The fact that mother’s love is unconditional does not seem to apply to 57-year-old François from Liege. Because even though his mother is now an elderly woman, she still beats him with a belt or even tackles him with a knife. “I hate him, I only feel hatred towards him,” says Lucienne, 84, about her son.
Since the day François was born, his mother hated him. Both physically and emotionally. And in that, she went very far. For example, she made his spaghetti extra spicy after which he had to eat his plate completely empty, in the winter she put on sandals to go outside, and she tried to dump her child several times somewhere.
“I tried to leave him in the church,” says the old woman to La Capitale. “But it was not possible, there were too many people.” When he was four years old, François spent a year in hospital recovering from his mother’s physical violence. “I had knocked over his chair and kicked him in the head,” says the woman without any embarrassment. She then tried to send him to a special school for autistic children, although François has no autism at all. “I wanted to get rid of him.”
The woman would have been good for her other children, by the way: “That’s different, I like them. But I hate him”.
Hope for recovery
François lived with his tormentor for 15 years. Fifteen long years in which he was mistreated and bullied, while also suffering from thirst and hunger: “I didn’t get water.” He decided it was time to leave, and his life improved. He got to know his wife, fell in love and got married.
François was a happy man until he took Lucienne home 17 years ago. Why the hell? His mother was no longer able to take care of herself and then their children have to do that, says François. Soon it was as if nothing had changed, and the man was in a situation of old.
For example, some poignant images show how the elderly woman is attacking her 57-year-old son with a belt. He had not passed on his Berlin bulbs to her quickly enough: good for some blows. Although he is undoubtedly much stronger than his old mother, François holds his arm defenseless. He makes himself small and stays motionless.
Now the 57-year-old from Liege goes on a hunger strike. “I want people to know what I’ve been going through since I was a kid. I’m innocent, and I’m treating her properly. I’m not gonna throw her out, but I want this to stop.” François could put his mother on the street. She’s not a tenant, and she’s not domiciled with her son. But the love of Lucienne’s son seems to be unconditional.