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  2. Memoirs of a lost soul

    I am a survivor of sexual violence and this is my story! I was born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I am a product of divorce and I have one brother, a half sister and a step brother. I was a happy child until I was 7 years old...... When I was 7 years old my great uncle started following me into my grandmas basement where I would play on her computer. He would sit beside me with his hands down my pants pretending to help me play games.. He would never say anything while he molested me... Not a word it just happened..or maybe he did talk to me and I just blocked it all out.... When he would hear someone coming down the stairs he would pull his hands out of my pants and tell me he would be right back... I hated being down there with him and after a while I gained the courage to stay upstairs when visiting my Grandma so the molestation would stop. When my Grandma asked why I didn't want to go down stairs anymore I told her that Uncle was creepy. She told me that he was mentally challenged and that he would never do anything to hurt me. Boy was she wrong!!! Turns out my great uncle molested my mother when she was younger as well. After the abuse he started asking me for hugs I never wanted to touch him, but my Grandma would insist and I did not want to disappoint her. When I was 10 years old my Uncles girlfriend who was 19 years old at the time use to babysit me and my brothers. She was such a cool person until she started making us watch porn and look at dirty magazines. It was the weirdest porn too! She would google Simpsons porn and Disney porn thinking that since we were kids we would like it better. At first I thought to myself "right on she is so cool letting us watch this sort of thing!" But eventually it started to make me feel very uncomfortable. Thank goodness my older step brother told my dad and we were never allowed over there again. It was such a relief!! At the age of 12 I had a crush on my step brothers best friend. I wanted him to like me so bad, but one day when he slept over he snuch into my room and he sexually violated me when I was sleeping. He started rubbing my vagina and fondling my chest. It woke me up, but I froze and pretended to sleep. I am so ashamed that I never stopped it. I was scared that if I woke up he would get into trouble and he would not be allowed to hang out with my brother. The same thing happened to me by my neighbor a few months after when I was at sleepover party. He tried to put his hands down my pants when I was sleeping, but this time I woke up and was able to stop him. Now that I look back at the situation I consider it a small victory and a glimpse of what ever self respect I had left at the time. By 13 I trusted no one in my life because everyone close to me either betrayed me by letting people molest me after I told them what happened or they tried to exploit and abuse me themselves. When I would visit my dad on weekends my stepmother would continuously tell me that I dressed too provocatively, I looked like a sl*t, I was going to be promiscuous and become just like my mother. All the negative comments took a toll on my self esteem, I became depressed and started to act just like my mother. Let me tell you a little about my mother: She was the product of incest. Her mother and her father where cousins. She was molested as a child and she was criticized everyday at school for being inbred. One night to numb her pain she got so wasted that she blacked out and ended up cheating on my father. They divorced when I was 5 years old. The divorce was the straw that broke my mothers back. She began to drink like a fish, do drugs heavily and sleep with anyone who would give her the time of day. There was always creepy men in our house. One day my mom met a man who beat her to a pulp and then raped her while her children were in the house. She charged him and he went to jail. He was sentenced to 2 years in jail. I remember the day she was assaulted and I remember the day the police called her to let us know he was back on the streets. I never felt safe anywhere after he was released. After her assault and rape she met a man online. She took us to Vancouver Island where I was forced to babysit 5 kids at the age of 12 in a strange house and place that I knew nothing about. That night they went to the bar and the house I was babysitting in was robbed. To protect the children in the house I hid us all in a room upstairs locked the door and turned off the lights. After about an hour of rummaging through the house the robbers left. When my mom and the man got back she was so drunk that she could barely stand. The man took her upstairs and I could hear them having sex. When I turned 13 years old I met this a girl my age on a trip to see family. She introduced me to two 19 year old boys. While they where at the place I was staying one of the boys stole $300 from my suitcase with out me knowing. They ended up using my money to buy drugs and alcohol. I wanted to numb the pain I felt inside so I decided to get drunk! We hitched hike to an old school bus that the boys converted into a house. While we were there I was almost raped by one of the 19 year olds, but luckily I was spared and he only put his hands down my pants. My friend wasn't as lucky and the other boy raped her in front of us. In the morning the boys kicked us out of the bus and made us hitch hike home alone and hungover. When we arrived back to the place I was staying at I discovered that all my hard earned money was gone and I had to phone my mom to tell her I was robbed. I left everything else out knowing I was in the wrong and that it was my fault that this had happened to me. I ended up losing my virginity at 14 years old to a 18 year old boy who pressured me into having sex with him. We had sex in my Grandmas house when she was at Bingo. He didn't tell me he had a girlfriend at the time. He lied to both of us by telling her I was his cousin and telling me she was his cousin. He took both our virginities that summer and I regret giving it to him because he didn't deserve it. As soon as I turned 15 I started lying about my age telling boys that I was 17 years old so that I was allowed to consent to sex. I believed that lieing about my age some how made me feel better about myself. I honestly didn't know what normal behavior of a 15 year old girl was suppose to be. I just thought sex was normal and that's all I was good for. That's all anyone ever wanted from me. I was desperately looking from love in all the wrong places. Thinking that if I found it I would feel whole again. When I moved in with my Grandmother at 15 I met a boy my age and we were together for 6 years. We were both young and raised by dysfunctional families. His mom was a crack dealer and her boyfriend was a very scary man. He once held a lady hostage with a shot gun in the basement while we where in the house. Eventually the Emergency Response Team caught wind and they raided the house, but instead of treating us like victims when they broke down the door they pointed guns in our face, tackled me to the ground and drug me through the snow with no shoes on. At the time I was only 16 years old. I didn't even know what was going on in the house. From that moment on I couldn't trust the police to protect me. They treated me like I was the one holding that lady hostage when in reality I had no idea until after the fact. They kept me in a cell and refused to feed me or let me talk to anyone until I told them what happened in the basement. When I was 19 years old we had a beautiful baby daughter. Her father told me to get an abortion and told me he never wanted to have kids. From that moment on the relationship was doomed as we were not ready for this much responsibility. The stress of having a child lead to our break up a year later. A week after the break up I decided to go to the bar to look for a rebound. Little did I know I was going to receive the rebound that could have ended my life. I was date raped by two men who drugged my drink. They took me from the bar and then brutally raped me in the middle of no where in a trailer on a mountain. One of the men strangled me until I would black out and hit me in the face while yelling at me to pee on him. I tired to, but couldn't. He threw me in a shower and started spraying me in the face with water. I tried to give him what he wanted so that he would stop hurting me, but I couldn't. He turned the water off, spit in my face and left the room. His friend entered the room after he left, pulled me out of the shower and raped me as well. When they were done with me I didn't know what to do, I was so traumatized. In a panic I decided to put my clothes back on and I walked over to the first guy, gave him a hug and told him "I had a great time." It was the hardest thing I ever had to say. But by doing that they decided to drove me into town where they left me to find my way home. It took me forever to find out where I lived. I never told anyone what happened to me. The next weekend I was out with friends and I saw the same two men who raped walk into the bar. I froze and the flashbacks started! I felt lost, discouraged and I didn't know what to do with my life. I became so severely depressed from being raped and abused most of my life that I made the awful decision to sell my body. I felt as if this was the only way that I could support my daughter and my alcohol addiction while coping with the trauma. My self worth was at an all time low as I started meeting men online without anyone knowing. I figured that the sexual abuse in my life was never going to stop, so I decided I might as well give them what they wanted and make some money doing it! During this time I was introduced to MDMA and Cocaine. It numbed my pain and I formed a bad habit. I told myself I would never do drugs, but I also didn't think I would ever be molested as a child and raped as a woman. My life was spiraling down hill and no one knew... I was so good at pretending everything was okay. I had to be strong for my daughter and the people around me. Everyone thought my life was perfect, but it was far from! While online I met many men who tried to coax me into pornography. They wanted to exploit me in any way they could. I kept refusing and promised myself that I would never go on film for my daughters sake. It was one of the best and hardest decisions that I ever made in my life. One of the men who tried to exploit me on film forced an object inside of my body when we were high on MDMA and I had to get it surgically removed. The man wouldn't even take me to the hospital after I begged him to. I had to call a so called friend to take me to the hospital to have it removed. My friend eventually raped me a few weeks after the incident when I was passed out in a hotel room during my friends birthday party. When I woke up the next morning I knew that I had sex and I asked him if it was with him. He said " Yes, I thought it was okay because we are friends" at 23 I was recruited by a pimp to join a brothel located in Kelowna, BC where he made me and numerous other girls sell our bodies to anyone who entered into the building. I was raped 4 times while working there and watched other girls endure the same abuse. I was also beaten, robbed and mentally abused by the girls, clients and the man running the brothel. By this point in my life I was completely broken and wanted to end my life. I considered suicide numerous times. I tried cutting myself and overdosing, but I just could not follow through with it. I had a daughter to live for! She meant everything to me and I wanted to break the cycle for her! Luckily I did not kill my self because when I turned 24 years old I met the man of my dreams. We fell deeply in love and he promised that he would protect me from all the toxic people who ever hurt me in my life. He made every one go away! I was able to get out of prostitution immediately with his help, but with leaving came a price. I was being sexually harassed for wanting out. Men would send videos they took of without know and they would message my husband saying things like "how could you marry a good for nothing hooker" ,"I hope you know who she use to be" they would threaten my life and the lives of people I loved. One man hunted my Grandmas address down and told me that I owed him sex for money he gave me to help pay my bills and if I didn't give it to him he was going to her house to hurt her. The stalking lasted for quite awhile and I could't understand why thee men would not let me go! 6 months after meeting the man of my dreams we were married. He continues to protect me from the demons of my past and he has taught me how to love and respect myself. Recovery is a hard road because I feel that I don't deserve to be happy or treated with dignity and respect. My road to recovery comes with a lot of baggage and it strains our relationship from time to time, but I let him know everyday how much he means to me and that I don't ever want to ever lose him! We now have a beautiful baby daughter together and he is an amazing step father to my first daughter. He has now made me feel worthy of self love and respect and we continue to grow together. I struggle everyday with the psychological, Physical and emotional effects my sexual trauma has caused. I still try to numb the pain with alcohol from time to time, but it makes my symptoms worse. Slowly I have quit drugs and now only smoke pot to help relieve my anxiety and depression. I have never talked to a professional nor have I ever shared my story because I am afraid to be judged and unloved. I feel that no one will believe what I have been through and they will think I brought this lifestyle on myself. For the record I did not choose to be raped, I did not choose be abused as a child and I did not I did not choose the consequences of this trauma and how it effected my ability to love myself . But I did choose to be a warrior! It is not an easy road, but it is sure in the hell better then the road I was on. I hope to one day live a sober life, so that I can feel free from the pain of the past... Volunteering has made a big difference in my life and I have volunteered for Lyme disease, the womens shelter, cancer, the city parade, the womens coalition, Christmas food hamper, youth groups and many other not for profit organizations. Giving back to my community has made a huge impact in my recovery and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help others in their time of need. One day I plan to create a youth program ran by survivors that will teach children how to use their voice when someone tries to abuse them in any way. It will offer a place for children to turn to when they have no where else to go or when no one believes their story. I want to call the program H.O.M.E ( Healing Our Minds Everyday) It has been almost 5 years since my abuse ended and I am now 29 years old. Ever since high school it was my dream to plan events and I have finally achieved that goal! My occupation is office manager and events coordinator of a successful family resort. This milestone would never have been reached without the support from my amazing husband, the love of my daughters and my will to survive!! I get to live the life I've always dreamed and I honestly would not change a thing. All the trauma and all the pain has made me who I am today! When you are in the midst of experiencing abuse and trauma you never believe it is going to get better and the violence becomes normal. I cannot be more grateful for my guardian angels who watched over me during my early years. They sent me my husband just in the nick of time! I would not be here today if he did not come along and teach me how to love myself. My goal is to help shed light on the ugly truth that sexual violence is more common then you think. I want to help other survivors end their silence by sharing my story in detail! The longer you stay silent the longer you will take to heal. The more we talk, the louder we will become and the louder we are the more people will listen! Thank you for taking the time to read my story! I am so grateful to be here today to share it with you all!
  3. Just saying hi

    Hi @CeeJay47 and welcome to AS! Sorry for the trauma that brought you here. Your right this is a friendly supportive caring place full of welcoming people who are happy to assit you in the healing process. It takes a lot of small steps to go a great distance but youve got this and the support to get there. Feel free to share as little or as much as you want at a comfortable speed for you. I am looking forward to seeing the progress you make. BraveOne
  4. Silent No More

    I started having flash backs about 10 years ago but blocked them out and told no one. but April 26,2018 was the day the movie of my life turned on in my head. I had gone to my little sisters to help her as requested by my father. It all came back when my sister started drinking and came unglued and I lost it. Called my husband and got in my car and left in the middle of the night to make the 800 mile trip home. My son got on the phone and talked me through getting on the freeway and headed home. I made it 2 hours and to a hotel. that is where I stayed trying to decide if it was worth living. I am alive. I made it home. And now I need to heal the best I can. My trauma has done harm to my Husband and my children. Until now I just did not know how much. Its time to tell my truth. The abusers be damned!
  5. Silent No More

    HI @Aerlyn, and welcome to AS! I am so sorry for the years of abuse and trauma you have endured. AS is a great place to start the healing process and your not alone here many of us have either waited to talk about the abuse, pushed it down and hid it away for years or couldnt talk about it at all with family or community. AS is a very supportive, kind and caring place filled with people from all manner of differnt backgrounds and trauma and abuse we come here to support care for and lift up others and get our needs met too, its a very safe place. Your free to share as little or as much as fast or slow as you want too. I am looking forward to seeing you around the forums. BraveOne
  6. Breaking the Silence

    Hey @Redness, welchome to AS. Youve found a very supportive site with lots of caring people. I am so sorry for the trauma you endured 5 years ago, your not alone in waiting to talk about it, I waited 10 years before I dealt with my struggles and I'm still dealing with them. You are free to share as little or as much as you want at a pace that is comfortable with you, I know this can feel a bit overwhelming at first. I'm glad you found us here and I am looking forward to seeing you around the forums. Your are worth the struggle and you can heal. BraveOne
  7. Still Smiling

  8. Still Smiling

  9. Breaking the Silence

    Thank you @pattyr. I did not know sites like this even existed! For once It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my chest. I cannot wait to get to know everyone. I finally feel like I belong somewhere!
  10. Silent No More

    Hello Aerlyn, Thank you for being so brave and sharing with us! I am new here too and have been waiting years to talk about what I've been through. The World needs more people to speak the truth about how mean people can be behind closed doors. We are all here to support one another and hopefully one day our voices will change the way the world views sexual abuse! I cannot wait to hear more! Stay strong!
  11. Breaking the Silence

    Welcome, @Redness, and I hope you find the support and learning you are looking for to heal. I think you will. It is a brave step to reach out and speak.
  12. Silent No More

    Welcome, @Aerlyn. I'm sorry you have needed to survive so many forms of abuse for that long, and I'm glad you did survive and are reaching out to a place where you will find support. You are brave to know what happened, and brave to speak about it. I know the feeling of wanting to "tell what no one wants to hear." I hope you will find the connection and healing that you are looking for. People here will listen.
  13. Breaking the Silence

    Hello everyone, I am new to AS and this is the first time that I have reached out for support online. I am hoping to connect with others who understand what I have gone through without judgment. I am also eager to hear the coping strategies that everyone uses on their road to recovery! It has been 5 years since I was abused and I am finally speaking about it! I look forward to meeting and chatting with all of you!
  14. Silent No More

    Hello Aerlyn, Welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry that you had to live through that and carry it for so long. It shows a tremendous amount of courage that you are reaching out and speaking your truth. I'm pretty new here too. I've found that the people here are always ready to rally around anyone who needs help. I am happy you are speaking here, and I hope aftersilence gives you the support, encouragement, and community you need. I think sharing your story will help others do the same. Bravery begets bravery, and courage breeds courage.
  15. Yesterday
  16. Silent No More

    Hello, I am new to this site. I am a survivor of a life time physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse and Rape. I had told no one until spring of 2018. I did not ever think I would survive this long. I come from Small town America. Where I grew up in a time that you did not speak of what went on inside the family. Where you don't talk about abuse of any kind. I locked everything in a box in my head where I did not go and allowed no one in. I tried to tell a family member for the first time. It did not go well. I have been isolated from my family by the person I told. I have not been able to find counseling in my town where its cash and carry. Then I found this forum. I hope to find the courage to tell the whole story for the first time. I hope for healing and the ability to forgive those who hurt me and forgive myself for allowing it. And for allowing my trauma to hurt those I love most in this world. Thank You for giving me this place to tell what no one wants to hear.
  17. So grateful to be here to today! I hope to connect with other survivors and break the silence!

    1. Capulet


      Welcome!! :)  Glad you are here.  There are many blessed connections to be made.

    2. Redness


      That there is @Capulet, that there is! And thank you for the welcome. :) 

  18. Just saying hi

    Hi, CeeJay47, and welcome!
  19. First time here

    Hi and welcome! Feel free to message me if you want. Here for you you're not alone.
  20. Just saying hi

    Hi! Welcome to after silence! Feel free to share or keep private in a way you feel secure. Your support of others on After silence is priceless. So happy to have you on. If you would like a more casual friendship you can send me a message.
  21. Just saying hi

    Hi, @CeeJay47 - hello and here is an official 'welcome!' You are not mistaken, this is indeed a fantastic place to be! We are always glad to add more wonderful people to our already terrific community. I am glad you are here - I'm sorry for whatever circumstances have brought you here, but am hopeful that you'll find all of the support you need (and more) while you are here. Best wishes, Capulet
  22. Just saying hi

    Hi there, Just wanted to officially say, 'I'm here'. Been looking around a bit for a few days, and this forum seems like a really friendly, supportive place
  23. New and looking for coping tips

    Hi Valkyriesride, I so agree with everyone else about validation. I received it for the first time from my T, and it was so incredibly healing just having someone really acknowledge me and my pain. So yes, this forum with friendly people who recognise what you've been through, and will always believe you, is a great resource. And if you can see a trauma T, I agree with phoenixxx that's a really great step to take. I've used tapping (EFT), which is becoming more and more recognised for PTSD, and it's really helped. Still, any person who will listen and validate is a good thing Sitting with you, if that's okay...
  24. Hi, all! I'm not sure what today's blog is going to be primarily about, so we'll call it a smorgasbord. We'll try a little bit of everything! It's been a turbulent week (I've been using that word a lot - I feel it best describes a lot of the unexpected emotional twists I've had to endure this past week) and today is only the second day that I haven't felt as if I were on the verge of tears. I've done a lot of thinking and have been able to put a few things into perspective, so am feeling stable enough to try and transfer some of it here. To start with, I have an interesting question for my survivor friends and peers. Do any of you experience an unexplained physical coldness/chill during those 'turbulent' anniversary time frames? My anniversary has already passed - it was on the 4th of this month, but I am wondering if some of the side effects are taking me a little bit longer to move past? It is 67 degrees in my house at the moment (I've checked the thermostat multiple times!) - and I'm FREEZING. My fingers are literally icicles. I've been 'cold' all week last week and thought it was because of the drop in overall temperatures, but....67 degrees? I shouldn't be dressed like an eskimo and have my hood on while indoors just yet. Aside from feeling like my bones are constructed purely out of ice cubes, I feel fine. I do not have a temperature, I am not sniffly or have a cough. My fiancee remains a furnace (I wouldn't want to subject her to cuddling with me right now, though) and my kids have said that they're not cold. I do have to add that I remember feeling cold, above other things, on that night 22 years ago, but I cannot remember if I felt this same unnatural chill during last year's anniversary time - or the previous, and so on. Is this new??? And if it is, what brought this on? So, I had my second group session last night. More people showed up to this one - and one person from the first meeting was there. They first started off with some meditation - something I don't have a whole lot of experience with. I was having trouble with the listening part (the leader was instructing us all to take our deep breaths, try and picture a safe place, inhale, exhale, relax this, relax that) and I couldn't really participate-along with the rest of them because by the time I got the 'message' to do whatever, she was already moved onto the next thing. It wasn't her fault - it's just a casualty that being deaf has taught me to have to accept from time to time. So, safe to say, this part of the meeting was not effective for me. And I'd soon learn that the meditation was something leading up to the NEXT part - although I do already have a lot of experience with journaling, she handed out plain black-and-white composition notebooks and asked us to decorate the cover to reflect and show where our 'safe place' was during the prior meditation process. A place that I'd not 'arrived' at, nor would I be able to envision as effectively as the rest of the ladies in the room. Well, SHIT. I'm already flunking at support groups! So, after some quick deliberation, I ended up taking a different approach on the design of my journal cover. I'll PROBABLY not use my journal at all - this is the place where I've been able to most effectively convey my deepest thoughts. Maybe I'll consider printing out some of my most powerful and impactful entries and pasting them into the book - perhaps there will be a future discussion where I'll be able to read from some of those entries - I'll have already thought them out and perhaps they will resonate with someone else. Otherwise, the pages will likely remain blank. To fill a page wasn't even the assignment; it was to present a decorated cover - depicting or representing my safe place. It's safe to say I don't really have a 'place,' but there are some things that I try to remind myself of when I meditate - or rather, through my own way of meditation. Yes, I do the deep breaths, I do inhale and exhale, but while I do this, I do not picture a particular place. I instead mentally throw all of my cards onto the table and address each of whatever my current struggles are, with a motivating counter-thought. And lately, I probably could do with a little more of (my type) of meditation. I'm going to sideline this particular thought train for a little while so that I can explain a little bit more about why I'm feeling the excess turbulence this month. We already know by now that it's my anniversary month - and that this year, I'm experiencing some different side effects. Another thing that's been on my mind....(and this is something I've had that internal debate on whether or not I should share it with you guys or keep it to myself)...is a recent dialogue with J that has left me very confused, very unsettled and very anxious. First off, it wasn't a fight. We don't fight. We sometimes disagree, but neither one of us wants to fight with the other - we talk about things more often than not, but there ARE times where we 'drop' things and leave them alone because it's something that's not going to be resolved and falls into the 'just bitching' category. Sometimes this is best, but lately, it's only succeeded in mounting our problems and issues and they are now starting to wiggle like a stack of Jenga blocks threatening to come tumbling down at any moment. I've mentioned before that she's become more social and has taken a liking to going out with her friends after work. Sometimes it's once a week, sometimes it's twice. I've also mentioned previously that I am absolutely hating this - not that she's blossomed into a social butterfly, because that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but more so that she's found things to do and ways to have fun that do not involve me but instead involve people that are seemingly taking up 'more' of her than I am. I don't even know if I feel this way because I'm not at that same point in my own life, but either way, it has left me feeling more and more lonely than usual. And lately, I've been more openly 'bitter' about her spending time with her friends - she'll, as a courtesy, let me know when she has made spontaneous plans after work, and I'll usually respond with a one-liner that fails to hide my disappointment. Last week, this such one-liner was, "Ughhhhh." PROBABLY not the best choice of words, but in the moment, it's what my fingers wanted to type. Now, she KNOWS how I feel about social situations in general, and she knows about the anxiety I feel when it comes to the expansion of my own social circle. She also knows that I quietly fume to myself whenever I'm told I won't be seeing her after work. I have been honest about that and we both understand this is a direct result of what my ex has successfully ingrained in me. She continues to remind me that I am no longer married to him, I am FREE now, and I need "more than just her" in my life. This, too, is something I am struggling with - because for the last ten years that I've been divorced, it's been just her and I - there wasn't a need for me to have 'other people' to share (EVERYTHING) with. It was a nice, comfortable, PRIVATE circle. Either way, I've recently (probably for the last year) watched her change in multiple ways, from the person she used to be into a more evolved version of herself. She's now made a true friend out of her boss, is becoming more and more friendly with co-workers and has taken more interest in doing things outside of our home 1-2 days a week. As a direct result of some of these changes in her, she has now taken notice of me becoming increasingly withdrawn and snippy. On top of all of this, she's also made the choice to return to therapy, a choice I support 100% since she's also mentioned the need to do some maintenance work on herself - something I think we ALL need from time to time. I'm not sure if the return-to-therapy is what prompted her to bring up on Sunday evening, that she felt that we BOTH needed to work on things within our relationship. She made it clear that while she wasn't unhappy, she just felt that there were some things that needed changing. This confused the fuck out of me, I won't lie. The first thing that came to mind, was, "Oh, my God, I'm losing her." And for the entire day on Monday, I sat in silence and solitude - ready to cry at the drop of a hat - and thought, thought some more and thought HARD. About everything that was said on Sunday night - which confused me even more. She had stated she wanted me to be 'okay' with her outings so that she didn't feel guilty about them. I told her that I wasn't going to hold her back from going out with her friends, but at the same time, I couldn't be expected to be automatically okay with it, either. It was something I needed to work at, as well as something entirely new that I needed to adapt to. On Sunday, it got to the point where she ended up telling me that I've been saying I would figure it out for a while now (truth) and haven't done so, yet. I responded that I was trying - "Rome wasn't built in a day!" Another thing she mentioned was that she wanted me to be more honest with her about what I was feeling - which baffled me, because I guess, I thought I already was. My "ughhhh" text message was an honest response. My admission that this wasn't easy for me was another honest thought. My snippiness and grouchiness whenever she talks about her pals, you'd think that is all based on some form of honesty. How much more honesty did she want from me? I think she sensed there was more that needed to be said, but at the moment, I was feeling lost and was drawing blanks. Granted, emotions were running wild and I admit to having lost my shit on Sunday night during our talk, in an ugly-cry sort of way. We both agreed to take the day on Monday to do some thinking and we'd reconvene when we were both in a better frame of mind. So, on Monday, after a long day of reflection, I was able to summarize a little bit more of what I was feeling and I broke it down some to J. Not by choice - I was already semi-crying when she got home from work. I had tried my hardest to hide from her my 'I'm holding it in' face, but when you're with someone for as long as we've been together, these things become virtually un-hideable. She asked me what was the matter and I lost it again. And so, out it came. What I'd realized in the less than 24 hours since Sunday's blind-siding conversation. I have not changed. She has. She now has a more demanding job. As is, our time spent together has diminished greatly. She works a 40-hour week and VERY often ends up putting in a ton of OT to make it a SIXTY-hour work week. Add to that, she's become so increasingly tired, unnecessarily stressed out, and on the days she comes home from work, all she wants to do is eat a quick dinner and go to sleep. And as far as her friends go - it feels like they get more out of her than I do because she goes out with them AFTER an already extended day at work. I VERY rarely even SEE her before she leaves in the morning (it's usually right after 6am) and when she's out with her friends, she comes home at 10 or 11pm and I'm LUCKY to get a five-minute conversation out of her before she's snoring. She spends time with her boss for just about the entire duration of the work day and then there's the 'after work' activities that include this same woman, (counting two separate occasions when J went to help her move into her new apartment) so yes, maybe I do have a legitimate problem with that and maybe this is why the MENTION of this woman's name makes me envious enough to want to punch something. MAYBE this is why when J invites me to come along, I really don't have any interest in it. These are the people who are taking her away from me; (I know that's an unrealistic, paranoid thought, but for the moment, it was yet another honest take on it) why would I want to associate with them? They represent the 'fun' that she's having that I am not a part of. I am instead left feeling genuinely lonely after lately not seeing much of my one and only consistent 'person.' And that's just not a nice feeling at all - it's how I felt when I was married to my ex and he didn't want me to have any 'other' people - and it's not how I want to make J feel, either. You see, I KNOW where my strengths and weaknesses are - and perhaps the biggest confusion here is - neither one of us has done anything wrong. We remain faithful to one another - that's never been a question. We love each other. We just are, for the moment, at different places in our social lives and she's just more comfortable with her newfound status than I am. And just because she has changed, does not mean I also have to if it's not what I want or am not mentally ready for. I honestly DO, though. I don't want to let this go right now and then have to revisit the same problem ten, fifteen years down the road when she and her boss friend decide to take up knitting together after work days. (Another unrealistic guess, but y'all get the point I am trying to make!) I am absolutely TERRIFIED that if, by some twist of fate, I ever lost her, I would TRULY be a mess. I'd force myself to physically move on but emotionally, that is going to be the challenge of my life, as I've no desire to forge this type of connection with anyone else, should she become unavailable to me. I can honestly say I'd be FINISHED and a permanent emotional shut-down would likely be inevitable. We had a longer (calmer) talk after my (blatantly honest) little outburst. I first have to admit that it didn't feel so good, though, guys. I know that we're not likely to get what we need or want unless we ask for it, but I can't help but feel as if expressing these (irrational or not?) fears has made her see me in an entirely different light. Does she now see me as an inconsiderate, ungrateful, needy bit*h? I am not a selfish person at all and I'm admittedly the type to want to avoid confrontation at all costs, so just spitting out all of this inner poison has made me feel even more like shit! I thought it was supposed to feel GOOD to take any kind of a stand - but nope, I'm not feeling that, just yet. But, despite what I'm feeling, she heard me. And unlike my ex, she actually acknowledged what I was saying and where I was coming from. This, too, is something that STILL floors me, even after almost a decade of being in a healthy, trusting, communicative relationship. Maybe that's why this feels like uncharted territory - I've NEVER had that before. If I ever were to tell my ex how I felt, he would have slammed me back with insults describing how the way I was feeling was entirely my fault and about how truly damaged I was. My J and my ex are absolutely not the same person - not by a long shot - J is a kind, loving person while my ex was a monstrous asshole that has succeeded in reducing my self worth into an unidentifiable pulp. We have decided that she will work on being more present when she's at home. Together, we'll do whatever it takes, we'll go out, we'll engage in activities that will keep her from falling asleep so soon after coming home from work. Bowling two nights a week certainly helps! We'll liven up our relationship by having a once-a-week dinner date night (not a bowling night), where it will just be the two of us. We'll have a drink together. We'll take in the occasional movie. We'll try new things. Last night was the first of several 'date nights' to come; we met up at a local steakhouse after my group meeting. And it was truly nice to take that time to start to reconnect - because, as much as I hate to admit it, we DID lose something along the way. It's never been MORE important to me to try and reclaim that connection before it drifts even further, simply because she's become too busy or I'm responding by shutting down. And in the meantime, I have some work to do....more so for myself than for anyone else - but work regardless. I will work on trying to find other things to become involved in and I will do so at my own pace. I will put my social anxieties aside and join her on an outing with her work friends from time to time - and I will ATTEMPT to get to know some of them. I've already spent some time with the boss lady, and all jealousies aside, she is not a terrible person. I will keep more of an open mind when it comes to dipping my toe into these social situations. We have established that relationship-wise, I trust my J completely, I am not afraid she'll fall in love with someone else. This isn't the issue. I've determined that I am more afraid that she'll eventually evolve even more and discover that she truly likes or wants more than what she has with the boring, laid-back, homebody that I have learned to be. I am loyal. I am trustworthy. But right now, I don't feel 'fun,' nor do I have much to offer someone as far as a good time goes. I'm stuck in a rut and I NEED to climb out of it. And so, I am going to begin to work on trusting MYSELF; and in my ability to intiate a transformation of my own. Given where I am right now and all of the damage that has already been done, it may take years. But, I will get there. I think I just needed to feel more united and connected with my "main" person in order to take these steps toward learning to trust and confide in and learn to relax around others. I needed to be able to feel that I'm not in the process of losing the one person who changed my life for the better. And perhaps, that's the root of my recent snippiness - I do not respond well when I feel threatened with that idea - it also makes sense that this is why J's family/sister's words to me several months ago are STILL fucking with my brain. This is why I cannot get past what was said to me, even if it was said in desperation or anger. It cannot be unsaid and is possibly where all of this started. Well, at least we recognize it - and I'm happy to say that we are working on us. I know no relationship is perfect and by all means, neither is ours. We are as good a couple as they come, but we've never had to really work at it, though. It's just always come so naturally to us both, and I think I need that reassurance that we aren't the only ones who hit the occasional bump in that road! Now, back to the journal cover that I was to design. I found some 'phrases' in the pile of magazine clippings. Words. These are what I use to get through things. I think about them, I redefine them, I write them. Aside from some not-so-nice things, I've been called a wordsmith. And so this is what I decided to decorate my composition notebook with. Single words and phrases that right now, ring true for me. "A window of opportunity has opened." "Comfort zone." "Friendship." "Chocolate." (A reference to THIS blog - I could not let that go without some form of recognition as this is where I usually retreat when I have a lot of mind-clutter.) "Your future is yet to be written." There were a couple more - along with cut-out letters that I used to spell out my real first name across the top of the book. When my turn came, I explained that I'd taken a little bit of a different approach to my journal cover decorating - and discussed that I use words and phrases in order to quell whatever my current anxieties are. And each of those statements, at the moment, mean something to me. And why did I put my (given) name? Well - my name as well as my identity is another thing that I am struggling to define. I can tell anyone my name, but I honestly don't have a clue who I even am, being constantly torn between the person I really am and the person I present as, is exhausting! You see, here, I am Capulet. You all know why I am here. You all know my story. You know my fears, the things that make me happy, the things that make me sad. Chances are, you feel the same way. I've been nothing but honest with everyone through my blogs, my posts, my private conversations. It helps that being here affords us all that unspoken understanding of each other - we're automatically able to validate one another because, one way or another, we all get it. We don't have to truly know someone to understand them when they write something that rings true with us, too. And so, I honestly feel more connected to myself when I am Capulet and less connected to the person that my given name represents - the person that people offline see. And partially, this is my fault, I have spent so much time shielding these offline connections from the things that aren't so easy to share or explain face-to-face. I feel like I am someone else. And that 'someone else' is what people usually see upon spending time with me. And if these people do not know or understand the reasons behind why I am the moody, withdrawn, shy, anxious, unapproachable person I appear to be (especially in social settings) then it's likely harder for them to make the extra effort it requires in order to get close to me. Additionally I can't expect them to keep trying if I'm going to constantly shut them down. This is yet another reason I feel that I need to work on opening up to more people, (once I've established them to be trustworthy) and allow them to understand me in entirety; allow them to see me, not only as Capulet, nor as the person they think I am. But somewhere in the middle where both 'identities' can merge. Only then will I truly begin to comfortably live my life as an evolved, transformed woman. After the meeting, I was feeling a little bold and inquired about whether the Women's Center had any volunteer opportunities. I was told they do, however they require one full year of affiliation with the center before they consider taking on someone as a volunteer. And so I will continue to attend the group meetings and take them all for what they're worth - even though I may not in the moment be able to gain anything from them, they are thought-provoking and force me to be honest with myself. I should mention that I am also feeling a little anxious about tomorrow's (yes, tomorrow's!) appointment with the VR intake counselor - I will be discussing with her the possibility of going back to school as a full-time student, and then continuing onto acquiring my bachelor's. I am trying to allow myself to feel excited and to ignore that voice within (the one that seems to always be lying and misleading me) that is telling me that my dreams are not possible; that a better version of ME is not possible. That I will have to settle for the minimum because I am aiming too high. I don't think that will be an acceptable answer, and I fear that if this is the one I am given, that it will emotionally derail me - again. I've also made an appointment with the support group leader for next Friday - I feel satisfied with having shared this much tonight, but feel that if J can seek 'outside' help and a place to safely put all of her own 'excess' baggage, then I certainly can, too. I'm not looking for a permanent thing - just a safe place to vent to someone who is unbiased and may be able to offer me some suggestions on how to initiate some of these much-needed and long overdue changes. I do feel a little bit better tonight. I had all day to myself - she again went to trivia night with her friends. And normally, you probably could see the smoke coming out of my ears while I silently fumed over being alone (again) but I think that tonight, I needed it, I truly needed the alone time to think and to process and to refocus. I also think that I need to continue to find a different focus for the times/days she chooses to go out - tonight, my aim was to find a way to adequately express what was going through my mind this past week and I have done that. Moving forward, I will just have to learn to occupy myself with different things and explore alternative ways of keeping busy when she's otherwise unavailable. I just wish this newfound, unfamiliar quest of mine for more purpose in life wasn't so fucking scary! And that it came more naturally for me without my having to work so hard at it. And with that, it is time to wrap up. I am emotionally drained (and ironically this will put me to sleep quicker than a dose of NyQuil) and have been for a while. I've dropped with exhaustion before 12:30am for the last few nights - tonight, I'm up a little bit longer because it was important to me to not interrupt the flow of thoughts. I've got that habitual tendency to 'drop' things if I'm too tired or reserve them for another time, but this simply could NOT wait. In closing, I thank you all for continuing to listen to me, for not giving up on me, for getting to know me, and for supporting me. I know I am by no means perfect and I know deep down that I definitely do contribute to my own problems, but, shit...none of this is intentional - it's just what I know and was taught that was needed as primarily a means of self-protection. It truly does help to also know that the persona that I feel most connected to, truly has an army behind her. So for that, thank you. I truly appreciate you all. , - Capulet
  25. New and looking for coping tips

    Hi, Valkyriesride, and welcome!
  26. New here

    Hi, Jenna, and welcome!
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  28. New and looking for coping tips

    Hi to you too! This is actually my very first post as well. Your comment about needing validation really resonated with me. I have about 25+years of un-acknowledged trauma under my belt and I’m just now sitting through it all. I’m not sure what all to say here, so I’ll leave it this: i believe you. It was not your fault. I hope you get the support and validation you need and deserve. Heck! I hope that for myself too! Welcome and thank you for having the courage to be here and to introduce yourself. I think that’s awesome.
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