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On Bended Knee

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.

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