Is being SELFISH good / bad???

Is being selfish good, or is being selfish bad?

Facts are facts and they can’t be denied no matter how hard you try. Where the fault lies is something I have been thinking about for more than two decades. It took me a long time to even entertain the possibility that A I did nothing wrong and B that this does not mean a life sentence. However, to do the things I need to do to make my life better (to reverse my life sentence) I need to put all of me first and foremost.

How do I take care of myself and not hurt my family? This is my life and how it has been for a long time, I don’t want it anymore and I don’t deserve it anymore. I talk about this not for pity but for inspiration. Hopefully, as I share my struggles someone else will be inspired to help themselves.

Thank you!

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Never Give Up!!!

We must Never Give Up on ourselves!!!

How does someone who all he wants to do is please everyone not be able to? Would it matter if he was a child / adult? Would it matter which stage in life he is at? Regardless of any of these answers, we must never give up on ourselves.

Growing up in a Chassidish school no matter what I did it was never good enough. For one reason or another (probably my undiagnosed learning disabilities) I never got a good grasp on my Judaic studies and that made me a target. A target for what you ask; well, the truth is everything.

The truth is that for the most part during my youth I was a victim of one type of abuse or another. However, when I look back and I think about what hurt me most it’s not the abuse or bullying, it’s the mocking of any effort I put forth. I think about my children and I care less about the grade than the actual effort put in to get that grade.

It is self-evident to me why that is but could somebody explain that to my Rebbe in Yeshiva. The English education in Yeshiva was poor to say the least but it was easyish. If you need further clarification on this issue please visit http://www.yaffed.org. My math teacher who I don’t remember if he was Jewish, was teaching us about graphs and for some reason I was into it.

I made this beautiful graph about cars and my teacher was so impressed that I think I stunned him. I finally did it, I pleased someone! I was so over the top about this I couldn’t stop talking about it, my mistake was I did so as my Rebbe walked into class the next day. What proceeded to happen was as horrific as could possibly be. He opened his Gemara, called me to his desk, grabbed my graph I worked so hard on, and instead of doing his job berated me why I was wasting my time with this Shtisim (nonsense) in an extremely public and embarrassing way.

I went and tried to complain to my Menahel (principal) and he slapped me. WTF??? Besides the fact that this was pure physical abuse, why not at least hear me out?

The thought of what I might have to say, as scary and true it might be, would mean he would have to deal with it. Not in a healthy way of course, but how dare I bother him with this SHIT? What is the easiest way to deal with this? Silence him! Make him give up!

One of the main reasons for writing this blog is to tell them, “you may have won the battle but not the war.” It may have taken me 20 years, but I’m here to tell you I haven’t forgotten. Just because I gave up for 20 years and the Emes (truth) might appear as if it’s not true doesn’t make it any less true!

To anybody who has and/or continues to suffer, please don’t give up on yourself; We Must Never Give Up On Ourselves! Be brave! Be Strong. Reach out to anyone, reach out to me if you want. Together, let’s continue the revolution of exposing the truth about the abuse that has and continues to be so pervasive in the Yeshivas we grew up in. Thank you, YK!!

To anyone who will read this, I welcome all comments, ideas, and/or suggestions. Thank you, YK!!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

33 years, almost 34 years, it has taken me to begin to put my life together.

I have a wonderful wife, 3 daughters, a son, what looks to be like the beginning of an exciting career, friends, and a somewhat financial situation that is stable, so what has made my life seem / is not put together.

Why does someone who is absolutely a victim feel guilt and shame about something that is absolutely not his fault?

What if the very thing that was supposed to help him actually betrayed him?

The truth is, all the good things in my life have only been a band-aid on what can best be described as personal demons.

Do I allow myself to finally deal with my personal demons which are at a critical stage even though it is almost guaranteed they will hurt the people I love?

What will happen if they don’t understand?

What can happen if they get taken away from me?

I think a better question is, can I get the help I know I need without hurting anyone; especially the people I love most?

If the answer is no, what do I do?

Every decision we make in life there is a risk versus reward factor, with some being simple to figure out and some being quite the opposite of that.

Then there is the decision that is beyond quite the opposite of that.

Welcome to my life for the past 20+ years.

Do I disclose the horror of my past, allow myself to get the help I desperately need, even though it’s more than likely my family and loved ones will be hurt tremendously by it?

What about the religion I grew up partially believing in and partially believing in only because I was told to?

Because if I publicly declared I don’t believe then all Hell will break loose.

I could lose my kids if I said something as drastic as I am not FRUM.

I’m not saying it now, but if it isn’t obvious I’ll say it clearly.

I have questions and these questions are causing me to think about things which is causing me to re-evaluate every decision I have ever made.

The one that has caused me or better said has had the greatest impact on me is my religion.

My religion has and still does control every decision I make.

Even if I don’t know what I believe in (trying to figure that out now) there is no doubt I’m still being controlled by it.

Believing something not to be true either because you want to or any other reason, does not make it any less true.

Not acknowledging what has caused me so much pain for over 20 years does not make acknowledging it now false.

If it hurts the religion, or the image of it, does not make acknowledging it now any less true than if I acknowledged it when it happened before I was 13 years old, before my B”M.

When I was 12 years old and I told my teacher what happened to me and I was scared to be direct he slapped me across the face and said, we don’t talk about such things.

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

Why don’t we talk about it?

Either I’m lying and I should have been dealt with accordingly.

On a side note, as I’m writing down my thoughts I’m listening to my all time favorite / relaxing musical performance, Andrea Bocelli – Live in Tuscany – Besame Mucho.

Or, I’m saying the truth and I need help.

More than that the person committing the crime needs to be stopped in order for no other kid to be victimized.

Part of my guilt of the past 20 years is how much pain my inability to deal / talk about what has happened has caused so much pain to others.

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

NO MORE!

No More will I be a victim of my past.

No more will people be hurt by me not talking about the horrors of my past.

To my wife and children, I say this trembling; I love you.

I know what I’m about to do is more than likely going to cause you a tremendous amount of pain and you definitely don’t deserve it.

Neither do you deserve me uprooting your lives but I 100% believe in the truth shall set you free.

You are going to learn truth above everything else.

Even though truth can be costly and very difficult to acknowledge but it’s how progress is made.

It is how we evolve as people, as well as a family.

No matter what happens, I love you and I will do whatever I can for you.

Being a victim of child sexual assault, physical abuse, and rape is not the hardest thing I have ever dealt with.

Loosing my brother to cancer as difficult as that was, isn’t as gut wrenching as finally acknowledging and finally dealing with my demons.

It has taken me a long time to say this, I am not a victim anymore.

No one or anything will stop me from being a voice for victims anywhere.

No person, place, or thing should have to suffer anymore.

I will not be silenced anymore!

I have always tried to teach my kids, “just tell me the truth.”

It’s about time I led by example!

Hopefully this is the beginning of a new journey, a journey I’m calling EmesVersusTruth.

The only way to evolve is to speak and act upon the truth.

I was a victim but not anymore.

Finally, I can be at peace with myself and my future.

One factor which I have really failed to acknowledge is am I ready.

I may be ready to acknowledge my past, I may even be ready to finally see a bright future, but am I ready to deal with all the negativity that is surely going to come?

Will any of the more than likely critical comments hurt me to the point I will revert into my 12 year old self and keep quiet?

How do I act like a grown up and make grown up decisions when I never grew up.

On more than one occasion when I just broached the idea of a blog the most popular critical comment has been you’re just being a baby.

Which I just realized stands for Be A Believable Yonah.

The Emes / Truth is I was never really allowed to grow up, my innocence was robbed when a teacher sexually molests you and then you tell a teacher and he himself later becomes another sexual molester silences you, you lose all desire to fight.

Not actively dealing with the problem by running away it comes back to bite you like the I.R.S. with heavy interest.

My heavy interest are my wife and kids.

Working through my issues is exponentially harder because of them.

However, I owe them my life.

When I was a young teenager I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and began the process of trying to cut open an artery.

Obviously I was unsuccessful but ever since then that time period has always been in my head.

The thought of suicide, not the active planning of it, is a constant in my life.

There might have been more times in which the thoughts were much stronger but having my wife and kids has kept me from taking it a step further.

Being under the care of a social worker, a therapist, and even a psychiatrist are the necessary steps I am taking for self care.

Self care is a hard concept to grasp because from a young age all I was about was pleasing everybody.

The more I failed at it the harder I tried, it was a never ending concept I could catch up with.

Now that I am taking steps to really care for myself and at the same time whether it pleases or displeases or displeases not really care.