2 Kislev 5778 / Monday, November 20, 2017 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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Stalked to Emuna    

Stalked to Emuna

I choose to be a warrior –and to let go of fear. I did my job. Hashem is in control. I am grateful for this moment; after all, it only happens once...


Just a couple days after receiving my first Breslev CD from a friend, I tossed it in the recycling bin. The last thing I needed was a man’s voice echoing in my car, repeating a verse about how everything comes from Hashem. To me, that was obvious. Everything comes from Hashem. Hashem is good. The world revolved around love and goodness. What was this Breslev all about? I figured that maybe Breslev helped people who grew up thinking Hashem was some vengeful monster. Whatever it was, I thought I was fine without it. Clearly, I had no idea that but a year later, Breslev’s teachings would become a guiding light of transformation in my life.


Much like the first article that I almost never wrote, I began this assignment by backing out, but then emuna called my name, asking me to open my heart again –and I returned to typing about how emuna became the springboard of my healing in the aftermath of a major life trauma.


It all started over four years ago, when some stranger picked me out from a crowd to become his next prey, a stalking victim. I had just moved to the area two months prior. I had yet to make solid friendships. As eerie objects and messages were left on my vehicle over the next several months, I was alarmed. I did my best to think positively, shrugging off the first signs, assuming that it must be some teenagers down the street. It was not stopping though, and it was only happening to me! I told my family, and they said to ignore it, and then blamed me for talking to strangers. They had no clue! I made it a point to not talk to anyone other than a few people. The last thing that I wanted to be was that dumb girl in the horror stories that ends up trusting the sadistic creeper, the criminal.


To my horror, I ended up being that foolish girl and felt utterly ashamed of not catching on to the stalker from the start. Yet, how could I have known that this person was lying to me? Plus out of at least tens of thousands of strangers that I have met in my life, it was not my fault that this one happened to want to hurt me, albeit not even knowing that that was what he was doing. He was living in another world. Even in the courthouse, he was lost to the meaning of the word “No.” Trust me, I tried everything before getting the legal system involved. All the “think good and it will be good” put me in deeper danger, and down a deeper well. Only after taking a women’s self-defense course and speaking to a victims’ advocate did I get a glimpse of the lurking danger that had unfolded. She was right about the suspect, and she was right there with me every step of the way as I got a protection order from the judge. Hashem was there all along too!


Getting that protection order took countless tears and countless prayers, and Hashem paved my way all along. Before getting to the point of fighting back to protect myself, I tried every way possible to be happy and believe that thinking good thoughts was enough to create a shield. As I prayed more, begging for Hashem’s help, I had no clue that standing up for myself was the right thing to do here. Hashem forced me to find the truth in my soul.


For the first time in my life, I had to call on law enforcement to help me push out darkness. It was the last thing that I wanted to do. I was all too willing to move to another home, but I could not afford it. For years I was fighting an anonymous weight, and questioned my own sanity as my neighbors mocked me, and family blamed me. On top of that, even some police officers told me that they have seen worse, minimizing the threat to my life. Was it not their job to prevent crimes? So I continued advocating for myself, pushing back. Eventually the police took action, baruch Hashem, and the person had to face the repercussions.


Afterward, there was nothing I needed more than emuna, because when I looked back at those days, I realized how so often I ended up right where this sadistic, manipulative person wanted me to be, like some measly fly caught in a spider’s web. My transformation happened as I started internalizing emuna – and I realized that the only web here was Hashem’s, and it was all good!


Thinking about it, I realized that Hashem was offering me the life that I was praying for all this time! Hashem gave me the chance to earn my place! After years of choosing flight, now I was forced to fight. In the past, I often made friends with an unhealthy and controlling person. Although this person was not a good friend, she protected me from creepy strangers. I did not have to learn how to set boundaries because essentially I had none. Now that I was committed to breaking the cycle, Hashem tested me, propelling me into action! If I wanted to stand up on my own, then I was forced to face and fight fierce darkness, to the finish. If I did not defend myself, no one would. Suddenly I had no choice but to get out there and call on others to help in battle. It was not easy. It took over four years for things to come together, but together we did it. Thanks to everyone, now I feel the warmth of a new day.  I am not the same person that I was before this happened to me – and for that I thank Hashem!


Every day is now a victory! It feels so good to stroll around my home, fearlessly gazing up at the warm blue sky as I get the mail. Now I just stand there appreciating the moment, because I no longer have to race back into my house or car, terrified of being ambushed by the stranger on the loose. I choose emuna. I choose to be close to Hashem. I choose to silence the darkness.


I choose to be a warrior –and to let go of fear. I did my job. Hashem is in control. I am grateful for this moment; after all, it only happens once. The true web here was woven by Hashem, and Hashem’s still weaving each detail. It is all a blessing. It is all for my best. As this story comes to a close, I want to thank you for letting me do what I did not think I could accomplish just a few days ago. Thank you! Blessed is Hashem!


Best of all, thanks to emuna, now my heart is open again!

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