Sunday, September 25, 2011

This is when not having family is hardest

This year the Days of Awe hit in 3-day cluster bombs. That means 6 meals per holiday that I have to scramble for invitations. I just can't do it. Alona invited me for second day lunch on Rosh Hashana. Just her, her husband and children. I don't have to pretend to be "normal" or happy. I can just be myself.

But I can't do that in front of strangers. If I look tired or sad, they'll want to know why, and I can't tell them, so I'd have to make something up. I'm tired of lying. And if I ask for an invitation but then feel too terrible to attend, that's just rude. That's what I did Pesach 2009 -- I lined up 4 meals and only went to one. I called to apologize after the holiday, but I still felt bad. Better not to ask.

But that means I'll spend a lot of time alone, which also isn't so good for me. When I'm alone I tend to ruminate about my situation. How I'm 41 and single, and my prospects are dimming. How I'll probably never get married and have children. And fear this is what the rest of my life looks like -- alone in an increasingly cluttered studio apartment.

I don't want to go to my sister. I'm tired of how she mocks me in front of other people, belittles me and then pretends it doesn't matter. Not to mention breaking most of her promises to my detriment. And I'm still angry at my mother for screwing up my adolescent development. I don't want to see her, because she can't do anything about it. Or rather, she refuses to do anything about it. People do bad things to me and are never held accountable. The driver of the car that hit me, the personal trainer who injured me, the co-workers and bosses who treated me so unfairly. I can't stand to see so many people hurt me and get away with it. So if the filthy pervert isn't going to be punished, then his enabler is. Somebody has to be.

I'm not looking forward to Tishrei this year. I wish I could just sleep through it. Last year I asked God -- I begged -- to write me in the Book of Death if my life wasn't going to be better this year, if I wasn't going to find a husband and have my own family. My friend Margalit pointed out that this year I'm doing better professionally -- I'm not being harassed or mistreated at work. Which is something. But it's not enough to live for, if every day I come home to an empty apartment like RoboCop.

Every year until last year, I asked for a better year, and everything always got worse. Last year I asked for death, and it got marginally better -- but only after more excruciating suffering. I don't know what to ask for this year, because my prayers are never answered. Whether I ask for a husband or to die. Whether my life gets better or worse, it's completely arbitrary, and I have no control over it. So there's no point in praying.

When I first became observant, I tried so hard to follow the minutiae. (Except shmirat negiah, of course.) I tried to make sure I heard every shofar blast on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. But I still got sick, got fired, got dumped, got into fights with my roommates. Last year I didn't hear the shofar at all. This year I don't care if I do.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to sit at strangers' tables. I don't want to try to meet new people, because until they really get to know me, I have to pretend to be normal when I'm not. I'm just tired of trying.

Last week I found a strange purplish-black bulge on my arm, near my elbow. I assumed it was either a new mole (I have many) or a blood blister. It fell off Friday night leaving only a small slash in the skin. Like some kind of bite. Now I'm convinced it was a tick bite and I'm going to get Lyme disease. And I cannot live with bipolar disorder, bad knees, intermittent back and shoulder pain, bad sinuses, and Lyme disease. There's no circular rash, so I doubt my doctor would believe that it was a Lyme-bearing tick without any evidence. I guess I could ask the PA at work if he thinks I should go see a doctor.

But if I develop Lyme disease, I'm going to end it. I have too much to deal with already. I can't handle another major health crisis on my own, and if I get any sicker, my life will not be worth living.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. if it was lyme it would be red,not purple/black, and you would have another ring of red around it (like a bulls eye)

    So question. It seems that sitting at home being observant is not making you happy. In fact the opposite-it seems the jewish community is making you miserable, since it treats single people like less than full people, and you haven't been able to find an observant man to be with (I had the same problem). So by keeping to these laws, you're going to be sitting at home miserable for 3 day holidays, and you've greatly limited your dating pool to jews who are somewhat observant while at the same time it seems to me that more than anything you want a partner.

    Why are you still doing this?

  2. Thanks for the Lyme reassurance, AE. And as for your other question: I don't know. I just don't know.

  3. because I think that she knows its not any better the other way either...
    Ayelet...I hope for you this year and all the other singles struggling that you have the strength when you need it to continue on plugging outing out will give u the strength for the holiday meal will give u the strength for the next one day at a time one battle at a time and may all your suffering turn to gladness and may your hearts desires be fulfilled one day at a time but in rapid succession -

  4. amen, Tziporah, thank you so much, I wish you all blessings as well

  5. I don't know, AE has a good point, why would one assume it wouldn't be better? There is a whole world out there and happiness may not be found doing more of the same year after year and Ayelet, you really deserve happiness.

  6. I'm starting to think AE and TO are right. But I just don't know where to go.