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Found 5 results

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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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