Friday, December 20, 2013

By All Outward Appearances

By all outward appearances, he was a humble man, quiet spoken, and somewhat timid. But he showed another side at home behind closed doors. His family knew him to be a monster, a bully to the most vulnerable inflicting immense terror to children without remorse. My friend shared with me the true man behind the image. I had simply commented to her how I always had an image of him as being so gentle and loving. She gave me such a bewildered look that he could be so perceived in the public view. 

His image and reputation were so important to him to the outside world. But she said to us, he was a monster. We could never do anything right; we were never good enough; we never measured up. There was no correction when we made a mistake it was more like, you opened a new bottle of ketchup and didn't see the one in the refrigerator, "I ought to shove this down your throat!" He said this to an eight year old. Every sentence started with G. d. 

And on top of all this he demanded respect. She said one time she was forced to stand in front of him while he yelled at her at the the top of his lungs uttering all forms of profanity and she got the bright idea, "if I find out what I am doing wrong, maybe I can stop doing it." So she said she decided she would ask why she was in trouble. She was so hopeful with her new revelation and belief that she could and would certainly stop doing whatever it was that was causing her to continually end up in this predicament with this man. Unfortunately, asking what she had done wrong was NOT the right question. She was supposed to know! She barely got out from his wrath with her life. She did learn to never ever ask why she was in trouble though.

I didn't really know how to respond to my friend. I just sorta stood there with my mouth open.  I don't know why some people get families who love them and care about them and others grow up with monsters. And I certainly am astounded that there are those living among us receiving all manner of praise and respect from us...when behind closed doors they behave like monsters. I noticed her eyes were intense like she was trying to make me see him as he showed himself to his family. To his family he demanded respect. He took it by force. Of course he didn't get real respect. He got the phony heart and attitude from his family... like the one he showed to the outside world.