Sometimes I catch a glimpse of what I think is in my future.
I am standing like Uma Thurman, except it's me, in a glass house overlooking the sea.
It looks like Catalina and from the hilltop there isn't a building in sight.
This is where I spend my time, often alone, no friends allowed, not even one.
The only person I see is my husband.
He calls the cleaners in when he sends me on an errand, which is usually some treatment or upkeep to perfect my beauty.
He controls every single thing in the household and there is not one piece of trash or missing bobby pin he doesn't know about.
I blame myself for the situation, telling myself I gave him a complex by how little he could control me when he discovered me.
He tells the hairdresser how my hair is to be done and it is long, wavy, and blonde.
I have skin treatments every week and wear very little makeup, which he tells me how to apply the way he likes it.
I am only allowed to work on projects that are my own under his scrutiny.
When he allows me to release something it's only the one with his approval.
He decides how my image appears to the outside world.
No one contacts me, because they are all appeased by his monetary presents and they are sure I am happy.
Everyone assumes I am happy as I have the perfect life.
He doses me with various potions and medications.
When he wants me to sleep, I sleep.
When he wants me to wake up afraid I wake up in the night with tears running down my cheeks.
Seeing me cry uncontrollably is his favorite thing and I cry silently.
I never get angry or struggle, I am docile just like he wants.
On specific occasions he takes me on a jet or something to an elite private place where we can be seen together.
I always look and act precisely as he plans, since he briefs me days in advance about who will be there and how I must act.
Most of all I must be cold to all men and warm only to him.
I must not respond to any joke or story unless I know he will be pleased.
And above all I must never speak to anyone else alone.
He has clothing tailored to my body and I live in fear and dread that I will change shape by even a millimeter.
He loves it when I write personal thoughts.
And if I write something he doesn't understand he will spend hours, even days with me until he is sure he knows exactly what I mean.
If there is ever a hint of yearning for someone else I am punished.
If there is ever an intimation that I am lying in the journal he will punish me.
He has perfected his punishments.
Either he leaves me alone for days while I am monitored by hidden cameras or he will snap at me for the tiniest grievance.
Calling me ungrateful after he saved me from myself and the life I was leading.
When actually it was just beginning to go fine until he came and took me away.
He reminds me of someone from the past I knew, and yet he looks completely different.
He is tall, slim yet muscular, dark brown hair, gray eyes, and a handsome face which is masculine yet tender.
Women actually stop when they see him and stare.
He is as meticulous with his dress as he is with mine.
Never once sloppy.
And he never works out where I can see him drop a bead of sweat.
Bathrooms are separate, but mine still has no privacy.
My sense of dignity was taken long ago.
He wants to know the dirty and the clean.
To degrade me he knows exactly what to say.
Asking me personal clinical questions like an elite surgeon.
I have bank accounts in my own name, yet no access to them, because he controls my wallet and every password.
I am given the amount of money I need when I am supposed to use it.
When he is out of the country on "business" I have one permanent bodyguard.
The rest of them are highly trained and undercover and I do not even know exactly who they are.
There are spies all around me.
If I leave a piece of half eaten fruit in a ziplock bag in the pristine refrigerator I am punished with long, rough sex.
He never pleases me, but waits for me to explode from lack of attention.
I am allowed to make art, but only lovely, beautiful work he can admire and envy.
He sees me as his competition in relation to artwork.
He knows I have something he does not, because even in his grip, I was the first to be published.
He obsesses over how I did it first.
And pores over each and every painting looking for clues.
When he's done creating a meticulous masterpiece he always brings it to me first.
His artwork becomes famous and mine isn't allowed to leave the house.
People ask him if I still paint and he says things like, "No, she lost her touch. It's just upsetting to her."
Meanwhile he has begun copying my work, at first just a little, but later more and more.
He is inflamed when people are drawn to the parts I did first.
Artwork is essentially a part of his impression of me from the beginning.
Every once in a while I am allowed a moment of happiness when he hands me the phone and it's my mother.
This only happens after I have done something that greatly pleases him and he wants more.
Sometimes he puts opiates in my food and then watches me high on the bed in bliss.
When he can't stand it anymore he makes love to me and tells me he loves me.
That is the only way I can feel like he knows how to love someone.
I am not allowed to tell him I love him.
Unless I say I love you in private and only when he wants me to.
If I do not know how to act he will push me up against the wall and grab my hair.
It's not pleasant like when I find a way to outwit him.
At first I could outwit him quickly, but eventually it takes weeks, then months, and finally years.
By the time I am old enough to be aging we move quickly to another place.
And by the time of arrival I am no longer with him, no longer there.