Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Leaving the Darkness Behind

As Told to Malkie Schulman

Years and years of childhood abuse or neglect harm the psyche in myriad ways. Traditional talk therapy is often unable to assuage the pain. One woman’s story of healing, and a look at effective methods of treating long-term trauma.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

One of my earliest memories is waking in the middle of the night to the sound of my mother’s mad laughter as she chased my father around the dining room table, his black shoe in her hand, poised to strike. His arms were held protectively over his head as he tried to escape. To me, it seemed like a wild, adult game. They took no notice of their eight-year-old daughter in the shadows. When they finally disappeared into their room, I went back to bed, frightened and disturbed. It took a long time to fall back asleep.  To outsiders, my mother — a schoolteacher — appeared competent, hardworking, the consummate balabusta. She always dressed us in the trendiest fashions. But we feared her. Control was crucial to my mother; our slightest misstep was dealt with with a strong punishing hand. My younger sisters would disappear whenever she raged — which was often. As the oldest, I tried to reason with her, to protect myself and my siblings. It never worked. Talking back to my mother was sinful. “You azzes panim!” she would snarl. “How dare you talk to me this way?” Grabbing the nearest mixing spoon or shoe, she’d bring it down on my rear, arms, legs. “I’ll show you!” Whack! She’d be panting from the exertion. “Who’s the mother around here?” 

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

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
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"