"That's the woman over there whose husband was on the front of the newspaper yesterday!"
I heard all the Mother's in the school yard talking about me yet no one came over and asked me my side of the story. There's always two sides to a story isn't there? Not according to the press and definitely not according to the public.
'John' was sent to prison in 2011. I'd rather not say what for, but he will be spending a rather long time at Her Majesty's Pleasure.
The first time I visited 'John' I was absolutely petrified and the Prison officers didn't make my daunting experience any easier.
One of them scanned my passport and scrutinised my face like I was a drug smuggler. I felt like I was stood in front of a Custom's officer at the airport ready to be hauled off and locked in to a room to be interrogated.
After the prison officer was happy with my passport photo, he told me to take off my rings and watch and put everything I had in my hand with them in a grey plastic tray. Other family visitors watched on as I struggled to yank off my wedding ring. They may as well have asked me to take all my clothes off too because there was no dignity stood there having piercing eyes looking you up and down like a prostitute stood in a shop window.
I didn't know what to expect on my first prison visit but I didn't expect this.
Sure I knew that there would be some sort of security measures in place for prison visitors, but I did not think that I would be labelled a criminal.
I was scum wasn't I? Scum because I was visiting a prisoner who I happened to be married to and needed answers from him myself. He gave his 'story' to the Judge and I wanted mine. After 13 years of marriage, he owed me that at least.
One day he was my husband - the next day he was a prisoner.
I know he is still my husband, but the man and wife thing is so much different now. One cannot continue the way you were. Everything changes.
Yes there are phone calls, letters and visits - and what? My Husband doesn't bring a wage home anymore nor does he sleep by my side, nor can he contribute to the ever flowing bills that pop through my letter-box.
The day my Husband was sent to prison was the day I became I criminal.
A criminal not in the sense that I have broken the law, but a criminal because I am married to one. Mother's in the school yard don't speak to me anymore. I have lost friends and the social outings we used to go on with other married couples. My family have even stopped being their bubbly selves around me. It is almost as if they are walking on egg-shells when I am in their company. And I feel 'different' too. I feel very different indeed.
I still visit my husband in prison. He is not the same man - and I am not the same woman.