On second thought, it just occurred to me that there is a chance that she DOES know I am Zoe Strickman. I was just reading through my old posts, and I couldn't help to recognize hearing her words when I was reading mine. What does this mean? She was quoting me -- my words from this blog -- in our conversations and I did not even realize it. Perhaps she was testing me to see whether I would recognize that she found my blog. She also recently has guessed things about me out of the blue and I was taken aback by her keen observations.
Nevertheless, I cannot be sure of this and since she has been respectful enough not to undress me by telling me she knows about my blog, and since she has been respectful enough to keep my unspoken thoughts out of our conversations, I respect her for keeping my secrets safe. Between you and me, one more secret is that I love you.
I have been testing the waters whether to use the "L" word in our conversations. Between you and me, I have begun to feel it and I think of you all the time. Yet injecting yiddishkeit into this blog entry, we are not yet even engaged and we are still shidduch dating. I don't want to blow things out of the water by going too far too fast. Step by step.
One thing that I do take comfort in is the congruence between the Zoe Strickman character that I have created here in the internet world and my real identity. When I started this blog over a year ago, I felt that there were parts of me which I couldn't talk about in public. There were also viewpoints about yiddishkeit and my learning disabilities that embarassed me, among other things I dealt with over the past year. When I started blogging, there was my blog identity -- and then there was my public identity -- two separate people. I always thought that the Zoe character was more me than the me I was in real life. But thankfully over the past few months, I feel that "Zoe" and "I" have come together and now we are the same person both on the internet and in real life.
Interestingly enough, my friends have even noticed the difference. One close friend commented last week that they were impressed how I've changed over the past few years and how I've become more relaxed and more confident. Interestingly enough, against my desires, my closest friends have not yet found this blog because they stopped looking for it after I put my old blog back up with my real information on it. Four of you have actually found it.
Nevertheless, the most interesting point of my life which has experienced growth is my understanding of my anger towards my father. Today, my mother and I had a conversation about him and she was defending him saying that despite his faults, he is still a good person with a good heart. I sharply interrupted her and said, "NONSENSE. WE ALL KNOW WHAT HE DID WHEN YOU AND HIM GOT DIVORCED." In all senses of the word -- even from a legal definition -- my father was (and still IS) a Deadbeat. I'm not sure if I ever blogged about this. While I knew about this during my youth, namely that he hid his income so that he could avoid paying child support, it was only a hunch which was confirmed a few months ago when my dad asked me for legal advice to sue his employer for withholding money from his paycheck that he owed to him over the years. His boss recently paid him $20,000 cash, and an additional $30,000 of money that was owed to him. When I asked him where this money was coming from, he slipped and said, "this is the money that was left over from the child support..." then when he realized what he said, he stopped mid-sentence. I made sure to stay cool and calm, but we both realized what he said.
I won't go too deep into this, but in short, my father didn't pay his child support when my parents got divorced. Further, he hid his income and lied to the judge about his employment status claiming he was unemployed when he was working off of the books. The judge believed him and awarded child support of $25 each week to me, and he didn't even pay that. My mom worked many jobs just to keep us going. Again, this is a painful subject for me, but bottom line, over the year I have come to understand my anger towards my father. Keep in mind that my anger is not limited to what he did when I was a child. We won't even talk about the beatings or the neglect that we all experienced at his hands when we were younger. We won't even talk about the mental problems he has always had but won't admit to. We won't even talk about the current condition of the home that I agreed to live in to save money while in law school. We won't talk about the lack of furniture in our house, and we won't talk about the mess that I tolerate every day even though it saps my energy and I pray every day to get out of here. We also won't talk about the many promises he has made both financially and otherwise (in accordance with I took action and was on many cases left hanging) that have not and never will be kept. Don't get me started.
My point is that I feel that I have come a long way since I started writing this blog. You have all helped me so much by giving me feedback, calling me on my often stupid conclusions, and by supporting me when I was down. Although I will never be able to thank you the way I would like to, you all have my gratitude for being here with me while all these things have been occuring.