Rewriting history and refusing to take responsibility
We all know someone who either rewrites history or refuses to take responsibility. These two traits are good friends because they often “work together”. Few of us can deal with people who behave in this way because they are eternally in denial.
New immigrants who failed in their immigration dream
For the purposes of this article, I will divide new immigrants into two categories. The first category is those who made aliyah and remained in Israel. The second, much smaller, category is those who didn’t succeed in the immigration process and returned to their country of origin, along with bad memories.
I am sure most of us know someone who, for some reason, went back – gave up on the dream. I speak to many people who fit into this category, both before they leave (in the process of trying to help them stay) and even after they have left Israel.
Most stories are the same. They blame the bureaucracy, the Israelis, the tax authorities, the banks and the credit card companies. In short, they blame the entire world. They refuse to consider their own wrongdoing, their bad judgment, their impatience, etc. They are certain they did everything right and Israel failed them.
Sometimes, I admit, there is no one to be blamed but the circumstances. Sometimes it is just life – and life is full of surprises.
We can’t generate miracles
Time always works against those who are in trouble. When approached by new immigrants who are struggling, therefore, I always give them high priority because I know time is the most important factor.
We can’t perform miracles and unfortunately, as I’ve written before, people who are having difficulties look for help at a late stage, when they are desperate and deeply involved in debt, when they are in trouble with the authorities, have legal problems, have committed criminal acts, or when their family has already fallen apart.
There is always a point of no return – when people get stuck in Israel without the possibility of leaving, either because of debt or because of children in a custody dispute or emigration case where there is a ban on taking them out of the country (“Tsav ikuv letsia min haAretz”).
Time is of the essence when dealing with problems; working as a team together with one’s family is essential. An emigration case involving children is much more intricate and problematic.
The denial and the divorce
Harry and Sally knew they were meant for each other. They were deeply in love and they married six months after meeting for the first time.
This was a first marriage for each of them, but they were no longer “young” and decided not to have children.
Harry was the kind of man that most women love. He was a good guy, charming, smart and sharp; but he had his faults. Actually, he had a few problems that Sally tried from the very beginning to ignore.
Sally was a beautiful woman with a good heart, a great sense of humor, kind and giving. She was also needy. Harry was in love with her, knowing they could complete each other. Sally hoped that Harry would fulfill all her needs.
They divorced ten years after they met, for reasons neither of them really understood and, in the space of a few short months, they became strangers. Harry didn’t know Sally anymore and Sally couldn’t fathom the reasons she had married him.
They fought mainly about money issues. While Sally’s family was wealthy, Harry came from a poor family and each had an entirely different approach to money. However, what concerns us is how they saw the past from where they were at that point.
Sally reminded Harry that she had had to support him during their years together and suggested that he was now taking advantage of her because she was rich! Harry could not explain or even have a normal conversation with her because they were speaking two different languages. They no longer understood each other.
Sally informed Harry that when she had met him, ten years earlier, he hadn’t known how to dress, hadn’t worn nice clothes or good shoes, “But now,” she would say, “you’re so well dressed. It’s all from me; I made it possible; I taught you.” Harry was deeply hurt but would not respond or remind her that when he met her she had dressed like a poor woman, in old clothes. Harry preferred not to remind her that for years they had shopped together until she finally learned how to dress well.
Sally forgot all about the jewelry Harry had bought her, the special gifts, the time they had enjoyed together. She blamed him for spending so much on vacations; vacations they had taken together. Harry was angry at her, telling her what a small person she was when, just a few months ago, he had placed her on a pedestal.
Don’t do it
Anger, pain and disappointment can cause people to rewrite history. Add bad and malicious advice to these factors and you will consider your partner the devil himself.
The person you loved, the country you admired, can’t be “turned into something else” because you are disappointed or angry. Your partner with whom you spent so many good years is still the same good man or woman (with very few exceptions).
Rewriting the facts and remaining in denial will not change the past or the facts; only obfuscate them – and harm your future and your good character.
Being hurt is not an excuse to hurt your soul mate or a reason to badmouth the country that welcomed you with open arms and gave you so much. We are bound to decency and “Hakarat Hatov”.
Edited by Freyda Abrams