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Found 10 results

  1. Thegr8ful

    PTSD

    Good Afternoon, I just joined this group and i'm brand new to all of this. I'm dealing with child sexual abuse i have pushed these memories down and only realized it till a couple years ago. Now its constantly on my mind. I'm having bad flashbacks and nightmares a lot. My PTSD is making me so irritable towards my wife (i'm gay) i feel like i'm ruining my marriage by the symptoms i'm having. Im just having a hard time with this issue. If you guys have any advice i would love it. Thank you for listening, theGr8ful
  2. Also posted in Share Your Story: Installment One: The Formative Years I was born on a snowy winter morning in 1978. Originally, I wasn’t planning to reveal my age – but felt there was some importance in divulging the time frame. I DO believe that there is FAR more awareness now than there was back then. Maybe, just maybe things would have turned out differently. Maybe it would have set off an entirely different chain of events. Maybe I wouldn’t be writing this, now. As life is full of too many maybes and not enough definites, I’ve decided to chuck the what-ifs into the (digital) trash where they belong, because regardless of what the maybes are, they’ll never be proven and we cannot dwell on them. My mother was a schoolteacher. She’d been teaching kindergarten up until shortly before giving birth and my father worked in insurance. They married young. I’d learn years later that I was not their first child – before they married, my mother, at seventeen, had become pregnant with my brother – that pregnancy was terminated, likely for a number of reasons but two main ones stand out – one – they were young and not yet engaged – and two – although my mother claimed she was ambiguous and would have birthed my brother, my father was of the mindset that they weren’t ready to have a child, yet. So, they’d made the decision to terminate, and didn’t have me until eight years later and after they’d already been married for seven of them. When I was six months old, my parents noticed that I was not responding to loud noises or to my name being called. I think an investigation was sparked when my father set off the smoke/fire alarm, alerting all tenants of the apartment building we lived in, (I must say that his cooking has not improved) and I slept through it all. There was enough concern that they brought me to have my hearing tested. The audiologist took out a cowbell and stood directly behind me and rang it. My parents could hear it. The people in the office next door likely heard it, too. Hell, the people outside probably could have heard it. I, however, did not. I remained stationary in my seat and unfazed. “Your daughter is deaf.” The diagnosis rattled my parents to their core. They thankfully didn’t waste time seeking out second or third opinions – they’d likely have gotten the same responses. They liked this particular audiologist, too, and felt comfortable with her and her advice to get me fitted with hearing aids as quickly as possible. “What happened?” They did ask her. I am the only one in my family history to have a hearing impairment, so they knew this was not genetic. After discussing any and all possibilities, the one theory that seemed most likely was my mother’s (while being pregnant) having come into contact with a student of hers that had come down with the measles. Another way that ‘back then’ was different from today – there wasn’t so much stress on the importance of vaccinations and kids were showing up to school with brewing illnesses and sharing them with their friends, or in my mother’s case, with their pregnant teachers. So, the reason that’s been put down in all of my medical charts is, ‘birth defect.’ It was also explained to my parents that I’d likely never speak, having never been able to ‘hear’ proper speech. It’s been suggested, although never confirmed, that I was born with a severe hearing loss and it had rapidly declined into a profound loss by the time of diagnosis. It was recommended that I be taught sign language as a primary language – which would have meant that both my parents, who combined, didn’t know a single word in sign language, would have to first learn it themselves in order to teach ME to communicate. The sign-language route wasn’t an option that my mother was willing to accept as a primary plan. It quickly became a secondary, back-up plan as she decided to quit her teaching job and to focus on taking care of her special-needs child. I’m unsure if it was due to her strong background and focus in education, or if it was a personal mission of hers that she undertook at this point, but early intervention was her mindset and quickly became her obsession. If speech training could not be implemented into my day-to-day life, then they’d revert back to Plan B. EVERYTHING was a lesson. A learning experience. I am partially glad that I have no memory of this, either. The way my mother tells it, every waking moment was spent teaching me. Every time she spoke to me, she’d place my tiny hand onto her throat so that I could feel the vibrations of her voice. She’d also say the names of things she’d pick up, and make sure I was looking at her when she did, so that I could see how they looked on her lips, and put the image together with the words. Cup. Ball. Book. Toy. The list goes on. And the colors….this is red, that’s blue…etc. There were flash cards, too…she’d cut out photos from magazines and make these herself. She would eventually be able to say a word and have me point to the picture. She didn’t do all of this, herself, though. She also took several trips into the city, sometimes as often as three times per week, where trained professionals would also work with me on speech and language development. Being at home was just a constant continuation of all of the work they did there. In addition to being my mother, she became my first and most important teacher. My father wasn’t as involved with all of this. I’m not sure if this was where they started having problems or disagreements, but they were divorced before I had any memory of him living with us or being a constant within my very early childhood. My mother was given sole custody. My father didn’t fight her. While I know he loved me very much, he was clearly happy with having her do most of the parenting and he’d take me on weekends and holidays. I was 2 when their divorce was final; Mom and I moved out of the apartment that my parents shared. My Dad would remain in the same place for the next decade. As she needed time to get onto her feet, she moved in with my grandmother for a little while. My grandmother owned a house that had been in the family since HER mother bought when SHE was a child. It was a brick, two-story place that had been converted into a two-family home when my mother was still a kid. Now it was the very early 80’s and my mother’s brother and his ‘friend’ (a male roommate/his best friend/possible lover?) lived in the upstairs apartment while my mother and I lived in the downstairs apartment with my grandmother. This was only meant to be a temporary arrangement, as my mother, following her divorce from my father, had returned back to work. As soon as my mother began to gain a steady income, (along with my father’s child support) we moved out of my grandmother’s house and into a small basement apartment just a few blocks away. My mother, until she eventually re-married, made sure to stay close to my grandmother – and also my uncle. You see, she needed help with getting me to my appointments into the city for continued speech therapy. I was not yet in school, so my uncle, who was not working at the time, was tasked with taking me back and forth via city subway. There was a train station literally behind my grandmother’s house and it was one train from there to the city, where my uncle would bring me for my appointments while my mother worked. On days I didn’t have appointments, he was my babysitter – and would watch me at my grandmother’s house until my mother got home. A pause here, to tell you a little bit about him. He was (I suppose I shouldn’t say ‘was’ as he’s still alive – but my grandmother is not) my grandmother’s eldest. My mother also had an older sister, who at the time was married with a couple kids, lived elsewhere (although not too far) and had her own issues at the time – so was unavailable to help out. My uncle had joined the seminary years before I was born. I’m unsure if doing so had to do with his sexual orientation – or guilt and confusion relating to it. Either way, he became a Roman Catholic priest – and still lived with his ‘friend,’ a man I knew for my entire life and adopted as a second uncle. From when I was born, he was there. I’d never known my uncle to be without his ‘friend.’ To this day, they are still living in that apartment, even though I think now, he’s moved downstairs and is occupying the space that used to be my grandmother’s. But, anyway – I rarely saw him in anything other than the black pants, black shirt, priest collar. He never confirmed that my second uncle was anything more than just his friend, and no one wanted to ask. We all just went along with it, not wanting to know what went on behind closed doors. None of that was our business. My uncle was the equivalent of the ‘housewife’ while my ‘bonus’ uncle worked a regular nine-to-five – so unless it was a weekend or Sunday dinner at my grandmother’s or a holiday or family gathering, I rarely saw him. While we lived within walking distance from my grandmother’s house, my uncle would walk over in the evenings to ‘say goodnight,’ and usually that consisted of him telling me a bedtime story and tucking me in. Usually it was the same corny story. He would put me in as the main character – he would also insert my cousins, (my aunt’s kids) but always make me the heroine. There was no doubt that I was his ‘favorite’ and he made sure to tell me often. I spent a LOT of time with him when I was between the ages three to five. When I started elementary school, the trips into the city had lessened from three times a week down to two, and they’d likely be after-school appointments. He would still take me to those, as my mother’s work schedule often consisted of after-school tutoring, to earn a little extra. All that being said, let it be known that I have no memories of ANY of this. I only remember all of the above as that’s how it was told to me. By the time I turned six, my mother had just re-married. My new stepfather was a decent guy and a hard worker. My first sister was ‘baking,’ my mother had become pregnant shortly after her wedding. My father had also remarried within months of my mother. I now had two ‘bonus’ parents aside from my biological parents – I still lived with my mother, though, and we’d moved into an apartment further away from my grandmother’s house – meaning my uncle could no longer walk the distance to ‘tuck me in’ at night anymore. I’m not sure how this came to be – it might have been suggested that I was struggling socially in school, but my mother eventually decided to put me into ‘play therapy.’ It was church sponsored and free – but being six, I didn’t care about the ‘therapy’ aspect of it all. All I cared about was the fact they had a Barbie Dream House in one of their playrooms, and I LOVED the idea of being able to go play with it for an hour. There were a WHOLE lot of toys to pick from…blocks, puppets, stuffed animals…but that Dream House was all that I’d go for. They had a range of Barbies that I could play with, too, which only made it all better. I remember a Dream House of my own being added to my Christmas list, but it never did show up under the tree. Damn that Santa Claus! That’s where my memories start. I remember nothing before going to play therapy. I, however, remember THIS particular afternoon at play therapy where I clenched a Ken doll in one hand and a Skipper doll in the other. This is where it gets fuzzy. I don’t remember what the dolls were actually doing. Perhaps I’m not allowed to remember. I DO, however, remember the lady waving her hand to get my attention, and then when I looked at her, asking me who the Ken doll was. What was his name? I could have said, ‘Ken.’ Even back then, I’m sure I was a smart-ass. I did know that was the name of Barbie’s boyfriend. But I didn’t. In this representation, he wasn’t Ken. Instead, I named my uncle. The lady told me I could play for a little while longer. She would be right back. I didn’t care that she left me alone in the playroom. Thinking back, I’m sure she was going to speak to my mother and properly ‘reporting’ what had just been said. At the time, though, nothing registered. I was oblivious and uncaring, as long as I had a few more minutes with the Dream House, I was golden… I never saw that woman or that playroom again. I think I was more disappointed that I never saw the Dream House again, either. Shortly after my last play therapy session, two women showed up at our apartment. They sat on either side of me on the couch. My mother was there, too, standing across from where we sat. I remember her telling the women that I was deaf and I needed for her there to interpret, in case I didn’t understand them. I remember vaguely one woman beginning to speak slowly. She started out with some simple questions. What was my name? How old was I? What was my favorite color? What was my favorite toy? When she was sure that I could understand her without my mother’s help, she put down the clipboard she had in her lap, and slightly opened her legs. “Do you know what this is?” She patted her own crotch. It was quick, a pat-pat when the word ‘this’ was said. I remember looking at this lady as if she were bat-shit crazy. Of course I knew what THAT was. I had one too. I knew the name, but I called it a ‘private part.’ I remember there being a brief dialogue between my mother and these two women. My mother was someone that there was NEVER any issue lip-reading. The person I had NO choice but to understand. She was suggesting to the women that she’d spoken to her brother and he’d disciplined me because I was being ‘fresh.’ He’d admitted to swatting my bottom. Additionally, maybe that was why I was confused, and THAT’s what he’d touched, instead of where Ken had touched Skipper. I assume that is why they asked me what (pat-pat) ‘this’ was. ‘This’ and my bottom are not in the same place. In hindsight, even at six, I knew the difference between that was in the front and what was in the back. Why would I deny this, though? My mother was the one person I knew I needed to obey. Whatever she said was the truth. One of the not-so-good things about her being my first-ever ‘teacher’ – I took every single thing she said seriously and as being the truth. She was right about everything. Whatever she knew, I was supposed to also know. And like most students try to do with their teachers – I was eager to supply the right answer and to make her proud. I wanted to please her, I wanted to be right and not wrong. So, when the women turned to me and asked if that was what happened, and that my uncle had spanked my bottom, I nodded. Yes. If Mom said that’s what happened, then that’s what happened. I DID remember him doing that, after all. Not details, but I DID remember being warned by my mother not to give my uncle a hard time on the subway. I was six, of COURSE I was going to get out of line a few times. The subway had poles in the aisles and I’d love spinning around them…he’d probably complained about that and said I’d misbehaved. I’d probably been swatted a couple times because I didn’t listen. It wasn’t something done regularly. I suddenly felt very afraid. Of what, I don’t know. Maybe it was of these strange women and them being here and asking weird questions. They’d seemed friendly when they arrived. Now, they were just intimidating, and I wanted them to leave. I’m not sure how much longer we were talking but to an anxious six-year-old, time drags and it’s hard not to get restless. “I made it up.” Yes. I said it. I said it so they would leave. Sure enough, shortly after, they gathered their papers and clipboards and left. My mother let them out and said nothing more of this. Ever. Not a single word. You’d think something this serious would be followed up on. It would be something that I’d need facts on. Something that would be too hard to ignore, but it’s something my mother had too little difficulty ‘forgetting about.’ I do think, though, my uncle was spooked, and if there was indeed something going on, it stopped here. I did always remember that meeting with those women and telling them I’d lied and that I’d entirely made up what Ken had done to Skipper was always in the back of my head, bottled and stored in a place that would remain undisturbed for the next a decade and a half. It perhaps stayed in the back of my mother’s mind, too, but unlike me, she’d never get around to re-opening this bottle. I’m not sure if the behaviors began before or after this meeting with those two women. I remember nothing from ‘before’ I started to believe that I was a liar, for having made up something so terrible about my uncle. And now, looking back at the behaviors I remember so clearly, I was having to believe that there really was something wrong with me, too. I remember beginning to take my own baths at the age of seven. My sister had been born shortly before I turned seven, and my mother was now often busy with an infant. So, every night, I would go into the bathroom with my bucket of bath toys and take a bath on my own. This next part is one of the hardest things for me to admit – but I will do so anyway, as I’ve promised not to hold back, not to kick certain details over to the side because they’re too shameful or embarrassing. It’s important. It’s another huge, significant, blinking question mark when it comes to the whys behind it. Another black void that I truly cannot shine a light on, to see what started it. But – at age seven is when the masturbation started. Water was how I did it, mostly with the shower head/spray. I don’t know if this means of masturbation was ‘discovered’ by accident or it was a previously introduced method, but it regardless became a routine. At the beginning of ‘bath time,’ I would turn on the shower head and let the water hit me ‘there’ until I couldn’t anymore. I had no idea what an orgasm was, but there was a point I needed to get to – a point where I could no longer spray in that spot, because it was throbbing too much. While a child knows nothing about masturbation – certainly not the proper term for it - she somehow knew that it was how to arrive at that ‘feeling’ at the end. To experience that feeling soon became a bath time obsession for me. While it was something I had grown used to doing, and I am ashamed to admit I enjoyed, too – I also knew, deep down, that it was wrong. There was something about it that didn’t feel right – and I ignored that nagging feeling. Instead, I hid this from not only my mother, but from everyone else in the household. It was my secret, something I never told anybody about. A few years in, my mother did eventually realize what I was doing when she walked into the bathroom and caught me in the process. She’d confirmed my fears – it was wrong, it was a sin and it was disgusting. And because I’d become so intent on doing it, I felt even more so that this meant that I was not normal, I was a bad person, I was a disgusting, vile human being. It was something she would tell me that I needed to confess to our parish priest (we were Catholic…I only say ‘were’ because I no longer follow the Catholic) before receiving Communion at Sunday mass. So, every week, I’d shamefully admit to the priest (the face-to-face confessional was how I had to do it) that I touched myself. I’d grow increasingly ashamed of it, and of myself, as I got older. An addendum to the whole ‘confessing my sins’ bit – I wasn’t thinking to add this as I was almost finished writing this installment when remembering this part. As my mother insisted on my going to confession before church, and her brother was a priest, she would sometimes have HIM listen to my confessions. There was a room in his apartment that he’d made a mini-chapel out of – he had an altar, his statues, the communion dish, the wine goblet, the incense thingy…there was a single pew where we would once in a while hear him say mass. Or it was where I’d sit next to him and avoid eye contact while I told him the same things I’d tell our parish priest. He would absolve me of my sins every time, and then give me my three Hail Marys or two Our Fathers to recite as penance. I never really thought about how messed up this was – not until much later. I can’t help but wonder, looking back, what HE was thinking when hearing me say these things? Another behavior that also began when I was very young was soiling myself. This, I cannot explain the reasoning behind. I would literally ‘hold it’ even if I needed to go to the bathroom – and usually would have soiled underwear at the end of the day. I’d taken to hiding them when I took them off, fearful that I’d be yelled at. My mother would indeed yell, but usually it would be when she either realized that there weren’t too many pairs of my underwear in the laundry or when she’d find however many pairs that I’d hidden when she ‘cleaned’ a certain place in my room. She also knew about my soiling – she’d shame me for that, too, telling me I smelled, and that nobody would want to be near me. Perhaps, deep down, I knew that. Either way, this, along with the masturbation, was likely one of the several reasons I met my first therapist when I was eight years old. Dr. M had her office in the basement level of a brownstone in downtown Brooklyn. She was a Jewish lady with an 80’s perm, glasses, and a fondness for saying ‘what do YOU think?’ whenever I asked her a question. Her office had a playroom, too, but alas, no Barbie Dream House. She did have wooden building blocks, plenty of paper, crayons and other crafting supplies. Most of the time, we’d converse while I drew pictures or built something out of the blocks. I don’t recall what we talked about, but I do remember wanting to know more about her. How old was she? What was HER favorite thing to eat? It would piss me off to no end when she would smile and ask what I thought. I’d tell her, “I dunno. That’s why I’m asking you.” I saw her for once per week, for one year. It became something I looked forward to – it was hard, at eight, to view Dr. M as a therapist or to wonder why I was seeing her. Mom would later say it was because I was having trouble at school and that I was imaginative. Hmm. Imaginative. Meaning, I guess, I was a liar, and that was just a nicer word for it. I think she also threw in “well, your being deaf was making it hard for you to make friends at school.” That doesn’t quite top the ‘imaginative’ reference, but it was also true that school SUCKED for me. Kids were cruel, I kept to myself mostly, and shied away from as much social activity as possible. Not that seeing Dr. M improved on that – school was a nightmare all through middle school – being deaf was simply what was wrong with me now, and what would be wrong with me for the rest of my life. While the other stuff that was wrong with me was a secret, this wasn’t one I could keep. There was constantly attention being drawn to my disability, and my classmates, not being mature enough to be able to see past it, would be merciless and consistent with their bullying. To me, Dr. M was a kindly lady who talked to me, who drew with me, who let me tell her stories. Perhaps those were imaginative, too? I honestly have to wonder if any of my ‘stories’ raised any red flags, because suddenly, one Saturday morning, I was prepared to go for my therapy session and my mother informed me that I’d not be seeing Dr. M anymore. “It’s too expensive,” my mother said. In hindsight, I cannot imagine that being the case, as my father, who has always been comfortable with money, was funding all of this. That’s basically his role in all of it. My mother would tell him what she needed – money, take me to this appointment, pick me up, drop me off. Dad never questioned anything or the cost of anything – he just did it. She said to jump, he’d ask how high. There was never any closure with Dr. M. My mother stuck to the story that her services were too expensive. I remember being disappointed – sad, almost, that I would no longer see my ‘friend,’ Dr. M, but almost as quickly as it became a routine, it became a thing of the past. Life went on after the discontinuation of therapy. My mother and stepfather eventually had another baby. Another sister. My father and his wife remained childless; Dad always insisting that his one daughter was enough for him. I was with Mom most of the time and spent every other weekend with my father. Family gatherings continued to be held, most of the time at my grandmother’s house. We did all of the holidays – Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, birthdays. My grandmother was a non-driver – as my uncle too, never got his driver’s license, either. So, we always went to her house, as to simplify things for my grandmother and uncle – and us, as if we wanted them elsewhere, someone would have to pick them up and then drive them back home. My grandmother, up until she became sick, would insist on our visits on Sunday. Without fail, we went there on Sundays for dinner – even if it wasn’t a holiday. She wanted her family together – it was what she loved more than anything. This, I’m realizing, was something she passed down to my mother – I am finding that this family closeness is what my mother wants, as well, but it is, unfortunately for her, not how it unfolded. Still, life went on as if what had happened when I was six – had never happened. My uncle was no longer my babysitter, but he remained a constant. He was present at all the holidays and birthday celebrations. He would, on occasion, take me to movies during visits to my grandmother’s house. He didn’t seem to begrudge me for what I do remember having gone down with the dolls, and like my mother, he said nothing about it and carried on as if it was nonexistent. I will never know what was said between brother and sister – and what the plan was between the two of them – perhaps because keeping the family together was of paramount importance to my grandmother, it was decided that nothing would become of any of that – especially if I wasn’t remembering it…or at least, giving off signs of remembering. After all, as I entered adolescence, the abnormal behaviors (the bath stuff, the soiling) ceased and stopped. My mother had gotten her wish – I’d ‘forgotten’ about it. It no longer existed and it had effectively been swept under the rug. I carried on as ‘normal’ a relationship with my uncle as possible and ignored those little things that I would randomly remember for no particular reason. He has a birthmark on the knuckle side of his right hand – situated between his thumb and forefinger. His favorite breakfast cereal is Puffed Rice. Whenever I’d pass the Puffed Rice in the supermarket, I’d think to myself how much I hated it. He would call me ‘baby girl’ (his nickname for me) and I realized as the years went on, how much I hated that, too. Still, I said nothing, and would shift my thinking whenever any of these things came up. Several years went by without a mention of anything. Still, I remembered, but mentally, leaned more toward the theory that because I couldn’t remember any actual details, then I probably was confused and DID lie. I did, however, see less and less of my uncle, as my grandmother eventually became much older and too weak to host the weekly Sunday dinners. I know that this particular installment is really only supposed to discuss what I remember of my childhood and my young adulthood doesn’t really fall into this category. I however, need to fast-forward for a moment, to when I was twenty-two years old. This took place after I’d been raped at seventeen – after I’d moved out of my mother’s house, after I’d already given birth to my son and married his father. After a series of poorly-made choices that I’ll get into detail on in installment three. It was after life had succeeded in deepening the cracks that were likely made in childhood. My grandmother, sadly, had succumbed to osteoporosis and other health issues, and died in her sleep at home. A day or two following her funeral, my mother and I stopped by her house to sort through some of her things to see what could be kept, what could be donated, what could be thrown away. The minute I walked into her house, I was hit by a feeling of dread. Of unfamiliarity. My uncle let us in, and we saw that he’d already began to ‘move on.’ He (or the ‘bonus uncle’) had transferred all of his religious statues from his chapel upstairs and there they stood, wrapped in protective plastic, in the bedroom that used to be my grandmother’s. He told us of his plans to relocate his chapel downstairs, as well as take over my grandmother’s part of the house for himself – as his knees were declining and it was becoming increasingly difficult to climb up the flight of stairs every day. He was already beginning to fix the cracks in the floors by replacing the rotted wood squares with new ones. It was like a flip was switched. For the first time, I became angry. Grandma wasn’t alive anymore. I no longer had to pretend. I looked again at my uncle and realized how much I fucking hated him. I hated the sight of him. The smell of him. I hated the ‘baby girl’ every time he saw me, I hated seeing that ugly fucking birthmark on his hand every time he reached out to hug me. And he didn’t look like my uncle anymore. Not the uncle I’d been telling myself for all of these years, was probably innocent and that I was a lying piece of shit for having put him through that investigation that nothing ever came out of. No. Now, a look at his face made me want to insta-puke. All over his Jesus statues and new floors. Floors he could have had installed while my grandmother was still living and might’ve had the opportunity to enjoy them! Her body wasn’t even fucking COLD yet, and you’re redecorating!? I’d also, by now, experienced a sexual assault five years earlier – so I am thinking that, combined with the passing of my grandmother, was what made possible the swift, rude uncovering of those bottled-up suspicions that had been collecting dust in the back of my mind. It became harder to believe myself when that tiny six-year-old voice said, “I made it up.” Nothing made sense anymore. I had more questions now than I had answers. Guess what I realized on that afternoon, other than the fact that I hated my uncle? I didn’t make this up. Something happened. Something so horrible, that my brain will not allow me to remember it. A six-year-old kid doesn’t pull this shit out of thin air. Where the hell would she get it from? This started somewhere! I have seen my uncle only a handful of times since my grandmother’s passing in 2002. I cut him out. Completely. I wanted nothing to do with him. I wanted my KIDS to have nothing to do with him. I refused to attend any family gathering where he would be present. I no longer invited him to ours. I had to suck it up at the weddings of both of my sisters – he was there, and I’d had to be polite as not to arouse curiousity. I’d say hello and goodbye and avoid any interaction beyond that. There was a time during my mission to remove him from my life when he’d been hospitalized with an infection, and my mother, thinking he was going to die then, insisted I go see him – the hospital was, after all, just down the street from where I was living at the time. I’d told my husband to leave the car running and took the elevator up. As soon as he saw me, he broke down into tears and blubbered, ‘I didn’t mean for us to be enemies.’ Not knowing what the hell to do with that, I left minutes later, saying that there was no parking and they were waiting for me to come back down. That was as good enough to a confession I was going to get out of him, and I left the hospital that day further convinced that cutting him out was the absolute best choice I could ever make. THAT was what convinced me whenever there was question, whenever there was that moment of doubt. My mother, who, for many years, had seen me ‘carry on’ as if everything were normal, eventually began to ask me why I was so angry with him, why I no longer called him ‘uncle.’ Why I snapped at whomever dared mention his name or sing his praises. Why whenever someone said ‘he’s a priest!’ my face would scrunch as if I’d bitten into a lemon. I would never be able to say anything more than that initial feeling I’d gotten when walking into my grandmother’s house and seeing that he’d gutted it and been so quick to ‘remove’ her from it. He’d treated his mother like shit, he’d likely been anxious for her to die, so that he could redo her house and conform it to his selfish needs. Additionally, I added that he’d cheated my mother out of her inheritance – something I’d find out not too long after. Yes, she would have more reason to be angry with him over that, but it ‘fit’ and it was something more to add to my list of what to be angry with him for…but whether it was enough to hate him was probably unlikely. I also realized that I was becoming increasingly angry with my mother. This, though, was tricky and I couldn’t help but feel incredibly guilty each time I looked at my mother and felt periodic bouts of anger, mixed in with bits of hatred and disgust. To this day, I cannot hug her with my heart – only my arms. I believe this is only because the physical affection was obligatory – a greeting, a farewell, a special occasion – all those things that require hugs and shows of affection – those were easy, mostly because there was usually more than just one person to greet/say goodbye to/congratulate on whatever. I find it sad though, that I cannot hug my mother to show her love. I cannot go to her for comfort. I cannot trust her. But I do love her, in my own distant, detached way. My mother was the one who supposedly loved me the most, the one who molded me into this greatly improved version of what they told her I would be. She’s been there whenever I needed her to be. She helped us financially in the past, and she continues to, if she sees us struggling. She genuinely (and probably) does more for me than she does my sisters. While I’ll always appreciate what she’s done, I’m stuck on what she didn’t do. What she refused to see. For that reason alone, I’d chosen to not tell her about the things that would happen afterwards. My thinking on it – if she failed to help me when I needed it as a child, then she certainly would fail to help me at an older age. She had her chance to help me deal and cope with the aftereffects of abuse, whether it was child abuse or abuse I’d suffer in adulthood, but she failed. I’m unable to find it within myself to give her another chance. Especially now, in adulthood, where she continues to inadvertently insult me by repeatedly throwing her brother into my face. Especially now, that his health has severely declined and he’s actively experiencing end-stage congestive heart failure on top of not being able to walk or do much for himself without assistance – and she’s made efforts to get me to mend fences, even if by way of a greeting or a brief conversation with him before his (long overdue) death. Her efforts have failed, and will continue to fail, for he’s been dead to me for years, already. He ‘died’ on that afternoon in his house when that bottle of memories that I’d tucked away for years, was suddenly knocked off its shelf and had shattered. The idea of him had died. My connection to him – dead and severed. Unfortunately, his physical body has not yet died, despite a heart attack, a quadruple bypass, diabetes, obesity, knee and hip replacements, arthritis, that infectious disease he’d been in for when I’d visited him, and countless bouts of pneumonia and other respiratory issues. I swear, this disgusting, vile, rancid, sorry excuse of a person has more lives than my five cats combined! Anyway – I’ve seemingly gone off course. This installment was supposed to deal with just childhood and what I remember of it. It just seemed pertinent to discuss a little bit of my more recent attempts to reduce contact, especially since some of you have seen me bit*h and complain and moan about my mother and about having to be at the same family gathering as my uncle as recently as a few months ago. In closing, I think that it is safe to say there were many victories within my childhood. I succeeded where kids like me who didn’t have the extensive training did not. I was always ‘ahead’ in language, vocabulary. I thrived in the ‘hearing’ community, when it was told to my parents that the likelihood of that happening was very slim. I’d be more likely to graduate high school with a fourth-grade reading and vocabulary level – but that didn’t happen. I’d learned to function within a hearing community, and I wasn’t that . Granted, my mother had gleaned most of the praise for my accomplishments – having done all of the required foundation work. Perhaps that’s another mother-issue to analyze in another piece of writing – it won’t be done in this one. As there were successes, there were also several failures. Most of them, though, were not my own. Those two ladies who came to our apartment? They failed to persist, to follow up, to see through my mother’s version of events. They believed my mother when she said that I likely misunderstood. I was easily confused, and probably didn’t understand the difference between bad touching and a spank on my ass. So, they let this go. Dr. M? She failed, too. Maybe she had been getting close to uncovering what had really happened. Maybe not. Either way, she’d later tell me (more on that in a future installment) that there had been no resolution, as my mother yanked me from therapy at nine years old. My father – although he is someone I think my mother constantly lied to and therefore the person I truly believe was the most clueless of all of them, also failed by not assuming a more active role. Him, though, I’ve forgiven and don’t begrudge. My mother is a powerful force – and a master manipulator. She knows how to cover things up, how to lie, how to sway a child’s thinking. How to self-protect. Next to her brother, who also quite obviously failed me, she was the one who failed me the most, and in the worst possible way. And for years – I failed myself, too. Even unintentionally, I did so by denying, by burying, by ignoring things, by keeping silent. By lying about what I thought, even if they were lies by omission. By allowing someone else to speak for me, to tell a story that didn’t feel accurate. To always agree, because I was a liar and it didn’t matter what I said – it was wrong. By also giving in and accepting the idea that there was something wrong with me and that was the reason for all those ‘abnormal’ behaviors. Well…no more. It’s time to make this right. Make those things I thought were lies, a truth. Although I cannot correct what others have or haven’t done, it is time to turn my own failures into a victory - even if I do it here, first - behind the safety net that I know will remain intact and where I know I'll be met with the love, support and validation that I truly need. I do not know if I will ever be able to tell this story outside of this forum or to confront those responsible, but to be able to do it here at this time, is a freeing start. - Capulet
  3. Did I mention how much of a pain in the ass my mother is? You all might know her as Oompa at this point, but - I might change that to 'pain in the ass.' She's always going to look like an Oompa Loompa, but lately this new nickname for her is becoming FAR more appropriate. I might have indeed mentioned...but just in case I didn't... My. Mother. Is. A. GIANT. Pain in the ass! I just spent most of this morning arguing with her and one of my lovely readers is likely going to have to front me some bail money because I'm about to be arrested for matricide. Unless of course, I can 'untwist my panties,' (as she so eloquently put it) by venting here. It seems like a much safer alternative to jail time, so - here goes. The son has pretty much commandeered use of my car - he uses it to get back and forth to the (local) college. When he goes back to the wasband's on Saturday evenings, he will take the car with him (unless I need it for any other reason) and more often than not, it's with him these days more than it's with me. That's okay - this was always my intention - let him 'take over' my car - in lieu of a hefty monthly car payment, he would pay for gas, insurance and any other upkeep/maintenance costs on that car - and I would get a new one to ensure I had a means of getting from A to B without having to rely on anyone else. I've told him this, too - 'you NEED to find a job - if you want to have a car (and I added the usual mom-style pep talk about growing up, becoming responsible, etc) then you NEED to start learning how to budget and manage your money.' As is, we are now living somewhere where 4WD is NEEDED and owning a SUV is highly recommended - and although my existing car (which will soon be the Son's) does not have 4WD and is TERRIBLE in the snow, I don't have the heart to trade it in as it was bought from money my aunt and uncle left me upon their passing. Rather than the son spend the money (that he doesn't have) on a car that he'll have payments (that he cannot make) on, he can make do with a significantly reduced financial responsibility and use my old car to get to school/work. It does snow a lot here, but it's NOT a CONSTANT problem - when it does snow, his classes are usually cancelled anyway. I have some money saved - and am now feeling the need to be situated with a car - I'm going to be starting school in the fall, so there's a little time. However, I've realized that the son is also dragging his feet. He won't move unless I do. He had PLENTY of time to find a job during his first semester (last fall) and didn't. He isn't fully to blame for this, though - the wasband (another VERY accurate addition to my 'Top Five' Pains in the Ass) has been taking the majority of his elder son's and daughter's paychecks, 'to pay house bills with.' Our son, aside from having an endless supply of self-admitted laziness, is a VERY perceptive and observant young man. He sees that his older brother and sister NEVER have a penny to their names - they work and hand their paychecks over. This has been going on for months, already, and my elder stepson, having finally reached his limit, has left the wasband's home and moved back in with his mother. There was a HUGE blowout between him and the wasband, something I had no idea was happening until AFTER the fact - and long story short, Junior is no longer 'supporting the family,' and MY son has now been told that he now has to take over Junior's job working alongside his sister at HER job. This means, now the son has a job. Which is what I've been waiting for. It is my intention to let the wasband know that he's going to need to afford the son a little bit of leniency with his paychecks so that he has the money he'll need in order to maintain the expense of having his own car and possibly his tuition so that he doesn't doom himself to a lifetime of debt. So, how does Oompa fit into all of this? Well, for starters, she knows I've been saving up to buy a car. And now, my savings is starting to dwindle - as we have lately had some hefty financial responsibilities - vet bills, vacation bills, household repairs, etc, all in the last three months. The vacation we planned on, but the rest, we did not. So, now, I am of the impression that leasing my next personal-use vehicle is likely my best option. But being 'President's week,' she has began to urge me to research the sales because 'there are some excellent deals out there.' Not a lie, but still, considering the window of opportunity is beginning to close on the Son's EVER being in a position to control his own finances, it's time to move. To top that off, my sister's best friend's husband is a dealer at the Subaru near her and he's 'EXCELLENT' and 'can get me a good deal.' (Though, likely only on a Subaru.) I've always wanted a Jeep. I've already accepted that I'll not be able to afford the pretty purple Wrangler that sits teasingly in front of the local dealership - but saw today that a local dealership is offering NEW Jeep Cherokees, and I could lease for $169 a month. I supplied Oompa (the pain-in-the-ass) the phone number and instead of calling THEM to find out more about this 'special,' she called the dealer she knew. She then mentioned that he wouldn't recommend a Jeep (as no Subaru employee likely would) and that he recommended an Impreza or a Legacy and could get good deals on those cars for me. We could go see him on Saturday because he got my brother-in-law a good deal on HIS car - he would definitely do the same for me. I told her that those cars mentioned were NOT SUVs. And I had told her previously that I did not want anything other than a SUV. WHY was she pushing cars? Apparently, 'they have 4-wheel drive,' but, still. These are CARS. I told her, 'I am absolutely not wasting my time looking at cars when I already know what I want." "But why do you need such a big car?" I could NOT believe she'd just asked me that. I've never had a big car/SUV. Before my Avenger, I had a Neon. Before that, a Mitsubishi Mirage. My SISTER, (who is smaller than me) - has a GMC Acadia - that is a VERY large SUV. Why doesn't she ask HER why she needs such a big car? She has two kids - who combined, are still much smaller than my 12 year old. My 18 year old is bigger than ME. J is bigger and taller than me. What if I want to take my family somewhere? We're not all going to fit in a clown car! I told her I had my heart set on a Jeep. She then proceeds to tell me that I should look them up online - they're not the most reliable, they're not the safest (Subaru is) and they've got bad reputations. She actually went as far as to say she wouldn't 'cooperate,' should I not agree to keep an open mind and at least LOOK at cars that are 4WD. Yes, you heard correctly - SHE will not cooperate. Another manipulation tactic. I'm DONE with manipulation. In the course of my forty years, manipulation has been a constant. My mother and my ex being the two biggest offenders - the reason for that being they were people I depended on most. Yes, manipulation indeed goes hand-in-hand with dependency - for if you 'upset' or 'disappoint,' you lose a means of support - whether it is a GOOD source of support is irrelevant. What matters is, I THOUGHT these people actually were looking out for my best interests, and am sad to realize that this was never the case - it is a matter of what is more convenient for them, what THEY want. There were almost always ulterior motives. And I'm not even sure what my mother's motives are, here - was she trying to get my sister's friend's husband a commission? I finally said, 'Look - NOTHING pisses me off MORE than someone who tries to change my mind when I've made it clear what I'm looking for. I asked you to come along because you're good at negotiating with dealers (she is) and working out the best deals - but If you're not going to cooperate and help me find what I want to find, then I'll go without you and go buy myself a fucking Jeep!' That's when she said I should untwist my panties, the dealer would sell me whatever I wanted. I told her that if this 'excellent' dealer could show me an actual SUV (like the Forester - more the type and size I'm looking for) and beat the lease price of $169 a month for a Jeep, then we'd talk and see about getting him a commission. But that $169 a month was the right price for a car that I actually wanted - so why WOULD I settle for anything other than that? Is she paying for the car? No. Is she co-signing? No. So what's the fucking problem??? Safety? A Jeep would be safer than what I'm CURRENTLY driving. They're not known to be reliable? Well, that's why I'm better off LEASING, isn't it? Repair coverage. And after the lease is up, I'd be put into a brand-new car. There's not enough time for something to go wrong with it - if something does, it's covered. As it stands right now, I'm going to the dealership in the morning - armed with my dwindling patience, my checkbook and my manipulation-proof vest - I know all too well how it's going to go. She's going to try and push those 'cars' on me again - she's going to ask (again) why I need something so big...she'll get J to 'talk some sense into me,' and J is fully prepared to put her in her place - SHE likes Jeeps, too! It's just sad that I have to be this firm with my mother - at forty years old. That she still feels the need to control me and she CANNOT just let me make choices without trying to meddle. She has two other daughters, younger than me, and who LIVE closer to her than I do. Why can't she bother them!? In closing, I will let all of you know tomorrow of the following: Whether I need bail money and where to wire it; (I'll pay you back...someday?) Whether I get a new SUV tomorrow or I end up planning to 'buy a fucking Jeep on my own;' And whether my mother is still breathing, and carrying on with her usual day-to-day annoyances...she likely will be, as no matter how angry or annoyed or irritated I can get, I could honestly never hurt a fly. My tolerance for bullshit is at an ALL TIME low with my mother, and with my ex, both of whom are tied for top pain-in-the-ass! Some days, I just don't know who's worse. When I eventually figure it out, I'll let you all know. Hoping the rest of you are having a less stressful weekend. My best to you, - Capulet
  4. Well, would ya look at that...TWO blog entries in two weeks - a good start to my promise to do some more writing/mental uploading! This entry can mostly be attributed to Oompa's prompt and not-a-moment-too-soon departure on Thursday morning - she and my stepfather were here for two nights. My father (to many: 'Lord Capulet') and his wife were ALSO in town, and since Monday, I've spend every day with one or both of my parents and their spouses - 'the steps.' Yesterday afternoon was the first time we were ALL together, and I sat at the kitchen table with my four parents, having a cup of coffee while everyone conversed about what restaurants were close by, who had a coupon for what, which establishments offered senior discounts... As for me, I didn't care. I've BEEN trying to get back on the diet wagon - so I was slowly trying to get used to the fact that it would likely NOT happen tonight. Not with the restaurant names being thrown around. My brain would adjust to the idea of one restaurant, but then they'd yell out the name of a different one. Finally, I reclined, sipped my coffee, and let them figure it out for themselves. "What about Olive Garden? I have a $5 off of $30!" "Wait, wait! Texas Roadhouse? $4 off two adult entrees!!" "Longhorns? Don't they have a fifty-five and up menu for seniors?" "I don't have a coupon for (insert less-famous local eatery here), do we want to call them and see if they're offering any early-bird specials?" I managed to get through an ENTIRE cup of coffee while they threw ideas at each other. And I'm not usually a quick coffee drinker, usually there's a small amount left in the mug when I finally dump it into the sink. My answer was the same whenever asked - 'Sure. Whatever you guys want.' I'm not sure who suggested what, but they decided on Texas Roadhouse, so we clipped the coupon and my father's wife tucked it carefully into her purse - then the next 'discussion' began. Now, it was 'what time are we leaving????' I had no idea what time we would be leaving but I knew it was, at the very least, time for a second cup of coffee. I'm not sure if I even knew what time everyone agreed on leaving my house - at this point, I was no longer really paying attention. But somehow, I caught glimpses of what my mother was NOW talking about. She started talking about the invitation on the table for my nephew and niece's dual birthday party. My nephew will be five and my niece will be turning one. My sister, in an effort to kill two birds with one stone, planned a party for both kids on a Saturday in between their month-apart birthdays. She talked a little bit about how my youngest niece 'got the short end of the stick' because both my nephew and my OTHER sister's kid had both had 'big' parties for their first birthdays. So again, I stared into my coffee while once in a while looking up and pretending to be interested in their conversation. Only, next time I did 'check in,' she was in the middle of asking my father for a favor. I didn't get all of it, but I saw, '...pick him up...' and 'on your way home, if you could drop him off...' Wait, what? I snapped back into reality. I interrupted and asked her what she was talking about. I think she'd assumed by now that I was comfortably situated in la-la land and that she'd be able to discuss this without my input. She was wrong, though, and she kind of paused, took a deep breath, and said: "Well, you know...your sister invited your uncles to the kids' birthday party in March." She might've seen the smoke beginning to shoot out of my ears, I'm sure of it, because she trailed off with, "...and she wants Uncle B to do the balloons for the kids and and they have no way of getting there...so, I thought your father could maybe give them a ride..." "Are you fucking kidding me?" I cut her off. I didn't care that I was surrounded by the four people who raised me and although Oompa has heard me swear a number of times, Lord Capulet is not used to seeing me angry. Maybe it's because around him, I'm rarely angry. My father doesn't push nor test my limits like my mother does. Well - consider them currently pushed to the maximum, because I was LIVID now. * Here is some background information, to clear up any confusion at this point - by 'my uncles,' I am referring to my mother's brother (Uncle L) and his very long time partner (Uncle B). Their relationship is as strange as it can be - they've not outwardly admitted to being gay, even after living together (in separate bedrooms) for over forty years. Uncle L is a 'priest;' (the air quotations are being used VERY loosely here) - however, he's ALWAYS been a phony and I've some VERY strong suspicions of his being guilty of a lot of wrongdoing during my childhood days. Uncle B, I believe, is his asexual domestic partner and for as long as I could remember, has had a talent for making balloon animals. Of the two, he's the more harmless, more likable, but unfortunately remains faithful to my uncle. It makes it VERY difficult to consider him family, but he is the one I will say a polite 'hello' to while I'd walk past and avoid the uncle whose blood I share like the plague. I asked Oompa to tell me again, HOW this fucking idiot got invited to a kids' party. She repeated herself. Uncle B's been asked to make the animal balloons. Yep. Got that. Uncle L would come along with him. He IS after all, blood, and wanted to see the kids for their birthday. I rolled my eyes. "He's just an old man, we'll put him on the opposite end of the room..." My mother, by now is trying to calm me down because I'm starting to lose my shit. Dad and the steps - both quiet. I went off on her. "You mean to tell me (my sister) can't hire a fucking clown that can make balloon animals that already lives in New Jersey that has his own means of transportation, isn't over seventy years old and isn't required to lug along his pet piece-of-shit wherever he goes?" "Stoppp..." my mother's WELL aware of how pissed off I am - I'm SURE she, by now was regretful of having brought this up in my company and was silently kicking herself. But I am realizing that it's even more fucked up that she would deny me this information and sooner allow me to walk into my nephew's and niece's birthday party to find THAT fucking douche-bag sitting there. Staring at me - because that's what he does, given the opportunity. His eyes are unsettling, piercing, and whenever I see him, he's looking. RIGHT at me. "I'm not coming," I finally said, "I'll send a present for each of them, but if he's there, I won't be." My father and his wife gave each other a look. My mother just sighed and asked if I'd really do that to my nephew and niece. My niece, at a year old, would be fine if Auntie Cap wasn't there, but I KNOW my nephew would be looking for me. Well, SHIT. No, I'd probably not disappoint him, if you're going to put it that way. My nephew is totes my little buddy - despite his parents, who are as fake as they come. NO, I would not do that to him, but I CANNOT be expected to be as I normally am, with HIM there. "Wait..." My father's wife finally said breaking the silence that had come over the kitchen table, "What is going on, here?" Ahhhh, that's right. I'd not told anyone about my suspicions. I'd given Oompa alternate reason for not liking Uncle L, reasons that seemingly don't fit a meltdown of this caliber. I've decided she's never going to get all of the reasons - I can't trust her. Just when I think I can TRY, she goes and pulls bullshit like this! Obviously, my mother had never shared with my father my hatred for Uncle L, either. I felt...cornered. No, this wasn't a good thing - this wasn't a good TIME. No way in hell was I getting into something I wasn't prepared for. INITIATE SHUT-DOWN SEQUENCE, I could hear my brain saying, in that robot voice. Over and over. Don't think. Don't scramble for words. Just get OUT of this! And so, I did. I was only able to say that I wanted nothing to do with him - he was a horrible person and I didn't want to be around him. My Dad and stepmother were even more confused - when asked why, Oompa proceeded in telling the story I'd been giving her for the last decade and a half. It did help that there was actually credence to these things - and surely, they're reason to dislike him but I'm sure my mother KNOWS there is more beneath the surface - and she's likely playing me at my own game - only sharing what I've been willing to share with her. Perhaps she's hoping someone else knows more and she can get more details out of them. The only one to know the entire reason is J...and although Oompa HAS tried to question J a couple of times over the years, my lovely wifey has claimed she knows nothing and is faithfully guarding that information. I hold the control that way - and I know that my secrets are safer that way, too. So, I sat back, fuming, while my father and stepmother listened, and my mother rattled off the reasons for my not liking my uncle. Here's why I don't like my uncle and why the thought of seeing him sends me into a panic, a rage. According to Oompa, of course, and now, according to Lord Capulet and his wife: He'd allowed my grandmother to live her final days in FILTH - she lived downstairs from him. There were cracks in her floors, roaches crawling up the walls, a nasty odor in the air. He'd originally fought my mother on letting her live her last days at home - he wanted to put her in a nursing home because 'he couldn't take care of her.' My mother did EVERYTHING she could to tend to my grandmother - at the time, she worked at a public school and she'd first go to my grandmother's house every day for a few hours before coming home. She arranged for an in-home aide to tend to, feed, assist my grandmother while my uncle did what he does best - nothing. When she died - he wasted NO time in 'removing' her from the house, so that he (and Uncle B) could make renovations to the entire downstairs apartment she lived in - and transform it into a church. He had a chapel upstairs but had been making plans to redo her living room into a congregation room. This man HAS no congregation - he says mass daily, or so he claimed years ago - now that he's slowly becoming senile. He (possibly with the help of his 'partner,') cheated my mother out of her inheritance. My grandmother was NOT the sharpest tool in the shed and was someone who was very easily manipulated. Somehow, Uncle B convinced my grandmother (when she first became ill) to sell HIM her half of the house - she owned half, and Uncle L already owned the other half. Uncle B bought the remaining half - for 20 grand, so now, the house was entirely theirs. A brick house in Brooklyn goes for WAY more than that - yes, the house was a DUMP - but it was still my mother's childhood home and she'd NOT been given the opportunity to purchase the house if she wanted to. They'd gone behind her back. A little work could have been put into it - some renovations, perhaps - and it would have put the value MUCH higher than what Uncle B paid. Regardless, my ailing grandmother took the money and put it away - she willed that 20K to be split among her three children upon her death - my mother, Uncle L and their sister, who predeceased them all. When she finally did pass, 'half' of THAT money now belonged to Uncle L - leaving my mother with a measly 10K - and her brother with the house and all of her earthly possessions that could be sold/distributed, etc. My mother used 'her inheritance' to pay for the funeral, leaving her with very little money and maybe a few trinkets, including my grandmother's wedding ring that she'd wanted my Mom to have, (that she'd had to fight my uncle for - there was a time he claimed he couldn't find it - she cleverly told him that since it was willed to her, she'd hold him responsible for the monetary value of the ring - he had a change of heart very shortly afterwards and told her that miraculously he 'found' it) - or he'd have pawned them for even more money to pad his own pockets. (Admittedly, my father looked shocked at this point - BOTH he and his wife did.) Sadly, this is only enough to label him as simply an unsavory, dishonest person - but sometimes I wonder if this is enough to explain why I'd say I don't want anything to do with him - I don't even mind his partner, Uncle B, too much. EVEN if he'd been dishonest with my grandmother and DID purposely cheat my mother out of what she was entitled to, I don't hate him. I just don't want Uncle L near me or my kids, I don't think he should be around my nephew and nieces - I might've said too that I didn't understand how the asshole had more lives than all five of my cats combined, death had evaded him more times than I could count. One doesn't wish death upon a miserly old man - especially one who is seemingly already paying the hefty price of his past greed - he relies on Uncle B entirely, needs 24/7 care, his knees are shot. He cannot walk, he doesn't go anywhere. He sits at home, day in and day out - and according to my mother, has forgotten names of some of his nieces and nephews - he's called my sister my name, or he's questioned my mother in reference to my sisters, "the one in the middle," or "the niece of mine who's in the medical field." My mother has said he's 'slowly' losing his mind, but if you ask me, he's never had full possession of his mind! I didn't know what pissed me off more - the whole invitation thing, or that she was asking my father to shuttle his disgusting ass to and from a party that I'm not looking forward to going to, anymore - or that she was making excuses for a piece of shit who doesn't deserve them! And my stupid, fucking sister! We've HAD conversations about our uncle before. Granted, not THE conversation - but she is WELL aware of how I feel about him. Yet she invites him to a kiddie party!? Where Uncle B, when he's not playing with fucking balloons, is going to be running around with a goddamned camera and taking pictures so that Uncle L can have them. As if the creep doesn't stare enough! I remember when my sister (this same one) got married - seeing him was unavoidable - he was at the wedding - the church part - and he had to walk past me to walk out. Uncle B was behind him and as soon as he was next to me, he whips out the camera - "Let's take a picture!!!!" Not a good place to cause a scene - my sister's special day...so I put on the fakest smile I could manage and held my breath. My daughter was standing a few feet away and I might've made up an elaborate story about how I didn't want her to mistake the holy water for a drinking fountain and walked away as soon as he'd snapped a photo. My father didn't confirm whether he would pick up Uncle B and the douche-pig and drop them back home on the day in question - but at least he's got some things to think about, now. Unfortunately, since I was in no position to fully explain my outburst, I feel that I have lost this battle and this, like my sister's wedding, will turn into another one of those 'can't be helped' situations - even though it COULD have been - if only my family had my back. It further proves that they do not, and that when it suits them, they'll not think twice about making me uncomfortable. I'll wonder if it is partially my fault, I've not exactly been straight-up with them about my suspicions - instead, I've allowed them to believe a different set of reasons for my hatred toward him. It's something I will regret having done - but at the same time, I can't imagine ever being ready to share the truth with any of them. How can I, though? I can't trust ANY of them! Anyway...it's taken me two days to get all of this out. Normally, a blog entry takes about a day, with me getting up in between writing sessions, with interruptions being frequent, with having to constantly put my writing on hold because of things that come up in 'real life.' However, reality has made itself known in ways that very few people know about right now - and I've been HIGHLY emotional. I will likely get to all of those details in a future entry, though - for it's taken me THIS long to finish THIS particular thought - THIS was put on hold by the 'other thing,' and now the other thing needs some further internalizing before I can discuss it fully and with some of my emotions still intact and without losing my mind. The short of it, though - we are losing one of our fur babies. It was a very unexpected development starting with the loss of function in both of his hind legs. He's been diagnosed with 'saddle thrombus.' Nothing can be done for him - and as he's seemingly not in pain, we have decided to let him live out his remaining days at home for as long as he's not struggling. The moment he does show that he is starting to suffer, though, we'll be taking the hours-long drive to the vet that is only 20 minutes away. As of right now, though, he cannot walk and has to be carried wherever he'd like to be, has to have his food and litter pan near him (within drag-distance) and has to be watched closely for any changes. J and I are devastated, we have spent the last couple of days crying off and on - and all of this bullshit with my mother and my uncle - seems so, very unimportant right now. I second-guessed posting this entry, too - it seems SILLY to bit*h about a party guest who might not even remember my name - when there are far more important things to be concerned with - especially when it concerns a loved one who DESERVES more 'time' than he's been given. More later. Want to release this entry before it becomes THREE days! I will be back with another update as soon as I can string together coherent thoughts on the rest of it without bursting into tears. The tear dam has already broken - it usually takes a LOT for me to be able to cry - and the last couple days have shown me that I, as much as I'd love to, cannot control the flow of tears. Hoping all of you are well. , - Capulet
  5. "Rape is the only crime where the victim is interrogated as the subject of interest. Little attention is placed on the perpetrator's behavior, if any." Once attacked as a child, the math odds do not improve in the longterm favor of the victim. This establishes a pattern that it's okay for silence and repeat abuse. It doesn't matter who or what is responsible for the original criminal act, what's important is that the victim doesn't internalize the crime. Why would I think this way? Not only does a victim/survivor have to fight the original crime, but the aftermath of the mob. They are mathematically -- atrocious odds. Personally, I didn't come up with the example of math and casinos. It was two males at Stanford who did. That too, pissed me off. It is an opinion that the Reid Technique from 1947 -- is part of this horrible gap in lost time, lost wages, broken families and other longterm consequences that are offloaded onto the victims. Commercial entities also use these interview and interrogation method... but first, as a female, the religious nut jobs have to have their Spanish Inquisition jab. "Is she diseased?" "Is she of childbearing years?" "Is she married?" THIS IS STRAIGHT OUT OF THEIR BOOK, "Blame Victim (Company or Supervisor)" page 217 "Use. This rationalization can be used for theft or damage to property. The victim can be blamed in almost any crime from a homicide, to a sex crime, to theft. The guilt is transferred to the victim by the interrogator who portrays the suspect as a victim of circumstances. The suspect became involved because the victim dressed or acted a certain way, flaunted their wealth, or made advances to the suspect." STOP RIGHT THERE. I want a complete list of every human who has attended this Reid course, used this method AGAINST rape survivors and bought this damned book. While I won't burn it, I will stare holes into it. AND I will stare holes into the website of the two men authors who are of 'lofty credentials' in this so-called fake justice nation. I FLIPPED YOUR 1947 MONEY RETIREMENT STRATEGY SCRIPT YOU BASTARDS. Legally, nobody is required to pass a religious test in this particular country. Nor are they fully required to submit their body to examination without legal representation. MIRANDA -- how odd is this warning label from a foreign rapist trial who got off on a technicality? I have the right to scream decades later because yelling is not against the law. I have the right to insult the academic masses who have financially benefitted off of 'rape research' but have yet figured out how to resolve the K-12 anatomical education in the classrooms. I have the right to tell the male judge and male lawyer that they are assholes when they collude on the insensitivity bandwagon and I'm reduced to tears in a trial. I have a right to interrogate the backgrounds of the medical practitioners who might believe my body is their evidence playground. I have a right to make sure any documentation about me in a file contains no bias about what people think of me... but rather facts. Most importantly, I have a right to laugh, to pursue my own path of healing and to investigate what is best for my life. I am not to be categorically dumped into a group or groups for research purposes, nor am I to be used as a 'rape prevention' tool or mouthpiece. I have a right to my personhood, my thoughts and my future. I have a right to refute Stasi-like tactics from a University-backed funding pool that is propped up by extremist patriarchy political channels. I have a right to my data accuracy and it not being propagated into a big data lake. I have a right to my female brain which is absolutely no different than a male brain. Mine happens to work logically and analytically and I can shut down the emotions just like a male with a light switch. I have a right to work with my anger and find the beauty in it as opposed to the myths attached to female anger. I have the right to my own emotions and I don't need your campy zen Corporate bunny fluff self-coddling because I came from that campy Corporate training environment and played the politics there. Yes -- Yes, I am terribly pissed off that the former Presidential administration used the financial anti-terrorism "fine" to supposedly fund rape kits and forensics. You filthy bastard of Ivy League might not realize some of us have been working on Iran things long before you entered the State of Illinois politics. We had to sit in those long gas lines during the seventies while we were given that delightful shitty government education in the middle of nowhere. Thanks for using our pool as human shields for your Middle East agenda. (In the event you two nincompoops didn't realize that human shields are against the Geneva Convention.) They ONLY went to where the huge foundation money goes -- Universities -- and didn't even dance in the K-12 ring. Common sense says... if you're raped into PTSD as a kid into teens -- college isn't even in the forecast. Thanks assholes. That's the early childhood education your political strategy neglected. In the event the original officers who destroyed a rape kit seven years after the first rape don't see the crime scene tape... they're not allowed to cross that line. I am evidence. I am not property. You'll not stuff me in your evidence lab rat room for observation. I am a survivor... and I also have a right to be mad as hell.
  6. Greetings. I'm new to the forum. Hoping to find closure after suppressing my feelings of anger and denial for some years. Living in hope that that day will come!
  7. Hello, friends! Sending my usual apologies for not having updated in a while. For the first time in several days, I can sincerely say we’re thawed out. The new boiler is working nicely - we now have heat and hot water in addition to the restoring of our electricity and internet. The kids went back to school this week; a lot of families in the area didn’t have power for the entire week last week following the winter storm, so the school district had some mercy on us all and closed the schools for the entire week while electric, oil, propane, cable companies all worked hard to get us all back up and running. Of course, my bank account is going to be quite sad for a while, now that we have to come up with a way of funding the new boiler, which is now on Oompa’s credit card. I may have to consider selling my eggs. I make cute kids. Anyway, amidst all this there was the usual wasband drama. We never seem to go without. We’ve gotten to the point where his name is mentioned and all eyes begin rolling. Mine, J’s and depending on how they feel about him, the kids’. I cannot express to you all enough how much misery this man puts me through. Even now, when I’m not married to him anymore and he now has a wife (his third) that he can annoy on a daily basis. He has a new wife that he can order around, a woman who once was tough but now has succumbed to his endless manipulation. No, I don’t feel bad for her, but at the same time, I do understand it all because the emotional abuse didn’t stop once the divorce papers were signed. Because we share two children in common (and that’s about all we share that matters) he still seizes any and all opportunities to remind me that he is right, he knows best, he’s never wrong, and I am one hundred percent wrong, every single time. Of course, that’s what he says initially, but after the volcano that is the wasband erupts, he cools down and somehow remembers how to talk rationally. Even then, he wastes no effort in proving why he was right in the first place. All I end up doing is nodding my head, because really, what the fuck is the point? Nothing I say is going to be right and I don’t have the energy to argue. I’m sick of seeing his pissed off face, the look of disgust when I talk to him or even try to tell him how I feel about something, the 'whatevers’ when I know I’m right and he does, too, and he just doesn’t want to give me an iota of credit. I’m so tired, guys. I’m REALLY tired. Know though, that the wasband came from a broken, abusive home and he’s been on his own since he was a teenager. Add to that he’s ex-military. By now, he’s alienated his entire family, and I do have to say that most of it was for justified reasons, but at the same time, it has destroyed him as a person. He has only the concept of his own family, everyone else’s family is irrelevant to him. I know he’s capable of being a good person when he wants to, but his need to control everything and everybody around him overshadows his finer qualities, as few of them as there are. And now, he’s managed to brainwash our children into agreeing with everything he says because they’re afraid of what he’ll say to them if they don’t. There’s so much I want to say to him, so much I want to scream at him, but I don’t because, what’s the point? He’ll come back at me with the usual belittling bullshit he’s mastered in the nearly 20 years I know him. He is truly an ugly, UGLY man, and right now I want to punch him in the face. All I can do at the moment is hope for another stent collapse in the near future because REALLY, there is nothing at all short of his passing that will free us from this man’s influence. And then there’s the subsequent feeling of guilt for having admitted that much because that’s just plain horrible of me to say. Let’s get this straight, I’ll never hate him. As much as his behavior is tedious, tiresome and unreasonable, he IS still the father of my children and he provides. And so, I often have to force myself to soothe their ruffled feathers every now and then but I’m running out of ways to do that. He doesn’t defend me to them, I’m sure. Whenever they have an issue with me, for whatever reason, they bring it to him and of course, I get lectured about it and reminded of why I’m wrong. He actually had the balls to tell me that they were losing respect for me, when ironically, their complaints about HIM have escalated in recent months. However, when they come to me with problems they have with him, we listen and shake our heads, but we certainly don’t go running back to him. We don’t get that luxury. He’d just tell us we’re wrong, so again, what’s the point? God, I absolutely hate how he is. I hate how he intimidates everyone around him, including our children. Right now my daughter is grounded from all of her electronics, TV and social media because he feels she intentionally harmed her little sister when they were roughhousing. My daughter claims and insists she didn’t mean for the little one to get hurt, but he flat-out accused her. And so, I tried not to laugh when my daughter gave my phone the finger when she saw her father’s number pop up. I spoke with the wasband over FaceTime and told him that I truly didn’t believe it was our daughter’s intent to hurt her sister, and he immediately started yelling at me and saying that by saying that, I was enabling her behavior. And so I nodded. Said, “okay.” Said nothing more for the duration of the conversation. I don’t think I heard much more of what he had to say after accusing me of enabling her bad behavior. I saw just his face get all ugly, his sneering, his lip curls. And so, like a robot, whenever he said ‘am I right?’ I would just nod. Because I’m not in the mood to carry on this conversation forever because that’s about as long as it would take for him to see anything in the same perspective as me. You see, my own brain was going a mile a minute. I know she has been acting out more than usual recently. She HAS had an attitude lately, she HAS been defiant, she HAS been different since we moved here. She’s also 11 years old, 12 in a few months. She’s expressed how much she hates it here, she’s said she misses her friends, she’s unhappy with the way she’s being treated in school. Not to mention, if she’s anything like me, her first period is likely on the horizon somewhere and she’s hormonal. I brought up all of these points to him, not only to defend her but because I truly believe that’s why she’s behaving in the manner she is. But basically, I was told to shut up and that I was allowing her to behave negatively and making excuses for her. Thank GOD I have this place to vent, because I’m beginning to reach my boiling point with him and his bullshit. He’s not only causing problems within his own relationship with our kids, but he’s also the cause of a lot of family drama and almost every issue I have with my family has to do with him in SOME way. I’m reminded of the letters my T in the past had told me to write to my abusers but never to send. He certainly qualifies as one. Last week’s events have made me think so much of what I’d want to say to him but because I’m still, to a point, afraid of what he’ll do or say in retaliation (For example, would he further brainwash my kids? Turn them against me? Fight me for custody? Make my life difficult in any and every way imaginable because he has acquired enough control over me and groomed me whilst married to him?) and so I don’t say these things. I’m quiet. I agree with him even when I truly don’t. Then when we get home, I’m pacing the floor hollering about what a jerk he is and trying to convince myself not to give a shit because I know it’s not worth pressing whatever issue it is - because I will never win. So, I’ll just say it here. I’d love to say to him - Knock it off, asshole! I’m sick and tired of being a puppet, I’m not your wife anymore, I’m nothing to you other than the mother of your children. You don’t treat ANY of your children’s mothers with the respect they deserve, not only for bearing your children but also for putting up with you and your fucking mind games for however long they did. If anything, we should be nominated for sainthood because YOU are not an easy man to be with, yet we tried our best to love you, to please you. Apparently we all failed at that, because pleasing you often means we have to sacrifice our own personal happiness because all you truly think about is your own damn self. Contrary to what you believe, you’re NOT the stand-up guy you THINK others see you as, no one will admit it to you because you’ve made everyone so afraid of you and rather than allow you to belittle them and make them feel an inch tall, the safer route is just to go along with whatever you say. But here’s the truth. No one can stand you. Everyone I’ve met has expressed a complaint about you that I’ve kept to myself out of respect for YOU. I’ve defended you for the sake of keeping the peace and in return, you continue to treat me like shit. You treat your kids like shit. You treat your current wife like shit, and like I was, she’s stuck because you’ve also alienated her family. You, sir, are going to die a miserable fucking old man with no one (except your children maybe, and that’s only because they have unconditional love for their father) to miss your militant, domineering ass. And when your kids finally give up on you and decide they’re sick of your shit, too, do NOT look to me for help because you’re on your fucking own, buddy. Just like whenever I need help with one of them, I’m on my own and then you proceed to ADD to the fucking problem rather than offer up a solution as a co-parent should. Yes, you provide, and yes, our children have clothes, food, anything they could ever want, but we need more than that. We need compassion that you’re not capable of showing, we need warmth that you’re void of as well, and we need compromise, whereas with you there is absolutely fucking NONE. I’m SICK of pretending to like you for the sake of our kids’ sanity, when in all honesty, I hate more things about you than I ever loved. In fact, I don’t understand myself for having ever married your ass. I’ll say it was temporary insanity when others ask me what the fuck I ever saw in you, but you know, when I ask myself the same question, I’m not even sure anymore. I truly believe you came along at a vulnerable point in my life and it was a time I was VERY easily manipulated and you saw an opportunity and charmed me into leaving home, moving in with you, raising your children. I THOUGHT I loved you because you, being the master of deception you are, convinced me that you would protect me, you would support me, you actually said you loved me quite a bit back then, and I responded in kind. But, truthfully, I think I was only in love with the idea of the stability you promised we’d have but we never really reached that point. We had money problems, we fought constantly, and of course, you won every single fucking argument because you would verbally batter me down to a pulp, as you continued to do even after our divorce. Thank you for that, by the way. Best fucking thing you could have ever given me aside from our perfect son and daughter. We always had chaos, I did most of the caring for the kids with little to no thanks from you verbal or otherwise. There was ONLY criticism because nothing I did ever measured up. Or it wasn’t done the way you wanted it done. Or if I were to argue with anything you said, I’d be in for a fight that lasted all week and it’d be a quarrel that I emotionally couldn’t and wouldn’t sustain, so rather than argue, I went along with every damn thing you said, even if I didn’t agree. And like a fucking asshole, I still do it, because you’ve trained me well. But I was truly MISERABLE, you asshole, and even if you did notice it, you did and said nothing about it. You’re a horrible husband…you tormented your first wife, you were horrible to me, you are currently an ogre to your wife. You're quick to call other people 'pieces of shit,' but lemme ask you, what the hell do you see when you look in the mirror??? It BAFFLES me that you don’t see what just about EVERYONE else does. But, you know, you’ll find that out when you close your eyes for the last time, most likely alone. I believe that in that moment before death, your life flashes before your eyes and I hope you finally understand the wrath you impose on the people closest to you. And I hope to hell you regret it. I hope you truly understand what people who have crossed paths with in life see when they see you. And guess what, you piece of shit? It’s going to be way too late to go back and make amends, to right all of your wrongs. You’re already nearing the point of no return with your own KIDS, how much more of your crap do you think they’re going to take?? Your way is not always the best way, and you NEED to learn to let things be, everyone would be so much happier. And hell, maybe you’ll fucking LIVE longer, too. All of the stress you claim you have (and probably blame everyone else for) is mostly brought on by your own damn self. So…wake the fuck up! Aaaaaah. To you guys, I say thanks again for hearing me rant. I’m sure there’s more that I’d love to say, no…SCREAM in his face, but this will have to do for now, as my own little inner volcano is now empty. I feel cleansed a little, maybe my former T was onto SOMETHING. And believe me, she wasn't right about everything. Going to try to turn in for now. Tomorrow (or rather, today) is a new day. Going to envision his face on my pillow and beat it up a little bit for good measure. - Capulet
  8. I feel like a there is an internal timer counting down until I snap. Every day gets worse and worse and I'm terrified that I'm going to snap. I have these episodes of overwhelming anger and it's getting more difficult to hold it in. I can barely sleep and I have absolutely no motivation to do anything. I can't remember when exactly these episodes started happening, but they used to be so rare even up to a year ago. Now they are happening everyday. I don't know how to deal with this. My dad also doesn't help. He is a huge bully and likes to pick on my siblings and me. Especially when we are at our most vulnerable. This has been happening all our lives so I'm used to it, but with my anger issues, it's starting to get to me. I want to throw things. I want to break things. I've already cracked the granite counter with a large knife a few weeks ago because I saw red and lost control. That's exactly it: I see red, lose control, and then I go into almost like a trance, and come back to reality. I can't do this anymore. I need help....
  9. Hello, I am new to this group. This is my first post. I was raped 29 years ago at the age of 18. I delt with it by blaming myself for getting drunk. (Now, I know that's not true, he is the one who took from me what I did not give. He is to blame.) I never reported it, never told my parents. For reasons I can't explain, it's coming up and out now. I am feeling the pain, fear, and panic of my 18 year old self, NOW. The nice people at rape call centers didn't know what to do to help me. I am having trouble finding people like me. Who understand how and why I was able to keep all these painful feelings hidden away for so long, because they did the same thing. I'm sure there are other people like me. I hope to get help here. The help that comes from listening to other people's experiences and stories. The help that comes from hearing how someone was able to move out of the darkness into the light. I don't know how to change myself from victim to survivor. Thank you for reading this. one more thing. I am old, and I am having trouble navigating this site. If anyone has suggestions of where to look, how to look, and what to look for, I'd appreciate it. I don't even know if I am posting this in the right place...
  10. This week was a bad, the worst one I have had since the memories started to return. I survived it with few new scars, but only because AS was here, I made a post about my father and his blog, and what he published about me. A full page of fictional material created to sublimate my life into something more comfortable for him I guess. Either way, it hurt more that he refused to validate my existence, my story, my trauma, and turned it into something that vilified me and made HIM the victim. I had such an outpouring of love and support from my brothers and sisters here on AS that I was able to turn the blow to my already wounded psyche, and today I am in such a better and stronger place for it. Hugs to everyone on the house! ((((((AS))))) Friday I had my first discernable panic attack. We were on the freeway, luckily I wasn't the one driving when it happened. It was raining a little bit, nothing out of the ordinary for Washington, and traffic was a little thick but not too bad. Out of no where I became convinced we were about to crash into another vehicle. We weren't even close to the other cars on the road, but that didn't seem to make a difference. We were going to hit them, and I couldn't breath right. I started to sweat, and my heart started to pound, and my mind went fuzzy, and my vision started to blur around the edges. For the rest of the afternoon, when we were in the car I was absolutely certain we were going to crash into something, another car, an overpass post, a curb, a tree it didn't matter, if I could see it, we were going to smash into it. The feeling lasted long after I had gotten home, ready for work, and had in fact driven myself to work... sweaty palmed and hyper alert. It was the most concrete evidence I have to date that I am ultimately vulnerable to these memories of "ancient" history, at least emotionally. Like I said, a very bad week. But after my wife came to me, woke me up, angry and upset having just read an entry on my fathers public blog condemning me as a sl*t and a w**re, and a manipulator, and a monster, I woke up feeling ashamed, angry, weak, pathetic, loathsome, and dirty. As soon as my wife left for work, I went into the kitchen and picked up a bottle of rum. I looked at it for a very long minute... then put it back in the fridge. I am not that person any more, I will never conquer my demons if I am not 100% in control of myself. I would rather be a slave to my demons, I didn't create them. Acknowledging what happened to me, and joining the After Silence site, has by far been the hardest and most rewarding thing that I have done in recent history, and I hope that I can contribute as much to the others here as they have already contributed to me. Thank you for validating my existence as a viable human being, giving me strength, understanding, and hope. God Bless us, every one.
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