Brought to the brink

I think I got the odd slap from my mum when I was a toddler, but from primary school days onwards, I never felt her hand again. There was the occasional threat of a ‘smacked bottom’ if I was misbehaving, but I was generally a pretty pliant kid who didn’t like being naughty or getting into trouble.

That all changed one day when I was 11. My crime – to go out for the day without telling my mum where I was going. I sauntered back in about four o’clock (this was during the long summer holiday) and she burst out crying when she saw me walk through the door – she must have been worried sick. It probably didn’t help that there had recently been a couple of child abductions in the news.

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