I read through the charges with disgust, then pain as the realization slowly dawned upon my unshaven head. A mother, formerly Hasidic, charged with a crime. I had lobbied for this woman as she fought her custody battle. I had cried for her and her children. I had cursed the authorities who wrestled tiny children from their mother’s loving arms over religion.
Beyond the number of custody cases I’m aware of, whether it be from a woman named Deb or Miriam or Leah or Kelly, there are women suffering immeasurably from real loss. This woman’s choices and ultimate arrest bubble up the custody, and give credence to the frum community that women who go off the derech are – always and without fail – crazy lunatics who can’t be trusted with their own children. They ruin it for genuine cases. They limit recourse because of a track record.
And then I get to thinking of what that makes me, what all women must be like if they talk about this sort of thing, and I can’t.
Another nail in the coffin.