Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dealing with Fear

This was supposed to be the post about Shmulik's wedding - yes, it was a few days ago. I didn't write about it in advance, having heard all these horror stories of criminals who troll the Internet to find out which houses will be empty. I was going to post pictures of the amazing evening, of the beautiful couple and more. Soon, I'll do that...but first this.

Passover is coming to Israel in just over a week. It's a major holiday with a huge amount of preparation. Israeli stores start stocking the special kosher for Passover foods two weeks before the holiday begins. I went shopping with Elie this morning to buy the first wave of canned and dry goods. Elie came over to the shopping carts and showed me something he wanted to buy.

"It's a window alarm," he said, "for Aliza's room. She'll feel safer this way."

It's been weeks since the terrorist attack and still Aliza, perhaps like many Israeli children, continues to cope with the fear that terrorists will come into her house and hurt her. She has no faith that her parents will protect her. After all, Tamar Fogel's parents couldn't protect her baby sister and two younger brothers, so she is afraid.

We blocked off her window, shutting the shutters against the view in the backyard because she was afraid. I gave her a small light to sleep with - and still she was afraid. We tried talking to her, reasoning with her, nothing.

Since Shmulik just got married - the post I keep meaning to make - we've had a shuffle of rooms. Elie moved to Shmulik's old room; Aliza moved upstairs and is now happily sleeping in Elie's room. She is less frightened, but insists on locking the door every night. We have secretly put a key to her door just outside in case we need to get inside quickly but she doesn't feel secure any other way.

She sleeps with a night light - something she has never done before, and now she has a window alarm. I am worried about this, but everyone seems to think she will get over it soon and for now, indulging her fear is better than forcing it away before she is ready.

I've dealt with my own fears and worries. They are not nearly as upsetting as those of a child. Slowly, somehow, we will deal with this but there is a slow burning anger in side of me that a child has to grow up with this kind of fear.


Sirene said...

Well, maybe you really should install an alarm in the house???

Problem is: how to deal with it on shabbes...???

Naomi Litvin said...

I am so sorry that your beautiful family must live in fear. Keep up the burning anger because that is what we need. We need the anger as our ammunition. Please G-d protect A Soldier's Mother and her family.

Anonymous said...

Not just an alarm. Get her a dog. A dog that will be allowed to sleep on her bed, or under the window. A dog from one of the breeds that is known for its fierce protectiveness of its human 'family'. The sort of dog that will leap at a knife-or-gun-wielding jihadist and grab his hand and not. let. go.

(advice from an Aussie who reads this blog regularly)

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