Nine Years

Nine years ago today, I had a breakdown.

I was dating a non-Jew who I was very much in love with.  He was my first love, my first everything.  I was 20.

We had been together off and on for 2 years.  It was really intense.  Partially, because I was 20.  But more because I had never felt anything like I did. It was the kind of love that rules you, your mind, everything.  I didn’t know who I was without him in my life, but moreover I didn’t care anymore.  But I knew one thing: he wouldn’t convert. And even though that was so far in the future, I couldn’t figure out how I was to break up with him before it became an issue.

Breaking up with him was an issue.

So, one night, I got drunk by myself.  I withdrew from all of my classes, and booked a flight (one way) to Israel.  I didn’t really know anyone there, but it was my “homeland”.  I had been there before, and was learning Hebrew at college.  So why not?

The next day, I went to lunch with him and let him know, that I was leaving (um, 2 days later) for a new country and I had no plans.  By that point, our relationship was so tumultuous that he didn’t really care.  We have spoken since, so I know what he was really feeling, but Gd men are so good at hiding their thoughts.

A few days later, I boarded a plane.  I had no real plans, except to get the hell away.  I knew that our relationship had been over for awhile, and I needed to leave it behind.  I just couldn’t picture doing so while in the same place as him.

I cried.  A lot.  But it turned out to be the best thing I did for myself.

I was talking to my best friend today, and I told her it was 9 years.  I also told her that at one point, I didn’t know if I would make it through the hell I was putting myself through.

9 years later, I look at that girl, fragile and lonely.  I look at her from a place of peace, of love, and of freedom.  And I am grateful that she gave me that chance to rebuild.

So today, amongst all the over things I am grateful for, I am grateful that I had a little break down.  Because the new me, built from the broken pieces of that Rachel, is so much better for it.

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5 responses to “Nine Years

  1. What an amazing breakthrough. I hesitate to call it a breakdown because it opened so much for you. Good for you!

  2. Great post. I so agree with the comment before mine. Consider it a breakthrough! Sounds like you were much better off without him anyhow. Just needed to find yourself..

  3. I def think that you and I are the same person.

    I was 19 when I started dating my first boyfriend. He too was not Jewish. I loved him until my heart burst. Until he thought I was pg and left me. I felt like a part of me had died the moment he left. My best friend purchased a ticket to israel for me so that I could get away. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I too dropped my classes and went. It cleared my mind in ways that I cant explain.

    • That’s so funny! It really saved my life…and ever crazier? The first night I was there, I was at KiKar Tzion, watching the Israeli Dancing and crying because I was so sad. I saw a girl who looked as lonely as me, “Batya”. I introduced myself, and we became best friends. She lived in LA. We kept in touch, and after the year we both spent in Israel, I ended up moving to LA. Her boyfriends best friend? Ended up being D. After a few years of flirting, we ended up dating and I am getting married to him in two weeks. So, I have my ex-boyfriend to thank for meeting the love of my life and one of my best friends. If only I could of seen how it would of worked out then…I wouldn’t of sat on the 31 bus every day for a month bawling as I rode to haMalka (I had no where else to go until I found a job!!!)

  4. “…the new me, built from the broken pieces of that Rachel, is so much better for it.”

    I love that line.

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