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    Climber
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone else that experiences this is able to share some of their ways of processing or coping with it.

    Due to childhood trauma, I find this time of year very triggering- especially the different rituals and things that are done for yiddishkeit. The fasting, the long davening, the yom tov prep, etc.

    I know that these are triggering because of the family trauma that was happening around these things, and not about the religious practices themselves, but I find it hard to separate the two and engage with the different things that are happening in a calm and healthy way- from the adult part of me.

    Having to engage with these activities triggers a sense of anxiety, and I find myself vacillating between choosing to avoid doing what is ‘expected’ of me now because my emotional health is important, and guilt that I am not doing what I am ‘supposed to’. I also find it troubling that something simple like fasting, or a kaparah;) triggers so much anxiety, and I would like to be able to see these things as they are, without the trauma feelings attached to it…

    I hope this is clear…

    Any insight or awareness would be so appreciated!

    Climber,

    You were very clear. I feel for you – your words describe a real dilemma and struggle.  Your thoughts about your religious observance are in conflict with your feelings. You recognize the link between the mitzvos hayom, your childhood trauma, and its resulting anxiety.

    Childhood trauma requires treatment from a qualified therapist and I hope that you’re taking good care of yourself by being in treatment. I don’t know what Hashem wants from you on Yom Kippur but a rabbi who is knowledgeable about mental health will guide you about what you must or mustn’t do.

    If I have anything to offer you, it is this. I don’t know anything about your personal experiences but I can give you a general understanding of how childhood trauma can influence your relationship with Hashem.

    Childhood trauma is so damaging because your parents, the people who were supposed to  protect and nurture you, at best failed you and at worst, hurt you. On Yom Kippur we relate to Hashem as our father, as is evident in the tefilah of Avenu Malkenu. Because of your childhood trauma, it might be hard for you to relate to Hashem as a loving father since your experience of a father was not a loving one.

    Every healthy parent longs for connection with their children. Hashem wants the same. But if you’ve never known this type of love with your own father, knowing this type of love from Hashem could feel impossibly elusive.

    Developing this type of relationship with Hashem is possible. Hashem sees you, knows you and loves you. I hope you find the support you need to guide you safely into His welcoming embrace.

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    Climber
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to Michelle Halle's post #12226:

    Just what I needed to hear, thank you.

    Hashem sees me, knows me, and loves me. Because He sees and knows the real me, He loves me. Not despite of it. Thank you!!!

    In response to Climber's post #12227:

    Yes!!

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