I am a young Crown Heights mother with young children. My husband has been suffering from debilitating depression since covid began.
The past few weeks we have been in crisis as he faced a breakdown with hospitalization.
How I wish I was brave enough to write my name.
I’m not- yet.
I reached out to a few organizations within the community in the hope of connecting with other young woman going through similar experiences.
I was told by all 3 of the organizations “there are so many women struggling, but it is so taboo, woman going through this are just not ready or willing to speak. There is too much at stake.”
I get it. For most of the hospitalization I barely told anyone. I was terrified.
But I continue to question- why do I carry such burden of secrecy within me.
What has my husband done to warrant shame?
What have I done to warrant this depth of Loneliness?
How do I expect myself to hold down the fort alone, without asking for help, in fear of peoples judgments?
Am I willing to surrender to cultural norms at the expense of a broken spirit?
How heavy must this secret weigh for me to finally share the burden with others?
I understand stigma, shidduchim, etc.
Yet, I don’t understand.
Maybe because I’m young and my children are not in shidduchim yet. Or perhaps because I am choosing to face this fear and shame head on with my husband’s consent.
I am choosing to ask- why?
Why do I choose not tell friends and family?
Why am I ashamed?
Why am I so consumed with what will others say about us and this circumstance?
As Jews, as Chassidim, how does our shame hold such magnitude in relation to something so G-d given.
In my belief system, Hashem is everything or Hashem is nothing. Hashem must be in this too. There is no other possibility.
I believe and I know Hashem wants all his children to feel embraced, especially in times of need. I know Hashem embraces me and my husband. I felt it so deeply. Each of us are so wanted and belonging in Hashem’s eyes.
May we mirror our creator.
It’s unimaginable to me, the depths of Loneliness, that so many woman face. If you are in my shoes or similar shoes, I see you. I am holding a space in my heart and soul for you and your pain.
I know so many brave individuals come forward to hold a light toward the stigma of mental health in our community. For this I am grateful.
I find it my own obligation and privilege to once again shine a light on something so deeply misunderstood. Hashem brought me to this point. I can use this pain, to be a light to others.
To those who could never fathom encountering someone suffering so silently, turn around. I am the mother right behind you.
I am open and eager to share my own experience, strength and hope. If you would like to connect, you can reach out to me through the Neshamos organization.
Please contact [email protected]
and she will forward the message to me.