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A fall and a new beginning
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TOPIC: A fall and a new beginning 6982 Views

Re: A fall and a new beginning 08 Oct 2009 16:52 #22357

  • the.guard
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Great news about the group, Ben.

Haba letaher misayin lo...

Now get some sleep!
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by Rsett.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 09 Oct 2009 14:12 #22498

  • Binyomin5766
Well, I'm headed into Shabbos/Shmini Atzeres/Simchas Torah just over two weeks clean.  I'm feeling pretty good about the journey, but even more, I'm looking forward to Rosh Chodesh Mar Cheshvan.  I begin calling in to a phone group that day.  My copy of the Big Book is somewhere in the US Mail; hopefully it will arrive in plenty of time.

In the meantime, I am finding the mitzvah of simcha for the chag to be fairly difficult this year (though not as difficult as last year).  Some of you may remember that my family is seriously struggling with Yiddishkeit.  If anything, over the last year they have drifted further away.  I think the only reason they have any observance whatsoever is because I'm in the house.  They are holding to kashrus in the home and something resembling Shabbos observance (though I don't know what may happen while I'm at shul- don't really want to know either).  My wife holds to family purity.  And that's about it for them.  It's very frustrating and I can slip into depression very easily.  Of course depression is, in and of itself, a big problem and a lack of emunah.  It is also a big hindrance in the battle for continuing purity.  I still keep hoping for the best, but I confess it's getting more difficult to do so.  As they continue to move away from observance, I feel more isolated in my own home.   Adding to my difficulty is the fact that we moved to our current community a little over a year ago.  I have been so consumed between dealing with my family issues and work that I have not developed any significant friendships.  The only person I can really speak to is my rabbi from my previous community.  I can talk here, too, but that only accomplishes so much.

At any rate, thanks for listening.  It does help a little.
Last Edit: by thesimpleyid.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 09 Oct 2009 14:24 #22499

  • Rage AT Machine
ben,

here are my two cents even though its not worth one...

firstly, you must understand that no family is immune from the issues you are facing...i have seen family from the furthest right to the modox left struggle with family memebers that have chosen not to be observant...there is no rhyme or reason...this is NOT your failure in any way...you must also bear in mind that whether or not a person chooses to be observant is a very personal decision...if your children are adults their choices must be respected...the only thing you can press them on is to make a RATIONAL decision...ive seen people become less observant or not observant because they wanted to "fit in" or "be accepted" or out of laziness, etc....this is not a "choice" to be non-observant...also, ive seen countless young people lose their observancy for a period of time after high school...after leaving home they have come back to some level of observancy...finally there are many programs out there that can redirect or enlighten your family...i dont know if youre u.s. or israel but there are program there and here...arachim, aish, ncsy/ou, chabad and countless others in all different forms...maybe they need to be introduced to a different brand of observant judaism...there is no right way, you know, so long as the torah and mitzvot lay in the center...take a family weekend "vacation" to one of these programs...and remember that for such things you need a tremendous amount of help from above because in this area, rational people can come to very different conclusions...

lots of luck
ratm
Last Edit: by 8452459@gmail.com.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 10 Oct 2009 22:41 #22557

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Ben, I really sympathize... RATM offered some good advice, but I really feel your pain and wish I could offer advice too. It seems this is all part of the "package" Hashem gave you to "carry" in this world... May Hashem give you the strength to hold it all with Emunah, and may He guide you...
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by heiliga yid.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 10 Oct 2009 22:57 #22559

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Im not sure I have more to add to RATMs post, othher than a sincere tefilla that Hashems helps them find their way home soon, and gives you the emotional strength for your difficult journey.

Hashem is addicted to you! Feel His hugs!"Sheva yipol tzaddik VKUM"
Last Edit: by Respawn.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 12 Oct 2009 15:19 #22656

  • Binyomin5766
Thank you all for your responses.  For the most part, I am able to maintain an even keel.  I have a tendency to be more keenly aware of the issues during the holidays, especially being the only one in my household who is trying to be fully observant.  The loneliness I feel is particular strong on these days.  Already, now that the holidays are past, I am feeling better.  This is not to say that my family situation has changed, because it really hasn't.

It is challenging for me to not feel responsible in part for my family's response to observance.  Five years ago, we were just beginning to explore Orthodoxy, and I hadn't even begun studying for conversion.  In retrospect, I charged ahead far too quickly for my family and I failed to listen to my wife (who, BTW, was born Jewish in a non-observant home and was given nearly no Jewish education).  Now, my wife and children are actively backing away from observance while I am trying to grow.  It leads to a lot of tension, even though I am trying to focus on areas that won't require them to make any changes (like guarding my eyes!)  We began this journey through Chabad and we want to try to get back with them, but that will require relocation as Chabad has no organized presence in our current community.  I really like the learning opportunities I have in this community, and I would like to live close enough to continue to pursue those.  That said, I have to be careful not to push that so hard that we end up living someplace that the family still doesn't like very much.  Oy! How many tightropes can I walk?

I like the idea of a family weekend that RATM brought up.  I will have to pursue that; we live close enough to the NY area that I am sure there are plenty of opportunities.  I just have to ask around.

Back to the main topic of the board: I am still holding clean, but last night was a fairly big struggle.  There wasn't a lot of simchah in my Simchas Torah, and my yetzer was really on the offensive.
Last Edit: by רצון.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 12 Oct 2009 17:46 #22714

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Ben, I would like you to read this post of Dov's. I think it will give you some good perspective on how to "deal with" your family (or "not" deal with )

Let me know if it helps!
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by Taharat Yisrael.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 12 Oct 2009 18:31 #22726

  • Binyomin5766
This is very good advice and exactly what my rav is telling me to do.  I am (most of the time, anyway  ) able to keep my mouth shut when I should.  I am even doing decently about maintaining at least the appearance of cheerfulness.  As always, most of my problems are between my ears.  I am sure this comes out in some way, but I am not sure how it manifests.  One thing, it is nice to have someplace to vent, and the beautiful thing about venting here is that no one (to the best of my knowledge) has a clue who my wife and children are.

Most of the time, I am concerned about them, but with the realization that I can do nothing to make them change.  I treat my wife and children with all the love that I know how to give and there are a lot of positive things going on in that respect.

My rav has advised me that when my wife comes to speak to me about her anger, frustration, etc. with some aspect of Jewish life (or life in our particular community), I need to focus on understanding and supporting her and communicating that to her.  In doing so, my rav says, I need to set aside all my fears, anger, concerns, etc.  I find that when I am successful at doing that, when the conversation is over all those feelings are there waiting for me.  I really don't have a good way to deal with these feeling right now.  My rav lives a good distance away, so it is difficult to keep up on a frequent basis.  End result: I have had a pretty good amount of stress built up over the last few weeks.  Add to that the usual assortment of boneheaded remarks I tend to make (with the resulting problems), and you have a great recipe for a "nervous breakdown." 

The amazing thing is: in spite of all these problems, my wife still loves me.  I really don't get it.
Last Edit: by ShainaP.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 12 Oct 2009 22:17 #22834

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Add to that the usual assortment of boneheaded remarks I tend to make (with the resulting problems), and you have a great recipe for a "nervous breakdown."


I highly suggest joining Duvid Chaim's 12-Step group starting next Monday. It will help you learn to deal with all the problem areas of your life, lust, stress, etc... Looking forward to having you on the line!  :D
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by Mufrash.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 13 Oct 2009 12:19 #22931

  • Binyomin5766
My copy of the Big Book arrived in the mail last week.  I am very much looking forward to being in the group.  Of course, I'm feeling nervous too.  I think that is pretty normal for me when I'm getting ready to make a big step in something...

Last night was a pretty good night at home.  Things were pretty quiet for the family and I got a lot done around the house before dark.  I'm almost done with the post Succos cleanup (yay!)  It was nice to be tired from physical activity, though.  That seemed to have a positive effect on my struggle.  That leads me to ask, is there a correspondence between increasing physical activity and decreasing difficulty with the temptations we are fighting here?  (I realize this has probably been answered already, but I haven't seen it yet).
Last Edit: by Fouracts1.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 16 Oct 2009 13:40 #23911

  • Binyomin5766
Things are going OK in the battle, but not great.  For the last day, I've been struggling a lot with memories and fantasies.  So far, no acting out in terms of the internet or m*****, but I have my warning.  Thankfully, Shabbos begins tonight, and historically Shabbos is the one day I've almost always remained clean.  So, for now, I'm trying to hold on until the light of Shabbos can do its work (and yes, I did read today's chizuk; sometimes holding on is all I can do).

I'm hoping for an extra infusion of chizuk this Shabbos.  My family had the z'chus to be invited for Shabbos lunch to my rabbi's home.  His uncle, a pretty significant rav from Eretz Yisroel, is visiting, so we will be eating with him.  I am hopeful for some great things to happen with my family's various struggles as a result of spending some time with him.  Actually, I suspect that the rabbi and rebbetzin are thinking the same thing.

Bli nedar, I will be starting Duvid Chaim's phone group on Monday.  I'm looking forward to effecting a change in myself through this along the lines of today's email, to spend days in recovery and not just getting by.
Last Edit: by hereicome.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 20 Oct 2009 15:29 #24632

  • Binyomin5766
It's been a little bit since I've had a real chance to post.  I'm still holding clean and I've begun one of the 12-steps phone groups in an effort to take this battle to the next level.

Since Sunday afternoon, though, the struggle has been much more intense.  The best I can figure out is that the Y"H wants me to fall and become discouraged so I don't attend the phone conferences.  So far, though, the effect of the struggle has been to highlight my need for the group.
Last Edit: by s12345.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 20 Oct 2009 15:32 #24633

  • Kedusha
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Well said, Ben.
Just as an alcoholic needs to avoid that first sip, a lust addict needs to avoid that first slip.Slip today? No way! ;)Fall today? No way, Jose'!
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Re: A fall and a new beginning 20 Oct 2009 15:49 #24638

  • Rage AT Machine
ben, im curious how it went over shabbat...did the rabbi from israel have an impact?...stay strong, my brother...keep your eye on that solid line that never ends....
Last Edit: by Riki.

Re: A fall and a new beginning 20 Oct 2009 15:56 #24641

  • Binyomin5766
Actually the rabbi from Israel ended staying in Boro Park for Shabbos and came to our shul for a special Rosh Chodesh event on Sunday.

Shabbos was good, though.  My family had lunch with our shul rabbi (and his family).  Lunch turned out to be very interesting in a number of ways, but I can't really go any further than that here.  For me, personally, Shabbos was quite uplifting as I got to go to two different tisches in addition to the lunch.

The Rosh Chodesh event was quite uplifting, but no one else in my family came along.  I can only hope that the after effects of the positive experiences will be contagious to my family.
Last Edit: by GeeEss5527.
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