During the past few days I have been reading about Perry Reich. For those of you who dont follow the news, she is a young woman who has "escaped" from her Lakewood life and is becoming a model. I have read the blogs and there are many differences of opinion as to what the truth is. There are even pictures of her four well dressed adorable kids being posted all over the internet. I feel terrible for those children, and I also feel that Perry has been liberated in some way.
I do not know what her story is, although she claims abuse.
I only know what i have read, which may or may not be true.
The parts I do know are my own experiences in the frum community.
You have read some of my story, and you know that there have been many perpetrators in my life, beginning when I was but five years old. Most of the people who perpetrated these crimes against me were frum. (on the outside at least)
I understand from reading the literature on sexual abuse and from being in therapy that pedophiles and wife beaters are very sick individuals.
My experience growing up frum has been one of decades of silence and cover ups.
No one wanted to hear 'loshon Hora". I often think that my (current) husbands family would have been glad if my suicide attempts would have been completed, because then the truth about their father and siblings would never be exposed.
My husband, who is a Rebbi in a frum Yeshivah has abused me for many years.
He continues to abuse me as we speak- emotional abuse.
He tells my kids that because mommy has custody she has to buy everything for you.
"Sorry", he tells my 13 year old, "You chose the wrong parent"!
My son had asked him to buy him lunch for a school trip.
He makes me wait and wait for the few dollars of child support he gives me.
He has not given me a Get.
The worst part of all of this is that his "choshuvah" family- well known in the community sit back and watch in stone cold silence.
They tell people that I am hallucinating, and that i am a crazy woman.
When I tried to tell one of his brothers about the physical violence that my husband perpetrated against me, he told me that he would forgive me for lying, because it says in the Torah that when a person talks in anger, they are not responsible for their words!
they constantly use Halocha to their own advantage. And when Halocha doesnt quite fit in with their needs (like sodomy) it is dismissed with a wave of a hand.
My husbands sister actually begged me not to relay any details of the sexual abuse i endured at the hands of her brother,
"I will not be able to sleep at night if you tell me", she told me.
SHE will lose a few nights sleep??
What about the years and years i couldnt sleep because of the pain that was being inflicted upon me, while they all knew what he was doing and did nothing to stop him.
Today they still back him.
Every single last one.
"poor brother, his crazy wife took his children and left him.... okay he's not the easiest guy to deal with, but his wife???"
He was married before I married him, and he abused his first wife the same way. She left him very quickly- she was much stronger than I. He was arrested then too, for physical violence, and his family bailed him out so that he could go on to abuse another innocent woman and her children.
(i will be continuing with my account of my suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization)