Today is day 6 of my freedom. Yesterday I went food shopping with Cheryl, and I spent a total of $37. I spent almost $10 for 72 Shabbos candles which to me is a wonderful investment as it means I will have enough Shabbos candles to last me for 36 weeks or 9 months, and I am allowed to stay at Heaven on Earth Foundation for up to 9-12 months. So I now have enough candles to last me for the rest of my stay at Heaven on Earth Foundation. Cheryl took me shopping right before Shabbos, so it worked out perfectly.
I want to take this opportunity to formally thank the directors Julia and Beverly for inviting me into this home and program. I am incredibly grateful to them for all their support and I appreciate all they have done and continue to do for me and for the other residents at the house. I also want to thank the board member Ibis for picking me up at the train station, taking me out to dinner, and then taking me home to Heaven on Earth Foundation. Ibis is a lovely mother of 3 children and I enjoyed meeting her a lot. She gave me a copy of Poder magazine and encouraged me to pursue my career dreams and helped me brainstorm about my career options.
I was very deeply moved when Cheryl told me that prior to my arrival, the Foundation had considered admitting a pregnant woman and also a single mother and child. I pray particularly for the pregnant woman and her baby, and I looked at the baby crib with some poignancy. I also pray for the mother and child.
This week was my first Shabbos in freedom, and I took the opportunity while lighting the Shabbos candles to thank Hashem for having granted me this incredible opportunity to live in freedom for the first time in my life. I slept well last night for the first time since my arrival and woke up at 1 p.m. since I needed my sleep so desperately.
One of the main signs of my stress from a lifetime of living in a state of captivity and abuse was a nearly constant stomach problem. The tension in my body tends to manifest itself in my stomach, and I was incredibly relieved that I was finally able to go to the bathroom easily last night and today particularly. I took it as a sign of my bodily healing from a lifetime of trauma and terror.
I was supposed to be driven to Boca to pick up my stuff and then come back to the transition house tomorrow by Julia, but she got busy and so I was told that I will be driven to Boca on Monday to get my stuff by Beverly This is fine wit me as it gives me one more day to rest in the safe house before making the trip to and from Boca, which is a long trip both ways.
Today my stomach burned constantly, and then I realized it was because I am just beginning to face the depth of rage that I feel toward my family of origin for having deliberately terrorized, battered, brutalized, and abused me throughout my life beginning in early childhood. I am angry at my parents for rejecting me as a human being and a daughter from birth and for depriving me of parental love and denying me the happy childhood that I deserved. I think that my parents never loved me, and this is a very painful realization. At this point I don’t love them either, and in fact I am so angry at them that I can honestly say I hate them for the barbaric emotional abuse that they inflicted upon me in a calculated, deliberate, and intentionally cruel fashion.
I am so angry at them that at this point I don’t want any phone contact with them for at least 30-60 days. I don’t want to lash out at them at a time when I am so angry that I am not able to look at their behavior objectively, and thus I just need time to process what they have done to me and heal from the horrendous abuse that they perpetrated against me.
I plan to email my mother in a few days and inform her of my decision, and frankly I don’t care what she says. My parents are a toxic poison in my life, and I need to separate from them so I can heal from what they have done to me. I regard them as an evil wind to be avoided at all costs. I have no wish for revenge against them; I just want them out of my life so that I can begin living in freedom and I can recover from the vicious and intentional ways that they harmed me.
I also realized that I don’t eat very much these days because I have lost my appetite. My family of origin is Jewish, and I am also a proud Jew. But one of the problems with Jewish culture is that no matter how your family treats you, they overwhelm you with food. Also food is regarded as a means for mothers and grandmothers to express love for their children and grandchildren. For me an overload of food is associated with abuse because in my family, no matter how things were going emotionally, you could be guaranteed to receive an overload of food.
I used to receive fish, chicken, pot roast, meat balls, vegetables and fruits of all kind - and that doesn’t even count the gargantuan Shabbos meals. The truth is I don’t miss all this food because it is so thoroughly intertwined with the worst and most toxic sort of emotional abuse, both intentional and unintentional.
If grandma knew how I was eating now, she would be horrified. The supermarket where I went to shop - they had no kosher meat - and so that meant no meat for me. In a way that meant I could save money. So what do I eat now? Cheese and/or cereal for breakfast, tuna fish and blueberries for lunch, and peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. I’m not starving by any means, and the bottom line is I am happy where I am. I don’t need all that food to make me happy.
I am most happy because I know I am in an emotionally safe and loving environment where I can begin to process my pain and work on my issues - where I can begin healing in body, mind, and soul, from a lifetime of trauma and terror. I am happy to be here. This place is a fancy suburban house in a non-descript neighborhood in Miami-Dade county. The house is very big, and I grew up in the same size house as this one. Except in that house we had two parents and two children and way too much extra space that no one needed or used. In this house we have 5 women, 6 minor children, and 1 adult child. So all that wasted space is going to help people who are genuinely in need. And I am glad to be sharing life with them.