It’s only Tuesday and I have already shed so many tears.
It’s only Tuesday and I have cried so hard that I’ve started shaking and screamed into a pillow.
It’s only Tuesday and I have made a huge decision that will change everything.
It’s only Tuesday and I had to call my psychiatrist and psychologist so they could talk me through this unholy combination of sadness, confusion, anger, and grief.
It’s only Tuesday and I feel like I’m both overflowing with too much emotion and completely empty.
I know this is all vague, but I’m not ready to talk about what’s going on. What I do want to talk about is family.
My mom and I distanced ourselves from most of our extended family several years ago. It was for a good reason and, frankly, my life has been better for it. When I came to Judaism, the sense of community and being part of a global family appealed to me. Since then, I have always considered Temple and the people there to be my family.
When my mom had her accident, I turned immediately to Temple clergy and friends I’ve met there. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was them that I texted. I knew I could count on them, but I guess I didn’t truly understand the depth of that love and support until then. I grew up as an only child of a single mom and learned to be independent early on out of necessity. It’s hard for me to ask for help because it feels like I’m a failure. I also have a hard time trusting people, though I’ve come a long way. I just don’t want to be hurt again.
Once again, it was Temple that I turned to for help. Yesterday I texted my friends and made an appointment to talk to one of the rabbis. Today I broke down in the rabbi’s office, shaking and crying. I revealed something that I deliberately haven’t talked much about because I’ve been afraid of how people will react. But I felt safe enough to share and to break down and to be completely transparent and vulnerable. I would never feel safe enough to do that with the family I share blood with.
I used to wish that I had a “normal” family, but as one of my friends texted me today, “blood has almost nothing to do with what makes someone family.” And it’s true. My second home is Temple and my family, the people I love and trust, is the community there. I don’t know what the next few weeks and months will look like and I admit that I’m terrified of the changes that are coming. What I do know is that I’m not alone, even though I feel like I am sometimes.
Shabbat melodies and prayers have been floating around in my head and that has been soothing. Attending Friday night services and being surrounded by community are the things I look forward to each week. I am so grateful and feel so incredibly lucky to have that.