Dear Lee Burbage: Part Two

If you haven’t already, I do really recommend that you go back and read part one. The purpose of Part One is to demonstrate what had led to Part Two: The close out and moving on with my life and eventually the events that transpired in the week prior. I’d also check out Friends With Benefits if you haven’t read that one already too to understand how Lee violated “the rules” of what “we were” and what a Friends With Benefits relationship actually is. I Want To See You Be Brave talks about the day Lee messaged me for the first time in months. But still…

Let’s quickly recap.

I met Lee on a dating app and we dated for a week then he broke up with me. We reconnected two months later through Facebook Messenger and even though I was dating someone else non exclusively, Lee and I ended up having sex and having a connection. Lee and I decided to explore the option of friends with benefits but very quickly deteriorated into more. You’ll later read in this blog that he denies ever being more than friends with benefits but the screen shots in part one from my friend who I share intimate detail parts of my life that was obviously outline that, that was not the case. I never make the claim that he was in love with me, just that we were beyond what is considered to be just friends with benefits. I confessed that I had developed feelings for Lee quicker than he did, that I was falling in love with him but didn’t expect anything about our current situation to change nor for him to fully reciprocate how I felt in return. I wanted to keep things going as they were. At first he told me was was fine with this arrangement and how I felt and he promised to let me know when things felt “too relationshipy” for him. We had started making plans to hangout of his apartment, to do things other than have sex when his grandma fell ill and then suddenly died. I wanted to be there to help comfort him in his time of grief but instead he pushed me away and shut me out. I was beyond hurt but tried to keep living my life for me while he dealt with his grief. We ended up talking about how we both needed space and how hopefully we could pick up again one day and reevaluate where we stood with each other, even if that just meant being friends without any romantic involvement. And that’s where we left things off last time…

Crazy no?! Straight out of a telenovela! I’m waiting for the evil twin brother to pop out any minute now. (Not really, I’ve watched three straight seasons of Jane the Virgin) Anyway, that being said, let’s continue on to what happened next.

My friend that I write to and I take pauses between talking to each other every now, life happens and we get busy, and this was one of them. We loosely kept in touch after March 30th but it wasn’t until April 11th when I reached out again. I wanted to catch up her what was going on in my life but also to hear from her. Obviously I am only going to share my side, keeping her information private, and here is one of the message that I sent her. Aside from men, the majority of things that we share with each other are our goals in life and the progress we are making on them. I had been talking how frustrated I was with myself over my depression the last month especially as the situation with Lee did not help to contribute to it.

I was honest with my friend about the depression I was going through and my difficulty I was having in following through with my goals. This is something she knows and I have always been upfront when I’m struggling, even sometimes on a day to day basis. I talked about how I had hung out with Spike and reiterated what I had written in my Dangerously Stupid blog post. Talking to my other friend Spike about Lee had given me closure on a romantic side. I admitted that I still hoped Lee and I could meet up for coffee and reconnect but I needed to close the chapter on any romantic involvement between him and I. I didn’t like being closed out and no longer trusted him with my full heart to ever be intimate again in that way. But I did still love him as a person and hoped that he would hold onto his promise to talk again someday.

Something else that I thought would help me get out of my funk, would be to take up a new hobby. I had been inspired by Lee’s hobby of rock climbing and how it was something he did every Saturday. I had found a painting class for all levels that included drinking beer as you painted. I was intrigued and signed myself up for a class on a painting inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night but with sunflowers. Which honestly Starry Night and Sunflowers are my two most favorite things in this world. And I’m not going to lie, there was a small part of me that hoped the more I put myself out there that I could meet someone that wasn’t via a dating app. Not that there is anything thing wrong with dating apps, I just knew the romantic in me did want to have some cutesy rom-com kind of chance meeting in person. To develop a relationship the old fashioned way.

I had also tried to apologize to Lee for reaching out to him during an emergency and I had no one else to call. I did downplay the severity of my message to him but it wouldn’t have mattered because he didn’t read it anyway. I knew what he was doing, avoiding me but just hoped he just needed more time. I missed his friendship terribly though and felt so abandoned. I had let myself be completely vulnerable and felt so safe to just have been dumped without so much as an after thought. I did still love him and a very stupid part of me was still in love with him but that didn’t mean I trusted him with my heart. Friendship sure, love no. I also believe loving someone means a part of you puts the other person’s comfort levels first.

During this time I continued to date and put myself out there. Like I talked about in my Dangerously Stupid post I wasn’t trying to meet someone for the sake of meeting them but, I didn’t want to close myself off from love. I always get a lot of matches on dating apps but I was being extremely picky about who I said yes to. For example, and this is only a slight brag, but I currently have 250 likes on OKCupid and back in July, one guy on Bumble said he had waited 4 days to match with me. The key to me was picking the right guys. Who those guys are… I can’t tell you that. Between May through July I met up with a few different people but I was just mostly disinterested in almost all of them. I felt like this song. Nobody really stuck out and held my attention. I would have just rather eaten Randy.

At the end of April/early May I started talking to a guy I’ll just call Sparks because he worked in the Fireworks industry. He also went to school and was finishing up his mechanical engineering degree at the Citadel. He was the first guy I had sex with after Lee and while the sex was definitely good, I was just feeling empty inside. I don’t know how much this was in part to do with my feelings for Lee and how much of it had to do with the trauma from The Teacher. I still don’t know but I wasn’t really letting myself heal. I did recognize enough that I needed to stop having sex with anyone new for awhile. Sparks and I texted infrequently to one another until July when we finally met up again to get lunch. We talked and caught up but he would barely let me get a word in edge wise and I felt myself getting too annoyed to put up with that kind of behavior to tolerate it.

Also in May, I had a two hour beach date with a guy I’ll just call Mormon #2. He was definitely different than Fishsticks and more comfortable with physical touch as he put his hand on my thigh as we sat on the sand. He was also waiting for marriage to have sex but I had teased him how the first and last Mormon I had gone out with before him struggled to hold my hand. He was a software engineer from Utah visiting his family and parents, but also thinking about moving out to Charleston. He was interesting as he spoke fluent Mandarin as a second language and loved traveling to China and Thailand. But he was going back home to Utah in literally two days and had too many family obligations to make time to go out again. The major red flag with Mormon #2 that I spotted was that he admitted to throwing electronics when angry. Considering my history with people with anger and abuse in my life, it didn’t make me want to reach out and wasn’t upset to not hear back from him.

In the middle of May I reached out to Lee again. It was just a quick little quip about the mask mandate being lifted here in the city of Charleston. I had been folding clothes in my department at work when I was trying to fuss at a customer for not wearing their mask properly. It happens all the time when she snapped back at me how she didn’t need to anymore and about the new law. I’m always the last to hear about news, no seriously I am, and I pulled out my phone to look it up. Sure enough, she was right. Before putting my phone away I sent a message to Lee congratulating him because of how much hard work he has had to do regarding the whole mask mandate laws. I was hoping this meant some relief and to ease the work load for him as he was one of the main leads during this entire time at his job. I had been worried for his safety several times.

This was the first time Lee had actually looked at any of my messages in a month. The last message he had replied to me was about the Punk Flea Market I had gone to with The Teacher & Spike in April. The flea market seemed up Lee’s alley too and I wanted to share that with him. But when I messaged him about the masks, he saw it and didn’t say anything or reply. Which again, was a message within a message. I was trying to accept it, but because he hadn’t actually said anything, I wanted to hold out hope that all he needed was more time. I just didn’t know. I couldn’t know because he wasn’t saying anything either way.

I had published a poem called “It Could Have Been You” two days before I reached out to Lee and was worried he had seen it. I had discovered French Rap a couple months prior and was in love with it. Particularly this song called Plus Jamais by Aya Nakamura. Now I don’t speak French… like at all. I can speak and understand a few words here and there but for the most part I have no idea what’s being said and that was the case for this song. I couldn’t understand what they were saying until I looked up the lyrics but it felt like heartbreak before I had. I write a lot of poetry under my phone notes that never see’s the light of day and while looking through my phone, just decided to publish the poem. I published it because I was still heartbroken and wanted to express myself but I realized that after I wrote to him about the mask mandate, maybe he saw it.

Does he still read my blog? I wondered. If so, what does that mean? I didn’t want to have any grandiose delusions but this time he actually looked at my message where as he had ignored all my previous attempts. Just what did it mean? I didn’t know but I figured I would I would just leave him alone a little longer. To me, that didn’t say no. It just said not right now. Because again, I just couldn’t know. He wouldn’t communicate one way or the other.

I had also gotten great news, or what I felt like was great news. Spike had a friend whom I’ll just call The Ex Cop who had been needing a new roommate. Spike had been trying to get The Ex Cop’s former roommate to move out for months as it was a pretty bad situation and had been trying for me to move in since February. I was to move in June 1st and I was hastily trying to prepare myself. I was so nervous. I hadn’t lived with anyone but my ex Chris for nearly 11 years. Chris and I broke up in August but we were still continuing to live together as friends till I could afford to move out plus put my life together such as learning to drive and buying a car. So this… just sounded like a great opportunity. I was so scared but I was also so excited to finally be starting a new chapter in my life. I was as happy as the Disney Princess from Tangled.

That being said, I needed a place to put down all my thoughts and I turned to writing. There is a reason why I call this series “Dear Lee Burbage.”

You won’t find it on this blog anymore along with a handful of other journal entries from last year but in March, I had written a very long blog about my experience with Lee under the pseudonym of The General. I removed the blog entry sometime in April/May because I felt like I had over shared intimate details about my feelings over our experience… although I mean, they weren’t as intimate as the things I have shared now… and what happened to his grandma. I didn’t know for sure if he had read it but, if he had, I felt like writing it hurt him and was the main reason why he wasn’t talking to me. It made me afraid to blog in any form aside from poetry for several months. I was upset at myself for possibly hurting him because while I had published the blog, the intentions of what I wrote were only to talk about my feelings and never to upset him. There is a reason why you won’t read any blog posts from the last year except for poetry on here. My poetry was the one thing I wasn’t ashamed of and would refuse to take down. I wanted to make things right so to speak between Lee and I, and because Lee wouldn’t talk to me, removing my blog posts was the only way I could think on how to start the process of trying to be remorseful of my actions. I was punishing myself by not only taking down and deleting my old writing but I was punishing myself by not blogging about my feelings.

But I did need to write. So I wrote in a journal and I thought a good first step would be to write to Lee in the steps of an apology. I wrote over 12 pages in my first letter. I told him how “I want you to be happy above all else, even if it meant we don’t talk anymore. Because that was what you do for someone else when you love them. If you love them, sure your happiness matters too but, I really believe that also means you want the best things for the other person.”

And I meant every word… for awhile.

I wrote seven letters in total between May 21st to June 1st, each letter getting shorter and shorter in length, each titled “Dear Lee.” Well, except for the first letter. That one started out titled: “An Apology to Lee” or something along the lines. In that first letter I took the shoulder of the blame, which I realize now after analyzing what having a Friends With Benefits I wasn’t at fault. Constant boundaries were not only crossed and blurred but violated. I was always honest with my feelings with him and where I stood and what I still expected, which Lee does confirm. He was the one in March who promised to tell me if things would become too “relationshipy” for him. He was the one who couldn’t keep that promise or be honest with me. But I took the blame anyway because I always feel like I needed to. I always try to self examine where I went wrong, where I could be better. Since Lee wouldn’t talk to me, and you’ll read later on in the screen shots of our recent conversation, denying me the right to talk to me in person, to have that conversation so I could try and grow from the experience, I had to self reflect every possible turn where I could have gone wrong. I didn’t hesitate for a moment that any of his own actions could have played into it until I reread old conversations from my friend. I willingly took the blame and blunt responsibility for something that I now understand wasn’t my fault.

I felt the need to keep writing to him trickle away as I was closing one chapter of my life and moving onto another. By the 7th letter, I realized writing those letters weren’t helping, in fact it was doing the opposite. And so I wrote it down as the last letter before switching to my own private journaling. Let’s move on.

I took the entire month of June to work on myself, not even go out on a single date. Sparks and I had tried for him to come see my new place but like we always did to one another, we bailed at the last minute. And at the end of June, Mr. Brodrick finally made plans to go out with me in person. I ended up canceling at the last minute being completely honest with him that I was just not ready to date like I thought I was and apologized profusely.

I did still fantasize about Lee from time to time but I was really struggling not to. I was struggling so much because of not getting that closure. I know I keep reiterating these points but I really just want to drive home the severity of what was. This was someone I had literally poured my guts out to with very private and intimate details of my life. A man who had held me as I cried, kissed me, made love to me and promised to always tell me when things got to be too much of a relationship only to… “just stop” aren’t the right words I want to use but I honestly can’t think of them. He had promised that we could talk again and reevaluate later on down the road made it near impossible to get over.

I had sent him a message on May 30th, saying that I understood/got the message and would leave him alone from now on. But if you look at the delivered check mark, for those aren’t familiar with Facebook, it means he hasn’t read my message. It was delivered to him but he chose not to open it. So he wouldn’t have even known what I said. So what did it mean?! It was a mixed message. Like I keep asking myself, how am I supposed to know??? Just say something at this point already!

Let’s fast forward to August because in July I had started seeing someone else as a Friend With Benefit. In the middle of August, I thought it would be a good time to try again to communicate with Lee simply only due to the fact he hadn’t read my message before. I hadn’t reached out or contacted him at all since that message in May. He hadn’t opened up my email from then so I just thought I’d reach out and try. I figured at worst he would just keep ignoring it.

I had gotten sucked down this YouTube rabbit hole of “covers” of this YouTube trend from the song Apple Bottom Jeans and for a couple days couldn’t stop laughing at it. I had literally sent a playlist I made to a dozen people and I have no idea why I thought it would be a good ice breaker to use for him. But instead… I realized a couple days later, that he had blocked me.

“You can no longer reply to this person.”

Um… excuse me… what??? It was the same as before, another unread message, but now I was blocked. I was just like… what the hell dude… really?! What did I ever do that was so wrong to you?!

I felt a swelling build in my chest as I started to get upset. Twenty minutes later, to say I was fuming was an understatement. I wanted to order an Uber right then and there, pound on his door and yell in his face. But before I started changing out of my pajamas I closed my eyes and visualized it happening. I imagined myself getting out of the Uber, walking up his steps and I started to feel the tightness in my chest as my anxiety heightened. It increased as I knocked loudly with my knuckles. Firm, but not aggressive. I imagined Roux barking and his voice on the other side of the door telling her to hush and opening the door. As I saw his tall bespectacled eyes meet mine and the confused look on his face as he formed slowly formed the words, “… Sarah ??”

I opened my eyes. Nope. I definitely couldn’t do that. I was definitely too scared to do that.

Besides what exactly was I going to do? Slap him? While that definitely did sound satisfying and very movie heroine-esk, it also didn’t feel like me. I’m just not naturally prone to physical violence although I do a little “whoop whoop” when I see it done by other females in the movies. So what would I do? What would I say? Call him a jerk or other names? Possibly but I just didn’t see how it would help. It wouldn’t fix anything other than come off as not only “the angry chick” but borderline crazy. But I needed something. I needed to find some way to just remind him, he was the asshole in this situation and exactly how much damage he had done. Even if he wouldn’t take accountability, I needed to find some way to girl boss up and just let him know. To remind him that I am a real flesh and blood person on the other side of this computer screen and he treated me worse than you do when you take the garbage out. He wasn’t Lee Burbage to me, he was the one who was garbage, Lee Garbage. Which yes, I know, I’m sorry I’m not normally prone to name calling but that was how I felt.

So I did what I do best. I wrote.

I wrote three different drafts from August 18th to August 22nd. I needed it to be perfect. The first letter was just way too angry and played into exactly the kind of angry woman he wanted me to be. I waited two days and picked apart how it would sound more rationally and with less emotion. The second draft was a lot better but still needed work. The third draft was roughly eight pages long but said exactly everything I needed to say. All I needed to do now was figure out how to get it to him. I also figured I might as well include the letters I had written May. I felt like they would humanize me more, remind him this was the process he had put me through. The hurt he had caused and was responsible for. After writing these three versions, a new sense of peace and real closure was finally settling over me. I felt like I could finally move on. I put each letter into it’s own white manila envelope, numbered the suggested reading order and then all the letters into a bigger white mailing envelope. Now I just needed to figure out how to get them to him.

At first I considered just dropping it off at the post office and having it mailed to him but it just didn’t feel… enough. I wanted this to feel real, if that makes sense. I was just someone he was constantly running away from and I just wanted to emphasis a reminder of the real pain he had caused through his actions. He had every right to run away and not respond but actions are not without consequences and I needed to know that I had tried to get this through to him. Of how selfish he was. What he did with the letters after that would no longer be my concern because I considered myself finally done and over the situation from that point on.

So I decided to drop the package of letters off in person. It made me feel brave, that I was taking action and quite frankly, standing up for myself. For once not being a doormat and taking shitty behavior lying down. I was terrified but, I was doing it. The next day on Monday I ordered the Uber to his place and back. I was suffering with a lot of self doubt. I knew I needed to do this for myself but it also felt wrong. It did feel like an invasion of privacy but at the same time, he cared so little for my own thoughts and feelings, why should I take in consideration for his? But was I playing into the stereotypical angry woman? I felt like what I was doing was the right thing but at the same time I was so scared. I went in the middle of the afternoon when I guessed he would be at work, doing my best to avoid the awkward confrontation. Everything was exactly as I remembered. A lump formed in my throat as I walked up his stairs, being exactly as I had imagined and I hurried as quietly as I could, setting the package on the floor against the door so even Roux wouldn’t be disturbed. I turned around just as quickly ran back down the stairs.

When I got back inside my Uber, I finally felt the rush of adrenaline settle and serotonin release inside my body. I wanted to pump my fists in the air and throw up at the same time. That being said, there was a part of me that not only regretted over what I had just done but feared over what I had just set in motion. A part of me wanted to run back up those stairs and grab the package but my driver was already pulling away and I had to accept any future consequences of what was going to happen next. There would be five or six hours till he most likely even saw what was left on his doorstep. I thought I would pace nervously for hours but my head hit the pillow in exhaustion not too long after I had gotten home.

Nothing happened other than I noticed the next day on Tuesday I had noticed that I was unblocked. There weren’t any messages but I hadn’t expected there to be. I was confused by what this meant though, what did it mean? Obviously it meant he got my letters but… what else? All I could do was sit and wait.

Oddly enough, between Tuesday and Thursday when he finally reached out, I was at peace. I had no idea what being unblocked meant by Lee but I wasn’t going to stress over it. I wasn’t going to be the one to reach out this time. I had said what I needed to say in my letters and my door had been opened for communication if he wanted. I wasn’t angry anymore.

Thursday afternoon just as I was leaving the house to go to the beach with The New Yorker, Lee sent me this message.

Everything felt so carefully crafted and specifically worded. It didn’t feel cold exactly but it felt… something. Especially as he got to the end about leaving the letter at his door, an invasion of his privacy. I wish I had talked to my friend as this was happening to get better clarity on the situation as it was happening but at the same time, I do need to be a big girl and know how to reply on my own. My friend’s perspective just on this part was really eye opening. Here is the first part of her opinion (there was more and I am truly grateful for her advice and thoughts)

Yes. He could have said this at any time months ago. But he didn’t. Not until I made things real for him by in my own way physically confronting him. He had absolutely no remorse at the time for how he treated me, including blocking me. He admits to being cowardly thereby being selfish because he would have kept hiding behind his selfish actions until I had taken action. I didn’t see it until a few days later and the emails between us kept exchanging but, he was still only thinking of himself. His own boundaries and invasion of privacy. He was like a little kid being told by a parent that they were sorry when they weren’t. I was being real and honest about what he did to me while he was being manipulative. He only cared about his privacy being “invaded” not for the reasons why it led up to why I left it there to begin with.

But that being said, I didn’t take it that way at first.

Over the last for blog posts, I feel like I’ve outlined pretty well how I am someone who shoulders the blame. I constantly try to think of what I’m doing wrong and how my actions effect other people. I had said some really hurtful things in my life and caused some a lot of pain to those individuals and I have spent hours upon hours reflecting back on what I should have done instead, better was to communicate and handle my frustrations. I’ve also had to cut people out of my life like Lee did to me without explanation, knowing I was causing them pain and confusion the way Lee had made me feel. I’ve always shouldered that responsibility that sometimes I feel like Atlas, with the weight of the world on my shoulders.

It was just my instincts to apologize for leaving the letter at his doorstep. It had felt right but also the wrong thing to do. So I over apologized. I wrote out what I was hoping for but I also gave him too easy of a way out to say no. I do realize that now. I even tried to ease the tension by making a Virgo joke, which I thought was a joke between us from before.

Instead… I wish I had simply just written this:

“I appreciate you reaching out to me Lee and your words of apology. But going forward I would like to meet in person to discuss this further. Please let me know of a time that is good for you. Sincerely, Sarah”

But I didn’t.

Lee does state he understands why I did what I did but seems to emphasize that there was no return address. I understood but I didn’t. I didn’t see why a return envelope would matter. To what? Return it unopened? That would defeat the purpose. If he didn’t want to read it all he had to do was throw it away.

It didn’t offended me that he didn’t want to meet in person, but I did want to talk that wasn’t through text. My friend Kyle has helped me understand that saying what you need to say to someone, sometimes just can’t be communicated through a computer screen. Words can be misread. Tone in voice can also be misunderstood but at the same time, it’s less likely to happen or you can get a better vibe if you are speaking with them. At the same time I also understood if at this point he just wanted to cease contact altogether, that I was fine. I apologized again for making him feel uncomfortable even if it wasn’t my intent. Because intent and actions are not the same. It’s why there is the phrase “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

But let’s continue.

You can see where I underlined his message of “I don’t know that we need to go as far as no contact.”

Everything in his messages thus far just makes me feel like the song Happier by A Fine Frenzy.

It’s not the words that make it final
You’ve said such things before to rival them
But it’s how you say them now that’s changed
Cold but sympathetic all the same

I know you want this suffering to end, so it is forgivable my friend.

Again, I could feel the coldness, the calculation between each word before he sent the message. And I tried to make the situation better… I kept trying to take that responsibility of easing the tension, trying to make him feel at ease by even recommending him that stupid playlist of Apple Bottom jeans. Several hours later it felt like I was just making the situation worse and again, tried to apologize.

I explained that I was trying to figure my own boundaries and just because I did want a friendship with Lee, what the expectations of that would mean. I did feel finally like I had gotten closure but all of this just left me feeling… so confused. What did he want? Why couldn’t he just be honest and say exactly what he meant? Why was talking to him like pulling teeth?

I couldn’t sleep. It was almost 1am when I finally had to ask, why had eve even reached out to begin with? I needed answers. I needed him to be clear. Until I knew, I had to take back my own apologies to him.

In this moment it was what made me realize that all of this was just for him. Even though he was the one who acted quite frankly like a jack ass, he was making this all about himself. About what he wanted. What about me? What about my needs? I had communicated in the beginning that going forward that I needed to talk about this if we were going to actually going to go through with an apology to making things right.

But Lee only cares about his own guilt. Not about the pain he causes. He wanted that golden shiny star for “doing the right thing” when the only right thing he was doing was for himself.

He couldn’t find a compromise for both of our boundaries would be comfortable which he would have done if he was truly remorseful or cared about any feelings other than his own. I still stand by what I said in these screen shots.

So let’s break this down. Every apologetic word he said was negated instantly when I read that if I came by his home again, he would call the police.

I read those words and blinked. Excuse me??? What in any of my previous messages would assume such actions? If anything I had said a few different times that I was okay with walking away, that I had the closure I needed. Also what did him being in a relationship have to do with anything we were talking about?

The audacity I felt over all of what he said boiled my blood. The nerve of his assumptions doesn’t quite cut it. Arrogant definitely does. Egotistical is another word for it. And boy did I let him know.

And with that… I blocked him. (my last message meaning he doesn’t know what it means to wish someone the best in life)

Now, all that being said, it is time to wrap up this blog post but I do have a few final more points before we do.

I did try to explain to him at the end exactly what an apology is and what it means but let’s break that down here. I did immediately start looking up the stages of an apology and thanks to Google, found thus. It was actually really interesting because I myself got to learn exactly how to understand what it means as well. And how an apology without change is just maniupulation. How Lee Burbage is just a maniuplator.

In the beginning Lee had done two of the three steps but was lacking in step number three. I had wanted to talk to him via off the internet to talk about in depth what happened for my own personal peace. If he had done so he would have made at least an honest attempt to prove he was doing what he could to correct his behavior. Simply just reaching out and acknowledging he did a shitty thing is not actually taking steps to correct his behavior. If anything he ended up enforcing and proving he was just a manipulator.

Here is the rest of the message my friend sent me now that everything is in full context.

So what do I expect by publishing this blog post? From him: nothing. I don’t actually write any of this to shame or humiliate him. I don’t write this for revenge.

I’m writing these blog posts for a multitude of reasons though. I do hope that someone, somewhere if they are going or have gone through a similar situation like this, know that they are not alone. I write this for myself to know how I should be treated going forward by any person wither platonic or romantic. And I write it for others to have that same kind of courage. Too often women are painted into this box or negative image especially by men.

But like one of my favorite authors Terry Goodkind once wrote in the book Wizards First Rule once wrote:

“There is no such thing as pure good or pure evil, least of all in people. In the best of us there are thoughts or deeds that are wicked, and in the worst of us, at least some virtue. An adversary is not one who does loathsome acts for their own sake. He always has a reason that to him is justification. My cat eats mice. Does that make him bad? I don’t think so, and the cat doesn’t think so, but I would bet the mice have a different opinion.”

Terry Goodkind- Wizard’s First Rule

I read this quote when I was sixteen years old and thought about it a lot and probably will for the rest of my life. A villain doesn’t just become a villain. A villain is not just born, they are created. Lee created me in his mind to be a monster, a thing to fear.

A part of me is still angry at him but the more time that passes, the more I pity him. I am not ready to unblock him from any of my social media accounts because if he did want contact, it would only to be for me to take these blog posts down that confirm his real identity. The true nature of who he really is. His seedy underbelly. This will be searchable by anyone who looks for Lee Burbage’s name.

I don’t know exactly what it is that I want except to learn how to forgive. I don’t wish to forgive him because he deserves it, but because I do. The point of these blogs are for me to find peace. For me to find closure. I am done caring about how it makes him look because of how little he regards for others feelings. And in truth I have been finding that peace and happiness every single day that I started writing this series. It’s been just a little bit over a week since I published my first entry and I’ve come a long way since then. I even started going to church for the first time in over +20 years so I can start working on my own personal relationship with not only God but my spirituality in general.

I do hope to one day wish good things for Lee and for good things to happen to him but right now, I just can’t. I just don’t. I don’t wish him harm but if a little old lady spat on him, I probably would get more enjoyment out of that than I should care to admit. I don’t wish bad karma to happen upon him, like I don’t wish for his relationship to break up, but I do wish karma happens to him. I do hope that he is able to learn what being in a healthy relationship means because then again, I’m not the one whose had the failed marriage. That may be petty to throw out there but it is what it is and I’m not sorry for the fact that it being true.

Anyway, it is time to finish up this blog post.

Thank you to those who’ve read all four blog posts and have stuck by me since. Thank you to my friend for giving me advice on the entire situation since the beginning, even advice I didn’t want to hear. I value her friendship more than she could possibly know. Even though we live thousands of miles apart, live completely different lives and are very different in the way we think she is possibly the closest thing I’ve ever felt like having to a sister. That we are our own version of two Ya-Ya Sisters. I love you for that and always will.

To everyone else, again thank you and I hope you are well whoever and wherever you are.

With All My Love,

Sarah Smiles

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