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


 
Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time