Rochel Spangenthal is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and writer from North Carolina. At a young age, Rochel’s family made the transition to a religious lifestyle, becoming Baalei Teshuva and joining the Chabad community.
Rochel took her religious responsibilities seriously, determined to be the perfect daughter and student and aspired toward a relationship with a man befitting her religious status. She was scrupulous in her Torah observance, carefully maintaining her distance from men as she sought a “good” shidduch (match).
As an adult, Rochel experienced sexual assault and began questioning everything: herself, her relationship with G-d, her status as a religious Jew, her future and any future relationships. She believed she was “ruined.” Rochel was told she had to hide her story and be ashamed of what had happened to her so that it wouldn’t impact her reputation and her shidduch chances.
In this episode, Rochel relates how her experience launched the beginning of her journey toward growth and healing. She talks about how she shared her story with others, and the reactions she received as a result. Now, Rochel has integrated her story into who she is today and uses it to drive herself forward. She has learned that she has an untouchable, innate purity regardless of her circumstances.
“Bad things happen and we can’t go back, but we can choose how we go forward,” she concludes.
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/neshamos-podcast/support