web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:

Chronicles-logo

PART ONE: H.O.P.E. (Hold On, Pain Ends!)

Dear Rachel,

As any Ba’al Nisayon will tell you, NO nisayon is ever simply a nisayon. It is really comprised of quite a few nisyonos, all rolled into one. The way I see it, there are neat nisyonos and messy nisyonos — all of which are sent to us from the very same source: Hashem. And, for the very same purpose: to help each of our neshomos along our individual journeys.

What’s a neat nisoyon? A neat nisoyon is one that is fully grasped by the general public and fully sympathized with. It has solutions or remedies that are clear and leave little room for debate. A messy nisayon is misunderstood by most people and often involves the ruination of friendships as well as lots of loshon hora.

Requesting a get and becoming a single mother made one thing instantly clear to me: this was no neat nisoyon. At first I thought to myself: It must be that those of us with nisyonos that are a result of, and result in, so much ugliness are on a lower madreiga than others with more clear-cut nisyonos.

After all, how special could I be if I’m enmeshed in heated controversies? How wonderful could I be if horrible letters are being circulated about how rotten I am?

Then I thought to myself: Wait a minute. Esther HaMalka was a great tzadeikes. And she had to move in with a goy! Yes, she had to marry a gentile king and be cut off from the people she cared about. That wasn’t a neat nisoyon.

And what about Yehudis in the Chanukah story? Cutting off Eliforni’s head? That had to be a little messy.

I may sound like I’m joking, but I’m quite serious.

A woman who arrives at the decision to pursue a get often experiences the pain of having family, friends and respected community members completely turn their backs on her. Hashem, anyone can serve You surrounded by love, adoration and respect! You’re dragging me through the mud, but I will serve You — from the mud.

It is not money or glory I seek. You, Hashem know exactly how I got here and where I need to be. Hashem knows that I left no stone unturned while trying to hold everything together for the sake of the marriage, and of course the children.

I sought Da’as Torah and then marriage counseling, often showing up alone, begging for the tools to survive. I attended every shiur on sholom bayis, heard every tape and read almost every book on the subject.

I had been given advice (most of it insane) that could fill a book, and I tried to follow it to the best of my ability. Be nicer, more respectful, more submissive, bake challah every week, treat him like a king and he’ll treat you like a queen. I had been told, literally, to simply make myself numb, to knock myself out with medication, and most of all to remember that as the akeres habayis, I set the tone in the home, am responsible for the atmosphere in my bayis ne’eman, and everything the children say is a reflection of my teachings or behavior.

I was told that in the zechus of living with the ever-widening void in my heart, I would have nachas from my children, arichas yomim, and a myriad of other brochos. So I tried and I tried, but the emotional and psychological torture was relentless and becoming unbearable.

When I explored the possibility of separation, I was turned away, by everyone! Again and again. Now if a husband refuses to leave and a woman has children, she is, in essence, trapped — powerless to leave. Without a place to go, I was beside myself with frustration. I was like a rubber band being stretched until it’s so taut that it’s going to snap any second. Third parties would observe me crying and speaking in agitated tones, in marked contrast to my calm and cheerful spouse. Which one of us looked like the problem? You guessed it. I was advised repeatedly to fix myself and things would improve. When they didn’t improve, I was told to fix myself some more.

It is important to note that in a normal situation some of these suggestions might have been helpful, but with an abusive, controlling husband, nothing makes a dent.

The same thing with advice on childrearing; when children are being encouraged to treat their mother disrespectfully, the regular techniques don’t always work!

I’d like to recommend several books that give applicable advice for these situations. 1) The Gaslight Effect by Dr. Robin Stern (on the kinds of abuse meant to make the other person feel like they’re going to lose their minds); 2) Divorce Poison (P.A.S.) by Dr. Robert Warshak; 3) I’m So Confused, Am I Being Abused? by Dr. Lisa Twerski.

One of the gravest of the methodical isolation tactics that most abusive husbands use is this: With matters that many other women may be experiencing, you are told that you are the only one. You’re the freak, you’re the problem; nobody else does this or has this issue but you. And since you hardly ever get out and mingle with people long enough to have a real social life, you never find out that you’re not the only one at all.

And for the same reasons: When you ARE the only one going through something, and your situation IS unusually cruel or dysfunctional, you assume that what you’re enduring is part and parcel of being a wife or busy mother.

Humbled but Strengthened

To be cont’d…

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
A snow storm with freezing rain struck the New York area, turning the roads and runways into skating rinks.
Delta Plane Crash, Snowstorm Paralyze LaGuardia Airport in NYC
Latest Sections Stories
Yarden Merlot

Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

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

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

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 was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/part-one-h-o-p-e-hold-on-pain-ends/2013/05/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: