I had really no idea that I would be here even two weeks ago. I knew that I was reaching the end of my patience when it came to living with my maternal grandmother, but I honestly had no idea where to go. Living with grandma was becoming increasingly intolerable, but I thought I needed to endure it another 8-12 months. Why? Because my best friend in Boston, who so kindly agreed to take me into her home, is happily married and the adoptive mother of a wonderful 5 month old son. As all parents and anyone who is familiar with infants can tell you, a five month old baby will guarantee you a long period of almost total sleeplessness. I was thinking of waiting about 8-12 months until my best friend’s son turns 13-17 months old so that I could sleep through the night.
But then two of my friends and fellow abuse survivors urged me to act sooner. One of my friends on face book, a female abuse survivor, said to me that I was crazy to endure another 8-12 months in this hell. And also my Egyptian male friend, a child abuse survivor from a radical Islamic family and a former political prisoner who served four years in prison, really challenged me to leave this hell once and for all. He said to me, You know, my 19 year old girlfriend has left her abusive family. So why haven’t you left already?
And so inspired by my two friends, I put out a posting on the site USA Survivors of Sociopaths, which is primarily a group of domestic violence survivors in South Florida on face book. I said that I was looking for a place to stay for 8-12 months. And literally within 20 minutes I got back a response from Julia at Heaven on Earth Foundation telling me that her organization had a transition house in an undisclosed location in Miami-Dade County and I should call her after 6 p.m. if I was interested in it.
Then she told me to call her after 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night - and this was a dilemma for me as a religious Jew because it means breaking the Sabbath. But I thought that it was worth it for me to break one Sabbath so that I could continue to live and enjoy myself on future Sabbaths. In fact Jewish law actually commands you to break the Sabbath in order to save your life or another life because breaking one Sabbath allows you to live and observe more Sabbaths in the future. So following this logic and knowing that I was saving my life in the emotional realm and putting an end to 35 years of horrendous captivity and abuse, I made the call. I guess the rest is history. In Hebrew we would say that this is Bashert, and it was meant to be. That it was ordained by G-d.