Not an Ordinary Guy


Not an Ordinary Guy

By Bernadette A. Moyer


I don’t think that I am easily impressed, partly because I have high standards and mostly because I expect so much from myself. It takes a lot to impress me! Yet today while at the grocery store my husband and life partner of 23 years did just that!

What did he do, you ask? As I purchased a sugar free tea and stated I needed to walk to the coffee counter for a packet of sugar substitute, he opened up his wallet and pulled out a single pack of the kind of sugar substitute that I use. And what makes this so impressive? It is not something that he personally uses. He had it in there just for me.

Then we joked about how much he loves me and how many things that he does for me. All the little ways that he shows his love and this is exactly what attracted me to him in the first place.

We met the day that he buried his wife, she was only 29 years old and they had just had twins, a son and a daughter. I was asked by the mother-in-law who was my friend and a colleague as we were both Realtors in the same office. They needed a babysitter so the entire family could attend the viewings and the funeral. It was Easter Sunday of 1992. I had heard so much about them and the twins that they were expecting and then I heard about all her many health issues as a result of the pregnancy. Once the babies were delivered 8-weeks pre-maturely she soon went into a comma and never awakened before her death.

What struck me about Brian when I met him was that he looked like an ordinary guy. He loved sports was an avid music fan and had a regular job as a Civil Servant with the City of Baltimore. But once I had the opportunity to get to know him I found out that he was NOT an ordinary guy, not at all. He has character and drive and determination. He does the right thing.

His wife died and he was faced with being a single parent to pre-mature twins, a son and a daughter and he never once thought about NOT raising them himself. Even if that meant he would go it alone. Easily he could have hidden behind his grief and passed them off to his mother or to her mother and yet it never even occurred to him to do that. That impressed me.

He was always there for them, when they had developmental delays and health challenges and when they struggled and when they succeeded, he was there. Just as he has been there for me for 23 years now.

It truly is the little things that I love about him, he is a tough guy with pride but will show me his most tender and loving side. He cares about me and he loves me like no one else ever has, when my family did the things that they did to try and hurt me and bring me down, he was fighting mad. And wanted to engage and fight them. I’ll never forget how upset he was when I was excluded from my mother’s obituary, he said, “If your dad was still alive, they wouldn’t have been able to get away with that. They have no class.” I was stunned because he rarely speaks ill of the people in our lives until or unless he has something serious and strong to communicate.


His love has healed so many of my hurts. His support and his unwavering hold of my heart still warms my heart so. I love watching him do the many tasks around our home and interacting with our adult son and our two precious pooches.

My husband doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve but by his actions he shows what a caring person that he is and that although he may appear to be “ordinary” there is nothing ordinary about the depth of his love, caring and commitment.


Bernadette on Facebook at

Sexual Abuse


Sexual Abuse

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Today we all know that sexual abuse is a crime and a crime that needs to be reported. Years ago it wasn’t that way and was most often buried to try and protect the victim. Protecting the victim often allowed the abuser to get away with the crimes of sexual abuse. Many times it was considered a “family matter.”

The abuser is typically someone’s family member, a father, an uncle, a brother, a son and no one wants to believe that their family member is capable of sexual abuse of a child. We want to think that we can tell by looking at someone if they are an abuser. But the reality is that sexual abusers are not the “boogey man” nor are they strangers. They are people that we trust or we wouldn’t allow them around our children.

Most of the time they are charming and well liked, and they are also very manipulative. I had a bird’s eye seat to the fall out related to sexual abuse in my own family. It would be the man that married my mother that would be accused of abuse. A child trusted me enough to confide in me and I believed them.

Initially other family members said they too believed the victim, but later they stated, “Well if it really happened why wasn’t he arrested?” And other family that would declare with conviction, “It never happened!” They did not want to believe it or even hear about it. Denial was the constant. One of the saddest parts about the person who declared “it never happened” was that he/she was a well-respected long time elementary school teacher. Teachers are taught more than most professionals and they should know better. This person was blinded by their love for the abuser.

Social workers will tell you that most often the accusations will be met with disbelief in the family and then they will go into self- preservation mode. They often target the victim and the messenger rather than take a good hard look at the accused. They just don’t want to believe it.

And why do they choose denial?

Because to believe it would mean that they have to change their life and they don’t want to do that. Part of it is ego. We think we know when we love someone and we want to believe that we are right about them. Certainly if we love them and see their value they couldn’t possibly be molesting young children?

In order for my mother to believe that her husband was guilty, she would have had to leave him, to divorce him and she didn’t want to do that. Her children would find themselves on the outside looking in if they didn’t go along with living her lie. I know this because that was my fate. In her denial I was to be discarded and discredited and denied. Her children later followed her lead and would do the same, right up until her death when I was omitted from her obituary. What was my crime? I couldn’t go along with the lies and with the denial and most of all with the hurt and the misdirected rage and anger.

Meanwhile the child and the children that were abused are not only left not to be believed but the whole thing gets turned around on them. If they can discredit the victim and any adults that support the child victim they can take the focus off of the abuser.

Once sexual abuse is reported it takes on a life of its own, there will be social workers, police, detectives and judges involved. It is a crime. The child will be put through a host of interviews and exams both physically and mentally. Are they telling the truth? Does the story stay the same or change with each telling? Are they consistent, telling the truth and are they credible?

The family and the abused child will need all kinds of support. They may become the target of rage and false accusations so that they can be discredited. No one wants to believe that “Uncle Johnny” is a child molester. Most families will fight for the family reputation over the child accuser and the victim.

Studies support that few children lie about being sexually abused and typically if the child is lying it is because parents are divorcing and the child is being used to hurt the spouse.

Some kids are easier targets than others as it has been proven that kids from single parent homes are more likely to be abuse targets. A father in the house often makes an abuser look for an easier target. Abusers like to “groom” their victims and win them over. They take their time developing trust and manipulating the child before they begin abusing them.

Think about what you would do or feel if a child accused your husband or your father or uncle or son of sexual abuse? If you were like most people you would not want to believe it. The cases that are easiest to prove are the ones where there is material evidence. Many cases are one person’s word against another.

When it comes to sexual abuse, prevention is always best. When a child has endured sexual abuse their whole brain chemistry and brain functions change. They have been violated. To continue on with their daily lives and daily activities is to pretend that everything is okay when in fact it isn’t. Their reality has been altered and many learn to live in a fantasy world and are very good liars. They learned to live a lie by sweeping the sexual abuse under the rug. The problem is that it doesn’t go away and often plays itself out in many destructive ways.

Dr. Bradley of Lewes Beach Delaware was easily convicted because there was no denying the videotaped evidence. He was a trusted Pediatrician and abused and raped more than 100 infants and children. Penn State University where there was no material evidence, yet many credible victims. I know that Penn State took a long time from the initial complaints of abuse, until more than a decade later when it could no longer be denied.

If you are the messenger for a child victim, you will need support. You will become the target of rage and many will try and “kill the messenger” and harm and discredit you for speaking out on a child’s behalf. They want to stop the message from being delivered and/or believed.

Abuse needs to be reported ASAP, it is a crime not to report it. The child victim will need support through a team of professional people that are well versed in child sexual abuse and who believe them and support them and who want to contribute to their wellness.

Suppressing sexual abuse does nothing to support or to help heal the victim. Case studies show that it actually contributes to many mental health disorders.

There are cultures that literally kill the women that are rape victims and sexual abusers were often sexually abused themselves. These are just two of the reasons that abuse victim don’t speak out and get the help they need. They know that they will be looked upon in a different light.

I applaud Elizabeth Smart who turned from victim to victor and is a true survivor. She got the help, the love and the support from her family and that helped her to heal. She has a book out and speaks out on behalf of herself and other sexual abuse victims. She was able to turn it around for her good and the good of others.

Abusers count on the shame of the victim to allow them to get away with the crime of sexual abuse. A child is just that, a child. Any sexually abused child should NEVER feel shame; they are innocent and did absolutely nothing to deserve being the target of sexual abuse. We need to believe them and support them.

There is nothing to be gained by having to report that a family member is a sexual abuser, it is without a moral conscience to look away and do nothing to protect a child who communicates they have been abused. Most social workers believe that NOT believing a child and trying to discredit them and their accusations of sexual abuse can be equally as traumatic as the abuse itself.

If your family is impacted by abuse, you need to get help, for the victim and for the entire family. Always believe and support the child until or unless they are proven unbelievable. Few children are educated enough to communicate sexual abuse if it never happened.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime; Child Sexual Abuse statistics from 2010 show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are a victim of child sexual abuse
  • 3 out of 4 victims are abused by someone they knew well
  • Children who do not live with both parents are at higher risk
  • Victims often suffer with low self-esteem,  suicide and mental health challenges

I can’t think of anything that could be worse for a child than to have endured sexual abuse and right behind that would be to communicate the abuse and for no one to believe them.

Prevention first and care and love and support always, prayers for all the victims and their families impacted by sexual abuse.

Bernadette on Facebook at

Sweet Sweet Surrender


Sweet Sweet Surrender

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Surrender as in letting go of control and to yield to power. I am thinking about surrender is the sense of letting go and accepting that we are not in charge that there is a greater power. Our world and our existence here is bigger than just us. Not one of us decided on our birth date or our natural death date. In life there is really very little that we control. We didn’t pick our parents nor did they choose us. We take what we receive and we make the most of it.

As a marketing and salesperson for the bulk of my career in both for profit and non-profit, most of my sales training taught me to go after what I want. In my personal life I have done the same. Then there comes a time when you know that you’re not going to be the President or a model or any other fantasy that we may have thought was achievable at a certain age. We grow up and accept what our own unique gifts are as well as our limitations. It is nice to strive for goals, to set a goal and then go after it. Some things in life are a natural fit and meant for us and others may be a dream or a fantasy.

When we mature, we accept that we came with a game plan unlike anyone else’s, our life is unique to us just as God created for us. It is not for someone else to put their plan, their agenda on us. Our surrender is to the highest and greater power in the Lord, our God.

The most wonderful thing about growing older is the sweet surrender than comes from accepting ourselves “as is” and letting go of ego. Giving way to God rather than ego, (Edging God Out) is the sweetest surrender, we no longer have to be better than them or better than that, we are good and good enough as we are, just as God created us to be.

Jesus Take The Wheel

(Lyrics by James/Lindsey/Sampson)

Jesus take the wheel

Take it from my hands

Cause I can’t do this on my own

I’m letting go

So give me one more chance

Save me from this road I’m on

Jesus take the wheel

There is a natural happiness that comes from accepting ourselves and in that sweet surrender. Where we are, where we are supposed to be, what is ahead is exactly as God intended for us. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

It is through the struggle that we find enlightenment. So many lessons are born of pain, but they are born to us. We are good and we are acceptable and we are perfect as only God created us to be.

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” Abraham Lincoln

“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt away into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change, the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.” Marianne Williamson

There is no beauty in the fight, fighting is never attractive, but there are gifts, blessings and true beauty in the surrender. Surrender is sweet, it is humble, it is without ego and false pride, our surrender allows us to be open and receptive and ready for us to receive God’s will. And God’s will is so much better than anything we could have imagined for ourselves.

“You cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans.” Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

There is nothing sweeter than our surrender …

Bernadette on Facebook at

Life Isn’t Lived in the Rear View


Life Isn’t Lived in the Rear View

By Bernadette A. Moyer


We don’t live our lives in the rear view mirror and yet so many of us are stuck in the past and in the rear. What we knew or what we know seems to be far less scary than what lies ahead; the unknown. Life goes on … no matter what yesterday brought or what today brings … life continues on.

Recently I flipped through many of my favorite books; books that were written by Hope Edelman, Marianne Williamson, Michael Singer and Michael Dooley. All of these writers are inspirational writers and not one of these books, am I ready to part with. As I flip through the pages I am aware of why I purchased them and where I was during that period of time in my life. I am also aware that I still glean insight from many of the pages; the written words still speak to me.

There is so much that we learn in looking back as hind sight truly is 20-20, did we receive the message though, and did we learn? Or are we destined to repeat the same?

My husband and I are blessed during this phase in our lives, as we are able to travel and to spend quality time together without the distractions of raising children and huge big career jobs that often left us both challenged and deflated and many times accomplished. Today we have the benefits of 20-20 vision and have made our peace with the “past lane.” It’s been stated, “If you can’t fix it or change it, it probably isn’t your issue or your problem to begin with.”

We have both accepted who we are and where we come from and we accepted our defeats and our accomplishments. Our kids were all successful while under our roof and no one ever got into any serious trouble while living at home. One of the most challenging parts for any parents is seeing your child fail and not being able to do anything about it. You learn humility and see just how small you are in the bigger picture. What you may have wanted vs what is and has happened. We can’t change anything that has already taken place. There are no do-overs in life.

If we are lucky we live and we learn and we continue to grow and to do our best every single day and by doing our best the view from the rear is easy to take and to accept. Wisdom comes from the past lane of life. What will the future hold comes from faith and the willingness to forge ahead in love and in trust and in faith. We learn to trust ourselves. Nothing dies before its time.

As my husband and I enter our 23 years together our overwhelming sense is of gratitude. We continue to feel God-blessed and so grateful for our union. We have the “past lane” that we share but we stand firm in forging ahead for all that life has yet to offer us. Together we have learned many life lessons. Together we are better than if we were apart. Together we have made the decision to be happy!   And what a great decision it is …

Bernadette on Facebook at

Hurt People, Hurt People


Hurt People, Hurt People

By Bernadette A. Moyer


When James was just nine years old, he witnessed his father shoot and kill his mother and then his father shot and killed himself. James witnessed it all and he has every right to his anger. He has been in and out of mental health care facilities and schools for children with emotional challenges. For days and weeks James seems to be doing well and then an anger episode that generally lands him back in a medical care facility.

Most of the professionals that treat James believe he has a 50-50 chance, he can go either way. He will either end up in prison having hurt someone or he will end up down on his knees and God will use him in a bigger and better way that he could ever have imagined for himself. James is hurt and he is bitterly angry. The loss of both of his parents by his father’s act of violence has sent him into the unknown; he was an above average student and now is completely lost. This is trauma at its worst and a lot for a young boy to carry with him.

He has a professional team that supports him along with his maternal grandmother who absolutely loves and adores him. This is a true story, however, the name has been changed.

Many of us walk around with far less hurts than James, yet there is hope for James and for anyone else who has been hurt. The deciding factor, will James find it within himself to take his anger and hurt and turn it around and do something good with it? What road will he travel? Will it be bright sunny skies or more darkness and despair? In the end, only James can make the choice on what road he will travel down.

Every single one of us can claim to be “hurt” over things that happen to us in our lifetime, the question is “what are we willing to do about it?” Obviously James didn’t ask for the hand that was dealt to him and yes it is so unfair, but like the bell that can’t become unsung, James has to take it hurt and learn from it. He has to use it to gain a deeper understanding that hurt people, hurt people. Clearly there is no excuse for the killings by his father; James will no doubt have a lot to overcome.

For every hurt in our life we are afforded an opportunity, we can do something good because of it or we can use it to justify our own poor choices. I don’t know James’s father story but I can’t begin to imagine why an adult would kill the mother of their child and then themselves in front of that very child.

Life can be cruel but it can also be joyous. Bad things do happen to good people. My hope for James would be that he finds an outlet to express his anger and that it eventually leads him to help others. That James can rise above his family circumstances and know that God loves him and wants so much more for him.

May God guide James along the way and hold him near as he struggles with heavy burdens and moving forward with his life and may God bless all those struggling with anger and hurts …

Bernadette on Facebook at

What I Learned From My Dogs


What I Learned From My Dogs

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Humility – Picking up poop in public! Who else would you do that for?

Unconditional Love – Whatever kind of day I am having, they are always there to greet me with kisses and tails wagging!

Acceptance – There doesn’t seem to be any difference from their acceptance of me whether I am groomed or not, happy, sad or up or down they accept me “as is.”

Loyalty – Always, always so loyal … they are fiercely loyal! And oh so protective too!

Responsibility – we motivate them and teach them by our actions. And they respond in kind.

Real Communication Doesn’t Require Words – When I have broken down in tears in front of my dog, she comes and licks the tears away … there are no words.

That we have the capacity and the ability to experience such depth of love and caring for living creatures and just how big our hearts can grow in loving them and caring for them. Joy, love, laughter and all the good things in life, we love our pooches just like we loved our little children when they were young. They are our babies and like a child, they need us to care for them and to love them and feed them and shelter them.

Most of all I learned that life is better, richer and fuller with them than it could ever be without them …

Bernadette on Facebook at

Relationships … An Ongoing Series of Negotiations


Relationships … An Ongoing Series of Negotiations

By Bernadette A. Moyer


I have often thought that relationships should be called negotiations. Isn’t that what any relationship requires? A constant series of negotiated issues infused with some ever changing negotiations. We all come to our relationships with an idea of how it should look or we create that look as we go along. Just about everything we do in any relationships is on some level negotiated.

It could be as small as what we share for dinner or where we spend our vacation or it could be the foundation on what the relationship was formed. Our deepest most personal relationships are based on trust and they allow us to be who we really are and open and honest. A relationship lacking trust is one that is limited at best. Who could we ever be close with, if we can’t trust them?

Like Dr. Phil states, “that is a deal breaker” many times we have issues in our relationships that others may tolerate but for us it literally is a “deal breaker.” How many times can someone disrespect you or lie to you or deceive you before the relationship is damaged beyond repair?

We come to each person we meet with our thoughts and our ideas on what we learned from all our relationships. What works for us and what doesn’t work for us? Men seem better at cutting off relationships that don’t work for them. Women seem to want to work it out and work at their relationships.

I hear the men in my life say, “we are better off without that person” and I have never really thought that way until they said it. Sometimes we are “better off” without certain people in our lives and yet for whatever reason we keep them around.

People that have mastered the art of negotiating seem to be better at acquiring relationships that are rewarding and healthy for them. If you are unable to negotiate you either settle or you do without. The easiest most meaningful relationships are where respect and trust are the platform on which the relationship was established.

In order to have our needs met with another person and in a relationship we have to risk being known and being real and being honest. When a relationship of any kind lacks respect or honesty we are limited in where we can go in that relationship.

What one person may tolerate another person might not tolerate. Often at the onset of a relationship is when we do our best negotiating. We learn what a person expects of us and what they will and won’t tolerate. When we break the rules that have been negotiated in our relationships we are left to suffer the consequences.

It used to be so easy. We learned the “golden rule” do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Today more than ever we have leaders that don’t follow the golden rule and a society that often treats others in a way that they wouldn’t want to be treated.

Every single relationship that we enter into has some kind of spoken or unspoken code. We have our “non-negotiable” things too. The things that we won’t tolerate in our relationships are just as telling as the things that we will tolerate.

Think about it? When was the last time you “negotiated” in your relationships? What was it for? What are your “deal breakers” or what is on your list of “nonnegotiable?”

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