Showing posts from 2022

Moving Forward and How Much Should We Blame Our Parents For

 Someone asked me something the other day something that stuck around with me: "Is it really your parents' fault how you show up?" For context, we were talking about divorce and love, and the concept of the scarlet letter  and its impact on men vs. women. How does a divorce/separation impact how we show up or how others perceive us when trying to rebuild our lives? It is not my place to share his point of view (though if he does allow me after reading this, I would be happy to point you to him for his counterpoint!). I will, however, in honor of the title of this blog, share mine. After all, if we are going to talk about rebuilding after trauma, isn't one of the first steps to healing to be vulnerable enough to let the light back in after living in the dark for so long?. I will not sugarcoat this, mostly because I don't think it is even possible: dating as a woman after ending a marriage might just be one of the most difficult parts of the whole process. Divorced

Jacob and Esau: Where does our own weakness fall?

What happens when we are forced to embrace our weaknesses? What happens when we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and say "I am not ready"? Worse, what happens when we have to look at those who we look up to and admit that we are not as strong as they would like to be. Trauma is just that. It is an evil rock that lodges itself in your chest and weighs you down. It unfortunately plays a role in every decision you make, eating at your every attempt at survival, and it sometimes has no regard to any of the healing that you try so hard to work towards. It holds you back and it parks you in its lot, pushing you to face everything that you hope to ignore because life would be infinitely easier if it just had never happened. I often find myself looking back at the story of Jacob and Esav. How Jacob, being the weaker of the brothers, resorts to cheating and lying to claim what he believes to be his. I look at his mother Rebecca, who enables the deceit because of her own belief

Forgiveness No Longer Required

 During Elul (the last year in the Jewish calendar), we often focus our efforts on self-assessment, goal setting, and forgiveness. When asked what the difference is between Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) and the secular new year is for me, my answer (to some people's shock) is that Rosh Hashanah is the ultimate Jewish guilt trip. We spend a whole month entering a sacred space where we make herculean efforts to really dig deep and understand ourselves, just to reach Rosh Hashanah as the jumping board for Yom Kippur, where we enter into the "forgiveness debacle". What have we done that requires atonement? how do we plan on mending those cracks that we have inflicted in our souls and in others? how will we enter this most sacred period in Judaism ready to forgive ourselves and others? But what if forgiveness is not what we want? I am a deeply flawed individual. I am sure that the count of people I have wronged in my life exceeds others perceptions of who I am. I have al

A Dvar Torah 25 Years in The Making

This dvar Torah is 25 years in the making. Yes, I delivered one for my Bat Mitzvah; no, I did not read the portion myself (wasn't allowed to) and whatever I spoke about (of which I have no recollection) clearly did not make any memorable impact on my life. Alas, here we are. Ki Tetzei means "When You Go Out" (to battle, since thats the next word in the sentence). This Torah portion contains the most Mitzvot (rules) in all the Torah, 72 to be precise. From rules about marriage, sexuality, to how to care for the land, Moses lays it all out with precise detail. That is a whole lot of rules to remember. If you read the list closely, you notice that almost every rule has a "balance" to it: "Do not plow with an ox and a donkey together", "Do not wear linen and wool together". It also outlines the rules on how to relate to one another: "Keep your promises", "When collecting debt, you shall do so in a righteous way". The majority

PTSD and A Fear of Normalcy

 One of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning is check my Timehop app (for those of you who don't know, it is an "on this day" type of app that will pull up all pictures and posts from this day as many years back as it can). While I have always found this particular routine soothing (thank you, OCD), it is raising a very specific issue for me that is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. I am not ready for normalcy.  Let me preface by saying that I miss the world where leaving my house wasn't scary. However, after the last two years, and what has become glaring PTSD issues, I would much prefer sitting comfortably in fear than trying to readjust to the new definitions of normal. I am not naive enough to believe that the world will go back to what it was before COVID-19 wreaked havoc, but I am also not ready to rely solely on the decisions of others. Every time I watch TV, my brain goes to how close people are, or the lack of masking, or how long it has be