Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Turning Tides: Free to Fly

As told to Leah Gebber

“My soul craves beauty,” my mother said each morning, as she flung open the pretty blue shutters and breathed in the crisp mountain air. Mother’s soul may have craved beauty, but she inflicted ugliness. By the time I arrived home each night, she was being terrorized by her inner demons. Against the backdrop of lush meadows and crystal waterfalls, I became a girl who learned how to clean up after my mother’s abuse — to wash the cuts carefully, apply antibiotic cream, and tape fresh gauze over the wound

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

birds The attacks stopped by the time I was 14 — my mother’s cancer put an end to them. It also ended her life; she passed away two years later. The principal of my school graciously invited me to move in with her. She saved me from untold ordeals, but I was never truly comfortable in her home. When a shidduch was suggested with a young, budding talmid chacham I was very excited by the possibility of marriage and a new life. But I was 17, and my principal told me to wait. “You’ve got all your life ahead of you,” she said. She put her hand on my shoulder. “And I think you need more time to heal.”

I agreed to take things slowly, but I wasn’t interested in putting my life on hold. We met. He was a nice boy, he seemed kind, and suddenly, I had a tantalizing image dancing before me: a home of my own. A person who cared for me. It was an image I wouldn’t, couldn’t easily dispel and we got engaged soon after.

Yair was a superpower — a comet speeding through space, leaving observers (me, included) breathless by the shower of light in the night sky. I couldn’t believe he’d chosen me as his wife. We moved to a fledgling community — where Yair’s talents were in strong demand. In the evening — after his predawn chavrusa and full day at his accounting office — he spent his evenings chairing every committee you could think of. Building the shul, distributing tzedakah funds, raising money to set up an elementary school. He had time for everything and everyone — except me.

I was so emotionally paralyzed by my childhood that I didn’t realize how much I craved warmth and companionship. I kept telling myself to be proud of what he did and who he was. I found a job, ran our home, and soon enough, discovered I was expecting twins. 

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you