A Jewish Women's Journey Toward Observance and Healing

The Torah starts with the profound yet simple words"In the Beginning", and so, as I begin my public writing, I shall as well.

In the beginning a child was born into a family of violence and severe mental illness. Let me count the disorders for you. There we're 3 generations of schizophrenia all pinging off of each other. The only seemingly healthy parent lived in complete denial of her and her children's circumstances. There we're two family members with severe enough bipolar disorder that one committed suicide and the other was completely non-functioning. Truth in advertising, I too have bipolar 1 disorder (with psychotic features). Don't you just love genetics? I have to tack on that ending about psychotic features because it is the force that I battle with on this journey I am on. My bipolar disorder is also why I have been in treatment with Dr. G for so long, and I expect that trend to continue until he retires (eeeks, he's not allowed).

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I digress, however. Growing up marinated in other people's delusions and hallucinations does unique things to a child's mind. I began to think at a really young age that reality was totally arbitrary. Reality was what my mother, father, sister, and grandmother dictated it was and not what my senses perceived or common sense dictated. The single biggest legacy for me from growing up surrounded by so much psychosis is that I do not trust my senses or perceptions. I can't help but ask, did what my eyes just see really happen?, or is what I think is real actually real? It's a hard way to go through life, especially for a scientist, which I am by training, profession, and temperament.

I have no interest in describing the traumas in my childhood except when it's relevant for moving my narrative forward. First of all, it interferes with my journey. Second, as my psychologist Sharon S. likes to remind me, dredging up trauma with no purpose is like picking at a scab. It never heals. It is sufficient for me to say my childhood memories are a kaleidoscope of surreal, dark, and distorted images. They are very difficult to sort out. I live the legacy of this twisted reality over and over in the blackness of my dreams and the shadows of my waking hours. It is sufficient to say that people with psychosis who are not in treatment do not make good parents and grandparents. My siblings and I are living proof of the end product of that deadly mixture.

So, now that I've introduced my family of origin and childhood circumstances, let's move into the real purpose for this blog; my spiritual journey as a Jewish woman and faith's power to heal. I'll begin sharing this journey in earnest next blog.

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Posted in Personal Development Post Date 06/11/2019


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