And...I am thankful that I discovered and developed my sexuality before they got to me, before that part of me could be warped and ruined. I'm not saying there aren't issues...but what I am saying is that when you've owned and defined your sexuality independently, before that kind of trauma, less damage is done because you know that your body belongs to you. Three cheers for masturbation!
As for the nightmarish past 18 months....and yes, that is what it feels like, a nightmare that I've finally awakened from.......I am at a loss as to how and why that hurt so fucking much. Nothing else that has ever happened to me has hurt more. I am done asking "why" it happened to begin with. Life isn't always rational. Strange things happen and sometimes without a good reason. I am not getting how I could have been so emotionally invested in that.....but...whatever. Not going to go picking at the scab.
Because now, things are better. Now, I am discovering what it feels like to be appreciated, to be listened to....really listened to, not that pretend sort of listening...but the sort where you are heard, where your voice matters. I am finding out what it's like to feel like an equal, to be treated with respect. To be 100% there, not dissociating at all. It's wonderful. It's intoxicating. It's very hard to let go of for very long because I'm afraid it will go away and things will return to being sucky again. I think...that I am having a hard time believing that something this nice could happen to me, that there could be a partner who is a partner in every sense of the word, that his eyes could be shining like that at me and will still be that warm tomorrow, too. I wonder if this is what a shelter dog feels like when it leaves the tiny, stinking kennels with the endless barking and fear/aggression smells...and goes to a good home where it's really loved.
I hope this works out..and I will do everything I can to contribute towards that goal....but whether it does or not, one thing is clear: I am never, ever settling for being treated like shit again.