Person or Property
“I paid for it, I can do what I want with it”. This should have been a red flag, but young love is blind. Kevin and Arlene met in high school but did not start dating seriously until they graduated. It an idyllic courtship. The engagement was not unexpected. There were the standard ups and downs, of course.
What is it about a gold or silver ring that changes a man? The first indication of trouble occurred a couple of weeks into the engagement. It wasn’t anything major. Kevin had purchased a vase and had it on the coffee table. On this night he was in a rather surly
Mood. Suddenly and without warning, Kevin picked up the vase and heaved it across the room. His energy and his anger spent, he went over and cleaned up his mess. Saying he was sorry but it was a rough day at work. Had he stopped there, Arlene would not have had the glimpse into his dark side. He added, “I paid for it, I can do what I want with it.”
Love is not only blind, it is deaf as well. These little incidents started happening more frequently. As first it was just his property, his possessions, he destroyed. By the time he started taking his anger out via things he had purchased for Arlene, she had come to expect it. She never read the signs.
The day of their wedding was the happiest day of her life. In fact it preceded the last two weeks of happiness she would ever see. They returned from their honeymoon a couple of days early. Kevin wanted them to be settled in their house before he returned to work.
Kevin’s income was sufficient for now that Arlene didn’t have to work. Since Arlene didn’t have to work, people were used to her not leaving the house for days at a time. No one really suspected anything when they talked to her on the phone. Granted the phone calls became more and more infrequent but she was a newlywed. As her calls became more distant, less informative though, her friends started wondering. Invites to coffee or lunch went unanswered. Vibrant, vivacious, talkative Arlene was becoming a mime.
Inside the house (this was not a home, by a long shot), things were much different. When Kevin bought the house he made sure it was set away from the others and was on the end lot of the new development. Life at the Kevin house was lonely. He hated animals and only had one phone and it was in the den where he could lock it up in the morning. Kevin owned this house, he owned everything in it, including Arlene. He did love her, in his own way, but since he paid for the wedding, he owned her. She was his property and was treated accordingly. Arlene did not see the trap, until it shut. He did not lock the phone away right away, until he realized that was a means of escape for her.
When Kevin went on vacation and went by himself, his co-workers suspected something was wrong. The day after he left town to go hunting, Arlene’s mother went over to the house. She knew she couldn’t when Kevin was home. No one had heard anything. The police did catch up with him before he got too far. Arlene was not in the car, but it was obvious where she had been.
At the trial, Kevin defended himself. He got life. On his way to prison someone overheard him say, “I paid for it, I can do what I want with it”.
This is not really an extreme case. Granted this one is fictional, but it is played out all too often for real. The goal of WINGS is to point the signs of a control type personality. Let us show you the traps before you are sucked in. Love may be blind, but learn the pitfalls before getting totally sightless. Are you property? Or a person?