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Everything posted by Capulet

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


    Hello, @RiaLavender and welcome to After Silence!!!
  5. Capulet


    The Woven Collective They offer free advocacy for "survivors of violence, their friends and families," and are a group of folks whose mission is to support people of all identities and backgrounds. They also offer therapy with experienced trauma therapists. The folks who founded Woven Collective worked together at another local sexual assault support center before founding this organization to better serve the community. Contact them through their website: https://www.wovenvt.org/advocacy
  6. 🚨 PSA: After Silence is running VERY slowly tonight.  It's not your computers, don't fret! :)  

    1. Mave


      Thanks, Cap!

    2. 8888


      Good to know!

  7. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. :)  So grateful for this community and all who consider themselves a part of it.  Each and every one of you is dear to my heart!


    For those of you who struggle with finding things to be thankful for today - I wish you periodic moments of peace and joy - for those are what will carry you the rest of the way.  My love to you all. ❤️ 

  8. Hi, everyone. It feels like the last couple of months has gone by in a blur. I'm starting to realize the true meaning of the statement, 'too much time on your hands.' When I had it, (it being time) my mind wouldn't shut up. I had so much more to say. I looked at things sooooo differently. I'd have TIME to sift through whatever was swimming around in there - now, all that's in there is numbers, formulas, political definitions, social work case studies (hypothetical ones), papers that would be coming due, and the neverending, bottomless threat of that thing called 'exams.' Never mind those things I USED to think about, those things that warranted deep reflection - it feels like there's no room for it, right now, and I'm not sure I like that. I'm not sure if after the last three weeks of school is over, I'll have a six-week reprieve from all those things I HAVE to think about and I'll be free to let my mind focus on whatever it is that I've been neglecting, to include this blog - but I'm hoping so. Right now, I'm trying to think of what else is new since my last update, which was...a while ago? I know I've fallen off the blog grid lately, and do apologize to all of those who actually read and enjoy these! I'm looking forward to my six weeks' break from school - after my last final, school is out until January 21st, when the spring semester starts. Spring semester will run from Jan 21 - May 5th - and I'm HOPING there will be a couple of snow days that will mean the cancellation of an 8am class that I had no choice but to take - if I wanted fifteen credits, I needed to dip into my major-related electives as the classes that were required were either full or required me to attend evening/night classes. Definitely wasn't doing that. I'll be spending as much of that six weeks relaxing and sleeping - two words that have not been in my vocabulary since August. *shudder* It's been getting down to the 20's at night. We've had no significant snowfall here, yet. Next week, though, may yield different results as the second or third week in November is usually when we see accumulations of more than a mere dusting. The dusting came along a couple nights ago - but even so, there wasn't much to see, and thankfully, clean off our cars. It's quite evident - winter has arrived, or at the very least, it's making itself comfortable as it'll be here to stay for the next three to four months. Fall was short - or maybe it just feels that way because I've been too busy with classes to take note of it being a shitty time of year for me. It was hard not to see the prettiness of it - the daily commute to and from school was, I MUST say, nice, regardless of what the Fall season represents for me. I just had fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon when I'd take in all the scenery and TRY to appreciate the genuine, innocent beauty of nature - but for the most part, this year's traumaversary was just - nothing. I feel like I've had NO time and no thoughts to give to it. There was still the presence of that looming feeling of dread. That hasn't wavered at all. There was a period of time where I was snappy and cranky - but having two exams during my traumaversary week - (one being a midterm) - was the excuse supplied to those who were on the receiving end. In a way, being back to school has been helpful in keeping my mind from being able to focus on the usual things it does during early October, but I do wonder if this was, in fact, harmful. Might it have been harmful to not really have the opportunity to slow down and reflect and allow the usual traumaversary process to occur? It's been 23 years, now. And for each traumaversary, it's been the same. For the first few years that followed my rape, there was crying and panicking, there was nightmares, flashbacks, there was self-injury, there was depression. Over time, this has all changed. The self-injury is no longer an option for me. Depression comes in bouts - but it's not at the point where it keeps me from functioning on a day to day basis. I can't say the same for fifteen or twenty years ago, when it was a constant. I still have that odd dream here and there, I still jolt awake at times, but that is seemingly the gist of it, now. While I know that I am safe now, that unsettled feeling that arrives every year has not changed. For the past few years, I've been of the attitude that I'd see what this year's 'bad time' threw at me, and deal with whatever it was. It's kind of like a batter-up situation in baseball....the pitcher will throw life's little curveballs, and I'll hit them all with whatever I've got. My turn will eventually end and I'll get another chance at next year's at-bat. If I'm thrown a trigger? Fine...I'd tackle it by identifying it, and then trying to put into words why I was triggered. To give a trigger meaning and to understand it will give it less strength. If I'm thrown a nightmare? Okay. I'll get out of bed, get a drink of water, and either turn on the computer or go back to bed. If I'm to face a series of restless nights for no particular reason at all? Sure, bring it on. It's not like I sleep that much, anyway! This year's at-bat, though, has felt like an intentional walk. There's been nothing thrown, nothing to hit, nothing to tackle, nothing to face. I wonder, though, if that was me. Has numbness taken over? I do feel different, and I don't know how to explain it. I WILL say though, that I'm glad that Fall is in its way out. The trees are now mostly bare, waiting for the snow to transform the back roads most commonly travelled by into a wintery wonderland. THAT, too, despite it being a pain in the ass, is pretty. I lied to my T a few weeks ago. She texted to confirm an appointment, (which ironically was within a week of the date of my traumaversary) and I wasn't feeling that I had anything to say to her, either. I told her I had a 'terrible cold.' She said to let her know when I was feeling better and wanted to reschedule. I told her I would....but my 'cold' hasn't gone away. In my last blog, I mentioned that she wanted to delve into some of the deeper issues - and I'd tried to contain my excitement. Don't get me wrong, she's a very nice lady - I just don't feel any differently whenever I walk out of her office. Honestly, I can't remember having any successful relationship with any therapist, to include the one I had when I was a child and saw again as an adult. Granted, my last T wasn't a specialist in trauma-related issues, and very quite possibly failed me as a child (which I really didn't fully see until I stopped seeing her for the second time as an adult) and while this would have been a good time and place to discuss 23 years ago with my current T (who DOES have experience with trauma, being certified in EMDR and all), I just didn't want to. I've had about six sessions with her in total - and we haven't really talked about ANYTHING trauma-related - while she does know from my initial session that I am a survivor of rape and CSA and DV, it's mostly just surface stuff that we talk about in our sessions; my lack of interest/comfort level within social settings, gatherings, etc. Relationship stuff. It's never gone beyond that. I guess my feeling right now is, if it's not broken, don't try to fix it. (Note, by no means am I endorsing the discontinuation of therapy - for some, I know it's a lifeline. I've just never been able to form a truly successful connection/relationship with a therapist that I felt was able to challenge me.) Another thought to what might be a reason for not being able to feel too much right now starts with the passing of my (potentially very first abuser) uncle on 7/2. When I went to the wake, it was for my mother's sake - not his. I remember what I was doing when the text came in. I was mowing the grass outside, preparing the exterior of the house for my son's birthday barbecue, which would be held a few days after. Of course, this meant my mother wouldn't be attending, as she now had to bury her brother. While I told the Oompa that my reason for attending his wake was out of support for her, I had my own reasons for doing so. I wanted to SEE him dead, that child that still lives within me needed to see for herself that he'd never be able to LOOK at another child again, he'd never be able to lay a disgusting hand (which I did want to see, just to make sure it was dead along with the rest of him) on anyone. One thing, though, that I need to say, first, a tidbit of background information. Without getting into specifics, my wife and I hit a bump over the summer. In hindsight, it was, thankfully, something that was fixable, as it has nothing to do with abuse, infidelity or unfaithfulness, which are our 'dealbreakers' - it was more a matter of us not being on the same page and failing to connect with one another, emotionally, physically, mentally. She experienced a mental breakdown (she was at the time, undergoing therapy sessions and working on her own trauma, something she'd been delaying for years) and decided to take off for a few days. We've attended therapy sessions together, and since then, have been able to reconnect on all levels, and I'm feeling overall a lot better about it. My relationship is much more safe now than it was over the summer. That being said, at the time of my uncle's passing, she chose not to come with me to the wake and chose that DAY (also the day of my son's birthday) to take off. As she is one of the very few people who knows and understands why I disliked this man, this hurt me very deeply. It didn't even matter that when I arrived at the funeral parlor, my uncle's partner stopped me from going up to the coffin, and proceeded to tell me that it was among my uncle's final wishes that I not be there or pay him a final visit. I did see him from a distance, though. Looking as pathetic as he's always looked. I could not see his hands, I couldn't even spit in his face if I wanted to. Not that I would have, but the temptation to set him on fire and expedite his journey to Hell was VERY great. He likely knew that, and made sure that it was known that I was to be kept away. But, my wife, being one of the only people who truly could understand my need for closure in this situation, was not there for me, when I had told her many years in advance, that I would need her that day, to keep me grounded, keep me calm, to know and recognize anything that might come up for me during my final encounter with him. When this day finally arrived, she wasn't there for me to talk to her about things with. I couldn't even tell her, until she'd come back home a week later, that I was stopped from approaching his coffin and told that I wasn't welcome. The only reason I was able to attend was likely because the Oompa would have expected all three of her dutiful daughters to be present, regardless of whatever issue they may have had with him. She'd not told me that he'd specifically requested for me to not be there. She allowed me to waste my time, and for this, I'm angry with her, too. (This'll likely come up ten years from now - a slight exaggeration, yes, but also meant to say it won't happen anytime soon.) But, see.... I wasn't safe to allow whatever might have come up - to come up. My safety net wasn't there. To deal with this, I allowed the numbness to consume me. I felt nothing, being told that I wasn't to approach his body. I felt nothing, seeing him from six feet away. I felt no sadness, no anger, no fear, no anxiety. I felt nothing at all. Not even relief, which I'd hoped I'd feel. Although my wife has come back home and we have spent a fair amount of time getting back on track, this has stayed with me. I have had to push this hurt aside, and I've had to forgive her. I've had to accept that her breakdown is the primary reason behind the choices she'd made, to shut me out and to shut out everyone around her. When someone you love does that - it's certainly not easy to stick around, but it's what I've chosen to do. I've defended her furiously to those who have come to me with anything negative, I've shut them all down, and although my heart still hurts, I have remained 100% focused on her happiness and contentment and on whatever it takes to strengthen our relationship. That's me doing my part. I'm glad to see that she is making and has made some life changes as well, and mutual communication has been reestablished. I know that in time, the hurt will lessen, and I'll be able to look back at all of this and recognize it as one of those bumps that I'm sure EVERY long-term relationship experiences at some point. I was perhaps still in that 'it's not a good time for me to fall apart' mindset when it came time for my traumaversary to make its yearly appearance. Although my wife and I were already doing much better when this year's October 4th came and went, that numbness from the summer has retained its hold. The day came and went, and I felt nothing. It does help that I've also had school to contend with, too - I've NEVER been this busy in my life. Even raising kids has been a piece of cake compared to having to write a five-page paper on Politics! Maybe next year's at-bat will be different. This year, though? I'm not thinking anything is going to develop. I'm not even sure how much sense I'm making at the moment, but, ah - I tried to put it out there in the fashion I'm most used to. I also wanted to try and explain why I've not been myself lately - or in recent weeks, less like myself than you may be used to seeing. You're all likely used to my extremely lengthy novellas talking about my feelings - and I promise, I'm trying to find my way back to tapping into those. I've admittedly been staying focused on others more than I have myself, and while that's not normally recommended, it's sometimes necessary, at least for a little while. The only way out of this funk is known only to oneself, and I'm likely having to wait until I'm feeling emotionally safe enough for that numbness to dissipate. When that happens, I'm sure it won't be pleasant, but I know I have somewhere to put it all, if needed, whether it's here or in therapy. I've not given up on either option. I'm still around, though, friends - I've not disappeared and I don't plan on going anywhere. I just feel as if while there may be a lot to say and I've got more to talk about than I want to admit, nothing's flowing. There is a block in place, and I'm not sure what will remove it and when. I'm good when it comes to talking about what others may be going through, but when it comes to myself and my feelings, I've managed to keep most of it locked away for a little while. I am, though, practicing some self care on this fine Wednesday afternoon, though, and do think that in choosing to write a little bit about what's gone on in recent months, it's helped me to understand and process and explain some of why I'm feeling so emotionally constipated right now. I am hoping I've successfully conveyed it to you all, as well. I have been feeling like I owed you all a little bit of a rundown, as you've all always been kind to me. I'm always so overwhelmed by the support of the friends I've made here. You know who you all are. I'm SURE there have been a lot of 'WTF?' moments, and for those, I do apologize. Maybe when the semester finally ends, this will change, because then there will be a six-week period of time where I'll not have to focus on my GPA. I've got those lovely holidays to look forward to, and if you've followed this blog, you're already well aware of the family drama and bullshit that usually goes hand-in-hand with the upcoming holidays. 🙄 Anyway, as I'm starting to feel the growly stomach and lunch is calling, I'll stop writing for now. Before I go, I'm wanting to say that I'm sincerely hoping you're all doing well! For those of you who are struggling - I hear you. I may not have been posting too much lately, but I still hear you and I hope you will all be reassured that I still care very deeply for all of you. It is hard to remind others about the concept of self-care, especially when you, yourself, realize that you must do the same, but I do strongly encourage you all to not lose sight of those little things you can do to make yourself feel a little bit better, your day a little brighter, your life a little more positive. Look every day for that that one small thing that makes you smile, and make it happen. ❤️ I already do feel a little better having done something I've always enjoyed - and that is to sit here and write to you all. I also did something I've never done - not once this semester - and I've taken the day off today. I skipped my classes this morning, because I wanted to. Now I'm trying to ignore the voices telling me that I'll regret having missed today's Government lecture - but at least I'll eat something while doing that. Later on, I'll be going to get a coffee. Tomorrow, I'll find something else. The little things do add up! Until the next update - which will hopefully be soon, I'm sending an endless supply of hugs! - Capulet
  9. Hi @Julia99 - welcome to After Silence. I'm so sorry to learn of the trauma at the hands of your mom's boyfriend, that has brought you here. None of that was your fault - all of it is 100% completely his fault. You will find that you are not alone and there are many others who understand what you're going through! Please take all the time you need to look around and feel free to give a shout if there's ever anything you need help with. Best wishes, Capulet
  10. "A relationship full of control is really out of control."

    True story, friends.

    From social media this weekend:

  11. Here's a sweet image I found on my social media feed....


    Wrap someone today.  They may need it!

    1. snmls


      💜 :console: I appreciate the ask for consent in this comic. This comic is from the Lunarbaboon series, which are always so great and wholesome. 

    2. Capulet


      YES, @snmls - I like that, too.  Hugs or 'wraps' are always better received when they're offered with a 'can I?' first. :)

    3. vitamin


      Aw, this is so lovely ❤️


    4. Show next comments  9 more
  12. @~*chelsea*~ - not a problem at all! I'll do that, right now. Hugs, back!
  13. Absolutely no problem! ❤️
  14. How's that, @~*chelsea*~??? All good??? Safe hugs back atcha!!! - Cap
  15. Hi, @~*chelsea*~... I could try to change it for you, if you PM me what you would like in your signature (if it's in place of the blue text above), I can try and switch it out for you on my end and see if it saves! Warmly, Cap
  16. Capulet


    Welcome to AS, @Audra. I'm so sorry to learn of the trauma that has led you here. This is truly a safe place and you will find lots of support, here. You should be hearing from a member of our Newbie Support Team soon. Until then, if you have any questions, I'm always just a holler away. Best wishes to you, Capulet
  17. Welcome to After Silence, @TheRooCollective - happy to have you among us, although I am sorry that trauma is responsible for bringing you here. Take good care, and I wish you all the best on beginning your healing journey! Best wishes, Capulet
  18. Healing is never linear... ❤️ 


    1. Capulet


      So true! ❤️ A fairly decent likeness of what the path ahead looks like, though.  :hug:

    2. Iheartcupcakes
    3. waterlily13


      Needed this today, thank you friend❤️❤️

    4. Show next comments  9 more
  19. Hi, everyone!! Hoping you're all doing well. I know my updates are getting more rare, and for that, I do apologize. I'm really trying to get back into my writing habits, but it seems I've been experiencing some cloudiness. More on that as we continue. I'm hanging in there, though, as best as I can. School is in full swing, now. We're now in our third week. I've just received this morning the date of my first midterm...yep, you read correctly - we're ALREADY getting ready for midterms! Of course, there's no shortage of actual schoolwork to do before then - four papers to do, (one for American Government, three for Social Work, one of them being an interview of another social work professional in the field of my choosing) and there will also be a midterm for at least two or three out of the five classes - the rest of my grades depend on class participation/work/online quizzes, all of which I'm working on - whether I'm volunteering answers in class or throwing out a thought here and there. Summer is beginning to pack her bags and to dish out those final warmer days before she disappears until next June. The mornings are becoming chilly - and midday highs are lingering around 70. It's still warm, but there is still that all-too-familiar feeling that is TRYING to remind me that the Fall is right around the corner. We're not yet seeing the emerging fall colors, but this will be soon. I used to be able to avoid it all, for the most part, but I can't anymore. For the first time in 20 years, I do not have the choice to stay home and just keep the blinds closed. I can't 'tune out' the season changes like I used to be able to, now that I'm out and about every day. Last year, I made it a point to drive to the store while it was still daylight - and just take in the natural beauty of the mountains. All while telling myself, this wasn't where I was hurt - this was a whole different scene - a much, MUCH nicer one. I was able to gain somewhat of a new appreciation of the prettiness of it all. I remember writing/saying something to the extent of, "I got this, Fall isn't going to own me, anymore." While I'm not ready to completely disregard that statement, it just feels a little bit different this year, and I'd be willing to bet all of my chips on it being because of the restarting of school. 23 years ago - I FAILED almost all of my midterms. I'd been raped a couple of weeks before they were given. I was completely unprepared, and any attempts to cram were unsuccessful because there just wasn't any room in my brain for lecture recollections or memorized textbook definitions. What WAS there, was prevalent and I'd thrown in the academic towel before the semester actually was halfway over with. The one midterm I might have passed, I passed by the skin of my teeth. Something interesting I've noticed about myself, though... First, though, let it be known that I'm NOT a school person. I'm not a scholarly type. I VERY HONESTLY believe I have some sort of a learning disability, or at the very least, undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. This has ALWAYS been the case, even pre-rape, even in high school in the early to mid-90's. The Oompa, a schoolteacher, used to confine me to my room when I had a test coming up (where she thought I'd be the least distracted) to study. I'd sit on my bed, and TRY to read whatever was in the textbook in front of me. Key word here - TRY. It never would happen, though, for I'd get LOST in the text, and find my eyes drifting to the poster of Luke Perry on my wall (RIP, Luke) or to stuffed animals, or to ANYTHING other than the study material that I just couldn't deal with. Hours would go by, she'd come in and try to 'quiz' me - and then she'd toss the book back at me when I came up empty and told that I had another hour to miraculously learn weeks worth of material. She'd also say that if I scored any less than an 80% on the test, I'd be grounded...in reality, though, she really had nothing to 'take' from me other than TV. "You're not watching insert-TV-show-here tonight!" But anyway - school was ALWAYS a nightmare, and I've always had it in my head that I was going to fail because I couldn't focus...what the hell WAS focus, anyway?? I just had zero ability to do it. My mind would wander, my brain would throw up the fences and information wasn't being retained...it was being rejected and bouncing back out almost as quickly as it'd be pushed in. Now, I'm STILL not a school person. I've not really opened my books, yet, because I know how it was in the past, how I'll start reading and VERY quickly forget what it was I've just read. I've browsed with my highlighter on some of my textbook pages, but I've not yet done the deeper, in-depth reading. I've only gone to the textbooks when I needed a definition of something - or a quick explanation of what something was and it wasn't available on the internet (another something I couldn't do in 1996 - the internet DID exist but access wasn't as easy as it is, now!) or the professor was wanting specific definitions as put by the required course textbooks. One textbook had exercises, so there was need to actually open that one - but for the most part, I've been focusing on what I can do without subjecting myself to reading that won't stick in. For example - those four papers that I have to do - I've found that starting word documents for each paper has helped, even if I'm for now just writing the paper topic at the top and throwing notes and a potential outline in there for when the time comes to put it all together. They are due October 7th, 24th, November 7th and December 5th. Obviously, I'll focus on the October papers, first, but I'm finding myself being more obsessed with getting things started, WAY before they'll come due....just to make myself feel that I can breathe a little when the due dates grow closer. This is a huge difference in me from when I was in high school. I don't know if being older has anything at all to do with it. I know ADD though, is not curable. I STILL can't sit and read through a book - especially not a textbook with big, fancy words. I know myself, though. When the time comes to prepare for midterms, I'm going to be obsessing on whether the papers are at least being worked on. I'm ALSO going to worry about whether I've screwed myself because I've not put in the reading beforehand, and spent too much time trying to get ahead on other things. So...it's a catch-22 anyway, isn't it? Let it be known that the Son doesn't have this problem. He can avoid opening books (I don't even know why he buys them) and he still pulls a 3.8 GPA. (Yes, because of this, he's been called a jerk...but he's MY jerk, and I love him and am SO proud of him.) Anyway. Moving along. I'm definitely in the school and homework groove I SHOULD have been in, all those years ago. 'Better late than never,' right? I've had such an outpouring of support from those of you who know how hard it's been to restart this old engine that sputtered all these years ago...and as always, it's appreciated, it's loved and it's needed. A continuance of that encouragement is needed, also, as there's nine weeks remaining in the semester. In other news... The wifey and I went to Philly last weekend and took in a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park. It was nice to just be able to relax, enjoy one another's company, and reconnect. Even better, her Red Sox beat the Phillies, and knocked them down a couple of notches. My Mets are still in the wild card race. Which is, of course, the only scenario where I'd root for the Red Sox. Last week, the daughter, while horsing around with her brother, broke her pinkie finger on her right hand. I suppose trying to swat him was a bad idea. Although the daughter agrees, she's not entirely upset with the orthopedic's instructions that she skip gym for two weeks. Bowling two times a week has started up, again. Back to my Monday and Friday night leagues, and thoroughly enjoying being back in that groove. I have missed doing that over the summer. Between my uncle/first abuser dying, and a couple of other personal issues (having nothing to do with the uncle dying) coming up, I spent a good portion of this summer doing some self-reflection, ultimately leading me back into T. T is...well...T. On that note, I had an appointment this afternoon after class. Went in and sat down, with no idea what to talk about. I've heard of people growing attached, reliant on their therapists, and I'm just not feeling this with her. She's nice and all - always starts out with, 'how are you doing?' Today, we talked about school, and how I'm adjusting. How's my anxiety, things like that. I told her everything's fine. I mentioned NONE of what I mentioned above. Silly, no? I think the word I'm looking for is, 'predictable.' I've just never had a T challenge me or my thinking. But...she asked how things were going on the home front. Better, I had to admit. Now that I have more to fill my days with, more to occupy myself with, I don't really sit and stew when she goes out with her friends. We've determined that I'm just not a social butterfly (which anyone who knows me at this point, ALREADY knows) and that's okay. It's just how I am. Then, she took out her pen and notepad and said that next time, we were going to start working on some of my deeper issues, including the ones from whence the social awkwardness potentially emerged. I tried to contain my excitement when I mumbled, "sounds good." Other than that, there really isn't much happening in my world. I am SURE the next few weeks will bring forth a slew of additional thoughts. Although I've been keeping busy, there's still that familiar little voice, that says, 'you better not forget that I'm still here!' Right now, it's a whisper, a little reminder that no matter how much I would like to, how much I try, I cannot deny its existence. I am hoping that I can keep the volume down by taking the time to somehow acknowledge this year's traumaversary, even if I exercise self-care and self-indulgence (extra caramel iced coffee) on the actual date. I know it'll never be fully muted, though, and that the only way to keep it from becoming 'loud' again is to let these thoughts be and deal with them as they pop up. On one hand, being back at school is helpful because it keeps my mind busy. On the other, it's a reminder of where I was and what I was doing 23 years ago when my trauma happened. Guess we'll see how that all goes! Hoping all is well with everyone. I've stayed up WAY past my bedtime tonight - but seemingly my body doesn't want to ALLOW for me to sleep for a longer period of time than the 4-5 hours I'm normally accustomed to. I'm sure I'll be paying for it tomorrow (today) but, I'll deal with that tomorrow (today). Maybe a cap-nap will be in order (typo was added on purpose) tomorrow. Talk soon, - Capulet
  20. Hi Matt!!! Welcome to After Silence. I'm sorry to hear you've encountered abuse by your best friend. That's never a nice thing to hear when a new member introduces themselves. I am glad though, that he is now a former friend. I do, however, want to say you're in a truly warm, embracing community where support and kindness is unwavering. I hope that being here provides you peace, comfort and healing. I'm glad to hear you'll look around some before posting . Take all the time you need. Your story will not go anywhere - when you're ready to share, we will be here to listen and to support. Sending my best wishes. Capulet
  21. Hi, @Lauren23 and welcome to AS! I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble finding people who can relate/understand. This is a great community filled with many supportive souls, so I am hopeful that you'll see that you're not alone!! Take your time browsing. If you ever need assistance with anything, please know that our staff is just a holler away! Best wishes, Capulet
  22. Capulet


    Hi @lilyhailey! Welcome to After Silence. I'm so sorry to learn of the trauma you've experienced 2 years ago. I'm so glad you've found us, though. You are in a safe, judgement-free zone, here. SO many of us have been through the very same painful feeling of being alone - I am hoping you will see that is not the case here in this community. The folks here are very kind and understanding and truly can relate. It is my sincerest hope that the connections you're likely to make while visiting will leave you feeling that healing is entirely possible. I do hope you will stick around! Please take your time looking around. We do have a forum for teens and young adult survivors, even though trauma has affected us all and what you're feeling is relatable by members of all ages. I wish you peace, comfort and healing. If you ever need any help with anything or have any questions, you may reach out to me anytime. My best wishes to you! Capulet
  23. Welcome to After Silence, @Lightbug!!! I'm sorry that circumstances have had you searching for a safe place for a while now, but am glad you've found your way here. This is truly a wonderful community, and although I'm sad your experiences have made life a bit more frustrating, I'm hopeful that being here will make things easier. The people are lovely, kind, patient, and most of all, supportive. So many can relate to how you are feeling, and even though we don't like to know such pain exists, it's a comfort to know we're not alone. Take your time looking around...when you're ready, feel free to jump in! Again, welcome. Wishing you well in your healing processes, and am looking forward to getting to know you. Best wishes, Capulet
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