Dear Dr. Zionstein:
I am writing to get some help for my husband, who has a terribly explosive temper. He can get extremely violent on a moment's notice, for no reason at all, and gets into a homicidal rage when I talk about my past and how I would like to have that part of my life back.
Wait, maybe I should back up and explain since the man in my house is not per se, my "husband", whom I'll call "Bennie."
Although we have been together for 60 years now, we weren't married in the traditional sense. "Bennie" and a gang of his marauding buddies broke into my parent's house back in 1948.
They proceeded to beat my family and trash out the house. They killed my mother, father and brother and repeatedly raped me and my older sister, then killed her too and told me if I knew what was good for me, I'd shut up.
Being only nine years old at the time, I was too scared and too small to try and defend myself from these acts of brutality.
The most violent of that gang took me as his share of the possessions they looted from my parent's house and the rest, they were more than glad to take what little jewelry and money my family had.
His murderous buddies took off and went rampaging thru the neighborhood, slaughtering my friends and relatives like they were sheep, while my "husband", after he had raped me for the second time, beat on me until I lost consciousness.
When I came to, the house had been painted over and made to look like some foreign being was now inhabiting my parent's house.
For the next 60 years, this savage of a man has been raping me on a consistent and regular basis and making threats that if I go to the authorities, he'll kill more members of my family.
To make his point, he and his thuggish friends go out and murder relatives and neighbors and use bulldozers to crush their homes, often with the inhabitants trapped inside.
To make matters worse, we are still living in my parent's home and the memories are a bitter cup to drink.
I want this man out of my life, but since my religion forbids me to kill anyone, do you have any suggestions as to how to get out of this toxic relationship?
P.S. Please don't say go to the police. They have been corrupted and bought off by "Bennie" and his buddies, by converting the possessions they have stolen from my parents, relatives and friends into shekels and buying off the police.
Battered in Bethlehem
You shameless hussy! To talk that way about your dearly beloved as if he was some type of rabid animal shows your amazing lack of understanding of your situation.
You should get down on your knees, you should, for this man and be thankful that he has come into your life, bringing pizzazz and glamour into your once dull existence.
I receive thousands of these pathetic letters like yours each year and usually, don't even bother to answer, the letters I don't. But to set the record straight on this type of grumbling, I chose to answer your letter so that others will finally realize they are living in the best of both worlds and should get on with their life and stop trying to rectify the past wrongs, not that their were any of you fallen types wronged in the first place.
Your past memories are some type of manifest delusion, that you have dredged up to fulfill some type of sadistic fantasy involving being captured and raped by strong, masculine types.
Even if your story was true, and I'm not saying it is, I'm not, do you truly believe that after 60 years, anyone cares about your situation or will come to your rescue?
Here's my suggestions on what to do:
First, every time you see your husband, tell him how brave and strong he is and what a great lover this man is, tell him. Appeal to his sense of pride and vanity, by appealing to his virility.
Let him know that he and he alone, is the only in one on your life and that your entire existence depends upon his munificence.
Next, convert to Judaism, so the one true G-d, Jehovah, will forgive you for being so disdainful of your truly generous husband.
That doesn't mean you will get to attend our synagogues, no, that is not allowed for heathens such as yourself. But converting and wearing some type of bauble, like the Star of David, around your neck, will symbolize to your man and the world that you have finally given up your past hurts--not that they happened, I'm saying--and are ready to become one with your caring and loving husband.
Finally, always act subservient to your loving and generous husband. He and he alone is the sole arbiter of whether or not you live to see another day--I'm not saying he's violent, I'm not--and as such, you need to learn your place in the world by submitting completely to his will.
Faithfully follow this advice and I assure you, that soon, you will be able to live to see the sunrise many more times.
P.S. If you know what's good for you, you'd best have my jewelry polished and supper ready when I arrive home or else.
Didn't that month long stay in the hospital teach you ANYTHING? Another black eye to compliment the one you already have, is maybe what you need!
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