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Maya Davis
I write literary wordthings, play with yarn, and continue my quest for gluten-free foods that don't taste or feel like sand.
I write literary wordthings, play with yarn, and continue my quest for gluten-free foods that don't taste or feel like sand.


Some women were sexually assaulted before age 21.

Their adult children still don't know.

Have you had this talk with your mom?
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We want our villains to look evil. We don't want to remember that Ted Bundy was known as handsome and charming. We don't want our villains to look like our friendly neighbor down the street, our coaches, our Sunday School teachers. We want to forget that one reason some victims don't say no is because they are so shocked by the betrayal of trust that they can't say anything.

We want our villains to have distinguishing characteristics. We want to be able to say, "I knew something was off about them." We don't want to resemble them in any way, so we convince ourselves that somehow they are different and we would know it.

We want our villains to not be trustworthy. We want to say that we could call them out of a lineup, even if we'd never gotten a look at their face, because something would tell us that that person is evil.

We think we'll know them. Even when we hear how they can groom some with cunning and wickedness and still be amazing to others, even when we know that they don't go around wearing signs, even when they are charming or have great character witnesses, we think we'll be wise enough and able enough to know them.

We are often, way too often, wrong.
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I was encouraged to not be online today because my husband had to hold me through a panic attack last night, but I'm here to say this:

For those who may be breaking down because the weight of this process has triggered past trauma for you, you are not alone.

Even if the word love has been tarnished for you, there are people who care and who will offer you compassion and concern. You know who you can feel safe with. Focus on their warmth, the strength they give you.

If you need to take time away, do so.

Even though it may not feel like it, not everything is irreparable. Including you. You may have some pieces missing, but you aren't broken beyond repair.

Please recognize if this is sliding you toward depression, and remind yourself that your response is normal (for that matter, you are normal) and it is okay to get help if you need it.

Self care isn't selfish.

It is okay to give yourself grace, even if you don't see it anywhere else.

Find the helpers. They are still out there.

And, just in case, here is the number for the suicide prevention lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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It may not look fancy, but this is my birthday present from my mom (by special request from me). The best lemon pie in the whole world: Sunny Silver Pie. (She got it from her mother, and the recipe is different from others I've found online.) Adapting it for gluten free works!
2 Photos - View album
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This post is being prompted by comments I've seen, and is not meant to be political or controversial, but I hope it will be read by people who care, and also by the well-meaning folks who keep passing stuff like this around:

"She doesn't remember the year, but remembers she was 15!" "False allegations. Where is the proof?"

I was sexually abused as a child. I have no proof. I cannot remember the year it started. I can barely even remember how old I was. It takes a very conscious ticking back through the years, as if my mind is ticking down rows on an abacus, for me to grasp at ages and time frames.

As I explained to my counselor and to my mother, there are times I have very clear moments of memory of life during that time that do not relate to the abuse. I also can relate memories that people have told me of places we were or things we did that somehow stir a hazy memory for me that I can connect with, and then retell those things as if I have clarity. But, there are things that have been relegated to a very locked room inside my head.

I have been told, and I have read, that this is common for abuse victims--no matter their age, or when the abuse began.

I was also almost abducted when I was in grade school. I have a witness who saw me, and thankfully took me into her home. I have the newspaper clipping that I stumbled across recently that talks about what happened, but even with that, and knowing the general age range for my time at that school, I even now still struggle with what year it was. How old I was. Even when I retell the story, I say I was ten. In another story I was eleven. My brain goes foggy on those specific details. I was also almost abducted in high school. I remember more of that event because I was smart and outwitted the person chasing me down, but after I got help, while I was still terrorized but was being led to safety, my brain goes blank. It comes to again after I'm in an officer's car, and hear the radio blaring out that a girl had been found raped in a warehouse. It is as though my brain has to hold on to that detail as a contrast to my safety but also as testament to what could have been. I distinctly remember that she, the nameless one who was found, was wearing red, and by that contrast I remember that I was wearing a blue jumper with a white t-shirt. Because I remember thinking of our flag. And my hair was down, and I was scared to wear my hair down again for a long time, just in case that is what caught the attention of the guy.

When I dare to go behind the locked door to the dark dark room that exists inside me, I can tell you this: Details that feel relevant, but inconsequential. Pain. Fear. What I saw on the wall (flashing lights from an ambulance, in one case, which plays into nightmares I had down the road). How one of my shoes almost came off when I was running for my life. Feeling like I can't breathe.

It wasn't until years later, when I started having nightmares and panic attacks, that I began to unpack all of this. Even my nightmares were symbolic. I didn't dream of the events. I can trace the symbolism to the trauma, but even now, even as I've unpacked a lot of this, my brain still doesn't want to associate with it in anything by symbols and haze.

I say all of this for this reason: there are women who accuse falsely. We have seen reports of that. But, there are also many more of us who carry scars. Who may not remember our exact age. Or specific details like years or dates. Or even where we may have been exactly. (I still cannot remember for the life of me where the police picked me up from to escort me home when I was in High School. All I know is that it was the home of a good Samaritan.) We have no proof. No way to defend ourselves if we needed to in a court of law. I would never be able to successfully bring up a case against the people who brought terror into my life. Knowing that, at times, is a very bitter thing for me.

I understand our justice system demands proof. I understand why.

But please understand how trauma works, how fear can squeeze important details out of our heads because we are in survival mode, how details that the law demands are so secondary to the trauma we are dealing with.

And, please know, that every time I see comments like what prompted this post, part of me withdraws even more. Even though you don't mean to do this, if you make those kinds of comments you are telling me that you are not safe. I cannot trust you with my story. Even now, my hands are going damp as I think about posting this. But, I am sharing, because I feel people need to know. Words aren't going out into a void, and the ones above are words I read, and they make me feel invalidated again because I know with everything in me that I cannot prove what happened. But I also know that it DID happen. And I, and those around me that I share this darkness with, know how hard I've struggled to come to terms with it, and how it will always be part of me.

I have no proof. But it happened. I cannot remember how old I was. But it happened. I cannot remember the year. But it happened.

It happened to me.
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In about an hour and a half, I will be having some out-patient procedures done. I will be under anesthesia, but since I have never had good reactions to anesthesia I admit to being a bit worried. Any good vibes, loving thoughts, or prayers you can spare for me today would be appreciated. <3
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I've been thinking about two concepts I heard years ago: God is a verb, and the soul is also a verb and not a noun. With this in mind, I wonder how we would live if we moved beyond "To be or not to be." Are we existing? Or are we something more?
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Despite how hard the losses are, one thing I am continually and deeply grateful for is that when we moved to NC, we found one of the premier avian vets in the country (her research has been cited multiple places and is quoted by leaders in avian and exotics care, and her research helped moved information forward for certain avian diseases).

Today, not only did she call to give us the necropsy results, but she took the time to mentally hold my hand, comfort me, and show that she cares. In the course of the call, I learned (from the people talking to her in the background and the multiple calls she was getting) that she was working through her lunch to take the time to care for my grieving heart and give me the answers I would need to help understand what happened. Human doctors should take lessons from her in how to handle the hurting.

If you have a child interested in becoming a veterinarian, and if they have any interest in pursuing exotics, please encourage them to do so. It is often thankless, hard, and can take longer with less gain than going into "regular" vet care, but they may some day help ease a broken heart like mine did today.
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Over 20 years ago, when I was in the middle of being sick and not knowing what was wrong with me, Joel thought that we should go to a pet store (before we knew better) and look at some birds. He felt I needed a companion. Very very reluctantly, I agreed.

We walked in and immediately saw a huge play area with a bunch of baby cockatiels. After a few minutes watching them, I put my hand down to see if I could pet any. One immediately marched right over, climbed up my jacket, and snuggled up on my shoulder. He chose me, and stole my heart and we brought him home.

I called him Promise, because he was a sign of better things to come.

Life didn't get instantly better, and it took a while before I was diagnosed. We struggled financially. But Promise was the bright spot in our lives. We took him everywhere, and I began to learn about birds.

I learned how loving they are. How much spunk one tiny body can hold. How they can lift even the worse day.

We had some scares with him. We learned the hard way that he was allergic to some food dyes (we gave him a treat that he reacted to and we had to rush him to the vet). I learned what blood feathers were, and how to pull them out when they broke.

His curiosity was insatiable. He learned how to mimic Joel's pager. He made us laugh so much. He would be the one we could take out to introduce to people because he would show off, charm, and delight. And he loved to have us whistle at him--he would get close to our lips, tip his head sideways, and sidle around seemingly trying to figure out how or where the whistle came from.

Joel and I have said that no matter how many birds we have had, there are a couple that would break us when they go. One was Jasper, and we lost her a few years ago. I still grieve over her.

Today is our sweetest boy in the world, Promise. We rushed him to the vet in the middle of rising rain and winds from Florence last night, hoping we could get a miracle. We left him in Intensive Care, knowing we were giving him the best chance to survive. We got the call this morning that he is gone.

Our oldest. Our love. Our light.

We're going to be hurting for a long time over him.

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NC PEOPLE (specifically, the Triad):

The potential flash flood warnings are starting to come in for tomorrow through Sunday, and swiftwater rescue teams are being stationed around the area.

If you are in a potential flash flood zone in the Triad (or surrounding area), and you have no way to get out of it if it hits, please go to a shelter. Today.

This is a list of Red Cross Shelters. Please listen to the warnings and BE SAFE:


Shelter: Glenwood Recreation Center The shelter will be open 24 hours a day until further notice.

Located: 2010 Coliseum Boulevard in Greensboro

Items to bring: Medications, toiletries, a pillow and blanket, a sleeping bag and a towel.

Shelter: Interactive Resource Center White Flag Emergency Warming Station

Located: 407 East Washington Street in Greensboro

Shelter: High Point Seventh Day Adventist Church Opening: Friday, September 14 at 5 p.m.

Located: 279 Eastchester Drive

Items to bring: Pillow, blanket, hygiene products, medications. Pets allowed but separated from shelter occupants.

For more information about the shelter, contact the Red Cross or 336-333-2111.


Shelter: LJVM Coliseum

Location: 2825 University Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27105


Shelter: The Lambs

Location: 415 Roxboro St. in Haw River


Shelter: First Baptist Church

I also heard that more shelters are opening in Greensboro and Asheboro. If you do not see a shelter near you, FEMA has set up an easy way to find out what is near you: text 'SHELTER' and your five-digit ZIP code to 4FEMA (43362).
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