I am going through an interesting dynamic with my family of origin. I have reconciled with my mother and grandmother, but I have made a firm decision to keep my father out of my life at any costs. Having been forced to endure his abuse all my life until six months ago, I know in my heart that I will never let him back into my life. Having experienced freedom for the first time from abuse in the past six months, I know that I will never go back to captivity or slavery again.
For this reason I refuse to let my dad visit me. I also refuse to take money from my dad and to work for my dad under any conditions. I won’t allow my dad’s name on the lease for my new apartment. I know that as long as I am financially dependent upon my dad, he will see this as license to brutalize and assault me. For this reason my primary goal is to become financially independent of him.
I know that I have finally found my calling as a writer and advocate for victims and survivors of verbally abusive relationships – both spousal and child situations. It may take me some time to turn this calling into money. But I already have a web site at www.haltverbalabuse.com which is spreading virally and I can see that my vision of creating a global community of survivors is beginning to come to fruition.
I have found among my fellow survivors a high degree of understanding, compassion, solidarity, and support which was completely lacking in both academia and the corporate world. I know now that there is a safe place for me in this world: among my fellow survivors of domestic violence and child abuse, both male and female. I have felt that my experiences were validated and understood instead of belittled and used against me.
This experience is allowing me to finally begin healing from the pain of rejection at the hands of academia. I thought academia would be a safe place to share ideas where intellectual talent was highly valued. Instead I found a very vicious environment filled with petty office politics where the ability to fit in socially was more important than intellectual talent.
I concluded that academia is pseudo-intellectual and not really intellectual. The traditional Orthodox Jewish scholarly world is much more intellectual in the true sense of the word than the academic community. I found a higher degree of real scholarship among educated Orthodox Jewish laymen, including businessmen, who spent their spare time learning Talmud than I ever found in academia.