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About Capulet

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    It takes more effort to hate than it does to love.

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  1. New here

    Hello @cunixdr, welcome to AS. I am sorry to hear of the circumstances that have brought you to AfterSilence, but do hope that being here brings you peace, comfort and healing. The people here are truly wonderful and I am sure you will soon see that you are definitely not alone. Best wishes, Capulet
  2. Today's been somewhat productive. I probably should be getting ready to wind down and attempt to sleep but instead, my fingertips are tingling; if nothing else, it's a signal that my brain will simply not allow me to sleep until I've said my piece. I'll start with this backstory... Lately, my fiancee's relationship with her boss has shifted more toward a developing friendship than strictly professionalism. This woman is J's direct supervisor, but J is also her 'right hand,' she is in a position that is 'above' the other staff members but usually is their go-to person in the event that the supervisor is not available. Resultedly, J has been working very hard lately - taking more naps after work and is seemingly more physically drained. There is one other staff member that is in an equivalent position (the left hand?) but he has dropped the ball SEVERAL times - and J's had to pick up a lot of his slack. The supervisor will call J at random times of the day to vent about this, and about work and all the stupid things that the staff does, etc...and she'll also talk about happenings outside of work - specifically about issues she's having at home with her husband and her child...she already communicates with J several times a day about work-related issues - it's probably a natural reaction to call her whenever something personal comes up and she needs a friend. J is just that type of person. You can talk to her about anything. In that sense, she and I are very similar people - perhaps it's one of the main reasons our relationship has been able to flourish and has become stronger than ever. I absolutely love this about my fiancee. Two weeks ago, J's supervisor came here for dinner and drinks and it was my first time meeting her. I do like her very much, she's very down-to-earth and an overall fun person to be around. We had dinner and we downed Strawberry Daiquiris like there was no tomorrow. Additionally, she will be attending a barbecue I am having this weekend - she's J's friend, though - I do not feel, nor do I expect to feel as if I'm 'within this circle.' She recently told J that she's experiencing a large amount of stress at home in addition to at work. And that she'd like to go for drinks after work one night. Then, she asked J: "Would Cap mind if you took off with me for a few days and we just stuffed our faces and drank and just forgot about everything having to do with work or life for a little while?" J MUST have seen the raised eyebrow when she repeated the question to me. "It's not going to happen, don't worry about it." She said nothing more of it for the rest of the evening. So I pretended it had never been said. But it DID bother me. Yes, I DO think Cap would mind. Here's the thing....and this was the epiphany that decided to hit me like a fuck-ton of bricks while we were having our weekly cheat dinner at Olive Garden. The scale was a little bit bi-polar this morning and I'm starting to think it's been malfunctioning for the last three weeks....but yeah, beside the point. Do y'all remember the asshole I was married to? Yeah, him. Well, while married to his royal highness, I was NOT allowed to have friends. Okay...that isn't coming out the way I need for it to. He never actually made the statement, "I forbid you to have friends." No. His actions spoke louder than his words, even when his words hurt. He casually claimed that he wouldn't mind if I had friends, but he was a firm believer of keeping my friends at a 'healthy distance.' He made it abundantly clear to me that HE was my friend. HE was my spouse. HE was my lover. HE was the one I went to whenever I had a problem. And I tried that for a while, I called him my best friend (barf) and I repeatedly tried to convince him that he was it for me, but I don't think it worked very well. God forbid I wanted to go to a movie with a friend - I'd first have to build up the courage to ASK him to stay with the kids while I went to unwind for a little bit. There was ALWAYS an argument, but he'd begrudgingly let me go. And while I was gone, he'd sit, bounce his leg, stew, chain-smoke three packs of cigarettes, go through my emails, check my browsing history, look for ANY signs of my conversing about personal matters with anyone other than him...why? I wish I knew! I'd NEVER stepped out on him, I was loyal and faithful to him. I took care of his children, his house, did his laundry, his ironing, his errands, cooked his meals...and all I wanted to do was go to a movie or to have lunch or dinner with a friend without being made to feel as if I were committing a mortal sin and that the world would come crashing down if I'd actually enjoyed myself. Eventually it became a matter of 'not being worth it' and I withdrew from everyone. He was my person, but I think it's because he FORCED the situation and himself to be my person. I had NO choice in the matter. He didn't have any friends, either (I don't think I wonder why, anymore) and so when you have two friendless people under the same roof, one who doesn't particularly have anything to say unless it's mean, derogatory, vulgar or a request for sex, it's a surefire recipe for disaster. When he became seemingly uninterested in hearing what I had to say anymore, I began to withdraw...I know I've said this before. This seemed to make him unusually pleased - because if I wasn't talking to HIM about the matters that still bothered me, I wasn't talking to ANYONE. And if it wasn't being talked about, it no longer existed. At least, in his warped brain, that was the case. The only time this changed was when he was done with me and had already moved onto someone else. "You should go hang out with your friends," he would say. "Or if you want to go out with a guy, that's good, too...I'll stay with the kids and spend time with them, you just go have a good time." Yeah....'HUH?' There was no more 'attention' to what I did online, nor was he behind my shoulder anymore when I had IM conversations. He just didn't give a shit anymore, because now, he had someone else. In fact, that was probably WHY he wanted me to do the same. To justify his own actions, like the coward he truly was. So...tonight...J brought up her supervisor again. It was actually because I sat in the car for 45 minutes before we even got into the restaurant. The supervisor called J as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. So I played a few (several) rounds of Candy Crush while they had a lengthy conversation about the problematic staff member they both hated. J did apologize for the delay and we went into the restaurant to eat. She rambled a little bit more about work. Somehow the topic of going out after work came up again. J expressed that while she didn't feel she needed my permission or green-light to go and be with her friends (right now it's just her boss/friend) and have a good time with them, she felt badly leaving me at home (especially since I'd likely already BEEN home for the day already) and that by going out, she was disappointing me. She also recently attended another co-worker's housewarming party (with the boss) and had a GREAT time. She commented on how my face sort of 'dropped' when she mentioned that she'd had plans with her friends. She asked me if I ever felt angry with her for doing so. I put my fork down. I honestly didn't know how to answer that. Because I HAD periodically felt SOMETHING. It wasn't anger. But it was significant and VERY hard to explain. Have I become my ex-husband???? I am NOT the paranoid, untrusting son-of-a-bit*h that is my ex - I trust J COMPLETELY. But has his twisted way of thinking somehow become an unreasonable truth, even in a small way? Was I convinced that I needed to be the only person in her life? I knew I wasn't - she has her sister, she now has her boss, who has become her friend. She has me. Her circle is small, yet it seems huge in comparison to mine. To tell her that it didn't bother me at all would be a lie. And I'm a HORRIBLE liar. And so I spoke slowly...chose my words as I went along. I told her that I wasn't mad. Because THAT was the truth. If there was any anger, it was toward my ex. Because he's the one who has caused me to feel this way. It's COMPLETELY his doing. And now his bullshit was seeping through into my current relationship - a place where such bullshit has NO business being! I wanted her to enjoy life. I wanted her to have friends. I already knew that I wasn't her ONLY person - I don't feel that's the way it should be either - but it was ingrained onto me by my ex - when you're with someone, that's who you spend all your time with. When you're married, you live ONE life, there's no room to forge additional relationships that may or may not derive from the marriage. I know this is a hundred percent wrong. It didn't feel right being on the receiving end of that line of bullshit - and I NEVER wanted J to feel that way - even though purely unintentionally. I finally (slowly) told her that if anything, I was slightly envious - because she HAD nearby friends who would call and ask her to go get a drink or to hang out. I've just gotten SO fucking used to withdrawing from social opportunities, and now people didn't know how to approach me. Either that, or they knew not to bother trying. While I know I'm not her only, she's my only. She's the ONLY one I feel comfortable drinking with, talking about the 'deep stuff' with. And now she's got other people to enjoy those things with. People who don't necessarily want to include me in their plans. And almost automatically, that feels like a rejection. Not particularly by them because really, they've got no reason to invite along someone they don't know. * Side note - I've been working on this, though, on opening myself up to more social situations. I've told J of the little plans I've got to expand my circle, to somehow break down some of these massive walls that I've build around myself. I have no secrets from her and she was seemingly excited to hear that I would soon be going back to school, I'd soon be searching for other ways to spend my (too much) free time, and to get involved in SOMETHING that would distract from the loneliness that I've by now accepted as a way of life. Loneliness that I've learned to like, in a way that is even more difficult to explain, so I'll not try right now. "You should," she said when I told her more about things I wanted to do in the near future, "It'll be good for you to get to know people, make some friends. Go out, have lunch, a drink, enjoy yourself. And it's okay to do that with someone other than me." THAT's when it hit me. The epiphany, along with the side of parmesan-encrusted zucchini I'd just taken a bite out of and swallowed prematurely. And I just blurted out what I said next. I don't think it was even thought out completely. It just seemed to be there, waiting to be purged. And out it came: "You know, that's the same thing my ex said when he was finished with me and he didn't care about me anymore. He encouraged me to go out, make friends, have a good time with someone other than him...and now here you are, telling me to do the same thing. It's what happened just before I lost him completely. Right before I ended up with no one at all. And I can't help but be afraid of that happening again." Although a moment of blunt honesty, it also felt like a moment of weakness. After saying that, I felt tears well up in my eyes. I was NOT going to be childish, I was NOT going to cry! Not in the middle of a fucking restaurant!!!! NO! I think it hit her at the same time, too. ".........ohhhh." She nodded. Her face was silently saying, "Got it." Then she said she understood....and that it now made sense. My faces, my reactions to whenever a friend calls her and invites her out, my unintentional interpretation of why SHE was now telling me that it was okay to go out with friends and let loose once in a while - everything. I managed to swallow the lump in my throat and told her that it wasn't her fault that I was this way. It was HIS. And this was something I now had to add to my list of things I needed to fix....that list of all the shit that's wrong in my life, whether it was taught to me or it was something other circumstances have forced me to learn. She let me compose myself and while she did first assure me that she understood and that this wasn't what she was doing. She firmly believed that we humans NEEDED more than one person in life. We NEEDED a more expanded circle. THAT was the healthy way. And I think I was surprised too...mainly it's the realization of this - I've been divorced for nine years, already. I've had nine years to 'unlearn' his bullshit teachings. Yet, my brain is still fucking wrecked by him. I STILL feel like it's not okay to become emotionally close to other people, even though it really IS. I still feel like I'm doing something wrong whenever I have a conversation that resembles anything close to enjoyable. I still see his fat, fucking face in the back of my head, I still hear him telling me that to emotionally invest in other relationships was the equivalent of cheating. Even something as innocent as a heart-to-heart and a movie was something that would send us to divorce court. And now it's becoming an evident problem within my current relationship to the point where she feels like she's upsetting ME by wanting 'more.' And I do NOT like this about myself, AT all. Yet, I can't easily snap out of this funk I seem to automatically enter whenever my significant other wants to go out with friends. For a long time, I was fine with J's and my 'arrangement.' In our old hometown, she knew the same people I knew. And so whenever I was invited somewhere, so was she. We were truly a unit. She'd go to work and when she got home, we'd go to dinner, we'd go bowling, whatever. We were and still very much are joined at the hip and VERY rarely separated. It's also worth a mention - she was working in a different job then, and her co-workers were not as much 'friend material' as her current ones. But now, things are changing. We've moved to an entirely different place. We BOTH don't really know anyone other than the local bowling crew - the only exception being J's co-workers...she knows and is friends with some of them now. I do have some acquaintances, maybe even one or two who have the potential of being true friends to us both, given the opportunity. But when we moved, I've left behind everything and everyone I ever considered to be a friend...I'm feeling as if I'm back at square one and that feeling of being withdrawn is sometimes amplified. J is evolving. That's not necessarily a bad thing, either - she is not the same person she was when we met. We met here, in fact, if you're just tuning into my blogs and didn't know that - well - now you do. I'm trying not to panic, as the appearance of a friend in my fiancee's life does not necessarily signal the end of our relationship. I suppose it just means she's reached the point where she is comfortable being in social settings, while I'm still trying to find my footing. I just hope that I am able to find it soon - before the misteachings of my ex turn me into the person I don't want to be. This is just an overly annoying, yet significant ingrained fear that I have to learn how to effectively quell. Okay - I think that's about all I've got on the brain tonight. More next time. Until then, I'm hoping you're all doing well. Peace, love, & light, - Capulet
  3. It's pretty amazing how even after so much elapsed time, things STILL remain ingrained into you.  

    Blog forthcoming, soon as I can figure out how to best explain today's epiphany. :blink:

    1. Show previous comments  8 more
    2. Iheartcupcakes


      I will try to read it soon :throb:

    3. Capulet



      Thank you.  I've got something to tell you later too, if you have some free time!

    4. Iheartcupcakes
  4. New to This

    @sutureupmyfuture, welcome to AS! So sorry for the circumstances that have led you to us, but hope that being here helps to set on the right path toward healing. Sexual assault leaves many, many permanent marks on our spirit - so to completely 'forget about it' is for sure not easily done but to regain the courage to keep going despite the ugliness in the background IS very doable. You'll get there. I hope that being here helps to bring you to this point. The people here are amazingly supportive and understanding - so it's a great place to start. Best wishes, Capulet
  5. Newbie

    Hi @Dakota101916, welcome to AS!!!! This is a wonderful place to find the support you've been searching for. The people at AS are amazing and are extremely understanding. I hope that being here brings you comfort and ultimately, healing. Best wishes. Capulet
  6. New: Hope Over Experience

    Welcome to AS. This is an awesome community and the people here are very supportive. You're very brave to take these first steps toward healing - and these are the hardest ones, too! I hope being here brings you peace, comfort and healing in addition to whatever clarity you seek. Best wishes, and again, welcome! Capulet
  7. When the daughter is bored and her electronic devices have been confiscated, what to do, what to do???  I know!  Let's bake!  Fresh out of the oven!!  Help yourselves to cookies, friends! :throb:38993009_150782442453613_6037291878511017984_n.jpg

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. Capulet


      I love it!!!! :)  It's amazing and VERY meaningful.  And I've a soft spot for purple.  It's my favorite color.

    3. Hope of Morning

      Hope of Morning

      Mine too!    Not totally sure about the font. What do you think?

    4. Capulet


      Hmmm.  Personally, I like it.  But if you're not so sure about the font, you can always have the word written in different fonts and see if any of the others 'pop' better.  The butterfly though, you should definitely keep.  It's beautifully drawn!

  8. *** This was also posted in the Aftermath section. It was a little bit longer than the standard length of most posts there but the message I hope to convey is a powerful one and I feel that it is more than just a post. I've copied/pasted it here because while it was meant to be a post, it's also another one of my famous 'cleanses' and certainly belongs here, too. *** This is likely going to turn out to be a long post. I apologize in advance. There's just an enormous amount of brain-clutter these days and the OCD person I am is trying to sort through some of it, organize it. Writing is simply my way of doing so. I also am still trying to debate whether this should be a blog entry as opposed to board pollution, but it may very well end up being both...the message is powerful regardless of where it's placed. I made the stupidest decision when I was 20 years old. A decision even more stupid, it sometimes seems, than those I made during my own personal mission to self-destruct. I will set a small timeline in order to better convey where I'm going with this. And in doing so, I dare not touch my suspicions of there being CSA in my childhood. I have tried to remember the details of that, but to no avail. I'm SURE it played a part, even a minuscule one, in my 'blueprint,' but without facts, I can't say for sure what stems from this and what doesn't. And so, I'm leaving that alone. Until the memories that have been repressed decide to resurface, this is not something that it's currently within my power to sift through, and so it's probably best to pull it out of the equation. So I will declare the rape I experienced at 17 years old to be the catalyst for the behavior that would soon follow. Shortly after the assault, I broke up with the first boyfriend I'd ever had. A GOOD guy. Very sweet, very kind. He hailed from a strictly devout Catholic family. We'd done nothing more than kissing and some over-the-clothes stuff. We were both virgins and we'd talked about marriage being the best time to 'give' this to each other. We HAD talked about marriage. We were kind of serious/kind of joking, in that teenage dream sort of way. It gave us something to talk about when being physical wasn't an option. But anyway - after that virginity was taken from me, I felt I had nothing left to offer him. Now, I know that's not the realistic way to look at it - I WAS still a virgin - I hadn't willingly given my virginity to another person. I hadn't given my consent. At the time, though, my brain was not allowing for me to think clearly. All I could think of was how HE felt about it being so sacred. I thought about how it'd be on our wedding night, should that ever become a reality...he'd probably know that he wasn't my first. As if and he'd be disappointed, angry, maybe? It wasn't something I wanted him to feel, nor was it something I wanted to explain as having happened to me, either. And, oh, God, what if he didn't BELIEVE me? And so, I sent him a lengthy e-mail and told him that I didn't love him, I didn't want to be together anymore. He pleaded, he cried, he begged, he told me he loved me and wasn't giving up that easily. But I was unrelenting. Mean at times. I cut him out. Completely. Eventually, he stopped emailing, writing letters, sending little presents. He was truly gone...along with the rest of whatever was good in my life - discarded. And for a long time, I blamed only myself while I grieved what could have been. I did love him. I did love the thought of him being the first person I had sex with. But that was gone now. Time went on...I'd say a few months crawled by. I signed up with AOL and began to frequent chat rooms, not looking for anything other than just to connect with someone. I couldn't do it in person; I was too awkward around other people. I wanted to be around SOMEONE, someone neutral, someone who didn't know me, someone who didn't know the girl I was before this monster....ruined me. So, while those who DID know me questioned these personality changes, (that I, almost too flawlessly dismissed as being 'busy' and dealing with 'college stress') I was looking for companionship with people who weren't so perceptive to these new differences. Really, though..there was an incredible void within, and I didn't know how to fill it. I was indeed isolating myself from people who cared about me - I withdrew socially, I stopped talking to life-long friends and eventually, they, too, followed suit. I'm not sure if that's a failure on my part or theirs - aren't friends supposed to pick up on these things???? - either way, it was just how the cookie crumbled. I fell apart, academically and JUST managed to pass my classes. Not sure if it was a pity-pass by the professors who probably noticed there was something wrong. Eventually, I did what I thought was the safest, most anonymous way of connecting-but-not-connecting and socialized online more than I did in reality. These people didn't know me. Although I WILL say that I wasn't dishonest about who I was. I was truthful about the important details - age, where I was from, etc. I just wasn't me anymore. These were strangers and I found it was easier to talk to people when there were no emotions attached. I was no longer the cautious, innocent, happy young lady I vaguely remember being. I was now '18/f in _____' and no one really wanted or cared about all the background information. It's just the hookup they wanted, sadly, and after a while, I began to (stupidly) arrange for some of these meetings. My "first" was a guy who lived a couple towns over. He was a year older than me. Didn't go to my college, which was a good thing, in hindsight. But we'd talked online first for a little while and then met in person. He, too, was hearing impaired, so there was a little MORE of a connection than I'd learn I was comfortable with at the time. I WAS attracted to him; he was very handsome. And he quickly became the first person I consented to. There was a brief, sloppy, clumsy encounter on the floor in his room, all of our clothing hadn't even been removed. As quickly as it started, it was over. And while this meant that I TRULY wasn't a virgin anymore, I can't help but feel like that didn't count, either - during this encounter, I felt absolutely nothing. No pain, no pleasure. Just...nothing. He WAS a looker, but I didn't love him, I felt dirty and ashamed afterwards, I'm sure a side-effect of being touched for the first time since...that guy. I ignored that feeling, though. If anything, I felt it was a replacement of sorts. A subpar experience to refer back to instead of the bad one that still plagued my dreams at night. He DID contact me a few days after I'd slept with him and said that he felt needed to be honest - he still had feelings for an old girlfriend and he was going to attempt to re-connect with her. He just would rather we remained friends. I graciously accepted that. I think, for me, I was only looking to feel something...I wasn't sure what. I was still having my bad days. Nightmares, flashbacks, things were triggering me left and right, I'd begun to self-injure. I continued to isolate from people I already knew. I stopped caring about the importance of the things that truly mattered. I was now fully emerged into a downward spiral. So when approached (electronically) by men (and women) wanting to meet for drinks or for dinner (which I knew meant sex and more sex) I usually obliged. I'd go, not expecting sex...maybe perhaps I'd be pleasantly surprised and someone actually wanted something of substance. It almost ALWAYS headed in the 'meaningless sex' direction, though. There was one-night-stand after one-night-stand. I began to sleep around, not because it was something I enjoyed, but because, little by little, it began to chip away at my self-worth and in order to feel something - ANYTHING, that's what I needed. Physically, these experiences were unsatisfying, sometimes painful. Sometimes they'd be courteous to ask if I was okay with having sex. Having once said no and not been listened to, I wasn't taking that chance again. And so I would say nothing in place of the 'no' that I SHOULD have been able to say and instead became a silent participant, even if it was just by way of pleasing THEM in ways they wanted to be pleased. That 'I'll do whatever you want, just don't hurt me' mentality was a constant - and rather than allow myself to be harmed, the submissive side of me would emerge and I'd find myself doing whatever necessary just to get through it. Eventually, there were more risky hookups...hookups that I am TRULY fortunate did not end badly for me. I allowed for a lot of things to be done TO me - without caring, without feeling, without fear. Numbness completely took over. I allowed for some pretty messed up things, things that PROBABLY could be described as borderline assault, but simply because I allowed these things, they were not. I want to say this is when I was at my lowest point. Secretly, I wondered if this would be the end - would one of them kill me when they were finished? Was I just not cut out for this cruel, unfair world and death was about to become a consequence? Would one of these guys do me a favor and just end it all for me? Was this what I was actually doing? Trying to kill myself? Obviously, that was not the case as today, I'm still alive. Okay, so here's what this post is REALLY about. I have a question for you all - a question that lately I've had to ask myself. Mostly because in some respect, I spend a lot of time trying to justify marrying an asshole. The temporary insanity argument just doesn't cut it as well as it used to - there's so much more behind it all. So, I met the wasband in the middle of all of this, shortly before turning 20. He was introduced to me by a mutual friend, though so from the start, it was different from previous 'hookups.' AND - he was a cop. I suspect that friend we shared knew that I needed some positivity in my life and while she didn't intend for us to become anything more than friends, she had hoped that he could help me straighten out my life and sort of re-route the direction I was headed in. She did tell me about him, too, before asking if it was okay to pass along my screen name. He was recently separated, he had two small children and he was a 'good' guy - and bonus! He was local. I met him online first. We chatted a few times before agreeing to meet for dinner. So at this point, my brain's like, here we go - here's the next one, this'll end just like all the rest of them... But then, it didn't. We went on several dates (dinner, movies, long walks...oh and there was TALKING! Imagine that!?) before he ASKED me if he could kiss me before I would go home for the night. I'm not sure what happened to my brain then, but something clicked. Where that 'do whatever you can to keep from getting hurt' went, I don't know. It wasn't there then. I did want to kiss him, yes, but there was also that fear of this turning into another hookup. For the first time, it felt significant, it felt safe. He wasn't pushing for sex. He was patient with me. It felt..not 'right,' but better than anything I'd ever felt before. So, my first thought then was to test him. And myself. I told him, "Not yet." He respected my boundaries and didn't ask again until our next date. I obliged this time and we shared our first kiss then. From there, he would ASK me before proceeding any further. We eventually (slowly) became more intimate - and were pregnant with my son four months later. The choice to marry was next - and I was quick to accept his marriage proposal. I didn't think about it. I said yes. But I have to admit to myself that it wasn't out of love. Shit, I didn't have enough TIME to learn how to love. It's such a complex feeling, one that requires TIME to develop. But, now there was a baby involved, now I'd met someone who made me feel that it was okay to leave all of the self-destructive urges behind and refocus on something far, FAR more important than ways to hurt myself. And now, I had more to look forward to, I was bringing a perfect little human being into the world and it was time to put such thoughts to rest. The transition from being a nothing more than a booty call or one-night-stand into someone's wife and mother, was sort of forced, but in a way, I think it's what I needed - I needed to be grounded, I needed to be forced into making this choice, even if I was the one to force myself. Otherwise, I really don't know where I'd be now. And so, I took what felt acceptable at the moment and went with it, regardless of the absence of the head-over-heels feeling that usually is the deciding factor in getting married...and so against my better judgement, I said yes to the dress. I think that for a while, it felt pretty great - I was beating myself at my own game, at life. It's because when we were just starting out, he allowed me to take control. And looking back, this is highly unusual for him - shortly after we were married, he seemingly evolved into an entirely different person and managed to seize any relinquished control back and became the aforementioned asshole. At first, it was usually the money and budget related, or kid-related, parenting fights. Then he would slowly bring up (and criticize) each and every one of my past flaws - possibly due to my still having some lasting, left over, under-the-surface issues despite his 'rescue' efforts. I think that once I took his last name, he'd assumed that my name wouldn't be the only thing to change. He had expectations that being married would somehow "fix" or diminish anything bad that had happened in my life. I'd attempt to reach out and discuss things that still bothered me. At first, he would listen. Then slowly, he began to become increasingly 'tired' of hearing it and eventually the words, "you need to get over this," came out of his mouth. That was my cue to stop badgering him with such matters. I went to others with it, instead, especially those I felt could relate on some level. When he found out that I was sharing feelings with people other than him, he became angry with me and accused me of seeking attention and that my preference to take some of these issues elsewhere was 'emotionally cheating.' Even though I explained to him that I no longer desired to burden him with all of this, he was still paranoid and untrusting. He needed to see ALL of my communications - emails, texts (now that they were a thing) and instant messaging. If he, Heaven forbid, saw that I was beginning to confide in someone else, or even become close to someone (even though it was strictly on a friends-only basis) he'd get angry all over again and sometimes insult my friends to the point where I felt ashamed even talking to people that I truly liked. To open myself up to someone else, even if it was just to spare him the repetition, he would view as a betrayal - I have absolutely NO idea how that even is the case. I soon began to suppress EVERYTHING. I just stopped talking. I stopped thinking. I stopped dealing. Whenever something popped up, I engaged in a mental game of whack-a-mole and would quickly banish it back from whence it came. I knew there was stuff still lingering, but it just wasn't acceptable to discuss any of it anymore. And I certainly wasn't going to resort to old ways - I was now married, I was a mother. The beast had been 'tamed,' unsure if this is even the correct way to describe it. Yet, by respecting his wishes, although unreasonable and suppressing, I suspect I did some further damage. Instead of healing through the support that others would have been able to provide, I began to isolate again. Although I felt I did as he wished, I'd find out that this wasn't going to change the type of person he was turning out to be. He continued to bully and manipulate me and everyone else around him. He continued to put me down when I needed the opposite. Little by little, he broke me down. He made me feel horrible about myself. I soon began to feel that just as I sadly didn't really love him when we agreed to marry, he likely felt the same way about me. Why else would he treat me this way? There just wasn't any other reasonable explanation for it. I soon felt that this was punishment for all the crap I'd done in the past - it HAD to be. I'd just basically gone from one prison to the next. Getting married and having children and raising a family did NOT fix me. It only ensured a transfer from maximum security to minimum. I'm still so, SO affected (although not as severely) by what's happened in the past, but now I've learned better ways of coping, simply because I forced myself to. I served 8 years in this particular mental prison, he was my 'guard' rather than a husband and he subjected me to the most confusing 8 years of my life. I was paroled and set free only by divorce, which will be close to 10 years ago that it was finalized. During the time I've been 'out,' I've worked hard to pick myself up. I'm in a healthy relationship with an absolutely amazing woman. When I met her, I was a complete MESS. I didn't know how to communicate very well offline, with another human being. I'd gotten SO used to keeping to myself. To allowing others to see only what I wanted them to see. Once we met in person, we had an interesting time trying to get to know each other on every level. And that's where I found the love that I didn't know I was capable of feeling. My only regret was having not met her sooner, but I'm not sure if that's how life would have played out if I had. I have had to re-educate myself on how to properly sort out my feelings, my thoughts. Regardless of being in a MUCH better place now, I'm finding it to be a lifelong process....and the whack-a-mole games have restarted - only I'm now struggling with moles I've never seen before...the moles, when they used to be purely black and white are now teal, pink, purple, red, blue, polka-dotted, striped, etc. One pops up and I'll take a swing, only to find that another has popped up in a different location before I've had time to deal with the first one. And that's when it starts to get overwhelming. Guys...there's still so much SHAME, though. I'm so ashamed of myself for the things I did prior to meeting the wasband. I know that I just didn't know how to handle it and I let others handle things FOR me. My personal growth and evolution has provided me the wisdom to understand why I (and others) did (do) these things. I get it. All of it. It doesn't help the feeling of shame I still get from time to time when I think about the blatant disrespect I treated myself with. I was literally ready to punch in my one-way ticket to the point of no return. But instead, I did something that I thought would potentially be less harmful and would give my life some purpose, no matter the cost. So... Has anyone else ever done this? Did anyone else get married just to escape the possibility of an alternative, less favorable path? In my case, it didn't work out but it DID deflect from a far more dangerous existence. If so, what was the outcome for you? I think more people than we realize are guilty of this. Not particularly on the same level, but still. I think this is something that I need to be told is normal (under the circumstances) and that I'm not a terrible person for making some of the poor choices I've made. I've already forgiven myself for past indiscretions and accept my reasons for doing so but in the process, I've felt so ALONE with it all. I've felt judged, even though very few people even KNEW this about me. I was and still am my worst critic. This turned out to be MUCH longer than intended - will also post it in my blog as it's a cross between a post and a cleanse. Regardless, it's one that I'd TRULY appreciate some feedback on, so please don't be shy. Hit the comments below. Wishing you all an endless supply of hugs, if those are your thing. If not, then I wish you strength, healing and light. - Capulet
  9. Feeling very unlike myself tonight.  No idea why.  Could use a friend.

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Hoping8


      Hi!  Message me if you want—I’d like to get to know you better and I will be awake either way.  Hang in there!

    3. Capulet


      Hi @Kmkz, @Free2Fly, @MeBeMary, @Field8, @Hoping8 

      THANK YOU guys for your kind words and messages and for sitting with me last night.  

      I do NOT ask for help often. I'm not used to doing so.  In the past, I was taught and 'conditioned' to deal with my emotions and moods differently.  Whenever I feel these 'emotional overloads,' this (untrue) feeling of sharing being equivalent to showing weakness kicks in and I am usually quicker/more likely to suck it up and let it sit and fester instead.  But this is not happening anymore; part of my personal growth process is to (slowly) learn to allow others to be able to offer comfort, advice or support when needed.  More often than not, healing is a grueling uphill battle, and it's too easy to forget that there are others who are on that same hike.  Slowly, I am discovering the benefits of allowing others to stand behind me and give that encouraging push here and there - I WILL keep climbing and I WILL make it to the top of this hill, eventually.  

      I'd also like to shout out to a couple of others not listed here who also took the time out of their evening to reach out and talk to me.  You guys have NO idea how much it helped to know that you were there.  Thank you, too. :throb:

      I'm feeling a little less unsettled and more coherent today.  I did manage to sleep for a little while, too, so the headache has lessened although it's not completely gone, yet.  I'm going to respond to a couple of PMs, soak in the bath and will be back later. 



    4. Free2Fly


      :) glad I could be helpful

  10. I've been quiet for the past week. I'm sorry, guys. After my last entry, I've had a lot to think about. That incredibly annoying voice in my head is back, and even though I'm deaf, I can still hear it. There's a hamster, that although is cute in a little hairy rodent sort of way, is CONSTANTLY running in his little wheel situated in the middle of my brain...every time the wheel turns, a new question, thought, memory, WHATEVER, is thrown into the fray and is resulting in less of that thing that normal people refer to as 'sleep' and more of those not-so-wonderful headaches. I did just buy a BIG ASS jar of Advil for those, though. It's just been a week of realizations...I suppose these can be both good and bad. Good because it's a sense of understanding that perhaps wasn't so clear before - and bad because well, really - who wants these new truths to exist? Guys, I promise this is NOT a blog entry having to do with weight-loss. It is, but it isn't. I won't be discussing numbers or food; I did give my word that I wouldn't be blogging about diet as it's a sensitive subject to some and I don't wish to unintentionally promote poor body image. But there IS something new that I'm realizing in regards to myself - and it sort of applies, it 'fits' and I'm pretty sure that it's one of those things that pop up when something else does - whether intentional or not. Very much like when A pops up, then it makes you think about B, C, and D. There's a lot of that happening with me lately. And I feel that I need to cleanse myself a little by admitting something to you all that I've been struggling to share - I'll explain further why at the end of this post, but here goes. But, first, a couple of 'background stories.' This one is from back when I was a child, aged 11. I remember it very clearly, though it was a lifetime and a half ago. Setting the scene a little. It was my cousin's birthday. My father's sister's son was turning 8. And my aunt, a single mother, was having a family gathering for his birthday at her house. She boiled up a pot of hot dogs and served them to all the kids - mostly, it was just the rest of my cousins and maybe one or two of the birthday boy's friends from school. Anyway - I ate my hot dog rather quickly, having been hungry. I brought my plate over to the stove and asked my aunt for another. There were plenty in the pot. Some of the other kids were already chomping on seconds. "You don't need another one," she said to me, "That's why you're so fat." I didn't argue with her. I remember there being a slight pause as my stomach somersaulted. Instead of responding with, "I'm hungry," I simply put my paper plate in the trash and went to sit next to my grandmother on the couch. When they had cake, a piece was offered to me and I declined. I remember looking at myself in the mirror later that night and deciding that my aunt was right - I was fat. 11 years old and fat. And I didn't know it then, nor understand it - but that is absolutely NOT what an adult tells a child. When a child is hungry, you feed them. No questions asked. You simply don't make a kid feel as if there's something wrong with them for being hungry. That is completely and totally un-fucking-acceptable. And I often picture myself standing next to that 11-year-old version of myself asking for another frankfurter, so that when told I was fat, I could THEN respond to my aunt in a manner that would have impacted her as much as her statement to me at 11 years old had. Of course, I know this is not in any way realistic. It does please me, (although only slightly because of that 'nice person' I am) that my aunt is a miserable old lady now, with very few friends who can tolerate her endless criticism. She's lonely, she's realizing that she's not as liked as she thought she was. Now, let's fast-forward a few years. Now I am married to the wasband and I am raising three children. We have our son, who was a toddler, and then we have his two older children that I'd raised since they were ages four and two. By now, I'd already been through my fair share of weight fluctuations. The short version - I was 'pudgy' throughout high school. Not fat. Pudgy. Then in college, my SA occurred about a month into Freshman classes - after that, I dropped a bunch of weight due to loss of appetite and actually looked good for a while. Then I married the wasband, became "comfortable" with eating and gained a bunch of weight after the Son was born. Motherhood took an enormous toll on me - I was still young...21, 22, 23 years old and raising three kids. I honestly don't know how I did it, a lot of it was on autopilot mode - or perhaps it was because I felt I had so much to prove to the wasband...and to everyone else who was telling me (even if non-verbally) that I couldn't do it. I'm not going to lie...it WAS stressful. I was home during the day with the Son, who cried and cried and CRIED, I couldn't even clean the apartment without putting him in the Snuggli so that I could hold him while I did laundry, dishes, floors, whatever. Then, the older kids would need to be dropped off/picked up from school, and that was me, too. Whenever one of them got sick, it was also me to take them to doctors, pharmacies, all with a colicky infant in tow. Now, we'll top all of that off with the 'in the background' stuff - my r*pe having occurred as recently as 5-7 years prior to that - it wasn't as 'fresh,' but it still indeed bothered me - I still had nightmares, I still cried on the bathroom floor during the few opportune moments I was alone, simply because my husband was a VERY firm believer in 'what is in the past, belongs in the past....and in the past it should stay.' These were the 'suppressing' years; he'd ask how i was doing, I'd say, I was fine. And for a while, I believed it. At the same time, I ate because I was stressed out, I sought comfort within food. And that resulted in me being at my heaviest. The wasband was not kind to me. He would tell me I was fat, I was unattractive. He would point out other women he found attractive. He'd ask in front of the kids, "what does your fat ass want to eat tonight?" I'd shrug. I felt horrible, ashamed, unimportant. But at the same time, he wasn't wrong. I WAS eating unhealthily, I WAS overweight. I DID let myself go. I mean, I couldn't have it all - what I really needed was love, support and a little bit of understanding and when there was very little of that available to me, I had instead given in to bad eating habits. So, after he'd called me fat for the umpteenth time, I went on a diet. I was successful and lost a bunch of weight. Got myself back to where I was before the Son was born. And so, here is story number two, now that I've set THAT scene: We were at the mall, the wasband and I - meeting up with some friends. Another couple that we knew - while our sons were at soccer practice, we'd gone to the food court in the mall for lunch. He bought himself and me these enormous chicken parm rolls from the pizza place. I'd already lost a fair amount of weight and could only eat a couple of bites of mine before feeling full. And the wasband, in front of these people that we barely even knew, pointed out that I'd hardly touched my lunch and commented that I was starving myself. I honestly wasn't; I just wasn't hungry at the time. Even if I WAS being mindful about how much I'd eat, it was still NOT the time nor place for him to make such a comment...and certainly not something you do in front of other people. He then told me that he wanted me to eat every single bite of this way-too-big chicken parm roll, it'd be good to get some meat on me - I was both confused and mortified. I mean - you're going to tell me how fat I am and then when I lose the weight, I'm starving myself? Just what the hell do you even want from me? I did want to ask him this at the time, but I didn't. At the time, I just forced a smile at these people and fumbling for an excuse, said that the food didn't taste right. I had it wrapped and fed it to the kids later on that evening. He wasn't happy with me, but I don't think I cared enough at the time to discuss it. I just felt even more like a failure. Nothing I ever did was right or pleased him. It would only be a few more years we'd be married at this point - but this was shortly before I became pregnant with my daughter. So now I have shared a story from when I wanted food and a story for when I didn't. Both times, I was made to feel ashamed for what I wanted. Hopefully, I have successfully painted a little bit of a clearer picture of why I am so conflicted with diets or even the topic of weight. Why, in addition to everything else that's wrong in my life, I can add 'eating disordered' to my list of problems. See, I always knew this about myself. I always blamed genetics because it was easier to do so - my mother's side is big-boned, my father's side is not. I could be either way - I do think that while my mother CONSTANTLY struggles with weight, I tend to have better luck than she with diets in general - possibly thanks to Dad's genes. This, though, I don't have a name for. I'm definitely not bulimic; I do not force myself to purge what I've eaten. I do not think I am anorexic - I DO eat, although I do limit food intake at times because I'm fearful of becoming the 'fat' person again or the 'unattractive' one, which is indeed a characteristic of the disorder. I've never dropped enough weight where hospitalization was necessary. I just don't want to be seen this way anymore - I was seen as fat when I was a child and chastised for wanting more food. By a family member. Then I was seen as fat/unattractive by the man I married - when the one you marry is supposed to love every single thing about you - even the extra pounds, should there be any. See, when something is ingrained in you from an early age, you sometimes don't realize it's not the proper way of looking at it until MUCH later, when the damage is already done and the scars are deeper than you thought they were. Is there even a correct name for this issue of mine? Or is 'eating disordered' it, even though it's a pretty broad description? Anyway - I couldn't help LOSING MY SHIT when last week, I got on the scale and three pounds of bloat showed up in big, bright, red, digital numbers. I'd GAINED three pounds. WHY? What the hell had I DONE to gain three pounds in seven days?! I certainly hadn't overdone it - not three pounds' worth, anyway. I'm currently on a mission to return to a healthy weight - and TRUST me on this - there is still a ways to go before I'm there. I've made progress. I DO feel better. I'm in a committed, healthy relationship with a supportive woman who loves me no matter what the numbers on the scale say. She certainly has NEVER made me feel badly for my weight although I HAVE fluctuated a couple times in the nearly ten years we're together. She's celebrated my accomplishments with me as I'm on my way back down to a healthy weight, after discovering earlier this year that I was at my all-time high. I'd gotten comfortable AGAIN, I'd let myself go, AGAIN. And it was because no one was telling me what was wrong with me anymore - I was genuinely happy. When someone is happy, it's very easy to carelessly slip back into old habits simply because no one is putting you down for that extra helping of food you helped yourself to. And it all adds up and has a way of catching up to you. And so, this is a little different. I realized for the first time, that being at this weight was unacceptable to ME - before it was unacceptable to anyone else. And the decision to fix it was made solely by me, completely unaided by anyone else. Yet, when that three pounds showed up, ALL I could hear in my head was how fat I was, how I'd ALWAYS be what others already saw me as. All I could feel was failure. And a soreness in my big toe after kicking the scale across the bathroom floor. I swore up and down, left and right, I was ready to break down and CRY. The only reason I didn't is because I had plans to take the Son to an appointment. I no longer wanted to go to this appointment - I wanted to literally run until that three pounds was GONE, even if I had to sweat it out. All these unreasonable ways of removing that ridiculous THREE POUNDS were running through my head - I found myself thinking that I needed to skip a meal or two, I needed to do BETTER than this. I saw the ex's disgusted face, I heard him belittle me over and over. And for a fraction of a minute, I believed it. I'd failed. I'd screwed up. And then - two days later, I'd discover that it's my time of the month; the bloat was simply my body's way of prepping for my impending menses. And so, that episode in the bathroom? Completely uncalled for. How stupid do you want to guess I felt, then? PRETTY silly, I'll say - I have already apologized to the scale and to myself - but I will not apologize for WHY I am this way. It's not my apology to make, but it IS my responsibility to recognize the reasons for my flawed thinking. So what am I realizing other than I'm eating disordered through no fault of my own? (If there's no name for this, then it's perhaps acceptable to leave it at this...) I'm realizing that as I heal, as I progress further and further into an understanding of the complex mess that is myself, I am able to better delegate blame for these things, and place it where it belongs. The weight issues - definitely started by my aunt, whose intention was probably not to cause permanent damage, but instead to exercise tough love. Definitely not the best way to go about that, though. And then, it was further exacerbated by the domestic violence by the wasband, who seemingly makes a career out of being hurtful toward people whom he's supposed to be kindest to...his emotional, verbal and mental abuse certainly played a role. It does help, though, to sit here and attempt to make sense of my thoughts by writing them out - it's the same thing I would be doing in therapy, honestly. And I've covered all my W's. Who? What? Where/when? And of course, the most important of them all: WHY? I guess while I've given it all my best guess as far as the 'why' goes. My whys. I don't think I'm capable of understanding THEIR whys. I suppose that's a good thing, though. I don't wish to understand why people do horrible things to others and make them feel as if they're anything less than valuable. It isn't something I'd ever do to another. I think the problem is this - because of THEM, I still do it to myself. I guess I just want to feel that I'm doing this the right way, that my feelings are normal. I don't expect all of them to be - surely many are understandably influenced by repeatedly being abused - but I also feel that it's important to divulge that this weight loss journey is by no means without struggle. I HAVE had success, do not get me wrong. I just feel that some of it is because I'm too hard on myself, and some of my methods are a result of being fanatical rather than relaxed. I simply don't know how else to be. I don't know how else to shrug off a couple pounds' gain as being no big deal rather than break down and become obsessed with taking it back off immediately. I'm feeling the need to own these things, for to admit is to recognize the problem. Thanks for listening, if you've made it this far. And of course, for allowing me to (try to) make sense of why I am this way, even if it's just to myself for now. I will try and come back in a few days with another entry...perhaps something a little lighter next time. I welcome any and all comments, but please - do not post them here. I feel that PMs are likely the best place to send feedback on this matter. Good night, all. - Capulet
  11. Scared, excited, sad, solitary

    @Hoping8 Correct. From my side, when I see my own posts, my DOB shows. It won't be visible to others, and no one will have that information unless you personally share with them. I also chose that I would allow the USA part to be displayed. It's a pretty big country and I'm okay with sharing that much, even if I don't share the state. Patricia is correct too - all your posts on the boards are public, though. And blogs are searchable by members and non-members as well. Your Personal Messenger content, is private though. Do what you need to do in order to keep yourself safe. You can always message one of the moderators if you feel compromised and they will indeed be able to help you. Take care, Cap
  12. Scared, excited, sad, solitary

    I hear you - I worried about that too, as well as my location being displayed. Fear not, though - you may be able to see it when you try and edit your own information but I cannot when I visit your profile to check. I see no DOB nor location listed. So, no worries, I think you're good!
  13. Scared, excited, sad, solitary

    Hi, @Hoping8 - Welcome!!!! I hope you are liking the site so far and finding it helpful. I'm so sorry for the circumstances that have brought you here but hope you are able to gain some comfort from being among many others who understand. I, too, am very much a night owl. Take care and again, welcome. Best wishes, Capulet
  14. So far so good.

    Congrats on your new blog. And your success with your Mom. That's amazing - I'd say you had a very productive weekend! How are you feeling? I know that while it's great, it can feel overwhelming at times. Honored to be your first comment. I have to agree this is a great place to find so much support, acceptance and compassion - it's a place where no one will judge you for your failures, we celebrate your successes with you - we simply care. And I'm truly glad you've found AS and that you're beginning to focus on your recovery - you're worth it! Take gentle care. Cap
  15. ASL

    That's amazing. I was born without hearing. I didn't learn ASL until my college days...I wasn't allowed. My parents taught me to speak and they really didn't want me focusing on sign language and relying on it, but I still learned as soon as I had the chance. It really is a beautiful language and it's a lot of fun to learn. Your friend is lucky to have you to learn the ropes with him. And I'm glad you both have something to distract a little from negativity and the not-so-nice things. Best of luck! Capulet