One Single Mother’s Story
S. is a neighbor of mine who has struggled a great deal in her life. She grew up in an orphanage and at the age of 18 she married a man who abused her emotionally and physically. This past summer she got divorced, but right now she is struggling to provide the basic needs (food, clothing, heating etc.) for her four young children ages 3 through 9.
Please help to brighten up her family’s Purim by donating Matanot l’Evyonim to them this year. You can read a letter that S. wrote about her life story below…
I will be turning 29 next month. The youngest of 4 siblings, I was born to parents who were ill and unable to function.
At the age of 3 I was removed from my home and placed in an orphanage where I grew up. My father died when I was only 10. And my mother was left extremely ill and unable to function.
My childhood wasn’t easy at all. When I came home during vacations, there would be nothing at all to eat. My relationship with my mother was always very weak since she was ill physically and emotionally. So I wandered from family to family in an attempt to find food and survive.
When I was 18, I married my husband through a shidduch in hopes that I would finally arrive in the Promised Land and that I would establish a home different from the one I had grown up in, but what had seemed like a rosy dream quickly exploded.
My husband began hitting the children, and verbally abused me and my four small children. He didn’t work regularly, and brought in almost no money to support the family.
Over the course of those ten years of marriage I tried to stand on my own two feet so that I wouldn’t fall into a bad situation. For all those years I worked and I tried to make do with little. But unfortunately our debts began to grow, and I felt like I was in a situation that I could no longer bear.
7 months ago my mother suffered a very bad stroke, and since then she has been hospitalized. She is in terrible condition and is in need of assistance to breathe or move or eat since the left side of her body is completely paralyzed.
During those difficult and stormy days when my mother hovered between life and death, my marriage also descended into a difficult crisis and terrible violence. I was forced to get a distancing order against my husband and file for divorce.
Today I am hanging in there, day by day. I am raising my four children ages 3, 6, 8, and 9, on my own. My husband doesn’t pay child support and doesn’t pay for anything. And the weight of supporting this family and paying all our expenses falls on me. I was forced to leave my job as an office manager since my work included evening shifts. And I don’t have anybody who can help me with the children.
At this time I am trying with all my strength and energy to return to a normal way of life. I am looking for work that will suit my needs as a single mother, and at the same time I am looking for an apartment to rent that will be cheaper than where I am living now.
I hope for better days when all of this will be behind me and I will be able to stand again on my own two legs as I once did. And also in order that I will be able to give my children a better future.