Soraya I had to stop thinking of him as the man he presented to me. When he did what he did a year later, then told me about the new woman, and how she respected his marriage, I knew.

I knew that he had presented an entirely different man to her, because his needs had changed. He was now looking for a replacement 'good girl”, what his wife was…someone sexless, nurturing. Someone who would take care of him…and all the while, he would have someone like me on the side. Serially. Because he can’t marry the two together. His shame about his sexual appetites carry over into his partners…he needs a good girl at home to fuck missionary style , for 5 minutes twice a week, so he can fake normal.

I had to stop thinking of the man who wooed me into breaking all of my own rules.

I had to rethink him a bad man. An evil person. I had to stop “looking for the best” in him, the way I do for everyone.

He is the ugly one.

No matter what he says about me.

He is a lie. Therefore his assessment is a lie.

I looked hard into myself for truths of who I really was and what I really had to offer and rebuilt myself. I am who I decide to be, not what he grants permission for me to be.

He is dead. That man I loved? He DIED.

I get to grieve. I get to mourn the loss of that man. And then, I get to move on. There will always be a tug at my heart when I think of him. Because I loved him, and he died.

But people die. We go on.

You need to go on. You did not die. The world needs you far more than it will ever need him.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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