*The name in this essay has been changed.*

This is a reading of a very personal essay that I wrote in 2010, shortly after leaving the Hasidic community. It does NOT reflect my life today, and how I feel now. Many years have gone by, and many old wounds have healed. But the essay remains a time capsule of those hard times as I transitioned onto a different path. I read it for the camera when we had a camera set up in our home for a different project, and I found the experience of reading out loud those raw, heartbroken moments to be deeply moving.

*Please be gentle. I’ve been agonizing over whether I should publish this as it’s extremely personal and would appreciate your kindness.*