"Have I told you that I love you? I do, you are the only one who has been there everyday through all this! You are the only one to listen when I have a bad day or laugh when I have a good day. The one to write me everyday and send pics to me. You picked me up when I was down. I love you so much babe, I'm proud to call you my wife! I don't know what I would have done through all this without you! You made me such a better man through this. Thank you for everything babe!"

Tom and I had no idea what last March would bring, nor did we realize really how hard it would be - well, Tom suspected. I think he always believed I could do it, but never thought I ever would. And that's okay because honestly some days I questioned myself, second guessed my choices - but over thinking and analyzing my decisions still kept me on this path. A path which I was able to learn and share with my husband on a level that we may have never been able too if the circumstances were different. Tom and I have been to the bottom of one another's hearts and to the deepest part of our souls - we have expressed our biggest fears and our hopeful dreams - which is what I think helps us. Helps us continue down this road "okay."

I think everyone at one point wants to know they have made a difference in someone else's life - and who better than your spouse? Tom claims I have made him a "better man" and yet he has made me such a better woman.

I always thought of myself as strong, outgoing and strong willed but I never knew how weak I was until I became a prison wife. When becoming a "prison wife" I was broken, it felt as though the world was against me - against us. The situation and the label put what I thought was "strength" to the test and I now realized it was weakness. I felt weak for the shedding tears that came without warning, the weakness showed itself in the loneliness I felt, the despair and the helplessness I felt for my husband. But as time went on my weakness slowly grew - it grew into something bigger, something better. I began to realize the tears weren't weakness, my loneliness wasn't weakness it was reality, the despair and helplessness wasn't weakness either - it was my life. I began to rebuild my confidence, rely on my husband and my true strength was showing.

Growing up, everyone goes through changes, parents divorce, family members die, some children experience sexual abuse or physical abuse and while I have had my fair share of "growing pains," I knew there was always someone else that had it worse than me. And even though the strength I thought I possessed was there it was more in my mind, then in my heart, my will or my soul.

So as a prison wife - my confidence was broken, part of me felt ashamed and I felt like everyone was judging me. But with the help of my husband, I learned who I really was. This past year has been pretty hard, everyday is a new battle and only a prison wife knows that its like to wait on the mailman for your happiness, how fast your heart beats when the phone rings or the feelings when your husband is depressed or angry and you can't do anything about it.

While this isn't the lifestyle I dreamed of or necessarily wanted - this is me and experiencing this has made me strong. Tom has made me a better person. He has showed me true love, the communication, the honesty and just the love he has is what makes me fall in love all over again. And while Tom doesn't "expect" me to stick around he knows I can do it, he reassures me of my strength. "You have been so strong babe, look how far you have come and you are still not giving up," he is part of my strength. He says he will never be able to "repay" me but all I ask for is his love, forever, because being happily married to him is plenty enough in my book.

I am a stronger woman because of the determination and real love I have for my husband, point blank period. I am stronger because I have a strong spouse, and together we are capable more than we probable know.

1 comment

  1. Another great post. Annette, your writing gets better and better. Thanks.


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