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Family First Inbox: Issue 769

An innocent young girl’s life was put through the wringer because he hadn’t been helped before

Help before Marriage [Family Connections / Issue 767]

I am writing in response to the young woman who grew up in a difficult situation and asked Sarah Chana Radcliffe whether she has to go for therapy before she gets married if therapy doesn’t seem to be working for her. She also noted that she is in a good place emotionally.

Let me start with this, I am from a warm, happy, and healthy home. When I started shidduchim, I was a real product of the home that I grew up in. I was carefree, happy, wholesome, and content. Baruch Hashem, I soon got engaged. My chassan was an amazing boy, with rebbeim and friends who vouched for him spiritually and emotionally.

But what people don’t necessarily know is what goes on behind closed doors. We got married, and from there it went downhill. Apparently, my husband’s upbringing had been far from perfect, leaving him with emotional scars. It wasn’t physical abuse that happened in his home, it was emotional disconnection. Once we got married, I, as his wife, tried to satiate his emotional needs. Without getting into detail, the once carefree, happy person that I’d been turned into a shadow of my former self.

I’d never dreamed that I would need therapy — but eight weeks into marriage, there I was. When we realized that it wasn’t working, I switched to trauma therapy. I insisted that my husband also go for therapy, and that’s where the story of his upbringing came out. It was a long road to recovery for me, and our marriage is still suffering from the emotional after-effects.

If my husband would have gone for help before we got married, so much pain, anguish, and suffering could have been prevented. An innocent young girl’s life was put through the wringer because he hadn’t been helped before.

So, my message to those out there who’ve gone through difficult childhoods: PLEASE don’t wait to get help! Even if you feel that you are emotionally okay, marriage brings out so many new situations that you are going to need to respond to, and you don’t know how you’ll handle them. Please, do your future spouses and children a favor. Save them from the pain that I went through and am still going through.

If it seems therapy is not working for you, MAKE IT WORK! Switch to a different therapist. Do whatever you can to prevent pain in someone else’s life.

Hoping to Spare Others


Not Our Reality [Ups and Downs / Issue 767]

I am an avid reader of Mishpacha and read it almost cover to cover every week. I feel compelled to take issue with the article Ups and Downs. I have a son with Down syndrome who is almost bar mitzvah, and your portrayal of Down syndrome does not reflect anyone I know with that diagnosis. He is gentle, calm, and sensitive. He showers and dresses by himself, and can prepare sandwiches for himself (and anyone else who wants). He is more organized with his stuff than some of my other kids.

He is a beloved best uncle to his nieces and nephews, always entertaining them and giving them a good time. He is very sensitive to other people’s emotions and would never hurt anyone. I feel it is a tremendous disservice to the special-needs community to have people with Down syndrome come across as “ unmanageable.”

Name Withheld


Golden Memories [Silver and Gold / Issue 767]

After reading your article about the ways couples celebrated big anniversaries, I wanted to share ours.

We had been anticipating the golden 50 surrounded by children and grandchildren. Then Covid hit. Although we weren’t in lockdown mode in Israel, it seemed that our plans to celebrate together were now in doubt. When our daughter notified us that the siblings were sending over a festive meal to mark the occasion, I realized that my dreams were just that —dreams.

As we were enjoying a special repast with a granddaughter, I heard simchah music coming from outside. Wondering what it could be, my granddaughter suggested we go to our porch to investigate.

From one floor below, on my neighbor’s huge open porch, gold balloons and the smiling excited faces of all our children and grandchildren looked up at us, singing and celebrating this special day. Abiding by corona regulations, each family sat capsule style and we were engulfed in memories as we watched greetings recorded by friends and family. (Our initial shocked reaction was filmed, and went viral — with almost 13,000 views!)

It was a truly unforgettable evening and we are forever indebted to our wonderful family.

D. Kidorf, Jerusalem


It’s No Joke [Just Me or ADHD? / Issue 765]

Thank you for your excellent article on adult ADHD by Dovid Becker who is a master clinician. Aside from the tips and ideas that I learned from this article, one of the greatest insights reinforced subtly was that when people say, “it’s my ADHD,” it’s no joke. We’ve sometimes taken to being very flippant with labels and it can be so belittling and detrimental to those who are struggling with an actual diagnosis.

Thank you again for an intelligent and helpful read,

Sarah Rivkah Kohn

Founder & Director, Links & Shlomie’s Club



Put into Practice [Step It Up]

I have never enjoyed a column more than the “Step It Up” column you ran last year.

Menuchas hanefesh is a term people often throw around, and until last year, I didn’t really understand what it is. Well, after a year of learning about and focusing on this very important “theme,” I sure found out!

“Step It Up” was the first column I opened to every month. Mrs. Kassorla’s ideas and thoughts were thought-provoking, interesting, and relevant; she gave insight and ideas I could put into practice immediately.

I’m already deep into my personal theme for this year... but it’s not the same without “Step It Up” to help me along. I hope Mrs. Kassorla realizes how many zechusim she got — and is still getting — from writing that column!

May Hashem grant you continued kochos to keep on inspiring people.

Devorah G.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 769)

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