- T is now 3 1/2
- I recently did another round of therapy and was lucky to be paired with an effective, respectful, therapist who helped me honor my journey and explore the particular challenges of parenting as a survivor. (More to come on that.)
- About to name my parents as "do not grant custody to" A and B in our will.
- Blessed with an incredible, supportive, and understanding partner.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Monday, October 19, 2015
Since I last posted, we've had a little one. I'll call the kiddo "T" here. J and I couldn't be more thrilled to be parents. Our journey to parenthood was relatively easy, considering our age and some biological challenges. We don't take our ability to parent lightly and know that we are fortunate in more ways than we can count.
The blessings of parenting come with challenges for everyone. I know that my challenges/struggles are not only the typical, but are connected to being a survivor. My dad began abusing me when I was two years old, T's current age. While I can't specifically identify ways that this is impacting me and my parenting now that it wasn't when T was born, I'm aware that there is likely an impact. What do you think? What advice can you share?
Thanks for reading after so much time away.
Your sister survivor,
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Guy Winch says that how we look at our difficult memories can help us heal. Lifehacker has an article about his idea.
Friday, October 19, 2012
It has been way to long since I've posted to this blog. Life has been full over the psst months with changes, adaptations and planning for the future. J and I were married in June, had a wonderful and relaxing honeymoon and then went back to our work and community lives. About a week after retuning from our honeymoon we had a terrible shock when J's Mom, only 66, died suddenly and very unexpectedly. We are still adjusting to that as we walk through the grief journey.
Quick interlude on my parents - things went well with them at the wedding. We were pleasantly surprised that they took the time and resources to come to my mother-in-law's funeral. My father said "you're both our kids, we love you and you need us." Oh how things have changed.
Our summer was also filled with moving J from his apartment to the house I have rented for a number of years, dealing with some of his mom's stuff and very busy work lives.
Before we knew it the High Holy Days were upon us with their joy, work and respite.
Oh, and I've been taking a programming class.
One of the other exciting things is that we found a house to buy! We have a signed contract with the buyer and hope to close around Thanksgiving or a little later. Buying the house is exhilarating and a bit scary. I'm not looking forward to packing a third house this year, but it will be worth it.
So, in a nutshell, things are busy and the beginning of marriage has been a whirlwind.
I hope that things are okay wth you.
Your sister thriver,
Monday, February 27, 2012
As you might have read in a previous post, I am getting married in June. I decided from the beginning to include my parents and they have (somewhat surprisingly) been supportive. I had been worried about what to do with some of the traditional father/daughter moments. After a lot of thought, discussion with my fiance and sitting with my options, I've decided to let my dad be involved in some of those moments. For example, we will follow the Jewish custom of both parents walking me down the isle. However, it is important to me to walk some of the way myself, so they will walk me halfway, they'll continue to the huppah and then I will walk the rest of the way. The harder decision was what to do about the father/daughter dance. J (my fiance) and I decided that we would have the parent dances simultaneously - he with his mom and me with my dad. We are doing it to Sunrise/Sunset and immediately after the song J and I will dance together again while my parents dance together and J's mom/brother dance. I'm not thrilled about it, but for a variety of reasons it is the right thing to do. Hopefully my father will care enough about "what people think" to be appropriate during the dance. I'll definitely keep my dance frame locked (remember that scene from dirty dancing.) I hope that I don't come to regret this decision, I don't think I will. Things have been so positive lately that I'm choosing to remain optimistic.
Your sister survivor/thriver,
Monday, January 02, 2012
Friday, December 30, 2011
I am overwhelmed with her generosity, love and care. She continues to welcome me into the family with open arms and an open heart. Once during the trip she called me her future daughter-in-law and the next day called me her daughter-in-law and even daughter. I'm glad that she sees me as a family member even though it isn't official yet. The day before leaving I asked her if I could call her Ma. She cried while saying yes.
It feels nice to be building a relationship with a positive mother figure. I feel lucky to have her in my life and am glad that JE has a close relationship with her. (But am thankful that he isn't a mamas boy in the negative sense of the term.)
Thanks for letting me share.
Your sister survivor/thriver,
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I got a wonderful surprise recently - a marriage proposal. J, the man I've been dating, asked me to marry him. He asked in a windeful, surprising and joyful way that fit us. Now the planning begins. We chose to tell our family, including my parents and sister. So far, so good (mostly), only one stressful phone call about family stuff. Should be interesting. I hope that we don't regret the decision to involve my parents. They have hurt me before, so I am skeptically optomistic.
Thanks for letting me share,
Your sister survivor,
Friday, November 04, 2011
Thanks to Blog Her for the daily writing prompt. Today's prompt asks about the tools we use when writing. I write and post St the computer. I've kept handwritten journals in the past, but I find myself typing more often then not. At the same time, there is something more intimate and personal about handwriting.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
It is always great to see activism and collaboration improve our world!
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Last time I posted, I shared my relationship with DL. It continues to go well. I find myself growing in unexpected ways, dealing with old wounds in new ways and, surprisingly, facing changes in my relationship with my parents. I've been talking with them more lately, sharing more of my life with them. Yes, I'm still protective of what I share and how much I let them in, but I'm risking a bit more lately. It feels good, and I hope that I am not getting my hopes up too high.
Your sister survivor Thriver,
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A year ago tonight I met a friend and her husband for what I was told were drinks and the chance to meet a new person in town who worked with the friend. She had called me about a week before and said, "hey we have a new person at work who doesn't know anyone. Will you meet him so that he knows other Jewish people in town?"
Little did I know that when I sat down at that table that a friendship would start that would blossom into a relationship and into being head over heals in love. Now I can't imagine my life without DL (is it too sappy to call him DL for dear love?) We speak and/or see each other every day. My day starts with a good morning phone call and often ends with a good night phone call. Yes, we are pathetic (in a good way.)
I had no idea this was coming - not.one.clue - as I wrote earlier in this post. I had come to a place in my life where I knew that I could be happy and whole as a single person blessed with great friends. And then, surprise surprise, DL becomes a part of my life.
Today we began the month of Elul, a month of reflection and preparation for the coming New Year. It seems fitting and appropriate that today is also the anniversary of the day we met.
I pray that the year to come is filled with strength, hope, love, courage, healing and good surprises for each of us.
Your sister thriver,
Monday, May 30, 2011
So - - the update. Someone helped me come up with the idea that we have a mother/daughter book discussion to try to be able to talk with each other and build a bit of a relationship. (My mom and I both love to read.) So, I talked with her about it and let her pick the first book. I've read the book and we should be able to have an interesting discussion about it when my mom is ready. I hope that she follows through, reads the book and asks for a time to talk about it. I hope that she doesn't disappoint me again.
From your hopeful sister survivor thriver,
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Thanks for reading and thanks for letting me share.
Your sister survivor-thriver,
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Sunday, October 17, 2010
What is painful? His sister couldn't be there. It was just too hard for her. She was unable to make the long (physically and emotionally) trip to be with her dad before or after his death. My friend is both angry with his sister and feels badly for her.
So you may be thinking that she couldn't be there because her father abused her (this is, after all a blog about surviving abuse) and that he wasn't willing to accept responsibility. Not exactly. Yes, unfortunately, she was abused. No one deserves that. No one. At any age. For any "reason." She was abused by a family member, not her father, not her brother, not her grandparents.... Her father was not her abuser. Yet, it seems that to her he is inexorably connected to her abuse. Her father and brother do not deny that the abuse happened. They accept what she says. (Something for which I yearn but I have learned to let go of that expectation.)
I feel badly for her. I feel badly for her brother (my friend) and for her (late) father.
I feel conflicted...because I understand the pain of abuse...the way it can impact all interactions with family...how it can take over your life. Yet, I see too her brother's pain, his wish that she could be present.
Life isn't easy nor simple. This is, however, a new scenario that remains on my mind.
What do you think?
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Today I spent the majority of the day with a friend of 22 years. Our connection with each other spans multiple components of our lives - including the challenges of surviving abusive childhoods. Today we gathered to spend time with a mutual friend who is dying of a terrible disease of the brain stem. It is so sad to watch her decline. My friend is much closer to her then I am. I try to be present for both of them. Thank G-d for friends - at all times, but especially at times like these.
I hope that my summer of friends will continue into the fall, even if our connections are a combination of in person, on the phone, on Skype or Google phone through Gmail. Technology allows us to connect easier and continue our friendships.
Your grateful survivor thriver.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
I never believed people when they told me that I was pretty and in fact being told I looked good set off deeply-placed alarms that I didn't really understand. I felt that looking attractive was a problem. Why? Because I was trying to find a way out of the abuse - - while I was still living in my parent's house and even afterwards, up to and through some of the healing process. When I turned to food for comfort, I got the (backwards) "benefit" of gaining weight and therefore in my own "logic" felt "safer."
Recently I began to feel more "myself" in my body and I began to feel uncomfortable with my size. Last September I decided to begin working on losing weight. I was skeptical in the beginning, I didn't think it would work. I wasn't sure if I would feel "okay" with being thinner.
- - - Important caveat - - - I do NOT believe that thinner is better. If you are reading this post and are comfortable with your size - - whatever that size is - - then good for you. If you struggle with an eating disorder, please reach out for some help. - - -
So, because I felt that I was no longer comfortable with being overweight and out of shape, I began doing weight watchers (leave me a comment if you have questions or want my thoughts on weight watchers) and started to find some success. Like all weight loss programs there have been ups and downs and I've had a relatively slow loss. Now I am about 10 pounds from my goal. This past week I reached a couple of goals-along-the-way: have a BMI# that is in the normal range and loose 30% of the weight I was when I began. It feels good to achieve both of these goals, and I have a lot of hard work coming to get the last ten pounds off and keep the weight off. (I keep telling myself that how I eat now is a lifestyle choice not a "diet" and is similar to the transition from being a carnivore to a vegetarian 17 plus years ago.)
What is my point beyond shameless bragging? I'm just beginning to realize that I feel safe feeling good about my physical body. I am okay with being attractive because I am safe with myself and safe from prior abuse. I know myself and understand that I being able to wear size 8 jeans is about health, wellness, healing and who I am today.
I hope that as I continue on the survivorship journey, that I can continue to live fully present in myself - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Thanks for reading and for letting me share.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The medieval Rabbi Bachya ibn Paquda taught many things, among them the idea that days are scrolls, write on them what we want to be remembered. Blogging has been part of my journey - blogging about life in general and about my healing journey. On this holiday, I am mindful that healing includes review of the story as a central component of growth. I pray that my celebration of Shavuot includes being present with community at Sinai as well as present with myself and my own story.
If you celebrate I hope that your observance is filled with joy, growth and hope.
Monday, May 17, 2010
...Recently I had guests in my home for about 6 days. They were in town from Israel visiting their daughter who is about to graduate from college. I haven't had guests for that long since the marathon hosting of over 70 people in our Israeli apartment (ah, grad school.) It was nice to have them visit and to show them a glimpse of life in America. They were patient, kind and accommodating. May we all be so lucky to have such guests.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Healing, growth and supportive friends bless me daily. I hope, pest and work on myself so that I continue to thrive more every day.