I am angry. I am afraid. And I am done.
Done with people pretending to be holy. Done with people telling my what my life is supposed to look like. Done with them being wrong.
I don’t believe in god anymore. Or rather, I don’t believe in whats branded as Judaism. I’m tired of holier-than-thou attitudes, I’m tired of ableism and homophobia and people who only care about you as their cheesed or kiruv project. I’m tired of people using warped halacha to justify their internalised bigotry.
And I’m scared. Because Hashem was everything. Yiddishkeit was everything. And if you do the right thing, you’ll be rewarded. Not the way you expect, but it’ll be there. But the right thing in this context is to uphold bigotry. And I won’t do that. Neither do I get any reward, not even the mitzvah itself.
Someone told me recently that faith is found in the darkest of places. I visited those places. I tried to die. God was not there. It was not God who pulled me out of the pit. I had to crush the snakes and scorpions myself. It was the people on the margins I had been subtly taught were less than. It was the people that halacha leaves on the outside and expects them to beg for scraps. It was therapists. It was science. And sure, if you believe in god, god put those there for me. And sure, I survived. If that begrudging minimal help is all I can expect in the darkest of places, then why should I bother. Neither god nor halacha is there for me, and now I am lost.
And they told me if I worked hard, and studied, I could make something of myself. But I am ill. I cannot make something of myself. Some days existing is a challenge. Do not pity me. And so I am again on the outskirts of society, poor, and too different to find comfort in what was once comforting.
I lost my family. Blood still runs through their veins, their hearts still beat, but we don’t speak. I was so warped by my own experiences that they couldn’t recognize me anymore. I didn’t fit the mold I had been forced to grow into. I broke the mold and now I am alone. Alone except for the other outliers.
And so I am angry. I am angry at those who don’t stop to challenge their thoughts or their biases because their way of life necessitates believing that they are good people, that they tell each other they are good people, or shame each other into being ‘good people’. When they leave out my friends and I, ignore our experiences, gaslight us, throw us out in all but name and then wait for us to mold into their shapes and bemoan our exit. Or they don’t notice our exist because they didn’t want to acknowledge our existence.
I’d like to believe in the stability of my youth. People are good, Hashem is good, do the right thing and you’ll be looked after. It was that exact stability that hid from me my true self. Because my true self wasn’t allowed to exist, so it must not be real. I can’t go back. I have no family, I have no religion, only the fledgling pieces of community I can put together. It’s terrifying. And its freeing. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t even know what tomorrow holds. I’m in freefall. At least, somehow, I have my own broken wings to slow my fall.