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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. Hi Everyone

    Hi, Kam, and welcome to After Silence! I am sorry to hear you've got trauma in your background but am hopeful that you will soon realize that you are not alone and that this is an incredibly supportive community filled with very understanding folks. Take gentle care! Best wishes, Capulet
  2. Hello

    Hi there, @Healing4Life - welcome to After Silence!! I, too, spent many years in denial before choosing to heal. I've learned that it matters none how much time has elapsed - when you're ready, you'll know it. You are truly in a good place to take these first steps, in addition to your therapy. The folks here are amazing and I am sure you will shine as both a survivor as well as a support!!! Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. I look forward to getting to know you through your posts. Best wishes, and again - welcome!! Capulet
  3. Welp here goes nothing... Hello!

    Hello Cam, and welcome to After Silence. I'm so sorry for the circumstances under which you've arrived but I am hopeful that being surrounded by those who understand will be a very helpful first step toward healing. Best wishes, Capulet
  4. The first time I attempted to get this entry started, I got maybe two words typed out before my very demanding cat jumped up onto the desk, spilling my pencil holder of its contents as well as knocking my (thankfully covered) water bottle as well as other empty soda cans and nail polish bottles over. I'm telling you - when this boy wants his love and affection, he stops at absolutely nothing and often resorts to destruction! So - here is attempt number two, now that I've banished him to the other side of my bedroom door with, "my Christmas tree BETTER still be standing in the morning, Mister!" I then locked the door so he couldn't let himself in, (believe it or not, the little shit KNOWS how to open handled doors! He taught himself and has NO regard for privacy!) and am now sitting down to write. I had my second session with the Support Group Leader on Friday. I will from now on refer to her as M, it's easier. Anyway - we really didn't have time to 'go over' my assignment from our last session (the one where she wanted me to share where I thought I'd be in three years) because I walked in prepared to discuss instead what I wrote about in my LAST blog entry - my recent struggles with J's re-entrance into therapy, of her starting EMDR, of being distant, overworked and overstressed, and of the rekindling of her social life. It's what's been on my mind the most nowadays, and it felt fitting to discuss this in place of whatever the hell I might be doing in three years. Previously, we briefly got around to talking about the company J keeps - particularly her boss/friend. I've always been honest with J and told her that there's SOMETHING I can't quite put my finger on, SOMETHING about her that I don't like. I've said it until I was blue in the face. It is NOT a romantic attraction I'm fearful of. No. I trust J in every aspect, and I know that if there was any chance that she didn't want to be with me - she wouldn't be. I have tried several times to explain to her that it is simply the fact that while she and I are actively disconnecting, I am witnessing her becoming close to someone else. Although it's not on the same level, it still makes me feel (perhaps unnecessarily) threatened. And although J has always invited me into the fold and tried to include me, I've always felt reluctant and as if I didn't want to be around her boss/friend, because of these irrational thoughts. Anyway - J's sisters dropped in on Thanksgiving night. During the day on Friday, I was dealing with our cable mishap, so I was unable to join them for the trip to the nail salon (I swear, when it comes to mani-pedis, I'm probably the man in the relationship - I could care less what my nails look like as they're usually cut short for bowling purposes, and GOD HELP anyone who touches my FEET!) or for the breakfast they went and ate after that. Being as we live four hours apart, J doesn't spend a whole lot of time with her sister. So, whenever her sister comes for a visit, I am perfectly fine keeping a distance and allowing them the time and space to visit and reconnect. Whenever J goes out with her sister (a heavy drinker) there is ALWAYS music and booze involved. I am generally uncomfortable being around people who share this overtly loud and obnoxious, outgoing personality. And that Friday night after Thanksgiving, the three sisters wanted to go to a bar for a few drinks after supper and said that I should join them. I struggled with the invitation, but then I agreed to join them just for the food, but bowed out of the after-dinner bar plans. Admittedly, there is currently more revolving around my not wanting to be around J's one sister either - it has a LOT to do with what happened prior to J's radiation treatment this past summer. I am feeling that is not quite resolved - her sister had said she'd like to communicate once per week, she'd like to get to know me better, things like that. She hasn't made a single effort to communicate with me - AT ALL. And I'm all about reciprocation - I've done nothing, too. I am stubborn, yes, but I also don't feel this is mine to fix. SHE is the one who acted poorly. If I said things that weren't necessarily nice or polite, it was because I was defending myself. Anyway, I remained civil and friendly - I politely declined the second invitation to go boozing afterwards. Instead, I went straight home after the restaurant, thinking to myself, how long would it even take to get a couple drinks in? A couple hours, maybe? They didn't get home until One. Oh. Clock. In the morning. 1:00. 1am. An hour after midnight. What the fuck? Still, I figured, these are not family members J sees very often - she did move four hours away from her family so that she could share her life with me - so, that thought in mind, I remained calm when she came into the bedroom at 1am. She admitted to having a little too much to drink and that after the bar, the one outgoing sister had insisted on driving out to ANOTHER bar where there was karaoke. "I'm so glad I went," I was being sarcastic. But still asked how karaoke went. I still showed an interest, even though I wished she'd been home sooner - I felt as if I hadn't had any time with her that week, at all. She'd worked a double on Thanksgiving, then Friday the sisters were there, etc, and as it unfolded, I couldn't be with them during the first half of that day because I was waiting for the cable techie. She'd managed to get the day off work on Friday and Saturday, but still - with the added company, I wasn't feeling anything other than lonely at the moment. Anyway, she told me that the karaoke place was pretty crowded and that her sister got up there and sang and danced, she commented on how this same sister makes 'friends' wherever she goes. She talked about how they had several drinks together and that the other sister (whom I truly DO like) was the one who had driven them all home, having only had one or two drinks all night. And she waited until the VERY end to mention: "Oh and (boss/friend's name) met us at karaoke." See, I was fine until that mention. I was. I don't even think it was the fact that J was pouring alcohol into her body when she normally doesn't. It was, though, the fact that she'd NOT told me that boss/friend would be there because she knew how I'd react. She'd omitted that detail entirely, which felt like a betrayal, although a small one. When asked why she didn't think to tell me this, she confirmed it. "Because every time you hear her name, you lose your shit!" And yes, that's true. I don't even know that it's jealousy - perhaps some of it is. But at this point, I'd ALREADY explained that I was feeling disconnected from the one person I trust the most. And that I didn't like this other friend's sudden and frequent presence. Yet, J is not willing to change her friendship with boss/friend based upon these feelings I'm having, nor is she willing to slow down anything she's doing. And, so, it's me who has to change. And how the fuck I'm going to do that, remains a mystery. We bickered about this on that night, making it a very emotional and late one. I didn't sleep a wink. She had a fair amount of alcohol in her system so that did enable her to get some sleep eventually. But I was just unable to allow sleep to take over, there were simply TOO many thoughts swimming around in my head. I still remained in bed, my heart raced all night long and I recognized familiar signs of anxiety that I hadn't seen in years. This bothered me. SO much. It hit me that THIS was our first REAL argument in the decade we'd been together. See, up until now, we've ALWAYS been on the same page with pretty much everything. Yes, we've disagreed but it's NEVER felt like this before. Since that night, we've talked many times about this particular 'fight' and for the time being, we've reached an understanding. She will continue to work on herself in therapy while also enjoying her social outings after work once per week, and she will continue to maintain her friendship that she has become fond of. At the same time, she will work on being more present at home. She would like for ME to work on myself, too, and for me to continue sessions with M. She wants for me to branch out and be able to make connections with people other than her. "It's healthy," she says. I told her that was something I needed to work being able to accept - because it was so deeply ingrained into me by my ex-husband that one simply does not form close connections to another person outside of a relationship. You can have friends, but there's a line there - a boundary. Only HIS idea of healthy boundaries and HER idea are two entirely different things. Although she tries to remind me that I've been with HER longer than I have been with him, I can't help but be stuck on the simple fact that it only takes a split second to change someone's 'sight,' whether it's during one isolated moment in time that can be considered a trauma or something someone else has said to you that seemingly becomes tattooed onto your brain. In the case of my ex-husband, this is what's happened - even though I TRY not to adapt to his way of thinking, I sometimes can't help when it's something that automatically kicks in! She mentioned that she'd also like for me to get to know boss/friend and to perhaps become friendly with her. Now, this is tricky considering that right now, this woman is EVERYWHERE and it's more unsettling than not. But I did promise to try, if this is what would make her happy. We have decided that J is going to engage boss/friend into perhaps going bowling or going to ball games, or into doing anything in a setting that I can actually FOLLOW and maybe ENJOY. I have made it clear that I don't want anything to do with bars, with karaoke, with anything music-related and I refuse to be in a setting where people are just acting overall reckless. This recent fight is also something she asked me to present to M, so on Friday's appointment, I went in fully prepared to do so. I know I could have posted it here beforehand, but it didn't feel right. Plus, I am generally slow to process what is happening, even those things right in front of me. I suppose this is a place where I can gain some unbiased feedback, same as with M in session, so I am okay doing it now that I've openly discussed it with M. Plus, there WAS a moment in counseling that set off that little light bulb in the back of my head that has been dormant long enough for me to question whether it needed changing or that I'd be subject to being in the dark for the rest of my life. So, these words are all the more important to write. I did previously explain J's rising social status to M, but our last (also our first) meeting was before the argument on the day after Thanksgiving. By now, things had escalated, and I needed the time and space to address it. So we talked and, somehow - (it's weird how this happens!) - something clicked. We talked about how I didn't understand WHY I didn't like boss/friend. She isn't a bad person, the few times I have seen her, she was actually fun to be around. Yet, there was something else there. Something that, when I backtracked a bit from not liking the bar/drinking/music setting. Let's return, for a minute, back to October 4th, 1996. Some of you know this date already. It's forever etched into memory for me, as it's the night I was raped. For starters - I was not at all used to parties, or even attending one that didn't involve balloons, clowns or goodie-bags. Or a Sweet Sixteen from the previous year - I'd attended three or four for high school friends. Other than that, I wasn't a partier, and this was okay with me. Being hearing impaired usually excluded me from many invitations, but I wasn't normally one to take offense to it. It is what it is. One of the 'first' friends I made when I started college a month before the incident, was a very outgoing type of person. I'm not sure what exactly made us friends, since I didn't have this in common with her at all - but at the time, I had no reason to fear being social, either. She was the one who invited me to this party that she heard about. She convinced me to lie to my father and tell him that I was going to be spending the night at her house, following the completion of a school project that would likely take HOURS. Lord Capulet, being the trusting man he was, agreed and said, 'have a good time, just be careful!' When we arrived, she almost immediately met up with some kids that she had gone to high school with. And so, it quickly became a case of, 'see ya later, Cap!' and I was left alone. Alone, surrounded by loud music and the combined smell of alcohol and weed. It was thick, and it didn't take me very long to want to go home. When I went in search of my friend, I found her nearly topless - her shirt was opened, she was laughing it up with a bunch of surrounding horny frat guys and it was clear to me that she was heavily intoxicated. I approached her and told her that if she'd give me the keys (we arrived in her car) then I'd drive us home. She guffawed in my face (what the holy hell had she been drinking!?) and told me that she was having too much fun and wasn't ready to leave. I don't need to get into details here as I've likely already set the stage for what happened next, but the short version of it - in attempts to leave on my own, I was raped by an older partygoer in one of the bedrooms when he'd lured me inside under the pretense that he would be making a phone call for me. I ended up walking out of the party pretty much unnoticed, as everyone around me was drunk, passed out, stoned or otherwise oblivious. BECAUSE of the booze, BECAUSE of the music. BECAUSE of this very setting. So - I explained all of this to M. For her, it made sense right away - that, for the past 22 years, I have been unwittingly connecting the bar setting with the party setting - that whenever someone were to ask me to go have a drink, my automatic answer, without thinking about it, is 'hell, NO.' It doesn't matter who I'll be with, even if it's J. Even if it's someone whom I KNOW would not leave me flat. I don't mind the occasional drink of alcohol - I even have a favorite! (And if you've actually read this far, you're welcome to inquire on what it is in the comments!) I just prefer to drink at home - on MY turf, either alone with J or with my family members. Imbibing is not something I do frequently, as I also deal with that pestering guilt of ENJOYING something that indirectly caused my trauma 22 years ago. I was not intoxicated at the time - I was sober. But the person I was with was drunk (and I don't even know WHERE she was when I left!) and I'm uncertain of what my attacker had in his system, as when he approached me, he did NOT have a drink or a joint in his hand. Regardless, I automatically find myself arriving at the same place each and every time I recall this moment in my life. She was drunk. Had she not been drunk, this would NOT have happened! I didn't realize even THIS until Friday, either - but the loud, obnoxious personalities of both J's sister, as well as her boss/friend, both remind me of this particular 'friend,' (I use that term very lightly, we are not friends today) who has now made it impossible for me to look at anyone who ENJOYS heavy drinking, loud music, reckless, STUPID behavior and the bar/weed setting, etc, with anything other than loathing and disgust. I honestly don't think it's the actual person I've grown to hate - because both J's sister and the boss/friend are (if I can remove their love of the things I hate) decent people. If they were not, J wouldn't even like them at all nor would she associate with the boss/friend. I know family is family and that is a connection that is not going to change but it is true for any of her friends. I just cannot connect with these types, especially if they are not willing to try and connect with ME, either. And the way to do that, really isn't rocket science. I need to feel that someone WANTS to get to know me, someone truly is interested in learning about the person I am. I'm not getting that vibe from neither one of them. I think that what it boils down to is - this is the TYPE of person that I can't bring myself to trust, the person who would choose alcohol or drugs over my well-being and peace of mind. And not only do I not trust them, I don't find myself being able to ALLOW new people the opportunity to prove themselves trustworthy. I simply don't leave my comfort zone long enough to do this. I'm still, after 22 years, (or even longer!) living in fear of social settings, and not necessarily ONLY the ones where alcohol and loud music is included. It has been said that I am 'different' whenever I am in a group of people. I am quiet. I focus on whatever it is we're doing (whether it's a board game or a meal) and do not engage in conversation, I laugh whenever everyone else laughs so I don't look completely oblivious, and I often pray no one has asked me a question that I just responded to with a laugh. So perhaps, that's it. This was the moment when the bulb went off in session. Maybe this is why this woman's friendship with J is so bothersome to me - I wonder if I am also, deep down, fearing that this will eventually become something J enjoys, too. SHE likes music, she likes drinking with friends. She isn't into karaoke but she's in the process of evolving. What if this is something that happens later? (Not the karaoke specifically but rather, the more extroverted lifestyle?) What if this a change that is yet to happen but is in the making? This is NEVER going to be something I'm entirely okay with, no matter how much work I do on it. It's not going to erase the injustice done to me by that other 'friend.' I don't know how to fix this, either. My speed is just different. I am not opposed to having friends or making connections with people but I personally prefer 1:1 meetings for meals, coffee, shopping, something like that. I like the heart-to-heart talks - they are what strengthens a friendship. I don't mind taking in a drink or two with J and perhaps one other person, but I HAVE to be within a setting that doesn't catapult these fears to the surface. There IS one person, though, that I bowl with who is also a fan of the mixed drink. She is, though, first a bowling friend than anything else and HAS truly made the effort to know both J and I on other levels and is becoming someone I can indeed consider developing a friendship with that is both based on trust and mutual fondness. So, I guess this is progress. I did remind J last night that I needed for us to stay close to each other through this...whatever it is we're going through. No matter how irrational I've seemed lately, no matter how much of an asshole I appear to be at times when I feel threatened or otherwise rejected. I joked that maybe one morning I would wake up to a world where EVERYTHING made sense. That got a smile out of her, at least. I suppose it WAS a funny thought to entertain, even for just a moment. I'm just terrified of this type of adjustment I'm having to make, not to mention, sick and tired of being hurt, abandoned or otherwise expendable because I can't change these things about myself too easily. I'm not sure if this means there's more from what happened 22 years ago that I've got to work on - maybe it does. I've had some therapy, but maybe not enough. Maybe this is the point in time when that unfinished business has become more evident and has chosen to show up - and not politely, either - the expression 'bull in a china shop' comes to mind when I try to picture the state of my brain at the moment! The issue of abandonment is also becoming more prominent following my birthday celebration last month. (Not sure if this is even worth to mention - but J's sister did not attend my surprise 40th nor did she even care to follow up on it. She was supposed to come, but claimed that her hand was hurting following an injury - yet if the party were for J, a little hand pain would certainly have been a non-issue and she'd have been the first one to arrive. And J had also invited boss/friend to this party, too - SHE didn't come either, apparently something came up for her, too.) And then we add to that, the staggering number of long-time friends I also had not show up or follow up either - it just all succeeded at making these thoughts even more confusing and bothersome and my heart genuinely HURTS right now over ALL of it. That's it for today, I suppose. It's taken two days to get all of this written out - and yes, this is unusual for me, too. I'm normally able to hammer out one of these blog entries in a matter of a few hours, but this has taken me DAYS. Even now I'm reading and re-reading and my finger is hovering over the 'DELETE' button...I'm unsure of how much I even like myself and how I am right now, so how can I expect too many others to? The more I think about it, the more I am tempted to just click out of the tab because some of it probably seems so SILLY - but these are authentic concerns of mine and regardless of how they come across, they're things that NEED to be said. So it's time, I guess, to hit 'SEND' and be done with it. So...here goes. *pressing button* - Capulet
  5. Another newbie

    Hello @Curious_george - Good for you for joining us here - after 15 years of silence, I am glad to see you are now exploring ways to make yourself heard! Your voice is important! You are definitely not alone here, this is a community filled to the brim with loving, understanding, kind and supportive members and I'm hopeful that your being here, coupled with your off-line therapy work will bring forth peace, calm and eventual healing! Welcome to After Silence. Best wishes, Capulet
  6. Hi!

    Hello Howie! Welcome to After Silence! This is truly a warm, supportive and accepting community. I am so glad to have found it, myself! Best wishes, Capulet
  7. Hi, I just started

    Welcome!!!! I think we all have our issues and we all need to talk about them - this is indeed a safe place to do so and to gain support from others who can relate. You are not alone here. Best wishes, Capulet
  8. Hi - I'm new to After Silence

    Hi, Belle! Welcome to After Silence! Hoping you are indeed finding this to be a wonderful place to be and that your recovery will go much smoother knowing you are in no way alone and that there is such an abundance of support. Best wishes, Capulet
  9. Stress

    Your words are very true. I agree, it is a (very) small comfort to hear, 'me, too.' (Whether related to stress or otherwise!) And while nobody can possibly understand you better than your own self, it is indeed a relief to know that we are not alone in these very deep oceans and that there are others also trying to stay afloat. All we really can do is to individually be good to ourselves. Only we can truly bring ourselves to the point where we can say we've conquered this turbulent point in time, but a little support from a nearby drowner is always welcome and helpful - both to you and to them. But you have to look out for you, first and foremost. Here for you. Keep on swimming. Cap
  10. Okay, friends - I lied. I FULLY intended to be here and updating a day or two before Thanksgiving, but WHEN do things go exactly as planned!? I'm just glad that I was able to extend to you all a proper Thanksgiving greeting in some way or another before the holiday. Additionally, it is my hope that you all made it through the holiday unscathed and that you're all gearing up for Christmas!! I'm here now, so that's what matters. My Thanksgiving started off horribly. It was shortly after 12:45am on Thanksgiving morning when the internet at Casa Capulet decided to stop working. I tried everything to get it back up and running - I actually was contemplating posting a few things, but there was apparently an alternative force that was hard at work in preventing me to do so. I begged, pleaded with my modem to cut the crap. I even tried the neighbor's dog's name to see if I could 'borrow' their WiFi. It was the middle of the night, they weren't using it, so why couldn't I? LOL. (Either they don't like their dog very much or they were smart enough to use a more randomized password, because that was also a no-go!) I reset the modem thrice; each time allowing it to be 'off' for longer periods of time in case that was the issue. It wasn't. It was too late to place a call to our cable company and demand a fix/reboot on their end, so I ended up giving up on it and going to bed around 3am. I was up again at six or seven - and the modem was still flashing like a Christmas tree. Our HOUSE phone worked, but that wasn't connecting me to the internet. It did connect us to the cable company, though, who first attempted to troubleshoot over the phone - they insisted that it was not an outage, but instead it was a need for our modem to be replaced, for it was likely broken because they were unable to get a signal. Then, they said those horrible eight words no one wants to hear: "We're going to have to send someone out." Now, in the past, and especially living in New York City, this meant we'd be waiting for at least a week for someone to come get us reconnected. I don't know if living in the sticks of Pennsylvania makes any difference but immediately, I began to assume the worst. I'd be waiting for a week or two, wouldn't I? I was extremely relieved to hear that I'd only have to wait until Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and someone would be by between 9am and 9pm. This did put the kibosh on any Black Friday shopping plans but I didn't really have any other than to use a coupon or two. Thankfully we have neighbors (across the street - with a different dog) who are kind and they allowed me to access THEIR network until the techie from the cable company was able to come over. (And their dog's name was not the password, in case you were wondering!) So, after Thanksgiving dinner at the wasband's (which went as well as it normally does - we sit around and do nothing/watch their usual chaos unfold as he barks out orders) I was able to come home and connect for a little while. The connection was slow but it still enabled me to electronically keep connected with others. So it was a decent end to a long, tiring day with minimal contact with anyone else. My J was working from 7am until 11pm - so as is, I wasn't seeing her at all. Late Thursday night, J's two sisters dropped in (they did say there was a possibility they would) and so, Friday morning, they went out for breakfast/getting nails done while I stayed behind and waited for the cable techie to show up - in the meantime, I pulled down the attic stairs and enlisted in the help of my daughter in getting out all the Christmas decorations. Together, we got the tree up and we were decorating it when the cable techie finally arrived. Apparently our modem was fine. It was the wires outside - they froze, and as a result, there was water in our lines. It was the first I've EVER heard of something like this happening - and during the beginning of this year (March or so) we had two extended power outages lasting 3-5 days each. Basically no power = no WiFi - so THAT's the worst-case scenario. Water in the lines, though? Never heard of such a thing. "So, how do we prevent these wires from freezing?" I asked him, "Do you have wire sweaters, or something?" He gave me a look, he must have thought I was trying to be funny. (Not me!) I got a 'ahem,' followed by, "sometimes, ma'am, it's what happens in extreme cold weather conditions." I gave him a look back. "You do realize it's only November, right?" At any rate, my wires have been replaced. I am not sure if he took extra measures to keep them from freezing, but I suppose if it were to happen again, I always have my neighbor's WiFi to fall back on until they can come fix it again. And get this - HER wires did the same exact thing on Saturday!!!!! By now, MY WiFi was fixed, so I was able to extend to her the same courtesy. I did tell her that just for shit and giggles, she should ask for wire sweaters, too. So, this was the drama surrounding Thanksgiving. Thankfully (not a play on words, but...) it is all over with - the turkey has been ingested, the leftovers thrown away by now, the guests have gone home, and the weekend-after Thanksgiving plans to 'Christmasize' the house have been carried out, leaving just the outside lights to be put up. (maybe later this weekend?) Now my primary focus is to just get through this ONE last holiday of 2018. I've done SOME, but not all, of my Christmas shopping by way of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales but there is still much to be done in that respect. I'm just not feeling it. I'm TRYING, but i'm not there, yet. Here is where I will reluctantly admit that there's more going on in my life right now - there is more than just cable/internet problems, more than the usual holiday stress, more than the occasional tiff with the wasband about what I'm not doing correctly, more than the usual kid-related drama. In summary, my fiancee has returned to therapy a couple months ago and is currently undergoing EMDR. I'm unsure if I've mentioned her return to therapy previously but it was a choice she's had to make - she's had a lot of work related stressors lately, and they have brought forth some emotional changes in her. She admits to stuff coming up from 'way back,' stuff that she never truly finished dealing with or working on with her previous T. When we met, she was undergoing therapy in the state she lived in - and our relationship, although it was what we both needed in order to get ourselves in a happier, better place, did 'interrupt' the work she was doing in therapy - even more so when she moved out-of-state and had to stop going altogether. Now, for the last ten years, we've not had to worry about things - we were both safe. She wasn't with her ex anymore, she wasn't even in the same state as him anymore. And I was no longer married to mine - not to say a lot of damage wasn't done to me either, but we had each other, our relationship was healthy and rich in communication. We carried one another through just about everything. The love is real, the support is unwavering; we have been each other's rock for the last decade. But it did neither one of us any favors that her pre-relationship treatment was interrupted and she is now in need of some maintenance. So - it's been tough. Without getting into details, the EMDR has been intense and there has been some distance within our relationship. It's not because of a shortage of love or support, but instead a culmination of work stress, therapy stress and the emotional side effects of it all. J is the one struggling with this, firsthand, and I've had to assume the role of a secondary survivor on top of being a survivor, myself. She's throwing herself into work and in turn, I'm throwing myself into my new role as a moderator here - she does her thing, I do my thing. It's probably what we BOTH need the most right now...the time and space to sort through things on our own without the other's influence but it's resulting in feelings of disconnect that I've never experienced with her before, and I'm TRYING not to be so uneasy and unnerved by it. It is not an easy thing for me to feel so disconnected from the one person who really and truly gets me, the one person I've COMPLETELY opened up to. She continues to remind me that I NEED to branch out more - and damnit, I've been trying! And the recent no-shows to my birthday celebration isn't helpful either, it's only shown me who I THOUGHT were reliable friends but turned out not to be. So right now, I will continue to make it known that I am there for her when she needs or wants and at the same time, bite my tongue about what I'm feeling about it all. I've already tried to explain it but we all know that verbal discussions in the moment are not my strong point. We have made efforts to reconnect already; we have our date night 1x a week, bowling leagues 2x a week and most weekends but there is still an uncomfortable feeling of division looming. I truly feel this is expected while she's dealing with issues in therapy and it's just temporary and HOPE that's the case, but am trying not to rock the boat any further by being overly vocal about things right now. Other than this, in the last two weeks, two mysterious bumps have appeared in the back of my head, both within inches of where my cochlear implant has been living for the last 16 years. One feels like a pimple, it's an 'external type' of bump and it's been suggested that it's an ingrown hair. I don't think that's the case, though, as I do buzz my hair every now and then but it has never been completely shaven. I've tried popping it, I've tried letting the hot water run over it, it's still not gone away. Earlier this week, I noticed a second bump, this one more 'internal' and bigger than a pimple. It is located behind my ear, where my neck meets my scalp, maybe a slight bit higher. THIS one feels like someone smacked me in the back of the head with a heavy object, it feels like a bruise, both to the touch and whenever I press on it. I do not, however, recall injuring my head at any recent time. I don't know what is going on and J's suggested that a visit to the doctor may be in order. And yes, I had to pause before typing that - because I DO know that whenever one has foreign objects implanted in their body and starts to experience discomfort, it's always been imperative to get it checked out. But, y'all know me, I'm terrible with doctors. I'm deathly afraid of what this means - tests, tests and more tests. Blood work. CAT scans. (I cannot undergo a MRI, that'll kill me since there is a magnet implanted in my brain!) I just about lost my shit over the summer over having to have tests done at the GYN, and my mammogram test (and re-test) and this is probably mild in comparison. But it's just not something I want to do, right now. J herself has a follow-up scan scheduled for later this week to check on whether the radiation treatment she had in June was 100% effective. So we really don't NEED any other possible medical emergencies, not right now. And if I can wait things out for a few weeks, that's what I'm likely to do. Especially since we have a vacation planned (our 10-year anniversary) for the beginning of January. I want to reach for my swatter, and thwack all that is unnecessary into that state of oblivion - at least until much, MUCH later. But now???? Right now??? It's CHRISTMAS time, I cannot fall apart right now, especially having to be the glue... But that's a summation of why I'm Scrooge-ish right now, why I put together the Holiday Buddies thingy (have you signed up!???), why I'm such a constant presence here - it is because offline, I've nowhere else to go for support other than to a place that may not be entirely accessible to me right now. Next week, I have a visit from my mother to look forward to - Wednesday, she will arrive and she will depart early Friday morning - in the meantime, we've plans to bake five types of Christmas cookies (which I will gladly share by way of photo status updates!) and hopefully that'll help somewhat ease into the spirit of the season. Anyway - posting this now - again, my apologies for being somewhat absent. I am trying to be better with this - perhaps it's a good thing that I have an appointment on Friday morning with the group leader/social worker. I'll be back, soon. Sending you all love. - Capulet
  11. Where to start

    Welcome to AfterSilence, @Trihedral! It truly makes my heart happy to see a Secondary Survivor sign up - it is always wonderful to see that there are registrations created for the purpose of seeking out ways to successfully support someone you care about who is a survivor of some form of trauma. I am sure that you will find that there is lots of feedback to be gained from being here and conversing with both survivors as well as with other secondaries. If there's anything I can help you with, please feel free to use the Help Desk (that is only visible to the site's administrators and moderators) or you may send me or any other staff member a private message. But @silentg is correct - a survivor CAN see the Secondary Survivor forums and there's no guarantee that your partner will not come across it. I do have to say honesty is the best policy, perhaps you can work out an agreement amongst yourselves that you will not read each other's posts for a while as you're both trying to figure out some things individually? And of course, as always, you should keep communicating offline in addition to utilizing the site's benefits - that's usually the absolute best way to support one another. Anyway - welcome!! I hope you are finding the site to be a helpful resource, so far! - Capulet
  12. Hi

    Hello and welcome to After Silence! Thank you for taking the time to reach out and to introduce yourself, you sound like you keep really busy with your (very rewarding) work! Your clients are VERY fortunate to have you! I am sorry to hear that the circumstances of your past have brought you here, but this indeed is a truly safe place to seek support and compassion from others who can relate. I am also hopeful that the off-site support groups work out for you - I recently joined one, myself but they only meet once monthly for an hour and a half, so it kind of leaves me feeling a bit too disconnected afterwards - doesn't help that we sometimes get different faces. But for now, this and that will do. Anyway, take your time in looking around. Hope to get the opportunity to get to know better someday! Best wishes, Capulet
  13. Hi

    Hello! Welcome to After Silence! I'm so sorry to hear you have reason to be here but am glad you've joined us and have reached out. You are in a very safe place to start seeking support and talking things through - the people here are absolutely amazing and you will find that you're not alone! I agree with Kmkz, take your time looking around and when you are ready, we will be ready to listen. Best wishes, and again, welcome! Capulet
  14. Brand new!

    Hello @GlimGlamz - Welcome to After Silence! I too didn't begin to heal properly until nearly a decade after my assault! So I totally understand that! The most important thing to remember, though, is that you're doing it - it matters none when, so long as you realize that you deserve to heal and to have peace. This is a fantastic place to start that journey and I am hopeful that you will find that you're never alone here. Looking forward to getting to know you! Best wishes, Capulet
  15. New here

    Hi @Beckles - You definitely are not alone here - this is a fantastic place to be and the folks are amazing. Welcome to After Silence. Best wishes, Capulet