I feel the need to blog without having much to say.  Shabbat (the Sabbath) was awful.  It was a struggle to get through the day.  I got agitated late last night again and struggled to sleep even after I got to bed, which at least shows that the agitation is not directly linked to using the internet or TV as I don’t do either of those over Shabbat.  I slept through most of today and laid in bed much of the time when I wasn’t asleep because I was too tired or depressed to read.  I ran in to two people I was at school with who are now very religious (one at least is a rabbi) and who now have children – quite old children, so they must have been married for a while.  I run into these people quite frequently (I assume they live locally) and I’m not sure if they remember me (I have never said anything to them; I don’t think they bullied me, but I had nothing in common with them at school and don’t expect to have anything in common with them now), but it always makes me feel bad that I don’t have a wife and children like a good Jewish man should.  I suppose part of me wonders if I should have gone to yeshiva (rabbinical seminary) and become a rabbi like they did, although I can’t imagine ever succeeding if I tried to do that.

Over Shabbat I realised that really I want to die, but I can’t because a few people (friends and family) care about me.  I should feel relieved, but I feel I’m being forced to live a life that can only ever make me miserable.  I genuinely can’t ever see any hope for things getting better and I wonder if my therapist is right that I should not have turned down that job offer, regardless of the fact that I don’t think I could have managed to do the job.  However, as I have said before, there isn’t a method of suicide that is both certain and painless and with my luck if I attempted suicide I would doubtless end up alive and in terrible, perhaps permanent, physical pain, so between that and the people who care about me, I suppose I’m stuck here for the duration.  I feel as if I have been given a life sentence.

Shabbat was the 9th of the Jewish month of Av (Tisha B’Av), the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, the day when we mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the many, many, many tragedies of Jewish history.  This is usually a fast day (as in no food or drink), but because we don’t mourn on Shabbat, it gets postponed to the 10th, which is my Hebrew birthday, which somehow seems appropriate.  On the Fast of Av, pretty much everything remotely fun or enjoyable is forbidden.  I’ve always taken it very seriously, but I’m not sure that I have the energy this year.  I genuinely don’t know how I’m going to get through the day.  I was just crying in shul (synagogue).  My brain was pretty scrambled and I was crying over stuff in my life, the sad events mourned on the Fast of Av and sad things in the world in general, all at once, without really knowing what I was crying about or why.  I just cried a lot.  I couldn’t really follow the reading of Eichah (Lamentations) or read the kinot (laments) with the congregation.  I just feel alternately despairing and exhausted, with occasional bursts of anxiety about the future and the holiday I’m still trying to avoid cancelling.

I feel there is no hope for me.  I don’t feel at all integrated into the Jewish community.  I struggle at times to communicate with my family.  My friends are all distant geographically and often emotionally too.  I have three good friends, which is more than I had a few years ago, but just knowing people care about me turns out not to magically improve my mood or self-esteem as I had hoped it might.  I can’t see myself ever having anything approaching a full-time or ‘real’ job again.  I feel I have met my bashert (soulmate) only for her to be unable to cope with my mental health issues and consequent low income.  I don’t blame her as those are big things to cope with, but I can’t see anyone else ever being able to look past them.  I really can’t see anything good on the horizon and I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the next fifty or sixty years.

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12 thoughts on ““Now cracks a noble heart”

  1. On the subject of going to yeshiva and getting married, my last boyfriend went to a charedi yeshiva for five years and moved from the UK to a very frum (religious) district near New York and he still isn’t married (and he’s much older than you) and so going to yeshiva doesn’t automatically mean you find your wife quicker.

    I stand by my belief that you did the right thing in not accepting the new job. You would have been miserable on it and were not suited to it, and it was time to leave.

    As for your therapist, assuming you told her about your suicidal blog post the night before your birthday, it was almost unforgivable of her to suggest you stop sessions together at that point, and if she did I would drop her now. You need someone who is supportive of you, no matter what you decide, and who is not conditional in this way in her offers of support. Imagine if a close friend said ‘I’ll continue to be your friend if you do as I say at all times’!

    Your family and close friends love you (and I know this as I know some of the people in that list!) but even if you didn’t have that very real love in your life, one of the things I wish the most for you is for you to start to learn to love yourself. Love is a free gift and should not be dependent on external barometers of success, i.e. ‘I am deserving of love if I earn so much, have been to yeshiva, can learn so many pages of Talmud a day, can pray with kavannah every day and am a gregarious extrovert’. You are deserving of love because you exist, because G-d made you in love to know Him in love, and because love is our essential nature. I love you (as a sister) and pray that one day you’ll start to love lovable you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking of yeshiva as much as a way to fit in the community as to get married in this instance.

      I’m glad you think I did the right about the job.

      I can’t remember if I told my therapist about feeling suicidal.

      It is very hard to love myself when I feel that I’ve been told I’m unlovable for so long.

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      1. Re. 4. I know. I’ve been there… I’ve had to learn the hard way too, through breakdowns, feeling suicidal for long stretches of time, nearly giving up on so many occasions, and then, by the grace of G-d, finding a way to crawl back out of that dark hole, fingernail by fingernail. I would have no right to comment on this in the way that I do if I hadn’t been there and lived through it myself. By I know from long, painful experience, that the journey back to health and life has to start with us, and come from within. No-one out there is going to hand you your life, no friend, no matter how faithful or caring can take away crippling depression. It is a very personal journey with G-d, and although we need the support of fellow travellers along the way, only we can make the decision that we want to be happy and well and alive so much that we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there. This almost always involves massive changes in our lives and I applaud you for the one you’ve just taken and for the ones you’re even contemplating. And btw, the fact that you can write screeds – well-written, intelligent screeds – when you’re feeling so terrible is, imo, a sign that you’re a real writer.

        Re. 1. I think you would have been utterly miserable at yeshiva. As you know, I went to seminary (women’s yeshiva, in the Orthodox Jewish world, not an ordination college as in some Christian denominations!) and it is not a place where people like us thrive. It is a place of conformity, of a particular kind of learning that is almost always done in pairs or groups (which suits extroverts much more than introverts), and in my experience, people like us with unusual/odd personalities and interests are really not understood or nourished or encouraged to be the full expression of all that we can be. One of my friends at Sem. set about trying to get me to give up my favourite hobbies and interests and passions (and I’m not talking about anything impure or un-G-dly or sinful) and most of the people in the charedi world I knew at the time were determined to try to get me to give up all ‘secular’ reading and studying and interests. In other words, they were trying to stop me being me and to kill every little bit of individuality and personality out of me. It would be just the same for you and I think you would have become extremely ill in that world. Also, yeshivas are very noisy places. Study is usually conducted in large rooms, where a huge throng of men bellow at one another to try to prove a point of Talmudic logic, and this Aspie Hell continues for around 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. It is not for you. Q.E.D.

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        1. I’m not quite sure what definition of ‘screeds’ you’re using, but thank you.

          Re: yeshiva, I know, and that was why I didn’t go. But sometimes I feel it would have been worth losing my individuality just to conform, fit in, have friends, maybe be married with children…

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          1. Screeds = lots. 🙂

            It wouldn’t have been, and you would probably have ended up in an asylum. And I mean that in the most loving, empathic way.

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  2. I’ve just started following your blog.
    Can I ask; what did you love doing as a kid? What brought you joy then? Did u have a keen interest then?
    Do you think that interest could bring you joy once again? Often in childhood our keen interests are truer of ourselves, without conscious considerations getting in the way. Often what brought us true joy as a child can bring us joy as adults.

    I think you should look for a better therapist; someone who understands Aspergers (you mentioned you believe you have Aspergers..?). Without that being understood, so many things are missed.

    Finally, Be kind to yourself.
    Know u are not alone in your struggles.
    A prayer for you tonight.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I just started following your blog too (btw, I wanted to comment on your post, but there wasn’t a comment section).

      I guess my main interests as a child were reading, watching Doctor Who and painting fantasy war gaming miniatures (I didn’t like actually playing war games much, just painting the models). Reading is hard right now because of poor concentration. I do still watch Doctor Who, but lately have been struggling to enjoy it at times, perhaps because I’ve been watching episodes that are not ideal for me right now (I’m researching a non-fiction book on the programme, so I’m working my way methodically through episodes rather than just watching what I want). I want to get back into painting miniatures. I stopped a while back because I can’t really do it in my tiny flat, but as I’m moving back in with my parents, it’s something I’ve been thinking of taking up again.

      My Asperger’s situation is a bit weird. I was assessed for it twice and twice I was told I have a lot of symptoms, but not broken down into the right categories for diagnosis. But I had a psychiatrist who I saw for years and a therapist I saw for years both of whom were quite sure that I have it, but neither could give an official diagnosis. So I feel a bit in limbo with that. I usually think that I probably am somewhere on the spectrum and that I just have developed good coping mechanisms to hide my symptoms, but it’s hard to be sure. I know that when I was very young I didn’t have so many symptoms, which would suggest I’m not on the spectrum.

      Thank you for commenting and praying for me.

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  3. Hi again,

    Firstly, thanks for being my first follower (I’ve only just started), but not sure why there’s not a comment section. Maybe cos it’s the free version…?

    Secondly, I’m glad to hear you’re moving back with your parents. Hopefully they can provide u with some support as well as company.

    Also, i love that you could straight away think of something that brings you joy. It’s very important to be able to identify, as it can be such a help, particularly when you can feel your mood getting low/dark, to get yourself back out of the mood. It’d be great if you could really indulge in your model painting, having something to look forward to and really enjoy.
    But, You may be right in that the particular Dr Who shows u are watching may be having a negative effect on you; you seem very perceptive about yourself.
    Exercise is also vital; great for releasing the feel good endorphins. Just even going out for a daily brisk walk can be helpful.

    And finally, it might be worth getting an official assessment done for Aspergers, by an Aspergers specialist (other psychologists just don’t understand it well enough, it needs to be someone who specialises in it). It may give u some answers, explanations and a direction to go as well as getting the right supports.
    Anxiety and depression are the most common symptoms associated with Aspergers and with a correct diagnosis would be helpful in managing it.

    Wishing you all the best with the move back home and hoping it brings about a positive change for you.

    Like

    1. You can have comments on the free version. I think if you click on ‘My Site’ (should be at the top left) and then ‘Settings’ (at the bottom left) you should get four options at the top of the main screen. Click on ‘Discussion’ (third one along) and that will give you the option to allow commenting.

      Yes, exercise is important. I’ve fallen out of the habit lately, but I used to jog a couple of times a week. I’m hoping to get back into that.

      My second Aspergers assessment was done by a specialist, I think. It really just left me with more questions, as they said I had a lot of the symptoms, but not broken down in the right way for diagnosis. I’ve never been quite sure what to make of that.

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      1. Thank you, I’m useless at anything vaguely tech!! And cos I’m new to this, it’s going to be a long learning process. Most of the things it asks I don’t know what they’re talking about! So thank you, that’s really helpful (and sounds easy to follow!). I’ll give it a go soon.

        Re assessment; that sound really frustrating, not to have a certain answer (especially when I know u wld have spent a lot on it!!). I’m almost at the opposite end, where I’ve taken my kids to b assessed and have been given a very quick positive result. One I’m not sure fits enough; some traits but not enough. (Kind of my reason for starting my blog; the journey of confusion..)

        The reason for a diagnosis is really just so u can understand yourself better and then get support where necessary. It’s not that a diagnosis changes who u are, you’re still the same. But to be told ‘maybe’ isn’t helpful, is it? Ugh.

        Thank u for your help
        And wishing u a positive day.

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  4. Re: assessment, it is very frustrating, although as I live in the UK I was assessed in the public sector so I didn’t have to pay.

    I guess I would like a diagnosis to feel able to say to myself and to other people, “This is who I am” but I worry about being told I don’t have autism for the third time and what that would mean for my self-image. Although if I was diagnosed, that could result in my using it as an excuse to avoid social things and tell myself I will never be able to get a job/married.

    Like

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