There are two of me.

There's one that survived a cult.

She still emails other survivors.

The ones who have lost themselves or others.

She works with the police.

She documents what happens and works on her book.

She does trauma therapy every week to untie the deep-rooted knots of what happened.

She emails abuse nonprofits to volunteer.

She's brave but depressed.

She's fighting.

Helping and hurting.

She's fighting.

Then there's the other.

The one who travels the world.

Who works at a startup in NYC.

She's in love, wondering if she can live abroad.

She imagines a fairytale life of adventure.

Can both live together?

Are they separate paths, a fork in the road?

If I choose the second, did the first happen in vain?

Did it happen at all?

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I spiral. I feel like I did when David told me he had cheated. I feel like I did when Michael said goodbye in the parking lot of San Jose. Or when he left me in the elevator. I feel it rush in my body

I buy kayaks. Bake brownies. Reupholster my chairs. I make spreadsheets and book hotels. I write out grocery lists and buy new clothes. I want everything to be right and ready. That's who I am.

When I have no one else, I have me. When I lose everything, I have me. When I’m lost or scared or stuck, I have me. When people say they can’t come. When they’re not free. When they don’t understand.