He proposed to me in September 1987, I believe. I said yes. We had been dating for a year, and felt pretty good about each other.
I had a past. One that filled me with a lot of self-doubt and low esteem. I had just graduated high school in 1986. Escaping that era, that past, and moving on to college where I could start over was a wonderful opportunity.
I was so desperate to be liked in high school that I allowed myself to be abused, taken advantage of. I had been dating a guy who was fond of telling me, “Most guys would turn cold with your hearing issues, and you don’t even have boobs, but I still love you”.
“Most guys would turn cold, but me, I’m so wonderful I look past your defects”
I lost my virginity to him when I was sixteen. I cried. It was not a joyous occasion. It was desperation to find acceptance, to maybe be loved.
So, years of being in that relationship, of basically having love-less sex, because that’s all I thought I was good for, had done a number on my self esteem. I knew I had to get away. My only escape was college. I deliberately chose a major that would require that I move a long ways away from home.
And college was great. I was finding myself. I found love. I was badly hurt and I had learned to steel myself against pain, against abuse, against emotion. I could harden myself, make myself go numb. Sometimes I wish I still had that ability.
Brian married me. Something awoke inside me. I began to let myself feel again. But with it came anger, truth, honesty….and lesbianism. Feminism. I went to a sexual assault survivors support group at the Women’s Resource Center. Processing through the pain of my high school years.
I realized I didn’t like men all that much.
I realized I could trust women.
I realized I could LOVE women.
Brian did nothing wrong, I have to emphasize that. He was caught up in my self-discovery. Wrong time, wrong place. And he loved me, and maybe allowed me to lower my barriers.
I sank into a deep depression. I realized I shouldn’t have married Brian. I was dragging him along on a really convoluted self-discovery session that he didn’t deserve.
I asked for a divorce, two years after we married. On bended knee.