Solace of the prairie

I went to the prairie tonight seeking solace. My husband was still at work. The prairie never fails me!!!

It was a cloudless night. The moon was already high before the sun even begun to set. The reeds on the prairie had the sunshine glittering off of them. A tiny bird sat on the wire fence. 

It gave me just what I needed. 

The pictures that I post I do not filter just so you know. I just take them and post them. I love the light rays that are cast across the prairie in these!

This time of year the sandhill cranes migrate for the winter. They have a distinctive call which I did NOT get on the video. But I did get them flying off into the sunset and that was pretty darn awesome!!!


My husband 

I met my husband when I was 23 years old. He was in the academy and carpooling with my neighbor across the road. He and I became best friends. For a year we were best friends. He knew every detail about everything that had ever happened to me before he proposed. He knew I had been molested. He knew I had been raped. He knew that I had the after affects of this. He knew everything. None of that mattered to him. He proposed on Christmas day a few months before I turned 25. He had no idea that I would later get a muscle disease, bone disease, lyme disease, and develop seizures. He had no idea that the PTSD would be something that I would be challenged with in such severe ways. Had he would have known this was yet to come, he would not have cared. The man loves me. He always has. 

My legs are atrophied. He carries me down to the beach. He carries me up and down hills. His body seems to have been perfectly made to help me through this time in my life! His heart was perfectly constructed to love me unconditionally through it all. His soul divinely put together with mine as God knew that he was the one to get me through the good and the bad. I think he saved my life. He often tells me that I have inspired his. 

He goes on my mindful walks with me every day and looks at every beetle, every piece of moss, every angle of the sun WITH ME. We share our life. 

When I lay my head on his chest, I know, without a doubt, everything will be ok. I lay my head on his chest as often as I can. 

I can’t imagine how it must be to love someone, like me, with so many physical limitations, and the PTSD. Yet he does with patience, and grace every day. I feel loved. I am loved. He tells me all the time that he loves ALL OF ME. It feels good to be loved. Equally, I love my husband with all of my being. 

I look at facebook posts and instagram posts and I wonder, what are those couples like at home, beyond those pictures?

Well my husband works a full time job, does all of the grocery shopping, all of the errands, takes me to doctor appointments, to therapy, to get scans, labs, etc. He comes home and sees that I am unable to do any more so he makes me dinner because he knows I won’t eat if he doesn’t. He massages my legs when they are spasming. He rubs my shoulders if I am in pain. Then he does it all over again the next day and never complains. Do you know why? Because I love him. That love is all he needs. I truly love him. I may not be able to give a lot. I can give presence, I can listen, and I can love. 

Love can be enough. 

(That extra muscle on that arm does not hurt to look at either! I mean really!!! That arm lifts these legs with no effort. Shhhh I secretly took that 🙂 ) 

Girls, ignore the roaches. 

Last night I must say was a challenging night for me. I was looking at my reader and going through all of the #metoo. I read them until there were no more to read. I read every story. You can see the time stamp at 2:51am. I had read through over a hundred stories for hours. Please hang with me through this post. I have a lesson I want to share that is crucial to healing from abuse. 

Then I saw a #metoo written by “The Militant Negro.” He used the #metoo hashtag to question my integrity. He used it to doubt the abuse I have endured. He used it to hurt, hate, insult, and belittle. He says that everyone I have named to have abused me could not even be legitimate. He claims this based on the fact that he believes when I wrote a blog post, which he screen shotted, to warn women of online predators, that I was naming him. I have NEVER used his name in ANY blog until right now this moment. He made an assumption, ran with it, slandered me, and blatantly put me down for my mental health diagnosis. 




I have never slandered ANYONE on my blog. 

I have never called this man a “predator” EVER. 

I have never used his name in any blog post. 

Why he has targeted me, I do not know. 

I read that he used the #metoo to further his own agenda to intentionally inflict personal harm against me and I am not ok with this. 

#metoo is for women who have been raped, sexually abused, terrorized, held hostage by a man, been sexually assaulted, or violated. I have had all of these things happen to me. I have written in my blog for 2 years now about the terror, absolute terror brought to me by men against my will. To use the #metoo in the way he is using it to question my life is a disgrace to EVERY WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN RAPED. 

Absolutely disgraceful. 

I was molested and raped throughout my childhood. I finally after 45 years have the courage to speak and a man thinks it is ok to target me in this way? Based on his assumptions that are completely inaccurate. 

So I read his #metoo that I stumbled upon while reading REAL stories of women raped. I felt sick. My daughter looked over at me and said, ” Mom you don’t look ok are you going to have a seizure?” I was. I took extra meds. I had no feeling in my legs. I had heat radiating in my face and I saw shooting stars all over my room. AKA aura to those who have seizures. The seizure was coming. After everything I have been through in my life and now I am reading a man has written about me disparagingly on his blog and disgraced the very foundation of what I have based my life on, the truth. Disgraced other women who have written their souls out on their blogs, twitter, etc. 

I shared this with my friend who read it and said, “Bethany, do not give this one ounce of your time. His claims that you are obsesssed or attracted to him show he is NOT ok.” I didn’t actually read that far. But she showed me. He says that I am somehow attracted to him! I thought I was going to throw up. 

I am madly in love with my husband. I always have been. I always will be. It makes me sick to read the words of this “Militant negro.” Sick. It is sickening. How can a person claim I have slandered them when I have never uttered their name? 

I am sharing this for a reason. I have a reason for everything I put on this blog and it is to help other women. It will ALWAYS BE TO HELP OTHER WOMEN. 

The words that are written about me are merely words. They made me sick on many levels. Bullies have that kind of temporary power. I have been bullied before. I know the feeling well. At 17 years old I tried to end my life due to this kind of bullying that questioned the abuse I had endured. It is hard when someone writes something like this to not go back into a PTSD state or a suicidal state because of the reminders of persecution and doubt over life changing events. To doubt the abuse I endured? Who DOES that? Only a monster. I’ve had my share of monsters. Making fun of my mental health? Who does that? A monster. An absolute monster. A roach.

There are cruel people in this world. Those who revictimize like he is doing are sometimes worse than the abusers themselves. 

I know what the real #metoo was meant for. It was for all of the women of the world to come together and speak their truth, which I have done for 2 years now on my blog. You can use the #metoo if you have felt that feeling that all women using the hashtag have felt. 

YOU CANNOT USE #metoo TO REVICTIMIZE WOMEN. IF YOU DO YOU ARE A MONSTER. 

It took a lot of courage for me to write about the things that have happened to me. To write about my anxiety. To write about my mental health. There is a lot of stigma. He has shown EXACTLY WHY WOMEN DO NOT SPEAK. 

There is a lesson here though. It is a huge lesson. I must share it. There will always be the whispers, the gossipers, the liars, those who jump on the bandwagon against you for speaking your truth. There will always be those who will doubt you. There will always be those who choose the bad over the good, who choose the abuser and not you. YOU CANNOT LET THEM WIN. 

I had a man push me to wishing I were dead at 17 years old. After repeated molestations, after then being raped, then sexually assaulted yet again. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. I speak about the things that happened to me because I was silenced by the abusers and their supporters for most of my life. So, yes, I am human, I allowed this “militant negro” to affect me last night. It caught me off guard. I was not expecting to see this as I was reading the metoo stories. 

Today I am here to share with you that there will ALWAYS be people like him. They are out there. Maybe on social media, maybe in your family, maybe your own friends. There will be someone who will doubt you and SHAME YOU.  They will try. DON’T LET THEM. They only have that power if you give it to them. Their words will just fly away in the wind. They mean nothing. 

I’ve been through rape. I have been through terror of a man holding me in a garage with a gun sexually assaulting me. That was real. I survived. Everything after…the opionions, the questions, the shame others try to put on you, you must NOT LISTEN TO. THEY DON”T MATTER. It may feel like they do. Especially if it is your own family. It hurts. After you are already hurt and an open wound. 

Just remember… the shame lies on them and not you. 

Any human being willing to revictimize, secondary victimization, to a woman who has been raped is put so simply, a monster. A roach. Not worthy of your time. You are a warrior who has made it through hell. 

If a roach happens to come your way, just step on it and keep moving forward. Please. They are not worth it. Carry your survivor badge proudly and know in your heart that those who truly know you, GOD, knows the truth about you and your life. Little roaches will scurry about. You won’t be expecting it and one scurries across the floor. You are like “wait I sprayed for those already.” You are like “ahhhhh what crevice did you come out of?” The roaches catch you off guard. Sometimes the even fly! Those are the most terrifying ones!!!!!! They will fly right at you and you want to just cower and squeeze your eyes shut hoping it moves along. You can make a choice. You can ignore the roach and hope it goes away. You can squash the roach. But know where there is one roach, there will be others. 

It can’t be about the roaches, the monsters, the revictimizers. It has to be about you. Know yourself. Those words may initially hurt because we are human!!! But what you do with it after is very important. Stick with those who have your back. Stick with those who encourage you, uplift you, believe you, validate you, and love you. If you picture the words that hurt you as a roach it can put it in a better perspective. Would you engage a roach? Would you defend yourself or waste time, or lose sleep, or cut yourself, or contemplate suicide, over a roach?!!!! NOOO. Then don’t do it for a selfless person who cannot see you and what has happened to you. Don’t give the roach power over your thoughts. They aren’t worth it!!! Trust me. I have experience. For all you young girls reading this. I am writing for you. Bundle up those words you have heard and throw them away. Stomp them out. You deserve to be heard. You matter. Anyone treating you like you don’t matter is the one in the wrong, anyone blaming you, questioning you, doubting you, is in the wrong…always remember…that is THEIR SHAME. Not yours. You have no shame. You are innocent. You did nothing wrong. Your story matters. I have read them. I have heard them. I stand by you. The roaches…have no power. The good has power. We survived. We have the power to persevere. It’s going to be okay. Just keep their words in the right perspective and you will be okay. I will be right here with you!

Honoring Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)

After reading the FBI statistics I felt compelled to share the details below in quotes. I am proud of our Law Enforcement Officers who risk their lives every day to save others. They go to dangerous calls 24/7. I am grateful to our Law Enforcement Officers who go to those 911 calls to save. They leave their families to go help other families. They help victims of heinous crimes. There are no “holidays” for Law Enforcement. While others are opening Christmas presents or having Easter dinner, celebrating Yom Kippur, etc, the good men and women of Law Enforcement are out working their shift. Their family comes after they protect every one else’s. It is often a thankless job. They are judged. They are ambushed. They are killed. All while choosing to protect others. In the statistics below you will read that in just one year “57,180 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults.” That number hits me in the gut and weighs heavy on my heart. “66 Law Enforcement officers were killed.” That number brings a steady flow of tears to my eyes. 

I honor all Law Enforcement officers and their families for their sacrifice and devotion and selflessness. 

I am now and will always be a proud LEO wife. I could not be more proud of my husband. He is the most honorable man I have ever met. A close second comes to all of his coworkers who I think of as family. I was thinking tonight of each one of them who has come to help me in times of a health crisis, or just a ride home! I have never really felt alone because they won’t let me. They remind me that in my LEO family, I always have a friend, and help when I need it.  Car break down? Just a call away. Seizure? Calls to make sure I am ok. Anyone in the hospital? They are all there. Need something picked up from the store? I have a list of those I can call. Prayer lists? We are on all of them. I have NEVER known such individuals with devotion and heart. 

To those who have lost their loved one in the line of duty, my heart is with you. To those who have had life long injuries due to line of duty injuries, my heart is with you. Your family is my family. If you ever need support, in any way, I will be by your side. 

I will continue to pray for our  Law Enforcement, that they and their families are safe. 

I know first hand what you do, who you save, and I THANK YOU!

I AM HONORED TO KNOW YOU.

I AM BLESSED TO KNOW YOU.

I AM GRATEFUL TO HAVE HAD EACH OF YOU IN MY LIFE.

MAY GOD CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU SAFE AND BLESS YOU. 
“According to statistics collected by the FBI, 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2016. Of these, 66 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 52 officers died in accidents. In addition, 57,180 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults.
Circumstances: At the time the 66 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed:

 ▪ 17 were ambushed (entrapment/premeditation);

 ▪ 13 were answering disturbance calls (seven were domestic disturbance calls);

 ▪ nine were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances;

 ▪ six were engaged in tactical situations;

 ▪ five were performing investigative activities (such as surveillances, searches, or interviews);

 ▪ four were conducting traffic pursuits/stops;

 ▪ three were investigating drug-related matters;

 ▪ three were victims of unprovoked attacks;

 ▪ one was answering a burglary in progress call or pursuing a burglary suspect(s);

 ▪ one was answering a robbery in progress call or pursuing a robbery suspect(s); and

 ▪ four were attempting other arrests.
In 2016, of the 57,180 officers assaulted while performing their duties, 28.9 percent were injured. The largest percentage of victim officers (32.2 percent) were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls. Assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 78.0 percent of the incidents, firearms in 4.2 percent of incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 1.9 percent of the incidents. Other types of dangerous weapons were used in 16.0 percent of assaults.”
Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2016 is available exclusively on the FBI’s website at https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2016.

Date day part 3: everything else

When we first got to the botanical gardens I thought it would be a 30 minute trip. It was a few miles on either side of the main entrance and in my scooter I just assumed we would zip right through. Everything made us stop though. The bamboo was my favorite. The sound of the bamboo was so…I don’t know the right word. It felt…old and steeped in tradition as if it was speaking to me from thousands of years before. I cannot explain it but I did video the sound the bamboo made as the wind blew through it. I told the lady at the front desk as we left that I had decided I would live in the bamboo garden. She had a good sense of humor and told me that she would alert the night guard to just walk on past me laying on my blanket! She was very sweet and very happy that I got to enjoy a trip at such a beautiful place, with my husband, in a completely accessible place. That is rare. If you use a wheelchair you know it is rare to have any place be completely accessible. My husband and I had a peaceful day. We left as it was about to get dark only because I was getting cold. It was a rare 60’s here in Florida which to me felt subzero. I required immediate veggie chilli on the way home, perfect end to a perfect day:


Date day part 2 : lily pads, streams, waterfalls

We were at the gardens for almost 3 hours. It was amazing to see how the sun changed as it hit the water, how the reflections changed, how some of the lily pads were so vibrant. There was a pond covered in algae and on the opposite side was a huge hedge of lavender flowers. All of the colors seem to be more vibrant than I have ever seen. Maybe I just notice more now. 

Date day part 1 flowers flowers and more flowers

Today my husband and I went to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. It is fully accessible and infact they provide wheelchairs! How awesome are they!!!! There are miles of paved sidewalks that take you through rock gardens, butterfly gardens, bamboo gardens, ponds, streams, waterfalls, camellia gardens, rose gardens. Need I say more. I was in heaven! My husband has out done me on mindfulness and found things that I completely missed! He pointed out a hummingbird and a cardinal. All pictures I will post now. First come the flowers: