As a younger man I puzzled over choices young women (and men) made.
From a distance the suitability of a partner seemed clear, but still they confounded and confused. Did they really believe they could make the difference, to change them? And were they prepared to sacrifice their own dreams and talents for their sake? It seemed impossible and yet I saw it often; insidious, subtle and violent – all of this because they loved you?
I HAVE WITNESSED THIS TOO MANY TIMES: COURTING BECOMES COERCION, THE DOMINANT PARTNER BECOMES BOTH PERSECUTOR AND VICTIM, SUCKING UP ALL THE EMOTIONAL ENERGY.
What is interesting is how the victim apologises for the perpetrators behaviour as if it is somehow their fault.
Even when confiding in you they maintain this pretence.
Don’t tell me everything is fine I can read between the lines
That mark the difference, emphasise significance
I always thought you felt this way, but I was told that you were happy
With the arrowing of life into a narrow thing
Whatever happened to the dreams edges frayed on twisted seams
Before the compromise, torn to shreds and tossed aside
A moment’s loss of self-belief you wore his heart upon your sleeve
And you were trivialised, homogenised and satisfied
When broken hearts are left behind
Unforgiving like the helplessness that labelled you,
Questioned and disabled you.
To something else you might belong if it occurred he could be wrong,
About your ignorance, selfishness, indifference
You let the sunshine dry your tears, the wasted days, the empty years
Have now desensitised, neutralised and traumatised
You say the dust got in your eyes. You hardly recognise your lies
The way you fictionalise, circumvent, legitimise
You fear the rage behind his eyes, countless promises denied
Explanation still supplied, like all the world can be denied
I know – where can you go to be alone?
Don’t tell me everything is fine. I can read between the lines
And it drives you mad, and it makes you sad
And it ends up all the life you know. All you’ll ever know