Just recently, a young woman from Boro Park was taken from us. After living in pain for many years, and feeling the need to self-medicate, she unfortunately over-medicated and was, R”L, Niftar.

The following poem was compiled from texts, emails and conversations that Malky herself wrote and said over the years. A close family friend put it together it in a powerful and poetic way. It is the hope of the family that this would help people identify children struggling in their early ages, so that the proper help can be provided, and that the unbearable pain these children are going through would not lead them to feel a need to self-medicate to numb their pain. It should be a Zechus for her Neshama.

‘If only you cared, when I was fragile and scared’

This is a story about me,
Malky, of blessed memory,

I was always pure, with a learning disability,
Scholastic success came with much difficulty,
I had so many talents, unique to me,
Judging only by academics, I was marked a ‘C’.

My pure heart always wanted to share with humanity,
A kind word, a smile, filled with sensitivity,
to make people feel special, and treated with dignity,
That was the the person I wanted to be.

I had struggled many years alone, silently,
Most people didn’t know my challenges constantly,
To keep up with my class, I struggled daily,
Never giving up, I advanced incredibly,

I knew I’m not the best scholastically,
But does that negate my creativity?
Does that mean I’m worthless, without quality?
Should that ruin my dreams for all eternity?

Are academics the most integral part of being a wife?
Is that how most people get through life?
Do good grades help, in times of strife?
These feeling pierced my heart like a knife.

I was still fragile, working to keep the pieces together,
My 8th grade teacher, believed in me forever,
I was determined not to let her down altogether,
And promised to do my best, and even better.

Oh, but my teachers didnt know, I always tried my best,
Even when I didn’t get 100 on every test,
My disabilities separated me from all the rest,
I simply couldn’t fulfill every request,

Failure made me feel I wasn’t good enough, at least not yet,
Little did I know, hashem had limited my skill set,
Effort didn’t count, teachers goals I had not met,
But I did my best, there’s not one shred of regret,

Time for high school, I was hoping to do well,
And break my previously haunting spell,
I tried so hard, but soon my heart fell,
When I was expelled from school, with no good reason to tell,

I was so embarrassed, I’d hide home all day long,
Wearing my school uniform, without feeling that I belong,
Do I deserve this humiliation? Had I done something wrong?
I begged and I pleaded, but the schools rejection was very strong!!

When after three months, one school had pity on me,
from my prison, I was finally set free,
I was determined to prove, I’ll get my degree,
And finally find my place in humanity,

My parents got me all the help I needed to achieve,
In me they always did believe,
After a long day in school, not really grasping,
I sat all evening with tutors to help me with understanding,

It was like going to two schools in one year,
Finally I buckled, it was too much to bear,
the subjects that were so simple for the rest of my grade,
Took me hours to complete, with enormous amount of aid,

Although I was doing well, I still felt dejected,
I stopped caring, and my grades I neglected,
If this is the only way not to be rejected,
This is not the life choice I had elected,

I passed the point of fragile, Now I was broken, beyond repair,
Like the plate of the ‘tena’im’ they break on a chair,
I started feeling and thinking life isn’t fair,
How could it be? Where do I go from here,

Without many details; for years I went on searching,
For a place where I’m appreciated my soul was yearning,
It may be something other than learning,
But at least I’ll have a reason to get up every morning,

I was so scared to try new things, for fear that I’d fail,
My confidence was shattered, belief in myself very frail,
the special talents I had, remained suppressed,
Failure was an area that I didn’t want to invest,

The love my parents gave me was unconditional and true,
How I appreciated their acceptance, I made sure they really knew,
It gave me the determination to want to heal,
And live a productive life, one that is real,

The struggles I went through may seem to you as negligent,
But I assure you, the way it looked, that’s not what it meant,
For when one is in such pain, in a constant descent,
Escaping those feelings, is life’s rent,

The amount of times I fell, and stood up tall,
That’s because my parents, I could always call,
I was young, but not strong enough to walk without a fall,
When I felt my future blocked by a BIG wall!

I had my special connection with Hashem, I knew he was there,
Even when I didn’t understand, my life very unclear,
My parents knew, I felt Hashem near,
That I was a thinker, you may not be aware,

Don’t judge a book by its cover,
We simply need to understand one another,
Show respect and value for who they really are,
Even you! Even you, need recognition to shine your own star,

The story I’m telling is not just my own,
So many children in this pit are thrown,
The dark abyss is what they see as their own,
Shame, degradation and rejection is why they moan,

In honor of my neshama, please make a change,
And stop judging all within range,
Try to feel another persons pain, think what their going through,
Don’t look at the surface, how it looks to you,

We aren’t all gifted with the same talents,
And we don’t all share the same set of parents,
But to hashem we are too precious to miss,
To each of us he gives, a unique life purpose,

Am Yisroel is a nation that should be a unit of one,
Sharing the burden of suffering, second to none,
The willingness to help and support is readily there,
If we only stop for a moment, to observe, to listen and to hear,

In Tragedy We see Am Yisroel, how they get together,
As a team, any storm they will weather,
Realize, these children too aren’t looking to cause us pain,
Understand them as a tragedy, simple and plain,

Don’t criticize their parents as failures, and say it’s their fault,
Their reward for suffering, is locked in a special vault,
Let’s care about each other’s problems, as if it’s our own,
Then the real ‘Ve’ahavta Kamocha’ will be shown,

If only your cared, when I was fragile and scared,
I wouldn’t be broken, these words would be unspoken!!