me tonight that I am not failing. But they would say that because they are trying to do the same thing I am.
But …. I am sick of hearing about lives lost. Of people being taken. Of children going to prison.
I also feel guilty that I keep thinking “Thank God it was not my son”. Isn’t that selfish.
Here is the thing. We need to think about what has happed in a person’s life that has brought them to the point where they are standing in front of someone ready to take their life. They were not born with a knife in their hand and anger in their heart. Things have happened along the way that led to that point.
My son doesn’t want to hear this, but the fact is, when a fatal stabbing takes place, many people lose the people they love. And there are certain situations that could have been avoided.
If we need to start at primary school level, let’s do that. Let’s look for signs of neglect, DV, trauma…things that could lead to the point where they pick up a knife.
Let’s educate our kids about the consequences of knife crime. Not the going to prison bit. The grandparents and parents that will cry and be heartbroken…of both the victim and perpetrator.
Let’s get young people talking about their fears in a safe place.
I have never lied to my sons that I carried a knife when I was younger. Nor did I glamorise it. I told them why and I told them the consequences of me carrying a knife.
The have seen me, black around the eyes, because once again I can’t sleep due to the nightmare of what I did. What I saw.
My sons could easily have picked up a weapon. I am sure that if we had of stayed where we were, they would have.
Or they could have just been playing ping pong in the local youth club and got stabbed to death for no reason.
Or they could have gotten caught up in some shit and been the ones waiting to be sentenced for 20 years.
And would it then me be saying “They will only do half”?
I don’t know why people carry knives. I only know why I carried a knife. Because I was scared. Scared of everything. And a scared person with a knife is dangerous.
I am angry tonight because I feel like serious violence is all around me. That knife crime is once again becoming a normal part of my life, spoken about daily.
I am angry because I don’t know what to do to make it stop. And now my son …he wants to step into the arena and make a change. Because he is angry too.
Something needs to change.
I shouldn’t write when I am angry