I was just at a wedding and needed to leave because I got horribly triggered. I’m in a very delicate state and therefore need to be extra careful with my triggers to not allow myself to stay in a triggering situation for too long. I would have liked to stay but needed to leave for my safety.
What pains me so much is the source of the trigger. It wasn’t that I met my abuser, although believe me I was very nervous that I may meet him. It wasn’t that I met an old acquaintance that would have brought back painful memories, although again I was afraid of that.
My trigger that hit me so hard was that I met the rabbonim of my community. They were sitting up front at the Chupah and everyone was coming to them to give them respect and get a bracha.
It was these same rabbonim that I’ve begged so hard to bring down an abuser that hurt me so much. It was these same rabbonim who refused to do anything to a dangerous criminal in the community that they officially run and care so much about. It was to these rabbonim that I’ve cried to, to bring an end to an era of pain and suffering on behalf of a dangerous and vicious sexual abuser.
I was ignored by you all. My pleas fell on deaf ears. You ignored my cries. You’ve turned a blind eye away from my obvious pain. You’ve put politics and stature before the lives of us victims. Some of you actually did promise to do something but nothing was done. No change at all and this dangerous monster is still walking the streets abusing innocent and vulnerable souls.
I’m writing this with tears streaming down my face. Is this what the world has come to that rabbonim would trigger me so badly at a wedding? Are these our leaders? Are these our role models? People who can’t stand up for the truth. People who are too afraid of the community to take a real stand on the issue of sexual abuse.
I so badly wish I wouldn’t need to write this letter. I so badly wish I wouldn’t look down at you. But I don’t have a choice. Is it my fault that you’ve hurt me and so many other victims so badly? Is it my fault that you apparently don’t care to understand even a small amount of our enormous pain that we go through every single day.
This pain doesn’t leave us.
This pain gets so severe at times that there’s only one way to end it all. Dead people don’t feel pain and sometimes that seems like the only way out. We wake up with this pain and go to sleep with it. We have nightmares during the night and get triggers and flashbacks during the day.
So there I was, standing at the Chupah watching you all sitting at the front getting so much respect and my heart was aching. Aching from the memories that it brought up of me begging you to help me out. Aching from the fact that I feel so alone and that the ones that officially represent Hashem and the Torah are too weak to speak the truth. Aching that I needed to leave the wedding because of you.
I remember the days of old when I used to respect you all. I would also be one of those that would come over to you at weddings or other events and shake your hand. I miss those days. The days of bliss. The days when I was naive enough to think that all was good in our community.
However, I was shaken out of my stupor by my sexual abuser who taught me very clearly that all is not good in our very own community. And then when I came to you, I was shaken yet again out of my beliefs in you.
So here I am, worn out from a difficult day, after a difficult night which was full of nightmares and I’m feeling sad and alone. I don’t know if you will ever get it. I used to think that with enough education, you will get it. However, at this point I’ve come to believe that it’s not going to happen in the near future. I so wish you would take a strong stance against this plague called abuse but apparently, you are all either too naive or too weak to do that.
My only hope and dream is that, when moshiach comes, the truth will be revealed. It will be on that awesome day that us victims who needed to fight through every minute of the day will get properly rewarded. We needed to fight to wake up in the morning and continue our battle throughout the day just to do the basics and be functional human beings.
It will be on that special day that the real truth will be revealed and the abusers and abuse enablers will be shunned.