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Capulet

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Everything posted by Capulet

  1. @onedayhero - this may not seem like abuse because it wasn't of the physical sort, but in a way, it is. You do not have to be inappropriately touched for something to qualify as being abuse or for a situation to be wrong on many levels. I am a survivor of domestic violence, yet my ex-husband never 'hit' me. Mental/emotional forms of abuse are JUST as damaging as the physical, if you ask me. If you were a child and were exposed to inappropriate sexual behavior, the person(s) who did so were not taking into consideration your age or trying to shield you from unhealthy sexual behavior - instead they showed it to you, it IS likely that's caused an impact. I'm sorry that's happened. It COULD have a lot to do with your struggles involving sexuality and sex in general, but it also may not as truthfully, many individuals grapple with sexuality issues on a daily basis - whether they do or don't have abuse/sexual trauma in their background. You're welcome to look around here and see if anybody has any input or advice for you on this, but I do suggest maybe talking things through with a therapist or counselor who specializes in sexuality issues....he or she may be able to help you get to the root of things that way. Remember though, we are all different - and we all cope differently. There are some of us who have had different levels of exposure to inappropriate sexual behavior or violence and have dealt with it in different ways. Only you can truly understand your own questions and answers, whatever they may be, and ultimately decide what is best for yourself. Wishing you all the luck in the world. Best wishes, Capulet
  2. @afterthestorm78 - welcome to After Silence!!! I'm sad that you have reason to be here, but truly feel blessed to have you and your voice among us within our community. You are not alone in coping with the past, present and future - many of us are in the same boat and there's truly strength in numbers. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns. All the best, Capulet
  3. Capulet

    Hi

    Welcome, Peachy! Although I'm sorry to hear of the circumstances that have led you to us, I'm hopeful that being here will bring you some peace, comfort and healing. My best wishes, Capulet
  4. Welcome, @Bambs, to After Silence. I think being here is an excellent way to prepare for getting into some difficult things - it's always SO much easier to talk about things within a community where many others are in the same boat - I am also wishing you lots of luck with the transition into therapy - that's another very positive step in your healing process. Take all the time you need to look around before sharing - if that is best for you. We don't require that you share anything if you're not quite comfortable doing so, yet. Whenever you're ready to jump in, we'll be here! Best wishes, Capulet
  5. Welcome to AS, Smalls. Glad you are here, although I'm sorry that circumstances have led you here. I hope you will find our community to be welcoming and a valuable resource in your healing processes! Best wishes, Capulet
  6. Capulet

    Hi

    Welcome, @SadQueen - to After Silence!!! I hope you find our community to be a helpful stop in your healing journey! Best wishes, Capulet
  7. Welcome, @PrettyPeony to After Silence, I'm glad you've joined our community. This truly is a safe place, and I'm hopeful that you will find that we certainly are a fantastic online community where support is unwavering and the people are kind and can relate in many ways. You are right about there being a story-sharing forum that unlocks after you've had 10 posts. This is for your protection as well as for the protection of others, as we would like for the content in that forum to not be seen by those who might not want to stick around, etc. There is some very heavily triggering posts in that space, too, so it's best to get to know AS a little bit more before venturing into there. And one of the things I like the most about AS is - you can say as much or as little as you like - you're not obligated to say anything you're not comfortable with. Please take your time to look around. If you have any questions or concerns, I'm just a shout away. All the best, and again - welcome. - Capulet
  8. Hey, Gold Raindrops. Well, the Quilster got the job done that night - now I need a warrior that will ALLOW my body to let me sleep for longer periods of time. It just doesn't cooperate, no matter how nicely I ask. LOL. Gonna try it again tonight - but actually NEED it - throat starting to feel scratchy. These 8am classes are going to require two things in order for me to be able to function - coffee and more than three hours' sleep the night before! Hope all's well wih you! Thanks for stopping by! - Cap
  9. So, let's assume that Ny-Quil and Melatonin have teamed up with one very important mission in mind - 'twas the night before Spring semester started, and someone (let's call her, 'Cap') needed to undo six weeks' worth of habitual going-to-bed-at-3am-every-night damage. And let's also assume that EVEN this late at night, it takes Cap roughly an hour to FALL asleep and then STAY asleep for more than three or four hours at a time. It has also been pre-determined that neither member of Team Sleep Aid could get the job done by themselves... Melatonin (Mel) went in first, at exactly midnight - and when she found herself overwhelmed by those brain cells (carrying pitchforks, I'm sure) that refused to shut up and allow her to work her calming, soothing magic, her buddy Ny-Quil, (whom she calls 'Quill') followed, thirty minutes later, in hopes of combatting the army of 'Stay-Awakes' that have taken up residence in Cap's brain. (How dare they, they don't pay rent!) So, are you wondering yet if the duo got the job done? No, they didn't. It would seem that their very worthy adversary (Nerves) won last night. Only two to three hours total of sleep was achieved by Cap, who tossed and turned for several hours as Mel and Quill's efforts were pitiful against the very dominant Nerves, before finally succumbing into a very light slumber, and who was wide awake before the sun dared peek through the blinds and before the alarm clock had the audacity to go off and ruin the rest of the day. (Those of you who have ever had a bed-shaker alarm clock know exactly what I mean. If you don't, take my word for it.) Nerves, who had made the mistake of reading a policies class syllabus before bed. Nerves, who could only begin to wonder what she'd be walking into as she now has new routines to become used to. Nerves, who, while she isn't the praying type, hoped there wouldn't be any communication barriers of any kind, that all three sets of instructor lips were easy to read and that there would be no handlebar moustaches. Nerves, who has also reserved a fair amount of herself for tomorrow morning's Astronomy class - (what if she can't find the Planetarium, despite her son's very wise advice to search for the dome atop the Science building and align herself under it??) the one class she's deathly afraid of becoming the American Government equivalent when it comes to interest. That Nerves. The same Nerves that kicked both Mel's and Quill's asses last night - is now ready to fight, again. I will say, though, that as today's 'first day' went well, that Nerves is significantly weakened and the Stay-Awakes are becoming tired. In fact, THEY might be sleeping! Tonight, Mel is on the bench, taking a break. We don't need to come at 'em as strongly, I don't think. Quill is suited up, and ready to go in. Round two, here we go.....check back tomorrow for the results! (Yes, go ahead, laugh. I AM trying to be funny! I know we've had a few serious entries as of late, so hopefully this one will make you smile a little bit.) Good night, all. - Cap
  10. Hi @rj1130 - welcome to AS! I'm sorry to hear you are a new/recent survivor and that those are the circumstances that have led you here, but I'm truly glad you are here and think you will truly find that you're among many others who truly understand your fear. No worries about the details - you've posted a very good introduction, it helps us to get to know you a little bit. When you've reached 10 total postings, a more private, Story-sharing forum will automatically unlock, and you're welcome to share more detailed content if that's what you'd like to do. One of the best things about this site is - you're welcome to share as much or as little as you want - there's no pressure whatsoever. Just relax, take your time, and seek comfort in the safe, healing tone the site very much encompasses. Again, welcome - wishing you all the best on your healing journey! - Capulet
  11. For when the going gets tough and the frustration begins to mount; for those times we wonder how continuing is possible....here's a random little message that is important for us all to remember, may these short, powerful words speak louder than the rest... ❤️  Have a great Sunday, everyone.

    motivational-memes469871.jpg

    1. MeBeMary

      MeBeMary

      💕 Thanks. 

  12. Friends, The motivation for this entry has come from several different directions. There is much I've seen, heard, and felt in the past week. I debated whether this should be a motivational post or a blog entry, but it's possible it'll be both. I'm undecided for the moment, so figured I'd at least write it out, first. Most of us envision healing as a non-linear path we take on foot; a muddied, beaten, track that is not without obstacles and hinderances along the way. 'One foot in front of the other,' we hear all the time. I know. I SAY it all the time. It's something we all have to keep in mind when we embark upon that journey that is healing. Sometimes, though, (more than sometimes, if I'm being honest) we'll reach an impasse. It becomes evident that next step that one must take is gonna hurt. If not painful, it'll at the very least, be uncomfortable. Now, we can choose to do one of a few things at this point. We can pretend it's not there and plod on - it'll hurt and it'll sting and it'll SUCK. Eventually, you're going to wear yourself down, and potentially feel worse than you have to. This'll take an enormous toll on you in every which way - physically, emotionally, mentally. We can sit idle and hope the obstacle goes away on its own. We have time, right? Anything could happen. It's like sitting in highway traffic on Rt. 80 during the holiday season. You simply wait until the road ahead is cleared of whatever's in the way, and only then will we proceed. We can only begin to imagine what the problem might be with this option, as there are no guarantees on a time frame that we may be able to resume the process. We can kick that little obstacle a little bit further ahead, only to be faced with it again later. We can and we will and we have done that. Delaying the inevitable is still going to slow the process down, but sometimes it's what's needed in order to keep ourselves focused on what we CAN do while that underlying problem still remains intact. Those things that hinder our progress aren't always obvious. We know they're there, but we only understand being 'stuck.' There's something there, something in the goddamn way, and until it's identified, understood and removed, we're gonna be in that uncomfortable limbo position. It will literally be that pebble in our shoe that makes moving on less appealing. I know this is hardly the same, but a small, yet amusing example: Some of you may not know this about me, but I don't give a shit if it's 100 degrees outside - I have a very, VERY specific sleep pattern. I have TWO comforters, and in order to sleep, I must bury myself underneath both comforters, from my earlobes to my toes. I NEED to do the leg-out, covers-off, covers-back-on deal an indeterminate amount of times every night. Rationally, I know I'm going to be hot and sticky - but it's how I'm most comfortable, wrapped up like a burrito when I'm trying to fall asleep. I don't see this changing any, either, so I'll dare not try and modify my blanket set-up any. So, I've been wearing this amazingly comfortable, WAY-too-big pair of sweatpants to lounge around and then to sleep in. They're roomy, they're SO warm and I'm usually upset when I have to take them off because I can't wear them in public, at risk of tripping over the bottoms and face-planting at inconvenient moments. Anyway, these sweats + my two comforters + our heat usually running = sweat pouring off my body several times during the night, and being unable to fall and STAY asleep. I couldn't figure this out for the life of me - WHY I couldn't sleep...what's changed? Sure, I'm on a soon-ending hiatus from school, so I'm not yet in walking zombie mode...but I've been going to bed VERY late, too. I've been TRYING to get back into get-up-early mode, but failing miserably. I'm going to be paying the price on Tuesday morning, but it's likely going to have to happen. But what else has changed....remains the question. It's the damn pants, isn't it? I was sleeping FINE before the pants were discovered in an old bin of winter clothes! Damn the pants. But I LOVE the pants! I finally whipped the covers off, got up, and took them off this morning after only sleeping an hour and a half and replaced them with thinner-than-paper flannel bottoms - they're flannel, but they're still extremely thin in comparison to my favorite loungers...and I was able to sleep for the next four hours. I'll also test the pants theory later tonight when it's bedtime - if I'm wearing them, (and I probably will be) I will take them off and replace them with shorts or these skimpy flannels and see if it makes any difference in my ability to fall and stay asleep! Like I said, I know this is not a very good comparison to some of those other issues that many of us struggle with on a regular basis, but it IS somewhat of a demonstration of how to first, identify the problem, and then to get rid of it so that you can improve another aspect of your life. In my case, it'd be improving on sleep, which, I imagine, will set off a chain reaction and ultimately improve my overall mood and energy levels! These pebbles can be anything, too. They can be a toxic person, whether living or dead, whose voice you hear constantly, telling you that you're unworthy of happiness. They can be a thought or an idea. They can be a feeling. In my case, they can be those cackling, annoying skeletons that have been following me for over 20 years, clattering their bones as a persistent reminder that they still exist, and while life has gone on, they'll not entirely disappear. They aren't the bad kind of skeletons, either - I've done nothing terrible, so no worries. No, these are the guys who laugh whenever I say that I've got everything under control and that I've done all the healing I'm supposed to do. That's when the bag of bones is rattled, as to say, "we're here when you're ready!" I'm just as guilty as the rest of you on this, guys - I've been sort of hopping between #2 and #3 on the list of options mentioned above - I've done an enormous amount of healing, but there's definitely a pebble in my shoe. Or one of those round, spiky things that fall from trees....what the hell are those called, anyway? (Ahhhh....Sweet Gum Balls - I just Googled.) There's clearly an impasse, and while some of these pebbles (one looking a whole lot like the wasband's bald 'Mr. Clean' head) are beyond my control, there are indeed things that are manageable in the meantime, if only I'd just sit down, pull off my shoe, remove the pain-in-the-ass pebble, investigate it, and eventually be able to chuck it after I've determined that it's not going to be something I allow to impede my progress, anymore. The shoe goes back on and the journey resumes. It would seem that there's a whole lot that I haven't worked on, but we knew that, already. I've just got to decide on an option (#2? #3?) and stick with it. And it feels almost....I dunno....hypocritical to be a social worker who hasn't finished working on herself, first. I guess #3 seems to be the more appealing option, if I promise myself (and those fucking skeletons) that I'll pay attention to the other things, too. I know I owe it to myself and to whomever I come into contact with, to own those pebbles and to contribute to the growing collection of 'chucked' stones that no longer stand in the way of our personal growth. So, I'm interested in hearing what some of your pebbles might represent....and how you're going about the process of getting rid of them. What's holding you back from taking that next step? Can it be kicked ahead? Is it worth pausing over? Can it be something you carry along with you at risk of overwhelming yourselves? Something to think about, anyway. I'd love to hear from you, so feel free to hit up the comments. I'm also going to post excerpts from this blog in Healing Tips & Inspiration, so feel free to participate there, if you're more a board person than a blog person! We got this, guys. Let's get rid of some damn rocks! Sending all of you healing hugs and only the best of vibes. I'll be back next week, with resumed (although I'll try not to let it overtake) school-related blogs. I'm sure I'm going to have a lot of pebble accumulation in my new sneakers before I know it - because clearly, majoring in social work is something that is definitely going to open my eyes to a lot of shit. But, maybe it'll force me to confront some of those grinning skulls. Once and for all. Until next time - sending love! - Capulet
  13. Attention newbies!  Tonight, January 14th, we will be hosting a newbie chat at 11pm EST/10pm Central.  All are welcome!  Bring all of your questions and concerns and let's chat. ❤️ 

  14. Hello, all. Did you all enjoy NOT hearing about my schoolwork? I hope so, because I HAVE enjoyed not bitching about certain classes and papers that I really didn't want to write. Of course, these were for the 'required' classes not pertaining to my social work major and it would only be natural for me to complain about those. I will say though, that when I return to campus in a couple weeks, I'll be TRYING to refrain from giving my (former) Government professor a glare for giving me the only B grade of my last semester - it was a damned B-PLUS, he couldn't have let me have the A-minus???? Hmmmph. I promise, although this blog has SOME (really, just a little bit) to do with what I'll be taking in my spring semester, it's going to be more focused on a bigger problem I'm noticing and realizing that we have in today's world. Perhaps this is the main reason for me not being able to, for the life of me, come up with a good title for this blog entry. It's just...something has been on my mind for the last couple of days, and it's really messing with my ability to come up with something more inviting to put down as a title. What I'm about to discuss has left me mentally speechless in some ways. I'll try to make as much sense as possible, though, so, bear with me, please. My Intro to Child Welfare class's (the one 8am class that I have this semester) syllabus was released over the weekend. Now, you'd think that since I still have just under two weeks' vacation remaining, I'd only glance at it and get an idea of what textbooks I'll need, or that I'd MAYBE get a head start on some of the reading, but no. I've already read through the instructions for the two papers that I'll be expected to write, and it's already been (jokingly, but sadly, also accurately) suggested that I might be FINISHED with these papers before the class even starts on the 21st. (Go ahead and chuckle. I did.) Anyway, my Child Welfare professor has already released all of the supplemental readings needed - the articles that we won't be finding in our textbooks and that we'll be discussing in class. I opened up the document and started reading. It was a compilation of child abuse cases that, sad to say, did not yield a happy ending for the dozen or so children written about. The articles are nothing short of heartbreaking, and his intent, I want to say, is to demonstrate that there are cases that do indeed fall through the cracks, and that there are certainly flaws in the child welfare system, and there have been, for a very, VERY long time. There have been WAY too many losses, and WAY too many children have fallen victim to it. The system is in dire need of rectifying, but this is truly a process and requires for a LOT of corrections along the way, re-writing of policies and all of that fun stuff I'm still only beginning to learn about. One story in particular, I remember very clearly from 1987 - I was eight, at the time. The story of little Lisa Steinberg, a six-year-old forever-angel who was beaten into a coma by her (illegally!) adoptive father, Joel Steinberg, who was at the time, a defense attorney. In a rage, he beat Lisa to a bloodied pulp, to include dealing a traumatic blow to her head, and left her bleeding and bruised and alone before going to some kind of social event. Steinberg's common law wife, Hedda Nussbaum, found Lisa unresponsive, but alive, the NEXT FUCKING MORNING, and called 911. Nussbaum claimed she was also abused regularly by Joel, and that her crime was neglecting to report the abuse of Lisa, who, after this particular beating, was in a coma for three days before being taken off life support. Fifteen minutes after being disconnected, Lisa gained her wings, and the only consolation to the millions who would grieve a child they'd never met, was that her suffering had ended. This was one of the nation's WORST cases of child abuse. It was a MAJOR news story that I remember watching, seeing the headlines and even crying for Lisa, who was only a couple years younger than me. Just a little girl, just like me. And her father had killed her. I was able to identify the piece-of-shit's face without seeing his name - as soon as I read about what he'd done, his face was permanently etched into memory. I remember being more appreciative of MY father, who had NEVER raised a hand to me in anger. I remember thinking, this never happened to me - I wasn't abused. LISA was abused. Child abuse meant beatings, it meant being forced to eat their own feces, it meant being locked in closets, it meant being tied to radiators, it meant starvation. It meant one or both of the child's parents had harmed them terribly, and had put them either in the hospital or in coffins. This wasn't something I'd experienced, so I felt, for lack of a better explanation, unable to fully empathize with Lisa and what she might have gone through at the hands of her adoptive parents. There was always a sadness in me, though, from when I first heard her tragic story - perhaps I understood her pain in a different way, but at the time, I couldn't make any connections. (I'm gonna come back to this....because now there's another thought forming....just wanna finish up on this, first...) A lot of time has gone by. Eventually little Lisa's story had faded, but I'd never forgotten about this little girl - ever. And when I opened this article and saw Joel Steinberg's monstrous face, along with his wife's negligent bit*h-face, (I'm sorry, she's just as guilty as he, if you ask me - she testified against her husband, I think, mainly so she could avoid severe punishment for her negligence!) it all came flooding back. I probed deeper, and did more reading (on my own) on this case - to refresh my memory. In doing so, I learned that Steinberg was released from prison in the early 2000's and is now a free man, living in New York City. What the fuck????? HOW does a monster like this survive a stint in prison after murdering a little girl?? HOW has he not been knifed down in the middle of Times Square? HOW? I know this was a lifetime ago. People forget, people probably WANTED to forget, and as soon as he was put away, (for 29 years? Does that even seem fair?) they considered justice for Lisa served. Life went on, more and different horror stories have emerged, and that face I'd memorized - became DIFFERENT faces. I also have to consider that the Lisa Steinberg case is probably one that most of my classmates don't remember, as it occurred long before any of them were born. I remember it, though, and I remember Lisa. It is my hope, though, that when my classmates hear her story for the first time, that they, too, recognize just HOW flawed the child welfare system is - just HOW unnecessary it was for these beautiful children to die, and that we're just going to have to do better, to keep MORE children from being hurt or worse. And now the other thought...I did tell you I'd get to it.... When I was still young, (maybe 10ish?) I remember the Oompa watching One Life to Live. I may be wrong on the name, but I knew that it was a cheesy soap that, I think, is still being aired today, despite said cheesiness. For some reason, I was home from school - and was sitting in the living room with my mother while she watched her soap. There was a rape - on the show. I remember the man pinning the woman to the bed, and the woman fighting him. The man also struck her a couple of times. I asked my mother what was happening, and she said, 'he raped her.' "What does that mean?" I asked her. "It means the man forced the woman to have sex with him." "Oh," I said. I probably went back to whatever I was doing, but do recall that graphic scene on television bothering me. Not to the point where it was triggering anything, but it is something I STILL remember. Perhaps it is because I'd have an experience a few years later and I'd mentally come back to it, but, who knows? That was the day that I learned what rape was, by my mother's definition. Granted, I don't think a child my age would have been able to handle elaboration on what ELSE rape was, but for the moment, I knew what it looked like. I was able to recognize my own sexual assault at 17 as a rape - based on my mother's definition. The man who did this to me - forced me to have sex with him. It wasn't verbatim with what happened on the soap opera, but it involved force and it involved violence. My own situation - there was no question about. My perpetrator hit me, pinned me and I fought for as long as I was able to. He had sex with me, and I didn't want it or ask for it or give my permission. That was rape. There was no question in my mind about that. Following so far...? Ok, good. Moving on. I now had my definitions of what child abuse and what rape were, without expanded understanding of the more serious, the more silent/unseen and potentially, the more deadly forms of both abuses. It's the same with Domestic Violence. I'd always thought that it meant one spouse was physically abusing the other - and gave no second thought to the gaslighting, the mental, the verbal and the emotional abuse my own husband was dishing out - that, I thought was because I was a miserable wife, I was too damaged to be what he wanted me to be. I wasn't even considering that one isolated incident during the end-stages of our marriage, when divorce was already in progress, when he'd had sex with me AFTER my telling him that our physical relationship was over. In my mind, it was more helpful to consider it a 'last hurrah,' and that we WERE still legally married at the time, so....what's one more time with the father of my children? This wasn't rape - it didn't happen like it did in the soap opera, it didn't happen like it did when I was 17. This didn't count. But....guess what? Yes, it does. It counts. And even though I was never beaten by my parents, there was still child abuse...there was abuse by someone else, and potentially my mother's relationship with denial, that left no visible marks. There was abuse of my mind, also leaving no marks visible to the naked eye. At least, nothing ever was confirmed, on account of my having no memory of anything that could be submitted as evidence that it was truly CSA that happened to me. The CSA, I felt existed solely because of my behaviors as a child - a child who wasn't exposed to sex or sexual activity at a young age likely would NOT have behaved in the same way. There is plenty written about my story in previous blog entries, so if you'd like elaboration on this or on the rest of it, feel free to look for the blog entry titled "Installment One: The Formative Years.' Even though there were no beatings from my husband, there was still domestic violence. I was still afraid of him, but not because of what he would physically do - more so what he'd say, how he'd manage to make me feel two inches tall using just his words. I'm no longer married to him and no longer live with him, but he STILL holds an element of power and control over me, where he needs only make one statement, and over and over again, the things I want to and have said, are reduced to mere whispers that no one can hear over his higher-than-thou opinion. He's always right, I'm always wrong, even though we're not having to make joint decisions on things having nothing to do with the kids we share. Friends - we as a society, are in trouble. If 'trouble' isn't the best word, then at the very least, we have a very serious problem. I told myself a long time ago, (okay, it was perhaps not that long ago, as my own realizations manifested and sunk in only a few short years ago) that I wouldn't lie to myself anymore, and that I was going to do the best I could in encouraging others to not discount, dismiss or make light of any of their experiences, because - they all count. ANYTHING that has made us feel badly about ourselves - counts. We MUST take a few minutes to re-define what all is involved in this trifecta of abuses. Every day, there are survivors questioning themselves and their experiences, even invalidating themselves when it's, in all honesty, not fair to themselves to be doing so. Perhaps you've also been told what something was - your definitions were obtained without elaboration on what ELSE it could pass for, and you've had to take someone's word for what child abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence truly was. It leaves WAY too much room for misinterpretation and self-doubt and that is, I believe, what makes it MORE tragic. Maybe our abusers, themselves, forced a definition onto us from an early age? (For example, CSA doesn't always physically hurt - sometimes it doesn't go beyond fondling and inappropriate touch, and this child might have been told 'if I'm not hurting you, how can this be bad?,' or 'this is how I show you love.') See what a clusterfuck that can cause in one's mind??? And furthermore, what damage it can continue to do, should we allow ourselves to believe the definitions that others want us to believe? Rape isn't always violent. Sometimes it's silent, sometimes the word 'no' is NOT even uttered. Sometimes it's done as a result of coercion, so that one doesn't have to deal with confrontation or with making their assailant angry or hurt their feelings. Oftentimes, rape is committed because we simply don't fight it....and for whatever reason we choose not to fight, we MUST know that there was a deep, meaningful, VALID reason for it and that it doesn't, in any way, make it okay! If it wasn't wanted, if it wasn't one THOUSAND percent agreed to with an emphatic 'YES,' then it was wrong. And, this is a new one for me - but even within a marriage, mutual consent should always be given. If crystal clear, conscious, SOBER consent was not given, we should ALL be allowed to consider that it was the wrong thing. PLEASE remember all of this. PLEASE expand your definitions, friends, because your feelings DO MATTER. CSA doesn't always hurt. Child abuse goes beyond beatings or starvings. We can't always see child abuse, whether we've experienced it ourselves and suffered no physical pain - or we know someone else who has experienced it. The system continues to fail SO many beautiful, innocent, PERFECT children. Consider the ways the system has failed YOU - because it has. It's failed me, too. I'm sorry to all of my friends who were failed as children - this, I understand all too well. Tell yourselves that it doesn't necessarily have to hurt, and that this was NOT love, even though someone you trusted may have told you otherwise. That's a truth you deserve to know, too, and a truth you're ALLOWED to recognize and adopt as your own. And how about that wife whose husband tells her (you may place me in this category) that if she's not having the shit beat out of her on a regular basis, then she has no reason to complain? She has everything she needs - a roof over her head, a spouse that provides, what's she got to complain about? When in reality, she has a lot indeed to be upset about, that initial definition of domestic violence, that definition that doesn't quite apply, is blocking any and all rational thought beyond what you've already defined. If this is you, and you're also that person dealing with a verbally abusive spouse, please know that you're in JUST as much danger as you would be if your spouse is throwing punches - and you don't deserve that shit! You DON'T, no matter how much they may make you feel that you do. I'm also realizing as I embark further onto this journey into the helping profession that there is so much anger within me - that this line of work I've chosen is either going to make or break me. On one hand, I'm not going to be able to become too emotionally invested in any one child's (or survivor's of rape, domestic violence, etc) case - but on the other, I'm going to see and hear a whole lot that pisses me off and I'm going to be finding myself increasingly disgusted with our broken system and frustrated that I'm just one piddly cog within the whole of it. And because I have experience with pretty much every form of abuse under the sun, I'm going to have a deeper understanding of why things are second-guessed, why there are suspected 'gray areas' (and I'm not saying they're there - I'd rather say they DON'T exist because to say there is one, allows for more room for self-doubt) and why certain things are a constant, continuous struggle and why healing seems so complicated at times. I know this Child Welfare class, once in full swing, is going to take a toll on my emotional state, mainly because I'm going to be reading about actual cases of abused children and in learning more about the variety of ways they were failed where they could have been HELPED, where they could have been SAVED, I'm going to hurt. Over and over, I'm going to find myself either crying for them or wanting their abusers to pay a bigger price for their crimes. If these pieces of shit are not on death row, scheduled to be executed, then they're not paying and they'll NEVER truly pay for the innocent life they've destroyed, but that's just my opinion. NO ONE who hurts a child, or abuses another person in ANY WAY, deserves a mere slap on the wrist or to be walking free...but that is not my jurisdiction nor my choice to make. This, like many other things, is out of my hands. My primary focus will be on helping those who HAVE suffered abuse at the hands of another - be it physical, mental, verbal, emotional, medical, elder, or sexual - and capitalizing on how I can help them to heal from these wounds. It's my goal to show them that none of these marks, be they visible ones or otherwise, are their fault and that there is NO justifying abuse of any kind. There's NO excuse for any of it. My mission is to keep reminding others of that. Every day for the rest of my life, if need be. One man, woman, child, day, email, phone call, blog post at a time, in hopes that those cogs that surround me that are still grinding and stuck, will eventually begin to turn again, and that this system that is so fucking miserably broken will start to work as it should. I'm sorry this blog entry was a bit on the deeper side, tonight - I just didn't expect to be re-acquainted with Lisa, and those children with stories like Lisa's, so soon. Or maybe I did. I AM going into social work, after all - did I really think this was going to be easy? I guess I just need to brace myself because I am starting to see a whole lot of ugly that could have been prevented and need to be prepared to have these horror stories repeatedly thrown in my face. Shit's getting real, and I'm hoping I made the right choice. I can tell that this is just one of many future rants I may make on broken systems and perpetrators who deserve to die. In closing, a little advice for those of you who have been reading up until this point...(thank you, by the way!) Don't doubt yourself. If it feels wrong, it was wrong. Don't minimize, or allow anyone else to tell you that what you've experienced was 'no big deal,' 'small,' or 'insignificant,' because that's NOT true. Take a minute (or a few) to self-validate, to re-define, to tell yourself (repeatedly if needed) that your trauma was 100 percent real and that you deserve to be believed. You deserve for your voice to be heard, no matter your age. I know I said I was starting my 2020 eat-healthier plan this week, but that's going out the window; at least, for tonight. I barely touched my dinner earlier, and now that I've purged all of the thoughts of the last couple of nights onto this page, I'm wanting to comfort-eat - and so, I shall. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to sleep tonight - it's been a battle with the tossy-turnies all week. While I'm tired, I'm still not sleeping as well as I should be. At this rate, going back to school could be easier to adapt to - or harder. We'll see. On that note, I'm wishing you all a good day/evening - depending on what part of the globe you're tuning in from. My love and hugs to you all. - Capulet
  15. Hi, @AKB - How's the door-slamming going? I'm sorry, friend. I did know that 2019 wasn't a good year for MANY, and was sad to hear you, too, have been struggling. Yes, let 2020 bring forth good and wonderful things!!! ❤️ Consider 2019 sent packing. @vitamin - Thank you, friend, for gentle note. You are right - at least the holidays have been shoved back into boxes and back up the attic - there won't be any need to worry about any of this until this year's Black Friday. By then, I'm hoping to be in a place where I can appreciate it all for what it's intended to be and not dread it, so much. A lot of changes must be made this year, and I'm working on 'em, little by little. I'm hoping YOUR holiday with family and friends was a truly blessed time! @goldraindrops - that's my hope, too. So far, so good. I mean, I'm sure 2020 will dish out its share of grief and little moments of frustration, but I do hope to keep myself grounded and handle them in a healthier manner. My family is FULL of some very complicated people, and it IS truly hard to work with that, but I'm hopeful, having already taken some steps last year. As always, it's so nice hearing from you guys. Thank you. Happy New Year. ❤️
  16. You're very, very welcome!
  17. Hello @Rere1000H - welcome to After Silence. I'm so sorry for the circumstances that have led you here, but hope you will find an abundance of support, here!! You are definitely not alone. My name is Cap and I'm one of the site's moderators - you'll soon be hearing from one of our Newbie Support Team members but for now, I thought I'd introduce myself and tackle your question! The 'Share Your Story' forum is automatically unlocked once you have reached a post count of 10. This is for your protection, as well as for the protection of others who want to keep their stories a little more protected from lurkers or members who join with no intention of posting. Also, the content you'll find in that forum is of a more sensitive nature, and we do want our members to become familiar with reading and posting, and issuing trigger warnings where needed. Raising your post count is VERY easy. You can visit our Humor and Silliness boards and participate in the games we have there, you can respond to others' postings. Your 10 posts do not necessarily have to be boards you create yourself. You should be able to unlock Share Your Story relatively quick. I hope this helps! If you have any questions, I'm just a holler away. Wishing you all the best in your healing process! Best wishes, Capulet
  18. A random Tuesday quote, something for us all to think about:

    "The only people who get upset over you setting boundaries are those who benefit from you having none."

    (Stolen from my local women's shelter page.)

    1. MeBeMary

      MeBeMary

      Yes! Good share, Capulet!

    2. Iheartcupcakes

      Iheartcupcakes

      THAT'S RIGHT! :throb:

  19. Capulet

    Hello

    Hi, @Mel_Bellel! Welcome to After Silence. Although I am sorry to hear that a long history of abuse has led you to our community, I'm glad you are here, and I do hope that you will fit in well among us. You're not alone, here. I also promised to do good things for myself this year. I think it's an excellent goal for 2020! Happy Belated New Year to you, and I wish you all the best! Best wishes, Capulet
  20. Whether we're talking about hindsight or vision, it seemed right to title this blog with something that's coming for us all. I'm SO ready for 2019 to be over. How 'bout you? While there have been some redeeming moments that it'd be unfair to acknowledge, this year has been overall shitty. There has been more sadness than happiness, more frustration than there have been genuine smiles, and more tears than....well, you get the picture. I've gained weight, I'm experiencing pain and discomfort in two areas of my body that I'm having to get checked out by a doctor before school starts back up, and both my heart and soul have taken a beating many times over during 2019. Physically, my ticker is still pumping but it's been through the wringer. While things have improved, I have emotionally taken significant damage and this tear may take longer to repair. I haven't been 'myself,' lately, but have been trying to come back to who I was - and as a bonus, be BETTER than who I was last year. Steps have been taken and the path is paved; I've just got to keep going. In order to do so, I need to slam the door on 2019 and step into 2020 with a renewed outlook. I need to set my goals and stick to them, I need to not lose sight of what I want (and we ALL know how easy it is to do that) and I need to take care of myself. That's one major problem I had this year - I let myself go, physically, emotionally, mentally. I don't know how I managed to keep it together, but...SHIT, it wasn't easy! I know what I need to work on, and I know how to do it....now I've just gotta commit to it! The stage was kind of already set for the holidays to be, by default, crappy. My mother was starting her shit after Halloween was over with, on who was going where for Christmas Eve, my fiancee planned (last year) to be out of town for Christmas this year, and I was already dreading the idea of being alone this year. And again, there were a few rare moments where there was joy, but for the most part, each day leading up to Christmas has left me wanting to isolate - and I did. I didn't want to be near anyone, didn't want to talk, I didn't want my 'bah-humbug's' to affect those who actually enjoy the 'happiest time of the year.' (Whoever coined Christmas to be this - is deluded, I tell you - because 'happiest' doesn't quite fit!) Even after Christmas was over - it didn't feel like it was 'over.' The sourness and bitterness lingered on - and it might, until I effectively dismantle the tree, take down my garlands that I effortlessly threw across the mantle, pull down the lights from the one window I hung them in, and throw everything up into the attic until next year's Black Friday. I actually wanted to do all of this on the 26th, but as my mother decided to come visit for my birthday yesterday, I left them up so that she could enjoy the Christmas decor before I ripped it all down and tossed it all, along with the rest of 2019. I've literally had NO time to myself for the last week. For the beginning part, I did - I spent much of it alone. In a daze, kinda just...existing. "Is it over, yet?" played over and over in my head, while just going through the motions and not really investing in all of the festivities. It was more of like, a chore, than anything else. My wife spent Christmas with her family out-of-state, and I chose to stay behind so that I could be there with my kids. I was having guests on Christmas Eve, so I cleaned. I cooked. None of it was for me. It was all for my kids and my ex - because when he's happy, the kids are cooperative and generally, everything goes smoother. I know I spoke about our holiday arrangements in an earlier blog and it's the same, year after year...I sacrifice a LOT during the holidays so that my kids can have both their parents present. It is VERY rarely what I want it to be, and this year was no different - it was just MUCH harder, with my better half not even being present. Having everyone over for Christmas Eve was similar to setting a kitchen timer and counting down the minutes before everything was over with. I threw myself into an end-year pause; because I really didn't want to feel. I just watched everyone else enjoy, I fake-smiled my way through it. Inside, though, there was a huge, significant void. I was hurting, and I was sobbing, but I'd be damned if I let anyone see that. I just told myself that once it was over, I could just 'flush' it all and hope for the best next year. The holidays just weren't something I wanted to deal with this year, but alas, there's simply no choice where that's concerned - they show up every year, whether you're ready or not. I do hope, someday, some of that holiday spirit will return and I don't have to feel the need to scowl at the little Christmas displays at the store, despite the sheer prettiness of it all. It is just genuinely HARD to care, when those around you don't seem to care, either. If it wasn't for me, there would be no tree up in my house. There would be no presents under the tree. There would be NO decorations, no lights in the windows. I've always been the one to haul down all the decor on the day after Thanksgiving, and to 'Christmasize,' and the kids would all laugh at my OCD while placing the lights and trying to ensure all the little multi-colored bulbs were facing the right direction, and none would really even offer to help with the decorating or the preparing....I used to think that maybe it was because they all had things to do to keep them occupied - school, work, etc - and I was the one who was always home, so who better to do it all? They all knew that I had it handled, and that I could be relied on to do it all. But now, this year, I'm in school, too. I bust my ass every day to make sure I turn in my best work, my best efforts. I pulled a 3.8 last semester, so that puts me 15 credits closer to my bachelor's, which is one good thing having happened in 2019. The next year and a half will be a continuation of my education, and at some point, I may start working. What's going to happen, then? Who's gonna bring Christmas to my house, because this year, if nothing else, has been a real eye-opener on who it all falls on, who's the glue, who's the one who pulls it all off when it comes to the shopping, the wrapping, the stoking of holiday spirit, when there simply is none IN me to begin with. And, in the end, there's thank-you's, there's 'you did a great job,' and 'you cooked a delicious meal,' but there's still that lingering feeling that I'm truly the only one who gives a shit. My one and only love was not here with me. Neither one of my kids asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Of course, I would have told them, 'nothing at all,' because I don't ever want my children worrying about what material item they could give me - I'd know the thought was there and the sentiment alone would have been satisfying, but they didn't even ASK. Instead, there's lists of what they WANT on my desk, in my text messages....new XBOX controller, new sneakers, LED lights for their room, cosmetics, money, gift cards to whatever-the-fuck-it is, and that stings, too. Yet, I took their lists, threw everything on my credit cards, and pulled it off - because as always, others' happiness is more important than my own. Maybe I need to not give too much of a shit, anymore...something's got to give. As of right now, I've not said anything to my family about how much I didn't enjoy this year's Christmas, and I probably won't....because it's over with, it's done. What's the point? It will just make J feel guilty for not being here (but she wasn't here for a lot of the rest of this year's struggles, so it's probably best she spent Christmas with her family) and it will cause guilt in my children, something I never want to do. And so, I shall flush this emotional turd, and look forward to the brand new year, where MUCH will be changed up. Fewer fucks will be given (and not just pertaining to the holidays), and I'll bet things will be happier and will go a whole lot smoother. Originally, I wasn't going to blog, today, but, really, what kind of a blogger am I if I don't put out an end-year reflection of sorts? I know that my writing was yet another thing that I kind of 'slacked' on, but I'm hoping to get some of that, back, too. And now, to you all, my AS family: If you're struggling, I wish for you, lots of comfort. When times are dark, I wish you light. If you're in pain, I wish for you, relief. If you're feeling lost, I wish for you, clarity. For each moment of sadness, I wish for you a million small moments that make you smile. If you're lonely, I wish for you, friendship and companionship. If you're all of the above, I wish for 2020 to show you all that good things are possible, and that all of the work we do on ourselves, will pay off. I also send you strength, positivity and all of my love. Happy New Year, - Capulet
  21. Haven't put one of these out in a while.... 😉

    inspirational-memes563674.jpg

    Keep shining, friends! ❤️ 

  22. Hello, @Oceanbreath - thank you for the kind comment. I'm so glad (although a teeny-tiny bit envious) for your stress-free holidays. I hope you and your husband have a wonderful Christmas this year. Quiet is lovely, when spent in good company, even if it's a small gathering. Appreciate your stopping by! Best, Cap
  23. Welcome to AS, Sky! I'm glad you found this site by chance. I am hopeful that by now, it feels less like an accidental find and more like a sign that perhaps this is meant to be a part of your healing process. Looking forward to getting to know you! Best wishes, Capulet
  24. Hi, all! I REALLY should be studying for final exams right now. I do have three this week that I'm NOT toooooo worried about, content-wise. I know the material, I'm confident I'll be fine with these three. There will be two next week that this coming weekend will be devoted to studying for. Although I'm likely fine, the over-achieving side of me is thinking, 'I am NOT finished until I turn in my last final exam...' I came home from school today (we had a snow day yesterday) with intentions to open up a book and start cramming as much information as possible into my brain - but said brain has other things swimming around. It's nothing major. I've just managed to do again what I do best: disappoint my mother. Many of you already know that two years ago, I moved 2 hours away from where she lives. Yes, 'that's all.' If you let my mother describe it, you'd think I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. STATES away. A plane ticket rather than a car drive shorter than the time it'd take for me to attend 2 classes. That's all, indeed. I am still close enough that she can hop into the car and come visit, ANYTIME she wants. She has a bedroom in my house, for pete's sake. I'm also close enough that I could drive to either her house or my sisters' houses - and I do, whenever one of their kids has a birthday or there's a baptism. It's not enough, though, for the Oompa. She will CONSTANTLY complain that she doesn't see us, but that's not entirely our fault. Her days are spent babysitting for one of my sister's kids, or she's traveling to some foreign country. When she does make it here, she has to 'hurry back' because someone back home needs her. Her visits are rushed, and when In one breath, she'll say 'well you moved 2 hours away, so that's hard!' and other times, she'll say, 'you're only 2 hours away, why don't you come visit your Mama?' Sometimes I wish I HAD moved to Colorado, if not for the pure gorgeousness of the state, then for the elimination of how EASY it really is to visit with one another, and additionally, how EASY it is for my sisters to do the same fucking thing. Since I've lived here, they've BOTH been to my house, a total of two times - for a housewarming, and for the Son's graduation. That's it. It's been me who's made the (same) trip to go to them/their events every other time. Me who makes the extra effort. Me, who bends like a pipe cleaner. And yes - a side note here - part of the reason for my move was because my ex was first to move - when we divorced, we made the mutual agreement that we would never move the kids more than a 20-30 minutes' drive from their other parent. And let me be clear on one other thing: we BOTH agreed we wanted to be FAR away from the city. City life had been all I'd known. The wasband, as a child, had a taste of country living and preferred it, so it was both of our decision to move to the same town in Pennsylvania. We'd share custody of our children, we'd both have new homes, we'd all be starting a new chapter. I think that's one source of excitement for me; I'd always been a New Yorker, and the idea of being in an entirely new place was highly appealing. I also admit, there being a distance from where the Oompa lives was an added benefit. For me, though. For her, though - it's always been a problem. It's a problem especially during the holidays, when she STILL has old traditions on the brain, and STILL wants all three of her daughters and all of her grandchildren present on Christmas Eve. When we ALL lived in New York, she would host, and everyone would gather at her house. Now, her house is 'smaller.' Our families have grown, now. Both of my sisters are now married, with children, and a set of in-laws, each. They (Oompa, and my two sisters and their families) live all within a 20 minute radius of each other - and I'm (along with the wasband, who because of our 'other' agreement, to spend holidays together with our children) 2 hours away. As stated before, it's not terrible, but Oompa does make it out to be more complicated. Christmas Eve is also J's birthday. My wifey, up until a couple years ago, has been a good sport enough to join us all at Oompa's gatherings. This year, she'll be spending her birthday and Christmas with her family in Massachusetts. The wheels started turning in Oompa's head, as soon as she heard that. It might have been in February or March of this year; J announced that she was going to be spending her birthday and Christmas with her parents and sisters and nieces and nephews in New England. I suppose she wanted to give us all time to get used to the idea... First, she said she wanted to host Christmas Eve at her house. We all told her that her two-bedroom, one-story house in a retirement community was too small for 18 people to sit comfortably. Even her house before this one was too small. She must have heard the same from my sisters, because recently, her story changed. "Your sister wants to host Christmas Eve at her house." My sister's house is a bit bigger, and more accommodating. I did say, though, (and it might have been at the same time as J's announcement that she'd be spending Christmas with her family) that I wanted to stick to my new tradition of Christmas Eve at my house - it was simply easier for me to take care of my immediate family - the Oompa was, of course, invited as well as my sisters and their families. This will be my third Christmas in my new home - they've not yet made it out for a single one. The first year, the middle sister was pregnant....the drive would be too much for her. "So, let her husband drive," I said. "Oh, but he's allergic to cats...and you have five of them." It was dropped, with 'maybe next year.' And then the second year, there was the excuse that "the baby isn't good in the car..." along with, "what if it snows....we'd be stuck there, and they have plans for Christmas Day....nobody wants to risk getting stuck TWO HOURS AWAY (her favorite line) on Christmas..." I've given up on them coming for any holiday. How could I expect that, when they've combined, visited me four times in two and a half years? My mother, though - did come last year for Christmas Eve, and made it home on Christmas morning in LESS than 2 hours. She's seen for herself that her coming here for Christmas Eve is NOT as complicated as she makes it out to be - she could be with the other two and all of the younger grandbabies on Christmas Day...everyone's happy, right? No. I guess not. Because the Oompa is NEVER happy! I reminded her that I was planning to do Christmas Eve at my house, and that to deviate from that plan would cause stress between me and the wasband - as our agreement was that we spend holidays with our children. Christmas Eve at my house, Thanksgiving and Christmas at his house. Whenever there's Easter, he does that at his house, too, but that's not even really considered a 'holiday' to me - it's just another excuse to eat food that I haven't cooked! She asked (even though she knows the answer) why he couldn't consider letting me take the kids to see MY family on Christmas Eve, he'd still have them on Christmas Day. I told her that never did and never would fly with him - and yes, we all know he's an asshole, but I think that if the tables were turned, I'd expect the same courtesy of him, and I'd not want him to take my children anywhere that I wouldn't be on the holidays. "Let me talk to him," she said, "he'll listen to me!" I'd laughed and told her to see for herself. This was back in October. Last night, she sends me a text, asking if he'd spoken to me over Thanksgiving about Christmas Eve. I told her he hadn't, as expected. She said he'd told her that he'd consider letting me go with FOUR of his kids (our two, plus his youngest, and his stepson) to my sister's. I told her that 1) he'd likely only said that because he didn't want to hear anything more about it, 2) it wouldn't happen, and 3) where would HE and his WIFE be, if I was taking their kids? She then proceeds in telling me that she hadn't run inviting him and his wife through my sister, yet. My sister was already having 15 people there - her in-laws and an uncle, the Oompa and my stepfather, and the middle sister and her family were going to be there. Let me just add, NO invite has been extended to me personally - it's only been done through Oompa's constant need to micromanage other people's lives and holiday gatherings so that it suits her own needs and desires. My phone number has not changed in twelve years. My sisters have every fucking social media account known to (wo)man and yet, they don't know how to text me an invitation themselves. They KNOW there's a standing invitation to a holiday gathering in my home every year, and they've not accepted a single one. Perhaps they understand, better than our mother, that there will just have to be other arrangements made. I told Oompa to forget it - because 1) my kids are NOT going to want to be spending the holiday anywhere other than with BOTH of their parents, and 2) IF I were to go through with this, I'd NEVER hear the end of it from the wasband, and he'd be RIGHT, because this is fucked up on many levels, and 3) I wasn't going to add another seven or eight plates to my sister's table if the wasband and his wife weren't included in this invitation. If I know my sister, she'd have a shit fit, being a stickler for plans....and besides, why the fuck would you want seven or eight additional people in your house that you didn't invite, yourself??? "Can't you consider coming alone?" Was the next thing my mother says. "No," I told her. "I'm not coming alone." Immediately, I felt bad. I know, I shouldn't have. But I did. Because this is my mother, and while I want to spend Christmas with my children, I'm knowing and understanding that deep down, she wants the same. She wants all of her kids and grandchildren around her. But, you see, she has that option. She could come spend the day before Christmas here, then the day of Christmas with my sisters. They could ALL come on Christmas Eve. They can't even say they've tried that because year after year, they've made excuse after excuse on why they can't come....too pregnant, what if it snows, hubby allergic to cats, baby not good in the car, drive is too long...it LOOKS like it is going to snow six days from now, so we shouldn't take any chances... Oompa then suggests alternating. I do Christmas Eve one year, then sister #1 does it the year after, and then sister #3 does it the year after that... Look, I don't mind letting someone else host. I just won't be there, if my ENTIRE family is not invited. And as much as I can't stand the wasband - being the mother of two of his children, and godmother to his youngest daughter, makes him my family by default. The kids can love him enough for me - at this point, I love him for one reason only, and that is for giving me my children. Love is possibly too strong a word for him - let's just say I tolerate him at most, for the kids' sake. Anyway, I tell her that alternating is not going to solve the issue of where the kids are going to be. You'd think that in the ten years I'm divorced, she'd catch on. The kids spend holidays with him and I. Everyone there is welcome to join us - but they've never done that, so we've stopped extending invitations - and for the last several years, the Oompa has been rotating. One year here, one year there, etc. And I've been having to make a trip into Jersey, for additional holiday gatherings. Another Thanksgiving, another Christmas. Even my surprise 40th birthday last year, took place in my mother's neighborhood! Because god forbid any of them come here for that - I'm the one who moved two hours away, after all! (My mother's whiny-ass voice): TWO HOURS AWAYYYYY. Yeah. But anyway, there is now a 'December birthdays and holidays gathering' in the planning stages. Of course, it'll be held in the Garden State, and of COURSE it will require for me (and the wasband and his crew) to travel 2 hours - and it'd be because nobody over there wants to make the effort to come HERE for the REAL holidays. Because my mother must be appeased, and she must have 'her holiday visit,' never mind if it's an inconvenience to those of us who would like nothing more than to be finished with the holidays by the time 12/26 rolls around. At this point, though - I don't care, anymore. I really don't. I feel as if I've been bending for years, doing what others (no - although most of the holiday stress has my mother's name on it, NOT everything does!) want and whatever I might want is usually disregarded....and partially, that's my fault. I would bend...to dodge conflict, to make someone else happy, to avoid arguments, or just so that I didn't have to hear anything more on it. I'm aware that I've done myself no favors by bending. Ever open a canned beverage? You know that tab that you bend forward, first, to pop open the can? You can then bend the tab back and forth until the tab finally falls off. Doesn't take too many back and forth before that little piece of tin simply snaps. I feel like that tab now. No more slack, no more strength to keep on bending. My tab has been stubborn and has held on for as long as it possibly could, and if it bends anymore, it's simply going to detach. And then, it will have nothing more to do with the can! I just do NOT want to get to the point where I want much less, if not nothing, to do with them all anymore - and it's getting VERY close to that point with my family members. Anyway. Thank y'alls for listening to this impromptu vent. Maybe now I can get a little more cramming done. I'll be back with a non-school related blog soon (yes, there MIGHT be an announcement of end-semester grades, but that's all I'll do! I promise! You'll all have a reprieve of school-related blogs until February!) and perhaps having less on the brain will help me to be able to touch on topics more pressing than government terms, nightmare papers, all nighters and final exams! Sending you all my love and well-wishes...and sincerely hoping you guys are a little bit more optimistic about the holidays than I am. For now, I'm still 'bah-humbugging,' but perhaps this will change soon. Hugs, and good night! - Capu-scrooge
  25. Capulet

    Hi

    Hello, @RiaLavender and welcome to After Silence!!!
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