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Everything posted by Capulet

  1. Hello!

    Hi @selinacantrell and welcome to After Silence!!! Sending healing wishes, Capulet
  2. Hello new to this site :)

    Welcome to you, @Lar7391 - hoping you find peace and healing here. Congratulations on taking that HUGE step in deciding to start dealing with things you've had suppressed for a very long time. That's very admirable. We are all here to support! Sending you all of my best wishes, Capulet
  3. Hi, new here!

    Welcome, @Macbeth - I am sorry you have a reason for being here, but hope that you find we are a safe, supportive space. I too am curious where "Apple Juice" came from but I am sure that will be revealed in due time. We have all the patience in the world, and one thing I LOVE about this site is - we take it all at our own pace so that we stay comfortable. Again, welcome. Best wishes, Capulet
  4. Greetings, everyone!! Hoping you're all having a good weekend - we had a 'backwards' couple days. To explain, we had our taco dinner on May 4th ('May the fourth be with you') and on Cinco De Mayo today, (May 5th) I am invoking the force (fourth) and we're having chicken for dinner. If no one cares, I guess I won't either. I'll just note both 'May days' have been duly observed, one way or another. Additionally, the state of Pennsylvania is drenched - it's done NOTHING but RAIN most of this week. So, I had a counseling appointment on Friday with M. We were also planning to discuss with the volunteer coordinator at the Women's Center some opportunities for me, since volunteering is a pathway into the 69-hour class they offer, as well as interning with them and eventually being able to apply for work there. M has spent the last six months getting to know me via group meetings and individual counseling sessions and is aware of my 'plan.' It was, in fact, her idea to discuss the next steps with the volunteer coordinator - whom, while she wasn't present in our meeting, has instructed M on what to suggest. Basically, in order to volunteer at this particular center, apparently, you cannot be receiving services affiliated with the Center. This means, no counseling, no attending the support groups, no receipt of ANY 'help' whatsoever, for one year. This is what they consider a 'transition period' - which makes sense - in order to be providing assistance to others, we must show them that we are in a proper frame of mind and we are not needing their assistance, ourselves. Of course, I may attend their community events, the public come-one, come-all ones - and M will likely see me at those events - along with the other staff members at the center - they will see that I am still present, and still keeping up with the Center's activities, and there is still interest in becoming one of their volunteers. M has also told me that I'm welcome to reach out to her if I ever needed a session or wanted to attend a group. I was still allowed to do this and am still entitled to services - but then, that would 'reset' my year. It was also explained to me that it is during senior year that I'll be expected to do interning/field work - and to cease counseling now will give me my entire junior year to prepare for that - my senior year would start in 2020 if I'm on track - and by then, my required year away from the Center will be up and I'll hopefully already be volunteering for a few months. I can also hope to have that class taken that they offer, if it's a prerequisite to volunteering. I explained to her that my reason for joining their groups in the first place was not because I was/am in crisis - because I am not at a point where this has been consuming me. I joined the group first - I was simply seeking connection, to become acquainted with others that I could relate to. I am still new to where I now live - I don't have too many familiar folks around me and I am having trouble emerging from within this self-protective bubble I've formed around myself for the last couple of decades. The only reason I started counseling was because I needed a place to vent some of the frustrations that I was having with some of the changes related to my out-of-state move, my relationship, my decision to go back to school. Change was/is never comfortable for me - and while I wasn't in crisis, I needed a place to put all of it. My counseling sessions with M were never meant to be long-term, and I accept that our sessions have to come to a close. I've gained some insight and perspective from it all - and we parted ways saying I've come a long way and I've 'graduated.' And thus begun my 'transition' process. On the drive home, it hit me - I now have even LESS connections. At least - not in person. I know that here, in this space, there is NO shortage of connections. And I will continue to make them here. There is great importance in having these connections available to you - be they online or in person. In person, though, I have just ONE connection - at least one that is 100% safe - the one I have with my fiancee, who knows absolutely everything there is to know about me and about my past. She's the one who understands me the most - as she's a survivor, too. Yes, this made such a connection MUCH easier to form in the beginning - and all additional connections on top of this main one has been an incredible bonus. Ten years later, we're still going strong and while I'm not looking for intimate connection with anyone else, I'm feeling that, emotionally, this is a time of evolution for us both - while we still love each other very much and have a strong understanding of one another's issues - we are BOTH making changes in our lives. I've decided to pick up where I left off 20 years ago with my return to school and she's been spending the last six months in therapy working on coping with suppressed trauma that happened over 12+ years ago. The EMDR has understandably taken a toll on her and she has been throwing herself into work and social activities to keep both mentally and physically busy - and I've felt very distant, very lonely - and that was my reason for researching and finding the support group in the first place. And now, that's gone. It's going to have to be, if I want to keep putting all of my eggs in this one particular basket. The basket, representing this particular Center, where I very much like the environment, the staff, the atmosphere. It is exactly where I want to be two or three years from now - working with M as a co-worker, being able to work with those who truly ARE in crisis and need that assurance that someone's listening, someone cares. I want to be giving back. I do have upcoming opportunities to 'put myself out there,' this fall. I'll be starting school at the end of August. There is a huge difference though - and I think this is what I'm realizing... You see, I made a statement when I joined the Center's support group. I let them know that I was a survivor of sexual assault, of domestic violence, and possibly of CSA. I didn't have to say these words - my being there, being present and my participation in the meetings, was all that was needed. These other ladies were getting to know me, already knowing this information. The HARD stuff was already out there - without my having to put any words to it. It's a nice thought, and for the moment, it was a comfortable one - not having to explain myself, not having to explain why I'd 'tune out' during discussions or even describing why the simplest of thoughts were harder for me to explain or even to convey to someone else. I think this is what made it easier to sit through these meetings, knowing that I wasn't obligated to explain these things - they already knew and understood. What statement am I making when I walk into my first class at the end of August? There's no pre-existing knowledge of who I am as a person and how I've gotten here. There's no instruction manual. There's nothing. One GIANT unknown. I am going to HAVE to work at making these connections from scratch. These people are not having statements made, other than I'm a 40-yr-old who's decided to continue her education after 20 years. And for me, I know nothing about the people I'm going to be sharing a room with two or three days per week - I'm not going to know whether I can relate to them on some level unless otherwise revealed. I KNOW that this isn't something that EVERYONE has to know about me. I've managed to keep it from my family for my entire life. But even so, there's a very difficult-to-explain craving for that connection to exist, even if just as a starting point. I do currently have a small handful of friends - the lady I bowl with being one absolutely terrific character - then there's my neighbor, a 60-something, who has always been very kind to us and who takes care of our animals whenever we are away for a couple days. These two DEFINITELY have friend potential but they, sadly, do not know me the way J does. There still remains in place a barrier - I only allow them to know things that are 'general,' things that are 'safe.' There are things I'd never say around them. Important, telling information, that would explain me in ways that I've never been able to allow...because, gee - what if they don't get it? (Yes, I know I can't live my life like this - I need to afford others the chance to let ME know whether or not they can relate to any of it, rather than either yank the chance away or maintaining the we-can-be-friends-but-I'm-not-letting-you-get-too-close mindset!) This is yet another part - another step - of my own personal evolution - and perhaps the Center has unintentionally given me more 'preparation' work than I bargained for. It isn't just this transition that I've got to get used to - I've been somewhat ready to take on a different role for a while, now. It is more so the realization that there won't always BE this pre-existing knowledge when dealing with new people and forming new connections and relationships. I've always known this, but have been plodding along, regardless. Plus - I'm studying to be a social worker - I've got to understand the 'outside' world just as much as I understand the 'inside.' If that makes any sense at all...and skills there, I don't have just yet. This next 365 days is the time to open up my mind to further personal growth, isn't it? Especially in the area of forging safe, healthy friendships and connections. Going to the groups, to counseling was just one way to get started, to prepare myself for the REAL tests that lie ahead - the ones that will start when I become a full-time student. This is going to be a hell of a self-imposed challenge that I've a year to rise to. It took a few days to process all of this - being a rainy weekend has helped - spent time reflecting on my 'final' counseling session, on what is expected of me - even if it's more so a self-expectation than anything. In between reflection, I've managed to get some spring cleaning done - lots of things getting thrown onto eBay, (who would have thought there was value in a broken XBOX that had been collecting dust for years?!) and the daughter's room, I've discovered, has a floor. Mind blowing. Anyway - wanted to put out there an update on the brain traffic for this past week - hoping next week to see a reduction in clutter but as Mother's Day is rapidly approaching, I do sense another jam coming on. Thankfully, Oompa will be out of the country, (she's going to Italy) but her absence never seems to stop the gears from turning, the constant stream of thinking that usually goes along with any reminder that I have a mother. I'll likely be back in a few days to decompress. Hoping everyone had a good weekend. As always, my good thoughts are with you all. - Capulet
  5. Hello everyone!!! I'll first acknowledge how long it's been since my last update...things have been - well - crazy. Not necessarily a 'bad' kind of crazy - but perhaps the crazy that instead keeps me from being able to sit down and say that I've actually had time to process it all. Sometimes it takes me time to even WANT to process some of it, so that delays me even more. The post-Oompa headache (that pounding sensation at my temples that I experience whenever my mother takes herself and her drama and goes HOME) has subsided and I'm finally able to sit in reflection. Sometimes her visits are 'meh,' and sometimes they leave my brain feeling like the aftermath of a tornado. Like, this past visit to our house for the holiday, for example. To start - my mother is 'preoccupied' these days. Earlier last week, she found out that my youngest sister's husband has been cheating. My mother, of course, was the first person my sister told; so now, naturally, everyone knows. I was the first one Mom told - followed by the "please don't tell anybody." Why? Because my brother in law is 'embarrassed.' He's the uncle that my kids ABSOLUTELY adore, the one son-in-law that my mother used to be able to boast about, the one daughter who had a husband that was 'a good one.' He was the one up on the proverbial pedestal, but now that has come toppling down. Now, Mom's illusion of the 'perfect' couple has been shattered - and you'd think my brother-in-law cheated on my mother instead of my sister. It's all about Mom, don't you know? It's always about her - because she has to be involved in the things that she has nothing to do with, she has to have a say in everything. Apparently now that it's been revealed that my brother-in-law was cheating with someone at work - she's looking up potential alternative jobs for him - jobs elsewhere. Yes, there's a lot wrong with that picture, if you ask me...but, this is not my business any more or less than it is hers - so...moving on. At any rate, she came here for Easter - although I'm sure it was begrudgingly; we all know that she wanted to be at my sister's side. My sister had standing plans to go to her in-laws' for the holiday - (I should mention that she is being supported 100% by my brother-in-law's parents - they are absolutely FURIOUS with him for shaming their 'respectable' family - and are backing her completely - even if it means letting him shack up in his old bedroom because my sister kicked him out) - and upon finding out about her husband's infidelity, wasn't sure if she wanted to go to his family's for the holiday. Oompa, whose plans were to be here with us, put herself on standby - if my sister decided to not go to her in-laws', then Oompa would be spending Easter with her, instead. My sister, Oompa claims is 'needy,' (she is, she calls Oompa for EVERYTHING) and she didn't want her to be alone. As it turns out, my sister DID go to the in-laws'....my lying, cheating brother-in-law has a lot of reparations to make; even so, there's no guarantee they'll be able to re-establish trust. Even I know though, that this is something they have to work out. Just them. This is something that has to be figured out by the two of them alone, and without the influence of my mother, or of his parents. Maybe there's a marriage counselor involved, but that's it. This is something that NO ONE can fix, other than the main players - her and him. That's IT. ANY sensible person knows that!! Oompa, of course, doesn't understand this. She spent a good portion of the weekend (while she was here) bitching about how shocked she was to hear about the marital problems they were having, not to mention looking up job openings for my brother-in-law ('he has to get away from that skank!!!') and calling around to inquire....she even called my sister every few hours to see how she was doing, probably hoping my sister would say she wanted her to go home and be with her. She didn't. So, although my mother stayed from all day Friday until early Monday morning, I could tell she really wasn't wanting to be here - she was physically present, but mentally, she was elsewhere. At one point, I had to say to my mother, "She'll (my sister) be fine. She's a big girl. There's nothing you can do." OK, so...we're now all aware of Oompa's mindset...overall, she was NOT focused on visiting or enjoying time with any of us or even on the holiday. In hindsight, it would have made more sense for her to have not come at all. On Easter morning, she went to church at one of the local Catholic parishes around where we live. I managed to sleep in. I got up a few minutes before she came back from Easter mass. While I was still 'waking up,' she got a call from her brother - (yes, the same piece-of-shit I've mentioned in previous blog entries, the same one she wanted me to greet at the family gathering last month!) - and when I came into the kitchen, she was in the middle of that phone call. He had called to wish her a Happy Easter and I'd walked in during the tail end of their conversation. When she hung up, she sighed, shook her head, and got back to preparing this (god-awful) pie she had decided to bake for our Easter dessert later on. "That was your uncle," she said while mixing pie ingredients, "He's not doing well." And then, like one of those old-fashioned Italian grannies, she shook the wooden spoon she was using in the general direction of my face, and said, "Not that you care. And God don't like ugly!" I blinked at her. Honestly, I was at a loss for words. At that moment, I'm 'hearing' the thoughts in my head. She's not okay right now. She's NOT calling ME ugly...she's just overwhelmed with EVERYTHING ELSE, and doesn't know what she's saying....yeah, that's it...right??? That's what's happening here? I guess I must have shrugged, too. She went on, "THAT was why I wanted you to say hello to him at your nephew's birthday party. It very quite possibly could have been your FINAL hello!" Okay, that's it. I couldn't bite my tongue any further. "He's been dead to me for years, already." I told her with one of my famous nonchalant shrugs. I'd already suspected that was her reason for wanting me to say hello to him - so he could die thinking everything was peachy keen between him and the niece he'd been so estranged from for almost two decades? That a 'hello' would somehow 'fix' this??? Hah. Little did she know that I was fully prepared to do a happy dance whenever she would confirm to me that he'd soon be meeting his end. It just didn't seem to be the right time to express my overwhelming joy over this man soon being reduced to nothing but a pile of shit, maggots and formaldehyde. "STILL." She said, spoon still waving, "I taught you girls to have respect!" "Yes, you did." I agreed, "And I have respect for those who deserve it." She went back to preparing her pie. My stepfather was sitting at the kitchen table at the time of this dialogue/exchange and was mumbling. This is his 'normal,' though. He either mumbles or he screams. And I'm not even sure WHAT he was mumbling about. But all of a sudden, my mother whips her head around and (almost TOO) quickly snaps for him to 'shut up.' She went on to say to her husband, "You don't know what you're talking about! That's not it, it has to do with my mother and the inheritance, she's mad at him because of that....not because of...you need to shut up! Just SHUT UP!!!!" (And all of this was accompanied with the wide, wild eyes and facial expression that just added exclamation points to her words.) He mumbled again - but these words were haunting; "that's just what she tells you." I don't know what it was that he said (mumbled) to make her so snappy, but he's certainly right about that - what I tell her is what I've been sticking to for all of these years that I've chosen to eliminate her brother from my life. Now here's where I hate my hearing loss the most - I wasn't going to ask him to repeat himself and to inquire as to what he'd said to make my mother so agitated. By now, she'd had her outburst and he'd ceased his mumbling and I'm shit out of luck - no one else was there to 'hear' him for me - and when it was being said, ALL I could focus on was my mother's reaction. I know that reaction all too well - it's the same one she puts on when she is trying to 'prevent' information from being given out or trying to say, 'it's time to nix this conversation' with her eyes. What gives, Ma? Why are you so angry? Why are you so anxious for your husband to 'shut up?' What are you afraid your husband is going to 'remind' me of?? Truthfully, I've not been giving too much thought to 'things' lately. I've been trying to focus on going back to school, sticking to the 'important' things going on in my life currently - THIS is not something I want in my forefront, or anywhere near it at the moment. My suspicions of childhood CSA is something there's no resolution to - not now. Not until perhaps, my disgusting uncle finally DOES drop dead. He's been expected to die before - and I've learned that unfortunately, this putrid asshole has more lives than all five of my cats combined - he's cheated death before, it'd be premature to celebrate his departure now - no, this will have to wait until that call finally DOES come. THEN, I'll deal with whatever feelings should pop up, be they good ones or not-so-favorable ones. Even so, I don't know HOW I'm going to approach this subject. What I DO know, though, is she won't be involved when and if I do. In the meantime, and even though this is not a priority, I'm finding it increasingly disturbing that my mother, someone I am supposed to look up to, someone I'm supposed to be proud of, instead disgusts me. Lately, I'm just appalled even more on how she STILL continues to invalidate me by demanding respect for someone who doesn't deserve it. Oh, and now that it's even more clear she will go to great lengths to 'silence' anyone else with differing opinions on why I don't want this man in my life, more or less alive. And last, but not least, she'll make ANY situation about HER - whether it's about me or one of her other daughters, she'll find a way to flip it and make it HER problem. I hate to admit to so, but she truly has an unhealthy obsession with feeling needed, feeling wanted. She can't just let people deal with things in the way they want or need to; she can't resist the urge to insert herself into the situation and to make herself involved. Instead of just being there as a support, she has to make herself a PART of the problem! I dunno about you, but this all makes my mother a VERY difficult person to enjoy being around. Sadly, all I can think about is how she's looking uglier by the day. You're right, Mom. "God don't like ugly." Go say that in front of a fucking mirror, maybe it'll sink in. - Capulet
  6. Hello!

    Hello @Noleavesonthetrees - A hearty welcome to After Silence. Although I am sorry to hear that you are recovering, I'm glad to hear you were referred here by someone kind - this is truly a lovely place to be and I am hopeful that you will find that there is an unwavering stream of support here. Looking forward to getting to know you. All the best, Capulet
  7. Hello, I’m new here

    Hi there, @IBelieveYou, Welcome to After Silence. I echo Patricia and very much like your user name - it's something so, SO many of us yearn to hear. Very powerful, validating words. I am hopeful that you will find the support you need here - I don't think I'm overly biased when I say we are a great bunch! Thank you, too, for being here to return that support. It truly takes a village! Again, welcome - looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
  8. "God don't like ugly!"

    I agree with you, 200%. I don't know how everything's gonna play out between the two, but I know that for me - this is absolutely unforgivable. But yes, he's a man-skank in my book, now. I also agree that cheaters very, VERY rarely change - he's already admitted to no longer being attracted to my sister (they were high-school sweethearts) and now that he's been fooling around elsewhere for a little while, it's looking like less of a 'mistake' (what he claims) and more of a desire to just not be with her anymore. I just hope that if they DO decide to part ways, they remain civil for the sake of their daughter, who is not even 2 yet. Thank you!!!! I want him to die with this on his conscience. For me to go and say 'hello' to him would automatically make him think that things 'are cool' between us. They're not, they never will be. And I'm not in a position where I want to stand there and 'listen' to what ELSE he has to say, anything beyond the 'hello.' I think I'm more likely to lose my shit and expedite his death process. I don't look good in orange, so I'm sticking to these boundaries I've set for myself - and staying away. I'll skip the 'hello' and say 'goodbye' when he's finally in a box.
  9. "God don't like ugly!"

    School prep is going. Registering for classes on 6/13. Looking forward to it!!!! Four months away! Thank you, sweet friend, for the kind words. While little can be said about my mother, the mental image of snatching that wooden spoon and snapping it in half over my knee is a nice one. Sending you love and hugs, hoping things are going well for you this week!
  10. Feeling Nervous.

    Hi @maxinemorri - Welcome to After Silence!!! I think it's perfectly natural to be nervous! I was, too, when I joined this community over a decade ago. Being able to connect and to communicate with people whom I could relate to was so comforting, especially when I wasn't able to do this before. I'm always saying how sad I am to meet people under these circumstances, but do believe that it eventually doesn't matter where and how I've connected with someone else - it's just another person out there that understands me and doesn't judge me for any of it. Truly is a wonderful feeling. Take your time to look around and don't worry about posting until you're feeling comfortable/ready to do so. We've no expectations of you other than for you to take it all in at your own pace. If there's anything you need help with, please feel free to give a shout or visit our Help Desk forum. Happy to have you and looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
  11. Hello, all! There's so much to update on but this week, the words elude me. I guess I will just write, though - and see what flows. To start things off, we once again are hearing the pitter-patter of little paws in the house. J has been feeling lately that void where Dexter used to be - he was her comfort, he always seemed to KNOW when she needed a cuddle. So we adopted Salem - he's an 8-week old, all-black kitten. Accompanying him is the plenty of scratches and teeth marks up our arms and legs - but all in all, we're happy and he's setting into his new home nicely. He's not Dexter - nor will he ever be - but in some ways, he's already channeling our buddy, who will officially be gone two months on Thursday. It still seems so unreal. It IS, however, bringing content smiles to my beautiful wife's face, smiles I have not seen in a while. If she's happy, I'm happy - and I gotta admit, the little guy IS cute!! Oompa came to visit, as promised. I mentioned a couple of blog entries ago that she wanted me to 'greet' my uncle at my nephew/niece's birthday celebration - I chose not to. My mother wasn't happy about this and stated that when she asks me for 'favors,' it's usually for a reason. I asked at the time WHAT possible good reason there EVER could be for me to say hello to someone that I loathe. She couldn't supply one at the time; she was likely at my sister's house and there were roaming eyes - so she said she'd tell me when she came to visit. Well - that visit came and went - and the only thing I was left with was a headache that lasted for two days post-Oompa departure. While she was here, she tasked herself with the cleaning of my kitchen - (apparently she decided that my kitchen had excess 'clutter,' something that HER kitchen is not completely devoid of, nor was it ever!) and working on a blanket that she brought with her to crochet. When she's at home, all she does is complain how tired she is - granted, she takes on way too much and this is her own fault - but when she's here, she won't go to bed until after 11. (Yes, you may insert the moaning and groaning here!) While she was here, she wanted to watch an episode of SVU. Now, I don't watch this frequently - if it's on and there's nothing else of interest, I'll watch it - but I honestly lost track of the show during the Stabler days. Anyway, my mother watches it weekly and did so on Thursday night - "watch with me," she said - so I did - but only because she'd be going to bed after and THEN I'd have my peace and quiet. Anyhow, this particular episode - a man was about to get married and someone stood up in the church when the minister said, "speak now or forever hold your peace." The woman who stood claimed, in front of all of the guests, that the groom had raped her. I won't get into details in case any of you watch SVU and haven't seen this episode - but the accuser was investigated thoroughly, and my mother's commentary throughout was, 'oh, she's lying,' or 'I don't believe her.' As it turns out, the woman wasn't being 100% truthful, but she was also not lying. It's something you'd have to see to understand the full story of - but to hear my mother repeatedly invalidate this woman's words - it just further solidified that I can never - EVER - share with her. Not about her brother, not about the isolated SA experience that further changed me. None of it. Instead, I have to pretend that I am unaffected by sexual assault; I have to shield from her, from most people around me, reasons for my being the way I am. I am just not safe to emerge from behind that shield, yet. I wonder, though, if I ever will be. I'm also momentarily propelled back into childhood when my mother would tell me that I lied, I made up stories. For her to invalidate a fictional character was telling me that she was also invalidating ME - and so, even though I wanted to scream at her, I kept my mouth shut and 'put it in my sleeve.' In a way, I'm GLAD she said nothing about her good-for-nothing brother - at this point, the anger I feel has bottled up over having to see him recently, (being asked to say HELLO to him, too?) is invalid because I'm a liar, too, just like this woman on television, and I made up a story when I was six years old. If Oompa is of the self-imposed mindset that I made this up as a young child and is OKAY with that belief, then there's no changing it now, nor any motivation to try changing it. Come to think of it, perhaps this is why, for a full day after she left, I was feeling as if I was carrying a boulder (that was my head) atop my neck. It was like there were a marching band making its rounds through my brain. The throbbing was AWFUL. I am glad to say, though, that has stopped and I'm feeling MUCH better and calmer now. SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) is in full swing, here - got the heads' up from M that this month's group would have to do with SAAM and we'd be designing and making Take Back the Night signs in Art Group tomorrow (Tuesday). During the last several days' Mets games, I've been making loom bracelets in between pitches - I now have 20 of them - to distribute among the ladies at Art Group when I go tomorrow evening. I think they'll love them - and I'm only wishing I could have made more. I probably would have, too, had I not run out of the color I needed - but I felt that SOMETHING needed to be done to spread awareness. I've NOT participated in the #metoo movement on Facebook, even though a part of me did want to. I've not posted anything on social media that could be interpreted as, "I'm a survivor," and no, it's not because I'm ashamed. I've just got eyes (Oompa's, my kids', other family members') on my social media accounts (even if it's just Facebook and a somewhat-abandoned Instagram account) that I don't want seeing this side of me that I've chosen to keep private. With what I've mentioned of my mother above, I do know not many would blame me for doing so, but at the same time, I feel angry that I've had to hold my tongue for so long, and that my reasons for keeping silent are for self-protection - I certainly don't wish to protect the man who raped me; he SHOULD be exposed for the animal he is - especially if he's living the good life that I know he doesn't deserve. I went through HUNDREDS of black, white and teal rubber bands and although after the first two or three, the rest were woven in autopilot mode, I did do some reflecting as I put them together. I'm going on 23 years since I was SA'd. Yet, it still lingers, it still stings, it still tarnishes thoughts that would otherwise be beautiful. Yes, time has been good to me in the sense that some of these thoughts have lessened and I'm in an overall good place with all of it - but there's still the occasional reminder of that night. I'm not even talking about the CSA that happened prior to the rape, I'm referring back to that night in 1996 when I'd be forced down an alternative path, one that was unmapped and held nothing but uncertainty. I've also decided that in synchrony with going back to school and getting my Bachelor's in Social Work, I will also be exploring other ways of getting involved within my community. I feel that I have spent enough time silently acknowledging that I am a survivor. It is time to embrace the fact that I am not just a survivor, but one that is ready, willing, and able to interact with other survivors - even if on a peer level first. I think I've kept this part of my life private for FAR too long - and it's time to emerge within my community as a 'known' survivor, even if it means continuing to keep my mother in the dark. It's easier to do this now that I don't live so close to her and I've effectively managed to keep her at arms' length. I've expressed a desire to M to, when the time comes, do my internship at the Women's Center where the monthly groups are held - and have made it known that I would like to volunteer there, as well as eventually apply for a job there. She will be letting me know when I can speak to their volunteer coordinator - in October, it will be one year since I joined them at the center for groups, and that's the amount of time you need to be affiliated with them in order to be considered for volunteering services. You know what's messed up, though? In a small way? I did tell Oompa my plans to volunteer at the center. And I told her that it was in preparation for the line of work I'll be going into once I've got my degree in hand and that they offer the training class to their volunteers for free - non-volunteers needed to fund this training course out-of-pocket. She did ask why I would be going to a place like that or getting involved with them - and to tell her that it was because I wanted to eventually WORK there and not because it was because I BELONGED there - seemed...I don't know. Like it was the truth, but not the whole honest truth. I don't consider myself a dishonest person but to put it that way...it feels wrong. Does that make sense? A little? Not at all? Is my brain just in overdrive, per usual? For those of you who are observing SAAM alongside me - know that I stand next to you, whether or not you're observing silently. I support you this month, and every month. I believe you. And I am sending you one of my handmade loom bands, even if I've got to do it mentally. Anyway. Just wanted to empty off some of this chatter that is swirling within my brain. I do think I'll be back within the next few days with another update, especially after tomorrow's Art meeting. I am hoping everyone's having a fantastic day in your parts of the world! Spring has officially sprung here - it is LOOKING like we are done with snow and 50-60 degree weather is here for at least the next ten days. But living where I live is anything but predictable and that's subject to change. Hoping not, though - I'd REALLY like to break out my outdoor furniture and get the back yard 'barbecue ready!' Until next time. Sending y'all lots of love and hugs. If you don't want the hugs, kindly pass 'em onto the person behind you. I won't be offended. - Capulet
  12. Hey

    Awwww....!!! I am sending you safe hugs, if you are okay with the thought. It can sometimes be truly overwhelming to feel as if you are FINALLY seen, and that you have been heard. I think that many of us spend a lot of time hiding, and NOT wanting this extra attention or even feeling as if it's undeserved. Please know that this isn't the case...you do deserve support. It's understandable - that emotional burst when, for the first time, things are a little bit different. It is okay to cry - you are safe here and you are among friends. I am always here if you ever need or want to talk a little. All the best, Cap
  13. Hey

    Hi @kmdiamond17 - Welcome to After Silence!!! I am so sorry to learn of circumstances that have brought you here and to hear that you are struggling. I can relate to the feelings of shame and disgust - you are not alone - so many others can relate to this - myself included. But please know you are NOT disgusting. You feel the way you do for a reason that was not your fault. I am, however, glad to hear that you are liking what you see here on the site - this is a great place. You are safe here to talk about anything you would like to discuss - without fear of being judged or laughed at. That's just NOT tolerated here - we are here to support each other through our healing processes. We really don't have any rules other than to treat one another with the respect and kindness we all deserve - other board posting rules and tips can be found in our Public FAQ's and Welcome FAQ's, so you can check those out when you get a chance. Otherwise, I think you will be just fine! Have you been contacted by a Newbie Support Staff member, yet? If not, please let us know here and someone will be sending you a message shortly and will be able to answer any site-related questions you may have, if any. I'm sorry you are having flashbacks lately. I hope they subside soon and that when you experience them, you are taking gentle care of yourself and surrounding yourself with things that bring you comfort. Again - welcome - happy to 'meet you' and am looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
  14. Salem is here to say hello.  He is modeling one of my hand-made SAAM bands - yes, I did take it off after this picture was taken as it's not a 'regulation' collar, but here's our boy's contribution to the observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month!  Teal is a nice color on him, isn't it?


    1. pattyr



    2. Iheartcupcakes


      Ohhhhh he is a doll! Yes, teal looks great on him :throb:

    3. AKB


      :throb: :throb: :throb: this and Salem!!!  He's so tiny and cute.

    4. Show next comments  12 more
  15. Nervous newbie

    @VintagePanda - welcome to After Silence!!! I am sorry that traumatic circumstances have brought you here, but am glad to have you among us. This truly is a fantastic community and there's an undying supply of support. So many of us understand this type of trauma, but there are many differing realities we're all having to face - it IS a little bit easier when surrounded by those who can relate on some level. Wishing you all the best - and again - welcome!! Looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
  16. Trying to begin

    Hello @Peacefuldaydream - I wanted to welcome you to After Silence. I too am a survivor of psychological/mental/verbal and emotional abuse by my ex-husband. Believe it or not, it took me YEARS after our divorce (it was back in 2009!) to realize that this was a form of domestic violence. I'd always categorized domestic violence as being of the physical kind, but have come to understand that the silent form of DV is potentially much, MUCH worse. Physical injuries heal, but the psychological ones last a very long time. Adding to what I already know I have survived (rape, possibly CSA), this was an overwhelming new thought to have to process. So, I understand where you are coming from. I'm so sorry this has brought you here but am hopeful that you will find that the people here are truly supportive, wonderful and kind. Please don't hesitate to look around all of our forums, and do take your time in getting your story out. There's no rush at all. You need to keep yourself feeling safe. When you are ready, we will be here to listen. Again, welcome. Looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
  17. The possibility of not being so alone.

    Hi, @Moorel, Welcome to After Silence. I'm sorry to hear of the circumstances that have brought you here, but am glad that you have found this community. Many have been referred to us by therapists for the same reasons - online support is an excellent resource to have if it can be used safely. We are glad to have you! I think that peer support is extremely important. It is something that took me a LONG time to utilize, and much of your post, I feel like I could have written, myself. I feel SO very validated here, though. There are still moments where I feel awkward posting - but even if I choose to refrain from posting, there is always such comfort in reading others' accounts - not knowing that they've been through similar but that I'm not alone and my feelings aren't 'crazy' or 'wrong.' I feel that I learn SO much about myself every day - and to gain this knowledge is to eventually heal the mind. Anyway, I welcome you again - looking forward to walking this journey with you! Best wishes, Capulet
  18. A little nervous

    Hello @Gemma23 - Hi, and welcome to After Silence!!! I am sorry to learn of the circumstances under which you've arrived, but I want you to know that although you are nervous and anxious, you've still taken such a tremendous step toward healing by joining our community and by introducing yourself as a survivor. Good for you!! This is no small feat - it's a huge step and you should be proud of yourself for having taken it. Please feel free to 'ramble' as much as you like. We are all here to do the same thing and to support each other. Again, welcome, and if there's ever anything I can do to help, please feel free to give a shout. Until then, please take your time familiarizing yourself with our many forums. I hope that being here provides a level of peace and comfort and brings forth eventual healing! All the best, Capulet
  19. I'm new (at least as of yesterday)

    Hello, @Amsekhmet - and welcome to After Silence!!! I'm so glad you've been able to connect with some folks here and that you are finding that there is great benefit to belonging to a community filled with so many others who can relate. I have found After Silence to be one of my biggest lifelines - and this site is indeed a second home to me! My experience was also in 1996 - and although I was not drugged, I definitely can relate to not having a whole lot of support at the time - the loneliness, the feeling that no one understood. I was a total wreck! Thank god for this place - I've met so many wonderful friends here - and my significant other, too! I also extend the invitation to reach out to me if you ever need to talk. There's no limit on the amount of support you'll find here - we're happy to have you among us and I thank you in advance for your kindness and support, too. It means the world to me and to many others, to hear this. Wishing you all the best on your healing processes! - Capulet
  20. New

    Hi @Kenzi - welcome to After Silence. The folks here are absolutely fantastic and truly are a supportive bunch. Many have only shared with a select few and even for me, some of the closest people to me do not know of the trauma I've experienced. It is very hard to find a place where you can feel safe to discuss the effects of trauma, and I'm hopeful that being here will show you that you are by no means alone and that you've got company on this healing journey. Wishing you all the best - looking forward to getting to know you. All the best, Capulet
  21. New here

    Hi, @faeryblossoms - welcome to After Silence! I love to write, too. It's always been my biggest outlet. I hope you'll check out our Healing through Creativity forum when you get an opportunity - you can share some of your art and some of your writing there, if you would like. It's nice to 'meet' you, although I am sorry that you found us as a result of traumatic circumstances - but am hopeful that being here is another several leaps in the healing direction. I wish you well in this journey - and hope that you find this is a great place to be and there's never a shortage of support. All the best, Capulet
  22. SAAM bands made by yours truly - I'm wearing these all month.  :throb:


    1. AKB


      So lovely! I could dig into my embroidery thread and make some too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    2. snmls


      Love it!

    3. CurlyQueen


      Love them!

    4. Show next comments  12 more
  23. Say hello to Salem!  :throb:


    1. ActivistAlly
    2. snmls


      Hello there Salem! 

    3. goldraindrops


      Don't make him mad, Capulet.  Look at those claws! :)


    4. Show next comments  12 more
  24. Hello everyone!

    Hello @Zazka and welcome to After Silence! I am in agreement with Mary, you've found an incredibly supportive community and I hope that being here among those who understand will bring you peace, comfort and eventual healing. Take gentle care, looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
  25. For the last few weeks, we have had a broken front door lock; and my son's key was refusing to come out of the door. Home Depot wanted $130 for a new lock/set that looked the most like the one we have now. $130 that we just didn't want to have to spend right now. I now have past-due vet bills, a car payment, increased insurance payments, this just wasn't on my to-do list. So, we left the son's key in the door (it was LITERALLY stuck and wasn't even turning, so it was impossible for anyone else to pull the key out and let themselves into my house) and started using the top deadbolt lock until we could invest in a new one. In that time, we've had several people (to include two of our neighbors, the cable guy, the mailman, and the UPS delivery man) point out that our key was still in the door. "We know," I'd tell them all, then would fidget with the lock to see if by some miracle, the key was removable, yet. The movie, "Sword in the Stone" comes to mind. It was confirmed that not even King Arthur himself could turn this piddly little key, and I've been delaying having to shell out the $130 for about a month, now. Yesterday, I was inspired to, once and for all, get out the tool box and see what I could do. There had to be SOMETHING going on inside the lock, some reason the key wouldn't turn. The sun was out and I wouldn't be freezing if I stood in the doorway and did some investigating. In between shooing the cats from the wide-open door, I managed to take the whole thing apart. The key remained in the lock and despite all the jiggling and button pressing and tinkering, it was LOOKING like I needed to invest that $130. I needed to now put it all back together, or there would literally be a hole in the front door that the neighbors, cable guy, postman, UPS man would ALL be able to see through. The first time I put it back together, I found that I couldn't even turn the KNOB now. Screwdriver got thrown. Slew of obscenities flew out of my mouth. Picked up phone to text J to see if she'd pick up a lock set on her way home from work - but decided against hitting 'send.' I was going to try this again - I REALLY didn't want to spend $130!!! Picked screwdriver up, and in the process, scared the cat who had gone over to investigate it. Took apart the knob and handle again, did some more tinkering, and apparently, all of my swearing must have helped, because not only was the knob turning now, but, out came the key, too. YES. I screwed in for the second time the knob and handle. Confirmed that the inside knob was now turnable post-screwing and the button on the handle was press-able. I wasn't brave enough to try the freed key yet because I wasn't confident enough in my hardware skills to say it wouldn't get stuck again. Nevertheless, I texted the wife to let her know that I didn't know exactly how, but that I'd fixed the door and saved us a trip to Home Depot. Not that there was one planned, but it was likely having to be planned soon! Small update on this, since this was yesterday's excitement - I did end up trying the key when I returned it to the Son - I locked myself outside and used the key to let myself back in. He's now put it back onto his keyring and I'm patting myself on the back. $130 is a lot of fucking money to save, isn't it? Yeah, I thought so. So, it's confirmed. Gone (for now) are the days of having to explain to houseguests that the key being left in the door was NOT a result of absentmindedness and that it was because the lock, somehow, was stuck. Please don't ask me how I fixed it. I couldn't tell you. So, this opens the door (no pun intended, or maybe it IS?) to conversing about something that I've come to realize over the last few weeks. People have been trying to fix ME for years. My mother was first. I came out 'defective' and with two bad ears. They told her I'd NEVER speak (big surprise, I'm sure, to those who know me now - I'm not an overly loud person but if I'm comfortable with someone, I do NOT shut up!) and she made it her personal mission to 'correct' the doctors and audiologists. She made it a priority to raise me as she would a hearing child. Sign language was out of the question. I had no deaf friends. I don't know if this caused more damage, socially (it likely did) but it was almost definitely a result of her trying to 'fix' me. Yes, when she realized she had a deaf child, she did rise to the occasion and did whatever she could to to make sure that I thrived, regardless of how. It's HARD to say whether she had my best interests in mind, or it was more so in her own to have as 'normal' as possible a child. My parents also tried to 'fix' me by taking me to therapy as a child - I will never know their real reasons for introducing therapy into an 8-year-old child's life but have very deep suspicions it is for the behaviors that I was demonstrating - behaviors indicative of being exposed to CSA. This is something my mother was never willing to see, even though the signs were all there. As far as she was concerned, I was not behaving normally, and it needed to be fixed. Oddly enough, she decided that there was enough 'fixing' done after a year and I was unexplainably yanked from therapy. The behaviors continued well into my teen years, so I don't know - while I don't want to say the effort was wasted, I don't see that there was any resolution, either. As some of you know, I became recklessly promiscuous following the rape in 1996. There was partner after partner - both men and women. Some knew more than others as far as my history - and some insisted that I just needed to be "taught" how to enjoy sex. "Just let me try this," they'd say while I laid there, TRYING not to flip out, "you will like it, trust me." There was ultimately NO 'fix' here, but they sure as hell tried! My ex-husband tried to 'fix' me by pointing out EVERYTHING I did wrong. It didn't matter if it wasn't illegal-kind of wrong - if it was not up to his standards, it was wrong. Yes, he used manipulation more often than he did not, and he was SO talented at getting me to actually BELIEVE him. I believed him enough at one point to completely transition into the mindset that if things weren't done HIS way, then they were automatically incorrect. And so, even though his 'right way' of doing things didn't necessarily match mine, I went out of my way to ensure HE was happy. Reflecting on all of this - I think I always thought I was broken - even as a young child. Here was everyone telling me what I needed to do, what was best for me, what would work, what wouldn't. Rather than take the reins myself (when I was old enough to), I placed my trust into the wrong people and listened to them instead of listening to myself. Instead of chalking things up to opinion, I'd say, "sure, I'll try this. Sure, I'll do that. Whatever you think will fix the problem, I'll do." I suppose trusting myself to make better choices was always an issue, perhaps even more so after enduring trauma, but that's just another factor to consider as I try to get to the bottom of this. If I wasn't broken before, this definitely is what did it. All of the 'fixing' others have tried to do, only succeeded in breaking me further. I know there's only one person that can truly fix me. Right - me, myself, and I. That's it. It just became SO easy to let others guide me - they'd been doing it so long and I never had the confidence (or motivation) to speak up for myself. Having this newfound confidence scares me now as I'm not used to fixing anything other than unruly doorknobs or a tech issue here and there. I'm now recognizing the difference between what needs to be fixed and what was never broken and am wondering just how much was even necessary! Has this made it harder for me to fix myself? Maybe THIS is why I'm feeling particularly stuck nowadays, why these 'grown-up' decisions are seeming so hard? No one suggested going back to school, starting up with counseling, participating in a local Survivors Art/support group. These were all things I took on, by myself, as a first step toward fixing my own way of thinking. The only fixing I'm going to do for the rest of tonight is that of dinner. London Broil on the barbecue - sun's still out and it's a good grilling day. Back next time. Hoping you're all having a good day! Peace, love and hugs, - Capulet