So, it’s a long story, but for reasons of mental health and personal safety, I no longer have a relationship with my abusive parents. I still work in the community I grew up in (conservative synagogue/Jewish neighborhood) and everyone who comes to my work and sees me asks about my parents. (They made Aliyah a few years ago.) Even people I meet through other means ask me about my folks, which I guess is normal for youngish people. I’m getting a new job soon, and not spending as much time in the area where I grew up, but I fear these questions will follow me for the rest of my life. I know we have a certain level of filial loyalty built into our cultural norms- there were always stories about kids who married out, or didn’t speak to their parents anymore, or didn’t practice! The SHAME! The SHANDE! The BETRAYAL! But I don’t feel any shame, and I am confident that I have done what is right for me. I think any reconciliation is highly unlikely, my parents don’t even think they have done anything wrong. I have a wonderful found family, and lovely in-laws, but I worry that I will never be able to be part of a Jewish community without people asking about my family. It’s just so awkward when people ask and I have to say, “Oh, yeah, my parents are so-and-so and so-and-so. I don’t really have any information about them though, because they suck.” Like, I have a few stock phrases to end that conversation and move on. I know people mean well, and they just want to get to know me, but is this something that will end someday?