web analytics
February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Healing and Forgiveness: Here and in the Hereafter

Dear Readers,

Last week’s column chronicled a man’s riveting account of the love-hate relationship his mom had fostered over the course of his growing years and into adulthood. A deep resentfulness festered in the heart of a young boy whose mother had coddled him from as far back as he could remember — to the detriment of his wellbeing. Their unhealthy bonding ultimately crippled his emotional development.

Dovid F. wrote about how his mother’s “confusing, self-serving and selfish” love would exasperate him to no end and eventually leave him incapable of forming healthy and productive adult relationships. The bitterness in his heart ate at him and would not dissipate with the passing of time. Even at her funeral, as his mother was being laid to her eternal rest, he was still not ready to forgive her…

At the same time, Dovid concedes that his mom had “slaved, toiled and worried” about him over the years and had instilled in him and his sibling “the gift of a value system” he cherishes to this day.

Finally, a breakthrough in therapy, intense self-examination and a consultation with a Rav brings Dovid to a turning point in his life… as he begins to shed the enmity buried deep within his psyche.

Dear Dovid,

If pain could be depicted on an artist’s canvas, yours would portray a vivid landscape of agony and suffering to instantly penetrate the viewer’s heart to the core. Your articulation of the turmoil you’ve endured since your childhood moved the reader to feel with you, to empathize with the young child helpless to stop the abuse heaped upon him by none other than the one entrusted to shield him from hurt: his mother.

Intriguingly, there is no mention of a father figure anywhere in your letter; you speak only of your mom. Could she have somehow been left to raise her children without her husband at her side? Then again, your mom may have simply been the dominant parental figure and your father the passive sort playing a subordinate role in their household. Or, perhaps a wide age gap between your parents made her regard him more as a father figure. (In the post-war era young girls commonly married older men who had lost their entire families in the war.)

In any case, you apparently were made to fill an emotional void in your mother’s life; it was you she chose to lean on to satisfy her narcissistic needs, to assure her by word or deed that she was loved, lovable, wanted, needed and cared about — an unfair and unendurable burden to foist on one’s child of any age, let alone a mere child.

This syndrome is today identified as “emotional incest” — known to wreak enormous upheaval in the object of the parent’s perverted adulation. Your mother’s emotionally controlling and manipulative ways led to your abhorrence of the adult female whom you would instinctively regard as a mother figure.

In a healthy parental relationship it is the child who relies on his or her parent for emotional support, not the other way around. A parent’s love is nurturing, even while tempered with discipline. Boys naturally tend to look up to their father as a role model, girls to their mothers. Thankfully, you’ve sought appropriate counseling and have at long last begun to heal.

Let’s focus a bit on your mom a”h: The unedited version of your letter alludes more strongly to your mother’s Holocaust past. She may have survived the war, but at what an astronomical cost: the tragic loss of her own role models, and at a crucial age when she would have needed them most.

Can any of us ever fathom the horrors our forbears were made to endure… or dare sit in judgment of a Holocaust survivor? That these tormented souls managed to emerge from the ashes, from starvation, humiliation and inhuman deprivation to start their lives anew was a feat in itself.

Some no doubt fared better than others. Many suffered mental breakdowns and countless others endured debilitating physical impairment as a result of the harsh conditions they were made to withstand. Nearly all can be said to have been psychologically or physiologically affected to some degree.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Said Arikat, al-Quds Washington, D.C. reporter. Jan. 29, 2015
Said Says (Falsely): ‘Israel flooding Gaza with Waste Water’
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

Hebrew Academy students learn the ABC’s of safety during Hebrew Academy’s recent Safety Kid Program.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

Women learn in honor of first yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chasia Kudan, a”h.

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

Recently, due to age and wear, programming and NCSY events were moved into portable units outside the youth building.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-260/2013/08/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: