Religious Trauma Syndrome

imagesReligious Trauma Syndrome

Are all parts of religion malignant? Does my nausea at even uttering Yiddish words mean I have RTS?

After twenty-seven years of trying to live a perfect life, I failed. . . I was ashamed of myself all day long. My mind battling with itself with no relief. . . I always believed everything that I was taught but I thought that I was not approved by God.”

And then there’s this quote, which could have been taken straight out of my own mind:

I lost all my friends. I lost my close ties to family. Now I’m losing my country. I’ve lost so much because of this malignant religion and I am angry and sad to my very core. . . I have tried hard to make new friends, but I have failed miserably. . . I am very lonely.”

It’s only the malignancy that I wouldn’t say. On one hand, I’m glad I’m not alone, but on the other – I am very, very much alone. I am cut off, I am miserable, and I’m trying for it not to affect my children or my parenting. There are no real friends, only friends who are either too far away to hug or too close to my former life to want to be around. The peripheral OTDers I find can’t really relate, because they’re either totally out and atheist, or totally closeted.

I didn’t mean this to be a lonely, ranting post. But there’s more to leaving frumkeit than just freedom to wear pants or eat chazer. When you have to again build up a support network by yourself in your 30s, it makes it doubly hard to do anything meaningful in yiddishkeit while not being sucked into a spiral of chumros and frumkeit again.

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