I was at the grocery store. I saw her, his mother. She works there; we run into each other every so often. Every time she sees me, she greets me in a soft voice and wishes me well, but recoils -- slinks back -- as though I'm angry, as if I were going to hit her. That isn't me, though. I'm far too reticent to hurt anyone.
An unsent letter...
I'm sorry I don't remember your name. All you are to me is a face and an association. I don't know how you did, or even if you tried to control your son, but it's not in my nature to hold a grudge, but I can't forgive your son. I can't forgive him for the anxiety I get in groups of males, and by extension, the terror I have of doctors and other people of authority; people "bigger than me" just like your son was.
It's his fault I still occasionally go through periods of not being able to be intimate -- sexually or otherwise -- with those I care about, when your son's voice rips through my head and tells me all over again as he's beating me how worthless and undeserving of love I am, or how I'm just a waste, as he slams my face into the hot steel of a car hood.
I hope it brings you some comfort that I've been able to mend my broken spirit back together. I'm not that scared little boy I used to be. Now I'm a free, strong girl, and I learned and adapted; rebuilt myself. I'm not afraid anymore; at least, not as much as I used to be.
I can't forgive your son, but for reasons beyond my comprehension, I can forgive you.