Bethany G. Paget

Midwife of words



He Wrecked Me

Dear Jeffrey,
I don’t remember meeting you, however you always said you remembered meeting me. I remember our first kiss, your lips and tongue on mine. I wanted it and gave in. Gave into you; all I wanted was for you to love me the way I loved you. I don’t think you were or are capable of that given our current circumstance. She’s 8 Jeffrey, where the fuck have you been for the 4 years. You fucker. I came in like a wrecking ball into your life and really all you did was wreck me. You said to me that nothing would ever tear us apart. You said that to me as we were living in an apartment with no electricity. None of thThis was the beginning of our downward cycle. I thought I was valuable to you, so I believed you.

Now I sit here on a donated, gifted trip watching your daughter sleep I weep. I am remembering you and who I thought you were and who you actually are. I love you but I hate you. I love you because you gave me a daughter, I love you because you loved me in the way that could and gave me what you thought I wanted. I love you because I love you and I probably always will. I hate you because of the abused I indured from you. I hate you because you made me feel like trash and unworthy love. You put me last always. So that’s why I hate you.

Even if Abigail wasn’t 50% you biologically I would love you because you gave me courage (in your twisted way)to leave. I wonder if you caused me to leave on purpose because you knew you could never be the man that Abigail deserves to call daddy. I haven’t even ever thought of that before but maybe you pushed me away on purpose rather than throw me out. Then again it always took someone else to do all of your work for you so I did what you could never do. I left; I may have looked back three or four or a hundred times. I left to give our girl a better life Jeffrey. And you just demolished it; like your father before you, you chose the cowards way out.

As I lied in bed with our daughter last night, breathing in the deep scent of her hair I realized you will probably never know that scent. You’ll never know the scent of her morning breath or the way her genuine kisses of love make your heart go pitter patter.

She misses out on the Father Daughter dance and donuts with dad at her school. She tells her friends that we got divorced because she doesn’t want them to know that your have chosen to not be here. WE have adapted to our lifestyle of mommy and daughter.

You know how I feel about ultimatums but when it comes to Abigail there has to be strict boundaries. Yet I don’t think any of that is possible because at 41 years old you aren’t able to follow through something on your own.

I gave you the chance to stay, clean up and really show me that you are willing to change, for her. For your daughter Jeffrey; the one whose name is tattooed you had tattooed on your home. You don’t deserve t mark her name on your body. You’re not a father, you don’t get to “claim her” like you tried to claim me.
Choosing to be so in and out of her life has been devastating.

You made your choice and I don’t know if it was out guilt or just that you didn’t want to be a father.

Maybe you are/were the great love of my life. Not that I won’t ever find love again but that you were the one who taught me what a relationship is and isn’t. Not that we ever had a relationship that fell on the spectrum of healthy. You showed me how I don’t want to be treated anymore.

I love you because you didn’t chase me, even though I wanted my movie moment. You know how I have always felt about my movie moment.

I never thought that ten years later I would be sitting alone, with our daughter lying inside peacefully asleep and that you wouldn’t be here.

You were always supposed to be here, remember that? I said it in the beginning you told me in the beginning that “nothing would ever tear us apart”

I think several things tore us apart.
Physical and Sexual abuse

I didn’t realize how abusive you were until I left.

Now I do.

I really hope someday that you get the help you need and can heal from the abuse you suffered. I may be incredibly angry with you but I have a certain amount of empathy for you. Simply because I know that you were just repeating what you went through when you were younger. However that doesn’t make what you did okay, or excuse the abuse but moving into an empathic place allows me to continue moving forward and healing.

As of this point I haven’t spoken with you in 3 ½ years. That’s when I told you it was all in or all our. You choose out. I cannot change that. I can ease my daughters hurt, answer her questions about you with grace and do the best job as I can to give her the love, nurture and support she needs. This is a hole in her heart where you should be but you don’t belong with us.

I never speak poorly of you to Abigail, when she’s old enough and when the context is right she and I will talk about it. I want her to be able to make her own decisions about who you are and if she wants a relationship with you.
I cannot stop that then but for now I can lie down strict boundaries and protect my girl.

As Always,

Batter my Heart – A guest post by Brekke

I met Brekke like I meet all my new friends – Twitter.

I’m on vacation this week and wanted to leave you with some poetry. Since that’s what I’m into these days.

Batter My Heart

Batter my heart, three-person’d God…

Rip, crack and tear asunder
those glass walls that I have foolishly
erected in the hopes of salvaging my salvation.
Those pains that quake across the plains
of my chest, my ribcage, my uterus
take those clenched-fist, teeth-ground tremors
and explode open the canal to my heart.
Displace my joints, stretch me wide, welcoming
your new life in me. Shudder my soul, Oh
God, expand me, rend me beyond all recognition
and labor in this human body a new beginning.

Italics quoted from John Donne’s Holy Sonnets​

Brekke blogs at

Sons of Anarchy as Family

“Riding through this world all alone
God takes your soul, you’re on your own
The crow flies straight, a perfect line
On the Devil’s Bed until you die”


I have been watching Sons of Anarchy.  I originally tried it months ago but one of the opening scenes was incredibly triggering and I had to turn it off. I decided now would be a good time (or maybe not) to try it again.

I am finding that I love it.  I realize it’s dark and there are themes that are terrible for some people.  But I love it.

And I figured out why.

Because they are all about family; protecting family, loving their families and making sure that justice is served.  I know in real life that family is probably not a biker gang but there is something alluring about it when you have never had a nuclear family.

I did grow up with my parents but I wouldn’t call us a family.  It was them, my mom, step dad, brother and sister…….. And then there was me.  I was always on the outside looking in, feeling like I didn’t belong and at times being told I don’t belong.

I didn’t have protection; my own parents were my abusers.  Anyone I turned to for relationship or safety either wasn’t in the position to take that on (teachers) or they were not people who stayed in my life for a long time.

So watching this show and seeing (albeit illegal and reprehensible at time) the way they love and protect their family and those that hurt them.  I’m thinking in terms of, though what they do is dangerous and illegal; they love their family and they show them by protecting and always having their back.

That’s where the allure is. It’s not to be a biker’s chick or be a part of a family that beats the shit out of a drug dealer for selling crank to his pregnant ex wife.  It’s to be protected and loved.  To always have someone watching my back and protecting me if I when and if I need it.

I know that I cannot always be protected.  I see this in my own life now that I am responsible for protecting myself and Abigail.  As an adult now of almost 33 I still long to be protected.

I gather that most of it is about having someone to stand up; to advocate for me and honestly, deeply loving me.

I don’t doubt that there are people who love me; I am experiencing a gigantic part of that love now as I sit here writing this post from a beautiful front porch with my coffee.  There is still that griefs that it’s not love from my parents I am receiving.  It’s the love of a community of people who have banded together as a tribe of hooligans to love each other.

The hard thing and trite as it may be but you cannot truly love anyone else until you love yourself, for me that includes sitting in the freshness that I am also deeply loved by God.  Seriously, try sitting for 30 seconds and mediate for 30 seconds on the fact alone that you are DEEPLY LOVED by God.  It’s mind boggling.

So Sons of Anarchy; will I keep watching?

Probably, I have enough warnings from people to know when it starts to get dark.  For right now its how I am witnessing and processing each episode with my own grief.  It’s incredibly painful but so necessary.

As Always,


Echoing Notes

I wrote in my last blog post about how I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital after being raped.  I was allowed to keep my one smaller journal because it wasn’t a hard back.  There often wasn’t much to do and I had so many painful emotions so I did the only thing I knew how to do.


And that I did.  I wrote several poems, most need some refining and tuning but this one I fixed up this morning and wanted to share it will you my loyal supporters and readers.


The song had a refrain that sang a melody of grief

A sad harmony

Longing for peace

Graceful at the piano she sat

Her fingers pouring out poetic notes

When words failed

And no one understood what pained her

She grieved though the pounding music

And felt the tears fall as her soul poured louder with each note into the echo of her heart

As Always,


Don’t Worry it Wasn’t Zombies

When I wrote the two posts about how I was drugged and raped (mine and the one for Micah’s blog) I did it because I honestly needed my community to know so they could stand beside and support me.  I didn’t realize that it would be like opening a Pandora’s box of vulnerability and added emotion within my soul that would shatter me.  I later described as taking the bandages off of an infected gunshot wound and having all of the pus come pouring out.

I have an extremely detailed trauma history which includes sexual abuse and repeated rapes.  So being raped again brought back each and every memory in the form of anxiety attacks and flashbacks.  I was entirely numb the first week after it happened, a defense for which I am now thankful for.  The terror came when the #yesallwomen trend hit twitter that Saturday night and the reality of what happened sunk in to a place in me that I was unable to handle.

By Sunday, which was eight days later I knew in my gut that I needed to report what had happened.  I couldn’t bear the thought of him doing this to another woman and not getting caught.  I had amazing support and without that I do not that I would have been able to make it through the reporting processes.  It is incredibly painful to share the story of what happened multiple times.  I left with several different resources and a prescription for Ativan for anxiety.

The new week started and I was trying my best to hang onto reality but I couldn’t.  Not that I was losing perception of whom and where I was rather the anxiety and flashbacks were so bad that I was dissociating nearly every day.  I was trying my best to take care of not only myself but Abigail too.  The issue lied in me telling her that it’s okay that she can have ice cream for breakfast.  I wasn’t eating or getting off the couch except to go to the bathroom.

That Tuesday night the 27th I didn’t sleep at all, I tried called the RAAIN hotline at 2am and it was busy (which made me sad) I was in the midst of a constant anxiety attack and the flashbacks were hitting me one after another.  That morning after Abigail got on the bus I tried to rationalize that I was okay to stay home.  I called my therapist because I needed someone to tell me what to do.  My decision making skills were nil by that point and fear and flashbacks had taken over my body.

I finally decided that I needed to check into the psychiatric hospital.  Not because I was suicidal.  I have been down that road way too many times.  It hurts too many people.  I had to go because I absolutely could not take care of myself or Abigail and that was scaring me.  I have no one in my life that can be a back up parent and if I am not at 100% she suffers.  So I went in, did an intake and by 530 last Wednesday night I was a patient at Highlands Behavioral Health.

I felt major shame in being admitted back into a mental health facility.  It had been since early 2005 since I had needed that level of care.  I also was carrying shame about the rape.  There was shame and anger that right now he is out living life while I was behind locked doors.  I was away from my daughter and only able to make phone calls at certain times.  I felt guilty that she didn’t know that my friend was picking her up from school early and she was expecting me.  My friend has two little girls but I know that once she settled in it did get better.

With all that I knew I was in the right place.  The psychiatrist was able to start adjusting some of my medications, taking me off of the ones I really did not need to be on that are ineffective and putting me on some that help with panic, anxiety and flashbacks.

The hospital isn’t too bad.  I mean despite the fact that you cannot have strings on your pants, your own hair and body products and the worst……. No pens.  Pencils only and they were the stubby little golf pencils.  I know why they make those rules.  It is for safety and usually because someone has tried something with say a pen so now we a relegated to golf pencils.

There are always people that become fast friends because everyone is in such a raw vulnerable spot.  I believe that can be a good thing.  It gives each client someone other than their psychiatrist or therapist to talk to and sometimes the clients, having been through similar things can offer a different perspective and a different kind of hope.

The staff was amazing, by far the kindest of any hospital I have been in they knew what had happened and showed a level of empathy that I needed.  The stigma I felt attached to me being in the hospital was that I had slipped back to old Bethany.  However I know that if I hadn’t admitted myself I would have made choices that would have affected both Abigail and I and I am not willing to make those choices.

I said in a facebook status right after it happened that I have never dealt with a rape or my sexual abuse sober or without resorting to some sort of self destructive behavior.  This time I am feeling every.single.feeling. that pushes it’s way in and flows over my body like a tidal wave.  When I talk about it I am still very detached from how much it hurts.  Yet five minutes later I’ll be overcome by a wave of emotion and break down on the floor sobbing.

I know that all of these emotions are okay, and expected to be felt.  Checking into to hospital was the best thing I could have done.  I was able to get my medication figured out which was really nice because my doctor at Kaiser doesn’t seem to have the time to that.

I honestly do not know what is next.  There isn’t enough direct evidence to charge him, it’s all circumstantial.  The detective in charge of the case said it’ll stay a deactivated case meaning it can be reopened at any time if anything suspicious pops up.  That also gives both Abigail and I access to the crime victim compensation fund.

That’s where things stand now.  I am working each day on just doing the next right thing.  Sometimes that’s hour by hour, sometimes I can go longer.  I have great outpatient support and I am not going to let this take me down.

That bastard doesn’t get to have the final say.


As Always,


Sacred – A Guest Post by Juan Lopez

The next guest in my Sacred – the Light and the Dark is my dear friend Juan.  Juan shares a heartbreaking story of how he found sacred through loss.

Juan and I met on twitter and bonded over a deep affection for all things In and Out!!

– Juan Lopez is a Youth Pastor at “Casa de Dios” Assemblies of God Church in Bell Gardens, CA. and also manages a paper store in Hollywood. He met his wife, Anabel, in 10th grade Algebra. They’ve been married for 3 years. He spends his spare time chasing his 2 year old son Joshua around their apartment. He longs for the day when the unscripted freedom of Pentecostal theology would hold hands with the beauty of Sacramental Liturgy-

Please welcome Juan as he shares:

We visited our son on Easter Sunday.  It took us some time to find his grave. The patchy grass looked different from the last time we were here. We knew the number of his grave but we doubted ourselves because it looked different. Ugly thoughts crept in my head:

You’re a bad parent! How could you forget? Why haven’t you bought his grave marker?

I kept looking. My wife searched the cemetery website on my iPhone. We double checked the number assigned to his grave. We were right. We had passed it because someone had placed Easter decorations on his grave. We grieved for the visitors who might have decorated a grave believing it was their baby. There was a plush toy with a name written in sharpie on it. It wasn’t our son’s. I looked around and saw the same name on a nearby grave.

We had talked to a young couple the last time we were here. Did they decorate it for us?

I placed the plush toys on what seemed like the correct grave. Feeling happy that someone was nice enough to decorate our child’s grave. Feeling sad that someone might have decorated the wrong grave. There was no way to know. All you can do is hope that you’re right. It felt like life.

No answers. Only hope.

Every moment is a sacred moment. My wife carried our son in her womb for eight months. We felt him move. He kicked so much at night. He moved at the sound of my voice. Our first born would kiss mommy’s tummy at bedtime. All sacred moments.

We knew his condition early on. We were told his skull never formed. This was not something that could get better. We were asked if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. We respectfully declined. We believed in a God of Miracles. So we did the only thing we knew to do. Pray. We prayed together. We prayed with our Church. We prayed with strangers. We cried. We believed. We hoped. God surrounded us with a community of loving people. All sacred moments.

When Caleb Anthony Lopez was finally born, we covered his head and held him close. Each time he cried meant the world to me.

Go ahead, scream my son. Leave your mark on this world. Let it hear you. You are here. You are alive. You have name. You are loved. You are known. You are.

All sacred moments.

Why do we visit the graves of those who sleep? Not because it’s all we have left of them. It’s because it will one day be the place of a miracle. Our hope is in resurrection.

All of life is sacred. Every laugh. Every tear. Every. Single. Moment.

To call any moment secular almost feels blasphemous in the light of the resurrection. God in the flesh being raised from the dead. It means that this body matters. This world matters. What happens everywhere has to matter. Jesus is the first born amongst many and our hope is in resurrection.


Sacred – The Dark and The Light and Guest Post by Bethany

I first met Bethany (I know there’s TWO of us!!) last year on Twitter.  We were both recovery from different surgeries so we had interesting stories to share.  When she and her husband moved to my home state last summer I was super excited to have my first Twitter friend become a real life friend, and that she is.

I love her words here about how sacred nature is to her.  I fully agree and we have some beautiful nature here in the mountains!!

Here’s Bethany with her words on “Loving the Sacred”

She blogs over at

I love The Sacred. There’s something about it that just evokes a feeling a peace in my soul, and I find myself fighting to get a glimpse of it when life gets to be too much.

 It wasn’t always that way, though.

 When I was young, I was taught that a strict line existed between the secular and the sacred.  Anything labelled “Christian” was sacred, and everything else was “secular.” I wasn’t allowed to listen to “secular” music, read “secular” books, etc.

 As I’ve begun walking through my adult years, I can’t help realizing how there is so much more to this idea of sacredness than what is “Christian.” In some cases, I don’t believe some “Christian” things are actually sacred (certain CCM and Christian novels, for example), but rather are shallow, unmeaningful attempts at tickling the ears of American evangelicals.

 As I’ve branched out, I’ve come to adore art and nature as forms of The Sacred. I don’t attend art museums as often as I’d like, but each time I do, I feel a sense of awe and peace. The amount of God-given talent those artists have/had is amazing and inspiring (even if they’re unbelievers. Shocking, I know). I find myself magnifying the Creator of all things, that he could gift someone with such creativity. As a person who doesn’t have an ounce of artistic ability, I can’t help but continually be impressed and amazed by what others can do.

 And then there’s nature. Even the word itself is a breath of fresh air (pun intended). When I lived in downtown Chicago for three years during my undergrad, I always felt as though something was missing in my heart. Granted, I absolutely loved the adventure and thrill of living in a city, but looking out my window and seeing a giant building just wasn’t the same as seeing a beautiful tree or colorful plants. My heart dances when I enter a garden of brightly colored flowers or smell the sweet aroma of fresh-cut grass. A smile erupts from my lips when I gaze at the beautiful mountains outside my window.

 This… This is The Sacred to me. Those moments in life when I cannot help but say, “Thank you, Lord.” Those moments when the beauty of my Creator is so evident that I must stop and catch my breath.

Treasure those sacred moments, friends. Don’t take them for granted. No matter what we’re dealing with in life, no matter what we’re going through, it is so important to stop, take a breath, remember our Creator, and “go and smell the roses.”


Birth is bloody


Growing with each contraction

Setting forth to bear life

I strain against the pain

Of this unseen birth


What would leaning in be like?


This is a set before time birth

A “Just for this time and place” resurrection

Untold hope unleashing

From the dark stillness of the womb


It was quiet and safe there


It’s messy here in the

-in between-

As cords and entanglements rip and need to be cut

The groaning grows louder

My sides split


As His was pierced


Weeping now

For the years this birth is erasing

Washing away the pain

Evacuating years of grief

To give way to new life


Birth is bloody


Yet gives way to






As Always,


Walking on my Knees

Walking on my knees

I have – yes

For many years

With scars

Knees bloodied and torn

From kneeling, praying and repenting


Confessing to God

I would do it better next time

That I would try harder

And be nicer


If my heart were to match my words

It would say:

“Bethany repentance and the blood on your knees – the –

Be better

Do better that you feel you have to be

Those bloodied, scarred knees

That repentant heart

You feel is your responsibility to carry

It’s not”

God Whispers



Repent and mourn

But don’t be good or better

I don’t expect better

I want you – whole –

Not good


As Always,


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