It’s the day before Purim and I’d like to share my thoughts with you even though you don’t even deserve anything from me.
No you won’t be getting mishloach manos from me this year. I know that a few years ago I used to give you but that was then. That was before I had the courage to open that terribly traumatic chapter in my life and wasn’t fully aware of what you had done to me.
I remembered different episodes but blocked much of the five years out of my head. The parts that I did remember were filled with shame and guilt thinking that it was all my fault. I should have been stronger. I should have stopped it, and if I didn’t, it means I’m weak and I was at fault and perhaps even wanted the abuse to happen.
Now however, things are very different. I built up the courage to open that page in my book. I opened it with so much fear. I had to face all the shame, guilt and pain head on and fought and continue to fight with all my might to be able to keep that page open and not feel the guilt and shame. I’m learning how to rewrite that page. It’s not the way it seemed back then as a mutual “friendship” and a secret that we both shared and enjoyed. It was a one sided horribly abusive relationship. It was a one sided relationship with a sick man on one end and a vulnerable innocent teenager on the other side.
The reason why I thought of writing to you now is because you remind me of Haman. Haman was a sick man. A self-centered animal who cared about no one other than himself. He didn’t care to kill out a nation just for his self-gratification. He didn’t care to kill the king just to marry Esther. He had a desire to marry Esther and if that meant killing people in the process that was completely okay with him.
You acted like Haman towards me. You groomed me for a while and controlled me in such a smart tactical way. You had it all set up so that when the opportunity came, everything was already in place for your attack. And attack you did. Not once and not twice, but rather well over a hundred times. In many ways and many places. Whenever you were able to fulfill your sick animalistic desires you did. The fact that you stole my dignity and innocence didn’t bother you at all. The fact that with each attack, besides for stealing my privacy you also stole my inner being didn’t stop you. You needed me, and you got me.
You stole my privacy, dignity and self-worth. You stole five years of those extremely fragile and important teenage years. You stole my innocence. You stole my peace of mind.
Mr Abuser, don’t think that the stealing is over. You continue to rob me until this day.
You rob me of many sleepless nights. You rob me of the self-esteem and self-respect that I so deserve to have. You rob me of the peace of mind that I’m supposed to have when I’m out in the streets. I have this constant fear that I will meet you. So, although you think the abuse is over, it’s very far from over and the effects of it still haunt me all the time.
Another reason why I thought of you is because tomorrow is the anniversary of a specifically traumatic abuse. Although you abused me many, many times, the abuse that went on Purim afternoon stuck out in my head. It was very emotionally painful, and it was one of those times that I felt so confused. It felt so wrong. It felt so awkward that I was alone with you while everyone else is with family and friends enjoying Purim. It made me feel so different than everyone else. It was as though the world was split in half with one side being sunny and bright and the other side being dark. On the sunny bright side stood the entire world and on the opposite dark side was just the two of us. When I mentioned something about being so weird and that I wasn’t happy with what went on, you just brushed me away. That was “Haman behavior”. You only cared about yourself despite the fact that you were killing me in the process. You acted like Haman on Purim itself.
In closing I would like to say, that just as the whole Purim story flipped around, I feel like my life flipped around as well. Untreated abuse is fatal. You handed me my “death sentence” but I fought it and continue to fight it with all my might. I see and believe that I am winning because I feel myself getting stronger and better every day. I feel myself healing and growing. I am chipping away at the huge mountain of all the shame and guilt and the mountain is getting smaller and smaller.
So, this year Purim I’m celebrating my own miracle. The miracle of healing. The miracle of turning around a death sentence to a fully functional life and although I still feel your abuse in many ways I’m still significantly better than I was back then. Just like in the megillah, Mordechai came out the winner and Haman was the loser, so too I feel like the winner over here and you are the loser. You are still the same selfish loser as you were back then because when I confronted you last year about the abuse you just denied it and said it was “my dark reinterpretation of our years of association together”.
So I ask you, who won? I opened that page in my book and faced it all head on and am coming out stronger and better than ever before while you are still in the same selfish place of denial you were back then. Shame on you that you are not strong enough to face yourself and I stand here proud and tall that I did.
Purim is coming up and we are preparing mishloach manos to give to all our family and friends. I feel like I want to take this opportunity to give you a mishloach manos as well. I talk to you more than I talk to many of my friends and definitely more than I talk to my biological father.
So Hashem, can we make a deal? I’ll give you mishloach manos and you’ll give me Matonas L’evyonim.
I’d like to give you a thank you letter for mishloach manos and celebrate my own miracles that I experienced throughout my life. Just like Haman wanted to destroy all the Jews and he was almost successful until You came and turned everything around, so too was I destined to be destroyed until you came and saved my life.
As you know very well, I was brought up in a very dysfunctional home and suffered every single day of my childhood life. I was emotionally abused in many different ways and was very damaged emotionally and socially as a result.
Fast forward into my teens, those very fragile and important years and a “Haman” entered my life. A selfish nasty and sick man. He cared only about himself and his sick desires, and molested me hundreds of times. The damage that he was doing to me in the process was totally irrelevant to him as long as he was fulfilling his sick needs. Just like Haman was totally fine with killing people just to marry Esther so too my abuser molested me so badly even if that meant he was killing my entire inner being in the process.
Take a boy and put him through a dysfunctional home and then through five years of sexual abuse, the chances of survival and being emotionally and socially sane are almost zero. I stood no chance. I was too abused in too many ways to ever get married, build a home and make a living.
However, this is where my own Purim miracle begins. You came in and helped me get married. You helped me have children. You helped me build up my own business. You helped me and carried me through the many years of the hard and heavy work of therapy. You helped me recreate myself and become a person. I was a walking shadow in the past and am now a real person.
For all this I turn to you Dear Father, with tears in my eyes and tell you Thank you! I don’t have words to thank you. I could have been dead so many times either via drugs or suicide. I could have been off the derech. I could have stayed single. I could have never gotten a job. But with your infinite kindness and your warm and loving care together with your constant guidance I managed to flip around my “death sentence” and get married, have children and build my own business. Thank you dear Father on behalf of myself and thank you Dear Father on behalf of my wife and kids.
Dear Hashem, all the above is my personal mishloach manos to you and now I ask and beg of you, please give me Matanos L’evyonim. I am an Evyon and I don’t mean poor monetarily, I mean poor emotionally and physically. Despite the fact that I made tremendous headway in recreating myself from scratch I know that I still have a long way to go. I’m working insanely hard on it all but it’s rough. I keep climbing mountains of success but then fall into valleys. Valleys of despair and sadness. Valleys of pain and trauma. I can sometimes be on top of a mountain but can get hit from a trigger or a flashback and will fall off the mountainside into the adjacent valley.
Hashem, please give me the gift of strength. The gift of perseverance to never give up and to keep on fighting no matter how hard it gets or how low the valley is. Please give me the guidance to know how to climb the mountains of growth and how to stay on it for longer without falling down.
Please pick me up when I fall into the valley and bring me back to where I was before the fall. Please give me the gift of Connection to you. If I’m connected to you I have it all. If I’m connected to you I have unlimited capabilities and power because you are unlimited. If I’m connected to you I am in the best of care, as you are the most merciful father one can have.
Matonas L’evyonim is a gift by nature. The recipient did nothing to the giver to get the gift. It’s a free gift that he is receiving. So I ask you, even if I don’t deserve anything, please give it to me as a free gift. A gift from a loving father to his longing son.
This is my own very personal Purim experience. I have a very hard time with Purim as it is loaded with hundreds of triggers for me and therefore decided to let go of the regular Purim for now, and create my own very personal Purim between me and you. Please don’t mind that I’m doing this. It’s all part of my healing and maybe next year I’ll celebrate the Purim that everyone else is celebrating.
Thanks again for everything and thanks for always listening to me!
All my love, your dear son.