I have been doing mostly OK. Baruch Hashem, I am not depressed any more and have even been able to lower the dose of my medication. I have been very productive in both work and outside of work and am basically all right. Of course I have my times when I am sad about being single but in general there is no reason to worry about me any more than you should worry about anyone else who is single and is sad sometimes.
I have been thinking about a few things related to this blog.
The first is that I have been thinking about all the accusations that my blog is a Chillul Hashem and that I am not really frum because I said that I do not know for sure whether I would be Shomer Negiah in my next relationship. I feel that in one way I have been dishonest with readers and a little with myself. When I read over my many posts on this blog I see that long ago I decided not to be S.N. the next time I had an opportunity to not be. The people who are accusing me of planning to sin are absolutely correct. For a long time, maybe several years, I was S.N. not because I wanted to keep that halacha but simply because I did not have the opportunity. I guess you readers will have to decide for yourselves whether that makes me really S.N. or simply unlucky in love.
However I am still glad that I was S.N. for halachic reasons when I was younger. I learned something very important from being S.N. which is that even just kissing and holding hands is very meaningful if it is saved for someone special. That is why I would never do those things until I have dated someone long enough to know that I feel safe with him and that I will not regret it. It is also why I emphasize that I would never do anything that is out of proportion to how well I know someone. I cannot promise to be S.N. in my next relationship but I certainly can promise not to do anything rash and to treat my body and my emotions with the respect they deserve. I certainly do still want to wait until I get married to have sex.
So I suppose that to be perfectly honest this blog was never by a S.N. person but rather by someone who used to be S.N. and then later was simply unlucky in love. Either way I had never experienced the most basic of human sexual contact and was starving for it. So I ask those readers who are angry about my attitude toward the halacha to take that as you like but if so to read my blog instead as being by someone who really tried her best to keep the halacha as long as she could and these were the results. They are not the results for everyone but this blog is true for me.
You may be wondering how I feel from a sexual and emotional point of view now that I have experienced a little bit of touching. The truth is that I do feel better. I never realized how much I felt like a loser because I felt so much that I was different and was missing out from something so basic. Now whenever I start to think that no one is attracted to me I remember that it has happened once before and therefore might happen again. The man with whom I experienced my first kiss and I did not do very much together physically, but it was enough that I got a taste and no longer feel so separate and isolated from the human race. The memories are not much and they are in the past but they are something and it is definitely better than nothing.
I wish I could say I feel guilty that I broke a halacha or “wasted” my first kiss on someone who I did not marry in the end but the truth is that I am not sorry. On one hand it is in the past and was just a little kissing with a boyfriend. It does not make me “cheap” in any way. I certainly do not feel cheap. Maybe if I were younger or had not chosen carefully I would feel cheap, but Baruch Hashem I am 35 and chose wisely. On the other hand it was significant for me in a positive way. From the point of view of halacha I am supposed to say that I feel guilty and hope to do better next time but the truth is that I got past that long ago as I explained above. In the matter of Shomer Negiah I am no longer functioning in the realm of halacha but in the realm of survival. Baruch Hashem there are 612 other mitzvot which keep me very busy and very connected with the Torah and with God.
I think I can honestly say though that I do feel a little guilty about the fact that I do not feel guilty. That is true. I feel guilty about not feeling guilty.
Of course the problem now is that I am once again alone and still looking for the right person. It is so very hard to find him. Once again I sometimes cry myself to sleep because I am scared to be always alone. Once again I am very sexually starving. Once again the problem is not lack of physical contact but the lack of someone to have physical and emotional contact with. But I have written about all of that in the past. I do not need to write about it again. I would just be saying the same thing. The worst parts of being single are the same for every woman whether she is or ever was Shomer Negiah or not.
So now I have to think about the future of this blog. As far as I know I have said everything there was for me to say about being single, about being S.N. whether for halachic reasons or because of lack of opportunity, and about my feelings about having broken my Shomer-ness. So what is the point of this blog anymore?
I have decided that when I feel ready I will use this space to do another “primal scream” about dating and being overweight. There is a lot of pain and shame involved in it and I think it will help me to put those things into words. I will write a post about it when I am ready.
Another thing I need to announce is that I have created yet another email account called email@example.com. I have done this so that in very limited circumstances I can write back to people who send me emails without my ISP address showing to them. I will continue in general not to respond both for my privacy and because I do not want this blog and the emails about Shomer Negiah to take over my life. But every so often I do want to respond and this way I can. Please do not be insulted if I do not respond to your email.
I got an email from a book agent asking me if I would like to turn this blog into a book. At first I did not respond because it is already frightening enough for me to write this blog and be afraid that my real identity will be exposed but a book is too much. But I have gotten so many emails from people all around the world telling me how much this blog made them feel less alone and so maybe letting it be published as a book would be OK. I have not decided yet. I will talk to my rabbi and to the agent and see what happens. The most important thing to me is that what I do is as much of a Kiddush Hashem as I can do. I know some people think this blog is a Chillul Hashem but there are so many who have written to me that it is the opposite and that it gave them faith! The second most important thing is that I stay anonymous.
The last announcement is the one about the move I have been thinking about. I have decided to do it. I am moving to Israel! For now it is just for a year but if things work out professionally then perhaps I will make aliyah. And of course if I find a nice man in Israel I will stay! Of course I am not writing here when I am going or where I will live or what I plan to do there but so far things have fallen into place. Baruch Hashem I was able to arrange a leave of absence from my job so I have nothing to lose by going for a year. Please daven for me that now that I am moving my luck will change too. It is said “mishaneh makom mishaneh mazal.” If you change your place you change your luck. I hope that is true for me.