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Everything posted by Capulet

  1. @Chris76 - I'll fix that for you right now. Welcome to After Silence!
  2. @goldraindrops - so right you are about things not always being what they seem. I just wonder how others can sound so convincing. I know for some of them, it IS genuine...and there's always a layer of sadness on Mother's Day. I know this will eventually be a deeper sadness when my mother is no longer living...that'll be a different ball game, but I will jump that fence when I get to it. I cannot help wishing I could be a part of that small percentage whose mothers did right by them. Guess I can take comfort in knowing my kids are. @AKB - Mr. Hollis has some very, VERY wise words! I appreciate your sharing them. I was actually thinking of you this Mother's Day, given all the recent developments with your parents - and was sensing that you were also struggling. I understand completely your decision to not have human children - but am glad you decided to be Mama to your fur-baby - Sasha's a very lucky girl! Also agree wholeheartedly that my family here on AS has been a truly exceptional surrogate family, for you guys are who I can be most 'real' with!!! I don't know what I'd do without you all! Love to you both and thank you for your kind words.
  3. Capulet


    Hi @Len/Jack - Welcome to After Silence. Looking forward to getting to know you through posts or through blogs, whichever you're more comfortable with at the time - it's one of the things I love the most about AS - the ability to take it all at your own pace. Anyway - welcome - take all the time you need to familiarize yourself with the site. Best wishes, Capulet
  4. Came across this gem on my newsfeed on social media and wanted to share with everyone here.  It is imperative to be compassionate to yourself in times of difficulty. Self-care is a great way to do that to help yourself heal. It is giving yourself permission to pause, to love yourself, to be kind to yourself and remember that you are just human and you are doing your best.  :throb:   Sending you all love and safe hugs!!


    1. Field8


      Thank you Cap. I forget all the time about self care.

    2. Iheartcupcakes


      This is excellent. Bathing in the ocean is definitely cleansing and spiritual for me. I make time for this every time I go home. 


    3. Hawkgirl


      Thank you Cap for this.  I didn’t realize self care was quite so multifaceted.  

    4. Show next comments  15 more
  5. Welcome to AS, @Redwood519 - so sorry that unfortunate circumstances have led you here, but please take comfort in knowing you have found a truly safe place within our community. It is my sincerest hope that you will see that you are not walking this path alone - so many others can relate and understand what you're going through. Please take all the time you need to familiarize yourself with the site - we are here for you whenever you're ready to share a little bit more about yourself - but there's NEVER any pressure to do so. Take it all at your own speed. Wishing you well! Best wishes! Capulet
  6. Two years ago, when we moved into our new home, our realtor bought us a Keurig machine - this adorable cherry red contraption - and it's been nothing short of amazing to have - especially when there's a need for a 'quick cup.' While I still drink coffee, it's mostly the iced variety from Dunkin' with a shot of caramel and cream - my Keurig machine has lately been going WEEKS without brewing - it's usually only used when my mother (Oompa) comes for a visit. She'd come in and ask for a cup of coffee: 'got any decaf?' Often I'd have to tell her that I only had regular - thus starting her new tradition of bringing me a box of decaf K-cups whenever she came to visit. My supply of regular, though, has dwindled and I cannot open my pantry without it spitting out a box of whatever-flavored decaf. I'm feeling the need for coffee this morning - for starters, I'm cold. It's barely breaking 50 degrees lately - nothing but rain, rain, and more rain. We had a one or two day reprieve here and there, but never long enough for it to dry out a little. So, I'm cold, I'm tired of the dreariness....and I'm just plain tired this morning because as usual, I crawl into bed at 2am (force of habit) and on this particular (rainy, of course) Tuesday morning, I am waiting for the guy who is installing a new shower to arrive. 8am, he said. I got up at 6 when J left for work so I wouldn't sleep through the promised appointment time - it is now 9:45am and he's still not here. Regardless, I needed an energy jolt this morning - so into the K-cup inventory I go and ALL that remains is decaf. Now, when Oompa comes, I'll have to tell her to bring REGULAR K-cups because decaf ain't gonna cut it. I'm already half asleep! Gonna be one of those days, yeah? OK. Warning heeded. So, I did say I would be writing a little about Mother's Day, being that I've had mixed emotions about this day for years, now. Not because of my kids. My kids are my life and I LOVE being their mother. The son is going to be nineteen...(I can't...) in a couple months and the daughter will be turning THIRTEEN. So, for one year, (help me Jesus!) I'm going to have TWO teenagers under the same roof at the SAME time. Although I must say it's certainly felt like the daughter's been a moody, brooding teenager for a WHILE, already. It'll just be official in a couple months' time and I'm definitely in for it. Anyway - the kids and J took me to dinner last night at Red Lobster, followed by a trip to Dairy Queen for sundae desserts. The son forwarded me a coupon for university logo apparel and the daughter bought me a card and a huge bag of watermelon flavored Sour Patch Kids...I guess she didn't get the memo that I need to get my ass back onto the Weight Watchers bandwagon, but it's the thought that counts. Oompa planned her vacation to Italy for the week of Mother's Day. Pretty sure it wasn't done intentionally - was probably a 'travel this week, get these super deals' kind of thing. Either way, I wasn't really caring. I'd just seen her two weeks before for Easter - and secretly was GLAD I wouldn't have to figure out a way to make her feel particularly special on Mother's Day all the while not knowing what my own kids had in store for me. As is, I struggled with what to say to others on social media. Mother's Day is just - I don't know. Seeing all the Facebook posts scroll by, all these sons and daughters with pictures of their moms - the daughters who call their moms their best friend. It's hard to take it all in, knowing that my mother is NOT my best friend - she's someone who annoys me to no end, someone who will commit an act of generosity, then turn around and ask what we'll do for her in return. No, it's never simple with her. She is both an easy and a difficult person to love...try to figure THAT out! So, Sunday, I spent a little time on my Facebook - to my sisters, I sent a Happy Mother's Day message on Facebook on each of their walls. I sent J's sisters the same. I sent J's born-again Christian mother (who isn't a fan of mine) a HUGE thank-you for raising the woman of my dreams (YES, I absolutely did do this, and yes, I did it to be mischievous) and the message I sent my own mother took longer than all the rest combined. I chose my words carefully - trying to find words that were truthful but could also be interpreted in a way my mother needed them to be. I thanked her for everything she's done for me and all she's taught me. And she has. She's done lots for me - some of it, I wonder if it was guilt-born. She taught me a great deal...I cannot deny this. She taught me to speak. She taught me to treat others with kindness and respect. These are the finer qualities...unfortunately, she also taught me about lying, about hiding, about sweeping things under the rug. She TRIED to teach me to 'put things away,' but this was not an effective lesson - it's only taught me self-doubt, to suppress, and that if I can't remember something, it isn't true. Logically, I know that's not the case, but to have that ingrained in you from a very young age - well - you're kinda screwed. My mother taught me how NOT to be with my own kids. So, that, I can also thank her for. She taught me to allow my children to be who they are - without fear of being judged for it. She taught me to listen to what my kids think of others - a child's intuition is rarely wrong. Sadly I cannot explain these things to her. My messages to her are generic, short and to the point. I cannot even think about what I'd want to say to my mother, because I probably NEVER will say some of these things, even if opportunity knocks. I don't think I'll ever have the relationship with her that I'd LIKE to have....that ship has sailed around the world several times over. Do I love her? Of course. But I also feel this incredible need to maintain an emotional distance. Not even sure what else is swimming around in my brain at the moment - I'm tired, I've not had sufficient sleep nor caffeine. BUT, the good news is - there's another year 'til the next Mother's Day comes around. Maybe some things don't need to be overthought? Hoping everyone is having a good week - will be back soon with another update. My best to you all! - Capulet
  7. For those of you who are also having mixed feelings seeing the Mother's Day posts on social media: I'm with you.  Wishing you a happy day if you're celebrating and holding your hand if you're not.  :throb:

    1. snmls


      Thank you.  It is hard for me to see people post about relationships with their mothers on facebook when I have never had a good relationship with my mom.  

    2. heartofamethyst


      Thank you so much for posting this. I have such mixed feelings about this day. One because I do not have a great relationship with my mom and two because due to my abuse I may never have kids. 

    3. Field8


      Thank you Cap

    4. Show next comments  15 more
  8. You are definitely not alone @Trisha Templeton - welcome to After Silence. I'm so sorry to learn you have reason to be here, but am hopeful that you'll find that you've discovered a truly safe place where there's never a shortage of support. Sending you healing vibes and well wishes. Welcome! Best wishes, Capulet
  9. @BetterPath2016 - welcome to After Silence! I'm glad you've found us and am hopeful you will find there is plenty of support within this community. Looking forward to getting to know you through the forums! Best wishes, Capulet
  10. Capulet


    @1444Fireflies - a hearty welcome to After Silence!!! It is never easy to learn to open up and to talk about our pasts, but I am hopeful you will see that this is a very safe, non-judgmental place. Looking forward to getting to know you! Best wishes, Capulet
  11. Hi @selinacantrell and welcome to After Silence!!! Sending healing wishes, Capulet
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. I had a dream last night. Wasn't too bad a dream. Unless you consider a glimpse at the pathetic being that I called Uncle for 40 years. It was also a short dream. It took place at a holiday gathering. I want to say it was Christmas - only because that's the first thing that comes to mind. My mother (Oompa) was there. My Dad, my step-parentals. My kids. The wasband's crew was not there, though. My sisters and their spouses (yes, even the one who might not be her spouse much longer) and my nephew and two nieces. And also in attendance was the Most Reverend McNasty and his 'partner.' It might've been a holiday that warranted dressing nicely, but he looked as he did at my nephew's and niece's party where I saw him last. Like a bum. His hair has gotten longer; he'd always had a crew cut. He's put on weight. He's unshaven, looks dirty and disheveled. I'm SURE that had I been within six feet of him, I'd also discover that he smelled badly, too - a combination of rotten farts and sweat. His 'partner' has to hold his hands and 'lead' him around. He cannot walk on his own or without help. He's looking and smelling like the shit he always has looked like. Anyway, this image of him somehow presented itself last night in my sleep. Or it was possibly closer to morning. Either way, I remember waking up to it being daylight. I just laid in bed and processed for a little while before getting up. USUALLY, I have trouble remembering the cryptic messages hidden within dreams as the day goes on. Laying down for a good twenty minutes, just thinking, was the only way to ensure that 18 hours later, I'd be able to write about it. But - in the dream - dinner was being served. A grand spread, it was - as it usually is on the holidays. There was pasta, meat, fish, vegetables, salad - wine, container of ice, napkins all folded, fancy-like. We never did the napkin-folding, so that was one strange thing about it. And the food, you know, if Oompa prepared it, was never that great-looking, either. Everyone was gathering around and getting comfortable in their chairs, passing trays of food around to those sitting next to us. Of course, I chose to sit at the far end of the table, farthest away as I could from my uncle. We must have inhaled our food because only moments later (funny how dreams 'skip,' isn't it?) McNasty's partner pulled me aside as we were getting ready to clear the table - and said, "It might be a good time to make peace with your uncle." "I don't want to talk about it. And besides, this isn't the time or place," I replied. I woke up before he could respond. Immediately, I was relieved to discover this was all a dream and the Most Reverend McNasty was NOT in the same room as I. There was just me, my pillow, my blankets and a couple of oblivious cats. I sometimes dream about people when they're about to die. Or will soon be dead. I'm thinking this is either the case - or Oompa truly got to me last weekend, with all her talk about how ugly and/or disrespectful I was being. I dreamt about my Nana days before she passed. My grandmother, I dreamt of the night BEFORE she died. Sadly, I've not gotten any text from Oompa today in regards to my uncle's failing, circling-the-drain condition - but perhaps this text will come soon. One can hope, anyway. I am of the belief that dreams contain messages and little explanations within - if you can make sense of them. By now, we're all familiar with what Oompa said to me this weekend - that I'd disappointed her by refusing to say 'hello' to him at the last family gathering - and that this was likely the last time I'd see him alive. I do think that the 'holiday' setting within the dream was representative of my not being 'ready' to interact with him - regardless of whether it may possibly be the last time. "Not a good time or place," was what I'd said - and in the dream, I was at a holiday celebration - that right there is NEVER a good place or time to bring up such ugliness. "Not the time or place" is something my mother always said, too, usually when she was dismissing a topic she didn't want to get into - dismissal usually accompanied by 'put it in your sleeve, worry about this later.' I also think it means I've been 'masking' my hatred for this man for far too long. I mean, look at this dream - in it, I'm surrounded by my entire family and no one has any clue of the REAL reasons behind my hating my uncle. They're ALL of the impression that I'm being unreasonable in choosing to not associate with him. I'm STILL lying to all of them and telling them the same story I've been telling them for years - he treated Grandma badly, he cheated my mother out if her inheritance...ANYTHING but the truth. Everyone was enjoying themselves and all I could think about was how uncomfortable I was, even being in the same room as him. When I last saw him, he looked weak, pathetic. He's unable to 'do' for himself anymore. So his partner did for him, just as he 'assisted him' with walking and getting around at the party. In the dream, it was his partner who asked me to make peace with him - in reality, it was Oompa - makes me wonder if he's actually revealed to my mother that it was one of his dying wishes for the niece who hated him to forgive him. Sorry, nope. That's NOT a wish I can grant, nor do I think there will EVER be a time or place where I can forgive him. For fuck's sake, I'm still trying to figure out the answers! I also know that I'm not going to have any regrets for not saying a final hello or goodbye to him while I still can. As far as I'm concerned, he's already dead. So, that was the dream. It was filled with hidden clues - I'm sure there are more that I missed, but for now, I'm needing to purge it from my brain and to forget it for a little while. Seems this is what I do to ensure that when I AM ready to give it more thought, it will be here for me to reflect upon. I also struggle with the thought of him dying, sometimes. Not with the idea of him FINALLY being gone - because really, that would be great and would instantly make the world a much better place. But...where's his next stop??? Naturally, we'd think it was Hell, right? But, see - he's a 'man of the cloth,' a Roman Catholic priest. I sure hope this doesn't give him a free pass or qualify him for a seat in the 'waiting room' to Heaven - the place the Catholics refer to as Purgatory. The Catholic Church (that I was raised following the teachings of) holds that "all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified" undergo this process (which the Church calls 'Purgatory') "so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven." (That last little snippet was from Wikipedia.) In Purgatory, there is an amount of repentance and suffering, after which his soul will ascend into Heaven. It's been a long, LONG time since I gave too much thought to the existence of these three places we could likely go upon our deaths - to Heaven, to Hell or to Purgatory first and then to Heaven. Ah, I don't even know if there's PROOF. No one's ever come back and given a review. And please understand that I am not speaking ill of the Catholic religion - I just never bought into it and having possibly been subjected to CSA by a priest has made religion a VERY hard pill to swallow. I therefore consider myself to be an agnostic - it's just safer that way. I DO know that this is a man who is the farthest from holy as can be. And here he is - about to be judged (if that's true, too) and he'll not pay for any of the horrible things he's done while he was living - will he EVER be held accountable, even if in the afterlife? Or will his 'years of service' afford him a ticket to paradise, even if his misdeeds and injustices land him in Purgatory first? I shudder to think. Guess that's all for tonight - I'm getting a serious case of eye-burn and need to shut them for a few hours. Am hopeful that this morning's (OMG - 3:50am????) dreams are filled with daisies and rainbows and unicorns. I could use a dose of cute to offset the ugly! Hoping also that everyone is doing well this week. I'll be back soon. - Capulet
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. Capulet


    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
  24. Capulet


    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
  25. 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.

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