Sunday, 8 March 2009

Tough love

Julie Myerson is clearly an intelligent and gifted writer. She says she and her husband tried everything they could to persuade their eldest son to give up skunk, before finally admitting defeat and asking him to leave their home.
It seems a particularly harsh step to take, but I don't doubt that she is a loving, caring mother who found herself in an impossible situation. While I cannot comprehend why she and her husband would have thrown their eldest child out of the family home at the age of just 17, I believe her when she says that after two years of constant battling, they thought that was the only course of action left to them.
Of course, as a writer, this must have seemed like obvious material for a book, a gift. The book, The Lost Child, is published next week, already guaranteed a place in the bestseller lists thanks to the advance publicity caused by the public war of words between mother and son.
Caught up in a media furore, Julie is now giving interviews lamenting the fact that her entire family have been doorstepped by the press. 'It's really hard to talk about it,' she says in an interview with today's Sunday Times, apparently close to tears. 'It's hard to talk about it,' she said on this morning's Sky News, again apparently close to tears, adding she has been taken aback at the attention.
Given her experience as a writer - not just of books, but also for magazines and newspapers - this seems ridiculously naive and also disingenuous.
Presumably when she and her husband locked their son out of his home they were hoping he would realise the consequences of smoking skunk, and come to his senses. Perhaps she should have thought about the possible consequences of her actions - and in particular, the impact it might have on her two younger children - before she decided to invite the world into her family's private life.

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