As I entered the art gallery, I was amazed by each piece. I took my time before I made my decision. Brushing up on my skills, I learned as much as possible about art, how to care for the piece, and how much certain pieces are worth. I even worked with coaches to heal the compulsive part of me, the part that would've chosen the first one I saw and liked solely based on looks.

A particular piece spoke to me. I was utterly drawn in by the memories it flooded my mind with. The colors, the way it spoke, the things it said, and its beauty made me want to know it more profoundly. Before purchasing it, I decided to get more acquainted with it. I visited and spent time with it before I made my decision. Although I took my time at some point, I thought it was too fast.

I purchased it and brought it home. This perfect piece of art, hanging in the ideal spot, spoke to me more and more deeply. However, after several months, it did not talk as before. When I looked at it, something had changed. The words spoken sounded different. I felt no effort.  Eventually, it no longer spoke at all. The energy was loud, though; I have her, it said; I'm here now, it said, no need to pursue anymore. The spot where it hung darkened, and an uneasy cloud hovered in the area and began to spread quickly. What have I gotten myself into, I thought. How could something so beautiful and well put together become a nightmare?

In the twinkle of an eye, it all came crashing down. I felt I was lacking and needed to raise the bar when, in reality, it was a forgery. It was all a lie. It spoke what I wanted to hear, presented what it thought needed to keep me, and appeared to be just what I thought I wanted. I made it too easy. I made it too easy to be duped by a forgery. All that studying and coaching went out the window. 

My life was spiraling because I didn't take enough time to vet the piece. It pretended so well I gave it all of me. How did this happen again at this age? I missed the warning signs, captivated by how it looked. There were things it spoke that should have brought me to a complete stop, but I kept going. I ran so many stop signs that the piece no longer tried to hide its actual value. It was overwhelmed. I felt like I could not rid myself of the shame and pain, and I was stuck with my decision.

This piece taught me to wait. I learned of a pattern of mine that had yet to be addressed. I should have visited 6-8 months before I hung it on my wall. Had I visited the gallery whole and been more aware, I would have been able to spot the forgery before it almost ruined my life.  Looking inward, I found familiarity, so I chose the piece. A similar replica hung on the walls of my childhood home, too. Similar in so many ways except sex, this forgery plagued my childhood; once I realized it, I wanted to rid myself of it forever.  I should have made sure I was ready before I entered the gallery. But how would I have known what to look for if I thought my experiences were ordinary?  I should have considered other pieces rather than the first one that caught my attention by what it said. I could not sell the forgery, so I lacked money, time, and peace. For the sake of the next wall, I discarded it. I don't know if anyone will retrieve it thinking it is something of value, but it will be at their discretion. The next wall may burn it, stopping it once and for all.

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