G-d knows what’s best for us.

I just reread my last blog entry. I remember that night. The heartfelt prayers by the holy candles, wishing for clarity and a solution.

I’m so glad to be able to tell you that our prayers have been answered. My son was accepted into a great yeshivah overseas. It looks like it was created just for him. He is one of 8 boys. This school was created for those boys who do not fit into our mainstream yeshivas where the program is rigorous. The learning is much less, they get plenty of individual warmth and attention, there is a psychologist on staff and they have a lot of fun and outings too. They dorm there too. So far, it’s been going really well! He sounds so happy when we speak to him. That makes our hearts happy.

Sometimes, when a bad thing happens; we question why. It’s hard to see the good in those moments. But I always got strength of something I once heard. Life is like a tapestry. The back of a tapestry looks terrible. Lots of tangled strings and knots and it is just one big mess. That’s what we humans see down here below. But when you look at it from the other side, there is a beautiful picture. G-d sees that picture. Our life unfolds as it should, with a beautiful tapestry but we don’t always see the big picture. We need to trust that everything that happens is for our good. I hope I don’t sound preachy because I’m actually talking to myself here.

I can now say that as hard as that whole situation was, it was ultimately for his own good. Had he stayed in his old school, who knows how things would have turned out? I would not have found that incredible school. He is only there for a short while but I can already hear him sound less stressed, more relaxed and overall happy. I kept telling myself that whole story WILL have a silver lining because G-d ultimately does what’s best for us and it’s not always the easy way. But we have all grown from this, my husband and me as a couple and my son and my husband too. As a family, this has really brought us together.

And that is the blessing in disguise.

Thank you all for the support and for reading what I have to say!

Rebecca

My prayer for the 8th night of Hannukah

It’s the 8th night of Hannukah. It’s written in our holy books that on the last night, you can ask G-d for anything you need. It’s an auspicious time for prayer and prayer requests. I am sitting by the menorah, together with my husband and children.

The candles are flickering slightly and as my husband sings the Psalms I gaze deeply into the holy flames, letting my mind wander. I have lots to pray for. I think of my dear son, who has such difficulty controlling his impulses, some of them downright harmful. One of his impulses got him kicked out of yeshivah. I’m praying for him to understand the gravity of his impulse and what his future could be if he doesn’t learn how to control it. I’m asking G-d to please help the psychiatrist find good meds to help him overcome his obsessions/compulsions and not to have to go through the same dance we had while trying to find the right meds for his ADD. (which we still haven’t).

Tears are starting to flow as I beseech G-d to find him the right Yeshivah which will accept him as he is and will be willing to help him as he confronts and works through his issues. My heart cannot accept that I will have to send him away from home that young but I can only hope that G-d made all this happen so that he could end up in the Yeshivah that will be best for him. I pray that G-d gives me the strength to have faith that this is all for the best and that we can see it sooner rather than later.

I hear my husband’s voice starting to shake. My heart goes out to him, too. This is very hard on him, much harder than it’s for me. A father has high hopes for his son. All he wants is to see him successful and happy. His heart breaks seeing his son at home all day. I can hear the prayer in his voice, no doubt praying the same as me.

The Chanukah candles are special, the whole holiday of Chanukah is special. We celebrate the miracle that’s happened many years ago. We can only hope that our prayers by the candles will go straight to heaven and that we may merit our own personal salvation as well.

Happy last day of Chanukah!

 

(Food struggle) Progress of the PSE treatment

Quite a bit has happened in the last few weeks. I have been taking the drops religiously from October. The first few weeks I saw no significant change. Then I started getting some weird symptoms. One fine day I woke up and felt the room spinning like crazy. I never had this before. I anyway had to go to the Dr for blood results so I mentioned the dizziness to her. She checked it out and told me it’s probably vertigo, gave me some exercises to do and told me it will pass in a few days. She told me that it’s probably stress that brought it on. I mentioned the frequent stomachaches I had and the bloating. She checked my stomach and told me I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). That is also brought on by stress.

By my next appointment by Katya I asked her if it’s possible that the drops relieve all my stress and that’s why I suddenly have all these stress symptoms? She agreed that this was the reason. She also told me that the drops force my body to unfreeze itself so I can expect lots of tears in the future.

Not long after that appointment my grandmother passed away. 10 min after I heard the news, my son came home and told me he was expelled from his Yeshivah. Devastated was an understatement. The tears flowed..

He is home now. It’s not easy to try and fill his days. We need to find a new Yeshivah and a specialized therapist for his issues. I’m leaving to Israel on Thursday for 10 days with my son as we found an organization that deals with an issue he has. We’re going for an eval and hopefully get a plan on how to help him.

I will keep you updated on how things work out.

My complicated thoughts on the election

(disclaimer: some of it is religious in nature)

This is a tough time to be American. I’m sure glad I don’t live there right now. Passions are running high, everyone has an opinion. Some are grieving, some are ecstatic. My facebook feed is a mix actually. I have friends on both sides as I friend people based on things we have in common like autism, writing and blogging. Their political leaning held no interest for me.

My thoughts on the election outcome are very complicated. I have refrained from openly discussing my views on Facebook as I don’t want to hurt or offend anyone and I use facebook as a place to make contacts with other writers or support other parents with high functioning autistic children. Politics is also not my thing and I have never cared much and especially not in the country I live in (Europe). I voted because I had to and only made sure not to vote for those openly saying that Muslims don’t belong here because we all know they’ll include Jews as well in the end and I hate racism. Also, us Europeans are much less passionate than our American brethren. So one part is cultural.

Then it becomes complicated. If you know me, you know I grew up and still belong to one of the strictest sects of Hasidism. I grew up very sheltered and insular.  I’m not supposed to be online, much less so on FB. I am anonymous and still hope that no one in my real life knows it’s me. I use FB as a tool to get my writing out there and make some connections and also originally started an account to open up a support group and page for parents of HFA children as my son is autistic and there wasn’t enough support for our challenges. I don’t use FB for the social aspect although, after a few years, the connections deepened and some real friendships were made. I started caring for some people, cared about their opinions. I read lots of political posts and started to open my mind to things it hadn’t been before. I didn’t know (and still don’t understand much) what feminism is, what white privilege meant and all these terms thrown around.

I’m also a very non-confrontational and mellow person. I don’t have strong opinions and lots of time don’t care one way or another. I have issues with organizing my thoughts to express what I really mean so I mostly prefer to stay quiet and go about my business.

Being a non-American I didn’t really have any strong feelings for any candidate. I don’t even understand all the politics there and what it all means. So I was never pro or anti-Clinton. I knew Trump from TV as I watched The apprentice years ago. I thought it was funny that he ran for president but that was all.

He then opened his mouth. What I hated the most about him were all the stuff I read about sexual assault. As a rape and molestation survivor that was very hurtful. I kept reading my friends accounts of how he treats and feels about disabled people. It wouldn’t affect me personally because I don’t live there but it affects all my fellow autism parents. He started to disgust me.

I started wondering who I would vote for IF I would be American. It became quite complicated. The way I see it, the last 8 years were not very good for Israeli relations with the US and this, as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, matters to me. The political correctness sometimes got to me too. Why not call  an attack that was clearly terrorism-related a “terrorist attack”? (in Israel). There were lots more some moments like that, that had my head in my hands in despair. So I probably wouldn’t have voted for someone who would continue in the same vein.

Now it becomes sensitive. (I’m trying the best I can to phrase all this right but I’m human) I’m a peace loving person and I would like nothing more than to have everyone live their lives according to the way they think is right. I have my beliefs which are rooted in the Torah and live according to them. I would never impose them onto others as that’s not what G-d wants. A non-Jew doesn’t need to keep our laws or believe what we believe in. G-d asks of the nations to be decent people and live morally correct lives. I’m not G-ds police and I don’t think He intended for anyone to be.

Most of you know that our Torah is against the gay lifestyle, is anti-abortion and so on. Here is where it gets tricky. I have some dear friends on FB who have gay children or are gay themselves. I love them and respect them and don’t judge them or the way they live. Who am I to say “your lifestyle is immoral/wrong/whatever”. *I* need to be ok in G-d’s eyes and HE has not asked me to change others or make them see the light. I would never do that. So we mostly don’t discuss that issue and I say live and let live. Yes, it might be hurtful to them that in my heart I can’t agree with that lifestyle bc my Torah says no (and I love my Torah and my G-d) but I hope they can respect me anyway. I don’t agree with those who are vocal and try to change others because I believe that’s not what G-d wants. (for those asking what I would do if my son would become gay, I have truly no idea but one thing I know, I will continue to love him)

What this long-winded post was meant to say is that although I empathize so much with my Clinton supporter friends, I actually identify with *some* (not all) of Trump’s views. I hate the way he talks about his views, I hate the way he treats women and minimizes sexual assault. But some of his views align with mine BECAUSE I’m a Hasidic Jew.

But our Torah also says to love all people. I don’t have much interaction in real life with non-Jews as we live very insular. (I mean close interaction). I am friendly and cordial to everyone I meet, even some Muslims who look at me as if they want to kill me (yes, there are some like that), I smile to each and every person and have had some great conversations with people who asked interesting questions and wanted to learn more about my faith. I don’t hate black people (why should I) and I don’t hate Muslims either or any person. I only hate those that hate me for no reason other than that I’m a Jew.

This is the reason I didn’t clearly say who I support on FB. Because it’s not clear cut. I like Hillary because she is more normal than Donald Trump and the world would probably stay more stable. I don’t like Trump because the way he spoke, the fear he sowed and the real disgusting people who are now being more open with their racist comments and actions because of him. But then, I do support some of his views.

As I didn’t have a clear-cut answer as to who I support, I didn’t chime in on my friend’s posts. I only tried to empathize with their feelings because they are all valid. They have legitimate concerns. I hear them on their fears for their children,  fear for their human rights and so on. On the other side, I don’t TOTALLY disagree with the Trump supporters (not the thugs, the rational, normal people) either. And since I’m no American, I didn’t think my voice mattered much to begin with.

But here, on my personal space, I wanted to do a little explaining. Not sure I did a good job because I’m truly bad at getting my point across and organize my thoughts on paper.

I’m glad I didn’t have to make that difficult choice. As a believing Jew, I know that if G-d got him elected, this is the way it must be. There is no other logical explanation other that that it’s G-d’s will. We believe in the coming of the Messiah (Moshiach) and our holy books predict turbulent times before the redemption. A lot that has been predicted has come to pass. I can only pray for our future, the future of our children. The rest I leave up to my G-d.

 

(food struggle) Progress of PSE treatment

Katya asked me to come back after 4 weeks. It’s now two weeks after that appointment so I have been busy with the treatment for 6 weeks now. She had told me that patience was needed as this would not be a quick fix. I’d like to be honest here so I won’t pretend I have been perfect. She had told me to eat gluten free. The first three weeks went very well but then, I fell back into my old pattern and cheated a bit here and there. Nothing too terrible but I’m not happy with myself.

Katya also gave me two medications for helping my intestine issues which I have stopped taking because they are just so disgusting. (trying to get myself to take them again)

When I got to my appointment, she went on to check my energy levels. She was happy to see that my mental energy has  gone up from 23% to 44%. I find it interesting because I haven’t felt a difference. I still feel like I have a blocked brain. She had warned me though that I shouldn’t expect miracles so I’m still being patient.

I’m taking the drops religiously, though. She upped the dosage. After two weeks of taking the higher dose, I started feeling quite blue. I got insulted by a family member who has a habit of being tactless and stupid. This spiraled me into a very down mood. I was having sad thoughts and I didn’t recognize myself. I’m usually a very positive person and if I’m in a bad mood, it’s never for too long. I just don’t have the energy for staying in a bad mood :D. It took me a few days to realize that my blues might be a reaction to the drops. The whole idea of this treatment is to release the traumas. Since this person who insulted me was the one who abused me my thoughts went into that direction. I was remembering and feeling intense feelings of hatred for that person. It started on Saturday. By now, my feelings have calmed somewhat. I have a therapy appointment this afternoon and I will explore all that with her.

Although I didn’t like the way I felt, I’m relieved the drops are starting to work and hopefully I will feel a positive difference soon.

In two weeks I have the next appointment and I will keep you all updated.

Link: https://myfoodstruggle.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/progress-of-pse-treatment/

(Food struggle) Psychosomatic energetics.

There I was, sitting in the office of Katya, a naturopath from Germany. She invites me to sit next to her and starts by asking me some questions. What are my problems? Well, I have many but I talk about my very frequent stomachaches and my non-stop sinus infections. These are my “safe” problems. At the table, I see a machine. Later, I read that this is called a Reba machine, designed to measure a person’s energy. It measures four parts; the mental, vital, emotional and causal energy. If they aren’t optimal, you’ll feel it in different ways.

Before I tell you what that Reba device said about me, I’ll explain some of the issues I have had over the years. I have been going to a therapist to explore and get over childhood abuse. I have been trying to explain to her what I actually felt. I knew I had no energy, mostly a bit in the morning but that was it. I also felt like I had some kind of mental fatigue. A tired brain. The only thing I felt like doing was sitting on the couch, surfing mindlessly. Just the thought of getting up and doing something made me tired.

I also had been feeling numb inside. My feelings had been shut off. I had no idea when it happened. It could be after the loss of my baby. I just didn’t feel anything. When I tried EMDR to try and get over the trauma of the abuse, it just didn’t work. The therapist told me I likely stuffed my feelings way-way down. These were the things my therapist and I were discussing all the time.

Back to Katya. The only thing I had told her before we started were my physical ailments. She had no way of knowing all of the above. The whole procedure was very interesting. She tied a string around my wrists that was connected to the machine and she was adding little vials of somethings to the machine and holding my hands on and off. This went on for about 15 minutes. The things she then told me were scary. First, she asks me what happened when I was 15. My abuse happened when I was way younger but I knew very well what she was talking about. There is not a soul in my world (real life) who knows about this well kept secret (besides therapist). I couldn’t believe she saw that (molestation). She claimed that traumatic event froze my feelings and just locked them up.

She then told me my energy levels. VITAL=45% which I expected and explained why I never have energy. EMOTIONAL= 50% which means I’m not especially unhappy but not happy either. CAUSAL=40 out of 50 which means I’m very sensitive, intuitive and connected to the world around me. MENTAL=23%

She explained that all my mental energy went to making sure the trauma stays deeply hidden. So it’s no wonder there isn’t any left for all the other things. I actually teared up hearing her say this! So it’s not all in my mind! With only 23% of my mental energy working, is it a wonder I’m forever overwhelmed by every little thing? That I cannot retain a single bit of information in my mind? That I can’t think or remember anything? No wonder I thought I had ADD! My husband keeps saying I wasn’t that bad in the beginning of our marriage. As the years go by I believe the energy level went less and less.

This is the first time an explanation made excellent sense. All the doctors I went to, all the alternative practitioners I visited, no one came close to finding the problem. No wonder Ritalin didn’t help! I was so relieved to hear this, I felt half the problem solved.

She also told me to go off Gluten and cow milk as she saw this isn’t good for me. I probably have a gluten sensitivity as I was tested for Celiac disease a few years ago and results were negative. I am willing to try this since I suffer from bloating and stomach cramps.

As it’s been many years, I need to be patient and not expect instant miracles. I need to give it up to five months. 25 years of repression cannot be reversed instantly.

Katya gave me drops to take. 3 times a day I need to smell a certain oil which I must admit is very soothing and calming. She gave me some other instructions which include saying an affirmative sentence to myself several times a day and wearing light blue if I can.

She wants to see me again in 4 weeks. I pray so hard for this to finally be the end of my troubles.

What I also liked about her was the fact that she didn’t bash conventional medicine. She said that she works WITH them. With children, she involves their pediatrician and she loves hearing that we work with therapists. She told me that it increases chances for success.

I will keep you updated on the progress, follow me if you don’t want to miss anything 🙂

For a more in-depth explanation of the process, you can visit: http://drsusanhamilton.com/homeopathic-medicine/ and check out her site.

(Food struggle) What’s wrong with me?

I have always suffered from stomachaches from as long as I can remember. After I eat too much I have stomach cramps. I am way too dependent on meds. I also keep getting sinus infections. After going to regular doctors and finding nothing wrong, I started going to alternative practitioners. There I was diagnosed with Candida and they recommended I only eat spelt and limit sugar. I tried to keep to it but as I have said before, I have a very hard time sticking to anything restrictive so that didn’t work very well. I managed for a while but I couldn’t always control myself so I ate wheat, then felt the sinus coming on. It was a vicious cycle with me not being careful and then living off the medication.

Another symptom I suffer from is a terrible brain fog. I feel like I can’t think, can’t gather my thoughts and basically have ADD-like symptoms. I went to multiple psychiatrists but not one was willing to diagnose me with ADD. I was going for therapy for childhood sexual abuse and cried to my therapist that I feel like my life is out of control, I can’t help my ASD/ADD son if I’m like that. She referred me to yet another psychiatrist who took some tests and was willing to start me on meds. I tried Ritalin but no effect. He wanted to go real slow but I had no patience for slow. I needed to find something to help myself as soon as possible. My life was really impossible. I got overwhelmed by every little thing, even making supper was a huge chore for me. My husband was shouldering 90% of the burden of the household in addition to being the main breadwinner. It was not fair to him but I couldn’t manage without him. I felt helpless in my own life. Continue reading (Food struggle) What’s wrong with me?

Blogging about different aspects of my life as an ultra orthodox chassidic Jewish woman and mother.