Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Voice from Down Under



"Mom, I have a problem. I need to talk to you about friends. I'm not making enough friends."
"Dorit, c'mon."
"No, seriously. I'm not making enough friends."
"I don't have time for this. Go see a psychologist."

"Mom, there's this boy I have a crush on at school. But I don't know what to do. Or say."
"Dorit... I don't have time for this. Go see a psychologist."


I stare and stare at the wall. Should I see a psychologist? I should have known my mom wasn't available for me.

When I finally go see the psychologist, I lie and lie.
Roslyn's her name. She sits in a small room; her "side" is the size of a walk-in closet; mine's the size of my room at Westbeth. I focus on the creases of he lines when she smiles. I try to decide whether the smile is real or fake. 
I lie about the social life I have and the social life I wished I had.
I'm embarrased. Ashamed. Of who I am. Who I want to be.
But I don't know who to turn to. And I waste more money on this psychologist.

It is 1989 and I'm home for winter break.
I lie on my mother's loft bed. I wait for my mom to come. The cracks on the wavy high loft ceiling resemble the same rabbit I had seen when I was my son's age, sleeping in-between two parents who hardly knew each other. Now, I have the bed to myself.
Her footsteps are heavy.
With eyes still fixated on the ceiling, I ask: "Mom...I'm scared."
No answer.
"Hey Mom... I'm scared."
"What's wrong honeybun?"
"I don't know what I should do?"
Mom doesn't ask me questions, so it's up to me if I want to make something of this.
"Mom, I don't know what I want to do with my life." I say.
"It's okay, hunny, bunny."

It's 1993 and I'm 22 years old. I've made my decision to become a teacher and in a few month's time, I will be studying at the Oranim College of Education, near Tivon in Israel.

It's good for you to have something to fall back on. Teaching is always a good profession to have.

"So, it's a good thing?" I ask.
"Yes. It's a good thing," she replies.

Even if my mom didn't directly confirm or guide me through this decision, I still feel naked because I'm on my own. I've been on my own emotional "island" for years. So I don't want to try to "figure" things out anymore. I'll go with a non-risk guarentee. Be a teacher. Something to fall back on. Secure and safe.

Sounds good to me.

Now twenty some odd years later, I understand. I was never encouraged to believe, explore and have faith. I've never really asked myself the questions, just went with the "right" voice - the one that feels comfortable to me. Instead of asking myself if I have the "right" friends or the "right" career, I'm asking myself...

1.Who do I want to be?
2.What do I want this day to be?
3.What kind of results do I want?
4. How do I want to serve the people that I come into contact with?

I'm consider myself privileged and lucky to be able to ask these questions now.


  1. Great insight and self discovery.I was blessed to have parents who I could talk to and who listened and offered guidance. I could equally talk to my mom or my dad about things and it was so comforting to know they were in my corner as I made decisions. However, I made many decisions because I didn't want to disappoint my loving and hardworking parents and sometimes would have done something a little differently. Not many times but once or twice.
    Congratulations on finding your true self.

  2. I applaud you for hanging with me over the past year and going through the process. ~ It was easy (and tempting) to "fall back into comfortable patterns" - but you stuck with it. And now you're breaking through! ~ Congratulations!


  3. This was powerful. There's sadness, but colored by a realization of self-empowerment. I feel sorry more that your mom missed out on a real relationship with you, than feeling sorry for you - it's clear you have taken charge of your life. Kudos.