Shulem Deen, your story, really touches me. I am in the middle of reading it right now and I find it strong, brave, and heartbreaking, all at the same time. Your book and your message are so important.
They are also very personal.
The world I grew up in, similar and yet different than the one you did, also tried to destroy my soul.
I grew up litvish, yeshivish and was molested in a yeshiva by a rosh yeshiva (my grandfather) and his talmidim (one who was my father).
I have experienced excruciating pain, anger, sadness, but I am fortunate that I have never lost my faith.
I am angry and sad for you that your faith, your spirituality was stolen from you. And they were. You (and I )were raised in a cult, a well meaning cult, but a cult nonetheless. The damage and pain our upbringing caused and is causing must be exposed.
To me, faith is not a matter of belief. It is a matter of experiencing and staying in touch with reality. When we see the truth that is in front of our faces, nothing can take that away. I know God/Reality exists because I exist. I know I was born, not because I remember the event, but because I am here. I know God is, more real and powerful than anything I can imagine, because Love and Truth/Intelligence are more real and powerful than anything I can imagine.
God, in my experience, is Love and Truth/Intelligence, with capital letters.
I see Love and Truth in front of my eyes every single day, in each simple event and interaction and breath I take.
I read your book, and I see you as a messenger of God, simply because you are a messenger of Love and Truth.
Your children have no idea what a gem of a father they have, and I truly believe that your father is proud to have a son like you, who has more integrity than most people on this earth. I hope and pray for you that someday your children's eyes are opened and they reconnect with you and the love that you have waiting for them.
With love and hope,