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Capulet

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Everything posted by Capulet

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Hello, I'm new

    Welcome, @Warriorgirl1 to After Silence. I'm sure you'll be finding your way around like a pro in no time at all. Aren't our members amazing!? Anyway, we're all here to help and I cannot think of anything to add to what has already been suggested, so I'll just be supplying my official welcome into our community. I'm sorry to learn of the circumstances that have brought you to us, but am hopeful that you'll find that you're among many others who understand this journey. It can be quite comforting to know you're not alone in this. Wishing you all the best! Capulet
  4. As promised, the update on yesterday's family gathering - dual birthday party for my nephew (5) and my niece (1). I meant to update earlier but a status update seemed more appropriate - admittedly, I was a ball of nerves, and my mother wasn't helping matters any. There was much to say, much swirling around in my already-busy brain, but I figured, lemme get through the day, first - let me recuperate (with or without Lucy's 5-cent therapy) and THEN I'd write on this. To backtrack, my sister decided to invite my mother's brother to a birthday celebration for her kids - he is a person who, just hearing his name, sets me off into a fit. We all know that she tried to get my father to chauffeur him home from the birthday party - as he would have to pass through the town the Uncle lived in on his way home. I was put in a very uncomfortable position when this originally came up and had no choice but to drop it at the time of discussion. It was either that, or open up a can of worms that I wasn't ready to open. I agonized over this upcoming party for two months. Over seeing him, over what would happen after seeing him, over the what-if-I-lose-my-shit-publicly question. In that two months, I've had enough 'other things' happen that this just seemed - STUPID - to think about. It wasn't an easy couple months - we lost a pet, we've hit some financial hard times, and we've had to refocus on the positive things in order to make the time go by faster. The only problem with that - this party crept up quicker than I thought it would. After my sister texted me to ask me to show up an hour early to help 'set up' for the party, I texted Oompa to ask if I'd be walking into any surprises. She'd mentioned briefly (or she might have mentioned more but whenever she says ANYTHING about her brother, I develop amnesia and out comes the usual response: 'oh, okay...') that he was back in the hospital sometime last month. I will gladly admit to you all that I HOPED this meant he wouldn't still be coming, being unhealthy and all that. Regardless, she responded to my text with, "what do you mean?" I asked her flat-out then, "is L going to be there?" She confirmed yes, he was still going to be in attendance. And then followed up with, "do me a favor and please just say hello to him. Then you can ignore him for the rest of the afternoon. And have the kids say hello, too." I didn't like this AT ALL, but said I'd wave. I didn't say though, that he'd see me wave. And I told her I was NOT going to ask my kids to say hello to him. He was nobody to them - (and not for nothing, the daughter barely says hello to people she DOES know!) - and it didn't matter to me whether or not they chose to say hello - it was up to them. She probably didn't like that at all, but said nothing more. We arrived at the party early enough to help my sister set things up. When he showed up, J made sure I was clear across the room. And my J had been asking me for weeks already - why am I even going to this thing? That kitchen confrontation between me and my parents should have resulted in a firm 'if he's going to be there, I will not be going.' And, to a point, she's right. If this was anything BUT a birthday party for my autistic nephew who would likely have been disappointed if I didn't go - I probably would have made that statement. So I said I'd go for him, for my nephew, whom I have no intention of ever disappointing - and that I'd do everything in my power to avoid my uncle and focus on the kids instead. Which I did manage to do yesterday. I didn't say hello, I didn't make eye contact, I didn't wave, and when I saw him being 'led' around (he can't walk without assistance), I simply walked into the opposite direction. (HUGE shout-out to my cousin who unknowingly rescued me from his path by asking me if I wanted to get a cup of coffee from the dessert table! Well-timed, and well-played, cousin!) There were times when I'd glance at him - at how pathetic he was. He looks disheveled, dirty, unshaven. Don't get me wrong, he was ALWAYS disgusting looking - more so to me than to anyone else, perhaps, but even more so now that I am grappling with whether he is responsible for the things I understand on a very deep level but cannot remember. Everything I find disgusting about him is amplified, a hundred-fold. Even the daughter wrinkled her nose at the sight of him - and the son was heard (even if only by J) calling him 'the molester' and questioning why he'd been invited. I responded to them both to simply ignore him if they wished - that was what I was doing. My guess is - they'd been told by the wasband that he was an unsavory sort and simply didn't care to ask their father to elaborate. They kept their distance, though - which was relieving. I waited until he'd left the building before using the bathroom, which was inconveniently located behind where he was sitting. Holding my bladder for a couple of hours, to me, was WELL worth it! After the party, we went to get some food at Applebee's. Oompa texted me when we were waiting to get our check. "Did you say hello to your uncle?" I stared at my phone for about five minutes. No, I hadn't. I had made sure to avoid contact, simply because I didn't want to see him. I knew that a 'hello' would have turned into a conversation. Rather than risk saying something I didn't feel was best said at a kiddy party, I had decided against even the wave. I didn't want him even LOOKING at me, which I'm sure couldn't be avoided. For a few minutes, I considered telling my mother that I had waved but didn't think he saw me...but why lie? She'd only ask if he saw me wave. And we'd end right back up at square one. "No, I didn't," I decided that the truth was better, and texted back. She came back with, "Yet, you said you would say hello for my sake." The idea of telling her I waved but he didn't see me, once again paraded through my mind. Instead, I said, "I didn't want to end up having a conversation with him. I have nothing to say to him." "I didn't ask you to have a conversation with him," she said, "I just asked that you say hello. You know that when I ask you for something, there's usually a reason." "Oh, yeah?" I shot back, "What was the reason, then?" She said she couldn't discuss it then. She likely had my sister's nose peering over her shoulder - or she was on the phone with him, and he was probably bitching about that niece (and her kids) who didn't even acknowledge he existed. Either way, I very honestly don't give a shit. There is absolutely NO reason whatsoever that would make my saying hello to a pedophile, a good one. I AM sure I'll hear about it when she comes to visit in a couple weeks - J and I have already discussed what possible reasons there could be - maybe his recent hospital visit has revealed that he's finally going to be dead soon? * Side note - I just had a nice mental image of him bending over, looking into the hole that will become his final resting place - and me walking by, kick-shoving him into that hole and continuing on my merry way....yeah, just thought I'd leave that there. It is one thing that made me smile yesterday amidst all the mixed-in bouts of anxiety. But it certainly conveys how much I've been looking forward to hearing that he's another step closer to the eternal fires of Hell. Anyway - when that 'reason' (Oompa's reason, that is, whether or not it matches the one I'm fantasizing about) is revealed - I'll be sure to let you all know as I'm sure you're all as curious as I am. For now, though, I can only assume that he's not doing well, health-wise, and my mother is trying to eliminate any 'guilt' on my part for not having been cordial toward him when I saw him last. This just further confirms that Oompa is completely clueless. And ANY thoughts of someday telling her MY reasons for hating this man are now further away from ever being made a reality. There is just NO way that I can trust her with it - all I'll be left with is even MORE invalidation....and really, who wants that? Show of hands? Yeah, I didn't think so. In the meantime, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who rode in my pocket yesterday. I felt you all there, and love you all. This'll be a short-ish entry tonight; I'll be back later this week with an update on the 'other' stuff. There's lots to share, but for now, I wanted to just clear this off of my mind. As always, comments and thoughts (and guesses on the 'reasons') welcome - we could probably get our bets in before Oompa's visit during the first week in April and it might be fun to see who's right!? Either way - I am sending you all love and hugs and plenty of well wishes. Hoping your weekend went well! Until next time. - Capulet
  5. Healing yourself is connected with healing others

    Welcome, @Hugakeribear to After Silence. We are for sure an extremely supportive community and although I am sorry that trauma led you here, I am glad you have found a safe place among us. Wishing you the absolute best in your healing journey - and looking forward to getting to know you further. All the best, Capulet
  6. Hello!

    Hi @KeLLe - welcome to After Silence!!! I am slow to get in my official welcome, but you know what they say - better late than never. I'm so sorry that trauma has led you here, but I am glad you've found a safe place. The folks here are fantastic. I hope that being here brings you peace, comfort and healing - I know that wedding planning can be SO stressful (congratulations to you and your to-be!) and that stressors are famous for bringing up things we don't necessarily want to deal with. But you're definitely not alone here. Looking forward to getting to know you - again - welcome! Best wishes, Capulet
  7. So happy to have found this forum!

    Hi @PhoenixRoxanne - welcome to After Silence!!! I am sorry to hear of the circumstances under which you've found this amazing site, but am hoping that being here will provide you some peace, comfort and healing. I had no idea we were listed in a book - that's very interesting to know. Maybe I'll see if my local library has it! We truly are a good bunch and this site is truly dedicated to providing a safe place for all of our cherished members. It does take a village - so, thank you for all the support you'll be providing to others. I am sending you all of my best wishes as you embark upon your healing journey. Looking forward to getting to know you. Best, Capulet
  8. Pocket riders needed for tomorrow.  Attending a family gathering and there will be in attendance some family members I do NOT wish to see.  

    Oh, and Lucy?  Pencil me in for Sunday, please!!!  

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    1. Hidden1

      Hidden1

      I’m glad!! :clap:

    2. pattyr

      pattyr

      Glad it went well for you!

    3. patriciag

      patriciag

      I am glad it's over with, now take some time for yourself :throb:

    4. Show next comments  15 more
  9. Hello

    Hello @prettybird148, Welcome to After Silence.
  10. I'm not sure which to believe, first. The fact that I received an email from the University that I applied to transfer into this coming fall - at 12:02am in the morning. Someone was apparently in the office VERY late, despite this coming week being Spring Break... Or.... .....that I've been accepted for the Fall 2019 term and will be working toward my Bachelor's of Science in Social Work. I've previously made this goal of mine known - but until a few nights ago, it was simply that - just a goal. I knew that there were going to be additional processes behind it. There were going to be more steps to take in order to make this goal a reality and I am now another step closer - I've decided not to apply anywhere else as my first choice has accepted me. I'll be submitting the 'hold my place' fee (an amount that's going to be somewhat painful to throw anywhere other than toward this year's heating bill) later this week and I've spoken to my VR counselor asking her for an appointment as soon as she's able. In the meantime, I'll be shifting focus onto applying for the state grants, for financial aid, and all the other required, headache-inducing, FUN stuff that's needing to be done prior to registration for classes. I remember feeling this way, before. 23 years ago, when I held my first college acceptance letter in my hand. I'm going to college. I'm in that final stretch of road that lays between being a kid and being someone with a job, a title, a purpose. Little did I know that almost immediately following my entrance into college the first time around, that path would crack and split off into multiple additional directions that I didn't anticipate ever having to take. It was no longer a straight line for me. In order to get to where I needed to be, there were now unexpected detours that although I would have LOVED to step over whatever obstacle obstructing my path from A to B, I felt forced into having to take the longer, more unfamiliar route. Much can be said for changed plans and shattered aspirations but it's always worse when you don't see it coming. And in an instant - everything that I knew about myself was now gone. Everything I wanted to do - also gone. My dreams? Some remained, but they were now cloudy; and this thick murkiness enveloped them all - sort of a message to the 17-year-old me that in order to see these dreams clearly again, I was going to have to wait for the fog to clear, first. Yeah, trauma IS that powerful. My assault did not happen on campus. It did, however, happen four weeks in - when there was still that 'I'm in college,' disbelief. My toe had been dipped; but there was still much to get used to. People to figure out. Lots to discover, including who I was - something that would only become seemingly impossible as time went on. See, when I started college in 1996, I didn't really have a plan. I wanted to do something with writing. I thought being a playwright or scriptwriter would be ideal for me, the thought of writing for the stage and screen was an exciting one. At this point in my life, I had become very shy, very withdrawn. Perhaps that's one of the 'deaf things' my mother likes to throw forward as a possible reason for any of my 'odd behavior.' On that note, yes, there existed little thoughts that I'd learned to not spend time with. The thoughts were present but were not considered for rethinking. Just as soon as one would pop up at a random opportune moment, it would disappear just as quickly. I remained oblivious (if simply not remembering counts) to the possibility of previous trauma and the aftereffects until I was seventeen. Until trauma looked me directly in the eye, there was that thought that lingered deep within that there was something wrong with me - based on the behaviors I remember having as a child. As these thoughts had been forced (by myself, mostly) to sit dormant in the furthest recesses of my mind, I had been plodding along, just taking it day by day. No one brought any of it up, so in turn, I did not, either. Any concern surrounding my odd behavior had been dismissed so long ago at this point, and I'd effectively been led to believe that it was my overactive imagination that birthed these thoughts - nothing more, nothing less. Either way, I was a watcher, not a participator. I watched people from afar, took mental notes of their personalities, they'd sometimes inspire the creation of a fictional character in one of my plays, that I'd write in a spiral notebook since this was way before I had my first computer. Scenarios played out in my thoughts, and I'd write them down. I'd then mentally cast my favorite actors and actresses into the roles of my characters. I didn't consider this a life ambition nor did I think it'd get that far and that I'd be sitting next to Steven Spielberg one day, but it was a thought, it was a goal, it was a direction, even though my brain told me that it wasn't a reasonable one. There was nothing else that spoke to me - no other career aspiration - perhaps this is because Oompa threw them all at me and said they were good ideas. Even as a child/teenager, she was forever trying to manipulate me into making choices she wanted me to make and to 'shape' me into what she thought was best, with little consideration for what I wanted or believed. "You should be a teacher," Oompa said to me, once. "What about for a deaf school?" "No." "Why not? You're good with kids. You're a success story and you could be an inspiration!" "NO." Yes, I do have a way with children - I'm the favorite aunt, I'm the one who gets on the floor and plays with the kids at family gatherings, but that's generally because I prefer the company of my nieces and nephew in place of their parents and I don't see them as often as I'd like. However, Oompa was a teacher. I do NOT want to follow in my mother's footsteps in ANYTHING I do. While I do sincerely love my mother and DO owe much of my 'success' today to 'early intervention,' I harbor a very deep, hard-to-find-at-times resentment for her - there was much she could have handled differently while raising me. While there was much she did do, there were also things she neglected - things having nothing at all to do with my hearing disability. At this point, bygones are bygones, and I've put into place an impenetrable barrier when it comes to her. It has taken YEARS, but I've managed to establish a distance between my mother and me; it has become increasingly necessary to do so as I got older and wiser. Admittedly, moving two hours away from her has helped, too. Anyway, my first time around, I chose a major in Liberal Arts/English. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but was hopeful that eventually a different path would present. Little did I know that one would, but in the most unfavorable way imaginable. While the goal I have today took over two decades to become clear, I spent most of my first three years of college in a daze. I'd been raped shortly after the beginning of my collegiate journey and I was still trying to deal with that aftermath of that while balancing the 'basic' introductory courses. I wasn't thinking about anything other than just getting through the current day. I was directionless, I was unmotivated, and I was LOST. I was doing just the minimum needed to pass the class - that was pretty much it. There was no longer any excitement, there was no longer any visibility on the road that lay before me. All I had left of that was the faint memory of what it looked like BEFORE - and I was proceeding in hopes of not stumbling over an obstacle that had fallen when that illusion of a perfectly mapped-out future had blown up in my face. It was almost a relief finding myself pregnant with the Son in the middle of my third year. In a way, I took it as a sign - that I needed to begin to focus on things that I knew were a sure thing. It was time to stop wandering aimlessly. Impending motherhood was now more important to me than trying to balance schoolwork that I just wasn't of the frame of mind to be doing. And to what end? I had no idea where I was going - I was going to graduate in another year or so, but then what? Life was going to again, change drastically for me in a matter of months. It made no sense to continue on a path toward the unknown. And so, I dropped out in 1999, telling myself that one day, when I was able to identify a newly paved road to a destination that was doable, I'd revisit the idea of picking up where I left off. I announced late last year that I was ready to consider going back to school. The Son is now in his second semester of his freshman year in college and my daughter is in the seventh grade. I've spent the last nearly nineteen years of my life making sure they each had everything they needed. I put their needs, along with those of the wasband and my stepchildren, before my own. I gave little to no thought on what my purpose was, other than to be a wife and mother. Although I will always be Mom to my children and a wife to my committed partner of ten years, I am now ready to be something more. I am ready to work toward a career title, and I am ready for my reach to exceed that of what I'm used to. I'm ready for all of it. Again, Oompa, who was, I believe, most excited to hear my announcement, pushed the idea of my working toward becoming a teacher. Again, I told her no. She suggested a few other things she thought I'd be good at - some having to do with working with deaf children, since I was still considered a 'success story.' Likely, she'd want some more bragging rights reserved for when I graduated and was now working as whatever she recommended. After all, my successes were because of her, didn't you know? I shot those ideas down, too. I've previously shared with you all my aspirations to become a Social Worker. Oompa's soured expression was what further solidified this choice for me - she was SO sure that I would agree with her that social workers don't break the bank with their paychecks and I'd pick something that she'd initially recommended...her wisdom wasn't to be discounted, after all. 'It's hard work,' she also said. I wasn't sure whether to be offended that she was thinking I couldn't handle it, or to say, 'yes but because of your early intervention, I'm fully capable of a little hard work.' In hindsight, saying the latter would have shut her up immediately, but it's one of those thoughts that come to light days after the conversation had ended. For the first time in years, I stood my ground and told her that I wanted to become a Social Worker - and that was my goal - period. I did NOT want to be a teacher. I did NOT want to be an advocate for the deaf. I did NOT want to 'apply to a trade school so that it was easier and I could start working sooner rather than later.' I had started distancing myself from my mother prior to the age of 17, and I never shared with her details of my trauma. I just never felt safe doing so. That being said, I don't expect her to understand what mainly steered me in the direction of Social Work with a focus on Sexual Assault Counseling and Advocacy - but at this point - I am past the point of attempting to explain anything to her. Her thoughts no longer MATTER to me - and little by little, I am finding myself becoming FAR more vocal with her when I disagree. You've likely seen a recent example of this with my recent decision to lease a Jeep (my choice) over a Subaru (her recommendation)... So, now, here I am, with the acceptance email in front of me. Y'all know my tendency to ramble, and I'll try to wrap up soon, I promise. I came here to blog about something very specific I am feeling, and all that's been said before the mention of my mother, well - it's not unimportant, but it's for the most part, supporting information. So, without further ado... How do I feel about this acceptance? You'd think I'm whoop-whooping and clapping to myself in anticipation of finally completed some of the required steps to re-commit to going back to school. But I'm not. I can't stop looking at this letter, and although I am happy and I am pleased with myself for taking the steps I've taken, all of my doubts are coming back to say hello. I feel something. Maybe many somethings, but for sure, it's not as simple as I'd like for it to be. I've got jitters. Yes, definitely. I don't want to say I'm excited because I'm not sure that's what it is. There IS some excitement though - knowing I've made good on the promise to myself to re-focus on my education is something I'm proud of. I'm so used to doing for others, and doing for myself is rare. Another thing to take pride in is having found something that, although under circumstances that I'd love to say weren't a contributing factor, I can truly focus on building a career in. I'm nervous. I'm starting to wonder if this is indeed best. Not because of what I've decided what I wanted to do by now - but because I've been out of the 'school loop' for so long, now - I'm used to life being the way it is now - to take on school would bring forth VERY drastic changes. I know I stated above that it's something I'm ready to do - but I'm finding that the more ready you are, sometimes the doubt is stronger. Changes are, for me, VERY uncomfortable. I am sure I am not alone in this - change is not easy for many. I'm not completely in the dark on what college life entails, but...I'm 40, now. I've spend the last 19 years building a life that didn't involve me conforming to schedules, doing homework, meeting deadlines. I'm no longer a spring chicken, and I wonder if starting over at my age is even what 's best. I know - we never stop learning, it's never too late to get that degree, you can be furthering your eduction until the day you die - I know all this, I have even said this to others. I have to admit that a part of me anticipates there being somewhat of a sadness when I show up to my first class and I'm surrounded by kids my son's age, who are fresh out of high school and are going to get to travel that straight-line road that I was unfairly denied. I am going to be not only required to emerge from within my 'bubble,' my comfort zone, in order to attend classes - I'll also be meeting new people, there will be discussions I'll have to participate in, there may come a time where I'll have to speak in class. All of these possibilities are constantly circling my brain because this is what I do remember having to do 20 years ago (my first rodeo) and I was the same social disaster back then. Understandably, there are going to be times I will have to say to myself, "Cap - this is all a part of your overall healing journey. To put yourself out there is to re-learn how to establish a comfortable place within society." I have been a self-proclaimed hermit for the last several years, and this, I FULLY expect to have some issues with in the beginning, as I attempt to emerge from this mental cocoon I've become so comfortable staying hidden inside of. I'm terrified because I know that my goal to become a Social Worker is going to REQUIRE I become somewhat comfortable using my voice, being around others, looking others in the eye when I speak to them. I am going to need to learn to approach others, start conversations, learn to communicate in ways that don't involve writing emails or messages. I know that I cannot be forced by anyone other than myself to do these things. Even to self-push isn't always recommended but it certainly IS something that I've decided I need to work on as I proceed on my own personal healing path. In fact, going back to school can be seen as intertwining two positive steps toward a better me. It's inspiring but also scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I'm also sad - because there is great irony in one of the reasons contributing to my dropping out - now becoming something that is motivating my return to school. That cannot be missed. I know that all this seems...well, silly. At least, it does to me - I know that a lot of time has gone by since 'the first time around' and that I should be embracing these upcoming changes as I am now approaching them from an adult perspective. I know am not the same person I was at 17. I'm more mature now. I won't be attending any parties. I won't be putting myself into any potentially dangerous situations. These changes are good for me - they're healthy, they're ambitious. They're decisions I've made without pressure from anyone else. And deep down, I know that some of these concerns are probably unreasonable and I'll likely be just fine. I just feel it is important to be honest with myself and with whomever reads this - honest and truthful about what has been attacking all of my recent feel-good thoughts and leaving behind ones of impending failure. I think, though, that there's also another thing to add to what I'm still having trouble believing. That the fog has cleared, and the road ahead has become more visible. There is no longer any debris for me to navigate over, around, under, etc. There is once again - a straight path from here to where my degree awaits. I'd taken a serious detour - but now, there is a part of me that is back where I was when I was seventeen - standing at the beginning of the road (be it made out of yellow bricks or not) and eager to get started on the rest of my life - and then there is a part of me that is fearful of that road unexpectedly changing AGAIN. It doesn't even have to be in the form of trauma - change is brought forth in SO many different ways and I've too often seen things not work out the way people hope they do. I'm just so used to things not happening the way I'd expect them to - why should this be any different? In closing, I am asking for all of your good thoughts and well wishes as I begin this brand-new walk; there's still much to be done to put my butt into a chair by the time September rolls around. In the meantime, I've decided that now that I've had a chance to write on them, I'll say no more on my 'unreasonable' fears and instead just focus on what I CAN do to make it all a reality. Still, some motivation wouldn't hurt! That'll be it for today, I think. I've a date with the online FAFSA tonight and tomorrow with filling out some more paperwork for the VR counselor - slowly but surely, and despite the unwelcome self-doubts, I am getting the needed steps taken. And here's another thing I cannot believe I'm hearing myself say - but I'm proud of myself for getting to this point. Hoping you're all doing well. Until next time, friends. - Capulet
  11. image.png

    Love it.
  12. I don't even own an iron!

    @goldraindrops - thank you, dear friend. It means so much to hear that - I've heard it before but it's pretty easy to lose these positive affirmations once the doubts start to sink in. It's been a wild week of me becoming used to the idea of life as I know it changing in the Fall. Now, I'm trying to self-affirm that change isn't necessarily bad - it's just going to take some adjusting! There's no turning back, now, though - the 'hold my place' fee has been paid. ;) As stated somewhere else - onwards and forwards! The only direction to go from here. Thank you for your love and encouragement, friend. @Angelbee - I will likely be messaging you at some point to ask how your experiences were while studying Social Work! Thank you so much for your good thoughts and your well wishes - they mean a tremendous deal to me - and I appreciate hearing from you.
  13. Hello!

    Hello @ExactStudio - welcome to After Silence!!! I hope you will find that you have found a wonderful community filled with amazingly supportive folks. I am sorry to learn that your trauma was fairly recent but am glad to hear you are dedicated toward healing and that you've had some support from the people around you. That is a HUGE step and I'm glad you've taken it. It looks like you're on the right track. Take good care, and again - welcome! - Capulet
  14. Hello!

    Hello Len! Welcome to After Silence. It's nice to 'meet' you, although I am sorry you were led here under tough circumstances. I do hope though, that you will find you are not alone! Best wishes to you on your healing path. - Capulet
  15. Hello

    Hi, @GinaH - Welcome to After Silence. I am so sorry to hear of your recent breakdown. Sometimes things truly become overwhelming and I don't think anyone is completely immune to that spiral you mentioned. I hope you are proud of yourself for recognizing your needs and for taking the steps to find support. That's never an easy thing to do - good for you for taking this leap! I am sad to hear that you've experienced trauma in your past but am hopeful that you'll find an abundance of support here. Our members are very understanding people and I am sure you will find that you are never alone here. Please take all the time you need exploring the boards and whenever you are ready, we are all here for you. Best wishes, Capulet
  16. :candle: I am missing someone today.  18 years in Heaven, although it feels like only yesterday we lost you - Grandma, please continue to watch over my family and all of those dear to my heart.  

  17. Hey

    Hello, @0Kelly0 - my sincerest welcome to After Silence. The people here are pretty amazing and I hope you'll like it here. Hope your day is going well, too! Capulet
  18. Hello everyone and thank you

    @Citizenerased - Welcome to After Silence. I'm so sorry to hear you are currently struggling but it is my sincerest hope that being here will help bring you some comfort. Looking forward to getting to know you through your posts. Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself - I hope you recognize what a huge, brave step that was! Best wishes, Capulet
  19. Don't forget daylight savings!!! Clocks ahead one hour, tonight!  :throb:

  20. Hey Everyone!

    @asleep - hello and welcome to After Silence! So happy to 'meet' you although I am sorry to hear that you have been affected by trauma. As others have said already, this is a great site, filled with lots of supportive and kind souls. It is my hope that you will find that you're not alone and that many are walking this very same path. Best wishes to you, Capulet
  21. Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!  :throb:

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  22. Happy to be here!

    HI @Bayfox, and again, a huge welcome to After Silence. I too wish I would have found this site sooner than I did, but I guess it's better late than never! Take care and I'll see you around! Best, Cap
  23. Hello to our newbies!! I remember when back in the day, there was a time when I felt most alone. I was sitting in front of my (burnt-out by now) laptop - After Silence had just been recommended to me by a friend and I'd just completed the sign-up process. I'd already spent quite a bit of time holding onto my pain and keeping it from everyone around me - and now I was starting to feel ready to find and share my voice; to start to discuss what had happened to me...even if it was online, it was more than I'd ever been willing to do. I was feeling both courageous and terrified at the same time. It was not normal for me to be amongst others who understood and who could relate to all of these emotions that I thought only applied to me. And then, there was After Silence! It can understandably be overwhelming once you've been completed registration and you've unlocked access to our private forums. We've a huge selection of board types to choose from. There's Welcome. Gathering Place. Aftermath. Therapy Discussion. Humor and Silliness!? And so, so many more! 'Where to start? What do I do first?' As a brand-new member, likely you've grappled with where to begin posting, or even where to begin reading. Here at After Silence, we do NOT encourage nor want you to feel that there is any pressure to post something immediately. Our number one rule is - take it all in at the pace that is most comfortable. Familiarize yourself with all of our boards and what each specifically addresses. Read, read, read! Hopefully you've found this board, even before the approval of your account!! After reading this, please do spend some more time reading all of the other helpful public/newbie FAQ boards that our site administrators and moderators have put together for you. There is a wealth of helpful information in these boards and they're there to help you become familiar with how our site works and what you can expect from our site, moving forward. Please take your time going through all of the forums. It is perfectly okay to spend a little extra time looking around before you post, if this is what you prefer. Prior to approval of new members, the private forums are not yet visible and there is SO much more to explore when you've signed in for the first time as a registered member. Please do browse through all of the forums you see, just to have an idea of the kind of content you'd expect to view in each forum. Perhaps you will see some boards that you can personally relate to, and this will help to gain a feel for the type of support you are likely to receive. Additionally, you will witness how our amazing members usually interact with one another, which is always a comfort to see - especially when pertaining to subject matter you may understand all too well based on your own experience(s). Remember to be gentle with yourself. You are in a new place. It can ultimately be a lot to take in. Breathe. Remember, you are healing, and it should be recognized that signing up and registering with us was a tremendous step, whether you have been healing for some time already or this is your first step, it's by no means a small one - it's a leap. One you should be proud of yourself for having taken. I think we all arrive at After Silence with a specific goal or thought in mind - and when we see just HOW MUCH information this site has to offer, it can be stress-inducing and for lack of a better word - scary. Sometimes content posted can trigger, so please only read and take in what you are in the frame of mind to. As you read, perhaps you'll find it helpful to take notes on what you might like to eventually address when it comes to yourself, and when you're ready. You are also welcome to reach out to the Newbie Support Team member who welcomed you to the site. They are dedicated to answering any of your questions and addressing any concerns you may have as you get to know the site and if you're unsure on where to post, you can always ask for guidance. Additionally, if you would like the password to the females-only, males-only or LGBT-only forums, you may ask them for it and it will be provided to you. Start posting in the Welcome forum! This is the best place to start posting when you're ready to introduce yourself to other members of After Silence. We do not recommend putting too much information down as an introduction, for it may overwhelm you as well as others who are also new to the site. A small message about who you are, how you found After Silence, and perhaps what you hope to gain from being a member of our community. This post will likely get the attention of one of our amazing Newbie Support Team staffers, and shortly after you post your introduction, you will receive a private message welcoming you into the community. Please remember - the Welcome forum is not where you should post any triggering or sensitive content and should be kept light and simple. Bringing me to likely your next question: Where and when can I share my story? We often get asked this by new members. We do have a Share Your Story forum, that will unlock and become visible once you have reached a post count of 10. There are a few reasons for the restriction of this particular forum, the main one being for your own safety. We sincerely care about the privacy and security of all of our members. The contents of that forum are extremely sensitive and we do not want any of it visible to members who do not intend to stay with us for a longer period of time. It is because of this protective measure that before you have reached ten posts, you are also unable to view this forum or post in it. That being said, it's often a concern when newbies do not see this board right away. I believe that sharing our stories is something most members eventually want to do, in order to gain feedback, support, comfort, and validation from others. Please be assured that we wish for you to have this opportunity as well, but hope you'll take the time recommended in order to better prepare yourself and others for the discussion of these more sensitive topics. A few suggestions to keep in mind about some of the other unspecified reasons behind the 10-post restriction when it comes to that one forum: It might be beneficial to let others get to know you a little bit before expecting or asking them to view your story. It can be a little uncomfortable when someone unknown to us posts a detailed story as an introduction. Think a moment about how you would introduce yourself to a room full of strangers. Understandably, to converse online is a bit more anonymous, but for some, it is their only option as in-person interactions are difficult or not possible. By adhering to the 10-post rule before sharing your story, you are allowing others some time to become familiar with you through other postings or responses. (If a detailed introductory post happens, we must immediately relocate the post into Share Your Story, and even though you are the author of the post in question, you will not be able to re-access it until you've reached ten posts. There are NO exceptions to this - the Welcome forum is simply not for heavy content. If your story is posted in any of the other forums, it will also potentially be moved if it contains explicit detail. You will be notified privately by a moderator in the event your post is ever moved or edited to include any necessary trigger warnings. More information about trigger warnings can be found here: http://www.aftersilence.org/forum/index.php?/topic/131947-issuing-trigger-warnings-tws-please-read/) Perhaps consider your first 10 posts a 'trial period' of sorts. It is recommended you spend some time interacting with others in the other forums before you share your story. Some of you may be new to message boards in general - this will give you the chance to 'get your feet wet' and additionally, to show other members that you're interested in staying a while - both to give and to receive support. We have had people 'post and run,' which, of course, is okay. After Silence takes a little time to get used to - for some, it takes longer to find our place here. Regardless, we are always going to be here if you or anyone decides to take a break and return later. There is no rush nor any set timeline for healing. These are, of course, just suggestions and tips that I hope will further enhance your experience here at After Silence and to ensure that the site remains a safe place for you as well as for others. You are welcome to post whatever you like, as long as it adheres to the rules, which can be found in Public: Rules and Guidelines. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with those, if you have not already. In closing, I'd like to welcome all of you to After Silence. It is my hope to get to know as many of you as possible and that you'll all find that we are a supportive bunch and a unified community. I wish you nothing but the best in your healing processes!!! It is a long road for us all but I am confident that knowing that you are not alone will make the journey much more bearable. If at any time you need assistance with anything, please feel free to visit and post in the Help Desk forum or you may email aftersilence.moderators@gmail.com. Responses are generally speedy and we will do our best to help with your needs or concerns. Best wishes to you all, Capulet After Silence Moderator
  24. Why, not???? That might be even more entertaining!
  25. Hello, everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the many benefits of being a member of our community. This is a little something I've put together for both our new and returning members in hopes of making everyone's experience here an improved one. While browsing After Silence's many forums, you might come across a board title and spot a very commonly used abbreviation - 'TW.' This stands for 'trigger warning.' It is imperative that when starting a post, you take the time to consider whether the content may unintentionally trigger someone else. It could be the making of a general statement or describing the type of trauma you experienced, or it could be the repeating of something said to us - someone else perhaps has heard similar. We all understand how triggers work - they are unexpected and sometimes cannot be helped. Either way, the effective use of trigger warnings will allow others to determine whether they are in the proper headspace to read/respond to your post. I do feel that if we all know how to add these trigger warnings to posts, we are advising caution and others can significantly reduce the risk of being triggered while utilizing the forums to send and receive support. This is indeed the motivation behind this helpful board on how to ensure that we all know how this is done when posting. So, without further ado: Below is a screen shot of what creating a new post looks like. It is generally the same for any and all forums: See where it says 'Tags?' This is where you would put in your trigger warnings, separated by a comma. When you've typed in a comma, the previous word/warning will show up as highlighted, and will have an 'x' next to it, in the event you wish to delete/edit what you've put down. An example of what this looks like: The item prefix you see at the bottom is just an added option - you do not have to do this if you do not want, but if you feel your post MOSTLY relates to ONE specific trigger, it will allow you to choose which one of the several is most important to mention. This will add a RED tag at the top of your post. Some members like to use, simply, 'Trigger Warning' as a prefix, and the rest of the tags will show up in black. Setting a prefix (red tag) is easy - just click on the prefix button and select one! I've chosen 'trigger warning,' so this is my prefix. Your board will look like this when finished: A helpful hint is to type out the body of your post first - this way you can determine which trigger warnings to include before submitting your finished board. Hopefully the images above have helped explain how to do it. A couple other things to remember: Trigger warnings can be used in ANY forum. There's nothing wrong with issuing a trigger warning, even when you're unsure of whether it's needed. It's better to be safe than sorry! You can include a general/overall 'TW' in your board title if you wish - however, keep in mind that there may be some members who prefer specifics and may not wish to take the chance on reading further when the trigger is unknown. One forum that you will likely HAVE to include a trigger warning is the 'Share Your Story' forum. This is one of our more sensitive areas and often, extreme details are shared. Please remember to place your TWs accordingly if you ever wish to post in there. Please don't panic if you forget to add a specific trigger warning. Our very capable Moderators and Section Moderators can always add tags to your post if we feel something needs to be included. In the event a moderator is not available, you, as the author, are able to add tags to a post you created previously. See the plus sign at the end of the tags in the final image above? You will see this option whether or not there are existing tags on your post. Simply click this plus sign and you will be able to add or edit tags as you see fit. You will not be able to add or edit tags on someone else's post, though. And - that's it. Any questions or comments on this or any other issue can be posted to Help Desk and will be responded to promptly. Thank you, The After Silence Moderators
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