Efrat was a very successful and beautiful girl who was always at the center of the social scene – everyone wanted to be her friend. She married at a relatively young age to a friend who she’d hung around with for five years. Their married life together revealed a man who seemed to have nothing in common with the person she’d known prior to their marriage. The physical and verbal abuse began one short month after the wedding. At first, she refused to believe that the person she loved so much could behave like this, but then reality hit her. After a whole year of suffering long and difficult nights, Efrat decided to take the plunge and leave the house.
The divorce was not long in coming, but that’s first when a whole new set of challenges began. Efrat was diagnosed with bipolar disorder that shattered whatever self-confidence had remained after the abuse. She became obsessive and believed that the whole world was against her. Disquiet and confusion accompanied her everywhere. Michal, a close friend who was like a sister, accompanied her to Bayit Cham’s mental health clinic where Efrat joined support groups for recovery and self-advocacy. She learned to differentiate between reality and her distorted interpretations and thoughts.
One of the first jobs Efrat received was to accompany girls like herself in recovery who were sent to volunteer in nursing homes. She helped these young women, who until now had been the recipients of assistance, to discover their strengths and their ability to give of themselves to others. In helping them, Efrat discovered her leadership skills and her ability to cope with unexpected crises at work.
She points to this as her turning point in the rehabilitation process which began with Bayit Cham’s supported employment coaching – a program that is included in Israel’s Ministry of Health rehabilitation benefits for people with mental illness. Bayit Cham helped Efrat to discover her strengths and abilities which restored her self-confidence; she now saw herself as a person who had so much to contribute to others.
Today, Efrat writes songs and poems, her joy of living was renewed and she feels loved.
Efrat wants to convey an important message: Break out of confinement and succeed in wherever and however you are allowed to express yourself! Let life lead you to fascinating places and know how to distinguish reality from interpretation and fantasy.
יוני נכנס לחדר הורים לאט ובשקט… הוא לא רצה שאמא תשמע אפילו את נעלי הקרוקס שלו…
“שתישן …” חשק את שפתיו. מזמן יודע יוני שהשינה מיטיבה עם אמא.
“אבל היום… היום אמא הבטיחה שתקח אותי לים. הלכתי בעצמי לחנות ובחרתי גלגל ים אדום,” מלמל יוני לעצמו… ויצא מהחדר.
היה זה הטיול הראשון אותו הבטיחה אוסנת, אימו של יוני, בחופשת הקיץ הארוכה… והנה הגיע השעה המיועדת והיא ישנה ….