I went through different traumas in my childhood and in the last few decades. This caused me to cut off emotionally from the world around me, and I wasted many years of my life because of this, socially isolating myself. When I got older I deal with many challenges. In Hashem’s kindness, I got married and I am a mother today of several children. Still, I have many challenges that I still struggle with on a regular basis. I often have thoughts that “My very existence is painful.” My frum therapist says that I will always be bothered by such thoughts unless I learn how to take my mind off it, and suggested to me techniques of how to heal the painful bothersome thoughts. There are also times (not that often) where I feel like Hashem doesn’t love me and that He made into damaged goods, even though I know in my mind that this is incorrect. I sometimes cannot relate at all to other people, because I have no desire for superficial relationships when I’m bothered by painful thoughts about me. This has had a negative impact on my marriage. My husband feels that I came into the marriage with too many expectations from the relationship – I don’t do any chatting with other women because I have no interest in external, superficial relationships with others and I am trying to substitute it with a close, intimate relationship of marriage. (I recently read the Rav’s book “Gateways To Hashem For Today’s Jewish Woman” and it was like water that quenched my thirsty, parched soul.)
My questions are: (1) How can I heal? (2) What is the role of my therapist/psychologist in healing me from my trauma? (3) How can I raise happy, healthy children and be a good wife, maintain friendships even though I don’t have the healthy resources to do this?
(1) You need to connect to your strongest ability. This is explained in the sefer Hakarah Atzmis (Self-Recognition & Self-Actualization, currently being translated). Connecting to your strongest point will be the root how you will be healed. The root of the healing does not lay in the maladies you have developed, but in connecting to the good point (the strongest ability) in your soul. That will make you feel stronger, and then it will be easier for you to treat the painful thoughts/feelings that you encounter. (2) There are different ways of treating the soul and it is impossible to describe it here briefly and precisely. But, to be very general, connect to your strongest point and slowly peel away the bad parts that developed. “Remove evil, and do good.” (3) Refer to answer #1. Connect to your best ability, for that is the root of your vitality, and this is what will enable you to properly give and bestow upon another.