I’ve debated what to do about this blog for the last year. I’ve told myself it’s because I am too busy to write – which is true to an extent. I’m too busy living. Too busy discovering. To busy finding myself in the most incredible and amazing places with amazing and incredible people.

I’ve found a world open to me that never was before.

And so I forget.

I forget who I used to be because I tell myself it’s irrelevant. That’s not who I am anymore. It’s not how I think about myself. My inner change has been reflected in how others perceive me and treat me and trust me. The respect I am shown is sometimes mind-blowing and I can’t wrap my mind around it so I don’t think about it too much.
I am hard with myself. I often feel like I don’t do enough or give enough of myself in work or in school, and then I have to run an inner dialog that goes something like ‘Remember, two years ago you could hardly walk. Two years ago you had never worked a real job. Two years ago the thought of volunteering someone a few hours a week to get out of the house was too overwhelming.’

And then I run a quick mental checklist of what I have accomplished:
Drug free
Living on my own halfway across the world
Recovered from chronic pain and mental illness
Working and studying full time
Learned a new language
Learned to have fun and let go
And I learned that men are human too

In my studies we spend a lot of time on inner reflection and exploration. Which can cause mini-breakdowns because you are ALWAYS with yourself in really intense and intimate ways.

Then the parts of me I’ve worked so hard to put aside suddenly rear up and I feel the huge disconnect. The things that I’ve done and that I’ve been through – things that made perfect sense to the drug and abuse induced fog I was under for so long – make zero sense to my now rational mind.

And I have no outlet for these feelings because no body knows the real details and I don’t really want to talk about it, because its not relevant, right?

But as a result of all of the inner reflection I’ve started to see the bigger picture, and started making sense of all the irrational things that happen. I can see, vaguely, how it got so bad. And in an irrational way, it makes perfect sense to me.

My memory comes and goes. Which I will always be thankful for, because it means when these inner clashes happen, I am not confronted with the full reality – just tiny bits and pieces, which after the initial shock and turmoil, I can begin to sort through.

One of the things I recently remembered was a conversation I had in a restaurant, years ago. I was in a restaurant with my ex. I remember the cold and darkness, not necessarily that it was winter and night, just the impression I get. It was probably after we went clubbing. I remember telling him that my suffering has a purpose.

And I remembered other instances as well, when those words would randomly fall from my lips with doctors, therapists, violent exes. I remember thinking it when was maybe 12 or 13. In a wheelchair, wanting to die, and drugged out of my mind.

Maybe thats why I never died, despite the effort I put into it, and despite the almost-successful attempt made on me by the same ex I said those words too.

Now more the ever I feel the truth of it. And though I have an almost paralyzing fear of people knowing,

I’ll continue writing.

I finally learned how to be a big sister. My brother came to visit me for three weeks, I have not seen my brother or sister in six months. When I heard he was coming, I was at once excited and doubtful. I’ve never been a proper big sister, never was able to be any sort of good example. Actually, the only good example I was able to give was how to stay on the right track so as to not totally fuck up your life.

When I first heard my brother was coming, I had this momentary insane worry over how should I act around him – like the me he knew, or the me that exists now? Problem was, I don’t really know how to act like a suicidally depressed whore, since I’m not that person anymore. I finally decided to simply go with the flow.

At the airport, I wondered to myself if maybe I shouldn’t smile so much. Maybe I shouldn’t act so excited. And while I waited at the arrival gate, I was overcome and wanted to cry, because this felt like a yet another second change for me. He did a double take when he saw me, jumping up and down and smiling. I don’t think my brother has ever seen me genuinely happy.

I forgot my ridiculous concerns as soon as I saw my brother. On the train to my grandparents house, we apologized to each other – it seems my brother did a lot of evolving and healing when I left, he said the sadness remained when I was gone — I simply made a good scapegoat. He also thanked me for being a fuck up, cause it kept him and my sister from staying down the wrong path as well.

It was a weirdly nice change, watching out for my brother, planning interesting things to do while he was here. I had a weird out of body experience as I would pack my knapsack in the morning with an extra pair of socks, sweatshirt, and gloves for my brother (having just come from the Canadian winter, he didn’t really understand that it is winter here in Israel as well). It happened again when I instictively tried to hold his hand when crossing the road.

Before my brother came over, I had been uncertain of the wisdom of returning to Canada for a few months before permanently returning to Israel. My family also thought I should stay here longer. But my brother changed that. I think it gave my family the ability to see more the change within me. And my brother said that I need to come back. To show my family that change is possible. It’s not enough to see the change through skype.

The last few years I always thought my siblings were invulnerable… I always saw them as having a tough shell, and I was envious of their close relationship, while at the same time, extremely thankful for the bond they have together. Any attempt I tried to made at fixing out relationship would end with their hard stares and monotonous conversation, which would start and end at ‘hi, how are you?’. So I was a bit stunned, when my big tough brother came to visit, and I realized he’s the same person I remember being friends with as a kid. A realization that made me tear up and made me feel even more protective of him.

My brother’s visit helped me. It helped repair our relationship, and made me feel better about potential that the future holds. It also gives me hope to mend things with my sister.

I just returned from my voice lesson. A very disappointing lesson. Let me start of by saying I found the best music teachers here in Israel. It is my goal to be able to apply to university to study music next year. This means a lot of work on my part.

I’ve also improved more in the last two-ish months of lessons then I did over the span of a year in Canada. I think part of it is the assertive (aggressive) Israeli spirit. There is a certain lack of tact that is very refreshing (which also took a while to get used to). But when my teacher is communicating (yelling) at me, I have no choice but to listen. And it works, wonderfully.

Today, however, I encountered some difficulty in my lesson. My back’s been hurting, probably due to the oncoming winter and the sporatic torrential rainfall of the last few weeks. I don’t know if its a real pain, or a body memory. For 14 years any change in weather meant increased pain levels and limited mobility. I suspect it is a mixture of both.

Anyways – it is my body that is the instrument. Which means I have to feel 100% in order to get 100% sound. The tension in my back threw my ear off. I couldn’t breathe properly, and I could feel I was forcing my voice too much, and as a result, I was off tone.

My teacher asked me about that. And I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say the truth. It wasn’t until I left and walked towards the bus that I realized why:

I didn’t want to come off as weak. Or like I was making excuses for myself.

So instead, I left my teacher with the impression that I’m working on this beyond my current capability. And I left that lesson extremely disappointed in myself. Doubly so when it hit me that I reacted as if I would be penalized for being in pain. And then I wanted to cry.


I have to own up next week. Because I am capable.



I spent a few weeks wondering how to continue this blog, mostly because I have nothing really to complain about. No pressing issues either really, that I find I must write about lest I explode.

But then one night I caught up with friend back in Canada, who said to me that there is no word really, for the change that’s happened. Not a victim, not a survivor, but something more. I remembered also the moto (?) of my blog: Learning to thrive… I think I’ve gotten to that place where I can honestly say I am.

So… I’ll continue this blog from there. An update:

I’m almost done the ulpan program (learning hebrew) on the kibbutz after 5 months. I decided to stay here in Israel and apply for citizenship. I’m looking into doing a year of volunteer work (instead of the army, which I’m not obliged to do, since I’m 25). I’ve also returned to singing, and have as a long-ish term goal to study voice in university.

I’m in love. A fact I’ve deliberately kept out of my blog the last few months so I won’t jinx it. He’ll be coming here too.

I also discovered Israel has a winter season. I had scoffed at the Israeli idea of winter. But I’m currently huddled in fleece pjs and sweater. I’m still cold.

I’ve also discovered capability that I didn’t have previously – Its not a big deal to work and learn six days a week. I have no money, and that’s also not a big deal. I’m in a new place, with a new culture and new language and the threat of war.

And I find myself extremely happy.


It’s weird when you realize how much of the brainwashing still lingers. Even weirder when you have all the evidence you need in front of you to refute what you’ve been trained to think.

Right now, I speak of intelligence.

Being brainwashed into believing I am an idiot really wasn’t that difficult, since I really didn’t think much of myself to begin with, given that I lack basic education from grade 5 on, I didn’t graduate high school, and I dropped out of university and college.

Being in class for a full day half the week is draining. It took a while to get used to. I don’t know how to study or how to have the discipline to do homework. I don’t know how to organize notes, or note-take effectively.

Plus I thought I forgot all the Hebrew I knew. And grammar exercises kill me with their tediousness. I can’t sit still in silence with others. The chairs and desks are uncomfortable. And I hate looking like an idiot if I don’t understand something.

But –

I just got my last test back. I got 82%. Which I found really surprising since I didn’t study. And I got really restless halfway through and rushed through the work so I could leave.

Which makes me wonder –

how much intelligence would I possess if I actually applied myself? If I knew how to apply myself? If I had real confidence in my innate intellect so I could expand on it?

It also shows how deep the psychological disturbance runs. My first test I passed (barely) with a 55%, the second, a 73%. And now the 82.

They weren’t even sure if I would be able to manage the more advanced Hebrew class, a class which I now find somewhat easy, if tedious with all the grammar.

Point is, that my grades and my language skills expanded rapidly once I finally realized that I can learn this and that I am not a moron. Cause I think to myself (or say out loud anyways) that I am intelligent. I didn’t really think this was an issue. But it was.

Makes me wonder how much more I am capable of doing, and excited about the untapped potential.

Every night since I was a child, I would cover myself in piles of blankets. I would sleep with my blankets cocooned around my body, pulled up to my ears. Didn’t matter what the weather was, I needed to have at least five blankets over me.

I never really fell out of the habit of needed to keep myself warm at night. My grandfather joked about it a few weeks ago when I said how cold I was at night, even with my sweater and socks and pj pants. I smiled at his joke, but the safety I find in being buried under a pile of blankets goes deeper then a physical need for warmth.

It’s not something I ever really thought consciously about, even during summers when I’d have to cocoon myself at night to the point where a/c didn’t do enough, but I had to sleep with a fan and without clothes and was still hot.

I get it now that I really have no privacy, living with 40 some other people in co-ed dorm-like buildings. Especially since last night I had the best sleep yet in Israel because I had a real blanket, plus sweater and socks and pjs. It was a relief to wake up in the middle of the night because I was too hot. And I wrapped the blanket around myself even tighter.

I was thinking about that last night, the womb-like cocoon of blankets. It’s something I’ve only ever done when sleeping on my own. Cause once someone else is there, the sense of safety has already fled. Imagination can’t be worse then the reality lying beside me. Or something like that.

Bottom line: blankets equal happiness and love and (mental) safety and (mental) security.

I hate days when I end up craving the oblivion of narcotics and benzos. Today is a day when it feels like it’s all crashing around me. The last two-ish weeks have been really awesome. But without really thinking about it consciously, last night I crumbled beneath the weight of the fun. When I wonder when it’s all going to crash around me, it starts to.

When I start feeling guilty for making friends and having a life that is totally my own, I know how far I still have to go. When I feel trapped and cornered when the barriers are purely in my mind, it drives me even more insane.

So I break under the weight of small things, and the physical pain I’ve been experiencing and brushing aside for weeks flares with such intensity, I curse the stupidity of detoxing this year and wish I still had a bottle full of painkillers.

I napped over two hours this afternoon, a desperate attempt to ease my exhaustion and escape the pain for a while. Which worked while I was asleep, but now I can’t quite move. And not being able to move makes me panic. It means I am trapped.

And so the carousel continues to turn.

It’s the small realizations: how far I am from those I love, how foreign everything and everyone is here, how I still can’t, for the life of me, admit I feel like I’m dying from pain today. How innocent the other kids are here. And I realized yesterday that they really are kids, posing as badass miniadults. While I found it amusing and cute observing this, I can’t help but wonder at the badass stories of those who say nothing, but have the same half smile on their faces. And the thought I love most of all “what the fuck are you doing here, you’re just a whore”


Time to go lie in the grass to catch the dying rays of the sun.