Sunday, June 9, 2013

What Is Therapy??

I imagine that the process of serious long term therapy is something like what we will all go through after we die.  Serious therapy is like  sitting in front of a mirror, week after week, year after year.  If you really are prepared to do the work of therapy you must be willing to take huge risks and allow yourself to be extremely vulnerable.  You must allow yourself to expose parts of yourself that you may not want to see or know.  You learn to know and admit that you have limitations.  You learn to be extremely self aware.  You learn to take complete responsibility for who you are, and for what you know, feel, and believe.

 After fifteen years of serious work in therapy I don't expect many surprises.  I have sat naked in front of a mirror for fifteen years and have been to hell and back many times.  No one should have to face the kinds of memories, the terror, the shame, the pain, that I have had to face and make the kinds of choices that I have been forced to make. 

Every day I am forced to choose again between myself and my integrity, and my family.  Every day that I am true to myself  I lose my entire family all over again. The grief is endless.  I never stop sitting shiva.  I never stop wishing that things would be different.  I never stop loving my family and caring about them.  I never stop wishing they would share some of this very heavy responsibility that they forced on me.

 Rabbi Hopfer told me this himself.  When my family told him that they couldn't stand to see the pain my father was in he advised them that they had to choose between me and my father.  They chose my father, and who could blame them?  They have eleven siblings.  They have only one father.  They all need my father much more than they need me.  I understand and I don't blame them.  But the pain of such a huge loss is not lessened through understanding.

Why didn't rabbi Hopfer tell my siblings the truth?  Why didn't he tell them that no one can possibly choose between a sister and a father. Why didn't he tell them that they can't take sides and we have to find a way to work through this as a family? Why?

Why did he cause all of this pain?

 Aren't the Nazis the ones who told Jewish mothers they had to choose between two children and then killed one in front of them?

 I was the one not chosen.

 Rabbi Hopfer gave my siblings permission to kill me.  They see this as Daas Torah.  When Daas Torah is used as a means to escape responsibility it is neither Daas nor Torah.  Can any of my siblings sit with the possibility that I might be telling the truth for even a few minutes?

I have done this agonizing work in therapy for fifteen plus years on behalf of my entire family.  I have sat with the possibility of my being crazy, being wrong, being evil, being mistaken, and finally, the horrible possibility of being able to trust what I remember.  I know that I am closer to the truth than any of them.


  1. when you spoke to the jpost you were raped analy by your dad. when you commented to someone on this blog it was only oral. you cant tell the truth unless you make a mistake. how do you look yourself in the mirror? have your therapist sit down with your siblings, ok? you wouldnt do that, because you would lose her, right? they have the time line of your lies. i dont. have her talk to rabbi hopfer, k? but you wont, right? you probobly wont post this, because its true. your are an evil, sick lying, talented woman. nebech.

    1. Dearest Anonymous, you are cruel and naive!!!! you should look at yourself in the mirror and think back to your own experience as a child in that dysfunctional family.

  2. above comment, get your facts straight before you decide to blast Genendy! I read the J Post article and it read that she was raped in a few different ways. Maybe you just need to educate yourself a little more. Looks can be deceiving. Please refrain from calling her names, it's not very nice!!!

  3. It's always a risk when speaking to a journalist that they will mix up the facts a bit. I was sexually abused by multiple perpetrators in multiple ways when I was very young. I survived in spite of the lack of compassion and support from my family. I am doing the best I can with what I was given. Calling me a lying, evil, sick women is a distraction from the real issue. The real issues here are children's safety, and my own healing.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing so much of your life in such a public venue. Perhaps we should create a blog about all the errors made by journalists. Some times it can turn into a comedy show. I remember a russian paper published an article stating that Muslim leaders came to me for help in their attempts to end sex crimes within their communities. What I said to the journalist was that a Muslim survivor group contacted me wanting to re-publish an article I wrote regarding male survivors.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it happens to all of us. Thank you again for your work and courage.