The Gentleman

Gut wrenchingly beautiful…th-2

by Sheri Spain, Detoxify You

I’ve met the most amazing gentleman, the man of my deepest dreams and desires.

Kindness, understanding, attentive. Handsome, giving, intelligent. A true gentleman who walks me safely to my car.

I’m fragile, I say. I’ve had loss.

I’ll never hurt you he assures.

Love overwhelms quickly, I share my awe with one and all.

He’s a gentleman, truly. My hero. My partner. My man. My soul mate. My King.

I am the Queen of his world, he says, I’m twitterpated. Quotes from Bambi?! Yes! Oh, my.

Marry me. Yes.

The nightmare begins softly, the very next week.

An ugly word or two. Uncharacteristic inconsideration. Excuses, apologies, gifts. Ignoring, complaining, forgetting. Intimacy withheld.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I love you. Don’t leave me.

What is wrong with me? His cries work their deceit.

It’s ok, I murmur. We are committed, we’ll work this out.

I should have listened to myself, my intuition, nagging concerns.

Tantrums, crazy-making, nonsensical demands commence.

My needs are dismissed, his concerns the only priority.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I love you. Don’t leave me.

What is wrong with me?

We mustn’t tell, no one will like me, he fears. He cries and moans.

Shares his agonies of life, such sadness and pain and tragedy.

A victim, many times over, at the hands of women. Psycho-bitches all.

I see and feel. Deeply. A knowing. A gift and a curse.

I give in. I trust again. Benefit of the doubt. Again. Stupid.

I’ll get help, he says. I’ll tell the truth.

Promises, promises, promises. Promises never ever kept, never ever meant. Just carrots dangling.

His secret became my secret. My burden to bear.

While his adoring fans gather ‘round. Rock star fantasy lives.

He quits his meds, dismisses his doctors. (He lied to them, too.)

Escalating crisis, erratic behavior. Danger dances. A roller coaster, ever-jumping tracks. Chaos reigns. He rules.

Alone, so alone. Suffocating in shallow and fallacy.

I call his adult daughter to encourage and support her Dad. She’s sorry. She’s not equipped to handle these behaviors he’s been plagued with all his life.

Shock, just shock. Manipulated. I’m not the first, second, or third.

Another discard, another souvenir. A serial abuser of women. A master manipulator.

Fear is the cacophony. No more mask at home. His Bundy is released. Charm and torture. He controls my food, my activities, when I can sleep.

Me. I’m dying as the servant of his twisted facade. Sucking me dry.

A vampire.

Forceful isolation. Degradation. Humiliation. Fear becomes terror.

His fists come out. My tears and pain belittled.

An accident, I didn’t mean to, I don’t remember. It’s your fault.

I’ve cowered in corners, his spittle in my face, finger poking my bones.

I’ve hidden weapons from him and slept in my car. Concealed the bruises. Keeping the secret. Co-dependent.

I try and try and try and try and try and try and try and try. I read and research and read some more while he saunters. And smirks. Does nothing. While I work. And work. And work.

Maybe this will work, maybe that will change. Maybe, maybe.

Accept the reality; let go of the dream. Turn to the cliff. Jump.

I tell him I’m done. He steals my resume, my writing. Spends the last of my money. Hoards his. Bribes for his minions.

Trapped. Scared. Don’t make him mad. Misery.

Months and months.

John Q matters significantly, I am nothing. Never was. Just a pawn.

His fury grows with non-reaction, upping the ante until I fight back.

He smiles with his victory hand; his game complete. Demonized.

It’s fun making you lose your mind, my tormentor taunts.

Go ahead and tell, no one will believe you. You’re the crazy one, He says. Not me. I’m a shaman and an alchemist. And a man of God.

My tribe says so. They say there’s nothing wrong with me. Sneer.

I understand. I get it. More lessons to be revealed.

For they all love the most amazing gentleman they’ve ever met.

Who never was.