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Everything posted by Capulet

  1. New to the group-looking to talk.

    Hi, @ASnow, welcome to AS. This is a hugely supportive place to be and while I am so sorry to hear of the circumstances under which you've sought us out, I'm hopeful that being here will bring you peace, comfort and healing. You are not alone!!! So many folks here can relate to what you are going through, myself included. It may take a little while but I'm confident you'll feel a little isolated in no time. Again, welcome! Looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
  2. Hello I'm new

    Well, it matters none how you communicate things - what matters is you're getting things out and you're allowing him (and perhaps others now) to support you throughout your healing journey. I, too, choose to type things out - it sometimes makes certain words and feelings easier to convey that way. There are so, SO many ways to get your thoughts out - writing is my personal favorite and being able to do so has been a tremendous outlet. Wishing you luck - I'm sure you'll fit in here with no troubles! Capulet
  3. Hello I'm new

    Hello! Welcome to AS. I am hopeful that you will love it here and that being here brings you peace, comfort and healing. Your husband sounds amazing! Best wishes, Capulet
  4. Hiya!

    Hi, Shawna! Welcome to AS! I think we ALL have some work to do, but there's certainly strength in numbers. You'll love it here. Best wishes, Capulet
  5. Hi, all. Visiting this site on a daily basis is a constant reminder of the amount of unjustified pain and suffering that sadly exists around us in today's world. It's even harder to realize that some of the pain we see and hardships endured are so close to our own. And let me be clear on this - this isn't to say that it's a bad site. No, this isn't what I'm saying. I mean to say that AS is just real, SO very real and the things I read daily are yet another reminder of just how much I understand that neither I nor anyone else SHOULD understand. And while each day goes by and the next begins, I come back in hopes of seeing someone post some good news, something to celebrate, something GOOD and positive that is happening in their lives. Being here (as well as having slightly too much time on my hands) also makes me think in depth about the small, yet complicated things that continue to burden my heart - and then I find myself fantasizing about what things would be like in my version of an ideal world. - In an ideal world, I'd smile every day and mean it. None of those fake smiles. You know the ones. The ones you put on just so no one can see you're starting to cry. - In an ideal world, I wouldn't look at someone and first wonder how they'll end up hurting me in the long run. I'd be willing to take more chances at both new and old new friendships, because I'd know nothing of betrayal. Betrayal wears many, many faces and does its job in different ways - but the end result is the same. - In an ideal world, I'd have allowed more people into my inner circle. While I fortunately have my longtime partner by my side daily, there's still a need for a larger network of people to share your life, your triumphs, your joy, your disappointments, sorrows, etc. Because, let's face it. One person can't possibly be your everything. In a perfect world, I'd have realized this a lot sooner and in turn, I'd be more willing to welcome within my circle anyone who wanted to be in it. Alas, I've seen too much ugliness and it makes it VERY difficult to be without some skepticism. In an alternate, fantasy universe, though, this hesitance wouldn't exist and I'd have plenty of room in my heart's blueprints to fit everyone and I'd spend less time purging those whom I cannot trust. - In an ideal world, family wouldn't be your last choice of people you want to be around. You wouldn't DREAD upcoming birthdays or holidays like I have started to lately, simply because the demands of others have gotten to the point where the holiday spirit no longer is felt; instead, these 'wonderful' times have become obligatory, mandatory, and no longer fun, thus resulting in a severe case of the bah-humbugs. I should add this side note to my last 'ideal world' list item - since my move (and even before) I'm currently feeling that I need to take in my mother in small doses. I might need bail money wired over sometime soon because I've had to walk away from her a number of times lately, during some of her recent outbursts. At Christmas, at the kids' birthdays, at the Son's graduation party. I'm TIRED of having to referee between her and my daughter, my fiancee, my son, the wasband...in another realm, I'd not have to do this at all and everyone would figure out their own shit! And as much as she wants me to care about whether my daughter spends a week at her house, I instead leave it up to the daughter. If SHE wants to go, then fine, I'm more than happy to make it happen. But if the daughter says doesn't want to spend four days with Grandma being paraded around her friends at the senior community pool, then that should be enough of an answer for my mother. However it is not and I end up getting the 'woe is me' text message. I, being the nice person I am, don't have the heart to tell her that I honest to God don't give a shit about how disappointed she is that she can't entice a 12-year-old into staying with her for more than a day, if even that long. Because the truth is - I don't think I could, either! Five minutes with her and I'm annoyed. Ten minutes and I'm ready to go home. Any more than that, I end up in autopilot mode and while I still manage to count down the minutes until she (or I) leaves, I spend the remainder of her visits enjoying her less and less. And this causes me to hate myself for feeling this way toward the woman who birthed me, who is in MANY ways responsible for my successes. There's more to this, but I'll not discuss this right now. - In an ideal world, medical appointments do NOT lead to additional medical appointments. There isn't much I can do about this one, but I sure could dream. I have yet another appointment on Friday - the previously mentioned biopsy will take place. And then I will likely STILL be stressing after that because now I've found out that the mammogram results showed some calcification in my right ta-ta that the doctor now wants to get a better look at. So a 3D scan is scheduled for Tuesday. And ALL of this started with a simple, routine, annual pap. - In an ideal world, we would have no concept of time, no deadlines, no limits. Everything we need or want to do for ourselves should be attainable easily without the fear of not having enough time to do all of these things. It'd also be nice if we could make those wonderful, special moments last longer if not forever, and bask in the euphoria we feel during those times. Wouldn't it be great to be without fear of good things being sullied or tarnished by negativity?? Furthermore, wouldn't it be ideal also for negativity to simply cease to rear its ugly head? This perfect, ideal world simply doesn't exist, though. As much as I want it to, I know it doesn't. Instead, we're left with what we perceive to be ideal as opposed to what we have in front of us. And more often than not, what we see first are the things that we don't particularly enjoy. How can we change or modify things so that they look more like we want them to, instead of the blistering mess that we're used to? What changes do we have to make within ourselves to make life a little bit more bearable? Anyone want to share some of their ideals? It's healing, I promise. Just post 'em below!!! Will also post some more in my own comments, if I can. There are just so, SO many things I'd like to change in today's world and it appears that while listing them and discussing them, I've lost track of time and my bowling team is patiently awaiting my arrival. So, until later, my friends. - Capulet
  6. New to this

    Hello @roseydove85, Welcome to AfterSilence!!! I'm so sorry to hear that you've been brought here as a result of trauma but am hopeful that you will find tons of support, comfort and healing here. Everyone here is willing to listen and the amount of understanding and compassion is phenomenal. The 'Share Your Story' forum is accessible after you've reached a minimum of 10 posts, I believe. I'm not sure if being able to see it is a part of this restriction but in order to post there, you'll have to post eight more times in other forums/boards that you DO see. There's plenty of time to get to sharing - but in the meantime, feel free to get a feel for the site and the wonderful sense of community we have here by browsing other places first. Again - welcome. Looking forward to getting to know you! Wishing you lots of luck and healing! Best wishes, Capulet
  7. New

    Hi @Athena0569, and a hearty welcome to AfterSilence. This is a great place to be to gain support and you're among friends here - people who truly understand what you are going through right now. While I am so sorry to hear of the circumstances that have brought you here, I hope that being here brings you both comfort and healing! Looking forward to getting to know you and accompanying you on this journey - we're all in different places but the road ahead is a common one. Having company and support makes it all easier. Best wishes and again - welcome. Capulet
  8. My new baby boy

    Congratulations on your brand new bundle of joy!!!! So happy for you and that he's arrived safely! Enjoy every minute!!! Best wishes, Capulet
  9. Newly Arrived

    Hello, @crybaby and welcome to AS! I too am a veteran survivor with some new realizations - it is a rough road to be on but the company and support you gather along the way is a great help and I am truly blessed to have met some wonderful people here. I also want to thank you for the counseling work you do with others - people like you are a beacon of light in the darkest of times and to have someone who understands makes a world of a difference as we continue toward healing. I hope some of us here can be that difference for you, too. Best wishes, Capulet
  10. Hugs, @Free2Fly, thank you!
  11. It would appear that I have two sides. Two faces. There are currently two versions of me - and while it’s been suggested/confirmed that I do/have suffer(ed) from a personality disorder involving multiple other versions, these additional ‘parts’ have become silent and have grown otherwise dormant at the very least. Now I am currently faced with just two opposing sides of myself that are currently attempting to form a coherent connection. Or rather, to integrate, if that description even fits better. Furthermore, I am wondering if it's more of a one-sided effort on the part of the adult version of myself. I'll explain this further, don't worry. I've recently shared the information that I'm about to discuss in this entry...and I know in the past, I've shared other bits and pieces of what I recall about childhood, but my thought process is CONSTANT, (imagine the hamster in his wheel, it's always going and going and GOING) and I'm always searching for alternate perspectives on the same matter. It's mostly so that I can understand on more levels, even if others have difficulty following. I need to thoroughly investigate these things, and by writing/posting and re-reading what I've put down, this affords me the ability to both gain perspective from outside parties as well as to have it available to me to refer back to when I finally hit that brick wall that is repeatedly thrown into my path toward understanding myself as a whole. So, who am I? When I say I am two-faced, I am not referring to the negative version of the term, which is most commonly described as being the type of person who would smile at you one moment and then stab you in the back as soon as it was turned. No. This isn’t me. I know that and you all, I’m hoping, know this too. I am kind, I am caring, I am loyal and I am compassionate. This, I know for a fact - I couldn’t intentionally hurt another person. I have killed before but my victims are primarily of the eight-legged variety and it’s usually done by way of a shoe or rolled-up newspaper - even so, if it’s within my capacity to do so, I’d sooner scoop them up and toss the spiders outside. But that’s pretty much the extent of the harm I could cause another living soul. I’m more inclined to help someone else if I can - especially in situations where the pain they are enduring is a common, familiar one. My conflict is with myself, basically. The much younger, child version of myself that is flat-out REFUSING to share with her older self what she knows/has been hiding for years. You see, these are two equally as powerful forces, despite the age difference - the adult is stronger in the sense that she’s already gone through a fair amount of healing. She understands the effects of sexual assault, whether it’s a constant thing or a one-time thing. She has facts to support her memories, she has a deep, accurate understanding of the aftermath, of the emotional roller-coaster that we, as survivors, are forced to ride. And then there is the child, who although she’s young and without the same level of understanding, she’s been working hard at being an impenetrable fortress of information; she’s managed to keep in place these enormous shields - and to keep them there for thirty-five years, give or take. She’s effectively locked away and kept things from people around her, from her parents, from her teachers, from psychiatrists, from friends, and even from her adult version, the single person she could likely trust the most, but still isn’t willing provide the key to at the moment. And for this great amount of time, she's stood her ground - doing whatever it was she needed to do in order to protect this information from whomever she felt the need to fortify it from. The right-now Capulet is whom you’re all familiar with. This is who you see, who you talk to, whom some of you converse with regularly. What you see is what you get. Right-now Capulet was raped at the age of 17. She can give you accurate details about that - for she remembers every single moment of that night where her world was shattered and everything came crashing down, every minute she laid on that cold, wooden floor, every second that took seemingly longer to pass than a mere second. She can tell you how that floor smelled, what was on the computer screen, she can tell you of the rusty barbells that were also on the floor, just out of her reach, and how she’d briefly considered using one to fend off her attacker. She can tell you how helpless, how defenseless she felt when she couldn't. And furthermore, she can tell you how this single event has absolutely everything to do with the person she’s become, nearly 22 years later. She is still more comfortable conversing online than she is in an in-person social setting, but is open to working on learning how to get through these hurdles in the near future. A lot of right-now Capulet's struggles are a culmination of being hearing impaired (especially the socially awkwardness) and having been sexually assaulted as a teenager, then dealing with a number of abusive situations on top of this - it all adds up. And then we’ve got the small child Capulet who, while she’s done a VERY good job of blocking out details that she knows are true, she’s had moments of weakness - evident only because the adult version has managed to obtain tiny little snippets and fragments that somehow seeped through these shields - perhaps they’re not untraversable as we originally thought they were. Or perhaps, throughout the years, they have weakened some or have otherwise lost some of its original strength, comparable to expired medicine. Either way, right-now Capulet is aware and further convinced of there being something of importance behind these shields. She knows it's likely ugly and thus the reason for these shields being there in the first place. Yet, she struggles with an insatiable need to know the truth, no matter how grisly it is and how damaging this information has the potential to be. Why, though? Aren't I doing well enough without these added bits and pieces to my already overflowing plate? I'll attempt to explain this before wrapping up this entry - been working on it for HOURS, already - my brain hurts. Thinking I'll go to Dunkin' for an iced latte. Or maybe not because it's raining and I don't desire to leave my house this morning. Either way, I'm rewarding myself with something sweet, something sugary, once I've posted this. I fucking deserve it, don't I? But anyway, here goes. I think that these little fragments - these little memory snippets that I can't make sense of right now, are pointing to something that although I'm without evidence, I can't completely ignore, either. Just as I couldn't overlook these signs if I saw them in someone else, particularly a child. These snippets/fragmented pieces that I AM privy to, are strong ones. Kind of while piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, you have to complete the outside border, first. I would say I have a fair amount of that border in place, but nothing in the middle. It's a whole lot of emptiness. Each of these broken memories I possess is a a piece here, a piece in the other corner over there, a piece in the middle of the bottom...etc. While they're different pieces in different locations, they're all a part of whatever the finished picture turns out to be. So right-now Capulet is sitting at the table, trying to get this puzzle completed. Small-child Capulet is not supplying the missing pieces, and although I've tried bribing her with the things I KNOW she loves, I've gotten nowhere in the acquisition of said pieces. Instead, it's 'HELLO, brick wall!' This kid has major skills, let me tell you. I've been at this puzzle for a long time, now, and have gotten nowhere. Another thing I struggle with that is likely contributing to my desire to get to the bottom of it all - I also want to know...(no, I NEED to know) - if anything having occurred in my childhood led to what I'd later on endure as a teenager - what kind of shaping/forming/grooming took place at such a young age? What happened to small-child Capulet that caused her to lock up and hold onto the key for a lifetime afterwards? And all of this is likely stuff that a therapist would get giddy over and likely see an opportunity for some major dollar signs. “Come to my office and we'll figure it out, we'll get some answers!” I’m sure they’d say in response to this blog, should they come across it. And I've actually just pictured the face of my old T...followed by a brief image of her clapping her hands. She used to clap in order to get my attention as a child. I remember not liking to look at her sometimes, and so she'd 'clap' or gently rap on the tabletop to get my attention so that she could speak to me. But sadly, I’m not in a comfortable enough financial situation to seek out a GOOD therapist. I've had the same aforementioned therapist twice. She met the small child version of me when I was approximately eight years old, as well as the adult version when I sought her out about ten years ago and I was going through a divorce. Both times, she's failed. I likely wouldn't have considered going to see her ten years ago, knowing she wasn't successful in breaching small child's walls, but I'd hoped that she had some memory or input that she could share with the adult version. She either did know some things that she wasn't comfortable sharing right away and maybe wanted me to work up to remembering at a slower pace rather than just dump all of this information on my already mounting reasons for concern, (and for this reason, I agreed to continued weekly sessions) OR she truly knew nothing - either way, I had some issues stemming from the dissolution of my marriage that she WAS in a small way, helpful with. But for these deeper, more pressing issues, she was proven ineffective and not helpful and I felt as if I was wasting money. And so, I stopped visiting her altogether. I still do have her email address and I've considered sharing some of my recent writings with her - just in case she does know something - but then again, maybe it's best that I not do so. She's one of those who would ask me to come in for a session and I don't feel I should have to pay for this information. And now, here I am. With the same concerns. Minus the marital problems - my current relationship is healthy, secure and wonderful - no complaints there. As far as I’m concerned, I AM my own therapist. Anything we’d do in a T’s office, I’m perfectly capable of doing on my own. I talk, sometimes too much. I write. Also too much at times. I think. If it helps me, who's to say that's a bad thing? I spend entirely too much time thinking, I believe that too, has been confirmed. However, none of these are unhealthy ways of coping. They're just what works for me. I also want it to be known that I am NOT in crisis. All this is just stuff that until recently, I’ve kept in the furthest confines, the deepest corners of my mental health closet - and I've recently come to open up this closet and begin searching for deeper meanings to these two sides...one side who wants to know everything and the other who wants to keep things suppressed and hidden. How do you get these two sides to work together? Is there some way to reach a compromise? What does small-child Capulet need, and from whom if not from the older, more knowledgeable version of herself?? I'm not sure anyone knows the answer to this, either. And so, I'm not sure who is going to win this ongoing tug-of-war battle. The adult will pull and pull, and ultimately grow weary and tired. Then the small child, who's got a comparable amount of strength, will pull back, by way of solidifying these shields until SHE'S tired or otherwise feels safe. This game may go on for several more years. Possibly for the rest of my life. While it's way easy to look up cheat codes for some of the console games I play, this isn't something I can search for a shortcut on, there are no guides that I can follow, no secret twists and turns or jumps that will catapult me onto the other side of those shields. I'm stuck on this level and I'm not seeing a way to get through it. And for that reason, I feel defeated. And now, I'm going for that coffee, even if I make a cup in the kitchen. Not feeling Dunkin'. - Capulet
  12. Thank you for the very kind words, @riverkid. I think my biggest struggle right now is getting both my brain and heart on the same page...the adult me certainly being a representation of a heart opening up to whatever the brain (the child) has to offer - I fear that because I've been negligent of what other stuff was hidden away for so long, perhaps the brain has decided that it's going to be buried forever. Maybe I'm stuck on the idea that the two have to be synonymous but perhaps they don't and as you've said, there's the right time for everything. It is indeed frustrating but little by little, I am revisiting what I do remember and peeling away layer by layer, trying to uncover everything so that the adult me can fill in some of the blanks - I'm pretty sure a lot of the stuff I'm not remembering has to do with the person I am now as an adult - and my heart truly wants to make peace with it all. I thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts - I wish you all the best in your healing journey as well. - Capulet
  13. ***Please skip this if you're generally uncomfortable with talk of periods, bleeding, medical procedures involving the female reproductive system. I'm trying to make this mild and non-triggering but you just never know. So proceed with caution!*** Okay, guys, I'm nervous. Ain't gonna lie, I'm seriously trying to swallow the lump in the back of my throat, with my new doctor's name on it. If the roles were reversed, I'd probably be the one saying, "it'll be all right, it's gonna be uncomfortable for a few minutes, but then it'll be over with...your health is more important than being nervous or scared for a little while..." But when it comes to applying these pearls of wisdom to myself, it's an entirely different ball game. I don't want to get into extreme detail about my female woes; some of these details are just plain disgusting, so in summary - when I have a regular period, it's not pretty. Not that monthly menses ever is, but mine are absolutely ridiculous. And since having my children, they seemingly became worse. And so when my daughter was young, I consulted with a local 'vagician' (we may thank my darling daughter for this alternate, creative term for a gynecologist - it's seemingly stuck and I now refer to these doctors as 'vagicians' only) and she put me on birth control. Obviously, my reasons for being on BC is NOT to prevent pregnancy, as for the last ten years, I've had relations with only a female and I'm not worried about conceiving. My reasons for starting the pill was to regulate/control monthly periods. And for the last several years (I want to say five or six years) the pill I was taking daily was working BEAUTIFULLY. I wasn't HAVING a period. I'd take this DELIGHTFUL little white pill every day and I spent more on the prescription than I did on Tampax. And my GOD, it was the best, BEST thing, EVER... But I ran into a birth-control snafu last year. Almost exactly a year ago, in fact, right smack in the middle of my move from New York to Pennsylvania. In the midst of the move, I forgot to take a pill. It might have happened twice. This wouldn't be the first time I've forgotten to take a pill, but it was the most unforgiving, indeed. I tried to get back on track, but since messing up once or twice, I began to experience spotting. This wasn't the once a week kind of spotting - this was more like every single fucking DAY kind of spotting. It increased with activity, too. Then, when I thought it had stopped, it would start again within a day or two. I couldn't catch a break...this went on for literally months. And to top it off, I wasn't near my regular vagician anymore. And my insurance was no longer the same, and we were in the process of changing everything over....and I didn't have a CLUE where to go in my new surroundings. I kept telling myself - it'll correct itself...just give it time... When it continued, I stopped taking the pills, thinking that maybe my body needed a 'reset.' I had enough for the next six months, and so I threw away the "pill wheel" I was working on at the moment and planned to start again at the start of my next period two months ahead - I'd allow my body to have a normal (abnormal) cycle, then I'd start taking the BC the following month. Hopefully I'd get things 'fixed.' My spotting stopped. EVERYTHING stopped. I got a regular period a month later and was reminded once again, WHY I became so reliant on these BC pills. Still, knowing that I'd go back to my pill-taking regimen that I knew would eventually control it, I endured it. I loathed every minute of it, I envisioned throwing my uterus, my cervix, my fallopian tubes, everything involved in the female reproductive system, out the window - what the hell did I need 'em for, anyway???? I'm almost 40, I'm DONE with baby making. I don't need my eggs anymore. I could sell them. I'd donate them if I could. But I certainly don't need one released every month anymore, there's NO way they're going to ever be fertilized. So I grumpily went through that time of month, every single day swearing up and down every time I went to the bathroom to remove and replace a saturated tampon. The first couple days of a period (while not on BC) are usually crampy in general - days 2-4 are the heaviest and then it will taper off on the fourth or fifth day. Usually. The following month came along. I started the pills again on day one. Of course, I had another ridiculous period but this was to be expected. It lasted the usual 4-5 days. And now because my body had to become re-acquainted with these pills, the spotting was back. But upon looking up the side effects of this medication, I knew to expect that, especially for the first few weeks. But then the weeks became months. I'd been waiting patiently for my body to 'take' to the pills again, I hadn't forgotten to take any, I'd been taking them every morning. Yet, the spotting never stopped. And, again, with increased physical activity, came increased spotting. Again, I felt that I couldn't catch a break. My uterus hated me and I didn't know why. My J had been saying for weeks already, "I think it's time to get checked out." I'd been saying, "yeah, it'll correct itself, that's what it says online!" But deep down, I knew it probably wouldn't, it would have already if it was ever going to. So, this prompted my visit to the vagician two Mondays ago. J made me the appointment and although I didn't want to go, I begrudgingly went. Although I understand that at this point, something had to give. Prior to visiting this new doctor, I once again stopped taking the pills and discarded whatever was left in that month's supply - since I knew that stopping was likely the only way to stop the spotting. And it did. Leads me to believe that the pills simply aren't working for me anymore. Or something else is going on with me that is causing these pills to be obsolete. The doctor gave me my (two years' overdue) pap, did the breast exam...we then discussed the pills I'd been taking and he suggested the depo shot - once every three months...won't have to remember to take any pills, I will just have to remember to go in every three months for a new shot. Which I'll gladly do if it helps manage the monthly discomfort. "I'd also like to send you for bloodwork." He said, "Just to make sure your hormone levels are okay and if the shot is indeed the best option for you." "Sure." (Now I'm NOT good at bloodwork in general - that's another blog for another day - but in short, needles being anywhere in my inner elbow makes me panic, my BP to spike and overall, I lose my shit...I instead direct the phlebotomist to the back of my hand where my level of anxiety over bloodwork is usually lessened - and if they can, they'll oblige.) "And I'd also like to schedule a mammogram..." I knew this was coming. Bring on the 40's, bring on the obligatory booby-squishies every year. This isn't as invasive as having paps, though, on a scale of 1-10, ten being the most uncomfortable, I'd put annual mammos at number four and paps at a nine. "Yep." I've got a cousin who DIED at age 41 due to breast cancer. So this is something I KNOW I'm not going to fuck around with. So the mammogram appointment wasn't as concerning as what he'd want next. "Okay, and then I'd like a trans-vaginal ultrasound...to check for fibroids." Hooooold the phone...what?? I must have looked at him funny because he further explained that in order to confirm that the depo shots were the best form of BC, he had to run some tests and make sure that my abnormal periods (when I had them) were not being caused by any other condition. I guess that made sense. I left the office. Went straight to the lab, got my blood drawn from the back of my hand, as requested. Check!!! Then the radiology building was across the way - dropped in over there, made appointments for the ultrasound and the mammogram for later on that week. Check! I went home feeling, gee, I accomplished a lot in one day - it was a nice feeling. For a little while. I then spent the next few days dreading the ultrasound and wanting it over with. The ultrasound and mammogram were scheduled as back-to-back appointments and so they too would be dealt with in one combined visit. I agonized over the ultrasound more, naturally, mostly because of the location of this particular test, as well as it being an internal exam to boot. Surprisingly, when the day came for the mammogram and ultrasound, I would discover that although the ultrasound is indeed a bit invasive, it was NOT as uncomfortable as the pap I'd had in the doctor's office. The technician was a female. She gave me a sheet to cover myself with and treated me with professionalism, respect and considering the nature of the test she was about to perform, her demeanor was overall calming. I needed this. I'd put the Ultrasound at a six or seven, based on this. Went home proud of myself for having done everything asked of me at this point. All done!!!!! And I'd managed to deal with it all, process it all, as well as bring myself to these appointments without having to be dragged - may not seem as big an accomplishment to most, but for me, it's big. I've been told I need to follow up with my primary care doctor because my BP was found to be 'elevated' (gee, I wonder why) and I'm also due for a regular wellness check with a new doctor - one that I do have as appointed by insurance company, but also one I've not met yet. Later, though. This isn't a priority right now. It SHOULD be, yes, but it's not. A dentist visit is also on the horizon - and the same situation applies - I don't have one of those, either! I'm pretty sure I'm going to get scolded for the shape my teeth are in and the fact that I've not had a cleaning in five years. I don't do very well with the dentist, either but I'm guessing this is common among survivors and non-survivors alone. It's something I'll work on, eventually, I guess....but the best way for me to deal with these medical things is one at a time. Piece by piece. Little by little. And apparently, the vagician is not finished with me, yet. He called on the same day I had my ultrasound...several hours later, in fact. J spoke to him on the phone, there was a lot of 'okay, so when can she come in for that?' as well as other things that ultimately meant to me that we weren't as finished as I thought I was. J hung up and then told me that he had called to say that the results didn't show any existing conditions (which is a good thing) but he still would like to determine why I have abnormal periods and rule out endometriosis as well as a couple other things that I really didn't care enough to ask for clarification on. I'm stuck on what he said first - he now wants to do a biopsy/DNC before I get my next period as a final test prior to prescribing the depo shot, which would need to be administered on the day my next menses begins. I'd likely feel some period-like cramps and some discomfort for a few days after the procedure, but he'd be able to run some further tests... ...a biopsy. I don't even like THAT word. A sample..?? Fine. A specimen? Ehhh, that's fine too. A BIOPSY??? Are you TRYING to give me a heart attack or is that a natural reaction to the word for everyone else too?? "Oh, hell, no," was the first thing I said when J finished relaying the message to me. J's saying she'll go with me and hold my hand through this but even so...what? Why can't you just go by what you're seeing in the bloodwork, the ultrasound and just give me the stupid shots???? I know what a DNC is and I don't want that shit, I don't want to relinquish a piece of my uterine lining, my cervix, I want it all to stay where it is and where the good Lord intended for it all to be. I did the bloodwork they asked for...that came back fine. I did the mammogram, which although uncomfortable, I knew was necessary. And then I did the trans-vaginal ultrasound which came back showing nothing concerning. Why can't we leave me alone, now???? So while I went to the first appointment on my own and to the lab on my own and finally to the mammogram and ultrasound on my own, this is increasingly becoming an appointment I have to be dragged to. And J is willing to do that, for she's more worried about this shit than I am. The appointment is currently set for next Tuesday, but we realized that J has to work on next Tuesday and likely wouldn't be able to make sure I show up at the doctor's office to have this procedure done. She knows as well as I do that I'm more likely to say, 'screw it...I'm not coming." And so she asked me last night for the doctor's phone number - she would reschedule for three days later - for Friday next week, since that's her day off. And she'd go with me and we'd go to lunch afterwards. It all sounds great but I'm stuck on what the procedure entails, I can't see past that right now. So after I moaned and groaned about all of the above for a half-an-hour last night, J eventually said: "Sometimes we just have to put on our big-girl panties and go do what we need to do..." Me, in the middle of my meltdown: "But how am I gonna put them on if he keeps asking me to take them OFF?" I got the "only you" head shake, followed by the much-needed laugh. Yeah, only me. For now, I'm trying not to agonize over this. I seriously would like for one appointment to STAY one appointment. None of this, 'let's get some labs' or 'let's check this out' or 'let's take a look at that' shit. If it's not broken, don't fix it. That's always been my motto, and deep down, I DO know that things break for unseen reasons and they have to be 'investigated.' Never said I liked it, though. And if this is all a preview of what life after 40 looks like, I've got some adjustments to make when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to medical stuff. Still nervous. Still more scared than I'll ever be able to verbally admit to anyone. But I'm also working on being honest with myself with what I'm feeling, as well as with others who ask me what's going through my mind at any given time, rather than shrug it off and say 'nothing.' And writing these things down is the most effective means of doing that...so thank you in advance if you've made it this far. In closing, I hope that my American friends have a safe, happy 4th of July!!! I'll be using the holiday as a distraction from the events that will likely take place next week - it's all I can do right now. - Capulet
  14. Thank you @Free2Fly, safe hugs back!
  15. It’s time to smile. I know a lot of things you’ve seen from me have been deeper, more serious stuff, so here’s something light for today. I have a funny story for you guys to enjoy. This morning, J and I were in a dead sleep. She was planning to be up early-ish this morning for a work thing, and I was also planning to be up so that I could get a head start on drinking a 32-oz bottle of water prior to having an ultrasound done at 11. Alarm was set for 8am. That wasn’t what woke us, though. Okay, so, there we are - we’re sleeping. Snoring, perhaps. Either way, we were OUT. And, in my sleep, I feel my back being pushed. I hear nothing, of course. I open my eyes a bit and see that sunlight has begun to seep into the bedroom through the blinds. And I smell…something. Doesn’t smell bad, but it’s not something I’m used to smelling first thing in the morning. It was NOT the unmistakeable scent of freshly brewed coffee but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant, either. It was just plain unidentifiable given having just woke up. I turn over (major belly sleeper here) and there is my daughter, with this cheshire cat grin. She’s holding a plate overflowing with scrambled eggs. Ahhh. Brain and nose made a connection right about there. “I made you guys breakfast!” She’s proud of herself. “I texted you to tell you.” “Huh? What did you do?” I jumped up out of bed. The first thoughts that ran through my mind were 1) What the hell time is it?? 2) Are we dreaming? And 3) Considering the daughter NEVER cooks unsupervised, what does my KITCHEN look like right now? I checked my phone for the time. It read “5:49am.” Additionally, there was a text message from the daughter, sent 10 minutes earlier, letting me know that she was making us breakfast. J also got a text. However, neither of us was awake to receive these texts. And if you already know what my sleep habits are, you know as well as I do that 6am is still considered to be the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT for me. I groaned. I’d JUST laid down at around 2:30am. Not blaming the daughter for my lack of sleep...I know that's entirely on me...but now I was posed with another question. “Did YOU even go to sleep at all last night?” I’d gone to say good night to her around 2am. She’d been face-timing with one of her school friends and I’d told her THEN to go to sleep. She waved me off, saying she would. But as it is summer vacation, I am not as strict about when she needs to go to bed. And so, I left her in her room and turned in….but, now, I’m thinking I should be a little more adamant on when her bedtime is - a little later in the summer, but still no later than eleven or twelve, the absolute latest. This staying up all night shit - that’s MY thing. Out of all the things I could ever inspire my child to do, I wouldn’t want that to be one of them. “Nope!” She was a little too cheery. And again, she’s holding up this plate of food she’d just prepared. “Oh, hell, no!” I said. I might have been prepared to unleash a string of obscenities along the lines of “You need to go to SLEEP when I tell you to go to sleep! You’re not supposed to be sitting up all night! (I know, I know, pot calling the kettle black!) What the fuck were you thinking, coming upstairs at this hour and cooking without help!? What if something had happened in the kitchen, what if you’d cut or burned yourself?…” And a whole bunch of other things that sleep deprivation would have certainly inspired. But, instead, I quickly bit every corner of my tongue and stopped myself. Ya see, she’s standing there holding the plate of (seven!) eggs. Smiling. She’s proud of herself. And, if I’ve learned anything about parenthood…it’s as follows. When your child brings you something they hand-drawn or hand-made, you hang it up or display it, even if it looks like the equivalent of a two-year-old’s scribblings or something made with cracked, drying Play-Doh. If your child is ACTUALLY two, you’re to tell them it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen and you think it belongs on display in a museum. When your child wrecks something accidentally, you stifle any and all of your feelings of sadness, anger, or that are otherwise unfavorable, and tell them with a smile so forced that it looks real, that it’s okay - it wasn’t as important to you and can be replaced. Even if it was passed down several generations and is truly lost. Kids are generally destructive and chances are it’s your own damn fault for leaving whatever it was within the kid’s reach in the first place. And when your child makes you seven scrambled eggs at 5:45am, you get up and eat it. Even if you’re not hungry. Even if you’re slightly annoyed at the hour. Even if your kid makes you something that closely resembles animal vomit, you eat it and hope it tastes a hell of a lot better than it looks…you also hope they didn’t use anything that was on its way to spoiling because kids aren’t known to check the expiration date on the refrigerator contents when they’re in the mood to be creative. And so, while J stifled her laughter into her pillow, I ate the eggs, trying to hide my “WTF” face in between forkfuls. J had a few bites, too. Several hours later, I’m happy to report that the eggs stayed down, they were actually cooked very well and that although this spontaneous meal resulted in us being super-tired today, it made a pre-teen genuinely happy. She went to bed after we ate (at about six-thirty in the morning, she was apparently wide awake all night long but still overtired enough to drift off to sleep as soon as breakfast was served) and I first surveyed the kitchen to make sure nothing was on fire before putting the milk she’d left out on the counter away and then attempting to try and go back to sleep. However, we were unable to do so and our day started at 7am. And so, today, I’m tired. We both are, actually. Tonight, the daughter goes to bed at 11. I have already informed her of this. Additionally, I told her that as much as we appreciated breakfast this morning (we otherwise would likely NOT have eaten anything at all before work/appointments) and as much as we LOVED that she wanted to surprise us, to please make 8am the earliest time breakfast is served. We are not morning people in this house. On that note, I also gotta say that the kid who woke us up this morning is the same kid who REFUSES to wake up when she has to get ready for school. What the hell is that? I literally wake her for school at 6:10, which is LATER than the time she woke us this morning. I usually start by walking into her room (with shoes on, of course, because if I’m not careful, I end up stepping on whatever she leaves on the floor the night before) and I’ll start pulling out and rearranging the pillows from underneath her head to the back of the bed. I pull down the blanket, thinking the fan being on will give her a chill and she’ll get up. Nope. She’ll instead pull the blanket back up. I’ll holler her name in 20-second intervals, followed by, “GET UP!” or “If you’re not up in five seconds, you’re losing your iPad.” Or “Okay, iPad belongs to me, now. Wanna lose your phone? Get UP!” Nada. I’m not sure if it’s the frantic “YOU HAVE TEN MINUTES TO GET DRESSED, BRUSH YOUR HAIR AND GET OUT THE DOOR!” that does it, but she’s not missed her bus ONCE this past school year. Yet, when I can get a few hours of extra sleep, she’s waking me up at 5:45 in the morning with scrambled eggs. Hope everyone's having a blessed day. Best wishes. - Capulet
  16. Normally I hate the rain.  It's gloomy, it's murky, it's depressing.  But today, I welcome it - it's given me a chance to reconnect with myself a little bit.  Not in a bad way, though.  It's just me, by myself, alone.  Without interruptions.  

    Let God cry today so  that I don't have to.

    Anyone else?

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Capulet


      Where's the thumbs-up button?  I guess we don't have one, here.  But yes, agreed - I needed some quiet, today!  Hope you are doing well, @pattyr.  

    3. pattyr


      Thanks, @Capulet.  I am doing okay, taking some comfort in some food, and reading AS to feel not alone.  Not raining where I am, but kind of grey out, has a bit of that feeling.  I  hope you are doing well too.

    4. Capulet


      Yes.  I feel productive, I had the time today to do some writing that I'd been otherwise delaying and procrastinating on.  I also did my fair share of reading/connecting with others.  Keeps the mind busy.

      I feel good having done do.  Thank you for checking in. :) 

  17. Hello im new!

    Hello, @Hushbunny and welcome to AS. This is SUCH a great place to be; there is always an overflowing of support and kindness. I hope that being here brings you tons of support as well as the inner comfort and peace you seek. I too am dealing with stuff that happened 30+ years ago, as well as some more recent issues. I am also a terrible sleeper so am mostly here in the evenings, LOL...when I should be focusing on the inside of my eyelids, I'm often keeping myself occupied with other things! Please feel free to drop a line if you'd ever like to talk privately. My box is always open. Again, welcome...and best wishes. Capulet
  18. @Kmkz, Yes - most folks stuck on the outer edges for me, too. I truly believe you get what I'm saying. It's not something I'm proud to admit about myself - that I am capable of being so untrusting but I also have to cut myself (and others like me) some slack because there's a reason I'm this way; a reason that is not my fault, but at the same time, I have to learn to get around. And I know this also applies to others...having this mutual understanding is helpful, though... I rather like the maze and tunnel reference - it reminds me of the old Jim Henson flick, 'Labyrinth.' The storyline/plot is completely fictional and more kid-oriented but if I remember correctly, there's a fortress situated at the very center, and there's a series of turns, twists, drops, climbs, etc in order to get to the middle. Just like any other maze, one wrong turn can land someone back at the very beginning, no matter how far they've come. And then when it gets super difficult, sometimes people realize that they're getting nowhere and give up entirely. (And believe it or not, this is yet another 'test.') I do have to agree that without realizing it, I, too grant people these small shortcuts based on their responses to little snippets that I have been comfortable enough to share. If someone responds in a negative manner or a way that I'm not comfortable with, it's back to the beginning for them, or in my case, a new, more difficult wall to break through than the previous. Lately, there are a small handful of 'new' friends/acquaintences who have entered my 'maze,' to include my sister-in-law...people who USED to be strictly confined to the outside edges. And as I gaze at what's out there from the comfort zone of my fortress, I have to prepare myself for what I'll learn about others in the process. I'm just hoping for more surprises than disappointments. - Cap
  19. Greetings friends, Here's hoping that June is wrapping up nicely for you all! It has been an absolutely insane month between trying to get the back yard finished, my son's high school graduation, the end of the school year for all students, having yet another handyman/contractor show up to install a transfer switch for our new generator (our VERY early Christmas present from Oompa) as well as a ceiling fan in our family room so that we don't melt this summer. And I also got the ball rolling (with J's help) on making my first doctor's appointment in the state of Pennsylvania. Side note: I'm TERRIBLE with doctors, guys. TERRIBLE. I've been sick a small handful of times since we moved here eleven months ago. I've changed insurances two times but STILL have not gone to a single physician, primary care or otherwise. ('otherwise' is the reason for tomorrow's 10am appointment) I don't know if this is the norm for everyone. Yes, I am well aware that NO one likes the doctor or going to visit but I sadly admit that in the past several years, I've gone out of my way to avoid anyone with "M.D." after their names. Dentists, too. While my health is slowly improving due to diet and lifestyle changes that I've initiated without a doctor's recommendation, I've got other, separate issues that I've been ignoring because they're not an emergency and I'm not experiencing any discomfort that I can't live with. This won't do, though - I'm smart enough to know and realize that this is by no means a permanent solution. Over the past several months, I've had some uncomfortable and unfavorable side effects to the birth control medications I'd been taking for years, now - so it's time for a GYN exam/re-evaluation of whether or not this medication is still good for me or it's time to find something else. This will require a physical examination, I'm sure, as well as a breast exam, a pelvic...and to top all that off, this is a NEW doctor that I've never seen before, and even better (not really) - it's a male doctor. Honestly, aside from not being able to live with one, I have nothing against men. There are some fine, upstanding men in my life that I love very much. However, from a medical perspective, I don't care if my dentist is a male. I don't even care if my PCP is a male. I don't care if I go to the ER with a mysterious onset of symptoms, chances are you'll get whoever's able to handle your needs first. But if someone's going to be poking around in the nether regions, it'd damn well BETTER be a female! However, I'm not getting my way this time around. The situation I'm having right now with irregular spotting/bleeding needs to be handled NOW (I've had enough) and the female doctor in the office is not available until August. And so I'll suck it up and go visit the male doctor, but will INSIST upon having a female nurse present during the exam. There usually is one, though, so this helps me not to lose my shit over this and focus more on resolving this medication issue and for future appointments, I can always switch to the female as she'll be available for the next visit. Anyway - let's move on. (chorus: "Yes, please!") So...recently, I've had some things come up that have made me question how I come across to others. It's also made me question myself, in some ways. I don't blame myself for the REASONS I am who I am, but I wonder if, along the way, I should have made more of an effort to be a different TYPE of person, overall. A different version of me that others see. Yes, I know....you all have your "HUH?" faces on right about now? As I attempt to explain this, I don't want to get into extremes because in order to do so, I'd have to share personal background information about certain family members that I don't feel that should be put out there by me. So I will do the best I can whilst omitting incriminating details. There was a misunderstanding about three weeks ago, between myself and a few of my in-laws. I WILL say that two of these in-laws (J's parents) are NOT supportive nor do they approve of my long-lived relationship with J, but it is for religious reasons - as a person, they like me, or so they say...but as J's partner/lover, they do not. I have repeatedly felt that they hold J's decision to move away from them against me - for I, at this point, represent to them her choice to leave her family behind in pursuit of love as well as a better life for herself. I often wonder if this sits in the back of their head, even though J made this decision on her own...every time they see me, are they consumed with a level of hidden animosity toward me and this prevents them from truly liking me? Whether they do like me as a person is true or not, I really don't care at this point, but let's be real - who wants to be disliked or given the feeling that they're not accepted in EVERY aspect? I certainly don't, and I don't know if this stems from an early desire to people-please but deep down, the two-facedness of J's parents bothers me a GREAT deal and it has for years. Regardless, they are her parents and I respectfully keep a distance whenever they are around or we go visit them. I do not believe in their religion, but know that it truly makes them uncomfortable to see me slide a hand around J's waist or hold her hand, or peck her on the lips as I walk by...and so whenever in their company, I find it more effective to just sit across a room or excuse myself entirely so that they can feel comfortable visiting with their daughter without me around. It's not as if they attempt to engage me in conversation, either - when they do, it's simply small talk. They have made absolutely NO efforts to get to know me on a deeper level - I don't think they even know J as well as they would like to think - so I don't take it personally. I am comfortable just keeping that rift in place; although we are polite to one another and we engage in simple, meaningless chit-chat and kiss hello and goodbye, there is always going to be that unspoken understanding between her parents and I. It's unfortunate that it has to be this way, but it's something I simply don't know how to fix nor do I know if its within my capability to do so seeing as they're not only drinking the Kool-Aid, they're also SWIMMING in it. Now, one of J's sisters is another story. She has always been an ally to us, a very strong supporter of our relationship. She's always been the OPPOSITE of their parents. And before I came along, she was J's 'person.' J felt comfortable going to this sister for emotional support, for advice, for whatever at all she needed. And resultedly, they became EXTREMELY close. She, too, misses J a great deal, and even though she's been living away from the rest of her family for nine years, will sometimes comment on how she wishes that we lived closer to all of them - I'm sure J wouldn't mind cutting the trip back home by a few hours, but for me, that'd be a HUGE no-no based on the cold shoulder I'm used to receiving from the parents. And they currently live WITH her sister, so lately, I've felt myself detaching even MORE and allowing J to go visit them all (her parents and sister) and I'd stay home so that she would not have to hear me moan and groan about how uncomfortable I am and how much I want to go home - this usually starts about ten to fifteen minutes after we arrive. It's not fair to J to have to feel pressured or rushed while visiting her family, and so it's just better this way - it's better for me to stay behind so that she feels less pressure, less tension when she's in their company. I'm not sure if this is doing us any favors in the end, though. Here's a short summary of what happened. Recently, J underwent a medical procedure (no further details needed here other than that) - and there was a miscommunication between J and her family and somehow, her sister's claws came out and she lashed out at me because she felt that I wasn't handling the situation in a manner that was acceptable to her. She said some horrible things to me through Facebook messaging and came at me with some OTHER things that were nothing less than surprising to hear, coming from someone I thought was on our side. I'm not sure where THOSE comments came from, but basically, I'm wondering if her sister has also been two-faced all along...because yes, while a lot of things are said in anger that aren't necessarily true, there's always an element, no matter how small, of truth to it. People don't say things that they don't truly believe in the smallest way, so now I'm left with a lot of underlying, leftover stray, random thoughts that are strengthening this rift that was put into place by her parents. At the time when J's sister got nasty with me, I responded in kind. Actually, I wasn't nasty, nor was I rude - but I WAS firm and I defended myself - I simply told her MY perspective on the whole thing and she seemingly backed off - she ended her part of the conversation with "I'm sorry, I just love my sister so much and if I can't be there, I expect YOU to be." It was something along those lines, something indicative of her belief that I would actually allow the love of my life to be without ANYTHING that she needed as she underwent this treatment. And so, I shot back, "I've been loving and taking care of your sister for the last ten years, almost. I'm not stopping now." And it ended there...no resolution, no making nice, just a dropped conversation. I was SEETHING, though. I mean...what the fuck!? Never in my life have I mistreated someone, especially someone I've been in a relationship with. I've never cheated on a partner - having been repeatedly cheated on by the wasband, other partners in the past, I'd never dare to do that to someone I loved. I've never been abusive nor have I raised my hand to another person, except in dreams...and many of you will remember that I have trouble doing that even in my dreams. Sure, J and I have got our occasional moments where we bicker but it's NEVER been a full-on fight. We are soul mates in every sense of the word...I've never done a thing to deserve what was said to me, and I truly felt blindsided - I think that's really the gist of why I felt so frazzled afterwards. J had her medical procedure done, which lasted one week. During that week, I had many, MANY conversations with her. I really didn't want to share what was said to me by her sister/family before she had the procedure done as not to add any stress to her already overflowing plate, but she knew something was bothering me before the procedure and all plans to wait on discussing it went out the window. Honestly, it would have likely made things worse if we had saved these conversations for later. They couldn't be delayed without mounting anxiety in the meantime...and so I shared with her the messages, to include my responses. I was completely honest with her about everything that was said, as well as everything I was feeling. Her sister had made a lot of comments that had led me to believe that she'd been misunderstanding J for a long time, as well - I simply couldn't understand where some of these horrible things CAME from! Side note - J's parents and sister were invited to the Son's graduation party to be held at our house. Prior to this 'falling out,' they were planning to come. After all was said and hurt feelings and shit being slung from every corner, I wasn't sure they'd still come but they did tell J that they were still attending. Now, her parents, I knew from before, would never change. We're still going to have those uncomfortable, awkward moments - because that's what we've established at this point. It is what it is with them. But her sister was also coming and SHE's the one I am having the most issue with at the moment. My son's party was going to be the first time I'd seen or heard from her sister since this incident, and nothing had been resolved nor any apologies made, nor any attempts made to set things right. I wasn't approaching her - because I feel I did my part and what she did, she did unnecessarily and it was completely uncalled for. And so J had a conversation with her sister on the morning of the party. They called to let J know that they were on the road and asked if we'd like to meet them fro breakfast. I declined because I still had a lot of setting up to do and couldn't get away, but J got dressed and went to go meet them. She was also tasked with speaking with her sister beforehand and letting her know that this was NOT the time for continued awkwardness or an argument - it was my Son's graduation celebration and I wasn't going to be made to feel uncomfortable or angry by anyone. This was a day to marvel in the Son's accomplishments, enjoy the company of the people who came to share in it - there was much to be discussed but now wasn't the time nor place. When J's sister arrived, she came in first, ahead of J and their parents. Without a word, she took my hand and brought me into the bedroom. There, she apologized for what she said to me and explained that a lot of her behavior stems from her feelings of helplessness - being four hours' drive away from J was taking a toll. When J called to let them know that she had to get the procedure done, she had been upset and as a result, her sister's protective side took over - she didn't understand the full picture and so she prematurely lashed out, thinking I wasn't upholding my end of what needed to be done. I told her I, too, was sorry - not for what I said to defend myself, but if I'd somehow given her the impression that I was in any way abandoning J's needs or coming across as being selfish because that indeed is not the person I am. And I also said that while I expected that sort of comment to come from their MOTHER, it was extremely hurtful to even think she'd (her sister) think that low of me after knowing me for nine and a half years. Her sister looked me in the eyes and told me that I, too, was her sister. She loved me, she lost her mind momentarily and her claws would have come out for me too, if there ever were a situation where I needed defending. (And I think this is another 'issue' that needs addressing at a later time - J is a grown woman and can certainly defend herself if she felt the need to do so...and from our talks on this matter, J has never felt the need to do so with me - it looks more to be an internal issue that her sister is having...for the duty of being J's 'person' is no longer hers - perhaps she's having trouble with that and it has also caused her to lash out on me - because I didn't 'do' things the way she would have, etc...) J's sister ended this five-minute conversation apologizing once again and then saying that she would like for us to become closer. She'd like for us to talk once per week, through text or through FB. She'd like for us to truly get to know one another, beyond the hellos, goodbyes and small talk - which admittedly while I am more comfortable being affectionate toward J when her sister is around than her parents, I STILL don't feel I quite fit in there, either. What happened has certainly driven that wedge further, but we made 'nice' for the moment, which is what I needed to happen in order to start moving forward. There is still some work and reparations to be done/made as far as this relationship I have with J's sister, but it's made me think about OTHER relationships that exist in my life. Relationships with family members, with my parents, with my sisters, with my children, with the wasband, with friends, with people I've met here. The list goes on. A little statistic for those factoid-lovers out there - on average, us humans live for 78.3 years. Most of us remember people we meet after age 5. So, let's assume we interact with 3 new people daily in cities, 365 days in a year plus leap yeas days is 365.24. In total it will be (78.3 – 5) x 3 x 365.24 = 80,000 people we interact with in a lifetime. Let's also assume that at least 20% of these people are ones whose names we know, who we remember beyond that first meeting. That still comes out to be a pretty big number of people. It's made me think about myself a lot, too. About the walls I put up...(I think the POTUS would be proud.) These walls have been up for a long, long time, I'm guessing. I have such a hard time allowing people through...I am picturing this as I type...there's a HUGE wall, possibly two or three football fields' width, with a single door somewhere in the middle. Some people have made me aware that they've been running into, driving into, attempting to jump over it, even trying to dig underneath it...but can't seem to get through that tiny little doorway enough to say that they TRULY know me. And, you know...this isn't their fault - it's the way I've intended for it to be - all the while I've had the key and means to allow people in. Right now, after the events that have transpired recently, the only one who is behind this wall and has one hundred percent of my heart, soul and trust, is J. She's inside this wall, and she's sitting next to me and we're surrounded by this enormous amount of open space. I am imagining though that while I like that well enough, it's still a lonely place - because between the presence of this wall and the amount of time it's been up, I'm at risk of ending up alone later in life. Because as much as I don't want to imagine this ever happening - I have to be realistic and remember that ANYTHING can happen that could result in a break-up or separation. This is NOT to say this is something I am concerned with right now because J's and my love is a strong one, perhaps even stronger than these walls - but I have to repeatedly ask myself - hypothetically, what if someday, she wasn't there anymore? Then what? Where would that leave me, standing in the middle of this huge, empty space? I know that I have been able to scale J's walls but her sister has been behind her wall before me, so if something were to happen to me resulting in my death, I know that moving forward, J would be okay - she has another rock situated there for life. Me, though? She's it. I love her with everything I am and if life could guarantee that she's going to be there for the rest of my life, this wouldn't even be a thought. But it can't. And I've been working so hard and for so long to make sure she's the only one there. I'm not sure if this is more harmful than helpful, though. Not even my mother has breached this wall. She can't figure out why, and she's expressed many times a frustration over not being able to 'reach' me but, well...that's just too bad. She's too much of a pain in the ass to even WANT inside this wall. My two children are stationed at the imaginary doorway - if not sitting on top of this wall. I only say this because while I trust my children completely, there are still things they do not know about me and that I've not been able to share with them in regards to my life and my past. I still feel the need to shield them from these details because as their mother, my wish is to spare them some of the grisly details that may otherwise and unnecessarily upset them. Nothing can be done about these things right now, firstly - and secondly, even though the Son is about to turn 18, he's still in many ways a child. The daughter is just 11, she's not ready to see past the doorway just yet. And so they are granted access to the 'inside' by default because of them being 'permanent' fixtures in my life. Nothing short of death will eject them from my heart - and should they, one day, approach me and ask me about my past or for details, I'd be okay with sharing them - but they'd have to ask for them. I also feel the need to mention that with each time I've been burned by someone, a layer is added to this wall, to solidify it. I think it's all measured in invisible 'materials,' if that makes sense. For example, if someone were to lie to me or break my trust in a minor way that can be eventually moved past, and otherwise apologized for, I'll certainly forgive them but won't be able to help adding a 'dirt layer' in front of my wall that they'll have to spend some time cleaning up/digging to get through, but will eventually be able to find this doorway and try again. If someone were to cheat on me though? A wall made of steel will come crashing down in front of these people and they're not guaranteed to get through this one in this same lifetime. The wasband is currently behind THIS wall - I've forgiven him his infidelities, though - because without having burned me this way, I would not have found my true soulmate. And so, the only reason he remains behind this steel wall and I haven't banished him into an entirely different universe reserved for those I never want to associate with again, is because of the children we share, that love him very much. Between dirt and steel, we also have brick, glass, etc to measure the different strengths of wall required for that 20% of the 80,000 people I'll meet in my lifetime to pass. So, along with the idea of working with my sister-in-law in future weeks, months, years to come, I'm now wondering if I should further open this make-believe (solidified, of course) door, and see who's still trying to get in and who's given up by now. Do these persistent people deserve a chance? Do I need to work on making room (although I think it's a matter of FILLING space rather than making room) in my heart for others by opening up a little bit more and loosening some of these self-inflicted barriers? I've spent a fair amount of time collecting trust - I am told that I'm an easy person to trust - and I believe this because yes, this is a great deal of who I am. I'm loyal, I'm honest, I'm faithful, I do not break others' trust; I can't live with myself if I ever did, and if that did happen, it'd likely be accidentally or otherwise unintentional. And I always own up to my mistakes when they're made. I wonder though, if it is time for me to reciprocate and put some of my own trust in others? Even if I do it a little bit at a time (which I'm working on), it's still so, so hard to do enough to allow someone complete access. I imagine that'll take a while but it's another hurdle I'm finding myself facing these days. How does one even clear this type of hurdle? I'd love to hear, so if anyone has any input, please do comment! Until next time, folks. My dinner (pizza) and date (of course, J) have arrived. We're taking in a movie and we'll relax tonight. I'll be back later. , and all my best, - Capulet
  20. Hello friends. I know that I have been somewhat absent for a little while. My prescence here has declined greatly over the last couple of weeks and for a little while, I was only really responding to PMs and giving posts a quick-read, just to try and keep up. I sincerely hope that while I've been scarce, that everyone's doing as well as they can be doing. While I've been thinking of my friends here while keeping busy offline, the reason for my decreased activity is indeed a good one. There is now a high school graduate in the house! That colicky, fusspot of a little boy that I rocked to sleep every single night for the first several months of his life, has now officially completed the twelfth grade. I do admit to stealing the title of this entry from a shot-glass at the Christmas Tree Shop. But I believe it, completely! It amazes me how much WORK was involved getting him to this point, to get him across this particular milestone. How many times he'd gotten frustrated, how many times he's expressed his hatred toward school. There have been countless projects, book reports, science fairs, visits to the school nurse on the days he'd faked sick because he wanted to go home, (the elementary school nurse and I were on a first-name basis) parent-teacher conferences, two previous graduations (from elementary and junior high) trips, and HOMEWORK. The homework, is of course, in caps simply because I have six more years of homework woes to endure as the Daughter will be entering 7th grade at the end of the summer and through her, it will all continue...she and her brother are SO different, in personality, in movie, music and food tastes, but when it comes to homework, they're the same. BOTH of my children dread it and do the bare minimum - it's the only complaint I've gotten from both of their teachers whenever the time comes for me to visit their schools for parent night. "Your son/daughter is an absolute delight to have in class (I'd make sure at this point they were talking about the right kid) however, he/she is missing x amount of homeworks..." Then the wasband and I would have to remove any and all electronics for x amount of time - one day per homework missed was ideal...this way, while they MADE UP the missed assignment, there would be absolutely no distractions. But for my son, it paid off. My only hope is that he feels the same way - and that as he embarks upon a new journey (college), he sees that all of the hard work he's done up until the present time has been worth it. The big day was Thursday. On the way to the ceremony, I looked at him while stopped at a red light. He was dressed in his shirt and tie, had on his cap and gown, he looked so damn handsome! "Hey," I nudged him, "I want you to know that I'm so proud of you." "Thanks, Ma." I could tell he was trying not to show his nervousness. He fiddled with his tie, scratched underneath the cap, (those things are itchy) and chewed on his nails. "I also want to apologize in advance for the ugly cry you're probably going to see when you walk across that stage." Then there was that grin I love so much, followed by a light chuckle, "That's okay, Ma!" Surprisingly, the ugly cry happened AFTER the ceremony and tossing of the graduation caps (as well as the frantic relocation of aforementioned cap with attached tassel) when he descended the stairs leading from the school building...carrying in one hand his diploma and using the other to unzip the deep purple gown so he could free himself from the confines of the graduation robe he'd had to wear for the last three hours in a sweltering gymnasium. Twelve years of school (fourteen, if you count pre-school and Kindergarten) finished in the blink of an eye! That brought on the tears and I couldn't hide my emotions long enough. I got a look of horror from the Daughter, who I'm sure, pretended she didn't know me for a full sixty seconds, the usual narrow-eyed wince from Constipa-Face (I expected no less from someone who has not a single sensitive bone in his body) and the "there she goes!" from someone else, possibly Mrs. Constipa-Face. The Son, though, gave me a hug. I kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear, "wait til your next and final graduation...if you think I'm bad now, I'll be a hot mess, THEN!!" Lucky for us all, I have another four years. Now I've got to get around the fact that he'll graduate college before his sister even finishes High School... And then, to the Daughter, I said, "You just wait, too...when YOU graduate, I'll be crying even HARDER, and I'll make sure there are honking noises when I blow my nose...JUST for you, my darling...and even better, still - you're the spitting image of your Mama, so you won't be able to hide..." She groaned. Serves her right for making fun of her mother, doesn't it? I'm sure I'll be ugly-crying AGAIN when his senior picture proofs arrive. He took them two days before graduation and I'm expecting those to arrive in about two to three weeks. Then, two days after the graduation, I had forty people show up to my house (would have been at least six to seven more people, but I had a few last-minute cancellations) and although I had Oompa staying here for a few days to help out, I certainly got in my exercise...just within my own home. I lost count of how many times I went up and down the stairs, how many trips I made from the kitchen sliders/upper deck to the newly-set concrete slab one story below. By the time the night was over on Saturday, I was ready to collapse in exhaustion; my feet were KILLING me and I had some unpleasant chafing in an even more uncomfortable place. This morning, I felt a ton better, both physically and mentally - Oompa left early this morning (but not before expressing any and everything that disappointed her at one point or another...while Constipa-Face is good for nothing less than a daily dose of disapproval, my mother takes first place in every single woe-is-me contest that there ever was - even the imaginary ones) and will be gone until the Daughter's birthday, which is in two weeks. I spent the day with my father, who leaves tomorrow morning and will return for the next party, which is going to be held at the wasband's house. And since the wasband has effectively demonstrated that it's NORMAL to show up an hour after the party has started, I may demonstrate my own learning abilities by doing the same thing. (I say 'MAY' only because my Daughter will likely suffer the consequences of my being purposely tardy; and that's not fair to her at ALL.) Who am I kidding? I'll be there on time if not a little bit early - at least my kids will know I'm reliable while their father is not. I will be spending the next two weeks attempting to get back that feeling of normalcy and calm - the amount of stress that I've had on my plate was at an all-time high and the lowering of my blood pressure is a vital, necessary thing. I'll be posting another update shortly - for now, another good nights' sleep is in order as the recuperation process has begun. Sending lots of hugs and love to you all - I've missed everyone!!! - Capulet
  21. This will be brief, because this is being typed while I can still move. Tomorrow, I may be in traction. Or just very, very sore. Possibly too sore to go and retrieve the free taco that Taco Bell is offering, while supplies last. So, if you've got a Taco Bell near you, today, June 13th, is free taco day! Personally, I like the ones with the Nacho Cheese Dorito shell... I, however, may be in too much pain to get myself to the car. I will start you all off with some good news. The concrete has been poured and I now have my table and chairs set up outside. The Son's graduation party is almost ready to go. I'm expecting 40 people to show up for the celebration this weekend. My niece's christening was this past weekend, relieving me of SOME of what's been on my plate for the past several weeks. And now for the reason for my (slight) exaggeration. Today, I spent three hours this afternoon in the yard, collecting and decorating with rocks. The cement is a 20x20 slab, and there's somewhat of a 'step' up from the grass. I decided today that it would be a wonderful idea to line rocks along the slab's perimeter, to 'dress' it up a little bit. And so one by one, I collected large rocks from the wooded area behind the house and walked them over to the slab, placed them down along the outside in an artistic manner, piled the smaller ones on top of the larger ones. Then I placed the solar light stakes along the path leading to the fire pit. By the time J came home, my back was killing me. Regardless, she needed assistance lifting a VERY heavy box from her trunk. A box containing a flat-top propane grill/griddle that we had invested in yesterday morning. It'll be great for when we have a power outage. It'll be the only way J will cook outdoors. She has a not-so-fond memory of lifting the cover off a traditional gas barbecue grill and when she pushed the 'ignite' button, the grill was a little 'overexcited' to be started up and she singed her eyebrows. Since then, she's been deathly afraid of propane grills, but since there's no open fire on a flat-top, she's happy to share some of the cooking duties with me. And the Son, who can lift heavy things, was not home. Whenever I need help, he's not home. Always seems to be the case. But he did have a good reason for not being home - he was taking his senior pictures. The portrait studio was at his school today and they were photographing the class of 2019 and since he missed the opportunity to have them taken for THIS year, they were kind enough to squish him in between two juniors and I will finally have an updated graduation photo for my wall. Of course, before that happens, I will need to wait for the proofs to be mailed. So, anyway, this box must have been at least 100 pounds. We aren't weaklings but we ARE both almost forty years old and this was quite the feat. We struggled with the box containing the flat-top, managing to first drop it to the ground, then I pushed and she pulled - until the box has been relocated into the garage. Then...we went bowling in our summer league. Three game set. I walked in like an old(er) lady. Managed to bowl 2 good-ish games and 1 trash game. I throw a fifteen-pound ball an average of 16-17mph down the lane, and yes, in case you're wondering, the high speed does mess with my accuracy! It probably wasn't a good idea to bowl with a backache. But I did it, anyway. So therefore, I will probably wake up in knots. I'm not sure how to describe a delayed injury (or even soreness) any better than basically going to the gym, working out for hours and then waking up the next day wondering what the hell possessed you to do such a thing. Wish me luck, friends. I think tomorrow morning will be one of these. Until next time. , - Capulet
  22. Hello

    Hello Michelle and welcome to AS! That is a gorgeous wedding picture and an even better looking couple. It is so nice to meet you, although I'm sorry it is under these circumstances. I hope that being here brings you some comfort! Best wishes, Capulet
  23. New To this. This is my first day here

    Welcome to AfterSilence. Take your time and feel free to look around - I am sure you will find this is a wonderful community and the people are great support. Best wishes, Capulet
  24. need someone who understands

    Hi @Looking for peace, welcome to AS! I too come from an abusive marriage - my ex-husband did not sexually abuse me, though - his was more of the emotional/controlling type. Even so, it sounds like your ex-husband had some controlling tendencies/manipulation tactics (the bullying, when he wouldn't sleep in the bed with you until you gave in to sex, a schedule he 'expected' followed, etc) and I'm very happy to hear that you're no longer married to him. You deserve so, so much better than that. However, if you want my honest opinion/advice, I think you need to hold off on a romantic relationship and just be by yourself for a little while and work through some of the emotional wreckage that your ex-husband left in his wake. I am sensing that you have a myriad of trust issues, but this isn't surprising, considering the toxic relationship you just got out of. I have these little issues with trust, too...so I do understand all of that. I would definitely suggest seeing a T (therapist) if it's within your power to do so. Just to talk out some of these feelings you're having. I mean, this is a great place to turn to in order to meet people who are in the same boat, but sometimes we just need a little bit more. If therapy is not an option right now, that's okay, too. Maybe you could focus on further developing your current relationships (even if they're just friendships) with the "safe" people in your life that you feel you can confide in, learn to trust, etc. Make spontaneous plans with friends. Schedule outings, meet for a meal, go shopping. Enjoy yourself. Do things that you want to do, that you CHOOSE to do, because you want to...because now, you're free. I think, in time, you'll feel better about maybe starting a new relationship with someone, should this person come along. I think that your being 'scared' is a strong indicator of your simply not being ready for a relationship beyond friendship right now, and that's okay. Listen to yourself, acknowledge what your heart, body & mind is telling you. When you're ready to take the next step, you will just know - that fear will have subsided a bit. And your chances of it being a healthy relationship will be so, so much greater then. That's just my opinion, feel free to take it all with a grain of salt. I'm hoping others will chime in, soon. Again, welcome to AS! I'm sorry for the circumstances that have brought you here but am happy to meet you. Best wishes, Capulet
  25. !!! Thank you, sweet @OnWheels!! And I totally, 100% agree with you - laughing is so much better and less messy than crying. I'm looking forward to sharing many more laughs - whoever said 'laughter is the best medicine' is certainly onto something.... Hope your day is going beautifully! - Cap