Being in Boro Park post-separation is an odd experience. The city that I have called home for almost eight years is now openly hostile territory. Part of the problem is that it's so small. The entire Boro Park/Flatbush area is only about 30 blocks by 20 blocks. Part of the problem is that Builder is connected. Very connected. I can't even go to the store without running into either one of my in-laws or one of his friends. Or both. (So far, I haven't run into him outside of his vehicle, and I'd like to keep it that way.) Usually, there is some awkward staring on each side, and we move on. In a way, it's kind of sad. As much as I've been tifrosh min hatzibur, I do genuinely like some of them. However, for obvious reasons, I couldn't tell them what was going on. I knew they would take Builder's side. I have changed synagogues to avoid stalking, so a lot of people have now disappeared from my life.
But there is another side to that.
Because I no longer have Builder and his expectations of what good Jewish wives do breathing down my neck, I'm coming more into my own. I'm getting out more. I can spend more time with my allies without worrying about getting the third degree. I can even create a Facebook page for my blog without worrying that it will get back to him. I can make whatever I want. Once my future is a little bit more certain, I want my children to know what real freedom is. And, I can enjoy them more now.