My Birdie

My Birdie June 12, 2013

by Mari cross posted from her blog Mari’s Muses

I got a parakeet last week.

Solomon is a beautiful shade of blue.

If he hears music, he chirps along. It’s nice.

I let him out of his cage when I get home in the evening, and he sort of flutters about a little bit, but then he finds a nice perch somewhere and just sits there.

The first time I let Solomon out of the cage, I chased him around the room trying to get him back into the cage and he just flitted from one perch to the next. It was really quite maddening. My friend then informed me that he would go back to the cage on his own when he got hungry.

So now I just leave him be when he’s out. And he just sits there.

Solomon could be exploring my house, but he just sits there. It’s like he doesn’t even realize he’s not in a cage. He doesn’t know he’s free.

Solomon and I have that in common.

I spent years being told what to do, what to think, and how my life was going to turn out. Then I left and years later, I’m still doing the same old things, even though I’m no longer caged.

When Solomon does venture out to explore, he always ends up flying into walls. It’s like he’s not even looking where he’s going. It’s really quite comical.

Solomon and I have that in common too.

I don’t literally walk into walls. But when you don’t really know what freedom means, you kind of just sit there, fearful of where the next move might take you and not really knowing what to do next. So you sit there until you sense danger. Then you flit and flutter a little bit, you fly into a few walls until you find another good perch — and you hope that it’s going to be safe for a while. You want it to be safe forever — but you just don’t know if that’s even possible. After waiting a while on your new perch, you start to get a little anxious because who knows what might happen next? So you flit and flutter about a little more. You’re looking for the security of the cage, and while you’re looking, you fly into a few more walls, get a few more bumps and bruises, and wonder what is going on and how you’re supposed to get what you need. Finally, you find it. You let yourself back into your nice, safe cage and wait for the door to close behind you.

Not realizing that although you feel safe, you have just lost your freedom.

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Read everything by Mari!

Mari is the middle of 5 kids — and the only girl — in a male-dominant, semi-quiverfull, rather patriarchal homeschooling family. She was raised in a patriarchal church and most of her social network as a child consisted of children of patriarchal or quiverfull families. This is the story of how she was sucked into the patriarchal/quiverfull belief system, and how she was lovingly (and in some cases, not so lovingly!) escorted out. Read her blog at:

The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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