When it hurts to live: leaving Orthodoxy

When you leave Orthodoxy, you leave everything behind. If you are lucky, you can find a way to anchor yourself to love.  But mostly, you are tethered in place by the family that wants to accept you but believes that you cannot be accepted. I cannot imagine the anguish of a parent who can not separate from belief enough to love their child unconditionally. It is a brutal thing to be faced with. Still, when you abandon your child and refuse to see them fully, you are guilty of taking away the stability necessary to walk this earth.


I do not want to write this.

I do not like to hurt people. I do not like that my words are sticks and stones that break people I love.

But I am bound by the dead, bound by the silenced, to give these words life.

I will never be able to take it back.

I owe that to the memories of those who drank their pain and swallowed comfort. I must write for those who wrapped their necks and flew off buildings and let their blood flow to release themselves from the devastating hurt of abandonment.

I owe them something that will live forever.

To those who raised children who are not the same as you to only be the same as you

To those who took part in shaping children who did not want to be shaped

To those who conditioned their love to meet their faith

To those who held belief above all

To those who will not listen

To those who will not accept

To those who will not ADJUST

To those who refuse to apologize

You are guilty.

You have brought your son to be sacrificed. You placed him on an altar, bound his hands and feet, and did not have the courtesy to slit his throat. You have let him lay exposed before your judgment, and you have rained disappointment down like a sea of arrows. You have scraped his skin, pierced his heart, and did not bury who you wanted him to be.

You are guilty.

You threw your daughter to be eaten by the wolves you fiercely protect. You let her cut her flesh and offer it to others again and again while you sat on anger and expectation and allowed the wolves to feed.  Her skin turned inside out, and you refused to see her. You left her with nothing to hold on to.

You are guilty.

You did not mean to do it.

And so we forgive you.

But we will not live another day this way.

So we will try to be free.

Some of us will learn how to be alone.

Some of us will find each other and live in perpetual grief.

Many of us will not have the strength.

As we fall, please know;

You are guilty

You are guilty

You are guilty.

Time of My Life

My parents just celebrated the birth of their ninth grandchild.

Nine children, all in the span of five years, and they’ve only just begun.

I am so happy for my sister, and thrilled for my parents who have evolved into this role so beautifully.

And yet…gulp…they have evolved into this role…without a thought, a word or, seemingly, a care.

I always knew I would get older, even have children of my own.  I was never fearful of aging, and looked forward to adulthood.

Well, here I am now; a woman, a Mrs., and, horrifyingly enough, a lady.  (My mother recently referred to women my age as ‘ladies’.  When I pointed that out to her, she paused and thought about what it meant to have a lady as a daughter.  The end result was that we shrugged and went with it, as awkward as it was for both of us.)

I love it, this freedom of living life on my own.  Growing up wasn’t too fun, but boy was it worth it.

And then I take a look at those who were the adults in my life, and the reality sets in.

I want to be a big girl so very badly.  I have so much to offer the world now.  It’s my time.

But…that means it’s no longer theirs.  They will sit back happily and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  They will smile and laugh and tell me stories of when they were my age, or when I was my child’s age, and I will…

…what will I do?

How will I relate to them?

Truth be told, I didn’t want to grow up to stand on my own.  I wanted to catch up to them, to stand next to them, so I could be a part of their world.

Now that world is their age, and I am still here, still trying to be what time will never allow me to be.