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  1. Today
  2. Hello Navias, Welcome to AfterSilence. I am very sorry for the various traumas you’ve been thru and the struggles you face. You are not alone. Take your time and look around. You will see we have many supportive and understanding members. I am glad you decided to reach out. Love the acronym, as it speaks truth. Wishing you the best on this journey of healing. Mary
  3. Yesterday
  4. Welcome @Navias85 I like your acronym too, or acrostic. It's a beautiful statement that leads to recovery. I'm sorry for the trauma and wish it weren't. You are strong and courageous. You will see just how strong someday. You've found a good place to come. -POM Forgive the pearls...can't get them out of there
  5. Hi @Navias85 I love that. Welcome to AS. I'm sorry for the trauma that brought you here, but I'm glad you found the site and decided to join. This is a safe space and we are all here to support each other. I'm sorry you are struggling right now. You did not deserve what happened to you and none of it was your fault. Healing from trauma can be hard, there are a lot of ups and downs along the way. But sometimes connecting and sharing with other survivors can make that process a little easier. You are welcome to post and share on this site whenever you feel comfortable. We are all here for you. Just by joining this site, you are taking steps toward healing. I hope you find this site to be as helpful as I do.
  6. snmls

    Hi

    Hi @MeganMe Welcome to AS. Sorry for the experiences you have been through, but I'm glad you found the site and decided to join. I have a degree in medical laboratory science!
  7. TO ALL THE COURAGEOUS ... TO ALL THE PEARLS... TO YOU!!!!!

     

    Matthew 13:44-46 ~  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

    It is estimated that out of three tons of pearl oysters, only about three of them will have a perfectly-formed pearl. Given everything that is required in order for a pearl to develop, it’s not surprising that so few are produced. An oyster’s shell is made from an organ called the mantle. Using minerals from the oyster’s food as an energy source, the mantle expands, which leads to the shell’s growth. The interior of the shell is lined with a material called nacre, which is also produced by the mantle. In order for a pearl to develop, an irritant–typically a parasite of some sort–must situate itself between the oyster’s shell and mantle. When this particle sets in, it irritates the oyster and, in an effort to protect itself, the mantle begins to cover the foreign object with layers of nacre. As time passes, these layers eventually form a pearl. Typically, this takes about three to five years. (This according to ehow.com)

    Is it any wonder real pearls are so costly! A jewel in the house of the Lord is much the same.  Out of the congregation of the Lord it is said that only 10% are doing the actual work of the ministry, for which I tend to agree from my travels. They are rare and priceless. It is not to say that many others are not beautiful people making great contribution, but the pearls are those hand selected by God out of an ocean of possibilities.

    They’ve gotten there through great irritation!

    Be successful in leadership and you’ll understand completely how that pearl gets formed. Every struggle in the ministry, attack of Satan, complaint from the people, personal struggle, sickness and distraction is an irritant that has to be covered. There’s work to be done. So sometimes you wear a “slimy” smile that feels icky but it covers up the pain in your core. And before long that problem is smoothed over and you can rest a while until another issue arises and another layer of kindness or understanding is needed to get through. And much like that iridescent shine created on the pearl as layer after layer of nacre are made, a successful leader begins to shine too.

    Successful leaders are not people who have their world completely in hand and under control. Oh contraire! Many, if not most that I know, are exactly the opposite. They have the same issues as everyone else if not worse but they choose to put them aside for the greater cause; which is the people of God and service to the Lord.

    They’ve gotten there through many intervals

    True leadership is not appointed by position, it’s positioned by appointment. It takes experience to be a leader, and most of those experiences have been a divine appointment from the Creator to train His leaders. Often times because of the politics of the day people are appointed into positions they are not qualified to have, and it inevitably wreaks havoc on an organization.  It takes time to become a great leader.

    They’re not imitations

    Man can create a pearl that looks almost as lovely as the real deal, but the real pearls are rare, priceless, heavily sought and have gotten to that point by years of heartache and struggle. Successful leaders are those who use the irritants of life as a polish their personalities. They identify with understand the struggles of those they lead because they’ve been there. Just as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does.

    Are you a pearl of great price? Perhaps you’re still in the formation stage. Use those irritants of life to polish yourself into a leader that can be used for the Kingdom’s glory. Amen!

  8. The topic chat on Survivors with Disabilities starts in less than half an hour! See you there. ❤

  9. Welcome @Navias85 to After Silence. You are in the right place. I’m sorry for what brought you here but I’m happy you are here reaching out for support. Good job taking this step in your healing process. You are not alone and what happened to you wasn’t your fault. Take your time exploring and post when you are ready. If you have any questions feel free to message me. I'm an animal lover too. I love your motto Not A Victim I'm A Survivor. Very empowering!
  10. Dear @Navias85 I would like to welcome you to After Silence's forums. We are all here for you and want to support you in any way we can. I know that posting for the first time can be scary. Please don't worry, though; you will always be given so much support from our lovely community and its members. You're not alone - we are with you. You will soon receive an official welcome message in your inbox. Please feel free to respond to that PM if you have any questions about the forum or if you need some help finding your way around the site. Take care and keep reaching out!!
  11. Hi, I have no idea how to start this or what I'm doing. I suppose why I'm here should come first.... I have endured CSA, DV, and a recent, about 9 months after getting out of DV marriage, R***. I hope got the abbreviations right. I'm here because, after my recent R*** , I find that I am not able to cope or manage in the same way I could before. Those that I have turned to, well I have a few that have been as great as they can be, others not so much and relationships have been lost. I spend a lot of time online researching my feelings and reading Survivor stories. I find they help me, give me hope, and make me feel less alone, and crazy. I'm hoping this site/forum (resource) will help even more. Some not so horrible stuff about me.... I LOVE my job. I know how rare that is. I am an animal lover. Frogs are my go-to decorative animal. Blue has been my go-to color for about a year. I am teaching myself to paint with acrylics, following you tube videos. I also just realized I have more non-negative things to say about myself than I thought I did. However, that's all I have right now. Hoping this is a step forward, Navias85 BTW - Navias stands for "Not A Victim I'm A Survivor", my best friend came up with it when I told her I wanted to join an online support group. I hope I live up to it 😕
  12. This house I lived in with my grandma and her husband was spacious and my neighbors weren't very close. We also didn't really lock the doors back then. And I actually didn't even think about it either... I just never..imagined. I knew I wasn't safe at school. I never thought I wouldn't be safe from him in my own home. I thought he got what he wanted. All the paranoia of feeling watched felt real now. I instinctively screamed out of pure fucking horror. He was saying things but I couldn't really focus on what he was saying. I turned and ran back toward the stairs to my room (which was on the second floor, almost like a studio apartment room). I wanted my phone! I ran upstairs and he let me. Only to chase me with laughter. "I need a huge favor! You knew you'd see me again!" There was nowhere for me to go. I was looking for anything that I could use as a weapon. I had no idea what to do. My neighbors weren't close enough to hear me scream. But I was screaming for him to not kill me. I thought for sure that's why he came there. He grabbed me from behind, pulled and sniffed my hair. "Are you scared?" He shoved his hands in my pants. He smelled like alcohol, which immediately reminded me of N. "Please don't do this to me, my grandma is coming home soon" "She can watch." I was trying to get away again, kicking, yelling at him to let me go. "Keep screaming, you're making me hard." I had two beds in my room and one was my guest bed on the other side of my room by this large window facing the large front yard. He threw me down onto that bed. Had something in his hand and I didn't know if he took it from his pocket or had it in his hands the entire time. They were scissors from our kitchen, and I thought for sure he was just going to start stabbing me so I mentally prepared for it. He put the cold blade against my skin and started cutting my clothes off instead. He told me he could do whatever he wanted. Could have me when he wanted. He was in my house and there wasn't anything anyone could do about it. He told me I was pretty much his property. I remember how badly it hurt when he was pushing on my legs, like he could get them further apart by smashing them into the bed. He was always purposely rough I think because I really felt like he hated me. "I own you. You are fucking nothing." "I could just choke the life out of you. But then I wouldn't be able to do this." And he did actually choke me this time. I stopped listening to what he was saying eventually because he was being so obnoxious, very dominant. Simply because he could and he liked the power he had over me in my own space. I have no idea how long it lasted. At one point I remember him slapping me in the face "Hello? Take this" So out of defeat and hoping it would be over soon, I did what I was told to do. He gave me a pill. He continued doing things with me which I remember up until a point. This next bit is so hard to type Fuck. The more I think about it, the more I realize how he wanted to scar me these ways. I really believe he wanted to ruin me. I think killing me would have been to easy for him; he wanted to torture and control me. I think these realizations are why I really avoid writing it. Thinking about it. I don't want to remember that rage and hatred. He rolled me over and pinned me completely down, I could not move. I was fucking freaking out. I feel like I am watching it all happen again. He put my arms behind my back and leaned into my ear and whispered "Have you ever been fucked in your ass?" I remember trying with all my strength to try to wiggle him off of my back. I never ever thought...it never crossed my mind. I was screaming and sobbing and begging. And it was all what he wanted. "Don't freak out, you will like it!" He ended up tying my hands with something before he started trying to put it in my bum. "I'm going to fucking rip you apart!" He was doing it, and it was very painful. I remember screaming and crying because it felt like he was using a knife. The last thing I remember was being on my stomach and feeling very tired. The constant thumping of my body because of him was actually putting me to sleep. Maybe whatever pill he gave me kicked in. That's the last thing I remember there. I don't have the best memory of this next few days. I don't know if things are in order, what I am still missing, what fragmented memories I do have fit where; it's all still blurry and I really hope it stays blurry. One thing I remember was I was in the back of a car as it was moving. I was naked. I was going in and out. I remember it was dark out. Seemed like just blackness. I started freaking out, having a panic attack at one point. I couldn't catch my breath and thought I was dying because he poisoned me. Another memory I have is in a room I didn't recognize thinking I was going to die, he brought me here to kill me. So many thoughts paralyzed me with fear here. I heard people, sometimes talking. Did he need help killing me? Couldn't do it on his own? I was in this room where there was only a bed, a blanket over the window, and a table. I remember being given more drugs in the arm with a needle. I wasn't terrified anymore and I guess I was more compliant, but I knew this was a situation I didn't want to be in, if that makes any sense. I wasn't restrained that I recall. People used me however they wanted to in this time I was here. I don't know how many there were. I remember two faces besides his, so I guess three people that I know of. I don't remember a lot of it, just random things I can't totally make sense of. Like showering, but not being able to stand so someone was cleaning my hair? I don't even know. Or humiliating details of being used by two men at the same time. I didn't have any sense of time because there was this thick blackout blanket thing over the window and I couldn't tell whether it was day or night. I knew my grandma was gone for days so she wouldn't even know I was gone until she came home. I thought I was going to be dead and thrown in the woods and never seen again. At least I wouldn't be home for my grandma to find though. And those were my constant thought scenarios when I was aware enough to think thoughts... At one point when I was more lucid (I was being cooperative for the most part ☹️), he asked me if I wanted to go home. I just didn't respond because I figured this was just another taunt to get me to crumble emotionally so he could get a fucking boner. "How badly do you want to get in the car and go? Badly enough to get on your knees and beg? Or just get on your knees?" He shoved me onto the floor and told me to beg him. "You're such a w**re. Nobody could look at you and think you're not" He made me give him oral. He liked to tell me he owned me while doing these things. He told me I looked like a junkie, that's all anyone would think I was. "You have two options, you're crazy or you're a criminal. You look good for either one" Like beating it into my head..He just kept moving my head the way he wanted until he was done. "Yea, swallow it all" He made me He wouldn't take his di*k out of my mouth until I did...Even though I was about to puke all over him. He choked me when I was done "I could squeeze the life out of you. No one would notice you're gone or care to fucking look for you!" "This is too much fun though" I was ripping at his hands. He let go of my throat. I was trying to breathe. I just felt so fucking done. Tortured. It was like he knew exactly how to break my spirit to turn me into what he wanted. He walked away from me, and I got scared he was getting a knife or something but he came back with a pill and some kind of liquor. "You want some candy" he shoved a pill in my mouth and told me to swallow. I gagged on the pill. He gave me that shot. I drank. He was singing "I want candy" which sends me into the fetal position whenever I do hear it now and again. I don't remember all of what followed. He told me I would like it. Everything gets very trippy around then. Everything I thought and felt just felt right. I don't really know how else to explain it. What I do remember my body began responding in a positive way to the things he was doing to me. Even though he was being very dominant, my body responded the way he wanted me to, without me wanting to! I remember thinking I needed to try to hide it as much as I could, but he caught on eventually. "Stop closing your eyes!" "Yea, see you like that. Moan!" The feeling of connecting shame and dominance with pleasure is hard to get past when you aren't a willing participant. I am not turned on by being used as a rag doll. But that night my body responded as if I was. I don't really know how to explain it... After what seemed like forever, he took me downstairs of this house. I was still completely naked. There were other people downstairs I remember seeing and this was humiliating. I felt like absolutely nothing. He jabbed my arm with a needle, and I welcomed the high. I felt relieved in that moment and for a bit after. Pretty sure he took me to the car, the next memory I have is being naked in the backseat. Maybe a control thing as to why he kept me naked? Or I just didn't have any clothes since he cut them off of me before. I have no idea 😕 I don't remember anything about getting home. I think he waited for me to come to, because I remember basically everything when I first got home. We were sitting in the idle car, he was smoking and I sat up but my right hand was tied to the door handle with a zip tie looking thing (black and thick). He threatened me a little more "Nobody will ever believe a drug w**re. You'll end up in jail for prostitution. I know people. You think anyone would believe you're not a w**re?" He opened the door I wasn't tied to and got in the back with me, "if you bite me I will choke you" and he put a mint in my mouth and he made me give him oral while he recorded it. He was so obnoxious with it I fucking hate these memories. He told me to swallow it again "don't pretend you don't like the way I taste." He got out and opened the door I was tied to and it pulled me out and down onto my driveway. I knew it was my house because of the buddha garden decoration my grandma had by a tree in the yard. I don't know why I didn't scream here. I was so thankful just to be home. He put more drugs into my tied up arm, and then I remember not being tied up anymore. A snapshot memory of him carrying me over his shoulder. I don't remember much about how I got into the house or anything like that. I must have passed out. I woke up naked and in the bed he raped me in before. I had pissed on myself. I woke up in a panic. Wondering if I just had the worst nightmare of my life. Realizing I was naked and there were needle marks on me. I thought I was going insane. I genuinely spent hours trying to convince myself it couldn't have really happened. But the more I saw bruises and tracks, I realized somehow this was real. But it couldn't possibly be. I was wondering how I let this happen to me again. How did I survive? Why did he let me live? And come back home? Why didn't he just kill me? I need to call the cops. But I look fucking insane rocking back and forth trying to figure out myself if what I think just happened, happened! I wouldn't be considered reliable I was sure. What day is it even? I got up to look for my phone. Couldn't find it at first (ended up finding it behing my tv stand). So I grabbed my laptop and it had been 6 days. I still had almost a week to be home alone. I went and locked all the doors and turned off all the lights. Showered in the hottest water because I still smelled like him and I needed it off. I laid down. But I didn't cry anymore. I think I was in shock. All I could remember was all the threats. How nobody believed he raped me before, why would they now? I eventually passed out. I'd wake up panicking every so often. Then passing out from pure exhaustion. Repeat. This went on for like 48 hours. I finally ate a banana and I had someone bring me some weed. I left the money in the mailbox while they dropped it in there because I was so paranoid about unlocking the doors or being seen. My body was sore. I wanted to try to forget. But I couldn't. So I smoked, took sleeping pills to sleep as long as I could. Still woke up panicking thinking someone was right there or choking me. It was horrifying. Worst time of my life. When my grandma came back into town, I avoided her. Told her I was sick in bed and although she did come in to see me, she didn't have to see most of me. I hid from her out of shame. I felt dirty. I felt like a wh**e; what he told me I was. I didn't feel like I could look people in the eye anymore. When I felt like I looked decent enough, I needed to get my phone replaced. When I found it behind my tv eventually, the screen was cracked and I had some texts from a number I didn't recognize with a video of me giving oral...it said "mint blowies are the best" So I asked my grandma if she could take me to replace it. She took me. She wanted to go out for lunch and must have thought it was strange when I asked if we could just order and take it home. Which is what we did. She knew something was wrong with me, but she didn't press me after realizing I didn't want to talk. I am glad she didn't because I would have probably had a break down and he would have been right; I would have ended up in an institution. It was really awkward and hard but I just couldn't talk to her about it. I couldn't even look her in the eye. I couldn't even think straight. I don't think I could even form sentences with my thoughts after this incident. She probably thought I was on drugs. She offered to take me to Vegas with her when she was going a few months later, and I agreed to go because honestly it sounded like just what I needed. While I was in Vegas, an old acquaintance from high school reached out to me on a social media account. He was deployed in Afghanistan and started talking to me out of loneliness. I was lonely too. We talked about nothing but it made me feel like I existed for another reason than just being used. He was so far away I guess I felt comfortable developing a friendship with him. He didn't want to just have sex with me. I also didn't have to be with him in person, which it was hard for me to do and be present when it came to being around people because I carried so much shame with me. Every second of every day. But while this beautiful friendship with this guy was blossoming, I didn't realize my life was still under someone else's complete control until I did something drastic about it. I tried to never be alone. I would get phone calls, sometimes saying things and sometimes not. I even received a call while I was in Vegas (we stayed with a family friend) and I remember trying so hard to not let anyone in the house hear me sobbing/hyperventilating because I was having panic attacks from the phone call. This particular time he told me he would be sending videos to my grandma and my parents. I would end up in tears only after some calls because some were worse than others; and the few times someone saw me I would just say it was an ex. I mean what could I even say? "Oh my god, I'm being harassed by this person who is torturing me and using me sexually?" I mean, I guess I wish it was that easy, but I was scared people would think I was delusional and insane. Send me to a psychiatric hospital. I didn't think anyone could possibly believe me. I even still think that. I obviously didn't feel like I had a secure outlet to talk about this. I didn't feel secure enough to turn him/them in. I didn't even know who the others were. I felt invisible. I was also extremely paranoid. I became a little more self destructive. Drinking a lot. Experimenting with drugs. I also would starve myself. Sometimes for days. And if I did eat, most of the time it came back up. It was such a dark time.
  13. MeBeMary

    Hi

    Hi Megan, Welcome to AfterSilence. I am very sorry for the trauma you’ve experienced. You are not alone. We have many understanding and kind members. It is impressive that you chose a field that will ultimately help others. I wish you the best on your school studies. I am glad you decided to reach out here and wish you the very best on this path we call healing. Mary
  14. Don’t miss the Survivors with Disabilities topic chat tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. EST/ 1:00 p.m. CST/ 7:00 p.m. GMT. Hope to see lots of you all there! ❤️

  15. Last week
  16. Struggling88

    Hi

    Hi, MeganMe, and welcome to AS!
  17. missfrier

    Hi

    Dear Megan I am sorry for all that you have been through. You have been so brave in reaching out to us, please know that this is never easy! We are all here for you and we want to support you. You're not alone in your healing journey and are always welcome to lean on us for extra support. You can post as much or as little as you like. We are here to support you in the way you need. I have found this community to be very helpful. Everyone is so understanding and non-judgmental and I am hoping you feel the same way once you've gotten to know us a little.  All my best, missfrier
  18. TOPIC CHAT SATURDAY: "Survivors with Disabilities" January 18, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. EST/ 1:00 p.m. CST/ 7:00 p.m. GMT

  19. on the day you left me
    how bad it hurts,
    it's a lie, it's a lie, its a lie

    you keep on breaking into my head
    you were such a waste of time...

  20. 0Kelly0

    Hi

    Hi Megan, welcome to the community. P. S. My fav color is purple too!! Lol
  21. Free2Fly

    Hi

    Hi welcome , It's nice to meet you, purple is a cool colour .
  22. samantha2009

    Hi

    @MeganMe hello and welcome! It’s lovely to meet you I hope you find this place to be as beneficial to your healing process as most of us do here! sam
  23. 8888

    Hi

    Welcome @MeganMe to After Silence. I’m sorry for what brought you here but I’m happy you are here reaching out for support. Good job taking this step in your healing process. You are not alone and what happened to you wasn’t your fault. Take your time exploring and post when you are ready. If you have any questions feel free to message me. Elephants are cool creatures. Good luck with your studies.
  24. MeganMe

    Hi

    Hello, I'm Megan and I'm 20. I'm currently in college and I've been struggling so I'm hoping this helps. Some things about me I guess: my favorite color is purple, my favorite animal is an elephant, I'm in school for medical technology, I do cancer research, I don't have a favorite food because all food is good (lmao), my favorite books are The Last Lecture and Loud in the House of Myself.
  25. After high school, I'd seen him several times in random places. I felt watched. I thought I was paranoid, so I started avoiding going out altogether. N got an apartment and I moved in. I never left the house. Took online college courses. I felt safe there because it was a basement apartment and I felt shut off and hidden from the world, which I liked (and still do sometimes!) I became very reclusive. I never left the house alone. Always looking behind me. So I couldn't bare leaving the house in general. I carried a mace everywhere. I didn't even work at first, I was so scared. Fast forward a little bit more, when N was dealing with some legal issues, things were brought back up. I remember this conversation like it just happened. I was at my moms house and N came there to tell me the news. He sat down on the couch and told me he had something to tell me about his case. He told me how there was a witness who came forward to speak negatively on his character. Mind you, it had been over a year since the rape. But when he said his name, I completely shut down. Feeling intimidated all over again... N told me he would agree to the plea for the other side just so it didn't have to go to trial and have the possibility of witnesses (so I/we didn't have to see him). He told me he knew he was only doing it to fuck personally with us. So I was thankful for that in my own way (that he at least understood that this guy WAS intending to torture us anyway he could); but I also felt responsible, yet again, for everything going to shit. It was so hard to deal with. Why was he doing this? To punish N too? To show me he was still there, always? That he would never let me/us seem reliable?? Either way, I was shattered. I don't know if N deep down blamed me back then, but he pulled away from me. He had a lot of anger issues after this. It felt like he hated me sometimes. All I could do was blame myself. Everything WAS my fault. I've ruined it all. There was nothing N could do to redeem the case because of this guy, and there was nothing we could do to fight him because of who he was and how many people supported him. And around this time is the first time I found After Silence. It saved my life I think. About six months after this botched case, N was working with a local paper to help with an article about our state's education system and how there was an issue with teachers resigning after inappropriate conduct and being hired easily back into neighboring districts who didn't know of any misconduct because the info is sealed while it was being investigated. Of course his main motivation for this was because of my rapist ruining his case months before. Also, with him mentioning he resigned from a school before for a locker room incident. I never read this article when it was released; I didn't want to. N just told me that the guy who raped me had a bad temper and had been told to resign another time for losing his shit on students and slamming a chair near a student. I remember being horrified. Feeling betrayed that he was allowed to work in our school and take his rage out on me. Resigned from schools multiple times and was then allowed to be hired again. I actually felt like I didn't matter. I was heartbroken. It ended up getting worse when people I knew from high school rallied together to release an article just days after this article about the man who raped me, saying how he was an amazing "teacher and mentor" and how the previous article "exaggerated his character in a negative light." It also said the situation with my ex best friend R was a "rumor" and that she exaggerated the relationship to her peers. Which was wrong; I saw the texts! People saw things...she didn't make any of it up. If it was just a fucking "rumor" then why did he end up resigning, AGAIN?? There had to have been solid evidence of him misbehaving somewhere and I know I didn't have anything on him but my word nobody believed. This was what completely shushed me. I didn't think I could ever fight an entire school full of people who loved a teacher who told us he had a huge penis or joked about his sex life or sex in general! Like that alone should have made these students realize "hmmm maybe he is a little inappropriate..." but NO, I'm the fucking liar apparently!! N and I ended up parting ways after he got violent with me a few times. He had a lot of problems after I ruined his life. He began drinking more and abusing drugs, and he began to take his anger out on me. He told me he wanted to see other people and after leaving me for a short time, he said he wanted me back. I didn't want him back though. I didn't want anyone. So this was another violent episode that was extremely triggering. N knows it was and has since apologized (but I mean it was fucked up). In short, he came to my moms house and dragged me out by my throat to his car and made me sit in there with him while he was drunk and threatening to hurt me if I didn't take him back. At one point saying (after he just choked me mind you) "Stop looking so scared of me! I'm not him. I could take you to the backseat and rape you like him, but I wouldn't do that! So stop looking so scared of me!" I never really understood why he felt he needed to go there and say that. Maybe he was triggered that I looked horrified of him like he imagined I looked the day I was raped, which I know he thought about often. I tried to stay as strong as I could and speak reasonably to him. I really don't remember how I got back inside of my moms house. After all of this, I didn't feel like I could talk about my past ever again, so I vowed to try to act like it didn't happen. Which worked for a while. I ended up becoming a little promiscuous. I lost my virginity to N and never had sex with anyone else. So after N and I broke up, I guess for some reason I decided to act out sexually. I had sex with multiple guys in a short amount of time. One of them for a while though. In 2011, I was not with N anymore. I was working a lot. At this point, I was living in my grandmas house again. I had a lot of alone time since they were not home for chunks of time. My grandma worked a lot and her husband was a pilot for an airline. They also traveled a bit. I liked the privacy and the solace though, until the second rape. My grandma was able to travel a lot for free, perks for having a husband in the field. So they would go on vacation together sometimes to visit family or friends in Florida or Texas mostly. This particular time I was home alone while they were gone for about two weeks. After they were gone for about two days, I heard noises downstairs. Thinking it was our outdoor cat, a cousin, or maybe even my grandma home early sick, I went down my steps to see. When I reached the dining room, I saw someone at the counter moving toward the island touching things and I thought for sure it had to be family. But then he looked up at me and I remember freezing for what felt like way too long, or maybe everything was slow motion; I don't remember what he said to me. I had a bad feeling and I knew I needed to try to get away from him. This was terrifying. I will never forget the pure panic I felt. It makes it harder to open up about these specific things at this point because I realize some people wouldn't want to believe these things can happen. Or maybe he just made me think nobody would ever believe me no matter what. I don't really know. I am only just allowing myself to admit most things about this entire thing
  26. Hi, @sunnyskies55 - Welcome to After Silence! I'm sorry about the trauma you endured 11 years ago and also that you had to see the perpetrator recently. I'm hoping you will find some good support and healing here If you need anything at all, please feel free to reach out to me! Wishing you the best, Poppy
  27. Friends, The motivation for this entry has come from several different directions. There is much I've seen, heard, and felt in the past week. I debated whether this should be a motivational post or a blog entry, but it's possible it'll be both. I'm undecided for the moment, so figured I'd at least write it out, first. Most of us envision healing as a non-linear path we take on foot; a muddied, beaten, track that is not without obstacles and hinderances along the way. 'One foot in front of the other,' we hear all the time. I know. I SAY it all the time. It's something we all have to keep in mind when we embark upon that journey that is healing. Sometimes, though, (more than sometimes, if I'm being honest) we'll reach an impasse. It becomes evident that next step that one must take is gonna hurt. If not painful, it'll at the very least, be uncomfortable. Now, we can choose to do one of a few things at this point. We can pretend it's not there and plod on - it'll hurt and it'll sting and it'll SUCK. Eventually, you're going to wear yourself down, and potentially feel worse than you have to. This'll take an enormous toll on you in every which way - physically, emotionally, mentally. We can sit idle and hope the obstacle goes away on its own. We have time, right? Anything could happen. It's like sitting in highway traffic on Rt. 80 during the holiday season. You simply wait until the road ahead is cleared of whatever's in the way, and only then will we proceed. We can only begin to imagine what the problem might be with this option, as there are no guarantees on a time frame that we may be able to resume the process. We can kick that little obstacle a little bit further ahead, only to be faced with it again later. We can and we will and we have done that. Delaying the inevitable is still going to slow the process down, but sometimes it's what's needed in order to keep ourselves focused on what we CAN do while that underlying problem still remains intact. Those things that hinder our progress aren't always obvious. We know they're there, but we only understand being 'stuck.' There's something there, something in the goddamn way, and until it's identified, understood and removed, we're gonna be in that uncomfortable limbo position. It will literally be that pebble in our shoe that makes moving on less appealing. I know this is hardly the same, but a small, yet amusing example: Some of you may not know this about me, but I don't give a shit if it's 100 degrees outside - I have a very, VERY specific sleep pattern. I have TWO comforters, and in order to sleep, I must bury myself underneath both comforters, from my earlobes to my toes. I NEED to do the leg-out, covers-off, covers-back-on deal an indeterminate amount of times every night. Rationally, I know I'm going to be hot and sticky - but it's how I'm most comfortable, wrapped up like a burrito when I'm trying to fall asleep. I don't see this changing any, either, so I'll dare not try and modify my blanket set-up any. So, I've been wearing this amazingly comfortable, WAY-too-big pair of sweatpants to lounge around and then to sleep in. They're roomy, they're SO warm and I'm usually upset when I have to take them off because I can't wear them in public, at risk of tripping over the bottoms and face-planting at inconvenient moments. Anyway, these sweats + my two comforters + our heat usually running = sweat pouring off my body several times during the night, and being unable to fall and STAY asleep. I couldn't figure this out for the life of me - WHY I couldn't sleep...what's changed? Sure, I'm on a soon-ending hiatus from school, so I'm not yet in walking zombie mode...but I've been going to bed VERY late, too. I've been TRYING to get back into get-up-early mode, but failing miserably. I'm going to be paying the price on Tuesday morning, but it's likely going to have to happen. But what else has changed....remains the question. It's the damn pants, isn't it? I was sleeping FINE before the pants were discovered in an old bin of winter clothes! Damn the pants. But I LOVE the pants! I finally whipped the covers off, got up, and took them off this morning after only sleeping an hour and a half and replaced them with thinner-than-paper flannel bottoms - they're flannel, but they're still extremely thin in comparison to my favorite loungers...and I was able to sleep for the next four hours. I'll also test the pants theory later tonight when it's bedtime - if I'm wearing them, (and I probably will be) I will take them off and replace them with shorts or these skimpy flannels and see if it makes any difference in my ability to fall and stay asleep! Like I said, I know this is not a very good comparison to some of those other issues that many of us struggle with on a regular basis, but it IS somewhat of a demonstration of how to first, identify the problem, and then to get rid of it so that you can improve another aspect of your life. In my case, it'd be improving on sleep, which, I imagine, will set off a chain reaction and ultimately improve my overall mood and energy levels! These pebbles can be anything, too. They can be a toxic person, whether living or dead, whose voice you hear constantly, telling you that you're unworthy of happiness. They can be a thought or an idea. They can be a feeling. In my case, they can be those cackling, annoying skeletons that have been following me for over 20 years, clattering their bones as a persistent reminder that they still exist, and while life has gone on, they'll not entirely disappear. They aren't the bad kind of skeletons, either - I've done nothing terrible, so no worries. No, these are the guys who laugh whenever I say that I've got everything under control and that I've done all the healing I'm supposed to do. That's when the bag of bones is rattled, as to say, "we're here when you're ready!" I'm just as guilty as the rest of you on this, guys - I've been sort of hopping between #2 and #3 on the list of options mentioned above - I've done an enormous amount of healing, but there's definitely a pebble in my shoe. Or one of those round, spiky things that fall from trees....what the hell are those called, anyway? (Ahhhh....Sweet Gum Balls - I just Googled.) There's clearly an impasse, and while some of these pebbles (one looking a whole lot like the wasband's bald 'Mr. Clean' head) are beyond my control, there are indeed things that are manageable in the meantime, if only I'd just sit down, pull off my shoe, remove the pain-in-the-ass pebble, investigate it, and eventually be able to chuck it after I've determined that it's not going to be something I allow to impede my progress, anymore. The shoe goes back on and the journey resumes. It would seem that there's a whole lot that I haven't worked on, but we knew that, already. I've just got to decide on an option (#2? #3?) and stick with it. And it feels almost....I dunno....hypocritical to be a social worker who hasn't finished working on herself, first. I guess #3 seems to be the more appealing option, if I promise myself (and those fucking skeletons) that I'll pay attention to the other things, too. I know I owe it to myself and to whomever I come into contact with, to own those pebbles and to contribute to the growing collection of 'chucked' stones that no longer stand in the way of our personal growth. So, I'm interested in hearing what some of your pebbles might represent....and how you're going about the process of getting rid of them. What's holding you back from taking that next step? Can it be kicked ahead? Is it worth pausing over? Can it be something you carry along with you at risk of overwhelming yourselves? Something to think about, anyway. I'd love to hear from you, so feel free to hit up the comments. I'm also going to post excerpts from this blog in Healing Tips & Inspiration, so feel free to participate there, if you're more a board person than a blog person! We got this, guys. Let's get rid of some damn rocks! Sending all of you healing hugs and only the best of vibes. I'll be back next week, with resumed (although I'll try not to let it overtake) school-related blogs. I'm sure I'm going to have a lot of pebble accumulation in my new sneakers before I know it - because clearly, majoring in social work is something that is definitely going to open my eyes to a lot of shit. But, maybe it'll force me to confront some of those grinning skulls. Once and for all. Until next time - sending love! - Capulet
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