The rusty bird cage

My mom felt it appropriate to tell her friend that I contracted a sexually transmitted disease from my boyfriend at the time. My mom did not feel it was important to tell her friend that I had been molested most of my childhood. It seemed ok to gossip about me but not to discuss certain events that could have saved me and supported me. It seemed ok to confide in an STD and not a molestation. What my mother did not know is that I had contracted that STD after a date rape. She only heard about it after I started dating that current boyfriend. I was humiliated and needed someone to confide in. I confided in my mother. Who confided in her friend. Who later humiliated me with this knowledge that mortified me. I remember going in to the gynecologist and getting huge chunks of my cervix removed. I remember having things cauterized and burned off. I remember the rounds of antibiotics that I was given. 

I had forgotten that my husband did not know these things until my memory loss issue after the seizure a month ago and this memory popped up and I told him. I told him that my appointment with the urology person reminded me of how I was treated after the date rape. Ooops. My husband did not know of all of this. But I forgot that I had not told him. Memory loss… WTH!!!!!!!

Triggered memories suck. Why could my memory loss not just wipe out all of THAT! My poor husband! I hate that he has to know these things. I don’t pity him though. He does not pity me. All we have is love.

I don’t think that most people understand the repercussions of abuse. It goes beyond the emotional ongoing PTSD. The trauma itself to the body can be lifelong depending on what was contracted at the time of the assault. That is a brutal reminder let me tell you. A few years ago I was tested again for AIDS just to make sure it was negative. 25 years later to be tested for HIV is a heavy reminder. One I could forget. But those who know about this aspect, know it is not forgotten. 

But that’s ok mom. You share with your buddy that I got an STD at merely 18 years old. Don’t you worry your pretty little self about the full story that you never wanted to even know! God, the selfishness enrages me. 

Leads me down a path of nothing good. 

I find myself checking facebook AKA the devil’s path!!!! I looked up the original childmolester. Wanted to see if he was still “friends” with everyone on that team. He IS. Bastards. Steve Kramer who called me a slut that wanted it. AS A CHILD. Dino, Ricky, all of those who at some point knew the truth and stayed “friends” with this man. Jimmy who lived on the lake and crossed the line many times with me and other girls, pastor’s son. All “friends.” I wonder how fun hell will be for all of them. Do you think when they wake up from their death and go “oh shit!” Have fun in hell “friends” really. What you do on this earth has consequences. Just for facebook. Is it worth hurting a victim for the bullshit of facebook? Ty engeseth. Rusty stewart. I think naming names is far overdue. Yeah, you two commited statutory rape FYI. Have fun in hell. The guy who molested me in costa rica, can’t remember your name because I was only 14. Have fun in hell with the others. Statutory rape buddy. Jeff. Gosh your last name escapes me. I hope your friends know that you paid me for my “virginal self”. You piece of shit. Have fun in hell. And the date rapist todd Gardner. I am sure there are thousands of those wtih your name. But I remember you well. I remember exactly how long it took for you to do what you did. I still scrub my skin raw because of you. Enjoy hell. All rape buddies. I was underage and you were all overage! I could NOT consent. The law says so.  Prior abuse from Billy Banks would have made that impossible anyway. 

All of you on that ski team. All of my family. Everyone who turned a blind eye. You are all in the rusty bird cage together. Keep each other company. Have fun in there. 

See. Devil’s path. Don’t even go there. Why do I even look. I guess it is my hope still that one will wake up. But facebook is a reminder that none will. But it has led me to stop keeping the final secrets. No more. Oh yeah. One of my cousins that is reading this…your dad is a sex offender as well. Yeah, you know it. Everyone knows it. Your dad is not honored. We all know what he was. 

It’s ok. You can make me the bad guy. In your eyes. I have not kept the peace in the secrets. In God’s eyes, I am just fine. If it helps you sleep at night though…just know, you are all in the rusty cage. Not me. Not anymore. 

My mom. She has guilt? Denial? Thinks I blame her? Part of the blame DOES lie on her. But all she would have had to do was apologize for that. A mother, a good mother, and I know many, have made mistakes that resulted in their daughter being abused and they were destroyed. Those mothers spent the rest of their lives blaming themselves, trying to recover the guilt, trying to make it up to their daughters. Even though it was not them to blame. They were naive. I knowof one mother who fought to put her own husband in prison after finding out the truth of what he did to her daughter. Bravo!!!!!! My mother was naive. All she had to do was say “ I am so sorry I wasn’t paying attention and this happened over and over again.” Then we could put the blame on the abuser. But she couldn’t. So some of that anger stays on her. Instead of apologizing she blamed me to her other friend. As if she were totally innocent in everything. She had a part. Everyone had a part. But no one is accountable for their part. 

As parents we are not totally innocent. 

I have done some bad parenting. 

I have owned up to that. I have apologized to my daughter. I have wished I could go back and do things differently in some situations. We all make mistakes as parents. It takes a good parent to apologize for those mistakes. I know that I am a good parent because I know I am not the perfect parent and I continue to try and grow into a better parent. 

My mother was naive. I have to believe that or I would believe that she just didn’t care to pay attention to her daughter and protect her. 

A part of me will always love my mother. A part of me will always be broken because of my mother. A part of me will always hate my mother. I know that. I ride the wave of my mother on a daily basis. I wish I could let her go. Time does NOT heal all wounds and this is one of them that will never be healed. She had 3 best friends when I was growing up. None of them knew what happened to me. None of them knew I was molested. In my mother’s only defense, she did not know anything that followed from me living in my car, the date rape, and the multiple molestations from other waterskiers on our ski trips. But she knew about Billy and she did not tell her friends. They could have loved me through it. 

Can one person be THAT naive?

My life feels like one of those puzzles with 1000 pieces that my nana used to work on a square table. Each day she would work on a corner. Put together the blues, then the oranges. I can see the puzzle. Throw the child molesters and rapists in that puzzle. Throw in those who knew and did nothing. Throw in the PTSD. Throw in the STDs. Throw in the humiliation. Throw in the blame and shame. At the center of that puzzle was my little unit of family. Those who could have made an explosion into the world fighting for me. But they just slipped into the next piece so that all of the blues matched up. My life blurred into the blues because they did nothing. 

Thankfully my husband came in and upturned the table. It reminds me of what Jesus did in the temple when he threw over the tables. My husband was like NO. STOP. Then my sweet daughter came in with her grace and her kindness. They reminded me that I am not just a piece that fits into a puzzle on a table connected to all of those who never fought for me. I am the finished the painting that the puzzle was created from. I am the original painting!!!

Do you understand?

I am not part of them.

I am the original me. 

The original painting. 

They tried to put me into a cage with a lock that conveniently fit into their ways. 

They paid no attention to the way the cage started rusting. 

They paid no attention to the blue sky that I could only see through the cracks of their denial. 

They wanted me to be a flightless bird. 

I get that now. 

Poking me as they all walked past.

Each person poking.

Each person not even noticing that I broke out of the cage. 

I will fly above them eternally. 

Breathing in the knowledge of the truth that I will continue to spread.

Until my last breath. 

Ah I knew this bird cage would work it’s way into my writing. 

I wonder how it would feel to gather all of them and put them in the rusty bird cage.

Oh. Right. They are already in it. They just don’t realize it!


Stream of consciousness Saturday’s word is: Well.
Well, yesterday I felt only gratitude. All day long. This little frog was in the car. He had to be released and the nearest stop was the prayer garden. Stopping at the prayer garden led me to the most beautiful singing bird. Right down the path. There she was. All white with a little markings on her wings. I was told she was a mocking bird. In all of my 45 years I have never seen one before. I held my ipad up and videotaped her song. Then I watched her. She didn’t mind me standing there. She just sang and sang. I walked down the path and found a little white flower in the shape of a butterfly. I found red flowers to add to my “red nature beauties”.I found 5 more red flowers! A red rose, a fire looking flower, and some red pentas. That little frog led me to the prayer garden. I put my hand on the cross in the garden and only felt gratitude.

I made it home in time 4:17 to see the 4:00 flower open. I never walk past her when she is open. I dropped everything in my arms but my ipad which I opened to see exactly what time it was. Sure enough. Just in time to see that yellow flower open.

It was a tree frog day. One had his foot caught in the door. My daughter sung him back to life after I had a long conversation with him! I’d love to add tons of videos frog rescues and frog singing and bird singing but I’m not sure how much space I have for videos. It was a frog day though! A frog led me to a prayer garden. A frog led my daughter to sing.

Then I went for my wheelchair walk. A frog plummeted from the tallest tree on our property right in front of my chair. What on earth! I thought for sure he was injured. He got thoroughly inspected. He was fine. He hopped off with these huge leaps. How did he fall so far and live!

Well, we can fall far, and we can still survive, thrive, make huge leaps. It’s true! This frog was living proof!

During my walk I stopped to take picture of a feather. Because I stopped I ran into two very inspirational people that I believe were placed there perfectly just for me. Just like that feather was. Just on my little walk. I saw some more flowers. The ones that hang in the sky that are purple were blooming. Orange puffy flowers that were in a hedge that I would LOVE to have in my own yard one day.

As I pulled in my driveway I saw a pink flower that smelled like bubble gum and a fruit roll up and more bubble gum. I have seen this flower before in other people’s yards but there one was right on the edge of my driveway. I stopped to smell it. I inhaled all of the scent and felt ok. I felt renewed by the scent of this flower, by the leap of the frog, by the two women I met on my walk.

Well, yesterday I felt gratitude. Everything felt clear in my mind and with my memory.

Today, I felt sad.

I woke up and for 2 hours I contemplated what I would do when my 3 year old got up and if we would take the dogs to the park like we did every day at 11. I was tired. I wanted to sleep a little longer. I fell back asleep and woke up an hour later and realized that my daughter is not 3 and both of my dogs were dead. I felt this blanket of sadness come over me. All day my daughter and husband said that I repeated myself, asking the same questions. I don’t even remember the questions. I guess my brain is not recovered from the seizures. I have to be patient. I forgot I had a muscle disease. My daughter told me that I once said, “If I ever have amnesia don’t remind me I have a muscle disease and maybe it will just be gone.” So no one reminded me. Today I jumped out of bed and decided to cook a good vegan meal for my daughter. I forgot to sit on the stool while I cooked. I walked too fast to the door. I forgot to use my scooter to take the garbage out. Forgetting I had a muscle disease didn’t make it go away. It caused severe pain and it definitely did NOT make the disease go away.

So, well, today I was not so full of gratitude. Not as much as yesterday.

My daughter asked if I could sit outside with her. The mosquitoes were awful. All I wanted to do was get in my bed. NO! How many daughters actually want to spend time with their mom and sit outside and talk. So I wrapped up in a sheet which she promptly took a picture of and said I looked mortifyingly scary in my sheet in the dark but she laughed and laughed and all that gratitude came back. I am grateful that whatever is put in front of me, whatever challenges, they do not stop me from feeling joy. My daughter’s laughter brought back all of the gratitude.

It is like a never ending water producing fresh water flowing well. A well of gratitude that exists if we just allow ourself to drink from it.


She rested her head on my shoulder

Her voiced echoed in through my chest

I smiled at the memory of her still in my womb

My hand stroked her hair 

And I closed my eyes and remembered.

Lifetimes of memories of childhood there.

I didn’t hear her  words

But they echoed in my heart.

Bringing tears of 




I kissed her head

That still 

Had the scent 

From the day she was born

Of a baby dove.

Have you smelled a baby bird?

It smells of life

And freedom

And rebirth.

This precious 

Priceless moment

It could have passed unnoticed

But I called her in

For one last hug.

A new memory

Of a mother’s