Need some love from moms.... im lost.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 07-16-2014, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Need some love from moms.... im lost....

So, I have a lot on my mind right now. I live in Tel Aviv and have a 5 year old, 2 year old, and 6 month twins. I sat down yesterday to get some stuff off my chest, but it didnt help. I think that I need someone to read what I wrote.
I woke up today to air raid sirens, explosions in the sky, and shrapnel falling just a block away from our apartment....
please dont judge me yet, I dont agree with the actions of Israel, and have not for a very long time. I am a humanist, and activist, and I choose human life over any conflict....
The letter is choppy, and Im not even sure it makes sense, but I needed to get some of these feeling out of me so I dont go insane keeping it inside. Im just another mom, who feeds her kids organics, cloth diapers, composts, the works. I do everything out of love for my family, and my family is not just my husband and children, its all of mankind.... I dont know if I will get the updates on this post since I havent signed in since I was pregnant, I have not had the time. But you can write me at OurWonderfulChildren@yahoo.com if you had any advice on how to help my kids through this.

As I write this I am playing footsie with my 2 year old son while he counts his agorot (like pennies or nickles) , trying to figure out if he has enough shekels (3.4 shekels is 1 US Dollar), or chekuls as he calls them, for chocolate or not, while I, on the other hand, see that its approaching 4 pm, around the time that Hamas has been launching missiles towards Tel Aviv. We live just outside Tel Aviv, on the edge of Bnei Brak. I dont live in a super religious area of Bnei Brak, but in a neighborhood called Pardes Chen, a very mixed neighborhood. I have to tell you a bit about myself so that whoever reads this gets an idea of where I come from. I grew up in Pittsburgh as a conservative Jew, but as time passed, being Jewish went from being just a word to something that completely embodies me. I have spent countless nights awake studying 1 or 2 lines from torah with my husband, and taking the 613 laws seriously, everything from "dont wear mixed fibers" to "dont kill". I dont even kill mosquitoes. I do the best I can. On the other hand, I have dreadlocks so long I sit on them (comes from ancient Nazarene oaths), tattoos of my childrens names on my arm ( I dont consider tattoos as scarring my body, but instead beautifying it), Jewish star tattooed on my back, and my father once told me, not too long ago, that I am like a top 40's radio station, where the hits keep rolling in. Thats his way of saying "You do things differently, and we love you for it, its what makes you you". I dont ever seem to do things the way the rest of the world does. I skipped college, moved to israel, met the man I would someday marry, discovered I am an artist, had a couple kids, got married (once back in Pittsburgh surrounded by my family and Rabbi Chuck, couldnt get married without Rabbi Chuck), then gave birth to twins! Keep in mind that what I just described took place over a period of ten years or so, I just wanted to give you an idea of how unconventional I tend to be, so this isnt going to be a typical letter from the land I call Zion.

I was prepared to sit down today to write a letter to my family about what its like for us at the moment, living in Israel, but then I started to think about my whole family, not just the people who are immediately related to me. At first I started to include the close friends of my parents, and then branched out to the whole jewish community of Pittsburgh, knowing that everyone there helped shape who I am today. Finally, I realized that who I want to communicate with is my whole entire family, starting back at Abraham and his two sons. I cant exactly do that, so at least I can aim for my Pgh family (everyone who considers themselves a decedent of Avraham Avinu).


A little more than ten years ago, I moved to Israel with the full belief that I was a Zionist. I didn't really know what that meant. I thought that it just meant that I think Jews should live in Israel. I didn't know that word "political" was invisibly placed in front of the word "Zionist". In the past decade, if nothing, I have learned that politics and religion should have nothing to do with each other. Right now, around the world, people are confusing the political actions of the state of Israel with the personal and religious beliefs of Jews. It has been hard for me to proudly publicly say that I am Jewish, knowing that I will be confused with a political zionist. That hurts. I am very proud to have Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah as my forefathers and mothers. I was taught Torah and I teach it to my children, and one of the big ten says "Do Not Kill". How can I help to instill the values of Torah in my children if they have no larger example other than me and my husband? There is a much larger discussion here, but I will leave that for another day.

This is the first time I have heard the air raid sirens, and not just once, every day. We dont have it as bad as Ashkelon or Sderot, but I believe that this is the first time that anyone living in or near Tel Aviv has heard the sirens. When I ask myself the question "whats it like for me, a jew and a mom, to live in Israel right now, this week?" my immediate instinctual response to myself is "well, a softened version of what mothers in Gaza have been going through for a while now". Over here we have air raid sirens, the iron dome, and a whole military backed by the states to keep missiles from hitting civilians or causing much damage, comparatively. In Gaza, they have nothing to keep them safe.





Around the world people are boycotting anything to do with Israel, and this is not new, it has just dramatically increased in the past week. My husband and I are artists who work on an international level, and we have lost a lot of support from our fellow artists and art appreciators overseas. Locally, no one can afford to support the arts movement, and even if they could, right now its the last thing on peoples minds.

yes its scary hearing the air raid sirens (especially for the first time), having to run quickly with children into the closest stairway or recently unlocked bomb shelter. I have started to consider what meals I will be making. In case an air raid siren goes off I dont want to have to stop in the middle of cooking, so I have been choosing things that are fast to make, a lot of the time depending on the pizza delivery guy, and always making sure to give him an extra big tip. After all, he is the one going out and might have to duck into the closest bomb shelter, all so that me and my family wont have to. I have re-arranged my bedroom as a make-shift bomb shelter, the building I live in has so stairwell or shelter, so my bedroom is the next best thing. Of course I have a mattress propped up against the single window and the bed located against a supporting wall and underneath a supporting beam. My 6 month old twins, Nissim Marley and Chaim Zachariah, are sharing a crib the week, one on wheels, so I can easily wheel them into the hallway where there are no window. As for my 5 year old daughter Noa Aya and her 2 year old brother, Caleb Yosef, are sharing the room next to mine, with the closet pushed up to the window and bags full of clothing stacked to provide protection in case any shrapnel breaks the glass window. I don't really believe that anything serious is going to happen, but I have to be prepared as best as I can. The worst part is having to explain this to my daughter, Noa. She is 5 years old, and already she knows that if she hears the sirens she is to grab Caleb, come inside, and sit on my bed while I find them a cartoon to watch. Even though she isn't talking about it, and doesn't really want to , I know this is really bothering her. Its not fair to any child, no matter where they live, or what religion they are, what skin color they have, what language they speak, there is absolutely no reason that children have to go though traumatic experiences like this. I refuse to become like most other people here, numb to the violence .....


How come everyone seems to understand that not every Muslim is an Arab, and not every arab a muslim, and not every muslim is Iraqui, or Saudi, or Palesinian, or Egyptian. And not every Arab is Hamas or Fatah. So how come everyone thinks that every Jew is down with Israel? Im here to resist the oppression that is constantly taking place, to be a positive example of how we can be. We are all human, drop the flags, drop the titles, we all have a heart that beats inside. We need to learn to use it instead of ignoring it.


on a positive note, my son eventually collected enough agorot to get chocolate to share with his sister =)













Last edited by 4GreenBabies; 07-16-2014 at 03:48 AM. Reason: i saw that my last statement wasnt really a complete thought....
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#2 of 17 Old 07-16-2014, 04:49 AM
 
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I don't really know what to say, except that I will be praying for you and your family.
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May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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#3 of 17 Old 07-16-2014, 08:09 AM
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That is so horrifying. I don't know how to help your children deal with it. It sounds like you are doing the best you can. Above all, show them your love (which you do). I think that young kids view their loving parents as capable of conquering all--just to keep them safe. So, while your daughter isn't talking about it (it might be too scary to put into words for her) I bet she tells herself that mommy will keep us safe.

I also wanted to address the world's perception of jews and Israel. I want to let you know that not everyone believes that all "Jews are down with Israel" -- I certainly don't. I think it is really hard for the Jews to handle the current conflicts. I know that my voice is just one. It seems like the world is against you, but that isn't so. I pray for the people in Israel (and other places) often. I really don't think I am the only one.

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#4 of 17 Old 07-18-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing.

Wishing you and your family peace.

Wish the world was kinder.
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#5 of 17 Old 07-18-2014, 01:47 PM
 
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Please do not think that everyone lumps Jewish people and Israelis together. Emotions are high in the world right now and perhaps people are not as tactful as they should be but anyone/everyone can/should understand that the Israeli people are as diverse as any nationality in the world. There are peaceful people in the trenches of all conflict. Hugs to you, mama.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#6 of 17 Old 07-20-2014, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you so much everyone, im not sure what to say at this point, im still sick over all of this.....
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#7 of 17 Old 07-21-2014, 12:14 PM
 
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I have been thinking of you and your family. All the children and parents. All the people.
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#8 of 17 Old 07-23-2014, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post
I have been thinking of you and your family. All the children and parents. All the people.
thank you...
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#9 of 17 Old 07-25-2014, 06:51 AM
 
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Please stay safe in such a scary time....

My prayers and thoughts are with all of you...

Please check in from time to time and let us know you are okay.
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#10 of 17 Old 07-29-2014, 05:29 PM
 
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I hope that you and yours are staying safe.

There are so many of us all over the world thinking of you and all of the people on BOTH SIDES of this, wishing and hoping for peace and safety for all.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 17 Old 08-31-2014, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, so we are all alive, but not necessarily well. My 2 year old developed a trauma around loud noises, so things like motorcycles, dogs barking, trucks, people moving furniture upstairs, they all make him come running to me crying saying "sirens" or "loud noises". He wont sleep in his room, and has been really attached to me. I also havent been able to work. I am an event coordinator and artists, and no one wants to show their work inside israel right now. So 7 or 8 weeks with any income... I have not been supportive of the military action since I have been living here, and I think they use waaaaay too much force, but I am thankful that no rockets hit us and thankful that the iron dome knocked most of them out of the sky. All in all im pretty confused about my stance, I just want to take care of my family. Honestly, I would leave if that were a financial option. On top of it all, my sons diapers are torn to shreds, literally shreds, and I am desperately trying to get them replaced, but having a really hard time doing that. Today, my son says his penis hurts and when he pees its just a trickle and I dont have a pediatrician.... My daughter has been holding up pretty well, shes stopped listening to me, though, and really acting out. The twins have no clue whats going on and are super demanding and my husband does nothing. really nothing. he sleeps till 2, spends about 3 hours "waking up" in the bathroom and shuffling around the apartment, doesnt clean a thing, leaves his dirty laundry wherever he wants, my dishes have been sitting in the sink for months and stink and I cant get him to lift a finger. when i confront him about all the work i do and the nothing that he does he says I dont let him go out and work cause i need help with the kids, but he doenst do anyhting to help them except yell when they get loud.... kids get loud, kids play fast and have lots of energy, he doenst need to yell at them. he tells me that all the work i do is my choice so i should be b**ching about it. I could go on and on and on but I wont, Im sorry. I just dont have one single person to talk to. i have no friends, my family is across the ocean, and even if i talked to any of them about it, what could they say? nothing. its my fault. i should have known years ago it would have been this way. so yay! we are all still alive, but how good of a life are we living if we dont know if any more rockets will come, have no money to get the stuff we need (and they dont have support systems or organizations here like they do in the states, no food stamps, so subsidized anything), and mom is always taking care of something and doesnt get to spend any quality time with her kids? I want to do more, I want to be a better person, but I just dont know how.....
(i wanted to attach pics of my kids but my files are too large and i just dont have the time to resize them... sorry)
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#12 of 17 Old 08-31-2014, 03:04 PM
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That sounds terrible. I hope things get better soon. Has your husband always been like that? If not, is it possible that he suffers from depression? If you were to contact your family overseas, would they be able to help you move back?

Sending hugs your way.

Amy

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#13 of 17 Old 09-01-2014, 05:55 PM
 
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Thank you for writing about your life. It sounds like a huge struggle for you right now and I hope it gets better. It was interesting for me to read about your life and I just wanted to reply to let you know that I read your post. For a short time as a teenager I was very much in support of Israel and even signed up for a birth right tour but came to a different opinion before the trip. I sympathize with everyone in the situation in Israel and Palestine.
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#14 of 17 Old 09-01-2014, 07:56 PM
 
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I read your post and I send you love and support. I do not believe that every person in Israel is of one mind. I'm sorry for all that you suffer.

I have never been in a war zone, but I have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and a lot of the things you are describing your kids doing fall under the post traumatic stress umbrella. None of your kids have a disorder at this point in time and I am not implying that it is absolutely certain that they will. Most people who go through post traumatic stress manage to heal.

But if possible it might be good for you to do some Google searches on how to help kids deal with post traumatic stress. I know just enough to tell you that you should do some serious research. People have studied how to help families like yours and the information is very helpful. If you can't get Google access, I could do some preliminary searches for you and send direct links.

I'm really sorry. War is hell.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#15 of 17 Old 09-05-2014, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your replies, it makes me feel better just knowing that I am getting anonymous hugs from across the ocean =) As for depressed, I dont think so. Its been like this for years... its more of a self centered, lazy thing. I have tried every tactic there is to get some more help around the house, but when it comes down to it, I have 4 kids plus one.
Concerning the PTSD, I am aware of it. I had PTSD for a long time (childhood trauma, then some other stuff in my teens) and I seem to be pretty good at managing my own PTSD, but I will have to do some research on what I should do about the kids. I know hubby wont go along with it... probably about a million excuses. I am managing each day by taking one day at a time, and trying not to look at the bigger picture, cause if I do I get really overwhelmed and defeated. I should look at the bigger pic, but its just so hard! Well, I need to run, twin babies calling for food again =)
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#16 of 17 Old 09-05-2014, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, and since I cant upload pics, or dont have the time to resize them , if anyone wants a peek you can look at the photostream I started for my parents and grandparents (they are still alive and I am honored that I was able to give them 4 great grandchildren!) . its the only way they get to see my kids grow up
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ourwonderfulchildren
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#17 of 17 Old 09-09-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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I have thought of you often and am sending love and light to you and your kids. I am so sorry for the personal troubles you are having brought about by these outside influences.

Your kiddos are adorable. Stay safe.
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