March 10, 2013 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #1183045
WOW, we parents especially mothers are so connected to our children in the most natural of ways, by giving and nurturing them. We have a NEED to take care of them, and in return we have a NEED for them to accept from us and to show love in return.
When our children go through this nisayon they are not thinking about anyone but themselves. What they do has nothing to do with the parents. They are NOT thinking “I won’t accept this from my MOM who worked so hard and lovingly to do this for me, I will just stab her in the heart and show her I don’t care.” That is the feeling that WE get when we are rejected in our efforts, that is the slap in the face we feel and exactly the stab in the heart that reaches its mark, but in reality there was no mark intended.
This immature child does NOT think about anyone but himself nor anything other than what HE wants and needs. At this point “selfish” is his middle name. Sometimes its a barrier he puts up to prove to himself that he doesn’t NEED his parents and he can take care of himself. And sometimes it is just plain the immaturity and foolishness of the age and the rebellion he is going through. Think about it, when you were a kid, didn’t you wonder why you had to eat real food when all you wanted to eat was junk? Well he is making that stupid choice for himself right now. When he gets sick of the sugar highs and junk food he will learn to appreciate a good home cooked meal. Kids complain about having to go to bed early and don’t appreciate that “sleep” is a commodity and something to cherish. When we get older and have insomnia and too many worries to fall asleep or stay asleep we understand what a blessing being able to just go to sleep is.
WOW, I am going to say it again. We can’t control anyone but ourselves and we can’t change anyone but ourselves. We just can’t make him change unless he is ready to do so. It has to be his choice. It is no different than getting a heavy person to diet. If they don’t do it for themselves when they are ready to do it, there is no point in pushing them because it will only backfire.
A person has to be ready to change their behavior, their habits, their negative thoughts and actions. They have to choose to do it. Even though we want them to change so very much it is not in our power nor in our control to force that change to happen.
I would like to ask you something. This is your son, your child, your gift from Hashem. At the very worst scenario he may never come back, again that is the worst scenario, not everyone does. At the best scenario he will find the right sheliach who will help him return 100%. Then there are many various possibilities between the two. No matter what happens in the future he is still your son.
Where is the pain coming from? Is it coming from a place that your son is hurting and suffering or is it coming from a place that you and your family are hurting and suffering? Do you understand the difference? If it is coming from your concern about your son, you will have to learn to deal with it in the way that any mother has to let go and let their children fly. We will still hurt but we can teach ourselves to let the control go and just love him no matter what.
If you are hurting because your family is suffering due to the neighbors and the rest of the family that is a whole other ballgame and that is something else you have to work on altogether. You have to learn to separate your pain from your child’s pain and not mix up the two. You can’t bring him back or tug on the rope because he is embarrassing you or not fulfilling your needs for the perfect son or the son he once was. Kids change even if they don’t go to this extreme, they still change and as parents we either accept those changes as growing pains or we risk losing them altogether. As long as we love them unconditionally and leave the lines of communications open, there is always a chance that they will still choose to learn from us and come back to allow us to guide them to successful life choices, or at least to discuss them with us.
If on the other hand we tug too hard and don’t let them test the waters of their own choices, or fight them on it too hard, we risk slamming the door on a loving relationship that they are entitled to no matter what their choices are. Hashem does NOT give us these gifts with any guarantees. WE can lead by example, but we also have to learn to “listen to understand” and follow from their example. If they say stop, we need to learn to stop. That doesn’t mean we stop loving them nor do we stop trying but we stop pushing. “Honey, do you want me to pack something for you take back with you? Should I make you a cake?” If he says “ok” then go ahead. If he says “don’t bother” then don’t bother. Let him know you love him and you look forward to seeing him next time; remind him that you are there for him so call anytime.
Its possible when you stop pushing he will ask for it. Its possible when you play it cool and let him run the show, he will make his own suggestions if not, be patient. Wait it out. I know it is hard, but you are both still in “learning mode”. This is a new situation for both or you and there are no handbooks on this. It is a see as you go type of thing.
I want to relate a story to you. My oldest son was away in Yeshiva in another state. When he graduated High School and came home he was my little boy again. Except that he wasn’t. He was 18 and he drove a car and he would go out at night. One night he didn’t come home and he didn’t call. I woke up in middle of the night and he was not in his bed. I panicked, I thought he was dead in the street somewhere (you know how mother’s imaginations take off..) I got into the car and started to search the neighborhood. I was scared out of my wits. I was driving and driving and I was crazy and yet was there a chance that I would find him?
When he finally came home that morning I went nuts. First I kissed him to death because I was so happy he was ok and then I wanted to kill him. I read him the riot act. I told him he was so inconsiderate, why hadn’t he called me, why didn’t he come home? Why did he do this to me? Didn’t he know I was worried, I am his mother I need to know where he is and so on and so on.
Well when I stopped yelling and crying and calmed down, he calmly told me he WAS considerate. He realized it was late and I was sleeping so he didn’t want to wake me up by calling. He was at a friend’s house that I knew and he was so tired that he didn’t want to drive and fell asleep on the couch. He then said, I was out of town for 3 years and you didn’t know where I was any night for all those years. If you trusted me to be away for 3 years and I didn’t make any trouble you have to trust me now too. I am NOT a baby and I don’t want you chasing me down and embarrassing me with my friends. He told me he will try to call me earlier if he will be home late.
I realized that he was right. I couldn’t treat him the same way as I did before he left for Yeshiva. He was not the same little boy. I had to let him go.
When my daughter was around 20, she decided to go to the store at 11:30 pm to get some snacks for her class the next day. I asked her to take her brother with her. My husband heard them leave and he asked me where they were going and I told him. He started to yell at me how could I let them go out so late at night, they are just kids…etc. I reminded him that at their age we were already married and our parents didn’t know anything about our whereabouts. They will be fine.
There comes a time in every parent’s life when we have to let go. Sometimes sooner and B”H many more times later. In this case it is more like easing up and giving some slack to the rope because the more you pull on the rope to pull him back into the fold, the more he will pull back and harder to go on his own path.
WOW, as you said it is almost a year now, and although it was so painful, what you thought you could never survive you did survive just like every other parent who has gone through this terrible nisayon. And of course it is not over. Could you possibly sit down for a few minutes and think of what you have learnt this past year? What worked and what didn’t? Can you think about if this is about you, directed to you? Does he treat your husband different than he treats you?
Please try to separate your own pain from your child’s pain, and understand that none of his attitude, selfishness or rudeness is meant to be directed at you personally. Pesach is stressful enough so take the best tools that you learned this year and apply them, especially for the time he will be home on vacation. Stay out of the line of fire..don’t bother doing things for him when he doesn’t want you to. Concentrate on yourself and doing what you need to do. You can pick up on your efforts with your son after Pesach. Don’t add additional stress.
Try to get him to help, but don’t count on it. Put post it notes on everything that is done for Pesach so there is no confusion that he wasn’t home and didn’t hear the announcement. I did that a lot “this room is ready for Pesach!”. Let him know that you don’t want to go through his things so he should clean his part of the room by himself or you will have to do it for him, because the entire HOUSE has to be cleaned for Pesach. Now is a good time to teach him how to do his own laundry, especially if he is not helping for Pesach. “Let me show you how to do your laundry since I am overworked right now. At least I won’t have to worry about your clothes.
But other than that don’t make him the focus of the home. Pesach is the focus right now. Let him know that you would all love him to be at the sedorim and that his place will be set for him. Expect the worst and then be happy with whatever you get. Don’t expect him to show up, and if he does it will be a happy moment. If you expect him to come and he doesn’t you will be disappointed.
Don’t borrow trouble so don’t get anxious and worry about what might be, choose your battles and try to ignore whatever you can. And the best I can say to you is count your blessings. Don’t look at what is going wrong in your life, look at what is going right.March 10, 2013 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #1183046
aries2756-thanks for taking the time to write all your sage advice. I do have a few comments, however.
“At the very worst scenario he may never come back, again “. Unfortunately, I don’t see this as the worst case scenario. It would be a bad scenario if he never came back again, but I’m pretty worried about the scenario of getting into drugs or serious depression (he may already be there, and if not, he’s pretty close).
“Where is the pain coming from?”. My pain is coming from watching my son give up on himself, and think so little of himself when I know how great he is! He is the baby eagle that fell into a den of ducklings. He may quack like a duck, and waddle like a duck, but my baby eagle can fly! Of course it has to do with his suffering, what do I care about me anymore? He told me that he’s stupid, ugly and boring. If it wasn’t so pitiful, I’d actually laugh at the absurdity of it. The most painful thing is, and I can’t shake it, is that I CAN’T HELP HIM. Not just specifically ‘me’, but I can’t even get him help from anyone else bc he won’t accept it (and that’s if I could even find someone professional, with the experience to help him). And yet, believe it or not, when I asked my son today if there’s anyone in this world that he trusts, he said yes…..me! But I challenged him, and told him that if that were true, why doesn’t he accept what I say? Why doesn’t he believe how great he is? And he said bc he doesn’t feel it. So I practically begged him to let me help him with this. I begged him to go talk to someone about this, but he just said that no one can help him. Yes, my family and I are suffering, but it has nothing to do with the neighbors! I don’t even notice they exist. My world is a blurr, somewhere in the background Pesach is looming, and my kids are calling me and asking me questions I don’t hear. I know I have to pick myself up, or I may end up drowning with my son. I have people to talk to, but I still have to face my pain alone. As much as I have to force myself to function in the ‘real’ world, I can’t help but relate to Lot’s wife, who turned around to look back to see if her child was behind her…March 10, 2013 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #1183047
WOW, so then let me guarantee you that he won’t be with this group for long. It is very, temporary. Although every single day seems like a very long time, it will soon break up as each one will find there own path or be drafted. You are in Israel, that is a reality they will have to face. As they get closer to that reality they will have to mature a lot quicker. Here in the states we don’t have that wake up call.
I wonder if the boys speak about that at all. Things have changed in Israel and i wonder if that is on their mind at all. It is great that your son has opened up to you and has even told you what he has. That is quite amazing. Who is making him feel that way about himself? He is spending so much time with the same group of friends and this is the best they can do for him? Are they picking on him and bullying him too? You can’t say it to his face but you might right him a note, that if his friends are not making him feel good about himself after spending so much time with them, then maybe he should be looking for friends that do. After all, he changed himself to be just like them and to be accepted by them didn’t he? If they didn’t accept him the way he was, and still make fun of him the way he is, who needs them?
A friend is supposed to have your back and make you feel the best you could possibly feel about yourself. A friend is supposed to build your self-esteem and self-confidence.March 10, 2013 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #1183048
aries2756-He told me that he got this feeling from school, when the kids used to make fun of him. The chevra he’s with now makes him feel great and accepted, no matter what. Yet even though I love him, and tell him constantly, and show it constantly, it doesn’t seem to penetrate bc ‘I’m the mother and that’s why I’m saying it’.
The kids do talk about the army, and he’s being called for an interview. Originally he wasn’t against it, and planned to go. But now he seems to be eager to continue with his learning, and doesn’t want the disruption, so who knows?March 11, 2013 7:11 am at 7:11 am #1183049
Imaof three-“He will feel connected to you because of your love and acceptance of him, not because you buy him cigarettes.”
This is just my point. He doesn’t feel my love for him for some reason. All the ways a child normally feels his parent’s love seem to be damaged, not bc I’m not giving the message, but bc his ‘receptors’ seem to be damaged. As much as it goes against my instincts, buying him cigarettes makes him feel that I accept him.March 11, 2013 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #1183050
WOW, his receptors might be damaged or turned off at times, or he may just be putting on a show for you to keep up with appearances. But keep doing what your doing because he needs to hear your message and it will be delivered and received. Messages of love from parents have its own way to “turn” on the receptors and to find a way around the damage to get to the heart of the matter. It might come in as drips and drops or it might hit him as one huge lightening bolt, but he will get the message.March 12, 2013 5:40 am at 5:40 am #1183051
aries2756-so, is it just a matter of time, or does it depend upon the intensity (or frequency) of the message?March 12, 2013 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #1183052
WOW, it is just a matter of time and circumstance. The messages have to keep coming. I can remember a conference I went to a very long time ago, maybe 10 years ago where At-Risk kids were speaking. One child said “never stop telling our kids you love them, they need to hear it no matter what they tell you”, another kids said “Never stop asking your kid what their doing, who their friends are, how their doing, they need to know your interested”.
This was advice from the kids themselves. They said, this is what got them through their worst moments. The worst thing a kid can go through is the thought that their family and most important their parents gave up on them or they feel about them as the child imagines they do. Never ever let their thoughts become reality to them. Keep fighting their negative thoughts about themselves. They want control so let them have some, but never stop showing you care and never stop showing your love. It will reach them when they need it most and when they are at their most vulnerable and have no where else to turn. It will envelope them when they need the warmth that only you can provide.
This is where the notes come in. They may seem to tune out the voices, but they might choose to take the notes with them an read and reread them at the lowest points they go through.March 12, 2013 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #1183053
Definitely agree aries! Unless there is a case where a teen genuinely feels unloved (like for example, in an emotionally abusive home), the best thing is to show them you really care- no matter how many times they seem to get annoyed by the attention.March 13, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am #1183054
aries2756/fkelly-it’s interesting that teens at risk say, “Never stop asking your kid what they’re doing, who their friends are, how their doing”. My son hates these questions, and usually responds with something like, “What do you care?, “Why do you need to know?”, “Why are you so nosey”, or “It’s not your business” etc. I do usually keep giving the message that I love him, but it seems like I can never say “no” to him. Any time I have to say no, no matter how nicely I said it, or how sugar coated the words were, he gets angry and defensive.March 13, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am #1183055
The day you stop saying no is the day he assumes you stopped expecting any better from him.March 13, 2013 1:09 am at 1:09 am #1183056
I have a friend who is very ‘at risk’. She tells me that she feels like her parents don’t care about her at all. One of the big examples that she uses it that when she comes home at 3 am most parents would question their kids about where they were etc. but hers don’t. She prob would get defensive if they did ask, but even tho she puts on that tough exterior for them that’s not how she feels. No, they wouldn’t be able to stop her, but maybe she would think twice before going and doing whatever she is doing.
However, she is not close with them, so if they would just randomly start asking her questions about her friends etc. she prob would get annoyed with them and not want to answer.March 13, 2013 3:53 am at 3:53 am #1183057
WOW, your job is to keep doing YOUR part, his job is to keep doing his. His choices might change (I”YH) sooner hopefully than later, and he will mellow sooner than later, so his responses might change as well, but you are the parent, older and wiser, and you have to keep doing what YOU KNOW is the right thing to do. NO MATTER WHAT he does, you still love him. NO MATTER WHAT stupid things he says or does, you still love him, that doesn’t change. HE can always count on you, that is not going to change because you will always be his mother and he will always be your son. His friends will come and go, but the two of you will stay mother and son forever. That is the one constant he will always have in his life. When his nisayon is over and his friends are long gone, your relationship will have survived it all. So as he goes through his tests and he keeps testing you, don’t let the yetzer horah get you. Show your love and let it be known, no matter how many times you feel rejected (he is an immature kid), no matter how many times he says the wrong thing (he is an immature kid) no matter how many times it hurts (the yetzer horah is really good at his job!) you be better at your job! OK?March 13, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #1183058
Well said kkls! By you asking him all these questions, you are showing that you still want to be part of his life and you care about him. If you stop asking, that shows him you no longer care. And even though it bothers him, deep down he knows its coming from a good place. Unless of course, as kkls said, if you only started asking questions recently, that would upset him.March 15, 2013 7:55 am at 7:55 am #1183059
aries2756/fkelly-maybe you’re right, but on the surface, he seems to hate when I ask him anything. In fact, if he answers at all, it’s probably a lie. Maybe I shouldn’t always ask? One thing is for sure, I’d prefer he not answer me, than lie to my face. His lies are the only thing that can make me feel different about him…
Bracing for the upcoming week…and Pesach.March 15, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm #1183060
WOW, when faced with a difficult situation…..expect the worst and then be happy it doesn’t go that badly.
So if you give your love and you expect rejection well then in your mind “I expected that, no harm done” or “I was prepared for that, move on”. But if you set yourself up….maybe this time he will hear me…you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if he responds even in the minutest positive way “score!”. Count your blessings.
That applies to Pesach as well. What is the worst that could happen? Then move up from there. When it came to the Bar Mitzva, the worst that could happen was HE wouldn’t show up. So what happened, not only did he show up in a suit & sneakers, he brought his friends and everyone had a good time. Score!
You do your part, let him do what he needs to do, and let Hashem do the rest. Hatzlocha.March 17, 2013 6:46 am at 6:46 am #1183061
aries2756-while your theory sounds great, and may work some of the time, it wouldn’t have worked this past Shabbos. First of all, I wouldn’t have thought to expect that my son would embarrass me and the entire family in front of our friends and neighbors the way he did. I guess I am still pretty naive in thinking that he does care a tiny bit about us. The degree of selfishness is beyond words, as well as his distorted sense of “who’s embarrassing who”. And I’m still trying to recover from the chutzpah, that he has the nerve to hang out across the street in the middle of the night until morning, with a mixed crowd of loud teens, and then get angry that my husband saw him and ’embarrassed’ him by looking at him! My husband actually woke up in the middle of the night, and went to get some air (it was a hot evening). He was in shock when he saw my son there, and stared in disbelief. Then my son had the nerve to scream at my husband when he got home, that he embarrased him! It didn’t occur to him that his hanging out in front of our building embarrassed us? I’m not sure if I should cry rivers of tears, or just stop crying completely….
I will, however, try to apply your advice to Pesach.March 17, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am #1183062
Does he refuse to go for counseling?March 17, 2013 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #1183063
Imaofthree-of course.March 17, 2013 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #1183064
That is sad. Seems to me that he really could use someone to talk to. Maybe he will eventually agree when he realizes how unhappy he is. I feel badly that you have to live like this. I hope you have someone you can talk with, this is a very hard situation.March 18, 2013 1:28 am at 1:28 am #1183065
WOW, He yelled at your husband for embarrassing him? Did your husband bother to ask why a father “looking” at his son would be an embarrassment?March 18, 2013 9:03 am at 9:03 am #1183066
Imaofthree-I am so desperate for him to speak with someone, but he will never agree to go. He would rather sink into an abyss of depression and who knows what, than get help for himself. I have to assume that bc of his depression, perhaps he can’t help or mobilize himself, so what should I do? He is not psychotic, so I cannot force any decisions on him. Most of my husband’s friends who see him, always stop to talk to him. They’ve been doing this on their own initiative, bc they really like him and are also pained by what’s happened. They invite him to eat something, take him places. But it happens infrequently, and isn’t really enough to pick him up.
I just heard a chiddush about Rachel Imenu that I can really relate to. It says, “Rachel mivaka al baneha ki eineinu”. How can it be that the word ‘baneha’ is plural but the word ‘eineinu’ is singular? It says that Rachel is crying for her children bc he is not there. This means that even if I have 10 righteous children, all talmidei chachamim, if I have one child OTD, I cannot be comforted. And it is sooo true. The pain is truly unbearable, and there IS NO COMFORT….except for his return….March 18, 2013 9:08 am at 9:08 am #1183067
aries2756-My husband didn’t ask, but he probably felt like my husband should ‘mind his business’.March 18, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am #1183068
He’s a 17 year old boy, and like everyone his age wants to be treated like a man. He saw his father come out, and in his mind he thought his father Coming outside to ‘get fresh air’ was really coming outside to check up on him. He was embarrassed because he felt like he wasn’t trusted and he felt like your husband was babying him.
For him partying in the middle of the night is normal and accepted so he doesn’t think that it would be embarrassing for you.March 18, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am #1183069
interjection-but it’s not ‘normal’ in my community, and certainly boys and girls hanging out together is looked upon harshly. I think he knows that.March 18, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am #1183070
He knows that in theory but he doesn’t believe that it should be embarrassing because for him and his group it’s normal. He knows how the community views it but he clearly doesn’t agree or he wouldn’t be doing it. He’s 17 so he’s selfish and thinks he rules the world. He can’t imagine that anyone else’s opinion should come in the way of his own, especially if the community who holds that opinion is a community that threw him under the bus.
Also I meant to say that he doesn’t think that his partying SHOULD be embarrassing to you.March 18, 2013 2:06 pm at 2:06 pm #1183071
I dont think he cares what your community thinks, I know its sounds harsh, but its probably true.March 18, 2013 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1183072
No one going through this nisayon at this age cares what others think, it is just not in the makeup of a teen at risk. And anyone that believes that they should has their head planted firmly in the sand. Where have you been all these years.
It is what it is. This is the situation. He is NORMAL for someone in this situation. He is NOT normal for a child in the family, but for someone going through what he is going through he is basically following the book. It is the adults in the community who haven’t read it yet.March 18, 2013 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #1183073
I understand your pain, write or wrong. May Hashem give you the strength to continue and you should see much nachas.March 18, 2013 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #1183074
zahavasdad/aries2756-I know he doesn’t care what the community thinks. But since he is extremely sensitive to the idea of being embarrassed, I thought that he should be able to see that it goes both ways. But he can’t.
Imaofthree-thanks…and much nachas to you too!March 19, 2013 3:27 am at 3:27 am #1183075
WOW, no he can’t. He can’t see past his own pain. He is a kid, he is male, and he is in pain. Right there are the three strikes keeping him from thinking like you. You are an adult, you are a female, and you are more equipped and capable of handling and dealing with pain. He doesn’t think like you do, he is not mature like you are, nor can he rationalize or be logical like you can. His brain is not yet as developed as your is, nor has he had the life experience, knowledge, nor seichel that you posses. It is foolish to expect him to follow your expectations of him.
As parents we have these little scenarios go off in our brain. This is how we want and expect our children and even our spouses to behave. If we do this, their answer and response should be this. We are shocked, dismayed and extremely disappointed when they don’t follow the script exactly as written. But they are NOT dreaming or fantasizing the same dream nor scenario from the same perspective, need nor desire as WE see it. Their needs are different, their desires are different and they just plain don’t see things the way we do. Now add to that the issues of a child at risk, going OTD and in the midst of all that confusion and how can you expect him to follow your script? He is still getting used to the OTD and at risk script. He still doesn’t know where he is heading and what he will still experience. I know. You might know, but he doesn’t believe any of that will happen to him until it does.
Remember he told you that HE will not be one of those kids that take drugs. I knew it was inevitable, I knew he would follow that script. He is following a well traveled road. It is almost a by the book case. He is putting up a barrier where you are concerned and yet he is communicating with you. Like a pull me push you toy. I don’t want to talk to you, I am angry with you, you don’t love me, and yet I AM talking to you, I AM communicating with you, and I AM letting you talk to me even thought I am telling you that I don’t want you to talk to me.
WOW, he is telling you that he is taking drugs because he is angry at you. In all honesty I believe that YOU are right. He is angry at himself. He is probably realizing that HE has achrius in all of this and he could have made other choices for himself. He could have done something to stop it, but he wasn’t brave enough to stand up for himself. HE could have allowed YOU to help him at the time and let you switch schools for him like you offered, but he didn’t. It is easier for him to say that YOU don’t love him than for him to say that HE doesn’t love himself. He doesn’t want to say that he blames himself, it is much easier to say he blames you. But at this point maybe the best thing for you to do is to tell him in words and in notes that we can’t live in the past and we can’t allow the past to dictate to us how we choose to live in the present and in the future.
Even if we made mistakes in the past, we don’t have to allow those mistakes to follow us around for the rest of our lives and define who we are. We have the choice to learn from the mistakes that we made and choose to never make those same mistakes again. WE can choose to take a good harad look at our mistake and figure out what we could have done differently to bring about a different outcome and then actually learn how to do that other action. So if that means that we have to build our self esteem and self confidence so we don’t allow anyone ever to bully us again, then that is what we need to do. We don’t shrivel into ourselves and disappear. We build ourselves up, by recognizing the good qualities that we posses. We work on our skills by taking classes in areas such as Karate and body building as well as coaching and debating.
We use the brain Hashem gave us to outwit and outsmart anyone who would try to hurt us. We are each created in tzelem elokim and we each deserve to be treated with respect.March 19, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm #1183076
Sorry, I meant to say “IF he is telling you HE is taking drugs because he is angry at you” which is very common. I am just say that because it is something one always has to consider, it is part of the parsha, part of that culture, and even though we would like to deny it and save our kids from going down that road, it does happen. I didn’t mean to state that as a fact, just as a possibility.March 19, 2013 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #1183077
Wow, I grew up in a similar environment and went thru somewhat the same as your son.
I said earlier, I think that you have got to accept that he will not be frum for the time being and maybe never. At some point in the future, he may find he is missing Yiddishkeit and he can make his way back. I think your agony over this, is your problem and is possibly getting in the way of the next phase of his life which is getting into pre and adulthood, via either the Army, or becoming a sort of Yeshiva Bochur, University, or job training, marriage.
What I get here is your feelings are getting in the way of helping him.
I believe you should tell him that he doesn’t have to be frum. I see this as a core issue. I am speaking from personal exp. I was your son once.March 19, 2013 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #1183078
Do you mean that he does not have to be frum in order to be loved by Write or Wrong and her family? It would be a lie to tell him that he doesn’t have to be frum, since WOW feels that a Jewish person should believe in Hashem and the Torah and do mitzvos. Of course they would love for him to be frum but they will love him even though he isn’t. Their love for him is not conditional.March 19, 2013 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #1183079
adams-you say my feelings are getting in the way of helping him. Which feelings, exactly, are you referring to?
I don’t really agree with your comments, bc the insinuation is that I could actually help him, if I had the right feelings, that it’s all up to me. I actually don’t think I can help him at all, no matter what my feelings are. He is distant, non communicative, angry and almost never home. He has pushed me and my husband out of his life. He hates the Haredim, and I am one of them. I am not forcing yiddishkeit on him, and in fact, never say anything to him about being mechalel Shabbos etc. That, I truly believe, is between him and Hashem. The only time it becomes an issue is if he is openly mechalel Shabbos in my home, around my other children. My agony is in seeing him destroy his life and his potential as a person, not as a religious Jew. Religion is no longer the main issue, and hasn’t been for some time. I have come to terms with the fact that he may never be religious again, but at this point, I’m just hoping he’ll mature and stabilize, and live a healthy, ‘normal’ life.March 19, 2013 9:08 pm at 9:08 pm #1183080
Imaofthree-I’m not sure my son has internalized the message that our love for him is unconditional, although we do put in much effort in trying to convey this. I’ve told him many times, “I love you no matter what”. And as much as we don’t force yiddishkeit on him, I’m sure he knows that we believe the right way to be, is frum. After all, that is the life we live and teach to our kids.March 19, 2013 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #1183081
How much time until the Army?
I suspect the army will straighten him outMarch 19, 2013 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #1183082
adams-BTW, I do agree with you on one thing. My agony over this is getting in the way….but it is getting in the way of my relationship with my other kids. While I may not cry and show my pain in front of my son who’s OTD, I do, however, cry in front of my other kids. I am working very hard on trying to stop bc it’s non productive and doesn’t allow me to give my other children the proper attention they deserve.
But maybe I just don’t understand your meaning, how is my agony over his agony preventing him from taking the next step with his life?March 20, 2013 2:35 am at 2:35 am #1183083
To you WOW.
No. I’m not going to tell you any advice, direction, instruction. I’m the least qualified. Just a consoling thought.
One of the messages of Pesach Haggadah is the important piece of the arba’ah banim. Everyone belongs, and there’s a way for everyone. The correct tools are sometimes not readily at hand, it may take time, but the Torah had him, and how to approach him in mind. Do I know how to interpret its message? Of course not, as I wrote before, but seforim do deal with it, caring and kindhearted Gedolim and Manhigim can guide and steer you in the right direction.
One more point, I’ve heard in the name of a Godol, one who is into this field too. HaShem, the Yodeah Machshavos, the One Who knows what’s in a person’s innermost thoughts and conscious, and the Korei Hadoros Merosh, Who planned and effected generations and histories, is the one who brought this terrible OTD “phenomenon” into existence. We don’t know His cheshbonos, but it’s a modern “mageifa”, a plague not witnessed in any of the previous generations. So He certainly understands the nisyonos you and him are going through. No need to be extra, needlessly hard on yourselves.
Again, be strong, ??????, we’re all standing and rooting for you.March 20, 2013 3:47 am at 3:47 am #1183084
Here is another beautiful dvar torah of chizuk which I heard. There are three places where we refer to Hashem by the name “HaMakom:” When we are comforting mourners (HaMakom Yinacheim); when we say acheinu kol beis yisroel (Hamakom Yiracheim Aleyhem ViYotziaim m’tzara l’rvacha) and at the seder right before we mention the four sons (“Baruch Hamakom Baruch Hu…Kineged arba banim dibra Torah…”)
Why is Hashem known by that particular name in those three circumstances? The answer is that the name of “HaMakom” implies that Hashem fills up time and space. Therefore only He is “big” enough to contain our pain at our times of greatest suffering. When a person is in aveilus only HaMakom can contain their pain. When we talk about Jews suffering all over the world in acheinu, again only HaMakom can contain their pain. When we sit down to the seder and all of our children are there, including the second son who excludes himself from everything, parents feel tremendous pain. In that situation as well, only HaMakom can contain the pain of the parents who see the child who is struggling and is causing them so much tzaros.
May this Pesach be a time of cheirus for you and your family as well as your son from all that he is suffering. May you be zoche to see yeshuos during this time of salvation and geulah. And may all of klal yisroel be zoche to the geulah sheliema b’karov!!March 20, 2013 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #1183085
I am not poskinim here
But I do see the Sedar as a big problem comming up, Ive seen OTD people remark how they have “suffered” through a Sedar.
Perhaps this year maybe you can change your Sedar slightly. Maybe Speed up (and I mean SPEED UP) some parts and slow down others in order to get him to stay. Better to have a Speed Seder with him there and not complaining that any other option.March 20, 2013 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #1183086
zahavasdad-the army has been sending notices for him to come for an interview, but he hasn’t gone. I also originally thought the army would straighten him out, but now I’m afraid of what the pressure could do to him. Regarding the Seder, I will keep your advice in mind. I’m not really expecting too much, and whether he will come to the Seder or not, I don’t really know. Pesach Kasher v’Sameach!March 20, 2013 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #1183087
Oh Shreck!-thanks for your post, and your support. Glad to know that there are other husbands who help their wives…Pesach Sameach!
Imma613-what a nice chiddush…thank-you! May you and your family also be zoche to see yeshuos, and may we all merit to greet Mashiach and witness the geula b’karov! Pesach Sameach!March 20, 2013 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #1183088
WOW, Thanks too. And I certainly didn’t think I was the only one. (actually she helps me with the “dough”, so I help clean it up)
We think of Pesach preparations as a glad and delightful way to show HaShem how we appreciate all he does for us. We try to do it in a happy, cheerful atmosphere, all of us. We’re all in it – together.
(oops, here she comes…)March 21, 2013 1:03 am at 1:03 am #1183089
“modern mageifah” Are you kidding me? The whole reason for the invention of “Charedi Judaisim” was the haskallah that brought all sorts of knowledge and ideas that freed people from certain constructs.
The Haskallah raged like a wildfire across “De Alter Heim” it is nothing compared to a bunch of teens acting like a bunch of teens by challenging authority.March 21, 2013 3:50 am at 3:50 am #1183090
No. I aint kiddin.
It is a magefah, to someone who suffers, it’s quite real. It’s felt all around. Subject and family members – a deep, deep pain. And upbringing often plays no role. And it’s a bit more than “a bunch of teens challenging authority.” ?”? No one should have to go through it.
And no, “Charedi Judaisim” is no “invention”. Actually – yes, at Har Sinai. Nothing new has since been introduced or “invented”.March 21, 2013 7:36 am at 7:36 am #1183091
The concept of Tzaar gidul banim is as old as time, not some modern magefa.March 21, 2013 9:54 am at 9:54 am #1183092
Ahh yes, the old “yidishkeit has been unchanged since Har Sinai” canard. I supposed Moshe Rabeniu wore a black hat too?
Believe it or not, Rabbinic Judaisim has changed and evolved since it’s creation. And when the Chasam Sofer put this whole thing together in response to the haskalah, that became another evolution.March 21, 2013 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #1183093
OK, I don’t want to hijack this important thread with these arguments, let me try a quickie (I really have to get back to my cleaning..)
1) a black hat and all other minor nuances of our religion have nothing to do with evolution or invention of the essence of Orthodox Judisiam. Just another flavor, another expression of service to our same Creator. No, nothing new at all. They all worshiped our one and only G-d.
2) I really don’t know what you want from the Chasam Sofer. So many other Torah giants in his day were all against haskalah. He invented NOTHING. Again, nothing was construed, innovated, originated. Last I know, the Rema was Orthodox. So was Rambam. Rashi too. Ravina and Rav Ashi. Again they may have said different piyutim than us, different minhagim, but they were all directed with a fundamental motivation – towards the service of G-d.March 22, 2013 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1183094
The Kanoi Next DoorMember
WOW, sorry for derailing your thread, but some things I feel the need to respond to.
“yidishkeit has been unchanged since Har Sinai”
Not too often, no. And pretty much every time it was, it generated tremendous controversy. We try to keep our Judaism as authentic as possible.
“the Chasam Sofer put this whole thing together in response to the haskalah, that became another evolution”
The Chassam Sofer did not, contrary to the belief of Yair Lapid, create an entirely new sect of Judaism to compete with the Haskalah. He merely reaffirmed the traditional beliefs and practices of Rabbinic Judaism in the face of the Reform Movement, much the way the Gra did in the face of Chasidus. (Not that I’m equating Chasidus with Reform, only that they were both, to some extent, deviations from traditional Judaism.
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