"This will be the last letter I ever write you," the note began. I couldn't believe I was finally writing it; it was unfathomable that it had taken me so long. As hard as it was to break up with the old church, my community, marriage, and former life, God was the hardest to leave behind—that's why it took me more than three years when all the others had been a matter of months. I will warn you that this post might be particularly triggering for many.

I have to be done—for me.

I have much better insight into why people stay in abusive relationships. The fear of leaving without anything to catch you when you fall is greater than the fear of the abuse itself. Change is too much for a nervous system always registering threats day in, day out. The unknown is crushing when we are juggling the ongoing threat of the next abuse, the next psychological or emotional wound.

I left the narcissist once and for all.

Let that sink in—I left behind the god who demands my worship. I walked away from the deity who considers himself so great that he needs humans and angels to worship him and prop up his fragile ego, day and night. I cut off the vain one who for so long required sacrifices in his name.

I would no longer accept this tiny god who needed me to keep feeling small to make him feel and look bigger. I will no longer subject myself to the label of "sinner" so that a god who has justified genocide, domestic violence, and murder can feel better about himself or seem less evil. I sin in that I am not always generous or good to my fellow humans, I accept that I am flawed, but "sinner" shall never be my name—even Jesus referred to people as gods.

I finally accepted that god could never allow for the space I needed in the relationship to expand into my true self. This acknowledgment was too threatening to this insecure little man. He felt threatened by my freedom, and his insecurity stifled me.

I have felt myself expanding in the past few years; really, I have experienced a rapid series of metamorphoses. Yet, I have subtly acknowledged that this relationship, if I can call it that, was holding me back—it could only hold me back. Recognizing my greatness could only be seen through the lens of diminishing god's own.

No longer would I accept this take-take dynamic. I was always responsible for coming to god, initiating conversations, and on his terms. Anything good that happened to me was thanks to him; I had to attribute the bad to my fallenness or sinfulness. I was always giving my best, striving, trying, but what did I receive directly from him?

How often did he try to get to know me? How often was I ever accepted as who I was? No, not once—god only loved me once I was "in Christ," putting on a costume.

Gaslighting will never again be tolerated or normalized in my life. I was always too limited, too finite to know him—any incongruity I picked up on was merely explained away as his ways were higher than mine. There was always a justification for his absence, atrocities, or anything else that seemed out of character.

I will no longer excuse his abandonment in his long silences where I wonder once more how I'm not listening or what I've done to cause it. He has shown me his true colors, and he simply disappears when it's convenient for him, reappearing whenever he chooses without any communication; he's the king of ghosting. Ain't nobody got time for that.

I have to be done—for me.

I finally take my leave because I've said goodbye several times before, and he hasn't once respected this boundary. My sovereignty is worth taking that first step into the unknown, even if the anxiety is just too much. I wrote the letter only yesterday, but even the unknown is, at last, better than what can never be.