Thursday, April 07, 2005

Almost Beaten

I was talking once with a married friend about the upcoming birth of her first baby. My friend is fond of natural remedies and yoga and such things and she was very opposed to epidurals. She was very judgemental against women who had epidurals until her rebbetzin told her that for some women, the pain of childbirth is so great that it causes wounds not just physically but on their soul. Some women can handle it and some women finish the experience with scars on their souls that never heal fully.

When my friend said this I was a little bit skeptical of it because how can one get a scar on their soul? Everyone knows that the soul is perfect. One can have psychological scars but I was skeptical about soul scars.

It is a few years later and I have been thinking lately that maybe the rebbetzin was correct. I cannot compare my emotional and physical pain with childbirth of course because I have never had a baby and also I realize that in many ways my life is very privileged. I am one of the lucky ones.

However, the idea that a physical experience can leave spiritual scars feels real to me lately. I feel very much that the strain of denying my body for so long from something that it needs so much has left an imprint on my psyche.

I believe in God very much. I believe that He controls things that happen in the world. I believe that everything happens for a purpose if we can find meaning in them. I believe that God does not give us tests that we cannot pass.

But I no longer find meaning in my loneliness. I no longer feel better by reminding myself of all the wonderful things I have time to do because I am single. I no longer see myself as a holy servant of God who is saving Negiah and sex for her husband. I no longer believe that it is likely that I will ever get married so what am I saving anything for? I see myself not as a holy servant but as a slave, suffering under the lashes of God’s double whip of loneliness and sexual deprivation. I have passed the test so far but inside I am dying like a sick bird.

25 Comments:

Anonymous b,h,&e said...

NJG,
if you give up looking (which I hope you haven't), then you'll probably not find the guy.
So, don't give up. Keep looking. We're all davening for you and I AM SURE, 100% SURE, that YOU WILL GET MARRIED, but you gotta keep looking.
Try to stay optimistic even if you feel like crying (or actually are). Finding a mate isn't easy, but certainly it is far from impossible! And there are many men (and women) in the same boat as you. Keep looking and I'm sure you'll meet the one.


ps, if you can, perhaps a small vacation might be helpful. just some time to relax and unwind, and perhaps taking up some sort of a hobby, even if only to give your mind a rest from this stressful topic. I think it might be helpful. (and perhaps a call to a rebbi or rebbetzin you're close to could be very helpful. but of course, I leave these decisions to you.)
Hang in there, NJG.

4/07/2005 06:38:00 AM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

also, while I can't "read souls", I'm sure yours is not scarred, but is beautiful and pure. (though I know your emotional state has been trampled.)

4/07/2005 06:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabbi Rick Eesh Aish said...

As I said before a shift is needed so that you feel happy and celebrate your life and situation and then you will be able to be bold. Consider, that you have waited a long time. In your own thread you mentioned several opportunites you had. Now this waiting can cause someone to be afraid to be bold.
Marrying someone is a gamble for every case. It does not make you a gambler, but in this one instance, it is a gamble.
To gamble, one must be bold. Maybe not a small amt of money, but this issue, is not for a $5 chip. It is a huge chip you would be placing on the table. Only difference is that your chances for success, are alot in your hands, and in HaShems Kavyochel, hands.
To help your chances for success, you would have to do your Hishtadlus. Then you have the condifdence, to put down the million dollar chip.
I agree that the soul can be scarred but that is why I have suggested that you change your mind set. You will not be fooling yourself, but you will be moving in the right direction. Similar to that fellow I know, who has a lowly lowly position and salary now. He runs out of the office when leaves for the day. It is symbolic, but it is good for his soul. He runs to his bus stop.
One could say, it is a form of prayer. He dreams of having a job that pays enough for his family, like he used to have.
There is a better profit for him, to celebrate that he has something, and that he can add to his skills. Yet, he is not there yet. He still spends his work days in misery. So he runs out of the office at 5PM.

4/07/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

I am taking a huge risk and logging in at work to ask "Rabbi Rick Eesh Aish" to please

stop playing amateur psychologist. I have clinical depression now not a bad attitude in need of adjustment. It frightens me that someone who claims to work in kiruv does not know the difference

and

please stop using my blog as a platform to advertise for Aish Hatorah. This is not the place for it. Also it shows that you are more interested in helping Aish Hatorah than in helping me. You are NOT empathizing and Aish Hatorah is NOT a magical pill that solves all problems.

4/07/2005 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabbi Eesh Aish said...

OK girlfriend, I am sorry, it is just that I am so touched by your posts. You are so genuine.
I do think that what I say has merit, it is not amateur Psych. It is very similar to this fellow I mentioned. Depression is depression. Let us not play the game of who suffers more. People suffer, bec. of attitude.

4/07/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabbi Eesh Aish said...

GF, What would you say to this fellow, he is so angry at HaShem, he banged his Teffilin on the table, in the middle of Shemoneh Esraeh? Then after he finally found 'something', still he bangs the Teffilin? He has anger and is hurt. Because he lost something that he had. Isn't it better for him to celebrate that he does have a job, when many DO NOT. I know someone who is unemployed for over 3 YEARS!!! So he at least has a chance for a better future.
Isn't he better off to shift his view of himself???

4/07/2005 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Mighty Man said...

"Rabbi Rick Eesh Aish",

Mighty Man here wants to tell you some things. First something you know:

Attitude is important and can make many situations better.

Now something you don't know, but most everyone else does:

(1 People have preferences in life and are happier when those preferences are met and sadder when they are not.

(2) Here's something you may have forgotten: When someone is 35 and lonely and never been kissed (and more) a basic physical NEED is not being met. We were created for companionship, physical contact and sex.

(3) Every one of your posts under this name has been essentially the same. Its one thing to say you should try to feel better, which is all you've really been saying. It's another to keep on saying it over and over.

(4) As someone in a similar but lesser situation I feel like I'm in limbo. My life could be much worse but I'm not accomplishing what I want to accomplish and don't know how to get there. There is a reason Dante put it as a rung in Hell.

(5) I don't like Aish HaTorah. They always come up with fake answers, whether it be Torah Codes, the seven levels of pleasure, or, as here, 'how to improve your life via saintliness or electroshock'

4/07/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

MM,
I think your attitude toward rick is unjustified and mean. (and I question whether you actually understanding what rick is saying, as well.)

and I happen to like aish. I don't know what you have against them. and i don't think they "always come up with fake answers" at all. (and no, aish wasn't involved in my BT process. they just have interesting stuff. And no, i'm not a big fan of torah codes. never was.)

4/07/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Mighty Man said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/07/2005 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

MM,
I disagree, but, as you said, this isn't the place to discuss it.

4/07/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Eesh Aish.

Why are you calling NJG girlfriend?

That was a strange Freudian slip of the keyboard!

I think you really are trying to connect. But its not working.

Hows that for amature psychology!

4/07/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Rabbi Rick Eesh Aish said...

MM, I am only pointing a way for her. What is depression and must it be treated w/ medication, and how good is this medication, what are we going to find out about it in the future?

4/07/2005 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous shaiky said...

No comment, my prayers are with you and you are not alone.

4/07/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

Rabbi Aish . . . once again I must log in at work to deal with you. I wonder whether you are truly a rabbi and if so whether you truly work for Aish Hatorah. If so is it their policy to question people's medications? To question the severity of clinical depression? If so I hope you realize that you are playing with people's lives. A person who is clinically depressed NEEDS HELP. It is not a matter of "attitude adjustment" it is a biochemical problem. The problem may be triggered by emotional circumstances but once the brain is clinically depressed it is almost impossible to get out of without psychological and often medical intervention.

I am considering writing a letter to Aish Hatorah to ask them to look at your comments and make a statement about whether your comments about depression, prostitution, etc truly reflect their policies and whether they have an employee who might call himself "Rabbi Rick."

Meanwhile, please do not comment anymore on my blog. I do not want someone reading your comments and then not getting the medical help they need or stopping to take medications that have been prescribed by their doctor.

There is something very unsympathetic and insidious about you. If you do actually work for Aish then I am staying far away from them from now on. I hope you are an imposter and do not truly represent them. Either way please stop writing on my blog. I cannot continue logging in at work to correct the damage you cause.

It is one thing for people who are not frum and do not understand where I am coming from religiously to give advice that is way off the mark. They mean well and simply do not understand. It is another thing for someone to pretend to be a rabbi and leave questionable comments that are not only strange but even dangerous.

4/07/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/07/2005 06:54:00 PM  
Anonymous p_almonius said...

bh&e, how can you be SURE? I hope all of yours. NJG's and everyone else's prayers are answered, but no one can be sure that they will.

4/07/2005 07:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Mighty Man said...

BH&E, I was wrong:

It would seem with his questions about any medications NJG is using and his made-up psychology, that I have indeed not gotten all of what the good 'Rabbi' Rick was trying to say.

NJG, you have today again shown how strong a person you are.

Mighty Man

4/07/2005 07:14:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

P_almonius - a) I have faith in it. b) I don't think it'll require a miracle. c) I don't think G-d gives people tests they can't endure. NJG sounds like she's had enough. I don't think G-d will drag this out much longer.

but I do wish to emphasize (though I know most people know) that it will only happen if she continues to look. she's gotta try and stay optimistic, though I'm sure she feels very far from it.
My prayers are with her.
~~~~
MM,
I stand by what I wrote, but I won't type more about it here b/c it will not be constructive.

4/07/2005 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...

Regarding the issue of scars on the soul--I read it and sat there really just astounded-you capture in words what I have been feeling perfectly. And to tell you the truth, this week a little dose of "other people feel this way so you are not a freak" goes a long way. So even though it was not your intent, thank you!

Incidentally, you do write very well and have a knack for taking hard to explain things and putting words to them. I know you will not tell us what you do for a living, but I hope it has to do with writing!

4/08/2005 01:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

Daphna . . . Yes knowing that we are not alone is a main purpose of my blog. I am glad that I helped you.

Writing for a living? I laugh. No, far from it.

4/08/2005 01:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Mo said...

I think R. Rick made some very important comments.

However, he should comment as an individual and omit any affiliations, as others here do.

I don't think people should assume he works for aish unless that is somehow confirmed. He could be someone unconnected with them who just used that name for some reason.

4/08/2005 02:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Moshe Schwartz said...

They cannot put a copyright on the words Aish HaTorah, cetainly not on Aish. It sounds like an overzealous admirer of their system of teaching Judaism, a wannabe perhaps.

4/08/2005 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous microfish said...

NJG--

Shomer negiah seems like a far easier process/ideal when folks were married at an early age; say no later than early 20s. But now, when some of us are late to marry (I'm 46 for example and unmarried), expected to have no contact for all that time, seems a form of torture and particularly un-Jewish, considering the lack of monasticism w/in "modern" (post 2nd Temple) Judaism. If non-Jews, with a larger population to choose from, are finding themselves single at later ages, it must be even harder for Jewish people. It seems to me that some re-thinking by the Orthodox rabbis would be in order here.

Of course that's easy for me to say, as I'm not Jewish. But I'd say the same thing to fundamentalist Xians or Catholics.

4/08/2005 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some practical advice.

Why don't you learn how to masturabte? It will definitely ease some of the sexual contact you are hingry for...

You are very strong for keeping to your maorals and not giving in you your desires.

Hats off to you, NJG.

4/18/2005 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Unmarried Jewish Girl said...

I keep commenting, this blog is compelling. So many of these thoughts I've had...only I've grown cynical a bit younger than you. You say that you no longer find meaning in your suffering, bravo! There is none.

I don't want to make you feel guilty or anything, but reading your blog makes me really really happy that I'm not SN today. I used to be sensitized as well. I remember one time trying to climb down from a ledge and some cute guy helped me down. I was so sensitized that I thought about it the rest of the day. I'm not so sensitive anymore. There's been hurt along the way, but ultimately, I'm happy now. I couldn't say that a few years ago. I think that a turning point for me was not kissing someone I really liked once, and then regretting it for a long time (especially after getting kiss-raped). I came to the conclusion that I'd rather regret the things I've done than the things I haven't.

Anyway, thank you for your blog. I hope my comments don't upset you.

UJG

4/27/2005 11:51:00 PM  

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