In this post, I want to talk about my safe places that include: Sde Boker, Midreshet Ben Gurion, and Palmachim. These are the places where I grew up and feel safe and know that I am accepted for who I am. I feel like I can release my tics without any fear of what people will say.
As I look at the course of my life, I realize that most of my life I have lived in Midreshet Ben Gurion and Ramat Negev. Besides the four years that I used to live in Nitzana, most of my life was in the Midreshet Ben Gurion area. We moved to Midreshet Ben Gurion in 1990 when I was 12, and I have lived my last 26 years in Ramat Negev. I can say that I am more a Midreshet Ben Gurion local than Palmachim.
I still have family and friends in Palmachim that I see when I go on holidays and at a family gathering. My friends, I usually see on special occasions, and I don’t see a lot, but every time that I see them, it feels like I never left and always on my birthday they write warm greetings in Facebook. I am blessed with great friends.
I remember that when we left Palmachim, we came to Midreshet Ben Gurion as a temporary place, but we are still in the Negev. I love this place and the quiet of the Negev. There is open space and full uncharted areas. What I like most in this area is the quiet and the “desert time” that means that everything is relaxed and there is no rush. It’s like driving on Road 40 and just enjoying the road without any rush to go somewhere. I loved growing up in Midreshet Ben Gurion and when we arrived it was a small place with a small community where everyone knew everyone. Today it’s huge, and I don’t know a lot of people. I still love the place and have a lot of friends that I meet with every time that I go there. Also, there are places to hang out, like Juma that is a great pub or the Canaania with its amazing sandwiches and coffee. I know the people that run both sites. I am a regular customer and they already know me and treat me like a VIP. I go every week to Juma on Thursday for a beer and a pizza or hamburger. I also go to the Canaania once every week or two. When I go there, I feel relaxed and know that if my Tourette will raise its head, they will accept it and will help if needed. They won’t make a commotion about it. I also feel there that everything is okay and I can think and see things. I feel there safe and relaxed and that I can take on all the challenges and it’s a place that I feel like all my worries are gone away. I feel that I am in a safe location and nothing will hurt me.
I came to Kibbutz Sde Boker three years ago after Nitzana because I wanted a better social life and I also started working at the schools in Ramat Negev. I wanted a place with better transportation and which would be at the center of Ramat Negev, so I had a choice between Kibbutz Sde Boker or Tlalim. I chose Kibbutz Sde Boker mainly because it is still a kibbutz-like Palmachim was before the privatization. I think that it will also happen here, but I hope that it will take a long time.
Right away I found a warm community and friends that accepted me for who I am. They look beyond my Tourette and accept me as Edan. For that, I am grateful every single day and I don’t take it for granted. I have here a rich social life, and I try to be involved in all the activities and the life of the kibbutz, including the committees of the holidays.
I must admit and be honest that for a few months I felt like an outsider and I had trouble going into the dining room and to the social gatherings. But luckily I found, after a very short while, a few friends in my neighborhood that made the transition easier and helped me gain more friends. Also, going to the pub in the kibbutz was much easier because people knew me and looked beyond the Tourette. I am relaxed, and if the Tourette raises its head, it is okay.
I think that after my first year I saw it as my home and my safe place where I feel free to be myself, for all that it means, with the Tourette. I know that I can be myself and not fear the reaction of the community. They accept me as I am and I grateful for it every day.
I am sure that I have found my place where I want to live my life, and that is in Kibbutz Sde Boker and the Ramat Negev regional council. I feel safe and relaxed, and I know that I can be myself and I am not afraid that people will see my Tourette and my OCD. I have incredible support and friends both in Kibbutz Sde Boker and in Midreshet Ben Gurion that I know that I can count on and I have a great social life. I consider Kibbutz Sde Boker as my home and the place where I want to live and settle down.