The quiet after the storm has come. At least for now. I am feeling better. Stronger. But deception is a brutal thing. It almost killed me. Small deceptions are no big thing. They happen everyday. But it is the big deceptions, the ones that comes out of nowhere and completely knock you off your feet- these are the deceptions that forever change you. Maybe I deserve what I got. I was angry and inattentive. I was difficult and critical. But I was also caring and loving. Loyal. Maybe everyone deserves a little deception but no one deserves the kind of deception I got. But I suppose I have deceived as well. We all have done it. I have deceived in a way that radically altered another person’s life. I am not innocent of this. Maybe the deception I received was my punishment for this. I am not much of a believer in karma but I think that all of our actions get returned to us in some way. I have paid my price. I am deeply sorry for what I have done to another. No one deserves to be seriously deceived but it happens everyday. It happens because we are fearful and weak. We are unable to state what we want. So we hide it so that we can continue to have what we want. Deception is an immensely selfish thing. This is why it is so ugly and harmful. I am different now. Something within me has been lost but something has also been gained. I still love and care for her. I know she is a good woman. But I am not devoted and in love in the same way. I am cautious and distant. Something has shut down towards her. I imagine this is normal. If someone or something hurts you in a way that feels like it could almost take your life, you will be forever cautious of them. You can forgive them and be on good terms with them but you will never forget what they are capable of doing to you. You would be a fool to forget. That would be very dangerous. You can never forget. They are dangerous even when reformed. They almost took your life with their deception and now you must keep a safe distance between you and them. It changes the dynamics of a relationship. It is sad in a way. That loyalty and commitment is lost. That trust is not there in the same way. A deep bond between two people is broken and lost. But from this grows more independence. I am more independent now. I am more reliant upon myself. I am stronger than I was before the deception. I am my own person now and I want her to be her own person. I want her to do her own thing because then I can do my own thing more. Maybe from deception the relationship will grow into something healthier than before. We will both be more independent and less co-dependent. We will be better friends, free to live our own lives separately and together. Now maybe I will be able to be the kind of person I have always wanted to be in relationship: less attached, not jealous, kind and independent. Free. Deception is the brutal path to getting here, but for someone like myself maybe it was the only path. My love has changed. I am having to learn how to love all over again. It is a different kind of love. Maybe a healthier love. My loyalty is no longer what it was. My alone time is less empty. Her absence less depressing. Deception has forced me deeper into myself. I am glad about what I have gained but also sad about what has been lost.