It is curious, due to the fact that this child happens to be a person of great personality. She is smart, happy, outgoing, very pretty, caring and extremely talented in many areas. I do not know one person who dislikes her, with the exclusion of “them” that is.
She was the child, who when I went to PTA the teachers would say: “if all the girls in the class were like your daughter, I wouldn’t have a job!” She wasn’t the teacher’s pet sort of student- she was just a pleasure to have in a classroom. She was studious, curious, always wanting to please. She didn’t have to study very hard to get top grades, but she studied anyway because she enjoyed it.
Her bubbly personality and her ability to draw people to her caused great jealousy on the part of my husband. From the beginning he used her as a scape goat. She could do no right in his eyes. It did not matter if she was the most talented sweet child, in his eyes she deserved to be punished and humiliated.
She was the one who was sent to her room for something that she was not responsible for. My heart aches when I think of the tears she shed and the hurt feelings she suffered. He picked on her continuously, berating her for anything and everything.
Her hair was too long, and then it was too short- after that it was too curly, so when she straightened it, he said it was no longer Tznius. Her laugh was too loud, and her eyes too accusatory (she knew the truth), her skirt was too short and then it was too long. Her friends were not frum enough and she liked them too much. She used HIS phone to talk for too long (this was before cell phones) and when she stopped calling her friends, the books she read did not meet his religious standards. (Box Car Children and Nancy Drew- because the pictures were not Tznius)
I cry now when I think of his systematic abuse of our child, and my inability to protect her. I have only found out recently from my siblings, that my husband used to call them and complain bitterly about the terrible wife and daughter he has, and how this child is ruining our marriage. They believed him, and I never said a word in our defense. I did not know I could defend myself, I did not know I was allowed.
Now that I am nearly divorced, my husband’s Rosh Yeshivah brother need not hold back his seething anger towards myself and my daughter. He never liked me; we did not have even one conversation in 20 years, and that includes the time of my making a shidduch for one of his children!
I should not feel surprised at how quickly and easily his venomous words spew forth. They have been bottled up for 19 years (or maybe only for the public) and now he can legitimately publicize and demonize his wicked sister and law and her daughter.
It amazes and sickens me all at the same time.
Yet it also brings home the reality of the Jews at the time of Rabbi Akivah, when the sin of “Sinas Chinom” was rampant.
Hating a person for no valid reason is a terrible thing to do.
I am realizing though, that whoever you are, Rosh Yeahivah or not, you can still cave in and live your life hating people for no reason.