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Ask The Band: Prisoner In My Marriage

I’m a married woman

My husband and I separated for two months, and during those two months, I cheated and was unfaithful to my husband.

He found out.

We did end up getting back together, but I didn’t admit to having an affair to him.

Now, every time I want to go out – especially if it’s someone he doesn’t know – he doesn’t allow me to. I have no social life.

And every fight we now have now, he brings up my infidelity, and when he does, he calls me terrible, hurtful names. These insults hurt me so deeply that I don’t feel I can handle it.

I feel so trapped in my marriage – he insults me, he doesn’t let me go out with friends – ever. It hurts.

I don’t know what to do. Do I stay or do I go?

When will this stop?

He’s Leaving On A Jet Plane

I read a book the other day about a soldier’s account of his time in Iraq. It told of his missions and what he saw and what went through his mind while he was overseas. It was interesting, it was scary, it was so sad. It gave me an inside look, a first-hand account of what my husband went through in the year he was gone. It made me wonder. How would my book read, my first hand account of being a mom on the homefront, holding down the fort? Maybe it would be an interesting read, maybe it would flop. I really couldn’t tell you, but I figured I would try.

I believe Dan got word that he was on alert in February of 2004. That was a scary day, we spent the day at families houses telling them the news. I held it together, mostly, I was really okay until his sister asked me “How are you holding up?” I lost it! I cried because I was mad, I was hurt, I couldn’t believe it. But we still didn’t know when he could leave, it could be tomorrow, next week or next month, we just did not know and that was probably the scariest part. Would I have time to tell him goodbye. Would the kids understand what was happening? What was I going to do? I spent a lot of time crying, always in private, sometimes to friends, but mostly into my pillow. I had to stay strong, I had to make everyone think I was going to be OK, when really I wasn’t sure. I mean,  how could I be?

We never really talked about him not coming home, but it was always on my mind. I didn’t think I could handle that, being a widow at 24!

I tried not to think about it, but it was always there… just under the surface.

Finally word came.

The official orders, I am sure I still have them saved on my computer somewhere, along with every email and IM conversation we had while he was gone. He was going to leave on Veteran’s Day 2004. Kinda fitting right? We prepared as best as we could. And bright and early on November 11th we headed out to the unit to tell our soldier, my husband, my kids father, goodbye – perhaps for the last time. All of our best friends and our families were there. It was a tense atmosphere, so much crying from everyone around, talking, laughing, and just a lot of quiet thinking.

Finally the time came for the soldiers to line up and get on the buses that would take them to the airport. There were hugs, and kisses and more tears. Then we all got into our cars and headed to the airport to watch them board the plane.

It was so very cold out. But I don’t remember being cold. We all gathered at the fence at the air strip. Dan was on every single news station. One of my favorite moments, I have on tape somewhere, Dan leans through the fence and kissed Nick goodbye. The whole QC got to see that. That was right after Nick proclaimed that Daddy had to take Blankie with him so he would not be scared, which brought tears to everyone around. Instead we tore a piece of Blankie off and Dan put it in his breast pocket, where it stayed until he came home. We said some more goodbyes and tried to hug through a fence, which was incredibly awkward by the way. Then they had to board the plane. We stood and waved, all of us until the door closed. I was still not ready to say goodbye so I didn’t get back in the car, I stood on a small hill and just watched, soon I was flanked on either side by my mother and my mother in law. That too was caught on video and aired on local television. And we waved, somewhere there’s pictures of us waving until the plane looks like just a speck of dust that is on a photograph. I don’t remember much after that. I don’t remember driving home. I don’t remember going to sleep that night. I probably cried. I don’t remember but that’s probably a good thing.

I remember waiting, a lot of waiting.

Waiting for mail, waiting for phone calls, waiting for the computer to beep that he was online and of course waiting for the call saying he was coming home.

But those are all stories for another day.

There Have Been Days Like This

It was with a loud crash that she hit the floor, her knees gone weak with fear. “Help,” she cried, to no one in particular, a sort of mangled prayer to a god she never once believed in.

“Help me,” she whispered, hoping to see someone there, yet there was nothing but vast darkness, her hands clenched tightly.

There was a hollowness in her soul, an icy chill that ran through her veins when she hit this point. The bottom, again, a place she promised to stay away from, spun so quickly up to greet her. “Help me,” again she whispered, desperate.

The cold steel seemed to awaken in her hand. It was so strong, so faithful, and so delicate. She closed her eyes, tears falling hot and fast, such opposition to the cold running through her heart. One line, then another, cutting across her flesh.

“Help,” she whispered, partially to her ever trusty blade, partially to the blood now trickling down. It was warm like her tears, and safe, a reminder that she was real.

Exhausted, she weeps.

This was never how it was supposed to be.


It’s Giving Tuesday! This day kicks off the charitable giving season to follow-up Black Friday and Cyber Monday with recognition for non-profits who’s budgets are often stretched thin by the end of the year.

The Band strives to provide you a safe, secure place to air your feelings about anything that affects you, from mental illness, to addiction, to loss, to family stress or even happy things going on in your life. To do this we are hosted by which is a 100% solar run facility, that in the event of a power malfunction (shit happens) they are able to run completely off-grid for 3 days, which ensures that your stories and profiles don’t go anywhere. In addition, they provide state of the art security services to protect your personal information. Along with this, we have a number of legal fees associated with keeping our non-profit status. This allows us to accept your donations tax free (every cent you give is used to keep The Band running) and gives you a tax deduction each time you donate to us! We have operations costs to ensure that your stories get edited and published in a timely manner. I have to tell you, there’s a few of us on the team that live in very rural areas and keeping our connection to you is very important to us. We consider it a priority to keep The Band staffed as much as possible regardless of internet availability and equipment malfunctions. There are, of course, costs associated with this.

We have 4 volunteers that run this site full-time, along with several others that give their time when they are able. We’ve poured thousands of hours of love into this site to make you feel less alone. We’re humbly asking you to give back to The Band today for #GivingTuesday. If you are able to donate (even a little goes a LONG way) you can do so here. Facebook and Paypal are teaming up today to match $7 million in donations to eligible 501(c)(3)charities! If you’re not able to donate (we totally understand) could you click that link, give it a share and invite your friends and family to donate? If you don’t feel comfortable with that please consider giving us some of your time. We’re always looking for more people for editing, fundraising, social media posting/sharing, and authors!

We love you so much, we literally could not do any of this great work without you all. Thank you so much for being a part of The Band in whatever capacity you are able. Yes, even YOU, THANK YOU!


How’s Gabriel?

How’s Gabriel?

I hear that all the time.  There is no simple answer.  But answering it is the focus of my daily life.  Every day.  The real answer is Gabriel’s not OK. Gabriel is Bipolar. His moods shift. Daily. Weekly. Yearly. He is never OK. I spend my days like a detective trying to sniff out any small clue of a mood change, charting, taking notes, observing him. Worrying about him.

He spent 10 months of the last 12 (literally, not figuratively) suicidal, dangerous, aggressive, and explosive. His meds are controlling that a little, but he is manic right now. Which is dangerous in other ways. And his meds aren’t holding that in. They aren’t ‘stabilizing’ him like they are supposed to. And without going into a tirade about doctors, I don’t have a ‘handle’ on this the way I PROMISED myself I would last October. And last May. And last July. You get the point.

The fact that mania seeps out now means that Gabriel is hyper (he isn’t normally at all), he is giddy, inappropriate (laughing, jokes, rude comments, butt jokes, pulling his pants down in front of a friend during a play date, etc), and more likely to jump off the roof (or trick his brothers into doing it) than anything else. Which is, in some ways, better than the dangerous depressive side. However, as October comes to a close, so will the mania, and the bipolar depression will replace my giddy-inappropriate child with one who hates the world. Who hates me. Who hates his brothers. One who is so negative and dangerous that he threatens to take knives to school and kill people. That kid is hard to live with. That kid is hard to keep safe. That kid threatens my sanity and the safety of my other two children.

We have to put him on another medication.  A stronger medication.  And although our ‘nurse practitioner’ is willing to give him a new medicine now, (they want to put him on Lamictal), my next appointment with his actual doctor, a real psychiatrist, isn’t until November 24.

Yes, the day before Thanksgiving.

Why wait?  Because Lamictal has a 1 in 1000 chance of a deadly side effect.  A deadly rash that may just start itself in the depth of my son’s mouth where I am less likely to see it.  Less likely to be able to get him the immediate medical attention requiredThat scares me.

And scares my husband. So much so, that he refuses to give our son this drug until we see our psychiatrist.  Who we can see the day before Thanksgiving.

So, I will bake pies early this year.  And spend the that glorious Wednesday afternoon admiring the artwork on the walls of Children’s Hospital, nervously wondering if I will be rushing Gabriel to the ER with a rash on Thanksgiving day, and trying to hold down all those bites of pie I shoved in my throat in the anticipation of this moment where we are forced to make, yet another, hard decision about our son’s care.

But I have no choice.  So we wait.

But the cycling won’t wait.

Depression is nipping at his heels and I am not sure we can out run it.