Walking down the aisle on a beautiful Spring afternoon, there was no doubt that this was going to be my forever. A journey together that was going to create the future that we’d hoped for. As we embarked on this journey, the road took an unexpected turn. The journey became one of pain, abuse, and what seemed like, no way out.
I am an Orthodox Jewish woman that as a young girl grew up in small rural communities. I was carefree and happy. I come from a big family and always felt loved and cared for. I valued and appreciated who I was as a person. I embraced my flaws as something beautiful about who I am. Those same flaws, as much as I accepted them, were an integral part of the downfall. My greatest gifts were my biggest challenges. I am selfless. I love to give of myself and help others. I want to impact lives. That is all wonderful, but to what expense. It put me in a place where I wasn’t able to stand up for myself, to say no when I didn’t want to do something, to feel that it didn’t make me any less of a person for not always doing everything for everyone.
Over the course of my decade-long marriage, I wasn’t given the ability to be. I didn’t have a voice, an opinion. I wasn’t valued as someone who was important. Everything was conditional. Nothing I ever did was good enough. My children were becoming victims. The day I decided I was leaving, was the day I decided that my worth and value was just as great as his. I wasn’t going to stay and keep going through the abusive cycle, thinking as I always did, tomorrow will be better.
I found courage and strength to have a voice. A voice that allowed me to become a warrior. Nothing was going to stop me from fighting for mine and my 3 beautiful children’s freedom. The journey to get a Ghet, a Jewish divorce agreement, was a long and painful process. Everyday felt like a year. I did not waiver. The support I had from my friends and family was above and beyond. Holding on as I rode the waves of the process, keeping my vision on the goal.
The person I became through my journey is one of strength, self worth, love, and empowerment. I showed my children what it is to stand up, to not only protect them but to protect myself. If I had to go back, I would relive my journey all over again. I appreciate who I am. I developed my sense of self and have become a person that has touched so many lives.
My journey gave me knowledge and understanding into the world of mental health, abuse, and trauma. I took what I went through and empowered myself to go out there and connect with others. I found myself again. I was an empty vessel during my marriage and once I left, I was able to blossom. I was given the ability to recreate myself, combining the old and new self. I took my selfless qualities and went on a new journey, touching lives.
Touching lives is exactly what I did. My home became open to girls who were struggling with substance abuse, mental health, and needed an unconditional space to be. I became involved in an all women’s recovery house. As I continue to evolve as a person, I embrace who I became based on the journey that I had been through. I made me. As my journey continues, I continue to do what I love, every single day. I am currently a Clinical Outreach for a substance abuse and mental health treatment center. A role that has given me the opportunity to continue to impact lives. To make a difference. To empower. To encourage. To guide. To support.
I have been entrusted with a gift that I value and that I am grateful for every single day. We all have a story. A story that started with us being brought into this world, a story that carried us through our childhood, and a story that has pushed us into adulthood. The direction that story goes is up to each one of us. Taking our past and creating our present. A present that is going to evolve into our future. The power is ours and nobody can take that power away. Make that story one that you are proud to live. Make your future yours. It is your story. Own it.
If you or a loved one is seeking help please reach out to, Recovery at The Crossroads – Where you never walk alone.