Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Training up this child – Part 13 – Harry oh Harry

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I realized that though I have been talking a lot about my courtship, I haven’t been saying much about a very important person in the whole thing. Harry!

For one, that is because for one, I don’t want to talk bad about Harry in any way. He doesn’t deserve that. Let me draw a clearer picture of him for you.

As I said, Harry was very bold. But not really in a loud, annoying way. While I was like my mother, quiet, shy, liked to be part of the flock and not jump out in any way, he was outgoing, he often took over leadership, loved to settle fights between the small ones and was always first to ask if anybody needed him for anything. That type of personality rubbed me the wrong way, I just didn’t really enjoy being around such a strong personality. I’m not saying it’s a bad one, it’s just not my type.

Quiet people very easily felt ordered around by him. But he didn’t mean to. He told me, and I think he’s right about it, that when nobody takes charge of being the leader in a game for example, everything goes wrong and it’s no fun. If nobody dared to speak up, he was the one to jump in. He never did it in a know-it-all way. He was loving, gently explaining what’s to do.

Beth told me that Harry was like his dad and in a way this might be true, but that’s not how I experienced him. Yes, he was a leader, but not a tyrant. Much later I told Beth that I still think very highly of her brother, and she agreed that she might have drawn a black and white picture. Looking at Harry today, I can see his father but in a very different way. Harry was and is just as much of a victim of the fundamentalist system than I was. I know he suffered very much through me and both families involved. I wish I could have stopped that, but the things that happened between us had to happen.

During our courtship, Harry was very sweet. While he was a bit strange at the beginning (or maybe that was me), he developed into a friend and a very charming, gentle person. He was a good listener just as much as he understood getting me to talk. As our courtship advanced, he seemed to understand me much better than at the beginning and turned into someone who I liked even though he had made a bad impression to me at first.

He was eager to learn about my opinions. He asked challenging questions. In a sense, he was like Beth. Obviously he had radical views on women which I now can’t agree with anymore, but that wasn’t until I left.

Harry did a lot trying to please me. I think he sensed that I just didn’t love him. He brought me flowers, cakes, once he even made me a wooden box that he had also painted himself which I was supposed to use as a jewelery box. Too bad I didn’t have any jewelery back then but I’ll tell you that now it’s finally serving it’s purpose.

Yeah, Harry definitely was in love with me. Not that fundamentalist “love” where only actions count. The type of love that is a sweet emotion, like a stirring inside you. The type of love Tiffany talks about.

But for me, he was just a dear friend. I respect him, but I can’t love him. I tried so hard, but apparently, that’s not something you can sit and wait for.

Thinking back, it hurts me that I just couldn’t do it. He wasn’t my type emotionally, physically, spiritually, personality-wise.

It hurts me to know that he is so hurt because of something both of us couldn’t stop. A courtship is supposed to prevent heartache but this one certainly inflicted a lot of that. And we didn’t even touch except for one occasion!

As a conclusion I want my readers to know that Harry, even though I never learned to love him, is dear to me. He taught me a lot of things and I wouldn’t trade my memories of him for the world. We might certainly not meant to be “one”, but we are the same. I’m thankful that I met him, and I’m thankful that both him and I didn’t end up trapped in a marriage where I could only hope that I would fall in love with him some day. Harry isn’t to blame for anything. He’s not a bad guy and I don’t mean to draw a negative picture of him.


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