Friday, December 30, 2011

Flat on my back

If you have ever seen this happen, you know exactly what I mean. There are no words to describe the devastation. Like someone who has just been hit over the head sixteen times with a baseball bat, there was no thought, or calculation that could help my confusion become more bearable. There was nothing that I had ever known or could know that could have prepared me for this. There was nothing about me that I knew. All I had known was that I was a Yeshiva bachur and that learning was the most important thing in the world. There was really nothing else in me, and now that was taken away from me, not be my own choice. It would take many years for this to begin to make sense.

For now, I wandered around Monsey. I would just go to shul. I hated it, but I had nothing to do. Eventually, I met some others who also had nothing to do. There was no one to really talk to to receive comfort. I had no idea what had happened. How could I possibly talk about it? Also, it was so confusing and so disorienting that, perhaps it was better not to speak about it. Part of me, said that if I spoke about it, perhaps I could make it worse. All of the people that I knew were Benei Toira. How could I possibly tell them? I was so embarrassed. How do I tell all of my friends, that "I don't know what is going on with me, but I feel like I can never touch a gemara again"? and, I'd need to add " I don't even know how this happened, or why this is the case but I know I can't do it". How do I possibly do this?

I was also distraught because there was nothing left to my social life. The only one I knew was the one that evolved around Torah and Torah discussions. I had rarely talked about anything else but Toira and emuna.

To add to the misery, I had known deep inside that my learning is what I relied on for everything. This is what I needed to be and do to gain peoples respect, to have friends, to have people red me good shidduchim, to get into a good koilel, to get a good wife, to get close to hashem, to get into oilem haboh. Everything was contingent on my involvement in Toirah. Who am I now? what will I do? what will I be? How did this happen? Will it eventually go away? Will I ever be able to learn again? What will become of my life? How will I ever become anything?

What was really going on was that there was no more me in me. There was no other me that I had ever known and neither did I conceive that there could be any other me, therefore I started to become despondent about whether I could ever find a way to live that would make it worth while to live here on the planet.

For a while I went back to my yeshiva in Brooklyn for shabbos. I knew no other life. Where else could I go? I felt so distant inside from the life I had, but I thought that maybe if I at least kept a "kesher" that would score some kinds of shidduchim points. Inside, I felt like the game was over, but I could not possibly believe that. No way in hell was I going to let so many years of effort go down the drain that fast.

I would just stay there almost begging and hoping that it would take me back. One shabbos I lay on the floor of the dormitory. I looked at the plain light blue walls. I remember having this terrible feeling inside. I had been coming for shabbos for a while, hoping to feel that "connection" I once felt. Now, I looked at the walls and I felt my insides crying "I have given you so much of my life, my youth, my most vibrant energy. How did you do this to me?". I had known that there were others who had despise the Torah, or who were bored by it, and left. They went "off the derech". I had met some of these people at times. But I surely didn't see myself as such. I was a devout ben toirah with the secure knowledge that I would be planted in the house of hashem for the rest of my life. "How did you do that to me?". I heard myself cry. How did you do that to me?" Me? You had no one else to choose but me? I am one of the good ones!!!!!!!!! I actually care about toirah and love the mitzvis. What have I done wrong? How can I, how will I ever be anyone again? I have nothing, just confusion and anger. My life is over. I know it is. There is no purpose to live. I am totally f*cked. I know it. Now I have absolutely no choice, but to rebel against hashem. How could he ever do this to me?

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