Tuesday, May 23, 2006

There's abuse in Jewish Communities!

I'm on the mailing list for The Awareness Center, have been reading the Jewish Survivors and Unorthodox Jew blogs regularly. I'm getting so overwhelmed reading what I read. I keep telling myself to stop, but I don't. I know how important what I have been reading is. I know the world is changing right before my eyes. There are so many cases of sexual abuse in the Jewish community. I know it's no different then any other community, but this is about my people. I know that most of the things I'm reading about are coming from religious communities. I am not from that kind of community. The problem is that we are all Jews.

I read about Rabbi Marc Gafni. I was in shock. I've met him a few times. Each time I met him my gut was telling me to run away, to stay as far away from him as I could. He really creeped me out. It wasn't anything he did or said It was more on instinct. It was the way he looked at me. I felt like I was naked in front of him. I saw the way he interacted with other women. At the time I thought I was just having a flashback or something. Now I know my gut was right.

I read all the stuff on blogs and cry. I don't know if it's tears of sadness or joy. I say sadness because I know the pain each of the survivors have been going through. I say joy because all this shit is coming out in the open. No more secrets!

Friday, April 07, 2006

I hate negative flashbacks!

It's always an odd thing.

There are times I go back to my parents home and everything is wonderful. I feel loved and cared for. There are other times I go back to the neighborhood I grew up, and I'm a little girl all over again. I mean in my head.

There are times I can drive around and it's just like driving through anywhere else. Then there are the days I just panic. It's like nothing has ever changed. I go here, I go there and all I do is remember this and that.

My therapist always explains to me that it's flashbacks, and that you have flashbacks that are positive too. Like life there are the negatives and the positives, even in flashbacks.

I hate negative flashbacks.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Summer Breeze Please!

I decided I don't want to just blog about being a survivor. I'm sick and tired of winter. I want to see flowers, and green grass. My foot is finally at a place that I can drive distances again. So I went on a mini road trip.

I drove down Sheridan Rd. Started off around Belmont Harbor and ended up in Lake Bluff. The ride is always filled with such wonderful memories.

It wasn't the best day weather wise to do this, but I did it anyway. I stopped at Northwestern and watched the waves crash against the rocks. I was going to go into Bahai Temple, but decided to just drive past it to the entrance of Gilson Beach. I thought about the zillions of times I've been there with friends, and the picnics in the summer.

Of course I had to stop at Plaza del lago and stop at Convito Italiano to pick up a few things. I haven't been there in a while.


The hardest part of the drive is going back home. Had to get back in time for therapy. I can't wait until the day that's not a part of my reality.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I love life, but I get suicidal

I love life, but I get suicidal, what's that all about?

I have a good life. I have people who love me and I love back, but at times I get obsessed with wanting to end my life.

I don't know if it's really my life I want to end, or the intense pain. Some times I think it's really the memories.

I wish I could come out of my body and be in someone else's. I wish I could trade memory chips, and replace mine with a life without abuse.

What would it be like to have grown up with a loving family that didn't abuse?

What would it be like to not worry if my children were with their grandparents over night?

What would it be like to be empathetic to those who have been abused, but not really understand what it's like?

What would it be like to never have to talk yourself out of ending your life?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Don't Come Near Me Says The Monster Within. . .

Being triggered.
Not meaning to attack.
It happens.
Hold me, love me -- please understand.

I get scared.
I get petrified.
I live in the past at times.

I want to be in the here and now.
I get triggered.

I have a hard time on an emotional level knowing the difference between then and now.
The monster within wants to be loved -- but doesn't know how to be.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Conversation with a Rabbi

I don't know what I'm looking for. I'm so sick and tired of everyone asking me this question. Yes, both my parents are Jewish. I've been told over and over again that it only really matters if my mother is Jewish. The truth of the matters is it doesn't really matter to me. What blessings has this ever brought me? I was told that I was lying about my abuse. Remember "Jews don't abuse their children".

When you tell a rabbi you were abused they look at you like you are from Mars. I'm a woman, so I must be from Venus.

I had a few e-mail exchanges with a rabbi. I thought for a bit maybe he understood about abuse and what it's like to be a survivor. I was wrong.

I find a great deal of healing writing on my blog. Even my rape counselor approves of it.

I'll be honest with you, I don't like hanging around old people because I don't know which ones of them could have abused their kids. I don't have the time right now to consistently volunteer. If I did, I would spend time with foster kids.

Here's some of the chat:

How to wipe the slate clean is a great question? I will try to answer with a different question.

For a man Judaism is very clear that masturbation is against Jewish law. It is not relevant to what I am going to write as to the reasons, so I am going forward. As a Rabbi, men, especially single men ask me how they can stop themselves from masturbating. The answers fall into two categories. One category is to remove the stimuli. The man should not read pornographic magazines, for instance, watch erotic movies, and the list goes on. Now, the man can ask, “but just walking in the street I see women who arouse me.” And he is 100% correct. Removing stimuli is of limited help.

We need a different kind of solution, one that is not negative but positive. How? If the man tries his best to be occupied with positive things then he will not have the time to think about all the stimuli he may be seeing. Of course he should remove as much of the stimuli as possible, but that is not the real answer. The real answer is to change focus. Is it hard? Extremely, but no one said it was going to be easy.

Likewise, you want to change how you feel about G-d and you are 100% correct. But it is not working and in my opinion the negative approach rarely works. You need to, only my opinion, get involved in helping other people. Now, I do not mean helping other survivors of abuse. Yes, they need help but I am not sure if you need to be the one right now trying to help. You do not need any more reminders of what was done to you. Our goal is to change focus. Perhaps you can find a nursing home where you can volunteer. There are people in a nursing home that are in essence abandoned. No one comes to visit them. If you would go on some kind of regular basis and just sit with them, you cannot imagine the joy you will be giving them, even if they may appear belligerent and unappreciative.

This in my opinion will help you change focus. If possible, let’s start with something like I mentioned. But, don’t expect miracles, please. As you know much better than me, you have a phenomenal amount of hurt and it is a journey you need to travel; a long journey. But, every journey starts with that first step. We can still turn around and see where we came from and we can decide to not make the journey. In my opinion that would be a mistake. Start the journey and over time the place where you came from will become smaller and smaller. I doubt if it will ever disappear, but eventually you will have the choice if you want to turn around and look back or to continue on your journey looking forward.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Terms of Endearment

Terms My Offender Used to Describe Me
  1. Crazy
  2. Delusional
  3. Difficult
  4. Evil
  5. Fool
  6. Hysterical
  7. Idiot
  8. Insane
  9. Insanity
  10. Kook
  11. Kooky
  12. Liar
  13. Looney
  14. Lunatic
  15. Mad
  16. Mental
  17. Neurotic
  18. Psychotic
  19. Slut
  20. Stupid
  21. Touched
  22. Unsound
  23. Whore

Words I used to describe my offender
  1. Dad
  2. Daddy