I had possibly one of the most awful interactions with a more traditional family member I ever had in my entire life. I feel so disheartened and depressed, I honestly wish I could scream at him until all my rage and hurt are gone.
Yesterday was my 20th birthday. To preface, I have many Jewish friends who are orthodox and modern orthodox, but I also have friends I made through college that aren’t Jewish at all. One of my college friends, honestly bless them, bought me this beautiful (and expensive!) cake from a local kosher bakery. However, she picked it up the weekend before my birthday, and the cake box somehow got crushed/ruined by her niece, so without knowing about the complexity of kosher, put it in another cake box from a non-kosher bakery. My mother upon seeing this flipped her lid and kept demanding I throw the cake out, essentially wasting the cake and my friend’s money. I insisted I can give the cake to my NON-JEWISH friends, and tell everyone who is Jewish the issue with the cake and let them decide for themselves if they think the cake is deemed treif (non-kosher) or not.
But this is where it doesn’t end. As I set up my party and left to go pick up the pizza I ordered, I got a call from a family member of mine. I found out later my mom called them to ask about if the cake would be deemed as treif or if I can eat it. (As a side note, a close friend of mine who is also Jewish purchased cookies to bring, so we had a back-up.) I don’t wish to say how we are related, as I prefer to keep it private. But they are older than me by many years. I also don’t feel like detailing the call from sentence to sentence, just some of what I wanted to talk about.
- They told me that having non-Jewish friends will influence me to leave Judaism
- They told me non-Jewish boys will seduce me (implying I am naive and weak-willed), and then “bed me” (either implying I will be forced into sex or I will give to sex)
- Started grilling me on when is the last time I prayed, when’s the last time I studied or went to Shul (synagogue), or went to a Shabbat shiur (speech) or study session at our Shul
- Started demanding to know why I didn’t just invite my female-only Jewish friends, why I don’t have any girls I met in highschool (tl;dr of this is I’m not friends with many people from highschool as I didn’t get particularly close with most of my class)
- Somehow he figured out/was told I am on a medication to help me with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder and began criticizing me for turning to meds for my “nerves”
- Had the AUDACITY to say “who turned you off Judaism like this?!”
I cried and had a panic attack for 10 minutes after I hung up the phone. I’m so glad 2 of my friends were with me to comfort me because I was in such a horrible state after that call. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think. Everything felt like it was caving inwards, and now I had to go on pretending that everything was fine because I had a pizza to pick up and pay for and friends to meet. I barely managed to keep my emotions in check at my OWN birthday party. How depressing is it that the day I was born I have to deal with the worst of my family and be verbally abused?
This is where I get bitchy, apologies in advance.
I’M SO FUCKING SICK OF PEOPLE LIKE THIS!! I’m so tired of feeling judged and shamed because my relationship with God and how I observe Judaism isn’t up to YOUR STANDARDS. Isn’t the main core of any religion to welcome all types of people, to not judge others no matter how they observe their religion, or what they choose to do with their life? Many religions are a guideline on how to live your life morally, and how to observe God in the best way you can. Stop acting like you are fucking Moses and speaking the word of God from Mt. Sinai.
Stop shaming me. Stop making me feel miserable. I’m so tired of this. Please let me live my life.