In the beginning of September, a road rage video taken near a shopping center about 20-30 mins from where I currently live went viral worldwide and was featured in several local and national news sites. It involved a woman named Kimberly Ong driving erratically on the wrong side of traffic while shouting obscene language, and then leaving the car unlocked and running at a stop sign while she stepped out onto the road to confront the driver who was taking the video. The dangerous and hostile acts all took place with her young son strapped into the front seat (even though he was still obviously at an age/size where he needed to be in the back with a booster). He sat there listening to her violent verbal assaults before she left him alone in the running car on the road to confront a stranger in his car. Luckily for her, the man in the car, Ryan Arakaki, had incredible patience and restraint, and his only "weapon" was the cellphone he was using to film her public temper tantrum. In addition to being a viral sensation, the police were able to use the video to charge her charge her with unauthorized entry into a vehicle from when she reaches into Arakaki's car and tries to hit the phone out of his hand.
Kimberly Ong was a military officer and nurse and apparently lived in the Diamond Head area according to news sites. People who knew her and lived near her said that this was not an isolated incident and she would regularly have these kind of tantrums, shouting obscenities and screaming at people when something wasn't going her way. (Someone in her complex said she shouted at a woman giving birth in her home to "shut the f**k up")
Kimberly stated later in an interview that her son was angry at Arakaki and agreed with her fully. I do not believe her for a second and that sounds like she is just engulfing and trying to control what her little boy says and thinks. If he agreed with her and supported her, then why did we all hear his voice shout "MOM!" with a mix of exasperation and fear when she left him in the running vehicle to confront a stranger.
The way she refers to Arakaki as "fatty" and "fat boy" is also very shameful behavior on her part. Especially as a nurse, she should know that people have different body types and that petty, immature insults and name calling does nothing more than hurt someone's feelings. I wonder how she treats her overweight patients suffering from heart disease or diabetes?
Unfortunately, as I wrote in the title, I am her son. My mother never drove( A car accident when she was on her learner's permit made driving an impossibility for her),so she never had a road rage incident. However, there were tantrums. There were so many times I sat in the back seat listening to her scream and shout endlessly, using obscenities, flying into a rage, over trivial, pointless, insignificant things.
If someone had pointed a video camera into our car at that moment, I would have been making the same face as her son. "Why me? Why do I have to live with such an emotionally unstable person? Why is she screaming and shouting and turning red over nothing?"
And then of course, there were the times when her lack of control over her own anger turned physical. I sincerely hope this boy is being spared of that, but I will never know for sure.
In addition to the tirades, verbal attacks, and physical attacks, were the immature, superficial blows to the self-esteem. "(My best friend, someone I care about) is so ugly/fat! Why on earth would they wear that/dance/participate in theatre?!?" She used insults like "nerd" "geek" "pig" to describe my friends often.
I only hope that someone, a teacher, school counselor, a friend, anyone, takes this boy aside and gives him some validation. I hope they tell him what he probably already knows: His mother's behavior is not just her being "loud" and it is never OK to verbally abuse someone. I hope they give him a phone number to call, and tell him to call if he ever feels threatened or afraid. He will really need someone for support, especially since his mom is probably spending a lot more time at home after this video went viral. I certainly wouldn't want an emotionally unstable, abusive woman working as a nurse in my hospital!
Stay strong, little guy!!