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Found 17 results

  1. Day Two

    He is such an asshole. I am floored every day by his actions. Especially now that I'm starting to understand the extent of the abuse I survived with him. Long story very short, he took our daughter. I know why; he doesn't want to pay child support and wants the benefits he gets through the state with her. It's incredibly greedy. I thought that maybe I was wrong about the money, still doubting myself after everything he has put us through. Until today. He claimed her on both tax years, telling his lawyer to tell mine that I said he could do this so he is doing it. I never said such a thing. So, he changes the story to say that, since I took her from him for six years, he is going to take the extra tax year. That's what he's been saying about everything. He is simply going to take what he feels like taking. He took her. He took what he felt like was his extra time by denying me my right to see her for an entire year. He took the tax years. He is going to take our child from me. I can't believe this man can be so heartless, that there are such heartless people in this world. And I can't believe I can't find it in my heart to be even an inkling as spiteful. I just want her to come home and for us to have a relatively normal, hostile-free co-parenting relationship. I wouldn't even mind the occasional disagreements. But this, this is almost too much to take. She didn't want to talk to me for long today. She seemed distracted and upset, but didn't want to discuss it. I hope he hasn't started pressuring her to say she wants to stay with him. Man, I really hope this investigator is good enough to see passed his stupid facade...
  2. For the last few weeks, we have had a broken front door lock; and my son's key was refusing to come out of the door. Home Depot wanted $130 for a new lock/set that looked the most like the one we have now. $130 that we just didn't want to have to spend right now. I now have past-due vet bills, a car payment, increased insurance payments, this just wasn't on my to-do list. So, we left the son's key in the door (it was LITERALLY stuck and wasn't even turning, so it was impossible for anyone else to pull the key out and let themselves into my house) and started using the top deadbolt lock until we could invest in a new one. In that time, we've had several people (to include two of our neighbors, the cable guy, the mailman, and the UPS delivery man) point out that our key was still in the door. "We know," I'd tell them all, then would fidget with the lock to see if by some miracle, the key was removable, yet. The movie, "Sword in the Stone" comes to mind. It was confirmed that not even King Arthur himself could turn this piddly little key, and I've been delaying having to shell out the $130 for about a month, now. Yesterday, I was inspired to, once and for all, get out the tool box and see what I could do. There had to be SOMETHING going on inside the lock, some reason the key wouldn't turn. The sun was out and I wouldn't be freezing if I stood in the doorway and did some investigating. In between shooing the cats from the wide-open door, I managed to take the whole thing apart. The key remained in the lock and despite all the jiggling and button pressing and tinkering, it was LOOKING like I needed to invest that $130. I needed to now put it all back together, or there would literally be a hole in the front door that the neighbors, cable guy, postman, UPS man would ALL be able to see through. The first time I put it back together, I found that I couldn't even turn the KNOB now. Screwdriver got thrown. Slew of obscenities flew out of my mouth. Picked up phone to text J to see if she'd pick up a lock set on her way home from work - but decided against hitting 'send.' I was going to try this again - I REALLY didn't want to spend $130!!! Picked screwdriver up, and in the process, scared the cat who had gone over to investigate it. Took apart the knob and handle again, did some more tinkering, and apparently, all of my swearing must have helped, because not only was the knob turning now, but, out came the key, too. YES. I screwed in for the second time the knob and handle. Confirmed that the inside knob was now turnable post-screwing and the button on the handle was press-able. I wasn't brave enough to try the freed key yet because I wasn't confident enough in my hardware skills to say it wouldn't get stuck again. Nevertheless, I texted the wife to let her know that I didn't know exactly how, but that I'd fixed the door and saved us a trip to Home Depot. Not that there was one planned, but it was likely having to be planned soon! Small update on this, since this was yesterday's excitement - I did end up trying the key when I returned it to the Son - I locked myself outside and used the key to let myself back in. He's now put it back onto his keyring and I'm patting myself on the back. $130 is a lot of fucking money to save, isn't it? Yeah, I thought so. So, it's confirmed. Gone (for now) are the days of having to explain to houseguests that the key being left in the door was NOT a result of absentmindedness and that it was because the lock, somehow, was stuck. Please don't ask me how I fixed it. I couldn't tell you. So, this opens the door (no pun intended, or maybe it IS?) to conversing about something that I've come to realize over the last few weeks. People have been trying to fix ME for years. My mother was first. I came out 'defective' and with two bad ears. They told her I'd NEVER speak (big surprise, I'm sure, to those who know me now - I'm not an overly loud person but if I'm comfortable with someone, I do NOT shut up!) and she made it her personal mission to 'correct' the doctors and audiologists. She made it a priority to raise me as she would a hearing child. Sign language was out of the question. I had no deaf friends. I don't know if this caused more damage, socially (it likely did) but it was almost definitely a result of her trying to 'fix' me. Yes, when she realized she had a deaf child, she did rise to the occasion and did whatever she could to to make sure that I thrived, regardless of how. It's HARD to say whether she had my best interests in mind, or it was more so in her own to have as 'normal' as possible a child. My parents also tried to 'fix' me by taking me to therapy as a child - I will never know their real reasons for introducing therapy into an 8-year-old child's life but have very deep suspicions it is for the behaviors that I was demonstrating - behaviors indicative of being exposed to CSA. This is something my mother was never willing to see, even though the signs were all there. As far as she was concerned, I was not behaving normally, and it needed to be fixed. Oddly enough, she decided that there was enough 'fixing' done after a year and I was unexplainably yanked from therapy. The behaviors continued well into my teen years, so I don't know - while I don't want to say the effort was wasted, I don't see that there was any resolution, either. As some of you know, I became recklessly promiscuous following the rape in 1996. There was partner after partner - both men and women. Some knew more than others as far as my history - and some insisted that I just needed to be "taught" how to enjoy sex. "Just let me try this," they'd say while I laid there, TRYING not to flip out, "you will like it, trust me." There was ultimately NO 'fix' here, but they sure as hell tried! My ex-husband tried to 'fix' me by pointing out EVERYTHING I did wrong. It didn't matter if it wasn't illegal-kind of wrong - if it was not up to his standards, it was wrong. Yes, he used manipulation more often than he did not, and he was SO talented at getting me to actually BELIEVE him. I believed him enough at one point to completely transition into the mindset that if things weren't done HIS way, then they were automatically incorrect. And so, even though his 'right way' of doing things didn't necessarily match mine, I went out of my way to ensure HE was happy. Reflecting on all of this - I think I always thought I was broken - even as a young child. Here was everyone telling me what I needed to do, what was best for me, what would work, what wouldn't. Rather than take the reins myself (when I was old enough to), I placed my trust into the wrong people and listened to them instead of listening to myself. Instead of chalking things up to opinion, I'd say, "sure, I'll try this. Sure, I'll do that. Whatever you think will fix the problem, I'll do." I suppose trusting myself to make better choices was always an issue, perhaps even more so after enduring trauma, but that's just another factor to consider as I try to get to the bottom of this. If I wasn't broken before, this definitely is what did it. All of the 'fixing' others have tried to do, only succeeded in breaking me further. I know there's only one person that can truly fix me. Right - me, myself, and I. That's it. It just became SO easy to let others guide me - they'd been doing it so long and I never had the confidence (or motivation) to speak up for myself. Having this newfound confidence scares me now as I'm not used to fixing anything other than unruly doorknobs or a tech issue here and there. I'm now recognizing the difference between what needs to be fixed and what was never broken and am wondering just how much was even necessary! Has this made it harder for me to fix myself? Maybe THIS is why I'm feeling particularly stuck nowadays, why these 'grown-up' decisions are seeming so hard? No one suggested going back to school, starting up with counseling, participating in a local Survivors Art/support group. These were all things I took on, by myself, as a first step toward fixing my own way of thinking. The only fixing I'm going to do for the rest of tonight is that of dinner. London Broil on the barbecue - sun's still out and it's a good grilling day. Back next time. Hoping you're all having a good day! Peace, love and hugs, - Capulet
  3. As promised, the update on yesterday's family gathering - dual birthday party for my nephew (5) and my niece (1). I meant to update earlier but a status update seemed more appropriate - admittedly, I was a ball of nerves, and my mother wasn't helping matters any. There was much to say, much swirling around in my already-busy brain, but I figured, lemme get through the day, first - let me recuperate (with or without Lucy's 5-cent therapy) and THEN I'd write on this. To backtrack, my sister decided to invite my mother's brother to a birthday celebration for her kids - he is a person who, just hearing his name, sets me off into a fit. We all know that she tried to get my father to chauffeur him home from the birthday party - as he would have to pass through the town the Uncle lived in on his way home. I was put in a very uncomfortable position when this originally came up and had no choice but to drop it at the time of discussion. It was either that, or open up a can of worms that I wasn't ready to open. I agonized over this upcoming party for two months. Over seeing him, over what would happen after seeing him, over the what-if-I-lose-my-shit-publicly question. In that two months, I've had enough 'other things' happen that this just seemed - STUPID - to think about. It wasn't an easy couple months - we lost a pet, we've hit some financial hard times, and we've had to refocus on the positive things in order to make the time go by faster. The only problem with that - this party crept up quicker than I thought it would. After my sister texted me to ask me to show up an hour early to help 'set up' for the party, I texted Oompa to ask if I'd be walking into any surprises. She'd mentioned briefly (or she might have mentioned more but whenever she says ANYTHING about her brother, I develop amnesia and out comes the usual response: 'oh, okay...') that he was back in the hospital sometime last month. I will gladly admit to you all that I HOPED this meant he wouldn't still be coming, being unhealthy and all that. Regardless, she responded to my text with, "what do you mean?" I asked her flat-out then, "is L going to be there?" She confirmed yes, he was still going to be in attendance. And then followed up with, "do me a favor and please just say hello to him. Then you can ignore him for the rest of the afternoon. And have the kids say hello, too." I didn't like this AT ALL, but said I'd wave. I didn't say though, that he'd see me wave. And I told her I was NOT going to ask my kids to say hello to him. He was nobody to them - (and not for nothing, the daughter barely says hello to people she DOES know!) - and it didn't matter to me whether or not they chose to say hello - it was up to them. She probably didn't like that at all, but said nothing more. We arrived at the party early enough to help my sister set things up. When he showed up, J made sure I was clear across the room. And my J had been asking me for weeks already - why am I even going to this thing? That kitchen confrontation between me and my parents should have resulted in a firm 'if he's going to be there, I will not be going.' And, to a point, she's right. If this was anything BUT a birthday party for my autistic nephew who would likely have been disappointed if I didn't go - I probably would have made that statement. So I said I'd go for him, for my nephew, whom I have no intention of ever disappointing - and that I'd do everything in my power to avoid my uncle and focus on the kids instead. Which I did manage to do yesterday. I didn't say hello, I didn't make eye contact, I didn't wave, and when I saw him being 'led' around (he can't walk without assistance), I simply walked into the opposite direction. (HUGE shout-out to my cousin who unknowingly rescued me from his path by asking me if I wanted to get a cup of coffee from the dessert table! Well-timed, and well-played, cousin!) There were times when I'd glance at him - at how pathetic he was. He looks disheveled, dirty, unshaven. Don't get me wrong, he was ALWAYS disgusting looking - more so to me than to anyone else, perhaps, but even more so now that I am grappling with whether he is responsible for the things I understand on a very deep level but cannot remember. Everything I find disgusting about him is amplified, a hundred-fold. Even the daughter wrinkled her nose at the sight of him - and the son was heard (even if only by J) calling him 'the molester' and questioning why he'd been invited. I responded to them both to simply ignore him if they wished - that was what I was doing. My guess is - they'd been told by the wasband that he was an unsavory sort and simply didn't care to ask their father to elaborate. They kept their distance, though - which was relieving. I waited until he'd left the building before using the bathroom, which was inconveniently located behind where he was sitting. Holding my bladder for a couple of hours, to me, was WELL worth it! After the party, we went to get some food at Applebee's. Oompa texted me when we were waiting to get our check. "Did you say hello to your uncle?" I stared at my phone for about five minutes. No, I hadn't. I had made sure to avoid contact, simply because I didn't want to see him. I knew that a 'hello' would have turned into a conversation. Rather than risk saying something I didn't feel was best said at a kiddy party, I had decided against even the wave. I didn't want him even LOOKING at me, which I'm sure couldn't be avoided. For a few minutes, I considered telling my mother that I had waved but didn't think he saw me...but why lie? She'd only ask if he saw me wave. And we'd end right back up at square one. "No, I didn't," I decided that the truth was better, and texted back. She came back with, "Yet, you said you would say hello for my sake." The idea of telling her I waved but he didn't see me, once again paraded through my mind. Instead, I said, "I didn't want to end up having a conversation with him. I have nothing to say to him." "I didn't ask you to have a conversation with him," she said, "I just asked that you say hello. You know that when I ask you for something, there's usually a reason." "Oh, yeah?" I shot back, "What was the reason, then?" She said she couldn't discuss it then. She likely had my sister's nose peering over her shoulder - or she was on the phone with him, and he was probably bitching about that niece (and her kids) who didn't even acknowledge he existed. Either way, I very honestly don't give a shit. There is absolutely NO reason whatsoever that would make my saying hello to a pedophile, a good one. I AM sure I'll hear about it when she comes to visit in a couple weeks - J and I have already discussed what possible reasons there could be - maybe his recent hospital visit has revealed that he's finally going to be dead soon? * Side note - I just had a nice mental image of him bending over, looking into the hole that will become his final resting place - and me walking by, kick-shoving him into that hole and continuing on my merry way....yeah, just thought I'd leave that there. It is one thing that made me smile yesterday amidst all the mixed-in bouts of anxiety. But it certainly conveys how much I've been looking forward to hearing that he's another step closer to the eternal fires of Hell. Anyway - when that 'reason' (Oompa's reason, that is, whether or not it matches the one I'm fantasizing about) is revealed - I'll be sure to let you all know as I'm sure you're all as curious as I am. For now, though, I can only assume that he's not doing well, health-wise, and my mother is trying to eliminate any 'guilt' on my part for not having been cordial toward him when I saw him last. This just further confirms that Oompa is completely clueless. And ANY thoughts of someday telling her MY reasons for hating this man are now further away from ever being made a reality. There is just NO way that I can trust her with it - all I'll be left with is even MORE invalidation....and really, who wants that? Show of hands? Yeah, I didn't think so. In the meantime, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who rode in my pocket yesterday. I felt you all there, and love you all. This'll be a short-ish entry tonight; I'll be back later this week with an update on the 'other' stuff. There's lots to share, but for now, I wanted to just clear this off of my mind. As always, comments and thoughts (and guesses on the 'reasons') welcome - we could probably get our bets in before Oompa's visit during the first week in April and it might be fun to see who's right!? Either way - I am sending you all love and hugs and plenty of well wishes. Hoping your weekend went well! Until next time. - Capulet
  4. How could you?!!

    I never thought that I would attempt to do my blog again but im doing it in a different way this time, in hopes it can help me deal with the strong emotions and allow myself to feel them as I write. Recently my brother committed suicide by over dose. I also am experiencing loss of my mental health support and many changes are happening. now that we know the place this blog is coming from guess im going to get started. To my Brother: Why the hell did you leave me to walk through this world alone and with out you. You broke your promise to never leave me you LIED!!! Out of everyone that has hurt me you just fucking out did them all. You have torn my world apart. You are through with your and have just ripped me apart while doing it. I hate you so much right now. why couldn't you reach out I would do anything for you, I would gladly have died for you all you had to do is ask. you took the easy way out and that's not fair. I don't know how to live without you. you took my beatings as a child, you tried to protect me from the bad guys. you were my hero, my best friend, my brother. you did a permitant solution a temporary problem. I know how hard it is to trust and I knw how much pain you had, but I have that to and I didn't take my life even though I have wanted too. I feel more loss. I DONT know how to live without you and I don't want to. you have a niece that even though you only saw her once and watched her grow through pictures I made sure she knew who you were. she adored you, that one special day when I got to see you with her. she is so proud of you and proud of herself for helping you be clean for the 9 months she was in me. I am sorry that you were told you weren't welcome at the birth of her. I wanted you there to experience that with me and I know it hurt you that that happened. now the only way she will know you, my best friend, is through pictures and my memories you took away the chance for her to make sweet memories of you, why did you steal that from her? you were selfish and that's all there is to it. I fucking hate you with every breath in my body. yet at the same time I love you and want you back. I would do anything to have you back, but I know that cant happen. yes I still love you and my heart hurts for you, that it got to the point you thought that was the only option.One day ill be able to forgive you but today isn't that day. I don't want to accept that you are gone. I really do miss you. we had so much fun together. yes there were bad times but there also were good times and that what I want to remember of you. I am so sorry I wasn't there for you. even though this pain is here it will one day ease. for now my dear brother all I can say is this: I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!!!!
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. The first time I attempted to get this entry started, I got maybe two words typed out before my very demanding cat jumped up onto the desk, spilling my pencil holder of its contents as well as knocking my (thankfully covered) water bottle as well as other empty soda cans and nail polish bottles over. I'm telling you - when this boy wants his love and affection, he stops at absolutely nothing and often resorts to destruction! So - here is attempt number two, now that I've banished him to the other side of my bedroom door with, "my Christmas tree BETTER still be standing in the morning, Mister!" I then locked the door so he couldn't let himself in, (believe it or not, the little shit KNOWS how to open handled doors! He taught himself and has NO regard for privacy!) and am now sitting down to write. I had my second session with the Support Group Leader on Friday. I will from now on refer to her as M, it's easier. Anyway - we really didn't have time to 'go over' my assignment from our last session (the one where she wanted me to share where I thought I'd be in three years) because I walked in prepared to discuss instead what I wrote about in my LAST blog entry - my recent struggles with J's re-entrance into therapy, of her starting EMDR, of being distant, overworked and overstressed, and of the rekindling of her social life. It's what's been on my mind the most nowadays, and it felt fitting to discuss this in place of whatever the hell I might be doing in three years. Previously, we briefly got around to talking about the company J keeps - particularly her boss/friend. I've always been honest with J and told her that there's SOMETHING I can't quite put my finger on, SOMETHING about her that I don't like. I've said it until I was blue in the face. It is NOT a romantic attraction I'm fearful of. No. I trust J in every aspect, and I know that if there was any chance that she didn't want to be with me - she wouldn't be. I have tried several times to explain to her that it is simply the fact that while she and I are actively disconnecting, I am witnessing her becoming close to someone else. Although it's not on the same level, it still makes me feel (perhaps unnecessarily) threatened. And although J has always invited me into the fold and tried to include me, I've always felt reluctant and as if I didn't want to be around her boss/friend, because of these irrational thoughts. Anyway - J's sisters dropped in on Thanksgiving night. During the day on Friday, I was dealing with our cable mishap, so I was unable to join them for the trip to the nail salon (I swear, when it comes to mani-pedis, I'm probably the man in the relationship - I could care less what my nails look like as they're usually cut short for bowling purposes, and GOD HELP anyone who touches my FEET!) or for the breakfast they went and ate after that. Being as we live four hours apart, J doesn't spend a whole lot of time with her sister. So, whenever her sister comes for a visit, I am perfectly fine keeping a distance and allowing them the time and space to visit and reconnect. Whenever J goes out with her sister (a heavy drinker) there is ALWAYS music and booze involved. I am generally uncomfortable being around people who share this overtly loud and obnoxious, outgoing personality. And that Friday night after Thanksgiving, the three sisters wanted to go to a bar for a few drinks after supper and said that I should join them. I struggled with the invitation, but then I agreed to join them just for the food, but bowed out of the after-dinner bar plans. Admittedly, there is currently more revolving around my not wanting to be around J's one sister either - it has a LOT to do with what happened prior to J's radiation treatment this past summer. I am feeling that is not quite resolved - her sister had said she'd like to communicate once per week, she'd like to get to know me better, things like that. She hasn't made a single effort to communicate with me - AT ALL. And I'm all about reciprocation - I've done nothing, too. I am stubborn, yes, but I also don't feel this is mine to fix. SHE is the one who acted poorly. If I said things that weren't necessarily nice or polite, it was because I was defending myself. Anyway, I remained civil and friendly - I politely declined the second invitation to go boozing afterwards. Instead, I went straight home after the restaurant, thinking to myself, how long would it even take to get a couple drinks in? A couple hours, maybe? They didn't get home until One. Oh. Clock. In the morning. 1:00. 1am. An hour after midnight. What the fuck? Still, I figured, these are not family members J sees very often - she did move four hours away from her family so that she could share her life with me - so, that thought in mind, I remained calm when she came into the bedroom at 1am. She admitted to having a little too much to drink and that after the bar, the one outgoing sister had insisted on driving out to ANOTHER bar where there was karaoke. "I'm so glad I went," I was being sarcastic. But still asked how karaoke went. I still showed an interest, even though I wished she'd been home sooner - I felt as if I hadn't had any time with her that week, at all. She'd worked a double on Thanksgiving, then Friday the sisters were there, etc, and as it unfolded, I couldn't be with them during the first half of that day because I was waiting for the cable techie. She'd managed to get the day off work on Friday and Saturday, but still - with the added company, I wasn't feeling anything other than lonely at the moment. Anyway, she told me that the karaoke place was pretty crowded and that her sister got up there and sang and danced, she commented on how this same sister makes 'friends' wherever she goes. She talked about how they had several drinks together and that the other sister (whom I truly DO like) was the one who had driven them all home, having only had one or two drinks all night. And she waited until the VERY end to mention: "Oh and (boss/friend's name) met us at karaoke." See, I was fine until that mention. I was. I don't even think it was the fact that J was pouring alcohol into her body when she normally doesn't. It was, though, the fact that she'd NOT told me that boss/friend would be there because she knew how I'd react. She'd omitted that detail entirely, which felt like a betrayal, although a small one. When asked why she didn't think to tell me this, she confirmed it. "Because every time you hear her name, you lose your shit!" And yes, that's true. I don't even know that it's jealousy - perhaps some of it is. But at this point, I'd ALREADY explained that I was feeling disconnected from the one person I trust the most. And that I didn't like this other friend's sudden and frequent presence. Yet, J is not willing to change her friendship with boss/friend based upon these feelings I'm having, nor is she willing to slow down anything she's doing. And, so, it's me who has to change. And how the fuck I'm going to do that, remains a mystery. We bickered about this on that night, making it a very emotional and late one. I didn't sleep a wink. She had a fair amount of alcohol in her system so that did enable her to get some sleep eventually. But I was just unable to allow sleep to take over, there were simply TOO many thoughts swimming around in my head. I still remained in bed, my heart raced all night long and I recognized familiar signs of anxiety that I hadn't seen in years. This bothered me. SO much. It hit me that THIS was our first REAL argument in the decade we'd been together. See, up until now, we've ALWAYS been on the same page with pretty much everything. Yes, we've disagreed but it's NEVER felt like this before. Since that night, we've talked many times about this particular 'fight' and for the time being, we've reached an understanding. She will continue to work on herself in therapy while also enjoying her social outings after work once per week, and she will continue to maintain her friendship that she has become fond of. At the same time, she will work on being more present at home. She would like for ME to work on myself, too, and for me to continue sessions with M. She wants for me to branch out and be able to make connections with people other than her. "It's healthy," she says. I told her that was something I needed to work being able to accept - because it was so deeply ingrained into me by my ex-husband that one simply does not form close connections to another person outside of a relationship. You can have friends, but there's a line there - a boundary. Only HIS idea of healthy boundaries and HER idea are two entirely different things. Although she tries to remind me that I've been with HER longer than I have been with him, I can't help but be stuck on the simple fact that it only takes a split second to change someone's 'sight,' whether it's during one isolated moment in time that can be considered a trauma or something someone else has said to you that seemingly becomes tattooed onto your brain. In the case of my ex-husband, this is what's happened - even though I TRY not to adapt to his way of thinking, I sometimes can't help when it's something that automatically kicks in! She mentioned that she'd also like for me to get to know boss/friend and to perhaps become friendly with her. Now, this is tricky considering that right now, this woman is EVERYWHERE and it's more unsettling than not. But I did promise to try, if this is what would make her happy. We have decided that J is going to engage boss/friend into perhaps going bowling or going to ball games, or into doing anything in a setting that I can actually FOLLOW and maybe ENJOY. I have made it clear that I don't want anything to do with bars, with karaoke, with anything music-related and I refuse to be in a setting where people are just acting overall reckless. This recent fight is also something she asked me to present to M, so on Friday's appointment, I went in fully prepared to do so. I know I could have posted it here beforehand, but it didn't feel right. Plus, I am generally slow to process what is happening, even those things right in front of me. I suppose this is a place where I can gain some unbiased feedback, same as with M in session, so I am okay doing it now that I've openly discussed it with M. Plus, there WAS a moment in counseling that set off that little light bulb in the back of my head that has been dormant long enough for me to question whether it needed changing or that I'd be subject to being in the dark for the rest of my life. So, these words are all the more important to write. I did previously explain J's rising social status to M, but our last (also our first) meeting was before the argument on the day after Thanksgiving. By now, things had escalated, and I needed the time and space to address it. So we talked and, somehow - (it's weird how this happens!) - something clicked. We talked about how I didn't understand WHY I didn't like boss/friend. She isn't a bad person, the few times I have seen her, she was actually fun to be around. Yet, there was something else there. Something that, when I backtracked a bit from not liking the bar/drinking/music setting. Let's return, for a minute, back to October 4th, 1996. Some of you know this date already. It's forever etched into memory for me, as it's the night I was raped. For starters - I was not at all used to parties, or even attending one that didn't involve balloons, clowns or goodie-bags. Or a Sweet Sixteen from the previous year - I'd attended three or four for high school friends. Other than that, I wasn't a partier, and this was okay with me. Being hearing impaired usually excluded me from many invitations, but I wasn't normally one to take offense to it. It is what it is. One of the 'first' friends I made when I started college a month before the incident, was a very outgoing type of person. I'm not sure what exactly made us friends, since I didn't have this in common with her at all - but at the time, I had no reason to fear being social, either. She was the one who invited me to this party that she heard about. She convinced me to lie to my father and tell him that I was going to be spending the night at her house, following the completion of a school project that would likely take HOURS. Lord Capulet, being the trusting man he was, agreed and said, 'have a good time, just be careful!' When we arrived, she almost immediately met up with some kids that she had gone to high school with. And so, it quickly became a case of, 'see ya later, Cap!' and I was left alone. Alone, surrounded by loud music and the combined smell of alcohol and weed. It was thick, and it didn't take me very long to want to go home. When I went in search of my friend, I found her nearly topless - her shirt was opened, she was laughing it up with a bunch of surrounding horny frat guys and it was clear to me that she was heavily intoxicated. I approached her and told her that if she'd give me the keys (we arrived in her car) then I'd drive us home. She guffawed in my face (what the holy hell had she been drinking!?) and told me that she was having too much fun and wasn't ready to leave. I don't need to get into details here as I've likely already set the stage for what happened next, but the short version of it - in attempts to leave on my own, I was raped by an older partygoer in one of the bedrooms when he'd lured me inside under the pretense that he would be making a phone call for me. I ended up walking out of the party pretty much unnoticed, as everyone around me was drunk, passed out, stoned or otherwise oblivious. BECAUSE of the booze, BECAUSE of the music. BECAUSE of this very setting. So - I explained all of this to M. For her, it made sense right away - that, for the past 22 years, I have been unwittingly connecting the bar setting with the party setting - that whenever someone were to ask me to go have a drink, my automatic answer, without thinking about it, is 'hell, NO.' It doesn't matter who I'll be with, even if it's J. Even if it's someone whom I KNOW would not leave me flat. I don't mind the occasional drink of alcohol - I even have a favorite! (And if you've actually read this far, you're welcome to inquire on what it is in the comments!) I just prefer to drink at home - on MY turf, either alone with J or with my family members. Imbibing is not something I do frequently, as I also deal with that pestering guilt of ENJOYING something that indirectly caused my trauma 22 years ago. I was not intoxicated at the time - I was sober. But the person I was with was drunk (and I don't even know WHERE she was when I left!) and I'm uncertain of what my attacker had in his system, as when he approached me, he did NOT have a drink or a joint in his hand. Regardless, I automatically find myself arriving at the same place each and every time I recall this moment in my life. She was drunk. Had she not been drunk, this would NOT have happened! I didn't realize even THIS until Friday, either - but the loud, obnoxious personalities of both J's sister, as well as her boss/friend, both remind me of this particular 'friend,' (I use that term very lightly, we are not friends today) who has now made it impossible for me to look at anyone who ENJOYS heavy drinking, loud music, reckless, STUPID behavior and the bar/weed setting, etc, with anything other than loathing and disgust. I honestly don't think it's the actual person I've grown to hate - because both J's sister and the boss/friend are (if I can remove their love of the things I hate) decent people. If they were not, J wouldn't even like them at all nor would she associate with the boss/friend. I know family is family and that is a connection that is not going to change but it is true for any of her friends. I just cannot connect with these types, especially if they are not willing to try and connect with ME, either. And the way to do that, really isn't rocket science. I need to feel that someone WANTS to get to know me, someone truly is interested in learning about the person I am. I'm not getting that vibe from neither one of them. I think that what it boils down to is - this is the TYPE of person that I can't bring myself to trust, the person who would choose alcohol or drugs over my well-being and peace of mind. And not only do I not trust them, I don't find myself being able to ALLOW new people the opportunity to prove themselves trustworthy. I simply don't leave my comfort zone long enough to do this. I'm still, after 22 years, (or even longer!) living in fear of social settings, and not necessarily ONLY the ones where alcohol and loud music is included. It has been said that I am 'different' whenever I am in a group of people. I am quiet. I focus on whatever it is we're doing (whether it's a board game or a meal) and do not engage in conversation, I laugh whenever everyone else laughs so I don't look completely oblivious, and I often pray no one has asked me a question that I just responded to with a laugh. So perhaps, that's it. This was the moment when the bulb went off in session. Maybe this is why this woman's friendship with J is so bothersome to me - I wonder if I am also, deep down, fearing that this will eventually become something J enjoys, too. SHE likes music, she likes drinking with friends. She isn't into karaoke but she's in the process of evolving. What if this is something that happens later? (Not the karaoke specifically but rather, the more extroverted lifestyle?) What if this a change that is yet to happen but is in the making? This is NEVER going to be something I'm entirely okay with, no matter how much work I do on it. It's not going to erase the injustice done to me by that other 'friend.' I don't know how to fix this, either. My speed is just different. I am not opposed to having friends or making connections with people but I personally prefer 1:1 meetings for meals, coffee, shopping, something like that. I like the heart-to-heart talks - they are what strengthens a friendship. I don't mind taking in a drink or two with J and perhaps one other person, but I HAVE to be within a setting that doesn't catapult these fears to the surface. There IS one person, though, that I bowl with who is also a fan of the mixed drink. She is, though, first a bowling friend than anything else and HAS truly made the effort to know both J and I on other levels and is becoming someone I can indeed consider developing a friendship with that is both based on trust and mutual fondness. So, I guess this is progress. I did remind J last night that I needed for us to stay close to each other through this...whatever it is we're going through. No matter how irrational I've seemed lately, no matter how much of an asshole I appear to be at times when I feel threatened or otherwise rejected. I joked that maybe one morning I would wake up to a world where EVERYTHING made sense. That got a smile out of her, at least. I suppose it WAS a funny thought to entertain, even for just a moment. I'm just terrified of this type of adjustment I'm having to make, not to mention, sick and tired of being hurt, abandoned or otherwise expendable because I can't change these things about myself too easily. I'm not sure if this means there's more from what happened 22 years ago that I've got to work on - maybe it does. I've had some therapy, but maybe not enough. Maybe this is the point in time when that unfinished business has become more evident and has chosen to show up - and not politely, either - the expression 'bull in a china shop' comes to mind when I try to picture the state of my brain at the moment! The issue of abandonment is also becoming more prominent following my birthday celebration last month. (Not sure if this is even worth to mention - but J's sister did not attend my surprise 40th nor did she even care to follow up on it. She was supposed to come, but claimed that her hand was hurting following an injury - yet if the party were for J, a little hand pain would certainly have been a non-issue and she'd have been the first one to arrive. And J had also invited boss/friend to this party, too - SHE didn't come either, apparently something came up for her, too.) And then we add to that, the staggering number of long-time friends I also had not show up or follow up either - it just all succeeded at making these thoughts even more confusing and bothersome and my heart genuinely HURTS right now over ALL of it. That's it for today, I suppose. It's taken two days to get all of this written out - and yes, this is unusual for me, too. I'm normally able to hammer out one of these blog entries in a matter of a few hours, but this has taken me DAYS. Even now I'm reading and re-reading and my finger is hovering over the 'DELETE' button...I'm unsure of how much I even like myself and how I am right now, so how can I expect too many others to? The more I think about it, the more I am tempted to just click out of the tab because some of it probably seems so SILLY - but these are authentic concerns of mine and regardless of how they come across, they're things that NEED to be said. So it's time, I guess, to hit 'SEND' and be done with it. So...here goes. *pressing button* - Capulet
  8. Huh. Whadda-ya-know? I'm having a little bit of difficulty with my 'assignment.' The counselor I saw last week gave me something to ponder for the next time we were to meet (there is no appointment set, yet) and I was happy to have something to occupy my thoughts with and even more giddy when she said I could write it out! I suspect she understands the level of effectiveness writing has on me, so she was quick to encourage some 'writing homework' on my way out. I accepted the assignment, as usual, because I do like being made to think seriously about something, to be tested, to be given the opportunity to be honest with myself at the same time. I just didn't think it'd be THIS much of a challenge! We all know by now that I'm a writer. I know I'm always annoyingly pushing the idea upon others if there's an opportunity. "You should write it out," "It'll help you make sense of things if you tried to put it all down in writing." The list goes on. If you're among those I've incessantly pestered about the importance of utilizing the power of the written word, I do apologize for coming on so strongly about it. But this is something I TRULY believe in. I believe it can help...because whether you're writing for your eyes only or you're intending to eventually share the finished product, it's still the easiest way to purge some of those thoughts and ponderings that are simply too hard to verbalize. You see, writing is my biggest outlet. More than talking. More than therapy. More than beating the shit out of a pillow. It's my strongest means of communication. The majority of my communicating today is done electronically as I do not have a whole lot of in-person contact these days between the kids being either at school or at their Dad's and J working a ton of hours. I write texts, posts, emails, PMs, blog entries, MUCH easier than I can speak these words to others. But, anyway. The assignment is, "Where do I see myself in three years?" I did graciously accept this assignment when she gave it to me, thinking, 'piece of cake,' - because this is what I do, even when there are group sessions. I'm always anxious to be given something to write, so mentally, I'm all - 'let's have it....throw it at me.' Lately, though, I am finding that it hasn't been as easy as it used to be, for me to dig deep. In the group meetings, I find myself sitting and thinking while everyone around me is furiously scribbling or otherwise working on their own responses. It seemingly has gotten deeper, and there are now layers upon layers of CRAP sitting on top of it, making it even harder for me to gain access to these thoughts. I don't even know where I see myself tomorrow. Or next week. Yes, I have previously expressed some long-term plans and these are still active plans - but are going to take a little bit of time to set into motion. And because things happen in their own time, and sometimes unpredicted circumstances come into play and effectively throw some of your plans completely off track, I've always just taken it a day at a time. I've always paced myself because it made the most sense...we, after all, have to learn to crawl before we can walk, and then eventually break into a run. So, I now have to fast-forward THREE years??? (grumble, grumble.) In three years, the Son will be 21. He'll be possibly about to graduate with his 4-year degree. He might have an idea of what he wants to do with the rest of his life - which will put him in a FAR more advanced place than I was when I was his age. I was 21 when I birthed him, I'd dropped out of college and was completely clueless on where I was going with the credits I'd already earned. "I'll go back," I said to myself - and it will have taken 20 years by the time I do, but better late than never, I suppose. He has just recently introduced to me his girlfriend - a lovely young lady that he's been seeing for a few weeks, now. Perhaps in three years, he'll still be dating her - I like her a lot and personally hope she's still around. The Daughter will be 15, and in High School. I am fairly certain she will be giving me daily heart attacks. She's been applying mascara and lip gloss daily before school and she's only 12 now and smack dab in the middle of the seventh grade. I joke often that she must have gotten her love for cosmetics from her father, (who wears many different 'faces') because she sure as hell didn't get it from me! I am HOPING that in three years, her attitude will have significantly improved and that her immaturely destructive behaviors will have diminished, even just a teeeeeensy bit. For some reason, it's so much easier to envision where I see my kids in three years than where I see myself. See, if this were a test, I'd have flunked on that, alone. Fine, I'll try and shift gears and see what develops. I am positive that I will still be with my lovely J. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be still be going strong in three years. We have had our bumps and hurdles, but that's why we're BOTH striving to fix it now before it becomes a bigger problem. To call it a 'problem' in the first place is a bit of an exaggeration, actually - so - it's just bumps. In three years, I'm hoping these bumps will have been bulldozed a bit and that our path moving forward is more evened out. When the surface in front of you is flattened, it's easier to see what's ahead - whereas the bumps sometimes serve as distractions and if hit hard enough, can bounce you completely offsides. And like hitting a speed bump at 35-40mph, it can take a minute to recover from the jolt. Perhaps in three years, I will have learned that it's truly okay to be social, it's okay to let loose once in a while, it's okay to have fun and to SHOW that I'm having fun. I know I'm uptight. VERY much so. And that isn't helping me AT ALL. Maybe I will also find that I LIKE this - I can't say that's the case, yet, but it's being worked on. Maybe having started school (and probably having also graduated with my Associate's within that same three-year period) will have made it a bit easier for me to 'upgrade' from my current hermit status. I'm not by any means wanting to be a social butterfly who is never home anymore; I think that to remain somewhat of a homebody, to keep myself calm, centered and reserved with the exception of a social outing or game night with friends one or two times every week or two is something I can live with. I am far too used to keeping myself company - to the point where I like it a little too much to entirely abandon the thought. I would like to be at that comfortable halfway, in-between point where I am no longer feeling extremely lonely and I'm also not feeling the anxiety or stress of having to be around too many people at once. Again, I'm reminded of the 'baby steps' concept - maybe it will take MORE than three years to dissolve some more of that irrational anxiety. And maybe, it is what it is. Maybe if I've already acquired my Associate's, I'll have already undertaken my mission toward my Bachelor's in Social Work. And, this might be a horrible thing to say - but since it is in reference to someone that didn't necessarily treat ME well, I am trying not to feel bad about saying it. And this, too, is something I have to work at - not being so nice to people who treat me like stepped-in shit. I am too forgiving, I am too weak to fight. I do not do well with confrontation. (Adding those to my growing list of the necessary little self-improvements.) But maybe, just maybe my ex will no longer be here. The Son has already expressed his opinion on the matter. "Dad isn't well. He probably won't live past fifty." This is true. My ex is NOT healthy. So, in three years or less, maybe I'll finally be free of his influence, free of the bullshit he's ingrained in me and taught me. I wonder often if his presence, the fact that he is ALIVE, serves as an impenetrable barrier between myself and that complete freedom. Because, as stated before, we are not married anymore, but his reach has still remained a powerful constant. I find myself panicking at the thought of him being angry at me for shit that I really don't have any control over. Or, what he'll say to me next, how he'll react to anything that could be perceived as offensive to him. I would like to find that I am no longer obligated to nod my head every time he asks me if I think he's right. It never mattered if I didn't, there is still that weakened, mentally battered part of me that forces myself to agree with whatever bullshit he's currently spewing if asked. Maybe in three years, I'll have found the pair of brass balls that I'm still trying to grow when it comes to standing up for myself, my thoughts, my wants, my feelings. I am comparable to a trained animal at this point; even when an animal has been removed from the care of an abusive owner, the behaviors stick with them, forever. And sometimes, this makes them 'unadoptable.' No, I am not looking to be adopted - simply to express the disgusting gravity of this man's presence in my life. In three years, I would like for this hold over me to be dissolved; I want to NOT worry about what dire consequences any choices I make may have. I've already made a VERY small, but significant statement toward taking a tiny step away from his unwanted influence. I told him over last summer that I planned to go back to school. In part, I think I wanted him to realize - I'd quit school nearly 20 years ago because HE advised it. Yes, it was me who ultimately carried out this choice because I was tired, emotionally a wreck, and pregnant. Still, I let him convince me to put everything on hold so that I could not only focus on the Son when he was born, but also on HIS two children that he had by the wife before me. Going to school was no longer feasible - in his eyes, being an instant, just-add-water wife and mother was my life, now. This took precedence over my education - especially since I 'didn't have a plan.' He has NEVER believed in me, in what I was capable of doing. I don't think he made this connection, though. This narcissist of a man instead made the comment/suggestion that I should just bypass the back-to-school idea and apply to work at the post office because they're a government agency and they hire individuals with disabilities and that I'd likely have no problem securing work. "I don't want to work at the post office." I said to him, completely shocking myself. I said it quickly, without thinking. And normally, we do NOT speak to the wasband without carefully planning out our words; it does NOT end well if he finds he doesn't like what's been said. I think I surprised him, too, with my abrupt answer. He appeared slightly taken aback. "Oh." Was all he said. And then he shrugged, "Whatever." (What is it with that word?! "Whatever." It makes me want to punch him in the face every time he says it!) I think it's because I know that it's his 'dismissive' word. It is what he says when he is finished talking. GOD FORBID, though, I should be the one to mumble, 'whatever.' It would lead to a full-on, drawn-out fight and of course, the end result was always the same, he was right, I was wrong, and I owed HIM an apology. Perhaps in this case, the 'whatever' was a good thing - it wasn't toward me as his wife - he REALLY didn't care. In three years, I'd like to NOT feel the need to apologize to him anymore. In the meantime, I am not holding my breath for the moment he realizes how many people he's wronged and with whom HE needs to make amends. I do not even think 'I'm sorry' is in his vocabulary. I have accepted that I'll likely NEVER hear them from him - but in three years, maybe I won't give a shit anymore because he just won't be ABLE to fix the damages he's caused. Whether it's within three years, or within five or ten, all of his inflicted damage, including all of the effects, will die with him. There are probably a bunch of other things I'd like to see happen within the next three years. I will likely become an aunt 1-2 more times. I will possibly get a new car as my car has pretty much been commandeered by the Son, who uses it to commute back and forth to school. I will likely have experienced some loss - two of my cats are elderly and are on a slow decline - this, I'm NOT looking forward to, but have to always consider the balance of good and bad whenever trying to look to the future. Perhaps this is what keeps me from shattering into a million pieces when something unexpected happens. I need to prepare myself for every possible surprise, especially the unpredictable ones. I don't expect to be right about every of my 'guesses' but if I can check off even ONE positive thing as being correctly predicted, then that's, in itself, a victory. Love and light, - Capulet
  9. Hello, everyone! TWO blogs in a week???? How unusual. Or is it? Well, guess what? I did it. I did something I PROBABLY should have done years (and YEARS) ago, and joined a local support group. Firstly, let me explain something to you all. I'd always thought about joining a support group. I've always fallen victim to loneliness - ALWAYS. Being hearing impaired is only one contributor to this constant feeling of being the outsider and never quite being able to fit in, but it was further exacerbated by being told that there were limits to what I should be talking about, being made to feel that sharing was a bad thing. (Thank you, ex-asshat...uh, husband, for that) And so, previously, when faced with whether or not I should seek out a support group, I'd always decide against it because regardless of that pesky loneliness, it didn't feel safe to take that leap, yet. Joining AS was, before last night, the closest I've ever been to a support group. This was more my speed - it's a community rather than a small group, but for me, being somewhere there was an unspoken understanding among members and not having to explain myself in depth was NICE. It was even nicer that my hearing impairment didn't keep me excluded from conversations and that I could 'speak' freely without having to use my voice or show my face. Oh, and I was able to keep AS anonymous - it was another way of keeping my private life separate from the life that I share with people who aren't privy to my personal struggles. I still do this, to this day - the only person who knows about my belonging to AS is my lovely J. And, there's another thing - joining a support forum online has enabled me to THINK out my responses. Speaking live is new to me - I am a think-before-you-speak type of girl. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's not. Maybe it's the reason I leave so much out - because online, I have time to mentally (and then physically) edit what I put out there. Who knows? Either way, I've always been SO much more comfortable online but now that I'm entertaining the idea of getting involved in this line of work, I'm going to have to learn to master the concept of live, in-person communication. So an (online) search led me to join such a group. We had our first meeting yesterday evening; this particular group meets once a month. There were only three of us, including me, and a leader. (The group leader was the same very nice woman I emailed to inquire about the meetings in the first place.) This group is centered around art, although you do not have to be an artist to participate. They provide the paper, paints, crayons, markers, colored pencils and paintbrushes. You need only bring yourself and an open mind. So, first, there was a question written on the dry-erase board in the front of the room. The general idea is to answer/discuss that question and then afterwards, we are to try to use art to express further what we have just discussed. I shit you not, I sat there with a blank piece of lined paper in front of me for what seemed like forever. I was wishing for my keyboard and a monitor to magically appear in front of me, but only had my pencil available to write with. What makes my heart happy? Safe? Proud? Scared? Strong? What does my heart need? How do I look when my heart is happy/sad/everything else? Those were the questions we were given at the beginning of the meeting to ponder. I felt like I was back in school and my teacher had just given me a timed assignment - we had ten minutes to write some stuff down and I think I only managed half-assed responses, simply because of the type of thinker I am. When called upon to respond, I simply told them that I'd share my answer to the last question - the 'how-do-I-look question.' For some reason, this was something I felt I could best explain given the amount of time I had already wasted not knowing what to write for the other ones. For those, I just jotted down simple, one-word answers for the time being. I wasn't going to even share my answer to THIS question - but it just felt okay to say this much in that moment. I explained that I look the same when I am happy, sad, scared, proud or feeling strong. I've spent so much time trying to mask my true feelings. For a long time, I wasn't allowed to share when I was sad or afraid. I learned to pretend that I was fine, or if that didn't work, supply a bullshit, sometimes nonexistent reason for looking as if I were particularly 'off.' And so, to keep myself safe, I would adopt the same generic, expressionless face for everything. I was honest ONLY with the person closest to me (yep, my wifey) and even so, there was still an insatiable need to downplay my true feelings. Not because they were unimportant, because I know they WERE valid thoughts and concerns, but they were simply thoughts I didn't have enough words to back up at the time. Y'all ever see this fantastic T-shirt featuring just squares, words and Darth Vader's face in every square? Underneath each face is a word - happy, sad, cheerful, excited, frustrated, angry, proud, sleepy, confused....and there's the same exact picture of Darth Vader's face above each word. See the attachment below. As you can see, the expression is the same, it doesn't change. That's what came to mind when it comes to me - not to mention my kids (and J) tease me about my breathing sounding Vader-ish from time to time. That last bit is not the point, it's just there for your entertainment as well as motivation for me to order this damn T-shirt for myself somewhere down the line. Anyway, this is, for sure something I feel that I need to continue to work on. I know that now, I am safe to express myself truthfully with the (very few) people I trust. And lately, I've made a little bit of progress with this, too. It's been an emotional few months, to say the least. I have been able to even CRY in front of my fiancee - never before have I been able to speak about something to the point of tears rather than drop it and pull out my pre-determined face for whatever it is I'm supposed to be reacting to. I'm finding that I'm expressing myself more now than I have in the last TWENTY years. This brings me to what makes my heart proud - it took me a while, but I did that. I got to where I am, DOING what I felt I needed to do and without being properly taught the right way of expression. I self-educated - and I listened to my own heart when it came to choosing how and to whom I expressed myself honestly. I still do feel that this blog is where I'm most honest - but perhaps, one day, I will be able to do the same thing offline. And perhaps, people will TRULY be able to identify what I'm truly feeling because my face, I'm sure, will gradually soften as I become more comfortable removing that (heavy) mask. What about the rest of it, then? It isn't hard to tell you what makes me sad. I just didn't really feel comfortable getting into such a long-ass list at the meeting. But it's the same shit that makes us all sad. I don't think there's anything that I am uniquely sad over other than how long it's taken me to reach the point I'm at and all of the wasted time and potential - while I understand it, the regrets are what gets to me in the end. I'm not sad enough to let it eat away at me, though. I'm going to fucking FIX that - I'm going to make up for that lost time, if it's the last thing I do. But most of all, what makes me (and probably you, too) sad is the existence of UGLINESS in this world - people being abusive to others, not giving a damn about what their cruelty does to another person. I'm sad that people are betrayed left and right, trust is broken every day, that fear is something so easily learned. And of course, this particular type of sadness is going to exist for years and years to come - NONE of that shit is fair! What makes my heart feel safe? Ahh, this is a hard one. I think this varies from person to person but they're not asking about them, they're asking about me. I didn't write anything underneath this word at the meeting. I was literally drawing blanks...and again, reaching for the imaginary keyboard. Honestly, though? Being able to trust someone and to remove them from my imaginary list of 'toxic' people and put them on the safe list is something that isn't done often or in my case, easily. By now, I'm used to people 'disappearing' or becoming otherwise absent from my life. And so, it's become 'safe' for me to keep most people at arms' length and cease making emotional attachments right away. Not to say I don't like them - there are many, MANY people out there that I am fond of and think of as being good, honest people that I'd love to one day get to know and become good friends with. ONE DAY. But just as soon as I say that or start to feel that is possible with someone, my safety mode kicks in and all I can think about are those who have disappointed me in the past by making promises to always be there but haven't kept them. I'm well aware that people come and go from our lives, that's what happens; that's life. We find ourselves being close to a person, thinking this is a 'lifer,' only to discover that three or four years later, they've gradually drifted and moved on. Perhaps there is a pre-set time and place for people to be friends or feel close to each other...I do believe we cross paths with people who are perhaps put there for a reason by forces unknown - as fate has it, they may need us too, for that particular moment in time and for whatever reason. I'm thinking, though, maybe very few things, if any, are forever? The 'forever,' you have to work at. For that, BOTH parties have to commit and want the same thing. I've found that usually it's me who makes the effort with others. And it's not safe for me to keep doing that - when and if it doesn't work out the way I'd like or hope for it to, the hurt is real. And so, it makes me feel an added layer of security to keep an emotional distance for a little bit longer whenever I am faced with becoming friends with a new person. I suppose the above friendship issue is one thing that scares my heart. In a nutshell, what truly scares me is the loss of something I find to be a sure thing, something I TRULY cannot imagine life without. Don't get me wrong - what terrifies me the most is the idea of anything ever happening to my kids, or to J. These three people are the ONLY three I have an emotional attachment to that NOTHING can ever change. Okay - that's not entirely true - I know that there isn't a single relationship on this planet that comes with a lifetime guarantee - a better way of phrasing would be to say this is the ONE relationship I've had where I've been able to lay ALL my cards out onto the table and allow my partner to see things I've never shown anyone else...I've given her my entire heart; I've held back nothing. My kids, too - my love for them is permanent, unwavering and unconditional. They piss me off every single damn day - in one way or another. But NEVER will they 'drift' from my heart. The thought of anything ever happening to any of these three people scares the shit out of me - it's more than the idea of losing them, I truly believe I will lose myself, too, should that happen. And finally, what makes my heart happy? What, indeed? The three people mentioned above - the son, the daughter, and J. Absolutely. They all make my heart happy, despite the times they annoy or piss me off. Them being a permanent fixture in my life makes me happy - because they are safe and safety = happiness. It's never been the material things that have brought me joy - it's consistency. So, what does my heart need now that I've identified the other ways it both keeps me going and holds me back? Thinking back to last night, this was probably the hardest of all the questions. Again, I am a very deep, profound thinker; when I am asked a question, the answer I present MUST make sense to me before I attempt to clearly convey it to others. Not sure if that's an OCD thing, a Capulet thing or the way it is for everyone - I'm guessing the latter is only true for some and not for others, because this, too, is dependent on what mental problem solving methods they most frequently use. But in order for me to answer the question of what my heart needs, I had to FIRST get through the other questions. In a way, they serve as a map, a blueprint, sort of - a route to the answers. I am simply incapable of arriving at one conclusion before figuring out the prerequisite answer. It's just the way my brain works. Before I answer the 'need' question, though, I want to mention the 'art' part of the meeting - since talking about this will likely build up to a more effective means of responding to it. Since we were discussing hearts, it was suggested we draw one and surround it/fill it in, with words, other pictures, colors, whatever, to try and describe what your heart feels through your drawing. The two ladies got started right away; I guess they already had their answers. The leader did her own picture, too - but I sat there and stared at a blank page for the first 20 minutes. No - scratch that - it wasn't completely blank - I'd completed just the first step and had drawn a heart - just a plain, empty heart. Nothing inside. I suppose that wouldn't do - those who know me know that my heart is capable of so, SO much more than the emptiness that was reflected on my paper. Yet, I truly feel restricted - I don't put as much of my heart and trust out there as I know I can. I am not allowing as much INTO my heart, either - for the longest time, I've been content with what I have - it's enough for me, there was never a true desire to spread myself even further, to share myself with others and trust in others as I do J, who has been my 'lone' person for the last ten years. This has become different, now, though. My kids, I will trust with my life - but I cannot expect them to be able to see me through those things I'm trying to survive - they are not privy to that part of my life, and that's not their fault; it's simply the way I've wanted it to be. Should they ever approach me wanting to have a conversation about such things, I'll trust them with those details then. But until that happens, I am content with trusting them to become good people, to stand up for what they believe in, and to not put me in a nursing home when I start to shit myself on a daily basis. J holds my highest level of trust - there is not a single thing about me that she doesn't know. But now, she is evolving - she doesn't have a wall fortified by a padlock over her heart - she has made new friends, she is starting to enjoy social outings with people other than me, she is growing into a stronger person. Now, don't get me wrong - our relationship is by no means in danger. We're good. I just feel lately that while she's growing, I am truly stuck in that same comfort zone that I've been sitting in for the last decade and if I continue to be stuck, I will end up even more lonely in the end. A change is necessary, and it's ME that has to change. Who the fuck invented that word, anyway? Surely not someone who is content with keeping things the same forever! So, I grabbed my crayon and filled my heart with bricks and colored them red, to symbolize the wall that obstructed the way in. It was all I could think of, really - the best interpretation of my heart in its current state. There's much to be seen beyond that 'brick' wall, but that wall needs to first be torn down, little by little, piece by piece. I waited until my turn came and explained to the group that I felt that there were many things my heart needed but for a long time, I've been building and fortifying walls - my goal was to start chipping away at it so that I and others could access my fullest potential as a person. I have that picture on my desk right now - I said I was going to keep it and bring it home and when I felt I made a little progress in lowering some of these mental walls, I'd draw little cracks in it. There will eventually be no more room for 'cracks' and this wall will eventually crumble and fall. I'm going to make sure of it - this is what I hope to gain from joining a support group. So, I've determined that I need to be able to overcome my hesitation and fear of becoming emotionally invested in or attached to the newer people in my life. I need to be able to make those cracks in this wall and then work on first weakening it - (not completely demolishing it because there are certain safeguards I need to keep in place) - in order to allow others the chance to show me that they are capable of being both supporters and friends. I'm not looking for anything beyond friendship, but even that seems harder for me to find given my own personal hangups. I need to be willing to take chances on people, I'm sure there are some who doing the same. I need to open my heart to the possibility of expanding my very, VERY small circle so that there is a safety net in place - what happens if something DOES happen to my person? In doing this, I will also be making my heart stronger - I can only assume at this point that to shy away from these opportunities would have the opposite effect. So - yeah - If I get burned, I get burned. At least I'll know deep down that I tried and it was through no fault of my own. I will have to deal with the emotional fallout, yes, but then I will simply have to accept it and move on rather than stay stationary for the next decade. I NEED to explore what else makes me happy. I trust that the already existing factors will remain in place, but if I was truly content with my life as is, I would NOT be feeling as emotional as I have been as of late. That's a given. It's taken me a while to figure that out but better late than never, I guess. I also recognize that in my quest for happiness, I'll have to take risks that scare me. Perhaps they'll make me more proud in the end, once and if I've succeeded. Who knows. Either way, I see how it's all connected. It was a good question - it didn't seem like it at first - it was almost too loaded. Lots of things make me happy, lots of things make me sad, scared, strong. I guess it's easy to put down what's obvious without giving it an excessive amount of thought, but that's just not who I am. And lastly, I need all the help I can get. I'm not usually one to ask for it, but perhaps I should start effectively expressing to others what I need. I'm rediscovering and re-training that little voice within that, in the past, was denied the requested help and support. I recognize this as being the reason I stopped asking for help, I stopped reaching out, stopped offering my own support. This accomplishes nothing, friends - nothing! I've already started picking away at this wall covering my heart. I've been at it for months already, I wanna say - it's not been easy but there are some small cracks beginning to form. So, I'm getting somewhere. Slowly, but surely. So, hey, grab a mallet. Help me make some more cracks. Maybe we can help each other through this daunting part of the healing process? Isn't that what the point of it all even is? Isn't that what I needed from the start?? Maybe instead of building and fortifying walls, we should start being more openly focused with communicating (both with ourselves and with others) what our hearts need? Until next time. Hoping you're all well. Sending and a just because it makes me smile. - Capulet
  10. I've been quiet for the past week. I'm sorry, guys. After my last entry, I've had a lot to think about. That incredibly annoying voice in my head is back, and even though I'm deaf, I can still hear it. There's a hamster, that although is cute in a little hairy rodent sort of way, is CONSTANTLY running in his little wheel situated in the middle of my brain...every time the wheel turns, a new question, thought, memory, WHATEVER, is thrown into the fray and is resulting in less of that thing that normal people refer to as 'sleep' and more of those not-so-wonderful headaches. I did just buy a BIG ASS jar of Advil for those, though. It's just been a week of realizations...I suppose these can be both good and bad. Good because it's a sense of understanding that perhaps wasn't so clear before - and bad because well, really - who wants these new truths to exist? Guys, I promise this is NOT a blog entry having to do with weight-loss. It is, but it isn't. I won't be discussing numbers or food; I did give my word that I wouldn't be blogging about diet as it's a sensitive subject to some and I don't wish to unintentionally promote poor body image. But there IS something new that I'm realizing in regards to myself - and it sort of applies, it 'fits' and I'm pretty sure that it's one of those things that pop up when something else does - whether intentional or not. Very much like when A pops up, then it makes you think about B, C, and D. There's a lot of that happening with me lately. And I feel that I need to cleanse myself a little by admitting something to you all that I've been struggling to share - I'll explain further why at the end of this post, but here goes. But, first, a couple of 'background stories.' This one is from back when I was a child, aged 11. I remember it very clearly, though it was a lifetime and a half ago. Setting the scene a little. It was my cousin's birthday. My father's sister's son was turning 8. And my aunt, a single mother, was having a family gathering for his birthday at her house. She boiled up a pot of hot dogs and served them to all the kids - mostly, it was just the rest of my cousins and maybe one or two of the birthday boy's friends from school. Anyway - I ate my hot dog rather quickly, having been hungry. I brought my plate over to the stove and asked my aunt for another. There were plenty in the pot. Some of the other kids were already chomping on seconds. "You don't need another one," she said to me, "That's why you're so fat." I didn't argue with her. I remember there being a slight pause as my stomach somersaulted. Instead of responding with, "I'm hungry," I simply put my paper plate in the trash and went to sit next to my grandmother on the couch. When they had cake, a piece was offered to me and I declined. I remember looking at myself in the mirror later that night and deciding that my aunt was right - I was fat. 11 years old and fat. And I didn't know it then, nor understand it - but that is absolutely NOT what an adult tells a child. When a child is hungry, you feed them. No questions asked. You simply don't make a kid feel as if there's something wrong with them for being hungry. That is completely and totally un-fucking-acceptable. And I often picture myself standing next to that 11-year-old version of myself asking for another frankfurter, so that when told I was fat, I could THEN respond to my aunt in a manner that would have impacted her as much as her statement to me at 11 years old had. Of course, I know this is not in any way realistic. It does please me, (although only slightly because of that 'nice person' I am) that my aunt is a miserable old lady now, with very few friends who can tolerate her endless criticism. She's lonely, she's realizing that she's not as liked as she thought she was. Now, let's fast-forward a few years. Now I am married to the wasband and I am raising three children. We have our son, who was a toddler, and then we have his two older children that I'd raised since they were ages four and two. By now, I'd already been through my fair share of weight fluctuations. The short version - I was 'pudgy' throughout high school. Not fat. Pudgy. Then in college, my SA occurred about a month into Freshman classes - after that, I dropped a bunch of weight due to loss of appetite and actually looked good for a while. Then I married the wasband, became "comfortable" with eating and gained a bunch of weight after the Son was born. Motherhood took an enormous toll on me - I was still young...21, 22, 23 years old and raising three kids. I honestly don't know how I did it, a lot of it was on autopilot mode - or perhaps it was because I felt I had so much to prove to the wasband...and to everyone else who was telling me (even if non-verbally) that I couldn't do it. I'm not going to lie...it WAS stressful. I was home during the day with the Son, who cried and cried and CRIED, I couldn't even clean the apartment without putting him in the Snuggli so that I could hold him while I did laundry, dishes, floors, whatever. Then, the older kids would need to be dropped off/picked up from school, and that was me, too. Whenever one of them got sick, it was also me to take them to doctors, pharmacies, all with a colicky infant in tow. Now, we'll top all of that off with the 'in the background' stuff - my r*pe having occurred as recently as 5-7 years prior to that - it wasn't as 'fresh,' but it still indeed bothered me - I still had nightmares, I still cried on the bathroom floor during the few opportune moments I was alone, simply because my husband was a VERY firm believer in 'what is in the past, belongs in the past....and in the past it should stay.' These were the 'suppressing' years; he'd ask how i was doing, I'd say, I was fine. And for a while, I believed it. At the same time, I ate because I was stressed out, I sought comfort within food. And that resulted in me being at my heaviest. The wasband was not kind to me. He would tell me I was fat, I was unattractive. He would point out other women he found attractive. He'd ask in front of the kids, "what does your fat ass want to eat tonight?" I'd shrug. I felt horrible, ashamed, unimportant. But at the same time, he wasn't wrong. I WAS eating unhealthily, I WAS overweight. I DID let myself go. I mean, I couldn't have it all - what I really needed was love, support and a little bit of understanding and when there was very little of that available to me, I had instead given in to bad eating habits. So, after he'd called me fat for the umpteenth time, I went on a diet. I was successful and lost a bunch of weight. Got myself back to where I was before the Son was born. And so, here is story number two, now that I've set THAT scene: We were at the mall, the wasband and I - meeting up with some friends. Another couple that we knew - while our sons were at soccer practice, we'd gone to the food court in the mall for lunch. He bought himself and me these enormous chicken parm rolls from the pizza place. I'd already lost a fair amount of weight and could only eat a couple of bites of mine before feeling full. And the wasband, in front of these people that we barely even knew, pointed out that I'd hardly touched my lunch and commented that I was starving myself. I honestly wasn't; I just wasn't hungry at the time. Even if I WAS being mindful about how much I'd eat, it was still NOT the time nor place for him to make such a comment...and certainly not something you do in front of other people. He then told me that he wanted me to eat every single bite of this way-too-big chicken parm roll, it'd be good to get some meat on me - I was both confused and mortified. I mean - you're going to tell me how fat I am and then when I lose the weight, I'm starving myself? Just what the hell do you even want from me? I did want to ask him this at the time, but I didn't. At the time, I just forced a smile at these people and fumbling for an excuse, said that the food didn't taste right. I had it wrapped and fed it to the kids later on that evening. He wasn't happy with me, but I don't think I cared enough at the time to discuss it. I just felt even more like a failure. Nothing I ever did was right or pleased him. It would only be a few more years we'd be married at this point - but this was shortly before I became pregnant with my daughter. So now I have shared a story from when I wanted food and a story for when I didn't. Both times, I was made to feel ashamed for what I wanted. Hopefully, I have successfully painted a little bit of a clearer picture of why I am so conflicted with diets or even the topic of weight. Why, in addition to everything else that's wrong in my life, I can add 'eating disordered' to my list of problems. See, I always knew this about myself. I always blamed genetics because it was easier to do so - my mother's side is big-boned, my father's side is not. I could be either way - I do think that while my mother CONSTANTLY struggles with weight, I tend to have better luck than she with diets in general - possibly thanks to Dad's genes. This, though, I don't have a name for. I'm definitely not bulimic; I do not force myself to purge what I've eaten. I do not think I am anorexic - I DO eat, although I do limit food intake at times because I'm fearful of becoming the 'fat' person again or the 'unattractive' one, which is indeed a characteristic of the disorder. I've never dropped enough weight where hospitalization was necessary. I just don't want to be seen this way anymore - I was seen as fat when I was a child and chastised for wanting more food. By a family member. Then I was seen as fat/unattractive by the man I married - when the one you marry is supposed to love every single thing about you - even the extra pounds, should there be any. See, when something is ingrained in you from an early age, you sometimes don't realize it's not the proper way of looking at it until MUCH later, when the damage is already done and the scars are deeper than you thought they were. Is there even a correct name for this issue of mine? Or is 'eating disordered' it, even though it's a pretty broad description? Anyway - I couldn't help LOSING MY SHIT when last week, I got on the scale and three pounds of bloat showed up in big, bright, red, digital numbers. I'd GAINED three pounds. WHY? What the hell had I DONE to gain three pounds in seven days?! I certainly hadn't overdone it - not three pounds' worth, anyway. I'm currently on a mission to return to a healthy weight - and TRUST me on this - there is still a ways to go before I'm there. I've made progress. I DO feel better. I'm in a committed, healthy relationship with a supportive woman who loves me no matter what the numbers on the scale say. She certainly has NEVER made me feel badly for my weight although I HAVE fluctuated a couple times in the nearly ten years we're together. She's celebrated my accomplishments with me as I'm on my way back down to a healthy weight, after discovering earlier this year that I was at my all-time high. I'd gotten comfortable AGAIN, I'd let myself go, AGAIN. And it was because no one was telling me what was wrong with me anymore - I was genuinely happy. When someone is happy, it's very easy to carelessly slip back into old habits simply because no one is putting you down for that extra helping of food you helped yourself to. And it all adds up and has a way of catching up to you. And so, this is a little different. I realized for the first time, that being at this weight was unacceptable to ME - before it was unacceptable to anyone else. And the decision to fix it was made solely by me, completely unaided by anyone else. Yet, when that three pounds showed up, ALL I could hear in my head was how fat I was, how I'd ALWAYS be what others already saw me as. All I could feel was failure. And a soreness in my big toe after kicking the scale across the bathroom floor. I swore up and down, left and right, I was ready to break down and CRY. The only reason I didn't is because I had plans to take the Son to an appointment. I no longer wanted to go to this appointment - I wanted to literally run until that three pounds was GONE, even if I had to sweat it out. All these unreasonable ways of removing that ridiculous THREE POUNDS were running through my head - I found myself thinking that I needed to skip a meal or two, I needed to do BETTER than this. I saw the ex's disgusted face, I heard him belittle me over and over. And for a fraction of a minute, I believed it. I'd failed. I'd screwed up. And then - two days later, I'd discover that it's my time of the month; the bloat was simply my body's way of prepping for my impending menses. And so, that episode in the bathroom? Completely uncalled for. How stupid do you want to guess I felt, then? PRETTY silly, I'll say - I have already apologized to the scale and to myself - but I will not apologize for WHY I am this way. It's not my apology to make, but it IS my responsibility to recognize the reasons for my flawed thinking. So what am I realizing other than I'm eating disordered through no fault of my own? (If there's no name for this, then it's perhaps acceptable to leave it at this...) I'm realizing that as I heal, as I progress further and further into an understanding of the complex mess that is myself, I am able to better delegate blame for these things, and place it where it belongs. The weight issues - definitely started by my aunt, whose intention was probably not to cause permanent damage, but instead to exercise tough love. Definitely not the best way to go about that, though. And then, it was further exacerbated by the domestic violence by the wasband, who seemingly makes a career out of being hurtful toward people whom he's supposed to be kindest to...his emotional, verbal and mental abuse certainly played a role. It does help, though, to sit here and attempt to make sense of my thoughts by writing them out - it's the same thing I would be doing in therapy, honestly. And I've covered all my W's. Who? What? Where/when? And of course, the most important of them all: WHY? I guess while I've given it all my best guess as far as the 'why' goes. My whys. I don't think I'm capable of understanding THEIR whys. I suppose that's a good thing, though. I don't wish to understand why people do horrible things to others and make them feel as if they're anything less than valuable. It isn't something I'd ever do to another. I think the problem is this - because of THEM, I still do it to myself. I guess I just want to feel that I'm doing this the right way, that my feelings are normal. I don't expect all of them to be - surely many are understandably influenced by repeatedly being abused - but I also feel that it's important to divulge that this weight loss journey is by no means without struggle. I HAVE had success, do not get me wrong. I just feel that some of it is because I'm too hard on myself, and some of my methods are a result of being fanatical rather than relaxed. I simply don't know how else to be. I don't know how else to shrug off a couple pounds' gain as being no big deal rather than break down and become obsessed with taking it back off immediately. I'm feeling the need to own these things, for to admit is to recognize the problem. Thanks for listening, if you've made it this far. And of course, for allowing me to (try to) make sense of why I am this way, even if it's just to myself for now. I will try and come back in a few days with another entry...perhaps something a little lighter next time. I welcome any and all comments, but please - do not post them here. I feel that PMs are likely the best place to send feedback on this matter. Good night, all. - Capulet
  11. ***Please skip this if you're generally uncomfortable with talk of periods, bleeding, medical procedures involving the female reproductive system. I'm trying to make this mild and non-triggering but you just never know. So proceed with caution!*** Okay, guys, I'm nervous. Ain't gonna lie, I'm seriously trying to swallow the lump in the back of my throat, with my new doctor's name on it. If the roles were reversed, I'd probably be the one saying, "it'll be all right, it's gonna be uncomfortable for a few minutes, but then it'll be over with...your health is more important than being nervous or scared for a little while..." But when it comes to applying these pearls of wisdom to myself, it's an entirely different ball game. I don't want to get into extreme detail about my female woes; some of these details are just plain disgusting, so in summary - when I have a regular period, it's not pretty. Not that monthly menses ever is, but mine are absolutely ridiculous. And since having my children, they seemingly became worse. And so when my daughter was young, I consulted with a local 'vagician' (we may thank my darling daughter for this alternate, creative term for a gynecologist - it's seemingly stuck and I now refer to these doctors as 'vagicians' only) and she put me on birth control. Obviously, my reasons for being on BC is NOT to prevent pregnancy, as for the last ten years, I've had relations with only a female and I'm not worried about conceiving. My reasons for starting the pill was to regulate/control monthly periods. And for the last several years (I want to say five or six years) the pill I was taking daily was working BEAUTIFULLY. I wasn't HAVING a period. I'd take this DELIGHTFUL little white pill every day and I spent more on the prescription than I did on Tampax. And my GOD, it was the best, BEST thing, EVER... But I ran into a birth-control snafu last year. Almost exactly a year ago, in fact, right smack in the middle of my move from New York to Pennsylvania. In the midst of the move, I forgot to take a pill. It might have happened twice. This wouldn't be the first time I've forgotten to take a pill, but it was the most unforgiving, indeed. I tried to get back on track, but since messing up once or twice, I began to experience spotting. This wasn't the once a week kind of spotting - this was more like every single fucking DAY kind of spotting. It increased with activity, too. Then, when I thought it had stopped, it would start again within a day or two. I couldn't catch a break...this went on for literally months. And to top it off, I wasn't near my regular vagician anymore. And my insurance was no longer the same, and we were in the process of changing everything over....and I didn't have a CLUE where to go in my new surroundings. I kept telling myself - it'll correct itself...just give it time... When it continued, I stopped taking the pills, thinking that maybe my body needed a 'reset.' I had enough for the next six months, and so I threw away the "pill wheel" I was working on at the moment and planned to start again at the start of my next period two months ahead - I'd allow my body to have a normal (abnormal) cycle, then I'd start taking the BC the following month. Hopefully I'd get things 'fixed.' My spotting stopped. EVERYTHING stopped. I got a regular period a month later and was reminded once again, WHY I became so reliant on these BC pills. Still, knowing that I'd go back to my pill-taking regimen that I knew would eventually control it, I endured it. I loathed every minute of it, I envisioned throwing my uterus, my cervix, my fallopian tubes, everything involved in the female reproductive system, out the window - what the hell did I need 'em for, anyway???? I'm almost 40, I'm DONE with baby making. I don't need my eggs anymore. I could sell them. I'd donate them if I could. But I certainly don't need one released every month anymore, there's NO way they're going to ever be fertilized. So I grumpily went through that time of month, every single day swearing up and down every time I went to the bathroom to remove and replace a saturated tampon. The first couple days of a period (while not on BC) are usually crampy in general - days 2-4 are the heaviest and then it will taper off on the fourth or fifth day. Usually. The following month came along. I started the pills again on day one. Of course, I had another ridiculous period but this was to be expected. It lasted the usual 4-5 days. And now because my body had to become re-acquainted with these pills, the spotting was back. But upon looking up the side effects of this medication, I knew to expect that, especially for the first few weeks. But then the weeks became months. I'd been waiting patiently for my body to 'take' to the pills again, I hadn't forgotten to take any, I'd been taking them every morning. Yet, the spotting never stopped. And, again, with increased physical activity, came increased spotting. Again, I felt that I couldn't catch a break. My uterus hated me and I didn't know why. My J had been saying for weeks already, "I think it's time to get checked out." I'd been saying, "yeah, it'll correct itself, that's what it says online!" But deep down, I knew it probably wouldn't, it would have already if it was ever going to. So, this prompted my visit to the vagician two Mondays ago. J made me the appointment and although I didn't want to go, I begrudgingly went. Although I understand that at this point, something had to give. Prior to visiting this new doctor, I once again stopped taking the pills and discarded whatever was left in that month's supply - since I knew that stopping was likely the only way to stop the spotting. And it did. Leads me to believe that the pills simply aren't working for me anymore. Or something else is going on with me that is causing these pills to be obsolete. The doctor gave me my (two years' overdue) pap, did the breast exam...we then discussed the pills I'd been taking and he suggested the depo shot - once every three months...won't have to remember to take any pills, I will just have to remember to go in every three months for a new shot. Which I'll gladly do if it helps manage the monthly discomfort. "I'd also like to send you for bloodwork." He said, "Just to make sure your hormone levels are okay and if the shot is indeed the best option for you." "Sure." (Now I'm NOT good at bloodwork in general - that's another blog for another day - but in short, needles being anywhere in my inner elbow makes me panic, my BP to spike and overall, I lose my shit...I instead direct the phlebotomist to the back of my hand where my level of anxiety over bloodwork is usually lessened - and if they can, they'll oblige.) "And I'd also like to schedule a mammogram..." I knew this was coming. Bring on the 40's, bring on the obligatory booby-squishies every year. This isn't as invasive as having paps, though, on a scale of 1-10, ten being the most uncomfortable, I'd put annual mammos at number four and paps at a nine. "Yep." I've got a cousin who DIED at age 41 due to breast cancer. So this is something I KNOW I'm not going to fuck around with. So the mammogram appointment wasn't as concerning as what he'd want next. "Okay, and then I'd like a trans-vaginal ultrasound...to check for fibroids." Hooooold the phone...what?? I must have looked at him funny because he further explained that in order to confirm that the depo shots were the best form of BC, he had to run some tests and make sure that my abnormal periods (when I had them) were not being caused by any other condition. I guess that made sense. I left the office. Went straight to the lab, got my blood drawn from the back of my hand, as requested. Check!!! Then the radiology building was across the way - dropped in over there, made appointments for the ultrasound and the mammogram for later on that week. Check! I went home feeling, gee, I accomplished a lot in one day - it was a nice feeling. For a little while. I then spent the next few days dreading the ultrasound and wanting it over with. The ultrasound and mammogram were scheduled as back-to-back appointments and so they too would be dealt with in one combined visit. I agonized over the ultrasound more, naturally, mostly because of the location of this particular test, as well as it being an internal exam to boot. Surprisingly, when the day came for the mammogram and ultrasound, I would discover that although the ultrasound is indeed a bit invasive, it was NOT as uncomfortable as the pap I'd had in the doctor's office. The technician was a female. She gave me a sheet to cover myself with and treated me with professionalism, respect and considering the nature of the test she was about to perform, her demeanor was overall calming. I needed this. I'd put the Ultrasound at a six or seven, based on this. Went home proud of myself for having done everything asked of me at this point. All done!!!!! And I'd managed to deal with it all, process it all, as well as bring myself to these appointments without having to be dragged - may not seem as big an accomplishment to most, but for me, it's big. I've been told I need to follow up with my primary care doctor because my BP was found to be 'elevated' (gee, I wonder why) and I'm also due for a regular wellness check with a new doctor - one that I do have as appointed by insurance company, but also one I've not met yet. Later, though. This isn't a priority right now. It SHOULD be, yes, but it's not. A dentist visit is also on the horizon - and the same situation applies - I don't have one of those, either! I'm pretty sure I'm going to get scolded for the shape my teeth are in and the fact that I've not had a cleaning in five years. I don't do very well with the dentist, either but I'm guessing this is common among survivors and non-survivors alone. It's something I'll work on, eventually, I guess....but the best way for me to deal with these medical things is one at a time. Piece by piece. Little by little. And apparently, the vagician is not finished with me, yet. He called on the same day I had my ultrasound...several hours later, in fact. J spoke to him on the phone, there was a lot of 'okay, so when can she come in for that?' as well as other things that ultimately meant to me that we weren't as finished as I thought I was. J hung up and then told me that he had called to say that the results didn't show any existing conditions (which is a good thing) but he still would like to determine why I have abnormal periods and rule out endometriosis as well as a couple other things that I really didn't care enough to ask for clarification on. I'm stuck on what he said first - he now wants to do a biopsy/DNC before I get my next period as a final test prior to prescribing the depo shot, which would need to be administered on the day my next menses begins. I'd likely feel some period-like cramps and some discomfort for a few days after the procedure, but he'd be able to run some further tests... ...a biopsy. I don't even like THAT word. A sample..?? Fine. A specimen? Ehhh, that's fine too. A BIOPSY??? Are you TRYING to give me a heart attack or is that a natural reaction to the word for everyone else too?? "Oh, hell, no," was the first thing I said when J finished relaying the message to me. J's saying she'll go with me and hold my hand through this but even so...what? Why can't you just go by what you're seeing in the bloodwork, the ultrasound and just give me the stupid shots???? I know what a DNC is and I don't want that shit, I don't want to relinquish a piece of my uterine lining, my cervix, I want it all to stay where it is and where the good Lord intended for it all to be. I did the bloodwork they asked for...that came back fine. I did the mammogram, which although uncomfortable, I knew was necessary. And then I did the trans-vaginal ultrasound which came back showing nothing concerning. Why can't we leave me alone, now???? So while I went to the first appointment on my own and to the lab on my own and finally to the mammogram and ultrasound on my own, this is increasingly becoming an appointment I have to be dragged to. And J is willing to do that, for she's more worried about this shit than I am. The appointment is currently set for next Tuesday, but we realized that J has to work on next Tuesday and likely wouldn't be able to make sure I show up at the doctor's office to have this procedure done. She knows as well as I do that I'm more likely to say, 'screw it...I'm not coming." And so she asked me last night for the doctor's phone number - she would reschedule for three days later - for Friday next week, since that's her day off. And she'd go with me and we'd go to lunch afterwards. It all sounds great but I'm stuck on what the procedure entails, I can't see past that right now. So after I moaned and groaned about all of the above for a half-an-hour last night, J eventually said: "Sometimes we just have to put on our big-girl panties and go do what we need to do..." Me, in the middle of my meltdown: "But how am I gonna put them on if he keeps asking me to take them OFF?" I got the "only you" head shake, followed by the much-needed laugh. Yeah, only me. For now, I'm trying not to agonize over this. I seriously would like for one appointment to STAY one appointment. None of this, 'let's get some labs' or 'let's check this out' or 'let's take a look at that' shit. If it's not broken, don't fix it. That's always been my motto, and deep down, I DO know that things break for unseen reasons and they have to be 'investigated.' Never said I liked it, though. And if this is all a preview of what life after 40 looks like, I've got some adjustments to make when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to medical stuff. Still nervous. Still more scared than I'll ever be able to verbally admit to anyone. But I'm also working on being honest with myself with what I'm feeling, as well as with others who ask me what's going through my mind at any given time, rather than shrug it off and say 'nothing.' And writing these things down is the most effective means of doing that...so thank you in advance if you've made it this far. In closing, I hope that my American friends have a safe, happy 4th of July!!! I'll be using the holiday as a distraction from the events that will likely take place next week - it's all I can do right now. - Capulet
  12. It would appear that I have two sides. Two faces. There are currently two versions of me - and while it’s been suggested/confirmed that I do/have suffer(ed) from a personality disorder involving multiple other versions, these additional ‘parts’ have become silent and have grown otherwise dormant at the very least. Now I am currently faced with just two opposing sides of myself that are currently attempting to form a coherent connection. Or rather, to integrate, if that description even fits better. Furthermore, I am wondering if it's more of a one-sided effort on the part of the adult version of myself. I'll explain this further, don't worry. I've recently shared the information that I'm about to discuss in this entry...and I know in the past, I've shared other bits and pieces of what I recall about childhood, but my thought process is CONSTANT, (imagine the hamster in his wheel, it's always going and going and GOING) and I'm always searching for alternate perspectives on the same matter. It's mostly so that I can understand on more levels, even if others have difficulty following. I need to thoroughly investigate these things, and by writing/posting and re-reading what I've put down, this affords me the ability to both gain perspective from outside parties as well as to have it available to me to refer back to when I finally hit that brick wall that is repeatedly thrown into my path toward understanding myself as a whole. So, who am I? When I say I am two-faced, I am not referring to the negative version of the term, which is most commonly described as being the type of person who would smile at you one moment and then stab you in the back as soon as it was turned. No. This isn’t me. I know that and you all, I’m hoping, know this too. I am kind, I am caring, I am loyal and I am compassionate. This, I know for a fact - I couldn’t intentionally hurt another person. I have killed before but my victims are primarily of the eight-legged variety and it’s usually done by way of a shoe or rolled-up newspaper - even so, if it’s within my capacity to do so, I’d sooner scoop them up and toss the spiders outside. But that’s pretty much the extent of the harm I could cause another living soul. I’m more inclined to help someone else if I can - especially in situations where the pain they are enduring is a common, familiar one. My conflict is with myself, basically. The much younger, child version of myself that is flat-out REFUSING to share with her older self what she knows/has been hiding for years. You see, these are two equally as powerful forces, despite the age difference - the adult is stronger in the sense that she’s already gone through a fair amount of healing. She understands the effects of sexual assault, whether it’s a constant thing or a one-time thing. She has facts to support her memories, she has a deep, accurate understanding of the aftermath, of the emotional roller-coaster that we, as survivors, are forced to ride. And then there is the child, who although she’s young and without the same level of understanding, she’s been working hard at being an impenetrable fortress of information; she’s managed to keep in place these enormous shields - and to keep them there for thirty-five years, give or take. She’s effectively locked away and kept things from people around her, from her parents, from her teachers, from psychiatrists, from friends, and even from her adult version, the single person she could likely trust the most, but still isn’t willing provide the key to at the moment. And for this great amount of time, she's stood her ground - doing whatever it was she needed to do in order to protect this information from whomever she felt the need to fortify it from. The right-now Capulet is whom you’re all familiar with. This is who you see, who you talk to, whom some of you converse with regularly. What you see is what you get. Right-now Capulet was raped at the age of 17. She can give you accurate details about that - for she remembers every single moment of that night where her world was shattered and everything came crashing down, every minute she laid on that cold, wooden floor, every second that took seemingly longer to pass than a mere second. She can tell you how that floor smelled, what was on the computer screen, she can tell you of the rusty barbells that were also on the floor, just out of her reach, and how she’d briefly considered using one to fend off her attacker. She can tell you how helpless, how defenseless she felt when she couldn't. And furthermore, she can tell you how this single event has absolutely everything to do with the person she’s become, nearly 22 years later. She is still more comfortable conversing online than she is in an in-person social setting, but is open to working on learning how to get through these hurdles in the near future. A lot of right-now Capulet's struggles are a culmination of being hearing impaired (especially the socially awkwardness) and having been sexually assaulted as a teenager, then dealing with a number of abusive situations on top of this - it all adds up. And then we’ve got the small child Capulet who, while she’s done a VERY good job of blocking out details that she knows are true, she’s had moments of weakness - evident only because the adult version has managed to obtain tiny little snippets and fragments that somehow seeped through these shields - perhaps they’re not untraversable as we originally thought they were. Or perhaps, throughout the years, they have weakened some or have otherwise lost some of its original strength, comparable to expired medicine. Either way, right-now Capulet is aware and further convinced of there being something of importance behind these shields. She knows it's likely ugly and thus the reason for these shields being there in the first place. Yet, she struggles with an insatiable need to know the truth, no matter how grisly it is and how damaging this information has the potential to be. Why, though? Aren't I doing well enough without these added bits and pieces to my already overflowing plate? I'll attempt to explain this before wrapping up this entry - been working on it for HOURS, already - my brain hurts. Thinking I'll go to Dunkin' for an iced latte. Or maybe not because it's raining and I don't desire to leave my house this morning. Either way, I'm rewarding myself with something sweet, something sugary, once I've posted this. I fucking deserve it, don't I? But anyway, here goes. I think that these little fragments - these little memory snippets that I can't make sense of right now, are pointing to something that although I'm without evidence, I can't completely ignore, either. Just as I couldn't overlook these signs if I saw them in someone else, particularly a child. These snippets/fragmented pieces that I AM privy to, are strong ones. Kind of while piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, you have to complete the outside border, first. I would say I have a fair amount of that border in place, but nothing in the middle. It's a whole lot of emptiness. Each of these broken memories I possess is a a piece here, a piece in the other corner over there, a piece in the middle of the bottom...etc. While they're different pieces in different locations, they're all a part of whatever the finished picture turns out to be. So right-now Capulet is sitting at the table, trying to get this puzzle completed. Small-child Capulet is not supplying the missing pieces, and although I've tried bribing her with the things I KNOW she loves, I've gotten nowhere in the acquisition of said pieces. Instead, it's 'HELLO, brick wall!' This kid has major skills, let me tell you. I've been at this puzzle for a long time, now, and have gotten nowhere. Another thing I struggle with that is likely contributing to my desire to get to the bottom of it all - I also want to know...(no, I NEED to know) - if anything having occurred in my childhood led to what I'd later on endure as a teenager - what kind of shaping/forming/grooming took place at such a young age? What happened to small-child Capulet that caused her to lock up and hold onto the key for a lifetime afterwards? And all of this is likely stuff that a therapist would get giddy over and likely see an opportunity for some major dollar signs. “Come to my office and we'll figure it out, we'll get some answers!” I’m sure they’d say in response to this blog, should they come across it. And I've actually just pictured the face of my old T...followed by a brief image of her clapping her hands. She used to clap in order to get my attention as a child. I remember not liking to look at her sometimes, and so she'd 'clap' or gently rap on the tabletop to get my attention so that she could speak to me. But sadly, I’m not in a comfortable enough financial situation to seek out a GOOD therapist. I've had the same aforementioned therapist twice. She met the small child version of me when I was approximately eight years old, as well as the adult version when I sought her out about ten years ago and I was going through a divorce. Both times, she's failed. I likely wouldn't have considered going to see her ten years ago, knowing she wasn't successful in breaching small child's walls, but I'd hoped that she had some memory or input that she could share with the adult version. She either did know some things that she wasn't comfortable sharing right away and maybe wanted me to work up to remembering at a slower pace rather than just dump all of this information on my already mounting reasons for concern, (and for this reason, I agreed to continued weekly sessions) OR she truly knew nothing - either way, I had some issues stemming from the dissolution of my marriage that she WAS in a small way, helpful with. But for these deeper, more pressing issues, she was proven ineffective and not helpful and I felt as if I was wasting money. And so, I stopped visiting her altogether. I still do have her email address and I've considered sharing some of my recent writings with her - just in case she does know something - but then again, maybe it's best that I not do so. She's one of those who would ask me to come in for a session and I don't feel I should have to pay for this information. And now, here I am. With the same concerns. Minus the marital problems - my current relationship is healthy, secure and wonderful - no complaints there. As far as I’m concerned, I AM my own therapist. Anything we’d do in a T’s office, I’m perfectly capable of doing on my own. I talk, sometimes too much. I write. Also too much at times. I think. If it helps me, who's to say that's a bad thing? I spend entirely too much time thinking, I believe that too, has been confirmed. However, none of these are unhealthy ways of coping. They're just what works for me. I also want it to be known that I am NOT in crisis. All this is just stuff that until recently, I’ve kept in the furthest confines, the deepest corners of my mental health closet - and I've recently come to open up this closet and begin searching for deeper meanings to these two sides...one side who wants to know everything and the other who wants to keep things suppressed and hidden. How do you get these two sides to work together? Is there some way to reach a compromise? What does small-child Capulet need, and from whom if not from the older, more knowledgeable version of herself?? I'm not sure anyone knows the answer to this, either. And so, I'm not sure who is going to win this ongoing tug-of-war battle. The adult will pull and pull, and ultimately grow weary and tired. Then the small child, who's got a comparable amount of strength, will pull back, by way of solidifying these shields until SHE'S tired or otherwise feels safe. This game may go on for several more years. Possibly for the rest of my life. While it's way easy to look up cheat codes for some of the console games I play, this isn't something I can search for a shortcut on, there are no guides that I can follow, no secret twists and turns or jumps that will catapult me onto the other side of those shields. I'm stuck on this level and I'm not seeing a way to get through it. And for that reason, I feel defeated. And now, I'm going for that coffee, even if I make a cup in the kitchen. Not feeling Dunkin'. - Capulet
  13. Hey, all! Hoping this finds everyone in good health...mental and otherwise! As for me, I'm still...well...me. I dare not say for sure that I'm in good mental health because that, as always, remains a matter of opinion. So...spring has finally sprung where I live...where there were gnarled, menacing tree branches, there are now lovely cherry blossom trees in bloom, colorful leaves growing, grass and flowers sprouting. Rising temperatures are also lifting my spirits - although we've had more than enough rain, it's still nice to be free of the arctic nightmare that was this past winter. I'm more motivated to go outside - this week, we're having a little work done in our backyard. Next week, I'll be attempting to decorate. The Son's graduation barbecue has been set for five weeks from now and I'm motivated to make our back yard beautiful. The cherry blossom tree I want of my own is likely going to be next year's project; making the yard presentable is going to keep me busy enough for the next few weeks. Lost a little bit less than one pound, bringing my total to 26.1. Slowly but surely, I'll get there. My water intake hasn't been what it should. Will work on that this week. But, anyway...enough of the small talk... Lately, I've been struggling with sleep, again. I thought I had it figured out, but I apparently do not. Tylenol PM has been deemed ineffective - two nights this past week, I took two and waited, waited and WAITED. Sleep remained elusive, even though I had managed to cover every single little annoying light in the room. I tossed and turned for at least another two or three hours before I finally fell asleep - an hour before the alarm roused me to get the kids up and off to school. I think I know what the problem is. It's not until I'm trying to fall asleep at night that my brain (which has been inadequately programmed to accept SLEEP as an acceptable and normal way of life) decides that it's time to think about things that I don't necessarily have answers for. At two or three in the morning, no less. I'll be tossing and turning, intent on replenishing on my energy and strength and my brain goes something like this: "Pssst. Hey, Capulet. D'ya remember the kitchen drawer you meant to re-arrange and organize? Well, it's getting fuller because you've been neglecting it for weeks. How much longer do you think it'll be before you won't be able to open it? And when you finally DO get to it, the knob you pull to open the drawer is loose. You're going to need a Phillips screwdriver to tighten it. The screwdriver is actually IN that drawer, too, so you don't have to look far. You planned for that, actually. And then when you're done with that knob, you're going to need to tighten at least a dozen other knobs throughout the kitchen and bathroom cabinets..." So, there you have it...there's me...at three o'clock in the fucking morning, there I am with the screwdriver, because my brain won't shut the fuck up about the knobs. You'd also think - okay, all thirteen knobs tightened, am I going to be able to sleep now? No. Because then it starts with the next thing. It's like my brain queues thoughts - things I push away when I have all the time in the world during the damn day, and it saves them for when I'm supposed to be sleeping. But I think I'm a sleep superhero - I've mentioned previously that this was something I've been used to since I was in my late teens. Sure, the day after, I'm a zombie and the night after, I USUALLY crash accompanying a NyQuil swig. So, a couple nights ago...I had a pounding headache. Took a Tylenol PM - (and here's further proof that it simply doesn't work...I either need to take three or four or find something stronger) and headed to bed. Few minutes in, there's the voice of my brain. "Hey. Hey. Never mind sleep. Tell me, Capulet, why do you think you don't like music?" I punch my pillow. Oh, my God. All I want is to SLEEP! Shut up, brain. SHUT UP! I attempt to ignore the voice. I think of other things. I think of my beautiful nieces and my handsome nephew. My cats. My upcoming house projects. The parties I'm trying to plan for birthdays, graduations, other marvelous life moments. I try to "start" a dream...hopefully I'll drift off and finish it. No such luck that night, though. "You're not going to sleep until you explain to yourself why you hate music. Come on. It's time to think about this and nothing else, because you're NOT going to be able to sleep until you do..." I want to say Will Ferrell is the voice of my disobedient brain - simply because I can't stand him and find him annoying. Very convenient, isn't it, to have him narrate my impromptu middle-of-the-night thoughts? So, I get to thinking about my dislike of music. It's not because I want to or choose to, it's because Will Ferrell won't let me sleep. I always thought that it mostly has to do with the fact that I can't hear it. I can feel the beat, I can hear, through the help of my hearing aid, the sounds. But I cannot string together the words to a song. I can't tell if it's a pleasant sound or dissonant. I can't enjoy it, even in the smallest way. I don't understand when someone tells me that music is more than hearing; it's an experience. I don't get it when my fiancee rushes over to me after watching 'The Voice' with goosebumps on her arms and she says, "Oh, my god...their singing...it sent chills through my body...look! See the goosebumps?" And sure enough, yes, there they are. I don't get it when I see people in the gym or jogging in the park with headphones in. I mean, I guess I CAN understand - for these people, it serves as a distraction...when you can focus on your favorite songs while you work out, the exercise doesn't seem so tedious. Maybe that's why I fail miserably whenever I DO bring my ass over to the gym. I see people with song lyrics tattooed on them. Lyrics I normally cannot identify the song they came from or who the artist is. My mother loves music and enjoys Broadway...she goes to shows often with her (retired) friends. My father, when he's not swearing at the Mets and their recent lack of baseball talent, loves music and occasionally 'jams' with his (also retired) friends - he plays the organ and the saxophone, for fun. He's also known to enjoy American Idol when it's on. My sister (the one who's a bit of a snoot) has been performing since she was a small child and much to all of our relief, she's now just had her second child and is just now focusing on motherhood, something she should have started doing five years ago when my nephew was born. My fiancee loves playing her favorite music in the car or in the bedroom...she will attempt to tell me about certain songs, certain performers, and as much as I try, I can't bring myself to care. In fact, J and I have an inside joke. Whenever I see people sing, I have to admit to being amused by it and often referring to it as 'people screaming.' Because, to me, it looks like they're screaming in pain. Especially the ones who belt out in song and distort their faces so excessively, it reminds me of someone attempting to pass a kidney stone or preparing for childbirth. And so, on J's days off, I sleep late (most likely because the night before was a restless one) and while she's waiting for me to awaken, she 'watches people scream' with her cat. It works for me. And finally, my KIDS love music. The daughter is constantly playing music through her iPad while she does homework, cleans, takes showers. A lot of the time, I have to tell her to turn her stuff down, because it's giving me a headache. The Son, a few weeks ago when I picked him up from school, expressed his sadness that I couldn't hear music. He said he 'felt so bad' for me, that he found it devastating that I didn't know what I was missing. I told him that I wasn't bothered by it. I think I found it more touching that he was of the impression that we'd even have the same taste in tunes... I've even seen and met other deaf people (and it's safe to say they are just as deaf as I) who enjoy feeling the beat and claim to love music, even watching people sing/perform on television, even if they're not getting the full audio experience they still SOMEHOW manage to gain from music and reading the subtitles as a person performs. I'll never understand though, how that's possible, either. But I never questioned it. I don't think I ever really cared enough to do so. I guess it would be a different story if I'd ever heard music. If I'd been born with the ability to hear and lost my hearing later in life, I think I'd have been crushed, having something I enjoyed so intensely taken away from me. I think that's what my son THINKS happened in my case, even though I've explained time and time again - you can't possibly miss something you've never had the pleasure of understanding or experiencing. But...I have to confess...I hate music. When I hear music playing through the radio or through someone's phone or from the TV, it sounds staticky. It's just loud, annoying noise. Oftentimes, it gives me a headache because that's what noise DOES. When you can't make heads nor tails of it, you're left with unnecessary background noise that plays in your head long after it's been turned off. I can't help but roll my eyes - is it really as hyped up as everyone says? I mean - I've always said people were entitled to their own opinions, not everyone likes and dislikes the same things. But almost every single person I know likes music...and I can't help but feel left out because this isn't something I can take joy in alongside them. Ebenezer Scrooge's 'bah humbug' comes to mind whenever I see someone enjoying music or singing...and I just find myself disconnecting from any and all forms of music. I allow myself to get lost in thoughts and if the 'noise' gets to be too much, I take my ear out. I retreat into silence, because, for me - this is more comfortable. I have another theory, though, on why this is such a torrid topic. And this isn't an easy theory to recognize but in hindsight, it makes a whole lot of sense. I am going to issue a trigger warning at this point...okay? When I was assaulted at seventeen years old, it happened at a party. I was in someone's bedroom (it was not my attacker's house nor a fraternity house - it was simply someone else's 'folks-are-away-on-European-vacation-so-let's-have-a-rager' house) and my assailant had locked us inside that upstairs bedroom under the pretense of making a phone call to someone who could pick me up since my 'ride' was downstairs and drunk. Anyway, at one point after things had gone terribly wrong, I was pinned down on the floor, with him on top of me, methodically ripping away my soul. It was after I had stopped fighting him - any previous attempts to cry for help were not heard nor recognized and the door remained locked for the duration of the assault. And although I may not have understood it in the moment due to shock and eventual 'check-out', I'd later begin to realize why no one came. It's because, through the floor, I could literally feel the blasting of the music playing downstairs. This kid must have had top-of-the-line speakers and stereo equipment because it was the type of loud that one could barely hear themselves in, never mind someone in a bedroom upstairs. My body (back mostly) vibrated along with the floors. Surely, no one heard my feet and fists stomping on the floor. No one heard me scream. No one came to my rescue because NO ONE HEARD ME. During that life-changing moment that I will never be able to associate without the presence of loud "noise," I lost not only a huge part of myself, but also the ability to see music as anything but bothersome as well as loathsome. And there you have it, friends - I want to think that although the hearing impairment is likely the primary culprit, that there is also that secondary reason why I won't open up my mind to music. I just can't. Yet, I've been known to jot down some poetry and I was constantly writing things down following the sexual assault. These were my most common outlets. Both of these are closely associated with songwriting and with creation. But for me - there was no musical vision accompanying these words. While another artist might be able to put 'noise' and lovely melodies to these words, all I can manage, is silence. I am sure that music in general is a beautiful thing - yet, I can't help but associate it with something so ugly and heartless, cruel, cold. And this is something I don't like about myself nor to admit about myself, especially since I know that for so many people, whether they are close to me or not, this is a STAPLE. People have said they don't know what they'd do without their favorite music...for to them, it's comforting. As I near the end of this post, I do want to put a little disclaimer here - that if you are one of those who gain comfort from music, I certainly do respect that - I just would never be able to understand it the way you do! And in no way do I feel differently about any of my friends who love something I dislike so much - for I truly feel we all have our valid reasons for loving/hating something. I just feel that unless you can effectively explain and comprehend what your own personal reasons are, then you're not justified. (I don't know if this is even the right word or even fair to say - it's just a feeling I have when it comes to my own likes and dislikes, and it's, as expected, nearly 3am right now so I've surpassed the point of translucent thinking.) I truly wish that this was different for me and that I were more open to reading song lyrics, 'feeling' the meaning behind them, etc, but this is not something I can do right now. If this will ever be possible, I don't know, but I'm not in a hurry. But, to me, aside from not being able to hear it properly, music is simply just noise...and likely a triggering one. I'm not sure if writing this blog entry will enable me to completely understand or even to answer this particular pressing question that from time to time plagues me at odd hours of the morning. I'm not sure if it's even validation I seek. Either way...I'll hope that this interpretation appeases Will Ferrell as I hobble over to the bed. I've taken the swig a few minutes ago and am hoping that shortly, sleep, along with silence, will overcome my otherwise busy, insomniac brain. I'm sure that in the next couple nights, Will shall be back and he'll be asking me (at 2am) if I've remembered to feed the Daughter's hermit crabs or if I've remembered to transfer the clothes from the washer into the dryer or I've paid a bill or emailed an aunt for her birthday. My best to everyone. And, until next time, adios! - Capulet
  14. 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
  15. Let's all raise our hands if we're done with Christmas! If it were within my capacity to turn back-flips, I'd be doing that right now. I'd likely end up in traction but it'd be worth it, compared to how I was made to feel this past Christmas season. I'm more happy that it's over. It was over before it started, if that makes any sense... I'll further explain. Most of you know that this was our first Christmas in our new home. The house was beautifully decorated. The tree was put up right after Thanksgiving weekend and the light show has ALWAYS been my favorite. I love the multi-color lights, I love the tree being the only source of light in the evenings. Such a calming, merry feeling while watching TV and all the other house lights are off. At least for me, this was a nice and peaceful feeling and a feeling I look forward to whenever we're eating turkey leftovers. Additionally, I'm happy to say that our tree ultimately survived the wrath of my youngest cat, who has successfully learned that he is no longer a kitten and is too big and fat to shimmy up the center of the tree and perch himself across the branches in the middle. I did have to "repair" the branches at the bottom, that just fall to the floor because of his failed attempts to get into the tree. A few ornaments ended up on the floor every morning, but there haven't been any fatalities this year; the glass/expensive ones were put high up because of aforementioned cat. The other four don't give a rat's ass about the tree, it's always the youngest one that's the problem... Anyway...moving on. We decorated the outside of the house with lights...something we'd never done before. It looked lovely. J and I were proud of ourselves. I must say ours was the nicest looking house on the block! We had lights in all the windows, a couple of those projector things with snowmen and snowflakes on one side, we strung up the wall at the end of the driveway, covered a tree with net lights....VERY nice! We hung a nice big wreath on the entrance door, another in the living room on the wall above the mantle. I put the red shiny bows on the doorknobs and drawer handles, made things look nice and festive with the addition of little Christmas-themed knick-knacks and candles and anything that smelled like candy-canes or gingerbread or sugar cookies...out they went with little candies and M&Ms, whatever we could put in these little glass (Holiday-themed) bowls...I put out Christmas coasters...my halls were DECKED. I put garland up along the edge of the fireplace, complete with battery-operated lights that went on every day at 6pm and shut off at midnight. 6 on, 18 off, easy-peasy with these battery-operated delights, didn't have to worry about replacing the batteries at all but will imagine they need new ones at the start of next season. That is, given I'm in the mood to decorate. Oompa also "contributed" when she downsized drastically over the last year...and by "contributing," I mean, she threw whatever she had no room for into a plastic grocery store bag and brought them over to us to use. I often joke among the sisters that she's simply giving them to me to throw away for her. There WAS some salvageable junk, but most of it was unnecessary junk that I didn't want to use here, either. We all get a daily text from Oompa, I'll have you know..."Do any of my girls want this beautiful hanger, passed down from great-great-great Nonna from Italy?" And then the chorus of "no's" begins... Then the stupid hanger ends up in a bag and on my kitchen table because she has a sentimental attachment to it and will store it in the bedroom closet she uses when she's here. I swear to God, you can't make this up - that bedroom smells like Old Lady, the efforts of Yankee Candle and Glade Plug-Ins combined cannot fully combat the stench...it's simply because she has too many "collectibles" that no one wants and she insists on putting into her room, and the door being closed at all times to ensure a cat-free zone further preserves and promotes the Old Lady sanctuary. These little, minor things, I can deal with. What I CANNOT deal with though, is manipulation. Where Oompa is involved, though, let's call it mom-nipulation because that's fitting. She has been bitching and moaning since the SUMMER (it was the beginning of July when we moved here, she wasted NO time) that I moved two hours away from her. J has made comments to her that SHE lives 4 hours away from all of her family members but that has little to no effect on my mother. I might as well have moved across the country, the way she has been carrying on. My mother's biggest problem, if you ask me, is that she does not feel needed by me/us. She weeps because she doesn't see us once a week like she used to, she clings whenever she comes, she complains when I decline an invite to her house for Sunday dinner, she then throws us moving back into our faces and lays blame on US for moving away and not making the effort in keeping the family together. In return, I remind her that Sister #1 moved BEFORE we did, she chose the retirement community 20 minutes away from Sister #1 BEFORE we moved two hours away. SHE was the one who got the moving ball rolling. Sister #2 and her husband also moved 20 minutes away from her little retirement community (although in the other direction) BEFORE we moved. Why should we move close to her/them when we had no intention of ever living in New Jersey!? We told her YEARS before either one of us moved; we were bypassing New Jersey entirely and moving to Pennsylvania. She knew this. Yet, she still complains that it's not a location in Pennsylvania that is close enough to where she hangs her hat.... All in all, I just do not have the heart to tell her that she misses me/us MORE than I/we miss her. In a way, both of my sisters having babies within a six-month span of time helps - because now she needs to help THEM with their "new-parent" statuses, takes some of the pressure off of us, and in the meantime keeps her too busy to complain to us. I'm fine with seeing her once a month! Or less. Really, because all she does when she's here is cry and complain and bit*h and moan and piss everyone off in the process. You'd think that having a three-year old grandson and a newborn granddaughter with another granddaughter on the way in a couple of months would help...right? But no, she finds reasons to complain, anyway! Christmas, particularly Christmas Eve, has always been my mother's thing. She would have all of her daughters, their spouses (and in my case, ex-spouses), grandchildren, my father and his wife would come, along with the occasional extra in-law guest with nowhere else to go, etc, at her house (this was back in New York, before we BOTH moved this past summer...me to here, and her to a retirement community in New Jersey....hence her downsizing crusade) for a fish feast and present-opening extravaganza. We did it every year regardless of her constant over-cooking of the fish, the drama that would ensue and the annual argument between any two or three random family members. Not that the drama was wanted or needed, it was pretty much a given...because wherever Oompa is, the drama is. With the exception of me and maybe Sister #2, Oompa breeds drama. She starts it with her husband, my poor stepfather and both my sisters' father. This man has endured her bullshit for thirty-five years. She yells at him mercilessly, calls him stupid and orders him around. In his old age, he's gotten to the point where he tolerates it less and less, resulting in full-blown arguments over the dinner/dessert table if not during all the preparation. Sister #1 has inherited my mother's flair for drama and in turn, has absolutely no filter on her mouth, almost everything that comes out is an insult. She truly met her soul-mate in her husband, who also has no filter nor a pot to catch HIS verbal diarrhea. As a result, that is an aunt and uncle my kids don't care for. They will say hello and goodbye at family gatherings but DREAD their presence at any one of them. Lately, that secret dread has been made not-so-secret. Anyway, last year was our "last" Christmas Eve at Oompa's old house, the house we grew up in. That house was sold prior to our move. We all said it last year...next year, we start new traditions. I wanted the Christmas Eve torch and made it known to both Oompa and my father and stepmother and sisters as well as to the wasband and his wife and all of the kids. Now, fast forward to this year. Oompa's excuses began back in October with the birth of my niece. "Ohh, you know, she's (Sister #2 and her husband) not going to drive two hours to your house with a newborn in tow...the baby's too small..." (why she thinks a baby won't sleep in the car for a 2 hour ride is beside me....my kids would sleep for six hours as long as the damn car was RUNNING)...but fine, I accepted that. Baby's first Christmas, after all. It was later told to me that they would be going to my brother in law's parents' house for Christmas Eve. So, this sister was squared away. I took no offense to this. I understand it. Then... "Your sister's (#1) husband is deathly allergic to cats so she won't come for Christmas Eve at your house, either...let's do it at my house in Jersey?" She tried this too. I told her that I'd buy a supply of Benadryl for the asshole but I'm not putting 10 people on the highways on Christmas Eve to accommodate one person (my brother-in-law with the nonstop verbal diarrhea) because he's allergic to cats. I'm simply not re-arranging my holiday plans because he won't come. My sister would come because according to Oompa, they had nowhere to go either. So I told her to bring my sister and nephew and come for dinner, if my brother in law chose to stay home, then that was on him. But then more excuses...she's (my sister) seven months' pregnant and shouldn't be in the car for that long. Are you fucking kidding me?! So I finally put my foot down and told her that I was doing Christmas Eve...(which was also J's birthday)...here. That's it. We weren't hauling everyone in our family (to include wasband's because his family consists of the four other grandchildren she knew before the ones that take up all of her time NOW) over to her tiny little house in New Jersey because she wasn't willing to work with us as far as my sister and her husband were concerned. Now, this was only three-quarters of the family. My father (whom I inherited the drama-free attitude from) is retiring this year. He lives THREE hours away from us. He's not complained once. In fact, he vacations frequently in the area we live in, so he was actually HAPPY to hear we moved where we moved. He's come a couple times since then and stayed over, enjoyed his visits with us. There have been ZERO complaints from him. So, this year, he had but one request. He couldn't come on the actual Christmas Eve because on Christmas Day, he had plans with his wife's family. He has these plans every year, but the drive back from my house to where he (and his wife's family) would be too traffic-filled if he were to leave Christmas morning. So he asked to come December 23rd, have an "early" Christmas Eve celebration here, spend the night, and head home on Christmas Eve (afternoon) so that his visit on Christmas Day would warrant less travel hassle. Makes sense, right? So I agreed. Oompa was invited for the 23rd as well, and she came on the 23rd. My father's wife is not a cat-lover either. When they arrived, I told them that my son's room (which has a full-size bed) was available for one set of grandparents while the other set would stay in the guest room that my mother has "old-ladied" to the max. They'd hash out those details amongst themselves when they arrived but both sets of parents would have a bedroom with a door, clean sheets, etc. My only suggestion was for my Dad and his wife to bring their own pillows, as the ones in my son's room are quite beat up. Okay, so Dad arrives on the 23rd. Oompa was already there. My stepfather busied himself tinkering with things around the house - he's got the need to be doing something at all times. Anyway, Stepmother asked Oompa if she could have the guest/Old Lady room because it was the only room in the house completely closed off to cats and she was hoping for no stray cat hairs on her bedding. Oompa, without consulting with my stepfather, said yes, that she and her husband would take my son's room (which really isn't a cat hangout - when he's not home, the door is closed...when he IS home, the door is closed...so it really wasn't too big of a deal) and my father and his wife would take the guest room/Oompa's room. So they put all their stuff in that bedroom, we had dinner...not exactly a drama-free dinner, because it was also my stepson's (wasband's eldest son's) birthday on the 23rd. My kids wanted to go there for dinner, thus cutting our "fake" Christmas Eve short. Not to mention Oompa screamed at both of them because they expressed a want/need to celebrate their brother's birthday and to have dinner with the wasband, despite my having planned a nice family meal over here. I had to smooth the waters between my son and my mother, stating we would eat a little bit earlier, then they could go join the wasband for a SECOND dinner before we all went there for cake later on. For the record, we usually DO celebrate his birthday on the 23rd but because this year, we had no other time to have my father over and my mother wasn't going to stay for Christmas Eve because that would, in turn, leave Sister #1 with no one to see or nowhere to go, we planned to eat our dinner and go to the wasband's for cake. It was my attempt to make everyone happy, to see everyone for Christmas Eve, a day early. Wasband refused to bring everyone over here on a day that was his son's birthday (and my stepson would NOT have cared, I know this about him...it was the wasband who was being difficult) and to combine birthday and holiday together. So...we made the most of it and tried to squish everything into the 23rd so that everyone else could carry out alternative plans. But no. No one was happy, including me, because whenever I try and accommodate ANYONE, I end up inconveniencing others. After cake, there was more drama. My stepfather's boiling point was reached and he hollered at my stepmother, telling her that he wasn't giving up his room. My mother hadn't consulted with him and he was angry about it. He deserved to be able to sleep in the room that he always slept in when he was at my house. He carried on. My stepmother finally threw her hands up and agreed to move everything into my son's room. My mother was embarrassed to no end, and the next morning, she left before my father and stepmother even came upstairs, weeping and saying it was the worst Christmas ever. I did tell her she could stay that night for dinner, stay over until early in the morning, then go spend Christmas with Sister #1, since really, that would make sense...Sis #2 had her in-laws for Christmas Eve, Sis #1 kind of screwed herself because she did have every opportunity to come and chose not to...not my fault nor my mother's, so they could always find something to do or someplace to go...there WAS someone that liked them enough to have them over, I'm sure of it...there was ALWAYS a standing invitation for them to come to my house, too. That's when she tells me that Sis #2's plans changed. Instead of Sis #2 going to her in-laws' as originally planned, her in-laws decided to bring Christmas Eve to her. The arrival of my niece had rendered her useless in the kitchen, so they were bringing all the food and having the get-together over at her house. Originally, my mother wasn't seeing her on Christmas Eve at all and would be seeing both sisters on Christmas Day. Now, my mother would be attending THEIR celebration, mostly because it was closer to home. THAT's what offended me. I was even more pissed off when I heard that Sis #1, the one with nowhere else to go on Christmas Eve, decided to join Sis #2 and her family on Christmas Eve, too, at her house. Then on Christmas Day, they all went to #1's house. Meaning, my mother chose to spend BOTH Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with those two, leaving us all here, wondering why we didn't get either day out of her, or any of them. NOW, I'm pissed off. I had my little meltdown that consisted of ugly crying into the fur of whatever cat I could reach. I put on a smile for the rest of the holidays, and I got through them regardless of how pissed off I am at how everything unfolded. I haven't had the talk with Oompa, but this year kind of set the stage for next year and all of the Christmases to follow. My youngest sister wants to take the torch and wants to do it at her house from now on. Right now, I'm too pissed, too BAH HUMBUG to bring it up, but when the time comes, I'm announcing that Christmas Eve will be held ON Christmas Eve, at my house, EVERY year. They can come or they can stay the fuck home. I'm not having a repeat of this Christmas. There will be NO fucking rescheduling drama. Not from Oompa, not from anyone else. Yes, I moved, but I've also been to my sisters' houses, their neck of the woods more than any of them have come to ours. It's the same drive, whether they come to me or I go to them, I'm just not bending anymore. I'm not accommodating any of them anymore because they're too lazy or too allergic or too pregnant, or too inadequate in the kitchen, or for whatever other fucking reason they can throw at me. The torch was supposed to come to ME, the eldest daughter, and I'm reclaiming it. Now, I'm bitterly de-Christmasizing the house in between blogging and binging on Christmas cookies, simply to get rid of the fucking things. I'm probably going to greet 2018 fifteen pounds heavier, but regardless, I'm ripping those fucking shiny red bows off of the doorknobs and handles. I am pulling candy canes off of whatever little areas I've chosen to hang them in. I'm throwing away the gingerbread house that Oompa and my daughter made together on the afternoon of the 23rd, after the yelling had died down. I carried up the Rubbermaid storage bins and am throwing anything Christmas into those bins, to later be stored up in the attic. I don't want to see or hear about any more Christmas bullshit anymore, which sucks because I always LOVED Christmas, the lights, the decorations, the tinsel and garlands, the excitement, the anticipation, the cookies, etc. Now? I'm Ebenezer Capulet and I'm dreading subsequent Christmases. Maybe the hurt/aggravation is too fresh right now; I don't know...but this is new to me. Something's got to give. Changes need to be made. And they are not all on my part. I'm realizing this now - I've made all the changes I can make. I need for them to be adapted to and for others to be willing to meet me halfway. Anyway. I know in general, Christmas is never simple. Everyone's got something. I sincerely hope YOUR holidays were better than mine. If they weren't, at least we can take consolation in knowing we have 11 months before the insanity begins again. 11 months to recuperate, before the holiday bullshit ensues again. *sigh* Either way, I TRULY hope that even though there may have been unnecessary stress this season, that we all had at least one thing to be grateful for, one thing that made us smile, one thing that was done or said that we can remember fondly. That, I can say I did have. There was at least one thing, if not a few, that I found myself blessed to have this year, even if it was that I was able to decorate a brand-new house for a holiday I hope I can learn to love and look forward to again. My kids loved everything that Santa brought them, so there's also that. The little things do add up. Happy New Year, folks. 2018 for the win? - Capulet
  16. Very angry..

    Really angry and upset today. Relatives of sex offender/sexual abuser 'C' harassing and verbally abusing me in my local supermarket. Relatives of 'C' shouting and verbally through the walls of my bedroom, relatives of 'C' living on property next to my parents house verbally abusing and shouting at me. Can't seem to escape 'C', have been suffering it now for 25 years. 'C' arranged for me to be raped in my bedroom aged 17 which made me very ill both physically and mentally. 'C' is facing 10 years in prison for a child pornography scam that she set up to try and put me in prison for. 'C' sexually abused me for 8 months when I was a 16 year old, they did something to my brain with LSD so that I couldn't fight back or fight 'C' off. 'C' used to hang around my school hall when I was a 15 year old and stare at my genitals and laugh. 'C' had planned the poisoning and sexual abuse out months in advance. I need to sit a Law Degree to fathom out how to put 'C' in prison.
  17. I feel people can only love and tolerate one "version of me". The Lady Boss. The happy, supportive, random/spontaneous, quick, straight-forward girl that will tell you what's up. The girl who appears in control, confident and quite dominant. The girl many men feel threatened by and others chase after because they can't have her. You know this girl with the tucker mouth, but who is insanely intuitive, intelligent, nerdy, with a loud laugh seeming like a cackling hyena. She's not afraid of anything and believes in people. She sees beauty in the smallest things, appreciates art and music. I can accept all of this girl's faults and short-comings. The other girl... the broken-down, depressed, wandering ghost and shell of a person. I hate her. No one likes her, not even me. She's depressed, quiet and feels better alone. She feels hurt extremely easily and is easily startled or frightened. She's a scared caged animal that's been beaten down and abused. The OTHER girl above believes everything she's been through has helped shaped her into a unique, bright, fighter of an individual and made her a better person. This ghost-girl can't let go of the past and wanders in terror into the depths of her racing mind. If I tell close friends who know the Lady Boss, about ghost-girl - they seem to fall away. I'm ghost-girl today and I feel so alone. I was ghost girl yesterday, too. Alone. Which one is me? Both? Do they fight? How could ghost-girl possibly win?
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