Jewish

Join the Conversation on
Jewish
103 people
0 stories
12 posts
Explore Our Newsletters
What's New in Jewish
All
Stories
Posts
Videos
Latest
Trending
Post

Weird time to be Jewish, struggling with mental health

I learned in the absolute worst way, that my therapist just happened to be antisemitic.

Our first session after the massacre went ok, she mentioned just enough so I knew she was a little Pro-Palestine, but not a ton, and she listened to me cry about the massacre, and cry about the feeling Jewish liberals have of being abandoned by the left. I’ve talked about my Jewish experience many times, and she knew how affected I am by all of this, and that my grandmother’s a holocaust survivor.

I had another session with her a couple of weeks later- which was when the Pro-Palestine movement was really picking up in the most terrifying way, I texted her before the session to make sure it wouldn’t be an issue. She assured me.

Before our session I was feeling a bit better about everything, it was the same day of the huge Jewish gathering in Washington, I watched the whole thing live streamed while I worked; watched hundreds of thousands of Jewish people sing together, and support eachother, it was beautiful, I wasn’t alone.

The entirety of our session, she argued with me about war, said some pretty insane things that I guess she believes to be true, things that don’t make any sense, that no one would possibly believe, if it wasn’t Israel; but alas, here we are.

She made me cry, and not in the good kind of therapeutic cry, she made me terribly uncomfortable; and then I paid her.

When I texted her to tell her I wasn’t going to see her anymore and how bad she hurt me, she didn’t understand- she said - “I didn’t incite violence”…. I didn’t think inciting violence was where that line was.

She thought, “from the river to the sea” wasn’t a death chant, but then recognized that she knew killing the Jews were on the first page of the Hamas charter.

She brought up Gaza, and asked me what my definition of genocide was…. My definition?? I didn’t know that’s how definitions worked. I didn’t know you get to create your own definitions to match your personal options.

She said Israel’s overly aggressive response to the attack was what was fueling the rise in antisemitism. Overly aggressive. October 7th was the worst day for us since the Holocaust. The absolute horrors that were performed that day, to civilians, to children, the children that are still being held hostage.

Then- she said that she didn’t understand why we wanted that land anyway, surrounded by Muslim countries; and that when they were figuring out where to put us, there were some other countries in the conversation. Why would the Jewish people would want to live in their homeland? Every prayer every story in the Torah, it all happens there. And, I definitely shouldn’t be put in a position to defend that in therapy.

I had been trying to not engage, so this session, with my therapist, was the worst encounter I’ve had, I wasn’t arguing with trolls online, I’ve been staying out of it, letting it eat at my insides, needing so badly to talk it out, in therapy.

I’ve been with her for 5 years. Our opinions have always aligned, I’ve always considered myself to be a liberal social justice warrior, too. I never thought I’d have to take being Jewish into consideration when it came to healthcare.

It’s always hard to start over with a new therapist, but I feel like now in particular- I need to be able to comfortably talk about my feelings surrounding the war in Israel; also- I have a very very long and severe history of mental illness that is hard enough in itself to start new with.

On October 7th, when I was told Israel was at war, my first response was- oh no, this is going to be really bad for us. And was told not to worry, there was an absolutely horrendous terrorist attack, antisemitism isn’t going to rise over this, they were very obviously the victims.
Which- would be the only thing to make any plausible sense, I’m sure it would be the only response, if the “they”, weren’t Jewish.

I can go on forever about how this is making me feel, but not here, in therapy, with someone who isn’t rooting against me in a war that I can’t possibly afford to lose. With someone who believes in the only free democracy of the Middle East, before buying into the will of an autocratic terrorist regime.

#MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #Therapy #Jewish #PTSD #generationaltrauma

(edited)
6 reactions 3 comments
Post

Progress, not perfection #ACA #ChildAbuse #Jewish #Zen #Anxiety #AspergersSyndrome #MajorDepression #anhedonia

I have worked very hard on myself to make myself functional again. I'm now able to sustain a couple long-term friendships, and even interact with others occasionally. However, things like silence, vague answers, and people leaving (anywhere) suddenly, still throw me in a tailspin. The same with gaslighting, manipulation, and twisting my words. I don't know how to react better to these situations, so I try to separate my part from their part on whether it's my fault or not. Then I remind myself of how far I've come and what I've accomplished. Progress, not perfection.

17 reactions 2 comments
Post

I walk two paths #Jewish #Zen

My path is a little unusual, and definitely unorthodox. I am Jewish by choice, and also a Zen Buddhist.

I live with multiple chronic illnesses, have multiple specialists that I'm really tired of seeing, multiple medications, and multiple supplements. This is all to keep me functioning each day.

How does my spiritual path fit in.... Judaism gives me context and history, and Zen gives me equanimity.

When I'm feeling especially down, or wonder why I should continue fighting, I recall stories from Jewish history, and remember that I am not alone. I especially rely on Zen and zazen when I am in severe pain, and I just sit with it, acknowledging how I feel, and just be with the pain - not resisting. This is helpful for me due to how much denial I face that I'm even sick, or that my pain is real. Just sitting (shikantaza) allows me to be present for myself and in the moment, no judging, labeling, or criticizing. Just being present "as is."

Jews have a saying "from strength to strength" - I use this to remind myself to focus on my strengths, not everything that's wrong with me. Zen has a saying with a similar meaning "chop wood, carry water" - meaning no matter what happens with us or others, life still goes on, and we need to practice self-care and take care of the essentials.

Post
See full photo

Purim

How are y'all celebrating Purim this year? Or not? Our shuls are just starting to open back up & there are three shifts for the community carnival. It's great but still weird that we won't be one big schmoozing mess of people. #Jewish #Purim

5 comments
Post

Descendents of holocaust survivors

I'm a third generation descendent of holocaust survivors.

A big part of my recovery from my anorexia has been coming to terms with and working through the inherited trauma which my grandparents and parents were unable to deal with.

This transgenerational trauma affected my sense of identity, sense of self, and crutial stages of emotional development.

I'm curious to connect with other 3Gen descendents, if there's anyone on here.

#Jewish #Holocaust #Emotions #Trauma #MentalHealth #Childhoodemotionalneglect #AnorexiaNervosa

4 comments