Once there was a boy, a boy I thought I liked very much. My roommate set us up. He wanted to go live in another country where they speak another language and preach. I thought I might want to do this too. I thought I might want to do it with him.
But the problem was, in this boy's world, girls were beautiful virgins in white dresses with long dark hair, or they were whores. And because I wanted to be honest, I told him all about me.
It took him three days and being yelled at by someone else to speak to me again. When he did, he said that he would try to understand.
But he never did understand.
Eventually, he dumped me. It was hard. I thought I liked him a lot. I thought I even loved him, even though, to be honest (which I can be now to a degree I was unable to then), we had an awful relationship. I knew why he was dumping me. I wanted to make him say it. I tried for hours to make him say it. He never did.
I was messed up for a long time after this. I was vulnerable enough to wonder if he might be right about me. It took me a long time to undo that damage, and it didn't get undone by me alone. A long time after I met a boy who saw me differently, and who, wonder of wonders, saw something even I didn't see in me, something fascinating, something compelling, something worth holding on to from then on. Something which couldn't be reduced to the status of a body part. And we got married.
And here we are.