Sunday, December 29, 2013


I sit here listening to Avraham Fried live
I'm reminded of all that I've lost
And all that I've given up
Of opportunities I'll never have 
That I let slip between my fingers
That I handed over to another 
More capable
More willing
Than me
I handed over on a silver platter 
Ripe and ready 
To live a life
I was not ready to live
I sit listening 
To music of the soul
And feel the life I will never have 
A life that goes on without me
Moving forward 
Very quickly 
While I stay still 

Congrats on living the life you always wanted. Congrats on baby number two.

Dripping With Anger

You're gonna say that I'm a bad influence?
You're gonna put this all on me?
I'm to blame for your behavior?
Are you kidding me?
Who keeps this family glued together?
Who makes sure everyone is taken care of?
Who? Who?
Who steps in when you decide to shut down?
And what have you done? 
You've shut yourself down
And you have the audacity to blame me!
Are you for real?
You can't even have a conversation
Instead you act like the toddler that you are
Avoid the people in your life
Your allies
Your support system 
Have I not been your sounding board for the last who knows how many years?
Have I not been the mother for your children that they never had?
Have I not stepped in for the wife that you never had?
Have I not been through hell in back and dealt with it alone?
Without parent
Without support 
Without love 
Do you even know what I've been through?
What I've overcome?
Who I was and who I have become?
Do you know me at all??
I'm a bad influence? Really?!?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Killing Us Slowly

I can't deal.

My sister is laying in her bed crying. Crying off and on for the last hour. I tell her I love her. But she still cries. She is so mad at my father. Her father. This is the girl that rarely shows emotion. She's crying. 

And I lay here in the dark. Absent of emotion. Numb. I envy her tears. I desire her outburst of emotion. I feel apathy towards him. For myself. But for her, I want to strangle him. Shake him awake from his deep sleep. Make him apologize. Fix this mess he has caused. 

My sister is crying. And it's all his fault. His neglect is damaging our lives. It is ruining the balance of our home. Killing us slowly. 

And she continues to cry. 

Walking Out

So I planned this whole girl's night for all my friends. We've been trying to plan this event for a few days. Going back and forth. One person throwing out ideas and everyone else throwing them down. Each person needs to be accommodated. No one wants to spend money. Then they have to arrange a babysitter. Work around the husband's schedule.

We finally agree on a plan and one person says it's too expensive. Let's all go over to her apartment and rent a movie. Seconds later, one by one, girls start backing out of original plan. So I get annoyed. Why can't we ever just go out. Just us girls. No kids. No husbands calling asking how to change a diaper. I get one girl to say she's still sticking to the original plan and then I say the same. All of the sudden, everyone is back in.

I pick some people up. I'm so excited. Finally a girl's night. Doing something different. Something fun. Stepping out of the box. And then we're all sitting there. The movie starts. And I want to puke. Nudity. Drugs. Language. I feel utterly sick. This isn't how I want to be spending my time. These are not images I want in my head. 

I spend half the time covering my friend's eyes. And we're whispering. We both want to leave. But I drove three people here. And only one other person drove. There's only two cars. Eight people. So I convince one other friend to leave. And in middle of the movie, we walked out. 

I know that they'll talk about me. That I made a big stink of sticking to this plan. But I honestly didn't know what this movie was about. I didn't know it would be this disgusting. It's not something I find ok. Not behaviors I would promote. So why would I want these images to be in my head. 

Man plans and God laughs.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Babies babies. My childhood best friend just had a baby girl. I'm mixed with so many emotions. I'm thrilled for her. She deserves only good things. Two friends of mine are in their ninth month. They've both been waiting a long time. Getting pregnant was a struggle. I'm so happy about their joy and excitement. Babies.

My father has not spoken to us for over a week. It's like living in a house with a ghost. He comes home and goes straight to sleep. When we go into our room, he comes out and goes downstairs. He can never be on the same floor as us. 

I spoke to a friend about D. We have never really talked about what happened in the past. She basically told me that she knew all along. She wondered why I kept going back. How I've said so many times before that this is it. We're done. What makes this time different. We talked about cheating and morals and being Jewish in your core. 

I've been listening to old CDs. CDs that bring strong memories of the past. Of people. I haven't been able to paint. I have been thinking a lot. Contemplating. I wish I could really feel my emotions. I wish there were tears. When is the last time I cried. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Itching at your fingertips

Do you ever listen to this cd
Does it hit you
Strike you straight in your heart 
Do you avoid these songs
These lyrics 
Do you remember
What the words mean 
What the words do
Do you feel the words in your soul 
Crawling on your skin 
Itching at your fingertips 
Does this cd take you back 
To moments no one knows 
Hidden moments 
Do you remember what this cd does 
What these songs represent
The power of the verses 
And the beat 
What the beat does 
Do you still feel it 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Life long friend
Childhood companion
Loyal ally
Bed mate 
Clothes borrower
Tickle attacker 
Mirror hogger
Secret keeper 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Millisecond of Time

It's that fear of the unknown. Of walking into a familiar place and not knowing where you are. Forgetting who you are. Being accosted by memories. Glimpses of a past you. A previous lifetime. It's the lead up. The buildup. The knowledge of what if.
The moments before are just as bad as during. The anticipation and over obsessing that make the actual moment worse. Almost unbearable.  Thoughts of nothing else. No matter how prepared you are, that moment knocks the breath right out of your chest. Your brain pauses. Your heart stops beating for one tiny, little second.
A millisecond of eye contact. One intimate moment shared.  If it was a movie, still pictures would flash through your mind. Time would slow down. Nothing else would exist. Familiar and foreign at the exact same time.
Then in a flash it's over. As if it never happened.  Maybe it never happened.  All made up. Imagination gone wild. The mind playing tricks on the heart. But the anxiety blazes through every vein. Pulses beat throughout the body.  A packed room keeps the body erect. Standing still.  In place.
And then life goes back. Back to normal.  Time fast forwards to the present.  No more glimpses of the past.  The mind is propelled back to reality. The body can stand on its own. Control returns. And life goes on. Once again.

Friday, December 13, 2013

get out of my head

I have removed you from my life
You need to remove yourself from my dreams
Get out of my head
I'm sick of dreaming about you
I'm sick of you
Stop controlling me
It's not real
You are an illusion
You were always an illusion
Figment of my imagination
I created this image of you
You didn't exist
You were fake
You are fake
You are not real
Get out of my head
Leave me alone
Leave me be
I need to breathe
You are still suffocating me
You don't exist
These dreams are not real
I am not crazy
You can't take over me anymore
You are not real
Get out of my head


I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. That you make your own bed and then must lie in it. That making rash decisions will have consequences. I know my actions (good or bad) throughout my life have led me to where I am today. I take ownership of my choices and decisions. I am aware. I am not walking blindly through life. I may not be living for the future but at least I am living in the present. I am experiencing the process. And I am always trying hard not to live in the past.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Sometimes there are these moments that happen. It's very rare but when they happen, they blow you away. Blow you away big time. I struggle with religion and bigotry. I don't get how G-d can make people suffer. Be it money, health or unhappiness. I don't get why certain people have been allotted a painful and bitter existence.
And then once in a blue moon, I get a zap. A reminder. G-d whacks me on the head and says "Look! I'm here!" And I remember that I am glad I'm not in control. That if I had final say, my life would look much different. It would most likely be a disaster. A definite disaster.
Since I am such a fan of going to specialists, I went to my pediatric neuro-opthalmologist last week. (triple specialty yay) My anxiety level was sky high. I hate going to his office because I know the torture my eyes will endure. It's also pretty stressful to know that it's possible to fail a test at this point in my life. You can't even study. Your eyes just get judged on how they perform that minute. No one cares how nauseous you feel or how your heart is racing. Most people find the visual field test to be a walk in the park. For me it brings back awful memories and flashbacks. I start getting sweaty and breathing becomes difficult. I start thinking of my ex, of hospitals, and the smell of the iv drip. I start hearing doctors yelling at me. I feel abandoned and ill all over again. That I fail everything and can't keep my world together.
But this time, I was able to hold it all in. I finished the test in record timing and managed not to throw up. Very few blind spots. Yay. And then the big news. This doctor is as blah as they come. He basically has no personality. He's definitely a nice guy, just not Mr. Personality. He asked how I was doing and commented how he hadn't seen me in a long time. I went on to tell him all about how I moved to NY and ended up getting really sick AGAIN and how I chose to get the shunt implanted. I told him how it changed my life. Saved my life. All of a sudden he became animated. He then informed me that they no longer give shunts to Pseudo-tumor patients in MD.
Wait what? I couldn't believe what I heard. I was in literal shock. He basically said good luck to anyone suffering from this awful disease. That no neurosurgeon will perform the surgery in all of Maryland. How he had a girl come to him the week before who would have benefited tremendously from this surgery. And no surgeon would help. Are you kidding me? He was so happy for me. He told me that when I go to my appointment with the neurologist, I should tell him how happy and healthy I am. Get him to see what a mistake it is not to operate on these poor souls. It changed my life.
And then it hit me. I moved to NY on a whim. A spontaneous decision. That many people thought was dumb and careless. That I was running away from my problems. And then I went skydiving. And again, everyone thought I was being careless. That I didn't care about my life. But no one realized that I was so happy to get sick again. And no not in a crazy way. I didn't want to die. I needed to close that chapter in my life. A few chapters. And yeah, I walked out of that hospital with crazy debt. But I walked out with my life. My life. And the glimpse of a future. It was the first time I was able to see the future. My future.
So as I sat there with my eyes dilated and my queasy stomach, I felt truly grateful. I feel overly grateful. It's not often you see a revelation. A nes nistar. This was a revealed miracle. Out in the open. Obvious Hand of G-d. Choosing the path for me, whether I realized it or not. Guiding me in the right direction. Always. Whether I like it or not.

Monday, December 2, 2013


I have been slowly getting back to myself after an awful stomach virus. Still feeling pain in my stomach and pretty weak at times, but back to work. Back to normal routine. Although, I do rush home to put my pjs on and still am not able to eat normally. I'm still not sure if I was really sick. I tend to convince myself of things. Or maybe its convince myself that nothing happens, when really things are happening. Unsure. I do have physical proof that I was sick. I don't think I was making it up. Nor am I making up the terrible pain I felt. But I do think it's pretty curious that the second after I sent that email, I started feeling nauseous and then threw up all over the place. Psychosomatic much?

So it's been a pretty quiet week (plus). Haven't really talked to anyone, pretty much kept to myself. I learned that I like sleeping on the couch. Or maybe it was just more comfortable than my (creaking) trundle bed. Real reason I realized is that it feels like someone is holding me. Or rather laying next to me. When I sleep with my back to the couch, it feels like I am being spooned from the back. And when my stomach is facing the couch, it feels like someone is close by and I am able to sleep better. It sounds odd or maybe just desperate. But I don't care. It's funny (or maybe not) that I was never able to sleep with another person in my bed. And now that's all I could think about as I lay in agony on the couch. But I guess it was more than that. It was the fact that I was sick and felt all alone. It's not my parents responsibility to care for their 27 year old divorced (nebach) daughter. It's not my sister's job to take care of me. She has way too much on her plate. So I drove myself to the ER. Because there's no one that has my back. Yeah, I could have called a friend. But it was just me. I had to take control of my own life and drive myself. Sit there by myself. Because that is my life. Alone. And most of the time I am ok with that. But not when sick.

And now it's Chanuka. I am so grateful that I moved back home and am no longer in NY. I like lighting the menorah with my family. And the thing I value the most is following our minhagim. Every time I make the bracha on the candles and I say "lehadlik ner SHEL chanuka" I am so thankful for my freedom. It sounds silly. But it's important to me. It's important to me that I have the freedom to be who I am and to do the things that I hold dear to my heart. Even if it's as nutty as singing the last paragraph of Maoz Tzur to the tune of Hatikva. It's meaningful to me.

Sad that Chanuka is almost over. Thank G-d the Jewish calendar is cyclical. You always know another holiday is around the corner.

Monday, November 25, 2013


I'm the only white person in the emergency room
I can't believe I'm here
I don't want to be here
I don't get sick
I am fine
I'm the queen of denial
I drove myself here
I'm all alone
Always all alone
Pain is not worth it
Reminder of what I don't have
The intake nurse is friends with my parents
She wonders why on earth I would drive myself here
My father is fixing a sink
My mother. Is my mother
She is across the street visiting my grandmother
I am here
All alone
Once again
Never free from the shackles
Of illness
I need to stop watching back to back episodes of Grey's anatomy
It's making me self diagnose
It's only a virus
I need an iv
That is all
No malfunction
No recurrence
I am fine

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good-Bye Again

I write this with a heavy heart. I try to be a kind person and contrary to what some might say, I don't like hurting people. I try to be gentle and cautious with other people's feelings and hearts. So telling you this is not easy. I don't mean to cause you more harm. And it hurts me that I have to do this. But at this point I don't feel there's any better option.
I can't watch you ruin your life. I can't be a part of your life. You have continued to make poor decisions and for some reason they affect me. When I ended things the first time, I did it in a vindictive and nasty way. I was angry then. I hated you. I felt you ruined my life. I was over-dramatic. And I spent so much time willing you not to exist. Erasing the past. Pretending it never happened. It was the right thing to end it. I did it in the only way I knew how. But it was wrong how I did it. I couldn't be sensitive then. 
And then a few years ago I decided the only way I could actually forgive you and move on was to talk to you. To bring up the past. Hear your take. Analyze things to death. And to forgive you. I forgave you. I forgive you. But I have never forgiven myself. Talking about those days takes me back. It won't let me move. It makes it hard for me to function. It's an unnecessary distraction.
I fight every day to be happy. To be healthy. And talking to you is not helping my goal. It's pushing me back. Causing me harm. I'm truly sorry for what you are going through. And while I know I could probably help you and be there for you. You have never been able to be there for me. And now I have to choose me, once again. I have to say good bye. This time I say it in a soft and gentle way. I say it with concern and care. For both of us. But I can't sink. I must choose to swim. Even if that means I'm causing you to drown without me.
Good bye,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Once a Cheater...

I just don't understand why a person would do that. Is there ever an excuse?

Abuse. Neglect. Escape. Need.

Truthfully you're selfish. All you can think about is yourself. You obviously don't care about anyone else but yourself. You don't care about the consequences. You don't care how it affects those around you. You are playing with fire. And while you are definitely burning yourself, you are also burning those around you. Your husband will leave you. He will not forgive you. He will take your child. He will remarry. Your child will have another mother. Your child will be burned. Damaged for life. Your parents will choose his side. What you're doing is unforgivable.

And you can't see it. Any if it. All you care about is yourself. Your pleasure. You. You're selfish and narcissistic. Self-absorbed. You can't stop.

I think there is still hope. You can still save yourself. But you must get out. Now. You must stop. Now. Cold turkey. You must get help. Now. There's no other choice. It cannot wait. He might still be able to forgive you. Or at least try to work through things. But you must choose him. You must choose your family. Stop choosing yourself. Stop choosing your pleasure.

You have a disease. You are unwell. You need help.

I hope you make the right choice. Because truthfully, if someone did this to me. I would never be able to forgive. I would not stay. No tolerance. Unacceptable. Trust would be gone, forever. You are a cheater. You will always be a cheater.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lack of Color

I think I am getting angry all over again. I say I have moved on. I have mourned. Been through the five stages of grieving. That's false. There are way more stages. Try a million. Sadness. Anger. Hatred. Obsession. Neurosis. Psychosis. Happiness. Morbidity. Disgust. Perversion. Maybe a million and one. But I won't name them all.

I'm not sure what sparked me to think about all this today. Why I can't get this out of my head. Why today. There's no date significance. I didn't have a sighting. Perhaps it's because I read an article about a 35 year old virgin. Or an article that a newly divorced guy just wrote about how to be a good husband. But in any case. It's on mind so here goes.

How dare you?
How dare you.

I gave you everything. Everything. I lost all of me. In you. I gave up my whole being for you. To make you happy. To satisfy you. I dedicated my life to you.

You. You in your pressed shirt. Dry cleaned pants. Neat and trimmed chin strap beard. Always so put together. Go ahead, shine your shoes. Take out that polish from the top of your closet. Shine your damn shoes.

Me. Me in my random colors. Me in my free spirit. My love for people. My need for randomness and excitement.

It wasn't me that changed. I have always been the same. You were the one that changed. Or maybe we saw each other's true colors. You in your lack of color. Me in my abundance of color. You wanted me to be drained of all color. And I wanted you to add color. The mixture clashed. It always ended up in a mud brown tone. Hideous. Painful. Horrifying. Disastrous.

You might ask why I still wonder why you gave it all up. Why you walked out on me. Why I cannot move. Forgive. Because. I don't walk away. I don't give up. I am worth fighting for. I am not to be given away. Discarded. I am loyal. I am a friend. I can be counted on. I am worth loving.

So go about your life. As if I never existed. Go about your day to day routine. And just remember that those bright colored, pressed shirts you wear were bought by me. I was the color in your dreary life. You can never erase me. Blot me out. I will always be a part of your color block. One bright, shiny color in your past.

guest post - Cymbaline

So when Freedom asked (begged) me to write something for the blog, many thoughts went through my head. I was flattered/moved/touched.....Ok that's a lie, just one really.  How can i write something which is "in line" with her own hauntingly sad work?
The only way to make that happen, of course, would be to get inside her head.  So i took a deep breath, and a plunge, and in I went.....
Jesus Christ it's dark in here?  How does she see anything among all this bloody darkness?
Ok here I am, in the belly of the beast - in a world where magical words come out, and magical artworks.  Painful words, yes.  Sadness, sure.  But beauty too,  Am I up to the task?  Let's see:
Pain - By Cymbaline, Pretending to be freedom
It hurts
So bad
a sea
of pain
Band aids
don't work
for this shit.
But it isn't all sad poems.  There are tales of pain as well.
Here's mine:
I see him, walking down the street.  he looks so freaking happy.  how can he look so happy after what he's done to me?  Walking there, with his freaking caramel latte, yet  trim as a baseball field's lawn.  Perfectly groomed.  How dare he?
So careless, like i wasn't even there.  Taking whatever he wants, not worrying about the consequences.  The destruction left in his wake.  Like a tornado.
A look back?  Don't make me laugh.  I am already forgotten to him.  Just a minuscule blip on his radar.  A flash and then gone.  I am nothing to him, who did so much damage to me.
Drink your latte asshole.  Don't choke on it.  I am a permanent stain on your karma.  You will never recover...
Never recover from what you did to me....
Man who took my parking spot.
*******Freedom here (aka Robyn aka a million other names....)
Dear Cymbaline (aka whatever your name is)-
Can I just say this post is brilliant! Oh and I did not beg. I was really asking for motivation and a boost to write my own piece. The one that is itching to be written. The one that is stuck in my head but refuses to be typed.
Dark. Haunting. Those are intense words. But I guess I'm an intense person. Maybe you are just jealous.
No, in all seriousness. You got me. You pinned me in a nutshell. Tied me in a little bow.
The guy you were talking about seemed oddly familiar. Now I can write about him and tear him to shreds.
Thank you. R

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Loving that Lumbar Puncture

I am blown away. As per the recommendation (or insistence) of my general practitioner, I have called a new neurologist. Of course the number I was given wouldn't take me to an actual person so I decided to go on the hospital's website and find the correct number. The doctor appears to be very knowledgeable in all forms of neurological disorders. There on the list of his special interest were IIH (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension) and Pseudo Tumor. Both terms I have become well acquainted with over the last four years.

At the bottom of the page is a link for an article written by an older woman about her experience with hydrocephalus and her life up until receiving her shunt. I don't know why but I am literally shaking after reading her article. Yes, her diagnosis is slightly different than mine and yes, she received the other (more dangerous) shunt operation. But her experience, the emotion in her story rings so true. It is the same story of how important patient advocacy is and what it feels like when no one takes your symptoms seriously. It is a battle of going to doctor after doctor, each telling you there's nothing wrong. Barely being able to sit up, wearing sun-glasses because the light hurts your eyes and puking into a bucket when you haven't been able to eat in days. Yeah there's nothing wrong. The Cat Scans, the iv's, the Percocet. Not helping. Making things worse. When all you want is to be dead so the pain will stop. A miserable existence.

And then one day, you get this amazing test called a Spinal Tap or Lumbar Puncture. The doctor pushes into your lower back, trying to locate the right bone do shove the needle in. And then, after some misses (quite the painful experience), he finds the right spot in between the two vertebrae and second later, spinal fluid starts pouring out. There is so much fluid that he calls the nurse over to bring more vials to catch all the fluid. And then it hits you. Relief. You can tolerate existing. It is a moment of clarity. Of sheer happiness. No pain. No vomiting. Serenity. And then minutes after he's done, the pressure returns. Tolerance is instantly gone. Suffocation returns. The death wish arrives. Then, you get sent to get the Tap done laparoscopically. You get rolled into the room and you feel barely-conscious. After a few minutes of this extremely large needle positioned in your back, you become animated. You notice the nurse's crocks, comment about a house refinance another nurse is talking about, crack some jokes and get everyone rolling. Thirty minutes of pain-free relief.

I'm not sure why I am reliving that specific moment. But I don't think anyone can understand such relief. You know you have a problem when you crave a spinal tap. Any time I have spoken to med students or doctors and shared my love for LPs, they always look at me incredulously. It's so worth the pain of going through the procedure. It's worth the leg tremors, the zapping throughout your whole body. It's worth the possible paralysis. Anything for the momentary relief.

Fast forward three years and you are once again on the gurney, being wheeled into the emergency room. Symptoms are back. Different state. Different hospital. Limited support system. But it's back. The vomiting. The vision loss. And this time you know. You tell the doctor that all you need is an LP and all will be well. You are craving the release, as if it were a chocolate bar. And this time, you make your own decisions. It is your life, your choice. You refuse to be put back on the meds. Refuse the side effects. You choose a quality of life, no matter what the (literal) cost. You choose the surgery. You are your own advocate this time. No one can talk you out of what you want. What you need.

A shunt was the best decision that I ever made. Yes, it was my choice. And while I'll probably pay the price for the rest of my life, at least I have a life. I'm am free. Pain free. I am functioning. The fluid in my brain no longer controls me. It is being managed. And no one makes decisions for me. No one tell me how to life my life. So now, I wait for the office to call me back. And I will go in to see the neurologist. This time, I have knowledge on my side. I have my story in my pocket. I will walk in with my own two feet, by myself. There will be no gurney. No wheelchair. No bucket to throw up in. No sunglasses. Just me. Me and my shunt.

Take that! 1 in 100,000!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Where are your clothes?"

I always compared this city to a used condom with a hole. It's like this. Everyone passes around the same condom and keeps trying to reuse it. But it's no good. It's barely there. No one seems to notice. And then they swap partners. Lets all share. One big happy family. It's sick. It's revolting. How many people can look around the room and say they've been with more people then they can count. And it's all the same people. It's almost incestuous. This guy dated the girl and now he's married to someone else and she's engaged. But lets all be friends. One big happy family.

I go to this party. It's downtown in a "classy" bar. I know I'm going to be miserable so I put a brave face on. I know I'll be way overdressed. Of course I get lost. And then parking is a nightmare. I haven't been out on a Saturday night in I'm not sure how long. A long time. I don't own any partying clothes. Don't remember what dressing sexy looks like. I'm plain Jane.

I get there and I'm the only one who remembered to put on any clothes. I know I used to wear very little when I frequented the bar scene. But I always wore a coat. These girls are practically naked. Downing drink after drink. Non kosher food actually smells heavenly. I'm reminded of a time not so long ago where I would have totally fit in, totally ordered some odd delicacy. Gotten tipsy with the best of them. But not tonight. Not in this life time. I see the religious folk start trickling in and I realize the time has come. Time to exit the scene. I kiss the birthday girl goodnight, share pleasantries with the required and gladly escape.

I make it home in record time. And for once, I'm not bitter I'm alone. Theirs is not a lifestyle I envy. I take off the smoke stained clothing. The shower is turned extra hot. Scrub out the unnecessary hair spray. Wash off that second coating of mascara. And I am clean. I am free. I am content in my choices. Happy with my lifestyle. I know this is right. Glad to have had a glimpse at a life that could have been mine. But I realize that it's not a life. It's all a facade. Doing the right thing is what I want. This IS who I want to be.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Spectrum of Sexuality

Body image








Friday, November 1, 2013

Drowning in Paint

I have so much to say and yet I have trouble sitting down and writing it all down. My thoughts seem to be clearest in the shower. I guess the steaming hot water has an effect. That and probably the fact that there are no distractions. It's just me. Me and my thoughts.

A lot is going on, even though on the outside it seems like nothing has changed. But in my head, everything is always changing. Or maybe it always has. Unsure. My mind is always swirling. (is that a word?)

Here goes:

I am NOT motivated. I can't bring myself to make a move. I do want to move forward. I AM sick of living in the past. But it seems to follow me. Haunt me. I thought I had overcome it all, but it follows me. I can't escape. Whether it's a stupid song, driving by a certain location or walking a certain path. It follows me. I am still captive. I see what other people have and I know nothing is as it seems, nothing is perfect. But I want that too. I want imperfect. I want something. I deserve to live my own life. A life. Why can't I do anything to actually get me on the path to my future. Why am I stuck. What is blocking me.

Last night, I came home to a piece of paper near my painting supplies. This paper had a list of local shadchanim. Definitely my dad's doing. And then something strange happened. While I was sitting on the floor painting, headphones on, my dad started calling the list. And I could sort of hear what he was saying. I was happy. I knew I would never call them. I was happy. Finally someone else was making decisions for me. Someone cared. Someone was making an effort. I felt loved. I mattered. It was a crazy feeling. So he is doing all the leg work. And I realized something. It's not new, but it hit me again. I just want someone to care. I want him to care. I have always wanted him to care. I can't do this on my own. That's untrue. I can do this on my own. But I don't want to. I want someone to hold my hand. I need him to hold my hand.

And the truth is that I'm scared. I'm petrified to get married again. For so many reasons. My biggest fear is of getting divorced again. I honestly don't think I could survive another divorce. And everyone has heard my joke: "one of us will leave in a body bag before I get divorced again". Yeah, it's a funny joke. But I don't joke. I am being totally serious. I can't commit to someone with that huge fear. Who says I will make smarter decisions the second time. Maybe I'll be so desperate that I will ignore the red flags. Maybe. Maybe a million things.

I'm scared of trusting someone. I'm scared of letting go. Even though, that's really all I want to do. To let go. I'm scared of change. I'm finally comfortable. Settled. I finally like being around myself. I like sleeping in my own bed. I'm finally sleeping. But I know there is so much more to life. I know I have so much to offer. I CAN be a great wife and an even better mother. That is my destiny. That is my dream.

And yet I sit every night, and I drown myself in paint. I surround myself by a non-threatening environment. Surroundings that I control. It's a self contained plan. And I'm finally excited. I have an idea. I come up with a method. I buy the right colors, even splurge on fancy paint brushes. All different textures and styles. It's exciting, it's invigorating. I make a rough draft, I draw it on the canvas. And every night, I put on my headphones and I paint. It's my little world that no one can enter. I love it. I love the process.

The pathetic part is that I almost always hate the painting at the end. I spend months on it. From idea, to plan and then to action. I love the process. And then I hate the end result. I hate it with all my being. It could be this beautiful masterpiece. But I hate it. I hate it because it left me. It abandoned me. It's over. That part of me is over. Over. So now I am in the middle of this huge project. And I reached the point of hate. I'm almost done. It's almost ready. And I am honestly sad. I don't want it to be done.

This painting represents something deeper. I designed this painting to take up an entire wall. I imagined this painting on a living room wall, behind a couch. Or maybe in a dining room, behind candlesticks. Do you know where this painting is going when it's finished. It's going under my bed. Under my rickety, springy bed. It's going to be hidden. There is no wall. It's not my wall. Not my home. This painting will only be hung up in MY home. It's part of my dream for my future. For the life I want. The life I deserve.

And so the headphones go on. The paint brushes come out. A brand new canvas. A new process.

Monday, October 28, 2013


I lay here in exile
I don't belong
Wishing dreaming

For some reason
Memories will not
Wash away

I lay here
In another's bed
Not my own
I don't belong

I am a drifter
A nomad
Come and go
Day after day

Dreams of

A lifetime of

Life goes on
At what cost
End result

Life goes on.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


We took the bus into town. You told me we were getting ice-cream. Then I saw a giant tooth on the building and it dawned on me. We weren't going for ice-cream. You tricked me. You lied. Again. So I started to run. Next thing I know I am being tackled to the ground. Lying on the pavement. You were holding me down. And then that old man cam out. He came out to the parking lot. He looked in my mouth, as you held it open. He tapped each tooth with a metal tool. And I tried so hard to scream. I tried so hard to get away. But I was pinned. He stood up and told you that I had no cavities. He laughed. So I ran. Furious. How dare you lie.

Every year you came up with more creative and devious ways to get me in that dentist's chair. But I always won. I always ran.

Today, I went willingly. It's been years since you have had say in my medical decisions. Today, I walked in the office door by myself. I sat in that chair. I opened my mouth. I let the man drill into my tooth. My anxiety level was through the roof. In my head, I was gagging and throwing up all over him. I winced from the pain and the stress. But on the outside, I appeared calm.

I have overcome one more thing. No thanks to you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I'm up late at night. Can't sleep. Keep feeling my scar. Bumpy and rough. Thinking. How long can I feel ok. When does it all start falling apart. How bad will it be.

Why am I thinking such negative thoughts. Why does night take over my brain. Dreams of running. Waiting. Escaping.

I'm hot. I can't breathe. I'm having a minor anxiety attack.

What is the point of all this. What am I holding on to. What is holding me together.

I think of some guy I never met. A guy I didn't want to meet. But was willing to pretend to have an open mind. I would have given him a chance. My gut told me no. But I was open. I was open. And then he tore me down. One notch at a time. He objectified me. The world lets him get away with tearing women apart. Knocking them down. Making them worthless and meaningless. And no one will put a stop to it.

I think of the little girl who lost her mother. Whose only sister married and moved away. Abandoned. Whose father sits there socially awkward. A little girl who can't even make eye contact. She's all alone. And I look at my mother and still feel no guilt for my feelings. No shame. If she were gone, my life would be much easier. I know I'm a rotten person. But I don't care.

I think of the couples who sit around in a cafe. One shidduch date on high stools. Awkward conversation. The girl is dying for it to end. He notices no cues. Talking and talking. A married couple getting cozy on the couch. Puke. He used to like me and I didn't give him the time of day. What does she see in him. How is he married and I'm not. The other shidduch date in the back of the room. She's gorgeous he's handsome. Playing board games and laughing. An older married couple sits down next to us. Their time away from a busy house. Private time away from the kids. And me. Me and my parents.

I can't sleep. So I rub my scar. Fantom pain. It can't really be hurting. It's all in my head. Everything is all in my head.

Good night.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Anxious Sound

I guess it's a good thing I didn't really know where we were going ahead of time. As I rushed home from work, I realized where we were headed. Following the GPS, my anxiety level starts to climb. Memories try to infiltrate my mind. It's slightly hard to breathe.

Then I remember that this is not about me. This is not for me. I am not going in for me. I get to leave.

I am sitting in a room filled with deaf people. They are tied together even though they are all from different walks of life. They all have cochlear implants.

I wonder how I dared think of myself on the ride here. These people around me are grateful for something I find so basic. They are cherishing hearing the speaker's voice. Something they couldn't do a few years ago. They are not reading lips. They are hearing sound.

How can I be so selfish. Why do I get anxious about entering a building. This place is just that. It's only a building. So what if trauma happened here. So what If the past haunts me here. I can hear. I can listen and understand. It is a gift.

I am lucky. I get to walk out of here this time. I am not in pain. I am not dying.

Oh and I can hear.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Baby Brother

I cannot believe my baby brother is 19 today. Does that mean I am not 19? Time is flying and I can't catch it. The past is going by so fast, sometimes it seems like it never happened. Or maybe happened to someone else. Like I'm watching it from a distance.

My baby brother is 19 and he's in Israel, in Shana Bet. Wasn't that just me? How did so many years pass. How did I get this old? I have blocked out much of the past but I do remember waiting for him to come into this world. It is an event that definitely influenced who I was and who I would become.

The story starts when I was about 6 years old (first grade) and I had been begging my parents for another sibling. That's the year I learned about Pergonal. From what I've learned over the years while mentioning that name to doctors, this is no longer legal or done to women. Anyways, after years of test and drugs and doctors, my mother finally became pregnant with twins. And boy was I excited. Every day at circle time, each kid would have to say something going on in their lives, and it was known that I would say "My mommy is going to have twins!!" That year, my mom spent most of her time on the couch on bed rest. She didn't come to any of my school events and most traumatically for my six (or maybe 7) year old brain, she didn't come to my siddur party. One day, my dad came to school to pick me up (which was weird in itself because I always took the bus) and said we are going to visit her in the hospital. This memory is so vivid. He stops in the hallway of the hospital, in front of two double doors (I swear if I went to that hospital now, I could find that exact spot) and he bends down and sits me on his knee and tells me that my mother lost the babies, that they are not alive and that we will go in to see her but she wont look like herself. She will be very pale and have wires coming out of her like a spider. So we go in and I look all around the room and I can't find my mother. I see maybe 7 Arab women and a white woman but no mother. And I walked out.

Fast forward to the next fertility treatment IVF. Which was the next 3 years of my life. And my mother is finally pregnant. After years and years of waiting, blood tests, shots, you name it, she went through it. Or better yet, we went through it. The year was 1993 and its was decided that she would spend most of the pregnancy hospitalized. So most of second grade, I lived this crazy life with no mother. Each day after school I went to a different classmate. My father worked night shift that year and I had a baby sitter who would sleep on the couch. I remember a mixture if feeling very neglected and very free. I came and went as I pleased. I ate real dinner at different friends houses and I had the time of my life. But I felt very detached from my parents, I especially resented my mother. I wondered why I wasn't good enough. Why wasn't I enough? Why couldn't they be happy with having only me as a child. Why spend so much time and money and create this sick mother just to have another kid. Why was this non existent kid taking my parents away from me and he wasn't even here yet.

That summer, my father and I flew to the US for a few weeks to visit my grandparents. Then he went back to Israel and I stayed in New York to go to day camp and so my parents wouldn't have to worry about me. I slept by my (dead) grandmother's friend. And I went to day camp with all the American kids. I stood out like a sore thumb. I was that Israeli girl. It was a very hard and painful summer, away from my parents, my friends, my home, and my comforts. I cried every night as I couldn't sleep. The airplanes zooming past my window every few minutes. I was so grateful to go home. There was this man on the flight sitting next to me who was supposed to keep an eye out for me and when I dozed off on his shoulder, he told me "I'm not your father." At the airport, I waited in lost and found until my father finally showed up. We went straight to the hospital to see my mother. (I remember seeing a man without a nose.)

In October, my mother gave birth to a really cute baby boy. I remember being in the playground at school. It was finally my turn at the jump rope and of course my name gets called over the loudspeaker. I go to the office and the secretary hands me the phone. My father is taking and I don't really hear him. What? I have a new brother? What does that mean? Girls are standing around and cheering, they are all so happy for me. But all I wanted was to go back to jumping rope.

I got over my anger very quickly. I loved babies and now I had my very own live doll. He slept in my room and I woke up with him during the night. I diapered him. I was the happiest 8 year old. And then the Bris came, all these friends and family came in. It was a big event, a huge simcha. I was so jealous. I went from being the only child, to second place. I no longer mattered. I was there to help, to keep him happy. And I did it. I lost my parents. The only time I didn't feel lonely was when I was holding him.

19 years ago. So much has happened since. We've moved countries. We've survived sicknesses. We've watched our mother go in and out of the hospital. We welcomed our sister. And we've all fought to he in the spotlight, to be our father's favorite.

19 years.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Poem of the Day

“She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.”
Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

Monday, October 7, 2013

will the real slim shady please stand up

So I've been thinking a lot about different things. And you're right, I don't have goals. Or maybe I hide them well. I do have goals, I'm just scared to try and accomplish them. It's easier to do nothing and then I can't fail. When really all I am is one big failure. I have not really accomplished anything. Yeah I have survive two major hospital stays and beat one nasty disease. But is that all I am? A survivor with nothing real to show? Barely living? Yeah I survived a really hard marriage and an even more painful divorce. But what am I now? Is that what defines me? A divorcee? Yeah I survive without the love of a mother. And it's an accomplishment that I get up every morning and that I am here alive. But who am I really? Am I a survivor? Or am I just pulling through, barely holding on. What do I really have to show for myself. What can I truly be proud of. What will make feel fulfilled and worthwhile.

I took one step towards my future today. Gold star. Gold star.

Sunday, October 6, 2013






Friday, October 4, 2013

silence of the ewes

I'm a liar.
I'm a fake.
I'm a fraud.
I hide from all of you.
You don't know who I really am.
The person before you is a shadow.
I write and yet it's not really me.
It doesn't represent the truth.
It's all nothing.
I'm not really here.
It's all your imagination.
I feel nothing and yet I feel everything.
So much of everything. I can't shut it down.
I can't get it to start.
I am stuck in a vortex of nothingness.
I am stuck in hole of everything.
I make no sense.
Sense is not possible.
I ramble.
And yet I'm silent.

Silence is golden.


(of a physical illness or other condition) caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Did you make a conscious decision
To ignore me
Do you go home
And tell her that you saw me
Do you think about me
Wonder how I'm doing
Do you pour your feelings
Out to her
Do you block it
All out
Do memories flood back
Overwhelming you
Did you mean to come off cold
Treat me like I'm dirt
Did you think life would turn out this way
Perfect strangers passing by

Do you think. Feel. Remember.
Do you. Do you? Do you!

Once Again

And so the day begins
Bright and early
Up and about
Tiptoeing around
The house is silent
Close the door behind me
End of a great moment

And now?

Back to reality
Day after day
One foot at a time
Same old routine

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Everyday I know that writing will help me feel better. Help get out my feelings. Frustrations. But I almost don't want to document all the aggravating things. Because then I'm admitting they're real. That they actually happened. And then I need to deal with them. So I let things boil inside of me. And I swallow my words. I bite my tongue. I smile and I nod. I dust things under the carpet. I pretend like nothing is going on.

I can last like this. Right?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Leveled Out

As I find myself wasting time playing candy crush, I lay here and contemplate life. I scratch mosquito bites and play this mindless game day after day. And guess what. I have been stuck on the same level for days. I can't seem to clear all those stupid jellies in under sixty moves. It's like a rat race when your legs are tied.

Ugh and now I'm bleeding. Great.

So I lay here trying to avoid reality.whats reality you ask. Reality is that I'm alone. I'm stuck on the same level for days. The jellies won't go away. No matter how hard I try. Then I run out of lives. And once in a while someone offers me a life. So I get all excited. Today will be the day I clear the jellies. But i cant seem to do it. It's like I'm destined to stay on that level. Destined to keep trying to clear all the jellies. And I go through life after life and sometimes I'm so close. Nope. Not close enough. One left. So close. Nope.

So I go to sleep. Alone in my bed. On the same level as yesterday. And I'll be on the same level tomorrow. Trying to clear the same jellies. Just to get to the next level. But let's be realistic, I'm going to be on this level for a long long time. There are no shortcuts. There are no gimmicks. You gotta just play the game.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cheers to the Frikkin New Year

Don't bother asking me for forgiveness. That's not what the New Year is about. It is not about you clearing your conscious at the last minute. Don't send me a generic message wishing me well. I don't buy it.
When did trying to be a good person only matter at the last minute, just before G-d closes the door on all your opportunities. Guess what: you had all year to say hello to me. You had all year to be nice to me and not be a total witch. But instead, you chose to behave negatively towards me and others throughout the last year. So guess what, I don't feel like forgiving you. Does that make me a bad person. Does that give G-d reason to not forgive me. Who knows.
What I do know is that I can look back on the last year and feel good. I don't mean to come off haughty. But I came a long way. I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am a new, better version of me. And when i pound my chest during Al Cheyt, I am hoping it won't be as difficult as previous years. I am hoping that it won't be as painful, that I will feel the normal amount of regret. Is that too presumptuous of me. Is this the supposed yetzer hara taking over and letting me feel confident as I approach my prayers tonight. Should I really be nervous of the upcoming plan G-d will allot for me.
I go into this upcoming holiday with my head held high, ready to face my Creator. I am not ashamed for Him to look through my last year. And I hope I have proven that I am worthy of being here. That I am worthy of having a happy life. That I am worthy of good things.
Cheers to a New Year. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Now What

Losing a parent
No pain is comparable

When's the last time you spoke to your dad
Can you even remember
Were the words pleasant
Had you made him proud

Now what

Who will be your rock
Who will hold you close
Who will love you unconditionally
Who will walk you down the aisle

How will you go on
Gaping wound in your heart
A missing part of your soul
How will you function

So I go home
And I hug my own father
Avoid my greatest fear
Thank the One Above

And now life will stop
For an entire family
A dynasty he created
Children will be fatherless


Now what

What is the message
Erev Rosh Hashana
Decreed from above

Now what

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Passion Fruit

Random things bring memories
A song
Actually many songs
A smell
A season
The beach
Someone roller blading
A rap song
The shower
A flavor
Certain colors
Shoe polish
A bench

You can only get rid of so much. But in the end, you have to learn to live with the things around you. You can't run and hide. It won't get you anywhere. So you go to those places and instead of reliving the past, you build new memories. And next time it won't be as raw, as painful.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Self Induced Rut

I'm going crazy. I never fell asleep. I laid in bed and tossed and turned. My sister dragged me out of bed and made me get dressed. She wanted to go driving. I'm trying to figure out why this was such a crappy day. Was it only because I was tired. Is that why I was so cranky.

I'm convinced that its because I'm ovulating. Funny how that natural bodily process is so meaningless now. And yet is seem to affect me way too often. One more month of wasted eggs. Down the drain, or should I just say tube.

So much has happened in my mind, but nothing has actually changed in my life. Not one darned thing. Life remains status quo. And while that has made me really happy and content for the last year, I am getting restless to be doing something more. Living a more productive and meaningful life.

So now what? How do I get out if this self induced rut? Do I wake up tomorrow and continue this agonizing existence and lifestyle? I can't even convince myself to make a plan. To make a change. I need to find that list of things I wanted to do. I need to want to do something. Anything. And I need to not think about the past. It doesn't help at all. It makes me crazy.

Here's to hoping tomorrow will be better.


I must be so tired
But seriously 12 is too late?
I'm not able to function
And I got 8 hours of sleep
What is the deal

Then I start freaking out
That it's depression
But I'm not depressed
My life is great

And then I'll decide

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Everyone Goes Home

Everyone goes home
They all collect their things
Collect their kids
Strap in to their car seats
Drive off in their minivans

Everyone goes home
To bathe their kids
They wrestle kids into bed
Clean up their house
Finally a quiet moment
To reflect on the day

Everyone goes home
And has someone next to them
Keeping them company
Warming them up
Holding their hand
Loving them back

Everyone goes home
And so do I

But no one else is home
It's just me

Friday, August 23, 2013

"Undermine" lyrics

Sometimes good intentions
Don’t come across so well..

Get me analyzing everything that
ain't worth thinking 'bout
Just cause I ain’t lived through,
The same hand that was dealt to you
Doesn't make me any less
Or make any more of you.

I wouldn’t trade my best day.
So you could validate
All your fears.

And if I’ve only got one shot
Won’t waste it on a shadow box
I’ll stand right here

It’s all talk, talk, talk
Talkin' in the wind
It only slows you down
If you start listenin'
And it’s a whole lot harder to shine,
Than undermine
Yeah, undermine

First mile is always harder
When you're leaving what you know
Won’t blame you if you stay here
Waving to me as I go
Always wished the best for you
Thought that you would see me through my wildest dreams
Yeah, the ones you thought I’d never make

Still, you would trade your best day
Just to have your way
All these years
And if you only had one shot
Maybe all this talk
Would disappear

[Repeat Chorus]

It's a whole lot harder to shine
Yeah, it's a whole lite harder to shine,
Than undermine
Yeah, undermine

Sometimes good intentions
Don't come across so well...

Hayden Panettiere (with Charles Esten) from the show Nashville

Unloading Thoughts

I haven't been able to write in a while. Not sure if it's because I have nothing to say or I just can't bring myself to think. It's so much easier to just live and be and not contemplate things. I think this is the same reason I haven't painted in three months. Or I just convince myself that I am happy and content and therefore only need to write/paint when I am unhappy.

Writing is therapeutic but it also forces me to validate what I am feeling. But then again, I am never sure if it causes to me create issues and feelings that aren't really there. That aren't really bothering me. So below is a list of all the things that are possibly on my mind.

Funny how as I am writing this the song "Somewhere I belong" by Linkin Park comes on my Pandora Station. It seems to always happen.

But I digress. Or do I?

$60,000 is a huge amount of money. I can't even begin relate to that amount in real life. Actually maybe I can- in debt terms. I have managed to pay off two sets of hospital debt so far. Still trying to figure out the third batch. But anyways, when I think about what that kind of money can do for my life, I still don't envy a person in that position. And I realize I am being vague. But I don't want to talk about anyone else. I only focus on what it means for me. This amount of money to me means you are shackled, you are bought, you are owned. I am so grateful to be independent. No one has say in my life and no one can claim to tell me what to do. I am my own person and I earned that. I established myself without any help. I stand on my own two feet. Me. And yeah, I can't go anywhere for vacation and I don't own anything fancy. But I own me. Me. And the things I do have, I bought. I earned with my hard work.

So technically, you would think that I can totally relate to someone who is going through a breakup. And technically, you would be right. But after a while, I just want to yell: "move the F on!!" My sympathy level is somewhat minimal. I can be supportive for a while. But I keep going back and wanting to scream: "I went through a divorce! The man I loved with all my heart and soul left me!! He's frikkin remarried! And you don't see me moping around anymore." But I know that's not sensitive and everyone has their own battles and deals with things differently. So I try to be supportive and listen. And I need to work on not talking as much. But the truth is, that after a while, I don't want to hear about it anymore. It makes me think about the past. And I don't want to do that anymore. I am trying to live in the present. To live in the process. And I actually look forward to the future. And I have also learned so much about relationships and what to do right and what not to do. How people ultimately want to be loved and listened to. How you can't change someone. You have to embrace them for who they are. And especially embrace yourself for who you are. That might be the most important thing in life.

Funny how "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Goyte is playing now.

Is that even a word? I was talking to a friend yesterday about how happy we are being single. And I was thinking later: was I being totally honest? Do I really like being single? And the answer is yes and no. Shocking right? Yes because I love having my freedom. No one tells me what to do. I don't have to be anywhere to please anyone else. I get to sleep in my own bed. I totally crave the quiet and enjoy quiet and alone time. And that is a huge deal. No because I would like to be in a relationship. To have someone love me and care about me. And especially for me to be able to take care of someone else. And to be a mother. That is the ultimate void in my life.

I love being around all my friends and I love each one of their kids whole heartedly. But I do feel left out. I want that. I want to be a mom. I want to go to the pool with everyone and not be the only one there as just me. Are every one else's kids going to be teen-agers when mine are toddlers? It's hard. And I try not to focus on this pain. But it is painful. I want to give grandchildren to my father. I want to leave his house and have my own. I want to have my own Shabbos table and have tons of company and yummy food. To have a house smell of baked goods.

Saw You at Sinai
A dating website? That's what my life has come down to? Waiting for some guy to call me when he has already "accepted." Am I supposed to be going to a million shadchanim and marketing myself like crazy. Or can I continue to sit here and not do anything productive. And continue to hope that people are thinking about me.

I think that's it for now. Every time I say that I have nothing to write, I end up pouring out a whole megilla.

I really like this!

Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage

My advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage, by Gerald Rogers.

Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had

1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3. Fall in love over and over again.  You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

3 years

It's hard to imagine what happened three years ago. How my life turned upside down. I can't believe that it's been three years. On the one hand, it feels like forever ago. On the other hand, it feels like yesterday. I can relive it in a second. And yet, details escape me.

I'm glad it's in the past and that I'm so far removed. That I don't think about it on a daily basis. The emotions only creep up on certain, significant (or rather- non significant) days. It didn't even occur to me till later in the day. That I would say is an improvement, an accomplishment.

Day by day.
It gets better.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sweet Baby Girl

Sitting in the nicu
Babies fighting for life
Reaching for the next breath

One mother gets to reach into the incubator
Touching her child
Cooing at her baby
Laughing with family around

Another mother is not allowed near
Her infant is too delicate
Stimulation is bad
Detrimental to her baby's healing

Such innocence
Total dependence
Machines beeping all around
Held together by the grace of G-d

She opens her eyes
Can she see me

Dear little sweet girl
You can fight this
You are strong
You are loved

Take your time
But don't give up
Don't give in

You are lucky
Born into a loving family
The world is at your fingertips
You can do this

She opens her eyes again
I believe that G-d is inside of you
He's around you
He's protecting you

You will be held
And loved by all who meet you
You will inspire us all
And grow to be a strong and happy girl

Sweet baby girl.

Monday, May 13, 2013

It Wasn't Meant To Be

It was supposed to happen to me
My privilege
Right of passage

This was supposed to be
My direction in life
But it wasn't meant to be

Someone else got the title
Another has the role

It will never be mine
Opportunity has faded

Mine will just be a number
Among the others

Friday, May 10, 2013

Are You my Mother?

You would think it would not bother me anymore
I just can't wrap my head around your selfishness
Do you even notice
Is it all part of your disease

Or are you just plain selfish
Do you not realize that it's not all about you
That there are others in your life
Do you forget that we are your children

I look at pictures of you holding me when I was a baby
I can honestly say that I am surprised every time
Is that normal
Should I be shocked to see your affection

How can you be so self centered
You are a 24 hour 7 day a week chessed project
you are exhausting and mean
And completely self absorbed

I wish I could feel love towards you
Instead I feel apathy
Dreaming of you not in my life
Does that make me just like you

How can you not see the pain you cause with your words
All we do is care for you
And you tear us down
You can only think of yourself

Where is the mother I needed
How come I was never nurtured
Who stayed up with me at night
Why didn't you hold my hand

Instead I compensated
I made due with others
I worked hard to gain appreciation and affection
I made bad judgement calls

All I wanted was you
Someone to take care of me
A mother to love me unconditionally
A mother.

Happy Frikkin Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Living in the Process

I talk about change like it's going out of style. Well this time it's for real.

There is definitely no denying how much has changed in one year. 12 months ago I was in the hospital. It feels so long ago, almost like another lifetime. I can barely relate to the girl I was then. I came out of that experience totally changed and affected (or is it effected? Maybe both).

Most people do not believe that G-d strikes us with lightening to punish us or maybe even cause a jolt in our lives. But I definitely do. And I have proof. It has happened to me quite a few times already. I also believe in nes niglah (open miracles) because I have witnessed those as well. If you heard the story of my life, you would see it too. It's almost laughable how obvious it is that G-d has been directing my life and that no matter how many times I have tried to veer off, He pushes me (or rather pulls me) back. So do I believe in free choice? Not really. I think we are destined to be the people we are. I do not believe in coincidence. These things didn't just "happen" to me. And yes I made many decisions to break the mold but I ended up hurting myself every single time.

I can honestly say that I have learned from my past and my mistakes and I am trying to live a life that reflects that. I choose to be a growing person and not be haunted and defined by the past. A therapist told me many years ago that I need to learn to live in the process and not miss out on the present. One year ago, death came knocking on my door and I chose life. I chose life in every sense of the word. I chose happiness.

This probably seems haughty but I have always felt connected to Yosef Hatzadik. The famous chazzal that is used in reference to Yosef is "Sheva yipol tzadik vekam" (a righteous person falls seven times). It was always a huge comfort to hear how imperfect our Biblical heroes were. It gives me hope that I can overcome anything. I know that I can be whoever it is I want to be. Nothing and no one can block my way.

Here's to living in the process. Cheers.

Friday, May 3, 2013


It's something that I've thought a lot about. And there's plenty more to think about. And then there's what I'll feel once I'm with someone (if that ever happens). For me, it even goes a step further. Will I touch the guy I'm dating seriously? Would I sleep with him before marriage?

So as of now, I am not planning on touching. Just because if I want to keep niddah properly, then its very hard for me to switch on and off. And I know that many people do. I've spoken to many people who touched before marriage and still keep the halachos once married. But I had the hardest time with that. For me, I couldn't understand how marriage made any difference and how a person is able to switch on and off like that. My emotions are too crazy for that. (And then again, we're talking about an unhealthy relationship so who's to say what the future will hold?)

But then there's my huge fear and insecurity that I will get married and my sex life will be terrible again, and I'll be miserable again. And then what? So I kind of want to know before I make that huge commitment. Again I don't know what I'll feel, I can't picture loving a different guy. I can't picture committing to anyone so it's hard for me to speculate. I can't picture having a healthy sexual relationship.

Now to talk about niddah. I guess it all depends. I hope that I'll have a healthy and loving and supportive relationship. So ideally, I do want to keep niddah. I would change a lot of things. My mindset, my attitude. And I pray to G-d that my husband will be different. If I were to be sick (G-d forbid) I would hope that he'd be the type of person to hold me and take care of me without me begging. That I wouldn't feel pressure to go to the mikva if I was too sick. And that I should never be in the position where i dread coming home from the mikva or going to begin with.

I guess what I'm trying to say that I think I can be healthy and positive about niddah and I can actually handle it, it all depends on who he is and the dynamics of our relationship. I pray that it's a positive one. Because if not, what the hell is the point.

I didn't know I had all that in me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Filing Cabinet

I was always one to say that people do not change. That you are who you are. You are the same person you were as a child or even a baby. Personality doesn't change. Perhaps your face changes a bit, but most people still look the same, maybe with a few more wrinkles or some new stretch marks.

Throughout my whole life, I can honestly say that I never changed. I looked the same. I acted the same. My responses to things around me were the same. I was miserable. And perhaps I am being slightly unfair to myself. After all, there were some good times and many happy moments. But as a general whole, I remember feeling miserable pretty much all the time. My memories of the past are tainted with sadness and with bitterness.

Through years and years of various therapists, who helped here and there with the painful situations I was going through at the time, I never got over myself or the past. I let it drown me and wallowed in my own misery. I honestly believed I suffered from severe depression and anxiety and perhaps at that time I did.

Looking back at the last year, I am forced to amend my thoughts. For the first time, I am happy. I haven't been in therapy in over a year. I haven't been on meds in almost a year. I have never felt better. I realized that it was all situational depression. And the minute I was no longer in a bad situation or environment, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder. I became free. Free for the first time. I won't deny that I went through a lot to get here. But I am here now. And there is no way I am losing this self that I have discovered laying deep down inside of me.

So on this very special day, I reflect back on the 27 years I have been granted on this earth. I can honestly say that I am not done. My time here isn't over. There is a lot more left for me to do. I am closing the first section of my life and filing it in the past. It no longer defines me. All of it builds me into who I am today.

Happy Birthday to me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shock to the System

Am I missing something
Is there some sort of message
Should I read into it
Another slap in the face
One more punch in the gut

Have I not come back
Mended my ways
Chosen life
Follow the straight path

Is this what I get
For being careless
Wanting to be free
Living outside the box

How long will I pay
Constant reminders
Receiving these shocks
Lightening bolts
Of what was

Perhaps this is it.
Onward march.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

65 Years and Counting....

Last night I went to my community's event for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut and I was so overcome with pride for our people. Although not all the shuls participated, there was a huge mix of people from all walks of life. At the end of the program, one of the Rabbis started to sing and form a circle. I was so proud of my dad who joined in. Each person in the circle had a different form of dress and a different type of head covering. There was a Lubavitcher, a Rabbi in a black hat, my dad in a suede Kippa, a teenager in a white kippah sruga.... You get my point. It was so beautiful.

I just want to say that there can be achdus. We can get along. We can put aside our differences and support one another, even if we don't have the same lifestyles, minhagim or viewpoints. We should be proud of the Jewish People's accomplishments.

I am proud to be a Jew! I am proud to be an Israeli. I wish I could be there now.

Am Yisrael Chai!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pressing Accept

We were complicated. We were best friends and liked mostly a lot of the same things. We could have a great time together. Like tell each other anything. But when it came to the aspect of marriage, I think that's where we were so different and didn't agree on many things. We had very different upbringing and schooling. So while we had some really great moments, the fundamental stuff was so different and we kept knocking heads.
I always said (and he agreed) that we would have made great best friends and I miss his friendship sometimes. We just couldn't pull off being married to each other. So yeah, I have a ton of great memories. But I also have a lot of bad memories. I used to be pretty dramatic and very depressed. So that mixed in with his lack of ability to communicate was a deadly mix.
It's difficult running into him with his new family. But I make sure to put a smile on my face. I will always be cordial, even if the same courtesy is not rewarded back. I don't want to appear as the pathetic one who hasn't moved on with my life. I have moved on and I am finally happy. Seeing him gives me a mix of emotions. I am happy for him that he has the life he always wanted (I hope/assume) but I also wonder if we gave up too easily. And then I take a step back and cherish my happiness and my freedom. I remind myself that I wasn't happy and it was obviously not meant to be.
And now that I have moved on and am taking the next step. I am so lost. No. Lost is the wrong word.  I am at a roadblock. I want to get remarried. I want to build a family. I want someone to love me for me. But why is it so hard for me to take the necessary steps to get there? What is holding me back? It's not him. Not anymore. My cheeky answer may be that I like my own bed and the toilet seat down but those are just silly reasons. I can't bring myself to try and get to know someone new. The idea of letting a stranger into my life baffles me. I can't fathom how it'll work.
I just figured it out. I don't want to change. Not that I don't want to or can't mold to another. I don't want to lose myself and become someone else. For the first time (maybe ever) I am confident and happy with who I am and I don't want to lose myself.
It seems it is easier to just avoid the whole thing. But where will that get me? Nowhere. How will I end up? Alone. So that's it. No more avoidance. Pressing accept.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dear Ma

It's hard to see you cry
You are so overwhelmed
So much pain
Etched on your face

Been through so much
Lived a life filled
With difficulty
And struggle

Awaiting death
With open arms
To be set free

And yet you hold on
Keep swallowing
Those pills
Plugging through each day

I'm sorry you
lost your mother
Don't take mine too

I love you.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You Mope

Your mood cannot affect me
I am calm
At peace
With how I feel

You can be
As passive aggressive
As you choose
It does not affect me

You can grunt
And groan
And seek attention
But I will ignore you

Your behavior
And attitude
Do not determine
How I feel

You are free
To be moody
And depressed
It will not alter me

You mope away
I am at peace.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Silent Sister

It's interesting to watch my sister's perception and experience of life. While I can't get inside her head and she's not much of an emotional over sharer, I feel like I can understand or a better yet relate to what she is going through. Now I know that we are two different people and we have experienced similar struggles throughout our lives, we are definitely not the same. And yes, we have the same parents and the same brother, we even live in the same room again.

I look at her and see all this pain and anger etched in her face, with the weight of the world (or at least our family's) on her shoulders. It just takes me back to being 15. One of the hardest years of my life, and that's saying a lot. I felt so alone and abandoned. I was an extremely depressed teenager with no desire for life. I saw no purpose to anything.

I try so hard to be there for her, I have tried to force her to talk to me. I see the pain in her eyes and know that if I push hard enough, her walls will crumble and she will let some of it out. She rarely uses words, I'm not sure if she even knows what she feels. If she is even able to verbalize her feelings, she will never say them to anyone else. Their are all these tears that I know she holds in.

My father says it's a stage. This is one of his-go-to answers for his children. I'm not sure if he really believes it or has too much on his plate to focus on another issue. He was eventually forced to get me help back when I was her age. But I cried out, I made my anger public. I demanded attention and couldn't be ignored. She is silent.

My hope is that I have helped pave an easier, less painful life for her. I can try and change the circumstances but I cannot change her feelings or reactions. I can only continue to be there and pray that she doesn't have to go through some of the things I did. I hope that one day soon she can see how wonderful she is and all that she has to offer. And most of all, I hope she can be happy and see how much I love her.