Mommy Musings- Of Damaged Men
Thursday, 5.00pm. I am at Kempinsky for this Bloomberg forum on Forex. The room is a fusion of modern and medieval architecture. A thick blue Persian rug with yellow prints akin to the Brush Script MT font (does anyone ever use those weird fonts?) spreads out across the room. It sucks at my Louboutin soles like a starving infant drawing milk from its mother’s breasts. Golden chandeliers extend from the bronze ceiling, emitting a bright yellow glow that fills the empty hall with much-needed warmth. My two colleagues and I are the first to arrive. Either we are very idle or we are just hungry for information. I will go with the latter.
We are seated in the middle aisle, second last row. Obviously, we don’t want to be the targets when the hard questions start flying across the room. I pull out Ruchir Sharma’s The Rise & Fall of Nations and in less than a minute, my heart is sinking over Russia’s bad billionaires and growing inequality. I am that standoffish whenever I have a good book with me and I zone out pretty fast. Half an hour later, the hall starts to fill up as men and women totally bushed after 8 hours of frenetic trading in currencies and bonds and possibly trying to predict the unpredictable, stream in. Fixed Income traders, Treasurers, Economists, the works. Their faces, and suits bear it all. Fatigue. Lethargy. They try to feign energy with the success of a reveler at Brew Bistro trying to have an intelligent conversation at 3.00am. They probably only came for the after party, going by the lack of enthusiasm and late arrival.
Finally, the hall is packed to capacity and the moderator sets the forum off. 100 or so professionals are seated facing the podium. Five speakers, all men, are perched on the podium, facing the attendees. Don’t get me started on how disappointed I am about the gender mismatch. That’s a story for another day.
The first speaker walks to the dais, fumbles with his laptop as he tries to project his presentation on the wall. Caucasian, tall, maybe 6’3, biceps almost bursting at the seams of his prismatic blue shirt. He oozes so much charm without even uttering a word.
“My name is Eoghan, pronounced as Owen”.
I am not prepared for this. His deep voice is as arresting as his sturdy physique. His accent? All I know is that he should not dare speak in hushed tones. A Spaniard with an American accent. I am tempted to take a photo or record a video and send to my ever so hungry (or is it thirsty) single friends. I can only “kula kwa macho”, but who knows, one of my friends may just take up his surname. Leahy is his surname. Eoghan Leahy.
He speaks so eloquently with unperturbed composure. His theories are well articulated. He throws in witty remarks that set the initially tired crowd buzzing with hysteria. Just like that, the whole room is alive.
Is there a positive attribute this chunk of hotness does not possess? What are his shortcomings? Perhaps he snores so loudly and violently, you would almost think there is a tremor right there in your bed. If he is in your bed that is.
The last speaker gives his closing remarks and the room is abuzz with loud chatter. I check the time on my wrist watch. It’s 8.30pm. I take the chance to quickly dash out of the room. Being a back bencher was a genius idea, I think to myself. Not even the offer of free whisky at Kempinsky is tempting enough to keep me hanging around. My girls and I had planned to meet up for dinner at one of their houses at 7.00pm. I get into my car and drive like a maniac to Lavington. I haven’t seen them in ages and I don’t want to miss a thing.
The host, and three of my friends are cozied up on the couch, covered in throws and giggling like teenage girls. A bottle of blazon, pinot noir, has already succumbed to their thirst. I open a new one and join in the fun. After an hour of prattling, one of my friends utters words that halts all the chatter and laughter into a screech.
“I ended my marriage with Bradley.” She says.
Huh? I think somebody needs to bring me up to speed on what I may have missed as that statement makes no sense at all. My friend Hannah is the model wife. At least she has been for the last one year.
I look around and everyone else is staring at Hannah in disbelief.
“After a year of bending my back to accommodate his needs with no success, I finally packed up and left.” She adds, grabs her half full goblet and takes out the wine in one big gulp. Woah!
She goes ahead to tell us how it’s been five months since she left the father of her children. I do not understand what could possibly warrant a breakup after 5 years of “successfully” sailing through the tides of marriage.
She tells us that after struggling through the first four years, she decided to change her ways to accommodate him as she was convinced that she wasn’t doing enough. So she stopped working late, cut down on the number of friends and started spending more time at home. She stopped giving instructions to the maid on what to cook and how to cook it, and started preparing gourmet meals. Marinating chicken for two days, accompanying all meals with desert that she would prepare from scratch, not your usual Betty Crocker cake mixes! She stopped wearing flimsy outfits and started covering up more. She stopped having her occasional Southern Comfort with Tonic at Viva Lounge on Fridays and instead watched animated films with the kids. She stopped raising her voice whenever they would disagree on something and allowed him to be the head of the house. To have the final say. The only say. It was always his way or the highway.
She tells us how Bradley would go out on Friday and Saturday nights till 3am and whenever he got home, he expected Hannah to unlock the door within a second of his arrival. If she delayed for a split second, he would throw her out of the house. She could not count the number of times she sat on the staircase from 3am until morning when Bradley would sober up, come outside for his dear wife and apologize profusely. Sometimes, if she was quick enough to grab her car keys before being locked out, she would sleep in her car, or drive to her mother in law’s house, who always urged her to be patient with her son as he would eventually find sanity.
So she accustomed herself to the sound of his car and much as they lived on fourth floor, whenever Bradley would come home from his late night shenanigans, she would identify the sound of his Toyota Lexus from the gate, jump out of bed and wait for him by the door. She perfected the art of opening the door even before he placed his hand on it.
He then started complaining about food. Either it was too bland or too salty. Sometimes he said it was too white, other times the meat was too hard. He complained about electricity consumption, that they were watching too much television and taking too long in the shower. Whenever the electricity tokens would drop below a certain level (not sure how prepaid elec works though), the inhabitants of that house would not know peace. At 3am, he would scream their names, the two maids and Hannah, and they would all line up in the living room for questioning!
Finally, after getting a kick out of terrorizing the adults, he would go into the kid’s bedroom, pull their covers and engage them in mindless chatter. A five-year-old toddler and a 7-month infant. Hannah would beg him to leave the kids out of it and he would land a heavy slap across her face, sending her flying across the room.
One day, she was summoned to school and told about how her five-year-old son had cried an entire morning begging the teacher to call daddy and ask him not to beat mommy any more.
“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.” She says, fighting back tears.
She promised her son’s teacher that she would get her house in order, got into her car and called a property agent. She went house hunting, found a house in a matter of hours and arranged for movers to ship her stuff to her new place.
She also tells us that she only left Bradley because his bad habits had started to affect the kids and that had it not stretched that far, she would put up with everything else.
This story pulverized me. It left me wondering what sort of person would have such an infinitesimal ego to draw pleasure from extending such barbarity to the mother of his children. Is it an issue of poor upbringing, or did they just not breastfeed enough to feel appreciated? While I know there is always two sides to a story and I am a biased party here, I don’t think anything would justify disrespecting one’s wife in the presence of the help, or worse still, beating her up as the kids watch helplessly and cry for them to stop hurting mommy. What kind of man would the son turn out to be when such violence becomes the norm? What happens to the millions of women out there who cannot walk out of such abusive relationships?
The fact that so many men in this town are completely damaged is very disheartening. They walk amongst us, work with us, work out with us, sit with us in church but only their women know how unstable they are and sadly, most of the women cover for them.
For a moment, I found myself thinking about “Alehandro” from the Bloomberg Forum and I really did not care about his commanding presence and the spell he had cast on me. He probably breaks into women’s houses, feels around their intimate belongings and abducts their pets. You know like in The Perfect Guy?
After my friend’s depressing revelation and Donald Trump’s leaked recording where he gloats about groping women by their genitalia, I have learnt to take all men with a pinch of salt. Until they prove otherwise.
To the good men out there, those who understand a woman’s worth and have embraced fatherhood like they were born for it. We heart you.
I took my time before I could post this comment. I hate to victimize myself but what parents don’t understand is how much the kids hurt from this. I have grown up in such an abusive home. My dad I’d always using my strength and my mum is the turn the other cheeck kind of person. It broke my heart So many times to see her so helpless. I remember one time dad beat the hell out of her her retina muscle broke together with her hand. When she lay there helpless with blood oozing from her body, he said… Read more »
Dear Bumble Bee …. XXXX ..hugs to you. You have left me in tears. So sorry that you had to experience that. I pray that you shall find peace. I would urge you to get some counselling to help you heal your scars. You are greater that the nasty words and the beatings. You are destined for great things, do not let the scars tear you down. It shall be well. I realise that some of the issues facing our men /boys are an extension of what they saw their fathers doing. I hope your brother also gets help.
Your story is quite disheartening bumble bee and much as you have scrapped your dad off your life, I think you need to go through a professional counselling session in order to heal properly. Please send me an email with your phone numbers and I will help you get the necessary help. I would love to engage you further on this as well, if you don’t mind.
I think most people don’t fully understand the mental torture that abused persons go through in such relationships.. Or even where it’s only emotional abuse.. You are made to feel like the problem.. That it is your fault you are abused.. But it isn’t.. I wrote a blog about this once, a lady who was in an abusive relationship and just tried to highlight the emotions she harboured. It was a fictional piece but there are people living those lives, in those situations.. And we need to be their safety, so they can feel they have a place to go… Read more »
Thank you Linda. Please share the link.
That’s the post
Love this piece. Such a sad story. I am now a mother of a girl and a boy. I am all about empowering the girl child but now feel we also need to focus on the boy child as well. We must not let our boys to grow up as damaged men. Everytime I look at my infant son, all I want is for him to be the best version of a man he can be and as long as God allows me, I will make damn sure he turns out to be. Thank God for great men and great… Read more »
Mama Ivanna, you could not have echoed my sentiments any better. We need to instil strong values in our boys, as much as we do the girls.
Such a great piece!! Your words are so alive, so deep!!
Thank you Rozie!
This is so heartbreaking and so inspiring all in one. The conversations she must have had with herself before finally deciding to leave must have been so brutal. A woman deserves better than this and children ought to grow up knowing that a man should never lay a hand on a woman or disrespect her. What courage she had….to have the strength to leave….and what good friends she has….that she can feel comfortable enough to share her experience without fear of being judged or shunned
Her story broke my heart into tiny pieces but I found consolation in the fact that she couldn’t be happier, having mustered the courage to leave!
Chunk of hotness!!! You used my adjectives! ???? I’m honored to have inspired you. Next time just ask me. 🙂
“pulverized” “infinitesimal”… I had to read with a dictionary at hand. My Google translate was auto correcting to French ??
I agree with your conclusion. For me it’s not just men, anyone I meet, I always practise caution. I’ve watched enough Viasat Crime to be paranoid, also from such experiences as the one you’ve detailed.
Hahahahaha Bri. You should copyright that phrase hehe.
This is so deep and I totally feel for your friend ..she will be fine and it was very courageous of her to finally exit her marriage .. Yes not all men are bad ,but then again ,one can only know the man they have chosen because the rest have got women who cover for them,just like you said … . ..And salute to those few good ones who are amazing fathers to their kids and respect the mother so much to even yell at her or urgue with her in front of the child.. I love your writing ,the… Read more »
Thank you Waceke! She has now found peace and we are happy for her.
What a read….
Quite eye opening, thank God for great men.
In deed Nana!
…..Oh God But Why!!!
I know how Hannah’s son Felt!!
its still so fresh in my mind… So fresh.. N it happened back in 1999
Anyway some Men will pay dearly???
Oh My God,I’m a victim Of this whole mess of parents Fighting while kids Are Around,, …it happened To me Back in 1999 I was 5years but the memories are still fresh in my mind.. ..my Guka Tried to take us(my brothers) For guidance but we still remember.. ..I hated my Dad with A passion.. Then After my Mum demise back in 2002 ..we went to stay with Guka up to 2012… But Because I said I won’t Let My past affect me and staff.. I decided to Forgive my Dad!! We are Best friends Now! The only daughter… But… Read more »
Wow Shelmith! Thank you for sharing your story and glad to know that you made peace with your dad. Question, how did your brothers turn out? Are they more appreciative of women or do they believe that it’s ok to be abusive towards them, now that they witnessed that while growing up?
My big Bro Lawrence didn’t let anything affect him, he is 29years.. He just settled like 2 month’s
… My Twin Brother keeping in mind He was a mummy’s boy…He is the coolest dude I know…
…The problem is me oh my God.. I just See Men As a waste of time on my side..always negative about everything.. I’m 22 but dated ones.. N i just woke up and told the dude.. I just cnt stand you again and that was all..
It’s very sad to think about all the women going through that and they cant walk out even if they wanted to..
Let me just say first before saying anything else that we really missed you and are you back with a bang! The style of writing here is so impeccable and I am really impressed. Now to the topic in issue; good men are a rare breed in this age. I have no clue what is going on but we’re hearing one too many stories everyday like this one and I find myself asking is there any difference in how boys are being brought up in this generation? Sadly its their wives and children who are suffering and there are just… Read more »
Thank you Lolo, much appreciated!
While I agree with you about the need for a woman to respect themselves enough to walk away, sometimes its harder than it may appear to be. That’s why I applaud my friend for mustering the courage to do it. But you are right, the kids will never be happy if the mother is not.