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About Capulet

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  1. Hello friends, My sincerest apologies for my lengthy absence. Yes, it's happened before and it's likely to happen again, but we all know that I always, always come back to my writing space - I will go through times where I do not really know what to write but as soon as I sit down, I am often hit with a little reminder of how much of a help it is to process things through blogging. Sometimes it takes a little while for things to start to flow, sometimes I have to get up and return the following day. This particular entry has been sitting in draft mode for a few days, already, but - finally, it's made its way to you all. It has been a very, very long and emotional week. For those of you who don't know, our beloved kitty has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He was an otherwise healthy 8-year-old boy - until one month ago, everything changed for him when he suddenly became paralyzed in his hind legs. Nearly one month from this discovery, he is gone. I am still absolutely heartbroken, although with each day, I am comforted a little bit more, knowing he isn't suffering nor is he in pain. He's probably extremely happy now, having been reunited with his hind legs in the afterlife, and is purring while running, jumping, chasing other animals in the fields of Heaven. We honored our boy's wishes and made the call when he let us know that he was struggling just to stay with us. We chose to do the euthanasia at home, so that he wasn't having to experience the stress of being transported to an unfamiliar location, especially being as sick as he was. He was surrounded by people (and his cat siblings) who loved him dearly and at 4:35pm 2/11/19, he passed peacefully in J's arms. There is a very noticeable emptiness in the house - our boy was 'the man of the house' and he was ALWAYS present, ALWAYS where we were. Whenever we had guests - there he was, to 'observe' everything. He was docile, he was patient, and he was approachable. Although he was more J's cat than he was mine, (he preferred her presence over mine, although he would sometimes demand that I allow him to climb onto my chest while I laid down) I am taking his passing VERY hard. I am the one who is home most of the time - and so, I was the one to provide the around-the-clock care, medicate him, clean his litter box messes, transfer him and his bed, food/water dishes and litter apparatus from room to room, keep him company, etc, for the last month. The day following his passing was especially difficult, for it was finally hitting me - there was nothing for me to do for him, no way I can make him comfortable, he was no longer there for me to open the blinds for so that he could enjoy the natural sunlight. Just seeing his empty bed and empty food and water dish and rolled-up litter mat would send me into fits of ugly-crying - and even as I write this - I can feel that lump in the back of my throat and the tears begging to fall. I've just ordered cremation vials/pendants for J and for myself. His ashes will be returned to us within the week by the vet that put him down and handled his cremation arrangements, and we plan to carry a piece of him with us wherever we go - when the pendants arrive, we will fill them with some of his ashes and surely as he's in our hearts, he will also be on our person, even in the smallest way. It is one way we are made a little bit more okay with his (sudden) departure. I am also considering a small paw print tattoo, while J, his preferred 'human,' is wanting a more elaborate likeness of his beautiful face tattooed onto her arm, so that when positioned a certain way, it will look as if he's resting atop her chest like he used to do every night. Moving along, though, before I really DO ugly-cry some more and have to postpone the release of this blog entry for another day. Survivor's Art Group was canceled this month - we had snow on the actual day it was planned for, and there weren't enough confirmed guests when it was rescheduled for a couple days later. M, the leader, had sent me the topic of discussion so that I could give things some thought. Ironically, this would be a 'Helping Hands' workshop/group and since I'd expressed an interest in knowing the topics beforehand so that I could better prepare my responses - so M has helped me to do this, in a sense. There WERE more questions listed than the ones to follow, but these were the ones that stood out and were what I felt related the most to some things I've been recently dealing with. The rest, I omitted, but saved for a later time/train of thought. (And let it be known and understood that my 'train schedule' is AWFULLY unstable right now! I never know what I am going to end up pondering and when.) Name something your hands have helped someone else with that you are proud of. How does it feel when you think about a time when you helped someone? I don't think it's my actual, physical hands that actually help others. Yes, I help physically by giving assistance or even affection when asked - but this is just what's expected of anyone - when you see someone struggling with physical baggage and your hands are free - you help them. If they need their hand held, you offer yours. When they ask for a hug, you open your arms. Other than that, my hands are not my best way of helping others. As most of my interactions are online, it's my mind and my heart that does most of the helping. My voice. Even if and when it is not my physical voice, as that's not one I am very comfortable using, especially around strangers. While I do not hear with my ears, I do with my eyes and I respond with my heart where applicable. I am told I am empathetic, have a very calming presence, a patient and caring disposition. Lately, I'm not so sure this is the case as each and every one of my senses is being put to the challenge. Not in small ways, either. And I truly do wonder if I am indeed helpful. I believe that no matter how much we help others - ultimately they have to help themselves. Perhaps we've helped them to reach the point where they're able to. I have mixed feelings about my 'help.' Sometimes it feels good to have been there when I was needed, and sometimes it feels terrible. Especially having to make the difficult choice to 'help' along my cat's transition into his end-of-life stages, and eventually over the Rainbow Bridge in a humane, loving manner. Imagine all that your hands may hold for you, or for others, either materially or energetically. Over time, this may become very heavy and you may have your hands full. Is there anything you are holding that you would like to let go of now? Describe what you are holding and how it feels to let go of this. I have let go of more than one thing, lately. The most obvious answer is, of course, my cat's required, continuous care. I received these questions, ironically, a couple of days before his passing. While taking care of him, I was also relentlessly researching how to care for cats with hind-leg paralysis. I'd even joined a Facebook group for people dealing with handicapped/disabled felines and had conversed with a few on what to expect, how can I help him? What can I do? What toys can I buy him to boost his morale? Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to apply too many of their suggestions, as the upper respiratory infection soon began to batter away at his reserves. Both vets we had taken him to were quick to say that his quality of life needed to be considered. J and I agreed that as long as he wasn't in pain and was doing all of the important things (eating, drinking, eliminating), we were going to let him call the shots - for as long as he was able. And here I am - browsing the 'net for alternative treatments, etc that would help him to thrive and adapt to his now-new lifestyle. My plan was - get him strong enough, then help him learn to get around on his front legs - was fully prepared to buy him 'drag pants' (to protect his lower end from rug burn/skin irritation that the dragging was likely to cause) and work with him on his balancing so that he could properly and comfortably position himself to use the litter box. This quickly became an obsession. I wanted to hear the words 'euthanasia is probably best for him,' less and less. He wasn't showing that he was in pain....why was this coming out of the vet's mouth, rather than, 'let's try this...'? I felt like I was his biggest advocate; even J had to keep me in check by pointing out to me certain things - 'look at his legs, they're rock solid and it's just a matter of time before the rest of him is affected,' 'he's not eating,' 'he's suffering, even if he's not showing us as clearly...' Slowly, I began to see she was right. I was holding on too tightly, to the idea that I could fix our kitty. I needed to - not give up - but to step back a little bit and let J decide. I was not helping him anymore. Not that we were hurting him, but perhaps those words we'd heard from the vet were indeed the truth - there was nothing under the sun that could be done for him. I have also learned that, in general, when there is nothing I can do, then I must stop trying. It's time to let go and to let things happen as they're supposed to. It is not healthy for me to stick on this same obsessive path to nowhere. There are more ways than one to learn this very important lesson and I've learned it in many ways recently. It is not easy for me to let go - not by any means, and NOT with how much of my heart and soul I invest into it in the first place. Think of a time when someone else loaned you a helping hand. What did it feel like to receive help? Tricky, this one. I am not a big fan of asking for help. Ever. My mother taught me well - when you ask for help, you had better be readily available when someone asks YOU for help. It's a tit for tat kind of thing - to ask for help gives someone something to hold over your head. At least, in adulthood - this is the case. But, I don't know if it was always this way. You see, I don't remember ever asking for help before I was seventeen. Sure, my parents did mostly everything for me - they cooked, they provided a roof over my head, they bought my clothes, they gave an allowance so I had 'pocket money.' There wasn't really much I needed 'help' with. To me, this likely wasn't 'help' - they were doing what they, as parents, do. What I do for my own children. I don't look at this as 'helping them,' but as obligatory nurturing, instead. I asked for help twice on the night I was raped. Once directly, to the man who would rape me instead of helping me. And the second, indirectly; for it was not even a 'help me,' but instead, a 'can I have a glass of water and can I use your bathroom?' The help came in an unexpected form and was more accepted than asked for - from a kind-hearted stranger, a diner waitress, who, without my asking her to, called me a cab. I didn't tell her anything - nor did I say anything about what had just happened at the time of my arrival. My understanding was - you couldn't use a business's facilities without being a customer. And I might've been somewhat stuck on the fact that she'd done what I asked my rapist to do. I didn't supply him with the number to a cab, but did intend for him to call a friend to let her know I needed a ride back to where my car was. But somehow, this woman knew that something was wrong. She was very careful not to touch me - even though I was trying my hardest to put on the 'I'm fine,' face; obviously ineffective. My body language was likely suggesting differently. When I returned from the bathroom, she handed me the glass of water and a menu, (just in case, I guess) and gently told me that there was a cab on the way, and that the driver was a relative of hers. I must have been able to mumble a 'thanks,' because she said, 'take care.' The cab was there shortly after, although it felt like hours and I'd hardly touched the water and still being under the impression that I had to be a customer to have the right to sit at the counter, had mindlessly stared at the menu without intending to order anything. The driver came inside and the waitress conversed with him for a brief time before he went back into the car. On a normal day, I'd likely be able to lip-read the entire conversation. Not tonight, though. I did catch, 'when you're ready, he's waiting outside. Just let him know where you need to go.' It didn't occur until later...YEARS later...that she'd also given me something that my attacker hadn't that night. A choice. Medical attention was likely what I needed, but it wasn't what I had the common sense to say at the moment. Physically, I was hurting. Mentally, I was telling myself that I was 'fine' and that the bleeding had already slowed - it would stop eventually. So would the searing pain in places I'd never felt pain before. All I could think of at the moment was how angry my parents would be at me if they ever knew about what had just happened - especially since I'd gone to lengths to lie to my father to get him to allow me to go. In hindsight, I probably didn't even HAVE to lie to him - my father isn't the type to question where I was or who I was with - his usual is, 'have fun and be careful.' (Which, further thought processing would tell me I failed at that, too.) And WHAT would they both say, should the police be called? I was a minor; they'd be called. And then my parents, in turn, would be called. All of these thoughts sending me into instant panic, I gave the driver my home address and he asked no questions. He drove. And when he arrived at my Dad's house, he let me know that the fare was already taken care of, likely by the woman at the diner or it had been an 'off duty' favor. Either way, no explanation was provided and another 'thanks' mumbled. The help was greatly appreciated, but the choice was what I was more grateful for. She COULD have called the police, especially if she knew something was wrong. She COULD have told her family member to take me to the hospital, likely closer to the diner than where I lived. She COULD have done so many things differently - just as I could have, too. She chose, though, to allow me to make the choice between going to a hospital or going home. What I wouldn't give, today, to thank both of these kind people for giving me what I needed at the time, no questions asked. This still scares me when I find myself needing help, whether it's with something simple - like taking out the trash or other household chores. Or when I'm grappling with those deep, invasive thoughts. My first notion is to make it clear that it's something I'll eventually finish (chores) or figure out on my own (thoughts) - but I never, EVER ask for help with these things. J will attest to this, and often scolds me for taking things on by myself. My usual response is, 'Well, if I want it done right, I have to do it, myself!' But I cannot and still will not ask a stranger for help; the biggest reason for this is obvious. Even today, I am very, VERY choosy with who I ask for help. J is my first and (I tell myself) ONLY option. If it's not possible, I'll approach the Son. I refuse to ask my parents for help - although my mother will offer it verbally and although she'll not say 'and in return, I want....' I will always know it's coming and she will always hold whatever it is that she's helping with over my head. My father seemingly offers it freely and without strings, but I've never asked him for anything. And it is only in desperation that I accept help - and even so, I am uneasy in doing so. I'm just not comfortable admitting the need for help - I know, in reality it is not the case, but my own, stupid brain tells me that to do so is an admission of weakness. I am quick to let others know that there's nothing wrong with asking for help - and I believe this. It's just, with myself, there is a barrier, a strong, almost impenetrable one - and that annoying voice in the back of my head, 'Capulet, you must deal with it yourself. If you can't, go to J, but you MUST try to figure out your own shit!' If you could reach out with your hands and take in everything you have ever wanted for yourself, what would your hands reach for? Not sure there's any material thing that I could physically reach out for that I want right now - other than my cat being alive and well, which is obviously unrealistic. Aside from a million (or two or twenty million?) bucks, there's really nothing I want for as far as the material things or the money to pay for it all. No, what I want is more those things nobody can see, the things nobody can give me. I want to be normal, but don't know how that's possible, as for me, my definition of the word was tainted VERY early on in life. What if THIS is all normal, based on what I've already seen? I'd LOVE to have been left unscathed by life's ugliness. I'd love to not understand heartbreak, trauma and its effects, loneliness, depression. There are times where I wish I were the perfectly-formed person - the one who has it all - but there is NO 'all' without the bad, is there? An 'all' good just doesn't exist. Not for me, not for anyone. Air. That's all my hands are going to reach for. Maybe some understanding. Maybe wisdom. Maybe motivation. All of those things that are unseen to the naked eye, but would make sense of everything at the same time. So yes, I'd most likely reach for clarity. Not just with myself, but in everything I've ever questioned in life. In closing, this is the gist of what I've been struggling with this week. A whole lot of everything and nothing. My search for additional purpose continues - I did have a temporary, very important one for the last month - my fur baby's care and medical needs - but now that he is gone, so is that particular purpose. I am well aware that one adopts many, MANY different purposes in the course of their lives. I know I have great purpose here, and that is not in any way diminished nor will it ever be. I love being here, I love this site, and love ALL of you. It just seems when one alternate purpose disappears or is cut short, it is very, very hard to see what still remains as we grieve that loss. That being said, I wish to thank everyone who has reached out and who has sent me kind messages and who has allowed me to feel what I was feeling without judgement or criticism. There was an outpouring of support, both before and after my beloved cat's passing, and I will NOT forget this. On a positive note, amidst all of last week's insanity, I've submitted one college application for this coming fall's semester - to the local university where my son is now a student. I paid to have my transcripts sent over to them and I am now waiting for a response. The next step will be to meet with the Dean of Transfer Admissions - and this will hopefully happen soon. I am trying to remain focused on moving forward with life, because this is, above all, what we must ALL do whenever we're knocked down or otherwise delayed, be it through loss, or any other significant life event. It is important to pick ourselves up, to re-emerge, to re-focus, and to keep going. And this is something we survivors have to learn to do - not just once or twice, but SEVERAL times as we continue on our healing paths. I am hoping everyone is doing well, or at least as well as they can possibly be. I am sending my love and thoughts. Be good to yourselves - this is not something I say easily as it's something I am also having to remember to do for myself. Love and light. - Capulet
  2. Sweet dreams, baby boy.  :throb:


    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. Silentnomore5


      Will pocket ride

    3. Capulet


      Thank you, everyone.  It was a tough night without having to get up and check on him to make sure he's had some water/food and had gone to the bathroom, etc, something I've been doing relentlessly for the last month.  

      I miss him SO much, already.  

      Thanking you all for your love and support. :throb:

    4. Free2Fly
  3. Our boy has stopped eating and has showed that he is unable to continue the fight.  He has been a true warrior and has hung on for a month following losing function of his hind legs - and someone wise did say that extra time he gave us was truly a gift.  But - he's now telling us he is exhausted and we've had to make the most heartbreaking decision we've ever thought possible - our sweet Dexter will be making his way over the Rainbow Bridge tomorrow.  I am absolutely devastated.  Pocket riders appreciated for the next 24 hours as we prepare to say goodbye to the most lovable and faithful fur-baby we've ever had.  


    1. Show previous comments  7 more
    2. Hoping8


      Oh no!  Best wishes to you and yours as you take this next step.

    3. Field8


      Sitting with you all


    4. Iheartcupcakes


      I talked to you elsewhere but wanted to also reply here. You are so loved and supported. I am so sorry, dear friend. 

  4. New and Looking for Help

    Welcome, @WanderingandLost!!! I am so sorry to learn of the trauma you endured 4 years ago and the impact it is having on your life today. For me it will be 23 years in October. Yet sometimes it feels like no time has passed at all. You are not alone! It is certainly tough to know where to begin - but one of the things I love the most about this site is - you're able to take it all at the speed that is most comfortable. Take all the time you need to familiarize yourself with our community and when you are ready, we will also be ready. Best wishes, Capulet
  5. I surprised myself last night. J and I had a much-needed date night. We were at dinner and we were conversing about some OT hours she wanted to pick up. I casually mentioned that Oompa was fully expecting ME to pay her a visit this month, as she was here last month. She had casually mentioned, "oh, and the 10th is a good day for me!" The 10th is THIS weekend. No, thank you. I'm still somewhat infuriated with my mother for the bullshit she pulled in regards to my niece and nephew's birthday party and the inviting of her brother and the trying to rope my father into her plans to get him there. It was LAME and so WRONG of her - I just don't understand how she can be 'respectful of my feelings' sometimes (there was once a time when she had to answer a call from him when she was with me, and told me, 'don't worry, I won't tell him I'm with you'), then completely disregard them another time? She is PUSHING me, to see how much she can get away with - and then she's going to attempt to manipulate me on top of all of that by saying I shouldn't let that be the reason I don't come to my nephew's and niece's birthday celebration. "You wouldn't do that to them, would you?" I do not want her to have any control over anything I do - she doesn't, but she certainly tries. Manipulation is her game - it's what she resorts to when she doesn't see any other way around it. So because she wants me to come on the 10th, I am NOT going on the 10th! I'm TIRED of bending for her! Instead, I want to be pissed at her for a little bit longer. I'm not ready to drop this. She's likely noticed the side order of ice I've been giving her whenever she texts - she'll say how much she misses me, and my answer is always an underused, sometimes (purposely) misspelled 'me too/to.' But, do I really? No, I do not. I do NOT think she understands how angry this latest shenanigan of hers has made me. And until last night, I couldn't blame her too much, because I'd dropped it like a hot potato on the night she conversed with my father about it. The physical conversation ended abruptly when I expressed unhappiness over the whole thing, but the mental conversing is STILL ongoing. Despite additional stressors, this continues to be on my mind, and my mind refuses to shut up. Perhaps this means I need to NOT shut up, I need to start becoming more vocal. As my niece will be turning 1 on the 20th of this month, I decided that I would be the one to say when I was coming to her neck of the woods (she lives about 15 minutes further away from my sister) and first texted my sister to tell her that I wanted to see my niece for her actual birthday - the dual party for her and her brother is taking place at the end of March. I asked my sister if the 23rd was okay with her. She said yes. THEN I texted Oompa to let her know I was going to come see my niece closer to her actual birthday, we would do lunch at my sister's house. She could come see me there. I didn't say this bit, but I'd rather come see the nieces and nephew than my mother. THEM, I'll make a monthly trip for - because THEY are innocent in all of this - and there is SO much love in my heart for those beautiful children who call me Auntie. "You ARE still coming for their party at the end of March, right?" Was the first thing Oompa asked. "Yes," I texted her back, "I'm NOT happy about the surprise guest you sprung on me, but I'm coming for the kids." She then said, "Well, we don't even know if he's going to feel up to coming." (Again, he's this miserably unhealthy S.O.B. - bad knees, bad heart, diabetes, high blood pressure, probably a bunch of other maladies or things wrong with him, not including mentally - so yeah, by all means, let's invite an unhealthy, unstable man to a kiddy party! What a wonderful idea!) "NOT the point," I told her, "He shouldn't have been invited, and Dad shouldn't have been asked to go pick him up." She then tried to say something along the lines of, 'well, I'LL pick him up, I just needed your father to drop him back off...." I told her it was a 'waste of time.' And it is. A waste of her time, my father's time, MY time. Because I really, REALLY would have liked to have gone to my nephew's and niece's birthday party without the added stress of having to make sure he wasn't staring at them or at my daughter with those disgusting eyes of his - because I just might have to kill him. Oompa didn't respond to that text, nor did she say anything more after that. I wonder if my assertiveness offended her - because this is not something she's used to - she's NOT used to being told off, nor of control being taken from her. And believe me - being told she was wrong or that something she did was wrong IS akin to ripping the control from her hands. Because now, things aren't going so well for her, are they? Now she has to figure out how to make this right. And...guess what? I don't care. I don't feel bad, I don't feel as if I'm out of line, or I'm wrong about this. I spoke up. I stood my ground. I let her know I was angry. This is extremely unordinary of me - I am usually the type to shrug things off, an 'it is what it is' type of girl. Anger is hard for me to express; one of those learned behaviors I'd mastered - suppression - always seems to kick in whenever I am made angry. Well - I am proud to say that this is something I am more actively trying to change - when I'm angry, I need to make others aware of it, even if it isn't convenient for them. It may take me some time to do so, but - it's progress. THIS was a win - regardless of whether this piece-of-shit shows up - I still made my anger known. I was not afraid of 'not being nice' and I expressed anger and disappointment. I've yet to yell at my sister for inviting him - but I'm not entirely sure my mother didn't have a hand in this. This entire situation SMELLS of my mother - and my sister could have been manipulated into inviting him, herself. She, like my father, could very well have been a pawn in my mother's game/attempt to involve her brother - she claims the invitation was my sister's idea, but I'm not so sure she didn't PLANT the idea in the first place. Anyway, Small victory. In this battlefield we call life, there are so many little wars we have to endure - whether we are at war with ourselves or with others - and these sweet victories add up. Slowly. Sometimes they're hard to notice, but they're there. Will keep you all posted on this. For now, eyes are closing on me. Hoping everyone is doing well this week. All my best. - Capulet
  6. I’m new and not sure what to do

    Hello, @VincentVidel - Welcome to After Silence!!! I'm so sorry that you have reason to be here, but am glad someone pointed you into our direction. You should be receiving a welcome PM from one of our Newbie Support Team members in a little while; they'll make sure to answer any questions you may have about AS and how it all works. But it's fairly easy. Take your time, look around, and whenever you are comfortable, we will be here to listen and support you. Take good care, Capulet
  7. Hello, I'm New Here

    Welcome to After Silence, Bee!! I echo everyone else who has posted before me - I am late to the party - but wanted to add that you took a HUGE step in the right direction by signing up, joining, and introducing yourself. That's not by any means a small feat and you should be proud of yourself for having done something so courageous! I hope that being among us brings you peace, comfort and healing. All the best, Capulet
  8. Hi I’m new

    Hello, @Duckumbrella - Welcome to After Silence!!!! I am so sorry that you have reason to be here, but am glad you have joined our community - that is always, ALWAYS a very tough first step to take - but you did it. Please take all the time you need to look around and to get a feel for the site - I am hopeful that you will soon discover that you are among so many others who understand, who can relate, and you are definitely not alone. It can sometimes take a little while to begin posting/sharing, but there's absolutely no rush - whenever you are comfortable! Take good care, and again - welcome. - Capulet
  9. new

    Hello! Welcome to After Silence. I'm sorry to hear of the circumstances under which you've arrived but am so glad you were referred to us by a crisis hotline - and am hopeful that being here among a large community of others who understand and are in the same boat will bring you eventual peace, comfort and healing. Take gentle care of yourself and please look around and take it all in at your own pace. We are all ready when you are. Best wishes, Capulet
  10. The mind is a VERY, VERY tricky thing. This will be a short-ish entry as I'd like to share something that happened last night. (Or it might be a medium-length entry, as you know I'm VERY susceptible to rambling! We'll just have to see how it all flows!) This should NOT trigger - it's not that kind of 'happened.' But JUST in case - I will issue a SMALL trigger warning for a recovered memory, sorta - the memory itself isn't triggering, but you know - I'm thinking this has happened to some of you before and although it's not triggering, it's a little bit unsettling. So - here's the thing. Last night, after the kids had gone back to their father's, J and I went to the store to pick up some food and snacks and desserts. Her Patriots are in the Super Bowl - AGAIN - so naturally, I am happy for her if her team wins - they'd earned it at this point - but...secretly, I'm rooting for the Rams. Yes, I'm a little salty that my Giants/Jets (hometown teams) and Eagles (local team) didn't make it this year, but it seems that those damned Patriots are in it EVERY year! So, like MANY, I'm rooting for anybody BUT the Patriots! Anyway - my love decided she wanted to have a party and since her work friends (including boss lady) got her into playing Fantasy Football and they'd been following the NFL since the start of this previous season - she wanted to invite them to our place for the game/food/drinks. (I balanced the guest list out a little by inviting MY bowling friend and her husband - I'm NOT entirely comfortable about meeting some of J's other friends, but I did promise to get to know them in more 'comfortable' settings!) So...counting us, we will have eight people here tonight. We needed alcohol - as MOST of the people coming tonight are heavy drinkers (boss lady, especially) and we needed a bunch of snacks, food, etc. OK, so we're coming home...our local town is a small-town type - there's a Main Street, with little shops, some fast-food joints, tailors, a bank, a diner, a Dunkin' Donuts, pizzeria, ice cream parlor. There is also a very small cinema house - I want to say they feature OLD movies, and they charge maybe $1.00 to get in - but these movies are mostly ones that we can buy from the bargain bin at Wal-Mart in most cases. We do have a regular Cinemark (for the new releases and the recent big-screen movies) at the mall, so fear not, there IS somewhere we can go to see something new. So, on our way home from the store, we pass all these little shops, and the movie house - it's one of those old-style ones where there's an awning over the box office, almost - with the name of the movie on the side....I have NO idea what these are called, so I'm putting a photo as an example: Note - This is NOT my local small-town theater - ours is much more plain. We don't have the fancy lighting shown up top, just the sides are similar - this is where they let us know what's playing and usually, we'll pass by there and I'll smile - last week they showed "Marmaduke,' and during the holiday time, they showed 'Home Alone.' So - last night's 'feature' was missed, as I got caught on the phrase, "Stan and Ollie are here!" The letters on the side spelled this out - perhaps the name of the movie was on the other side - or perhaps it was under the phrase advertising the return of Stan and Ollie, whoever these two were. I didn't bother to look, though. My brain was ALREADY racing. Stan and Ollie. Stan. Ollie. Stan and Ollie. I don't know who they are. Indeed not as Stan and Ollie. If you were to ask me, "who are Stan and Ollie?" I'd likely have shrugged because yes, while I'd heard of the duo before, I wasn't sure who they were. They were just another duo, one of the unknown ones that you'd heard but didn't have faces for. And there are SO many famous duos - there's Thelma and Louise. Ozzie and Harriet. Punch and Judy. Simon and Garfunkel. Siskel and Ebert. But almost immediately after reading the names in THIS duo, I had a mental image of Laurel and Hardy. Just like that, there they were, in black-and-white, as I'd last seen them. Laurel with his top-hat and Hardy with the bowl cut hair and badly-maintained toothbrush mustache. When I was a small child, my uncle (yes - the one I HATE!) used to watch March of the Wooden Soldiers. On repeat, it seemed. He had a copy of the VHS tape, and whenever I saw him or he was babysitting, he would ask if I wanted to watch Laurel and Hardy with him - and although I didn't necessarily find this particular movie entertaining, I would still agree to watch March of the Wooden Soldiers. I was likely four or five - and I was not introduced to closed-captioned television until I was at least 8. So this movie, to me, was completely visual. Perhaps as it was one of the duo's 'silent movies,' it was something my uncle felt I could 'follow.' I honestly would have done better with Tom and Jerry (another duo!) but March of the Wooden Soldiers, it was. Laurel was the skinny one, Hardy was the stocky one. Both were equally stupid. They didn't do a lot of talking in the movie; it was mostly gestures, actions - mostly resulting in either Laurel or Hardy falling into water, getting a pie in the face or injured in an otherwise comical way. Perhaps that's why I was able to derive a minimal amount of enjoyment of this movie - it wasn't because I understood the plot behind it. I am sure there was one - and my uncle was able to 'explain' who some of the other players were. I'd later find out that most of their movies were 'silent' films - makes more sense I'd understand them. But - to me - Laurel and Hardy were JUST 'Laurel and Hardy.' A friend confirmed for me last night that their names were indeed Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy - so this tells me that I've remembered something - something purely out-of-the-blue, as I don't ever remember ever knowing that Laurel and Hardy had first names - or that they were their real names - I'd always thought they were fictional characters - they've always been recognizable to me as just Laurel and Hardy, those stupid, bumbling idiots from those stupid movies my stupid uncle used to watch and burst out in uncontrollable laughter, every single time one of them made a stupid move - says a lot for his own intelligence, I suppose. (On another note, I am guessing that this is why I find MOST comedy 'stupid.' That's yet ANOTHER realization I've come to in recent years - I can be made to laugh by a movie, but then there's 'stupid' comedy - I have found that kind of film is more likely to annoy me than make me double over in hysterics!) This 'recovery' is even more bothersome because I've so closely associated Laurel and Hardy with my uncle. I'd been doing so well at pretending he didn't exist - being I've no concrete memories of what possibly happened while I was often under his care as a child. It was just so much easier to do this. No memory = didn't happen. I could live with this - as long as I kept him out of sight, too. There WAS always the possibility of things coming back to the surface, but I'd always thought it would be upon his (delayed) death. I'd also successfully blocked out anything having to do with Laurel and Hardy, just as I'd blocked out MOST things from that time frame. It IS possible I knew or heard "Stan and Ollie" back then, but I've absolutely no memory of it. And then, thirty-five years later, I see Stan and Ollie in bolded text, and BOOM, there's Laurel and Hardy, front row and center of my brain's auditorium! HOW does that happen??? Is this what happens in the beginning? Is it like a storm, perhaps? As they all start off small, bearable and mild...then, before you know it, the elements become fierce, unrelenting, and you eventually find yourself flooded. I'm GUESSING it's now started to 'drizzle' up in my brain because of my very recent struggles/trigger with having to possibly see my uncle at my nephew's and niece's birthday party. We've also had additional stressors since my mother dropped this bomb on me (bomb discussed in my last entry) and as I deal with things that are more important (my sick cat), I've chosen to put this into the back of my mind, knowing I have a month and a half before this event is to take place. That's ample time, right? I just refuse to give this piece-of-shit ANY importance or any thought - he will NOT destroy me - I said that, of course, after deciding that my nephew and niece are FAR more important to me than he is - and I'd go to their party regardless - even if I had to carry a flask of vodka with me. I've also some hope that he will eventually say he can't go for whatever reason, or he'll develop a nasty cold or he'll....oh, I don't know....die? Or my father will be on MY side, and refuse to have any part of chauffeuring him there and back. This is not likely, as my father, bless his heart - is clueless. Either way, it would seem that this has been sitting in the background for three weeks and is now starting to rot. It smells AWFUL. I cannot explain last night's experience otherwise. I welcome any thoughts on this - especially those who have recovered memory from seemingly nowhere. My break from cleaning is over. Back to the grind. Let's go, Rams! - Capulet
  11. Jumping In

    @Russia2005 - welcome to After Silence! I'm so sorry to hear of the trauma that has led you to us, but am glad you've found a place to gain support as you embark upon your healing journey. To have others who understand alongside you makes for a far easier time of it. I am hopeful that being a part of our community will bring you peace, comfort and healing! All my best, - Capulet
  12. I am also a new member

    It's easy. Up top, right underneath the post title, you can 'add tags.' It will be RIGHT underneath where you type in the title when you create a new board. As I'm not sure it is something you can do on an existing board, I've gone ahead and added the 'kidnapping' tag for you. If you see 'add tags' underneath the title, please feel free to add more as you see fit. As you are the author of this board, the warning tags may be something you can go back and edit yourself if you've forgotten to do it earlier. It happens - no worries. But in future boards, if you feel that the content may be triggering, you can add a warning tag prior to publishing, or even just add a "TW" to the title line. Hope this helps! - Capulet
  13. I am also a new member

    Welcome to AS, @tshirt40 - you will find tons of feedback and support from our community. That emotional hole you describe is so, SO very common - AKB is correct - it does rear its ugly head when we least expect it to, sometimes. Remember, though, you are not alone and will have plenty of support as you climb back out! Best wishes, Capulet
  14. New Member

    Hi there, @Bloom2B - so glad you've found us although I am sorry for the circumstances behind it. You will find an abundance of support here as you continue down your path. Look around at your own pace and when you're ready, we'd love to hear from you. You'll be a pro at boards/forums in no time! Welcome!!! - Capulet
  15. newbie

    Hi, @Sleeping@Last - welcome to After Silence!!! I am sorry for the traumatic experiences you have had that have led you here, but I'm glad you are with us. This is truly a great place to be and the support is in constant supply. I also have to admit there is great appeal in being able to take things at our own pace here - please take all the time you need to look around and when you are comfortable posting, we will all be ready to listen. Take good care and again - welcome aboard. - Capulet