For three years, I was the front woman for a southern rock band. I constantly sacrificed my chances to progress in life. Being a young musician in a band full of older and already independent men, I found myself facing challenges that often did not make sense to my bandmates. Beginning new jobs, making life-decisions, and even new relationships seemed to be frowned upon and inconvenient for them due to the natural chaos it caused in my life. Not to mention the changes in my schedule were constantly criticised. While my guitarist was the only member with children, I often heard the other two members gossip about his responsibilities affecting the band’s progress.. of course I never said much. I agreed to disagree on their attitudes. I guess being naturally more empathetic can leave me outnumbered on certain issues. Anyway, by the time we had all adjusted to our guitarist’s hectic schedule, he announced that his fourth child was expected. We were a little worried of course. How would he tour? How would we continue our long nights of practice and shows? How would his wife feel at home alone with three toddlers and a newborn? To my surprise, my band members remained loyal and supportive. It made me happy to see we were capable of accepting such scary tasks.
Fast forward a month and a half.. after being on birth control since the beginning of the year, June was right around the corner and my periods got irregular. I began to feel tired and emotional. Despite my efforts of being careful, I had somehow gotten pregnant. At 23 years old I was scared and feared the future. What would my family say? How will I be an unwed mother? Would I be a good mom? What was going to happen to the band? After the initial moment of shock, my excitement poured over my boyfriend and I. We began to work on our relationship and our home together, and things seemed like they were all going to be okay. My family took the news better than I thought. And finally, I told the band. I was in fear that they would kick me out.. but I had to tell myself they would never do that to me. Just look at how they reacted to my guitarist’s news! Everything will be okay. And it was! They were supportive, though shocked, and I was excited to be able to bond with mothers in our fan base. I even began writing a song about children to express and support those who have been in my shoes. After my first doctors visit, the nurse had warned me about handling stress due to some blood pressure concern of my own.. I felt a bit paranoid and protective over this baby and did not want to compromise it’s health. So I made the decision to cancel one of our shows that happened to be two and a half hours away and on the same day as a specially hectic 8 hour shift at work. Not to mention, after a full week of work and rehearsal, I had two more shows to prepare for a few days later. Anyone would have had a hard time pulling it off.. and I knew better than to push myself too far right now. They were reluctant, but agreed that the risk is not worth it. I was relieved and the weekend passed peacefully for us all. We met up for the shows that followed and everything was right again.
Two weeks later, I received the wrong text from the bassist. I accidentally discovered a woman was coming to audition for the band. She was a singer I knew well. I was shocked and hurt that they never informed me they were even feeling unsure about me. After a professional and honest confrontation, I was instantly ambushed with accusations of having no interest in my band. Although my duties had been fulfilled, and I had powered through stress and exhaustion paired with the almost constant nausea, I was being accused of slacking off. This was due to my leaving a couple of shows right after the set instead of staying and partying with the fans.. (I had some bad nausea and exhaustion that my doctor was confident would be much better after the first trimester. Not to mention I had an hour drive each time with an early work day ahead of me.) I was also absent from Facebook more than usual.. which I’m sure most could understand, given I had just found out about an unplanned pregnancy and didn’t know quite what to say to the public just yet. And working part time, then rehearsal, then shows, then doctors visits, then working on our home left me little downtime. My downtime was spent sleeping off my exhaustion and nausea! Fun times.
So I dealt with that bump in the road with as much grace as I could. Especially with this hormonal rage I felt towards them.. self control was key and I pulled it off. A week went by and it was time for rehearsal again. I showed up and they immediately kicked me out.
“You’re kicking me out because I’m pregnant?” I asked, unsure of how to react or cope with the shock, confusion, heartbreak, betrayal and disappointment I felt.
“Yes,” my bassist replied with a nonchalant tone.
They seemed to all have sour attitudes towards me and there was absolutely nothing I could think of that I had done wrong. In fact, I had done much more than either of the other members combined all this time. I was STILL taking on more responsibility than they were, socially at least.
All I could say were words of anger and hurt.. but yet I still refused to participate in mudslinging. I made sure to let them know I was disappointed in them and their behaviour.. especially sneaking around behind my back.
I have no idea what to do from here. I have lyrics and we made so much money that we always put back into the band fund. I get nothing..