Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The hidden storm (2)

It gives me great pain to even recall these days because they were so full of fear and unanswered questions.They seemed to be like vipers growing inside my spirit, feeding off preexisting fears. And of course the secrecy gave these evil snakes the food they needed to destroy me and since I had vowed to keep it inside there was only one solution that could bring and end to my misery: Death.

I was afraid that I'd never make it back to America to see my family. I was born Israel and I had done some illegal changes to avoid the Army and I thought that I'd get caught. My sexual drives had been baking inside me since my early youth and it seemed to be relentless. It's passions seemed to be fed by the illegality of my obsession. I just wanted girls so badly. I wanted to run my hands over their breasts. I thought that would feel really good. Looking back, that was the only good I could conceive of. Life was so dreary that touching a woman was the only comfort that I could conceive of. It would be a long time until I would finally be able to fathom the abundance of good feelings that can come from within. socially, my mind was so hidden from what it's like to be human and interact with other humans that, speaking to a girl and touching her seemed like an unfathomable crime. I could barely conceive of me and another person in the same breathing space, in the same body space let alone touching each other. Someway, somehow, sometime, a long time ago, the little boy in me decided to hide, shut the door and never look at others again. I had no idea how long it would take it to ever consider being human, to ever consider that it may actually be able to reach out, and look at someone.for now, my eyes avoided eyes, my heart avoided feeling, and my arms definitely avoided touch. Oh, how I yearned to touch another person. I wanted to know that I was human and that I was worthy of touch that I could have that experience. No, of course, I didn't know of these feelings then, but looking back that's what I wanted.

Of course I was a bit surprised at these thoughts that went through my mind, as I climbed the great ladder of hasmoda, as I began to master the derech halimud, as I began to see how an amazing baal mazbir I was. I did get some satisfaction from all this at the same time wondering what was going on in me. How would I ever live with this monster in me. One night I had a dream. I had married the daughter of a Rebbe. Here was the night I had been waiting for. Now I would finally have sex. I was so excited. For whatever reason, she didn't want to have sex with me. Why did I get married again? I knew nothing about love. I didn't know me. I didn't love me. I was distant from me. How could I ever imagine that someone else could love me?

It's true I was learning. Part of my heart felt happy. I had struggled with learning for so long. I had hated myself for son long. The gemara simply would not go into my head. What would ever become of me? How would I ever succeed? How would I ever get the respect that I so yearned for. I had been determined. I found a way to go over the lines of the gemara hundreds of times. My policy was, that I would go over a question of the gemara until the question bothered ME. Then the answer had to bring me satisfaction. Making it personal in that way, was a powerful memory tool and I started gaining ground. Of course, I didn't get so much satisfaction from my learning, because, what I really wanted was respect, so the real joy was not in the learning, it was when I'd be asked a question by a colleague and I was able to tell them it was in Kidushin 42 B, four lines down from the top. That was the joy. Yes, there was an intellectual joy which was real, but most of all there was the hope that all of this would pay off, with a good Shidduch (great sex) and a good shtelle (job security) and all would be good, and I'd live happily ever after....oh, not to forget, all those boys and bachurim who had made fun of me during all of those years, they would finally know who was the real deal. They would all come and bow before me begging for forgiveness.

Meanwhile there was another storm that had been brewing since I was 14. Yes, I was the one with all the questions, a mind that never stopped. But how do we really know that God wrote this? I just found it hard to believe that all of this was handed down from person to person with no mistake. Now what I was really after was sex. I couldn't understand why I couldn't have sex. I needed a really solid reason. I needed to know for sure that it was off limits for me to stay abstinent. Of course, I was ready to subdue my passions in the service of what was right, if only they could prove it to me. I know now that in the face of my desires, there was no proof that would be good enough. I just wanted sex, i didn't need or want any answers. that being said, I was still faced with an implacable problem. I found it really hard to believe what I was being told, but that was the only way I knew. I had no other choice. there was no choice of another way of living that I had ever heard of, so obviously this would be the way that I would live, but it was so hurtful to force myself to live a life that I couldn't accept as necessary, vital or correct. I thought this must be some kind of cruel world that forces people to live a life of secrets and lies. I also hated God of course. I hated my mind. How can I be in a position where I must keep the Torah when I can't get my mind to believe that it is true. I hated everything. I knew I was doomed. Worst of all, I knew that there was no way in hell that I'd ever get married if I still had "sfekois in emunah". Of course there was no way in hell that I ever would say them to one of my Rabbeim or friends so I decided on a plan that would demolish all of my sfeikois and it was this plan that was the worst idea that I could ever conceive of, a child of suppression, secrecy and fear that almost had me institutionalized for the rest of my life.

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