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First musings

This is the post excerpt.

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Usually people who start a blog have a specific topic they feel strongly about and want to talk about it. Me, I just wanna write. I hope to be writing about a lot of stuff, in no particular order or time frame. Feel free to comment and share if it touches you in any way.

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Feelings of Celebration, Replaced by Feelings of Pain

Bar Mitzvah

It’s kinda like a sweet sixteen, a quinceañera, a coming of age birthday. Only for a Bar Mitzvah, there all kinds of religious connotations involved, as well as customs. It’s only for boys, when they turn 13 years old, they are considered a man,  and they get additional religious duties. Bat Mitzvah is for girls, only

the customs and stringencies is not so profound.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_and_bat_mitzvah

Parents and children alike usually look forward to this celebration with anticipation, as they should, but enter a narcissistic, evil and abusive spouse/ex and it becomes a period of unwarranted agony and hell and pain. My ex is refusing to co-parent or even talk to/with me, excluding me from drs visits, throwing a tantrum when I go to my kids pta, and the latest is not telling me about any bar mitzvah preparations. I have slaved to be there for my kid from the day he was born. I gave up whole pieces of myself because I mistakenly and stupidly believed the harmful community mantra that you stay married for the kids. Now it’s just biting me in the ass. My kid just informed me of some prep developments and I’m laying here reeling in blinding pain. When I asked him what dad said to his query as to why mom isn’t doing he said dad said “mothers are not involved.”

I don’t understand why people feel the need to be so evil, but more than that, I don’t understand why this hurts me so much. Shouldn’t I be used to this abuse by now?

You could tell me, “Make your own celebration.” And maybe I will. But that’s besides the point.

This man looks like a righteous rabbi, but he is the farthest thing from that. He is an evil evil abusive man, who takes pleasure in hurting others. And his peers and Rabbis full on support him. My pain and blood lay forever on these people, who appear so saintly, but are really satan.

 

 

How Much Space Are You Taking Up? Maybe Not Enough! You Matter, More Than You Know.

Some thoughts I’ve had in a rare moment of clarity.

For the longest time I’ve been struggling with my feelings of anger, rage and abandonment that I feel towards my parents and my siblings. We live in a world that continuously perpetuates the narrative of family being the most important thing, of being there for you when your friends won’t, and for being loving and kind and supportive. But for so many of us that’s simply not the reality. Myself. Included.

Since I can remember, maybe like from 12 or 13 years old, I resolutely fastened myself to the idea that I don’t need anyone in my life, that I can do it on my own and nobody need help me, thank you very much.
(That realization probably happened subconsciously more like when I was 5-6 years old, after I witnessed a horribly physically abusive act done by my dad to my sister, but whatever).

I have literally lived my entire life without the security of knowing that my family has my back, and with no idea that I mattered, and that I was not only allowed to take up and ask for space, but that it is my right! My parents and family have failed me my whole life, and I’ve been trying to make believe that it is ok by pretending that I don’t need anyone and that I can do it all by myself.
I thought I was so strong and smart.

How utterly wrong I am. We need people in our life to help us through it. To support us through our horrible times and to cheer for us in our good times. Anyone telling you that you need to do it all on your own, is not only wrong, they are bad people, throw em out.

Today I am being supported in a HUGE way. And I am remembering that I do not need to do this on my own. That it’s ok to get support in such a huge way. (I can’t write more about this because of safety reasons unfortunately). I am acutely feeling the silence from my family while at the same time feeling the love and support that I’m getting from my nonbiological family. And I am bawling my eyes out. To realize how much baggage I have been carrying all these years with these lies.

I used to work so hard to tell myself that it’s ok, my parents and family don’t owe me anything, and nothing is their fault. But not labeling things as so, and not speaking ones truth denies ones experiences and it hurts!
Why would I need more hurt?!?
I do not deserve to be treated this way.
I deserve to ask for what I want and need.
And I deserve to be protected and loved. NO MATTER WHAT.

This realization is making me shake so badly.
My whole life I’ve spent trying to be nice. To do what others want me to. To say yes when I want to say no and the damage has become intergenerational (I’m not even sure that’s the word but whatever)

Last night I witnessed the same damage in my kid, where he thought so little of himself that he didn’t even think to fight for himself or ask for what he wanted!
To think, this child, was suffering the same as I have, when I had worked so hard to make him feel safer than I ever was growing up. Or at least I thought I did. I have failed so miserably. But I know I didn’t do this. Definitely not actively. I know for a fact that his horrific living environment with a “dad” who would rather hurt him than keep him safe, has heavily contributed to this, his being denied professional support has Absolutely contributed to this, and the people in the court system who have failed him and CONTINUE to fail him HEAVILY contribute to this. These people are murderers.

The one up that I hope he has, is my awareness. And hopefully we can work on this together. Building a psyche that believes in self validation and security and connection. You matter child. Please, take up space. Ask for the moon. Yell and scream for your space. Because you deserve it!
I vow to get better at taking up space, and I’ll make sure you get to be able to do the same, as much as I am humanely possible.

My mom, dad, sisters, brothers, aunt’s, uncle’s, and grandparents have Absolutely failed me, I will never forgive them, but I’m gonna try to take up so much space, that they can’t pretend that I’m dead.
But more than that, I am going to stop making excuses for these horrible people. I will focus on the people who continue to show up for me, no matter how broken I am. No matter how much blood I’m losing, no matter how much I am hurting. They continue to show up. And I will continue to show up for my kid and for anyone that needs it as much as I am capable.

My body is shaking from exhaustion. But instead of beating myself up, and hating myself and comparing myself, I am going to take a nap, because right now, I’m getting support in a way that allows me to take care of myself but not by myself. See the difference?

Who’s person can you be today? You can literally save a life.
How much space are you taking up? Do you need to raise your voice just a bit? Or spread your arms out? Please do so! Your people will show up. And to those that have hurt you, or continue to hurt you, just wait and see, their horrible end is coming soon…

I love you all today.
Please, go ahead and take up space. Ask for what you want or need. The answer may not be what you wanna hear, or it may be even better than you expected. And you’ll know who your people are.

Another Abuse Title

I haven’t written in a while, the thoughts stay swirling in my head. In my head it all sounds so smooth and clear. But I can’t bring myself to actually write anything.

And then sometimes it happens. And I write it down whereever. This is what happened yesterday. And so read my ramblings from my heart.

I’m having a hard night. Yet again. Surprise. Will this ever end? Probably not. Maybe surprisingly yes.
I don’t really know anything about my abusers new life. He keeps EVERYTHING under wraps. Which makes sense. But sometimes my kiddo will tell me stuff. And the more I hear and learn about this horrible man, the harder it is to keep my head above the water. He has hurt us so much, and continues to do so unabashedly, while crying that I abused him and our child, yet he’s not the one that had his home stolen from him or lost his health. He has continued on his merry way, leeching off someone new. While I continue to lay here,  slowly bleeding out. It cuts me knowing that he has all of his things to live, while I am clawing for basic necessities. And there is no end in sight.

 

It’s not that I don’t want him to have a good life. But for him to live a life where he’s supported and comfortable and for me to be bleeding out because of his actions makes me hurt and incredibly full of pain.

 

New Year’s. Happy? Where? When? How?

My Facebook news feed is flooded with Happy New Year’s posts. People are celebrating a great 2018, and anticipating an even greater 2019. I “like” all of them. On some of them I’m even commenting nice things. I’m putting my own sadness aside and trying to be excited for and with them. But it’s sandpaper in my mouth. Inside I’m dying. It hurts like hell, to see others somehow get out from their sufferring (whatever that may be) and be able to build new lives, with their children, while we are stuck in the same abusive situation for 13 long years. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I have, what so many others seem to achieve?

I can’t think of a single good thing to write about the past year. In fact, about the past 13 years. It hit me a few days ago, that from the minute I was married off to the man I did not want to marry, I was dead. Confined. Done. So I just stayed still, while pretending to go forward. When I couldn’t expand my beauty business, I delved deeper into child development, discipline, and enrichment despite every single obstacle put forth by this man and my family. I gave my heart and soul to the children I worked with, and my own child got the most benefit from it. I was a hands on, emotionally attuned (as much as I could be, given my emotional scarredness from childhood and child marriage) deeply loving parent. Despite not wanting to have a child, I loved it fiercely, and protected it as much as I could. It’s probably good that I had no idea how little any of that would matter to the court system. In the past thirteen years, I have lived my life as a prisoner. An invisible one, but a chained one nevertheless. At first a prisoner of my covertly abusive ex, who made me think that I was the abusive one, made me believe there was something very wrong with me, yet did not have a single issue with me being the sole caretaker of our child. And then a prisoner of an extremely negligent, uncaring, harmful and abusive court system. I am not exaggerating when I say that both of my judges should be sentenced for life without parole for what they did, and continue to do, to me and my child. For three plus years, we are living on the run, isolated, exhausted and unstable. My kid is afraid of dad, and afraid to vocalize that to the attorney, as they know the price for that. I am treated worse than a criminal, despite not having one felony attached to me. This court finally broke me. My brain is completely dead. I have no memory, and until you have not experienced that, you do not understand what chaos and instability this is.

I cannot learn new things. I cannot learn new songs, and barely remember old ones. Music used to be one of my greatest joys, yet now, it’s another area of frustration and pain. I cannot build a career. Not only due to incredible chronic fatigue, but because I have no memory, of having learned something and then the ability to build on that knowledge. Without building on knowledge, there’s nowhere to go.

I am terrified of what will happen to me. Will I just wither away? Will I always live in extreme poverty? Will we always be forced to see each other in horrible conditions? There is no regaining once something is stolen. Especially when that thing is childhood. How do you give back elementary school that has been denied? How do you give back birthday parties, picnics, lazy afternoons and vacation trips? How do you give back impromptu dance parties, baking and cooking sessions, sweet tender kisses goodnight? How do you give back walks in the park, organic, peaceful conversations, or safe arguments? You literally cannot.

Of course if I black out the hell, there are good seconds. But they’re too weak, too few, and too masked with pain to celebrate. Should I celebrate laughs in someone else’s home? Should I celebrate snuggles on someone else’s couch? Should I celebrate hours upon hours upon hours of together time spent in a vehicle?

Should I anticipate another such year ahead? Where we live in silence, fear and pain? What ever can I wish for? For silence from family? Emotional abuse from a man that should be dead? Physical and mental exhaustion brought on by a judge that should be handcuffed and disbarred? Apatheticness of attorneys who just can’t care?

I can’t.

And added to all that, I loathe myself. I wanna be Pollyanna so badly. Celebrate the past year. Of having survived it, first and foremost. Of having maintained a strong relationship (as strong as possible) with my child. Of having made new friends. Of having tried new things. Of having started my college journey and managed to stay at the gym for like 6 months.

But these moments hold no joy for me. As they are too marred for me, by injustice, blinding loss, and no future of change.

I want to write about my coming year, and how amazing it will be. But that is not true. It will be filled with days where I cannot move from pain and exhaustion. Days where the despair and tears will feel like death is the only answer. Days where I will be torn apart by strangers, who gleefully laugh at my pain, and who could care less about the harm they’re causing a child.

There is one thing that brings me comfort, that makes me able to pick myself up yet again, bloodied but alive, and that is the people in my life who continue to lift me up, and spin lies about the good times and how they’re coming very soon.

I know they do this, again and again, out of the goodness of their heart, and so I let them. They lie, and I believe.

Sending every single person reading this, beautiful wishes for good health, financial growth, and joy. The real kind. If I can’t have it myself, I can at least wish it for others.

Sometimes we can’t, but if you help, we may just be able to.

The phrase “you can do anything you set your mind to”, is an infuriating one. Because it is touted as a truth. When in fact, it is a variable. I can set my mind to a hundred things and never be able to accomplish it.

Because of biology.                                      Because of time.                                            Because of resources.

Sometimes we can set our mind to something, and get results.
And sometimes, it is pure pain, and hell, and mockery, the thing that we want so badly.
Because we cannot accomplish it. No matter how badly we want to.
Wednesday.
It was the day I took my last exam for my general psychology class, and my final for my career communication class.
A week and a day after my last day of classes.

Going to college has been a silent dream of mine for more than 10 years.
But I never thought it would happen now.
If anything, I thought it would happen when I was 40, or 50 or idono never.
Will I even be alive by 50? Will I even be valuable by 50? Have anything of value to contribute by 50? Feh, in this world that idolizes youth, and where people of 50 are expected to have lived a certain life (no matter what community one is in) and I just feel like I’m really still 18.
But I digress.
College became a pleasant surprise possibility last year October time I think.
I was so startled by the “early” opportunity arrival. Thinking about going made me tingle with pleasure. Even while I worried.
How would I be able to do college while doing everything else?
I don’t have the luxury of stability.
That was stolen from me.
I don’t have the luxury of family either.
That was stolen from me too.
How would this work in real life?
Still, I knew this was an opportunity I might never have again, and so I decided to run with it.
I could always change my mind.
I could always quit.
I could always pause.
Things that take non abused and traumatized brained people little time to do, takes me double time. So it was a long and difficult process getting from the decision, to entering the classroom that first day.
And I definitely didn’t dive in.
I teetered and tottered, almost like I was on a slippery log, trying to cross a deep lake.
And even once I crossed that wide bearth, (is that a real/appropriate word?) a steep and rocky hike awaited me, in the form of making it to class on time; (no matter if I hadn’t fallen asleep til 4am because anxiety, pain, and trauma ruled my body and brain that night)
Or if my car decided to break down that morning. Or while on the way to school (it did, numerous times. I’m buying a new one and I need help with it, but that’s for another long and winding post😂😂😂)
Interacting with people almost half your age; (even the professer!) (most are pretty decent, and I saw the difference of being raised in an environment of respect and value (them) over being raised in an environment of your voice and your needs are of zero value so be good and be quiet and please everyone around you but yourself, me)
And getting back into the world of academia.
That was my biggest obstacle of all.
And I wasn’t even aware of how big that obstacle was, until it hit me in the face.
I was that annoying girl in my Chasidish elementary and high school that actually valued and ENJOYED learning about George Washington and photosynthesis.
I had a copy of the Declaration of Independence, a deck of cards showing the pictures of the presidents on one side and interesting facts about them on the other side, and stack for the first ladies too. And we had books and coloring books and fun books about history, and about essential famous people that had shaped the world at home.
I absolutely loved it when we did science experiments on class (unfortunately that was far too infrequently) and we had lots of different science books at home.
But my real love was writing. Journaling was cool, I could write simpe essays and long (idono what to call it officially) about almost any writing assignment and I loved discovering and using lots of different words.
I don’t think I ever asked the horrid question of “will this be on the test”? In a whining tone of voice.
But again I digress.
My “elementary” and “high” “school” years were absolutely nothing like my first semester in college.
I was most worried about reading.
I haven’t been able to read since 2015.
Reading was my first hobby.
And so, I chose my classes accordingly.
Photography. (Sounds fun, and for the most part it is, but there’s also learning to be done, and that’s where I saw how terribly my memory had been affected by my ongoing trauma)
Career communication, I figured I wouldn’t have to put too much concentration into that because I’ve had my fair share of workplace training in classes and over real life. And for the most part I didn’t. I almost always gave the Professor answers that almost noone could think of, and I never read the readings, because I discovered that I could simply scan/skim the pages, look at the questions she gave, and fairly quickly provide the answers because it was open book and the questions were just one or two and the answers simple.
Despite all that, I still had some moments and assignments that were completely terrifying to me.
Imagine my shock, horror, and dread when I heard that there would be a final on all the reading material. I nearly died.
And my last class was for the semester was intro to psychology. I think.
Bless this professors soul.
Technically there was a textbook, (a downloadable one, kids these days) but think the only time I actually looked at it, was when I was doing my paper. (More on that later)
He had everything on blackboard, in tiny, bite size, PowerPoint pieces with additional information on a pullout tab.
And, he structured the actual time in class directly off of that. I nearly laughed in relief.
I still needed to force myself to take time to read, and study like crazy for the exams because so little stuck in my brain.
But I clung on.
The biggest punch in the stomach came when I had to do my paper.
A “simple” research paper. In a style I had never done (ok, that’s not such a huge problem) and on any topic, 3-4 pages long, 5-6 in text citations.
That’s where I fell apart.
I couldn’t choose a topic.
My brain couldn’t find one.
It’s not like I choose a topic and I’m like ok, let’s write a statement about this.
I needed to find a topic that my brain could then connect to.
Problem number one.
Problem number 2,
Research.
I barely use Google for simple tasks.
Google overwhelms me, and instead of finding answers my brain gets mired with random inapplicable information.
I knew I was in trouble.
Whoever I spoke to, could not understand what I was having trouble with. Furthermore, they couldn’t understand that I knew what help I needed, and that they were able to give it.
It was terrifying, paralyzing, and incredibly frustrating.
All of my shortcomings hitting me all at once, brain deadness dancing mockingly in my face.
I even contemplated not doing the paper at all.
I finally decided on a topic. Even bought a book for that purpose. I was forcing myself to read. But it’s such a new area of study, that noone had heard of it. Which made getting help even tougher.
(But I am determined to write a paper on that one day)
I got lucky, and a second “easier” topic appeared in my brain, along with a steering question. I was able to sit down for one or two hours and find good material to use.
And I was lucky I could think to copy and paste the sources into my document so I didn’t need to start from scratch at the next moment I was able to attend to the paper.
But at that point, it was just letters on a page. No coherent or concrete sentences, thoughts, or structure. I knew I needed help, I knew what kind of help, but it was nowhere to be found.
I will forever be grateful to my savior.
And while I fought for my full credit for this paper, I was filled with such shock, sadness and loss.
Reading and writing, my first loves, were not available to me anymore.
I had really thought, (believed? wished? hoped?) that college/reading/writing again would kinda wake up that part in my brain. It didn’t.
This is what college had been to me all my life. Reading and writing and learning new things and being passionate and delving into stuff.
But it was cut off from me.
I had a moment of “what the fuck am I doing here?!?” It filled me with such dread and fear and shame.
I needed to rethink my entire college reality.
I can’t decide if I should try to steer clear of most reading and writing classes and look towards art and science, or if I should davka include some reading and writing. (I know about core requirements).
Right now, I’m barely recovering from the past 4 months, while trying to get ready for the next 2 months (I think a winter class is absolutely insane, I didn’t think about the snow and shit, and I have days and days of upcoming trial dates lined up for all of January and February. I’m talking 9-5 days, I kid you not. Anyone wanna adopt me? You got work and school? Well we don’t give a shit, but we still want you to pay your abuser child support and his legal fees and you should have a two bedroom apartment. But I digress.)

I have so so so many people to thank for helping me do this.
I will not remember all of you, not because I don’t value or appreciate your help, but simply because my brain doesn’t remember 😥
Betsy Fabricant, this woman is a saint.
Tara, my support person from Blueprint Supported Education
The Office of Access-Ability at Kingsbourough, my advisor Gail, my exam coordinator Sonia, and Benjamin, who handles all things tech with assistive learning.
The Options Center, so helpful, so supportive.
All of my friends coming to the rescue on my asking for help posts, giving of your expertise, energy and time.
OTD University.
OTD Sisterhood.
My surrogate mother Chaya.
The counseling center at Kingsbourough.
As well as the nurse’s office at Kingsbourough
My kiddo, who’s been so supportive, and involved and a very big force behind me pushing through this horrific hell, I hope and dream that one day, it’ll all be worth it.
Two more thoughts before I stop word vomiting,
I was almost always an A student.
The first time I remember experiencing academic difficulty was when I was 12 and early algebra kicked me in the face. I couldn’t make heads or tails out of it. But with a good tutor in the form of my aunt, I kicked it back. I also experienced some difficulty in my Hebrew studies in highschool because they more more “advanced” than my old elementary school (where the Hebrew curriculum was absolute shit I hate those thieving motherfuckers, denying children a right to their heritage, language and education).
And I never had an official tutor, or needed to be pulled out of class or anything.
It was mostly smooth sailing for me.
Until now. I buried my shame, and asked for help and support from places “I should logically not be needing to”.
But my reality is not my past. It is my present. And unfortunately, harm is harm. But boy am I grateful to have these supports in place. I would have not done as well if not for it.
And my second thought. Going back to the caption on this photo.
It is absolutely not a given truth that if “one just puts their mind to it, they can achieve/be it”. In fact it is possible to be a pretty harmful statement.
Sometimes we can do things, by ourselves, with the help of others, and by sheer luck. But sometimes we can’t. No matter how badly we want to, and how hard we try.
I was actually enrolled in college and slated to start in fall of 2015, but then I found myself on the street, with my whole life in shambles.
So I pulled out, and buried that goal.
And my life for the past 13 years, but more so the past 3 years, has shown me, brutally, over and over, that sometimes I can’t. No matter how badly I want to, or how hard I try.
Please do not ever tell me that if I put my mind to it, I can. Because that is hurtful to me.
I have berated and hated and kicked myself for “not being able to” for a very long time. “They can, why can’t I” is my constant companion. It is HORRIBLE.
I can’t. I need more SUPPORT than you. Through no fault of my own, through the fault of my abusers, and the way my brain responded to their abuse.
So instead of making me feel like shit, offer non judgemental, actual support. Maybe then I actually will be able to.

Your right? Denied

My child is 12 years old. They were born in Brooklyn. They live in Brooklyn. In new York State. They are a citizen. They go to school. But you’d never know it when you ask them about their studies.

They have never learned about the human body. The skeletal system. The brain. The way their intestines work.

They’ve never looked at a map, or a globe, and learned about the different states in this great big country. Let alone other countries. Never learnt about other cultures, rituals, foods.

They’ve never done a science project, participated in a spelling bee, or been part of a stem class or robotics group.

They’ve never read a book, specifically for the purpose of writing a report on it. Or their own response to it. They’ve never written an essay. Or done a single assignment testing for reading comprehension.

The most they’ve received, is basic math and reading skills. Think rudimentary phonics and simple third grade level reading and math. Nothing beyond simple division.

The school has a small yard, never utilized for any organized sports. In fact, ball playing is banned. Sometimes the kids will play with a squashed box. Needless to say, there is no gym.

You’d think that since their school day is so long, they’d actually learn something and then some. But no. At 12 years old, their school day starts at 7:40 am with prayers, and ends at 5:30 pm after an hour and a half of “English” classes (basic reading or math). At the time I wrote this, it was  October 14, 2018, and these “English” classes had yet to have commenced.

My kid is one of the lucky ones. They’re smart. And have excellent memory skills. I taught them how to read write and speak English when they were just 4 years old. So they could be on level when I placed them into a better school down the line. And so that they would be able to communicate with their dads family.

I have been fighting over three years in court to place my child in an appropriate school where they can get the education they deserve, but have been blocked from doing so by two NYS judges.

The only pushback this and similar yeshivos (religious boys schools) have is from this wonderful organization. Please consider supporting them.

https://www.yaffed.org/

The space others hold for us. Or not.

I wrote this a year ago. While my understanding has broadened to understand that noone owes us anything, the hurt is still there.

Also, we still experience this.

How many more times will I get hung out to dry with no one there to do supervision? Can we do statistics? Averages? Bets?
Cmon maybe a drinking game?
I take care of myself and my kid
What is so fucking difficult?!?
Why are people like this?
Am I supposed to not see him?
It’s sunday
So I don’t even have the library to hang out in
I’m so tired
How do people stay normal and alive?
Yes I know noone owes me anything
But this pain and frustration and sheer agony is too much.
I can’t
It makes me hate the world
And hate every single time I am generous or nice to someone. And I am generally generous and nice.
I’m tired.
Worn out
Exhausted
On the verge of tears
Dead
Why am I trying so hard???
To those of you who are thinking why am I so self centered and selfish, well please just scroll on.
And may you never know this abandonment