Reminiscing….

For the 17 years

I was married
No one knew
What was happening
To me
And my kids.

No one knew about the
Horrors
The nightmares
The pain
The deep sadness
That was going on
Behind closed doors.

It was kind of
A game.
We never told anyone
And sadly
Learned how to
Pretend
That we were happy
That he was
A good dad
That he was caring
Supportive
Loyal
Loving
But in truth
He was anything but.

We obviously pretended
So well
That
Everyone thought
It was the truth.
And we were one
Happy family.

Looking back
In hindsight
There were red flags
Warnings
That perhaps if
I was older
I’d have picked up on.

But I was blind
Naive
And far too young.

Before we got married
There were a few incidents
Which made me
Fearful
Scared of the guy
I was dating
And scared of what
He was capable of.

He is a highly intelligent man
Very eloquent
Convincing
Patronising
And he would scoff
And mock
My thoughts and ideas
And I didn’t know
Who to turn to
For advice.

I felt stupid
He hadn’t really
Done anything
It was more a
Feeling
A sixth sense
Perhaps.

And as time
Moved on
The wedding date
Was closer than ever
And my mind
Was fucked up
I was in a mess.

I smiled through
My fears
Chatted to colleagues
Despite the anxiety
I was experiencing.
I covered up well
Too well.

I wanted it to be perfect.
To have a perfect
Life
Husband
Family
Home
And I felt if I acted
It may happen
In real life.

A month before the wedding
I knew it wasn’t good
I felt sickened.
He had started
Calling me names
Was critical of
My figure
In a disrespectful way
And I began to feel
Fear.
I was marrying
The man I was scared of…..

But I couldn’t tell anyone
and besides that
I couldn’t cancel
My wedding this late
In the day?
Or could I?

He started monitoring me
Where was I after work
What are you
Doing this evening
Why didn’t you
Pick up the phone when I called
Who called you just now
The questions
Went on and on.

I hadn’t done anything
Wrong
And yet
I felt like a
Criminal.

So…
The biggest mouth
In my family
The most outspoken
In my class
And yes it happened
To me.

He broke me down
Piece by piece
Chipping away
At my sense of self
My confidence.

He would criticise
Anything I did
And he’d expect me to
Come to meet him
For a drink or meal
And if I was even
One minute late
He would get angry at me.

The whole time
I kept thinking
It will get better
When we are married
It will be perfect.
Like in my dreams.

Sometime
We want to dream
Nice dreams
And instead
It’s a nightmare
You wake up
Shaking
Bathed in sweat
And glad it was just
A nightmare
And not reality.

But my nightmare
Never stopped
I never woke up
It was there
Every day
Every night
Year after year
Getting worse and worse.
Hell.

Even nowadays
I have dreams
That wake me up
Terrified
And I remember
The horrors
Of my marriage
The suffering
I endured
The pain my kids went through ….

But I wake up
And it takes me a moment
To remember
It’s over
He’s gone
And it’s time to
Rebuild our lives….

With tears
And pain
I write this
So others don’t feel
So alone
And will reach out
For help…

Guys who insult women’s looks are unintelligent ¬†(and vice versa)

I’m going to have a serious rant.

Today I was hurt. Some guy said really vile unkind things to me. 

He was being totally insensitive about my looks and weight.  And I’m going to be honest. I have insecurities about myself in that department. 

And it’s not just me. Most women do. And some men too.

But with my background certain issues are going to be more painful than others. Many things I can laugh off. Many I can just say “oh whatever!” Or various obscenities!!

But this issue is a deep one.  And I can’t work easily laugh it off and move on.

And I know women who are super pretty or slim who also have body image issues and so this is not just about me per se but about those who feel the need to be critical of other people’s looks.

It is so so unbelievable that anyone thinks it’s okay to comment in a derogatory manner to people about externalities.  And so shallow.

There is so much more to me than how I look.  If you don’t like the way someone is why don’t you just fuck off and cut contact rather than be hurtful blatantly to them???

I don’t get it.

And one thing I’ve realised today by speaking to a friend is that a guy who says nasty things to a woman about how she looks is so so incredibly unintelligent.  

Have you got nothing better to say than “you are so fat” or “Who do you think you are? You think you’re so pretty and as a guy I can tell you you are as ugly as fuck”. 

Like.

seriously. 

What the fuck.

Whatever. 

Try and think of something…..anything…. that is more intelligent than these shallow remarks and more.

And one final point.  No one is going to make me feel like shit anymore.  Not him. No one. I will decide what emotions I’m going to use in my life and sadness and hurt won’t be wasted on wankers like these people.

Hell. No.

This guy has been blocked everywhere and I will never allow someone who made me feel like this to come back into my life again. 

And to my amazing guy friends I say this…. sometimes I see the huge number of men who are really awful nasty people and I want to hate guys. I really do! 
But then I remember the genuine people in my life who are the nicest most loving kind guys on the planet and you restore my faith in mankind.  

You know who you are and I love you all xx

Don’t reject your siblings because s/he isn’t religious….

A dear friend of mine went to a family engagement. His cousin got engaged and he wanted to celebrate the occasion with his nearest and dearest.

His family are ultra orthodox Satmer hasidim whereas he is not observant at all.  

However as he has an young child he doesn’t make it obvious that he isn’t religious.  It is obviously very apparent by his way of dress that he is ‘not like his family’ although to what extent they don’t know.

So he went to the Simcha dressed smart in a crisp blue shirt and grey suit. Shoes polished and shined too. He always dresses super sharp but this time he made the extra effort. 

As soon as he walked into the hall he felt so uncomfortable it was painful.

No one talked to him.

No one even looked his way.

The father of the girl actually turned his head away when he wanted to shake his hand to wish him Mazel tov….

He only ended up staying 10 mins and couldn’t bear the pain so left.

He called me the next morning to tell me what happened and how hurt he is. 

This guy is an amazing person…. a fantastic father and an all round thoroughly decent human being.

And yet because he wasn’t wearing the typical “hat and rekel” his family wear he was made to feel like an outcast and totally rejected…. so much so that he won’t go the wedding now as its too painful…

This is so heartbreaking. Why should anyone be made to feel like this?? 

Why do religious people reject their own flesh and blood for making different choices…. 

Please… please… consider what you are doing before rejecting and alienating your own flesh and blood…..

Think. 

Is it worth it?

What are you gaining by turning your back on your brother?

Why are you ignoring your sister when she sees you in the street?

It is so painful to be treated like this and I just wish families thought about the pain they are inflicting on those they are supposed to love….

A message to young closet OTD people 

In the past couple of years I’ve got to know a lot of OTD people at varying levels and stages around the world. 
I know I’m very vocal about religion etc and I’m taking that into consideration as I write this.
There are a group of people to whom this post is aimed.  These are the younger “closet OTD” people mostly men who contact me.
I am just a regular woman living a very normal life.  I’m not a professional in this field and nor am I a psychologist.
There are organisations out there that cater for those of you trying to break out of your faith who are there to assist in the transition and to support you in whichever way you need.
Although I can be a friend to some of you I can’t possibly be a friend or support to the huge number of people who get in touch with me. 
Therefore, I would urge those looking to break free to contact Gesher EU or Mavaar here in London, Forward in Canada or Footsteps in NY.  I’m sure there are other organizations around the world but I’m afraid I don’t know them.
The 3 I mentioned I know are fantastic and have been hugely helpful to a vast number of people at all stages of leaving.
If anyone knows any others please comment below.
One final point, often those younger men on the cusp of trying to move out message me relentlessly without understanding I have a life and kids and haven’t got the time to get involved. And so yes sadly if you persist after I politely asked you to stop messaging, I am forced to block all messages from you.
Thanks for understanding and I wish you all the luck in the world finding the happiness and freedom that works for you.
Shabbat shalom  xx
P.S.  Posting publicly on purpose.

Typical scene at my dentist!!

Here’s something lighthearted!!

Typical scene right now at my religious dentist.

Here goes:

* Lady 1 reading the  Binah.

* Lady 2 on her phone to her “goyta”!

* Lady 3 mumbling tehillim.

* Lady 4 scrolling through her sms on her kosher phone!

* Girl 1 reading the latest People Speak while peeping over at me

* Girl 2 next to me trying to peer over at my phone in obvious curiosity and seeing if she can read what I’m writing without me noticing.  Sorry hun I can sense you.  Good. Thanks for stopping. She’s moved places.

* Man 1 saying tehillim far too loud

* Man 2 on the phone to his wife

* Man 3 glancing through a chumash 

* Man 4 smiling while reading an old “Der Yid” newspaper lying around

* Man 5 biting his nails while listening to a talk on his mp3 

* Boy 1 reading a Rebbi magazine intensely 

* Boy 2 annoying his little sister who is trying to watch the cars outside the window 

And then there’s me! Minding my own business typing this while listening to Shape of You far too loud!!  Just realised it’s the Omer. Ooops!!

Look at Lilli- She Looks Jewish. OMG. Really??

So last night I was at a club in central London with a couple of friends.  

I met up with a guy there I’ve known on and off for a few months.

Adam is a real gentleman, eloquent and simply charming. Oh and he’s super handsome too which is a bonus!!

He has an interesting and unusual look so we had discussed previously his heritage and mine. 

He is half French and half Moroccan and I’m half British and half Lebanese which I guess gives me my very white complexion!!!

So we were chatting and noticed a lady near us suddenly snogging a friend of ours randomly which we found pretty funny!!

They had just been chatting and the next moment they were snogging and shit! It was intense albeit slightly uncomfortable for us to watch!!

As we stood there in obvious shock Adam says to me “oh that’s Lilli she’s Jewish”. 

I asked how he knew and he said look at her she looks jewish!! “She’s not a very good Jew because what she’s doing is a big no no in their religion”!!

I suddenly thought of the number of Jewish people I’ve ever met and wondered how such a sentence can be uttered.

What do “all jews look like”???? Is it the typical long nose big eyes hunched demeanour big hair look???? The glasses and geeky look???? What did he mean?? I asked, but he couldn’t clarify.  Said she just looks it.

Then he said to me “I don’t know much about Jews and Lilli is the only Jew I’ve ever met” !!!

I stopped. 

I thought he knew I was from a Jewish background as my name is Esther and I’m either black or Jewish!!!!  

Clearly not.

So I had that moment.

Do I say anything or not??

I decided not to simply because I felt it was irrelevant and as I don’t identify with the faith it was unnecessary. 

But I was thinking how odd it was to have this conversation about Jews assuming he wasn’t talking to one!!!

We are meeting again on Friday night and I’m thinking I’m gonna bring it up with him and see his reaction!!!