Missing In Action: The Band

Greetings and Salutations!

As you may have noticed, things have been a little quiet here at Band Back Together. The purpose of our little website is for people to share their stories, the stories of their issues. Which is to say, those of us who come here have issues.

Unfortunately, over the last couple of months, several of us behind the scenes have had big issues all hit at the same time. Which means we have had to focus on the the goings on in our lives, rather than keeping things running smoothly here.

We have neglected our beloved Band. 

For those of you who have submitted your stories, fear not, they have not been forgotten. Our editors are working hard to get to them as quickly as possible. And if you have been wanting to share your story, please write it up and hit that Submit button!

The time has come to Get The Band Back Together!

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A Letter To My Now Dead Abuser (Daddy)

This is a letter I wrote to my deceased abusive father. My father died in 2000 of lung cancer. I am now, 46, but as you will see, I always called him “Daddy.” I never matured to the name of “dad” or “father”.  My therapist told me to write him a letter and it did help. I just thought I might share it.

Dear Daddy,

You shocked me, Daddy. You had me confused. Since I only visited you once a year, during the summer, and you were my real one and only daddy I would ever have; and boy did I love you, why did you do this?

That first night it happened, I was asleep and the pain awakened me. I’m guessing you felt my body tense up, so you quit and got off my bed.  Then, two nights later, you started again. Once again I awoke with a start. This time I faked sleep and rolled over away from you on the bed. This is when the confusion really set in. Because I didn’t know the rules of a father, I wasn’t sure if you weren’t doing a duty all fathers perform. I knew about child molestation already, but I was not sure that applied to fathers, I was so young. 

After you left my bed, and you went to bed that night, I woke up one of my step-sisters; whom you raised full-time.  I pulled her into the bathroom with me and told her what happened. She just looked at me and shook her head knowingly. You had apparently been doing this to both of my step-sisters for a long time.

That is when it hit me! Daddy, you molested me! There was no so called “duty.” I may only have been a young girl, but I knew right then and there that what you did was wrong; and it would never never ever happen again.

I quit going to sleep before you did. Then, the situation changed to different offenses. I remember walking by the kitchen table where you were sitting, and I was wearing a tube top. You told me to lift it up so that you could see how my breasts were maturing. I adamantly and strongly denied your request. You just seemed to laugh like it was a joke. I was wary of you every day, for the rest of your life.  However, amazingly even at that young age, I felt empowered that I did not take the abuse any more. But I still loved you, you were my Daddy.

During the next 20 years I had set my boundaries and kept them. For those 20 years, I waited for an apology. Over the years, I only told a few very, very close, trusting friends.

Then you got sick, Daddy. I couldn’t leave your side and stayed 24/7 at the ICU. My friends, who knew the secret, questioned my loyalty. They kept telling me that I owed you nothing.  But you see, Daddy, I still loved you, all along. During those last few days, I thought just maybe the apology would come. It never did, even when you knew you were going to die. 

I’ll never forget when the day came that you asked me to unplug the machines and let you go. We both expressed our love for one another. I did as you asked, and then crawled up in bed with you and held you until you died.

I know you did wrong, and I know you knew it too. But I always did and will love you. And I know you loved me.

If I hadn’t empowered myself so soon after the incident, I don’t believe we would have had the life-long love for each other. I believe the fact that you did not say you were sorry upset me more than the abuse. I didn’t realize your death would affect me so much, since you were mean and abusive.

But I love you and miss you Daddy.

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Fluctuation Of Pain

I'm having trouble getting over my ex-boyfriend, and to be honest, I don't know how normal it is. I don't know if something is wrong with me - because it seems eerily like there is - or if this is something most people go through. As this was my first relationship, so I don't have a basis of comparison.

I met him online, through a mutual friend of ours. When I realized he was dealing with depression, I wanted to help him. I spoke with him almost every day for a couple of months. At some point, he told me he loved me. I stuttered in awkwardness, for a minute, before he explained he meant it as a friend. I instantly relaxed and responded to the affirmative.

The second time he told me he loved me, I took it as the same meaning from before, but it wasn't. He'd fallen for me, in spite of having a boyfriend of his own. Two days later, he told me he intended to kill himself that night. I kept talking to him until he decided not to go through with it.

The following weekend, I realized I loved him too. The next few days were filled with the duality of trying to keep him alive, and being hit hard whenever I feared for his life. That Friday, I was due to go camping. I told him how I felt about him before leaving for the long trip. My phone died before I could say much, and to my despair, there was no signal at the campground.

In full honesty, that was my worst camping trip ever. I had very few idle moments that I wasn't repeating song lyrics in my head, with either a headache or stomachache. When I got back that Monday, things were so much better. We talked, and our relationship blossomed.

For the next five and a half months, I thought everything was good between us.

I don't know when he stopped loving me. I had no idea until he snapped. Everything seemed normal, great even. Ohe had launched into a fit of self-hatred and depression, and I was trying to comfort him. He turned on me in a heartbeat. He started yelling at me, and within minutes, I was in shambles. He wouldn't talk to me after that.

Despite what had happened I still got him a present for his birthday a few weeks later. I asked him to come back to me, but he wouldn't. When he found out I had gotten him a birthday present, he seemed angry about it. He had repeatedly told me since the split to leave him alone. I told him I would kill myself.

I picked a day to kill myself. Six days before my chosen suicide date, a friend who had just been released from a mental hospital turned up online. I started to have second thoughts about killing myself. Later that day, I spoke to another friend, and I asked him to stay with me. He surprised me with a show of compassion I didn't expect from him, and I called off the date.

During my bad moments, I wonder if I should have gone through with it. The first week after being talked out of my original decision, I was mostly fine. I had a surgery that Friday, to get my wisdom teeth out, and that kept me mostly occupied. I didn't really have bad moments that weekend, nor the following few days.

But over time, things seeped in. I gradually started having bouts of depression, mostly at night. Sometimes I would wish to die, but I never carried through. My friends were always there to support me. I fell back on them many a time, despite feeling like I was dragging them down. Things kept on the bad track for a while. I never physically hurt myself - though I considered it. Even in my happy moments, some aspect of the past would rear its head, and I'd drop again.

I've spoken to my ex plenty since. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes, not often, it doesn't. Many of my particularly bad downward spirals were triggered by those conversations.

It's been a month and a half since the breakup, and I'm still fluctuating emotionally. I still love him, I still want him back. He has told me many times that it wasn't my fault. He has even openly admitted that he used me, but I still feel like it was my fault. I feel like I failed for not being a complicated person like he wants, like I failed by being too clingy and not caring enough. I feel like I was too open, when he wanted me to be a puzzle he could open for himself.

I continue to drop like a rock, despite all reasons to be happy and efforts made to make me happy. The day after Christmas I went to an amusement park. I spent a good deal of my time trying to figure out how to fall to my death from the rollercoasters. I'm ashamed to be spiraling down like this, without a way to stop. I'm even more ashamed to want my ex back even though he doesn't love me.

Thanks in advance for any advice you could give me, and thanks for taking the time to read my story.

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Hey, The Band, It's Time For An Update

Hey, The Band!

It has been a while since I have posted anything and I have been making some major life changes! I have also made a lot of progress that I think I should share with you.

First off, I made the decision to go back to school and get a degree in Behavioral Health,and eventually Social Work. I have this burning need to help people who have suffered like I have, or who just need help in general and I feel that this is the best avenue for me. It is definitely scary and intimidating going back to school after so many years have passed, but I am confident I can do this! At least, I hope I can!

I have been making strides in overcoming my Agoraphobia as well! I am sometimes able to leave my house and venture to new, unfamiliar places without suffering a panic attack, or immediately turning around and convincing myself I am not ready yet.  This is huge for me; just a few short months ago I was completely unable to leave my house to go anywhere, so just going down the road to the gas station or picking up a pizza is amazing for me!

I haven't had any panic attacks in almost two months! I feel better, I feel happier. I just feel good! Granted, I am struggling to find my way and find my new groove with all of these changes I have been making but it's a process. I will get there someday, preferably soon!

My classes start this week and I am terrified. I opted to start two courses online because I am not so sure I can handle a classroom setting at this point yet but I hope to get there eventually as well. I have social anxiety, and paired with my agoraphobia it's just a recipe for disaster. At least that is what I keep telling myself. Who knows? Maybe I could do it. But I just don't want to risk it yet.

To everyone who may be going through hard times or struggling with mental issues, please use me as an example. I made it through. I AM making it through, and you can too! I know things may seem too hard right now and the other side of the rainbow may be too far off to see at the moment but you WILL get there. It just takes time and a lot of effort. But you are strong, you can do this! I am right there with you every step of the way. I love you all and thank you for always being there for me, The Band. 

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My Deepest Condolences

Dear Ex,

You did not see it, but my confidence in you stopped growing on a daily basis. I told you that I knew what I was hiding from everyday. I didn't tell you that I was hiding from you. I didn't tell you how scared I was of you. I always knew that we weren't meant for each other, and you wanted to argue.

It is so great to see that you have moved on. So great to know that I have been released. I finally have what I wanted with us. I no longer have to question what I've been told. I no longer have to doubt the motives of my kind and nice friends. I no longer have to inspect everyone's motives.

Is this just another cry for misplaced sympathy? Or is it an attempt to hurt me? The questions are irrelevent. You made sure of that when you abused my love, my trust, my friendship circles, my mind. They are, by far, not the worst forms of abuse that I was put through, but the persistency of them made them the most common.

I told you that you didn't have to lie. I would stay by your side no matter what. I told you that I would forever hold a place in my heart for you. You tore that place out of my grasp when you decided to work with your friend to abuse me together. You looked at my kindness as a weakness, not for the strength that it is - the strength to give to those that are worth it, the strength to help anyone to heal from anything. My friends will forever be in my life, until death do us part.

I can and have always been able to achieve my dreams. That was the most terrifying part of your abuse, that you had no reservations in ripping all of them away from me, so that you could hurt me. I watched you spiral downward, into an abyss of vindictiveness.

Do you even remember why you started the abuse? Do you remember why you decided to let your dreams fall from your grip, and get fired from the job that you wanted since you were a child? Your abusive attitude lost you that job. It got you fired because you were more interested in self piety than in achieving something great, and being recognized for that.

To this day, I still blame your experiences as a child. I am guessing that no one paid attention when you did the right thing, but the moment you were crying, everyone was looking your way. Being starved for attention does that to a person. It's not your fault, it is how you were raised. That is what you were taught was right.

I can only hope that you break the cycle of abuse, handed down to you by your mother, before our baby lives a life of toxicity, venom, and a lack of morals. I hope that you choose to change what you believe, and instead, aspire for attention for greatness.

You watch t.v. How many people watch when someone goes for gold in the Olympics? How many people are watching when the finals of X-Factor are shown? Do you want that, or do you want the hollow attention of someone that will forget you in a year's time? I will forget you soon.

I forgot how it feels to love you a long time ago. I can't even remember when I last had the desire to help you succeed. It could have been after you destroyed your own dream, the one I tried so hard to build your confidence to try. I hope you haven't forgotten how to try. If you have, it's no big deal because I don't sympathize with you anymore. That is another thing you lost when you went on your vindictive, plague-fuelled attack of my life.

You know you should have told me that you were "smiling and happy, bouncing off the walls," that you had an amazing time, and he really made you feel special, the night you cheated on me. Instead you wanted to play the victim again. You wanted sympathy for the guilt of your actions.

Why did you feel guilty? It made no sense to me. I would have forgiven you, if you had been honest. I could not forgive you for playing the part of the victim when you broke my heart, like I was the one who did something wrong. Lying? Cheating? Your story never added up. The other guy's story was consistant. You are the only one who can't face what happened. You are the only one who claims to be the victim. You lost a lot of your friends because of your lies. You lost the last speck of my trust for you.

I felt my heart die when I finally accepted that I was in denial, and there was no reason to believe what you were telling me. I was ashamed that I let you control me again. I was ashamed to the point of not wanting to face life. But I got through it, and you didn't hold me once. You didn't sit by me, look into my eyes, take my hand, and say you were sorry, that everything was going to be alright. You witholding compassion, out of fear of the truth being exposed, was the worst part of your abuse. You knew you were lying from the start.

It will happen again and in the years to come. You will repeat the cycle of hiding the truth. You will repeat the pattern handed down to you by your mother. Your life will go back to Square One, and, like your mother, you will be unwanted by everyone.

Yours is the only dream I will not make come true. You fought it too hard.

My deepest condolences for the loss of your heart, empathy, compassion, a happy future, a life filled with people that will love you.

May they all rest in peace.

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