He helped his mother move out of her apartment and then he and his wife and two year old moved into the almost empty apartment for a month of free living.
The noises from the apartment suggested they were chronic fighters. Screaming and yelling and sounds of bodies pushed (or thrown) against the wall.
They would go outside the apartment building and chain smoke on the back steps, leaving hundreds of cigarette butts on the landing and the surrounding area. The two year old showed signs of being a troubled child, constantly whining, crying, and hitting and kicking his parents.
One night after another loud fight, the mother brought the child and a suitcase out their car. As she was fastening the child into the toddler seat, her husband ran up to her and tried getting her to talk to him, saying he couldn't live without her and how could she leave after all he had done for her. She buckled in the child, got into the drivers seat, and drove off. The man went back in the apartment.
Within five minutes, the woman was back in the parking spot. She left the child in his seat in the car, and she went back to the apartment, pounding on the door, saying to let her in, that she wanted the cell phone. He unlocked the door, she went in, and the door closed. Then shouting and more sounds of hitting and being thrown up against the wall and the inside door, with her screaming that she wanted the cell phone, where was the cell phone. It was hard to tell which one was on the receiving end of the physical abuse. All this time the child was out in the car.
After twenty minutes the fighting ended. He walked his wife to their car, he retrieved the suitcase, she got the child out of the seat, they all three walked into the apartment where things were "normal" for a day.
The apartment was across the hall from mine and the car was parked in front of my window. I was exhausted just being a spectator. I worried about the child being left alone in the car and I cringed at the sounds of things being thrown, especially when some sounds were clearly a person being hit and pushed.
I think about this family occasionally and know that there are many families like this one. Children being raised by troubled adults who have no idea how to raise children. What a vicious cycle. Breaking that chain is more than difficult.
Have you been around situations like this?