Almost 7 months ago, I gave birth to my first baby. Four days later, I sat on a cold set of bleachers for 6 hours and said goodbye to my husband. Surrounded by his family, I watched him hold our beautiful baby boy, give him a kiss goodbye, grab his rifle and get on a bus. His destination? Afghanistan.
The bulk of the deployment wasn’t too difficult. He called often, and I emailed him pictures every day. Our son grew. I held my breath each time someone unexpectedly knocked on my door. But my husband is on his way home right now. And this is where the trouble begins.
Where in the world is my husband? No one will tell me. I have a “window” of a week when the Marine Corps told me he would be home. It’s halfway through the week and still no word.
Is he in Afghanistan? No.
Is he in the U.S.? No.
Is he in Russia? Maybe.
But no one I have talked to who is there has seen him. Has he been able to eat? Sleep? Is he even safe? Did the plane he was on crash? (Most likely not, as I would have seen that on the news)
I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHEN I CAN HANG ANOTHER TOWEL IN THE BATHROOM!
I am not the first woman to go through this, nor will I be the last. But in the midst of a bad day, or a trying time, don’t you always feel like you are the only one who is experiencing your troubles? “There can’t possibly be another wife going crazy because she doesn’t know where her husband is”, I think to myself.
Well, there’s surely another wife out there camped out by her computer and cell phone, waiting for a call, an email, or a Facebook update. Military wives usually have to keep it together. We have to be strong for our men, children and families while our loved one is deployed. But don’t let anyone tell you to calm down in the few days before your Marine/Sailor/Soldier comes home.
Situations like this warrant a little bit of a freak out. And it’s perfectly normal.
Especially if no one will tell you where in the world your husband is.
I actually feel bad for posting this because it’s a petty problem. Everyone on here has real problems, and I’m just writing about a guy I’m still in love with. It’s pathetic, I know. No one has to read this if they don’t want to.
In 8th grade, I realized that I wanted to have someone always there to compliment me, to make me feel beautiful or important, so I was on a social media website. Even though I never believed the guys I added on there, I still wanted the attention.
Blake lived about three hours away. He accepted my friend request, and sent me a message. When I was going to spend a week at my aunt’s house, and wouldn’t have internet access, I asked him to text me. He was pretty cool and attractive. We talked a little. One day, he sent me a message saying, “Please don’t let us drift apart.” I said we wouldn’t. Sometimes, he would try to call me, but I don’t like talking on the phone, so I wouldn’t usually answer.
One day I did answer, and it was an amazing night. I got to know him a bit better than I did through text messages. He’s extremely funny, sarcastic, and witty. I found his laugh and the way he talks adorable. That started my huge crush on him. I found out the next day, he liked me, too. Long distance relationships suck. We didn’t date, but we really liked each other. Eventually, it turned into love.
I truly trusted him and loved him, so I told him my secrets. He told me he wanted to kiss me really bad, and that he loved me. He even wrote me a poem on Facebook in a message. I was happy with whatever Blake and I were. I wanted it to be official, but understood why we weren’t.
I’m insecure, and I was hurt by the distance, so I started dating Landon, a guy I went to school with. That hurt Blake a lot, but he continued to be my friend, even though it was painful. It wasn’t my intention to hurt Blake. Eventually, Landon and I broke up, and I apologized to Blake for hurting him.
I wanted to be the first to tell him “Happy Birthday,” so I called him at five minutes to 12:00 the night before. We had a very good conversation, with lots of humor, and he seemed to be in a good mood.
I told him later that when I got off the phone with him that night, my friend asked why we weren’t “dating” anymore. Blake didn’t like that. He quit texting me. I knew that I screwed everything up. He was done.
After he was gone, I realized just how much I love him. He has probably succeeded in moving on, but I haven’t. It’s been almost three years, and I still have the same feelings for him. I don’t think they’re going away.
I’m currently dating a guy named Brandon. He knows about Blake. He’s rightfully scared that I’m not over Blake, and it’s true. I’m not. I thought dating someone else would help me get over him. At one point, I thought I was. Then, I saw that Blake was going to a concert near me. I spent my summer trying to go to it, just to finally see him. I thought that he might start talking to me again. There were bands that I wanted to see, but Blake was the main reason I was going. I saw him, but he didn’t see me. He was talking to someone, so I didn’t intrude.
Later, I posted my pictures from the concert online, and he messaged me for the first time in a while. He asked if I went to that concert, I told him that I had. When I told him why I didn’t talk to him there, he said, “Oh, you should’ve said hey, I never saw you.” That made me the happiest I had been in a very long time. It sounded like he would have wanted to see me if he had known I was going. I wish I had told him I would be there.
Basically, I really hate myself for screwing things up. I still believe that I love Blake. We haven’t talked since that day after the concert. I don’t believe I should be alive because of the way I treated him. I was terrible to him, when all he did was care about me and love me. He’s so perfect, and he could do better than me anyways. But I can’t help it. I want to be selfish. I love him so much.
This is the first time I’ve stumbled onto Band Back Together and found much strength in your stories. Thank you, The Band.
My story began when I moved to a small town for a job – the furthest I’ve been from home. I tried hard to fit in, but I’m a quiet person which can make friendships difficult. My boyfriend and I had been doing long-distance relationship for two years. It’s tough, but worth it. In the meantime, I wanted to keep myself busy.
This fall, I joined a choir and after our Christmas concert, I was introduced to a guy in the choir. He asked about my after-concert plans – I’d planned to go home, but gave him my contact information. Soon, he dropped hints about how pretty I looked when I sang, that he’d admired me during choir rehearsals, he spent every week looking forward to seeing me again.
I told him that I was flattered, but that I had a boyfriend. Could we be friends? He agreed that we could be friends, which made me happy. We started getting to know each other. When he suggested we hang out, I said yes – no harm in that. He came over and opened up to me.
He disclosed a major tragedy he’d been through two years before and the major depression he’s experienced since. He shared every detail, how it affected him, and how rare it is for him to trust enough to disclose. He said that since we’d been talking, he felt happier; more optimistic. How difficult remaining friends is but he’d have to figure out a way. I supported him as he spoke, reminding him I could only be there to support him as a friend and if he couldn’t handle it, I’d understand.
He never left.
We found ourselves talking more as my relationship with my boyfriend became distant. My friend took me out of social isolation and introduced me to new things. One evening as we watched a movie, he rubbed my ankle. I’d not had physical contact in such a long time and it was comforting. Part of me thought, this will lead me down the wrong road. When he asked me if it was okay, I said a guilty yes.
He offered to drive a girlfriend and I to the city to catch our plane home for the holidays. We were staying in a hotel overnight and I didn’t want him to stay the night with us so I asked if he’d be okay if we had “a girl’s night.” A few days prior, he’d offered to stay at a friend’s place that night so I didn’t feel awkward. He was hurt, manipulating me. He said I was tossing him aside like he didn’t matter. When I offered to drive alone, he maintained that he’d drive. So I allowed him to stay in our room.
At the hotel, he tried to touch me, which made me uneasy. I’d shift my weight away from him but he’d inch closer. I reminded him that I’m with someone else; I can’t let these things happen. It’s not right. He made the comment, It’s not like you have a ring on your finger. I reminded him that I’d committed to a long-term relationship, and even if I wanted to be with him, I couldn’t give up on my boyfriend – even if we were going through a rough patch. He refused to look at me or talk to me. I left, hoping he’d understand.
I returned to the room, uneasy. I’d wake during the night to him entering and leaving our room. I hated to see him hurting. I didn’t know where he was or if he was safe. I was up all night worrying. What if something had happened to him and it was my fault?
He drove me to the airport. He didn’t say much but it was clear he was devastated.
The following day he told me that he needed to talk to me; he couldn’t do this alone. I said I wanted to be here for him and help as much as I can. We discussed his troubled past and when we were done, he said that he felt better and went to sleep.
I tried to get the past few weeks out of my mind during the Christmas break, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I worried about him. Finally, I broke down and told him. We messaged back and forth, as I was enjoying my Christmas with my boyfriend.
Sometimes, he’d ask inappropriate questions, was “I with my boyfriend now? Is he sleeping next to me?” I told him the truth. He was fixated on my return and he kept asking for clarification about our relationship – what was I to him?
He knew I was starting to develop feelings for him. I told him that right now, I saw him as a friend, but I didn’t know what would happen in the future. If something were to happen between us, let’s let it happen naturally. Let’s just enjoy our time together.” He accepted that. He knew while I was having doubts about my boyfriend, I wanted to let my heart guide me.
Once I returned, things got tangled. I tried to remain faithful and honest to my boyfriend. When my friend tried try to kiss me, hold my hand – any of that stuff – I’d turn away, which hurt his feelings. My feelings were getting stronger – I knew I’d feel badly no matter what happened – if I stayed with my boyfriend or if I fell for my friend. It was getting harder to resist him. I’d only speak to my boyfriend a few times each week.
Watching a movie one night, it all went to hell. My feet were sore so I asked him to rub them for me. When the movie was over, I realized his hand was traveling up my leg. My head said no, my body said yes. I was so nervous as he tried to take my pants off. He stopped when I asked him to, but then he kissed me and ended up on top of me.
Afterward, I was disgusted with myself – how could I let this happen? We promised it wouldn’t happen again, but it did. I wanted to tell my boyfriend … but would he blame me?
He asked me to make a commitment to him and I told him it wasn’t that easy. Clearly, I loved my boyfriend and the stress of our friendship was causing me emotional harm. I asked him to back off – we could still hang out and be friends, but no more physical contact until I got my mind straight.
We hung out with friends that weekend and he stuck to our agreement – most of the time. Occasionally, he’d try to initiate sex, but I reminded him that I needed to get my mind straight. After the weekend was over, I stayed the night at his place. I was afraid of being alone. I woke up to him making advances on me. This time, I let the sex happen. I felt so much hate – hate that I’d given in, hate that he’d continued pursuing me.
It happened again few days later: I went to his house after work to watch a movie and we both fell asleep. We went to his bed and I awoke to his advances I just let it happen. I was on autopilot, going through the motions. I even ended up on top. Afterward, I felt violated, like he didn’t respect me. He felt sad that I felt this way, so he apologized to me.
The next morning, I had a panic attack about what we’d done the night before. That’s when I decided to call my boyfriend.
I woke him up and told him what had happened the night before.
I was afraid he wouldn’t understand me or believe me, so I painted a violent picture of the sex the night before, making it sound like an attack; a rape.
He told me to go to the police.
Initially, I refused. He said that if I didn’t call them myself, he wouldn’t believe the sex wasn’t consensual. He threatened to call them himself. Again, I was put into a corner again by someone I trusted.
I went to the police to report my attack.
I told the police I didn’t want to be there, but that my boyfriend needed me to go to believe me about the sex. I was clear – I did not want to press any charges. He’d been through enough, and I didn’t want to add to it. He’s my friend, he’s not a bad person.
None of that mattered.
The police questioned me. I can’t remember half of what happened or what I said, I just wanted to get it over with so I could tell my boyfriend that I’d gone to the police. I didn’t want to do this to my friend. After investigating for a few days, I was asked to come in for further questioning.
Unfortunately, this was so, so traumatizing for me.
The police asked me a number of questions:
“How long had I been with my boyfriend?” Two and a half years.
“Have I had sexual relations with another man during the summer?”
(After all her questioning, I started to understand why victims were afraid to report a rape)
She went through the text messages that me and my “abuser” sent back and forth during the previous week and pointed out the ones I’d sent that didn’t support my story:
“I really like feeling connected to you.”
“I know it’s going to be difficult, but we have to have no contact for a while.”
She was implying that I’d enjoyed the sex we’d had. I started crying. She asked me the final question:
“Did he sexually assault you? Yes.
She asked again, clearly not believing me, “did he sexually assault you?” Again, I said yes.
She sighed and asked again, “Did he sexually assault you?”
After asking after the truth three times, I realized that I wasn’t going to win. I felt broken down – I wasn’t going to win.
This time, ready to be done with the police, I said, “no.”
The lecture she gave me felt like I being kicked!
She told me by reporting the rape, I’d wasted her time, the doctor’s time, my friend’s time, my boyfriend’s time.
That I’d just made it harder for real victims to come forward.
She was appalled that I could do such a thing.
She asked why I was still with my boyfriend – I’d made it clear I don’t know what it means to love someone.
That I am emotionally unstable and the damage I’ve done to the accused and his family is beyond repair – the only thing I can do now is to be honest with everyone and tell them that nothing happened.
I had a friend who drove almost two hours to stay with me after my “rape.”
She asked my friend to come in and said to me, “Now, what do you have to say to your friend?” I sobbed knowing that she wanted me to tell my friend. I couldn’t admit it. The cop told me she wanted me to see a counselor and she would call me in two weeks to check up on me to make sure I was seeing someone for help.
It’s been three weeks and she hasn’t called me yet …
A week after the police report about the rape, my abuser sent me a message, stating that he couldn’t believe that I’d tried to ruin his life by accusing him of rape after consensual sex. I was furious with him: When did I say “yes”!? When did I out-and-out say that I wanted to have sex with him?
I’m still really upset about the cop having the audacity to accuse me of not knowing what love is; that my abuser actually believed that I’d said yes, to the sex.
I’ve told my boyfriend the full details of that night and he doesn’t understand. Of course he was mad that I lied to him, but he wants to move past it and wants me to heal from the rape. I feel I don’t deserve the kindness he shows me.
Choir starts next week, and the man I accused of rape will be there. I don’t want to stop choir because it is something I’m proud of – I wanted to share my talent and my light. The light that I had before though, I feel it’s burnt out after all that I’ve been through. It takes so much effort to smile and pretend that I’m okay inside when I feel nothing but pain, hate, shame. I want to be that girl – the one who had so much hope – again, the one who wanted to do all that she could to help anybody that needed. I don’t know where she is now.
I am thankful I got the opportunity to write all of this down without letting anyone know who I am. I don’t want to be judged for what I did and what happened. I’m returning to my community in a few days and am terrified of the judgment I may get.
I should be a mother.
I got pregnant at 18. My boyfriend (now husband) and I hadn’t been together long – it was a long-distance relationship, and the two months he spent visiting me that summer were the first time we’d been together face-to-face, the first time we’d gotten intimate without a phone or keyboard or webcam involved.
It wasn’t until he left to go back home, after plans had been made for me to visit his family at Christmas, during my winter break, that we found out I was pregnant. And not exactly in the best way possible. I was on the pill, and my period had been almost non-existent thanks to the contraceptives. I started bleeding and cramping. So get thee to the doctor, young Anne, where I had the fright of my life.
That I was miscarrying was shocking enough – I was on the pill! That I was still pregnant after that was even more so. Twins run in both of our families. My boyfriend and I flailed around, tried to make plans and decide what to do – we were 18! Living in different countries! Both in school! What would we tell our parents?! Nothing, it turned out.
I miscarried the first at around five weeks, and the second four weeks later.
Intellectually, it was a relief. I was 18, in university, no job, living with my parents and siblings, my partner lived in another country… a baby was the last thing I needed.
But oh, how I wanted it. Far more after I lost them both than while I was still pregnant. A pregnant woman or small baby would bring me to tears. I was a wreck for weeks afterward (I’m still surprised my mother never seemed to figure out something was wrong) and ended up withdrawing from university and entering a modern apprenticeship at a daycare. Which was even more agonizing, though I loved working with the children.
I gave that up after six months (and trouble with both the senior daycare staff who (illegally) treated me like a cleaner and the ‘adviser’ for my apprenticeship work forgetting to meet with me and holding our meetings in front or the co-workers who were breaking the law so I couldn’t SAY anything) and moved to office work, which is where I’ve been since. Fewer babies and pregnant women.
It’s been six years, but it still hurts. I cry at baby product advertisements on the TV. I sobbed for hours after reading some of the posts here on Band Back Together. I watch children on the bus and on the street. I wonder what my babies would have been like. I brush off co-workers’ and in-laws’ questions about when we’re planning to start a family with a flip comment about having plenty of time.
I don’t tell them that I should have twin five-year-olds.
It still hurts. I sometimes wonder if it will ever stop.