Beverly Busque is the first to say she takes no guff from anybody.

If she’s angry, she lets it out. She speaks her mind. She sugar-coats nothing.

“I’ve got a lot of anger, she says. “I’ve got problems with trust. I have trust issues.”

At 53, Busque is finally facing and dealing with a violation of trust that she said occurred a long time ago.

When she was 7, she was sexually molested and didn’t tell anyone about it at first.

She finally told her mother, who told her father, who beat the perpetrator to a pulp, she said.

“It was never reported to the state; it was never reported to the police. Unfortunately, back then things were different. It was swept under the rug. That was the end of it, and it was never spoken about again.”

The reason she is talking openly about it now is that she doesn’t want anyone else to have to go through life suffering with such a secret.

“I do have advice: Once it happens one time, tell somebody about it,” she said. “Don’t let it stay inside of you. Don’t push it down, because if you do that and you keep pushing it down and the years go by, what happens is, it’s like a sore that never heals and sometime, something is going to trigger it, and when it does, you’re going to end up going off your rocker or hurting somebody else or hurting yourself.”

What triggered the memories for Busque was a car accident eight weeks ago in which she was pinned against her vehicle by a driver in a parking lot.

Her ribs were severely bruised and she was in a lot of pain, both physical and mental.

“My primary care physician started asking me questions about the accident and I burst into tears. I said, ‘I’m not a crazy person, but I feel like I’m crazy.’ I couldn’t stop crying. She told me she wanted me to go see a psychologist.'”

Busque told me all this while sitting at her kitchen table in the large, old house in Waterville she shares with her husband, Andrew; their 19-year-old Seal Point Himalayan cat, Ming; Sweet Pea, a 17-year-old Maine coon cat; and two dogs — Jackson, 13, a Bassett Hound, and Isabella, 7, a Miniature Pinscher.

She is a colorful character. At 6 foot, 2 inches tall, the former corrections officer and certified nurse’s aide also is blunt. She was taught as a child to look people straight in the eye, she said. A vocal opponent, at public meetings, of the city’s new pay-as-you-throw trash collection system, Busque says people think she exhibits too much hostility when she talks about it, when actually she is being passionate and believes the system penalizes poor people.

As she leads me on a tour of her house, Petrie, a blind, 28-year-old singing African canary, peers at us as from a cage that hangs between two large rooms featuring the couple’s many paintings. Besides being a painter, Beverly Busque also sculpts and writes volumes of poetry. She plucks several small sculptures from a cabinet — of a lizard, an alligator and a king cobra.

“This is my daddy,” she says, motioning to a colorful painting of a clown, with large bulging eyes. “My daddy liked to dress up as a clown on Halloween.”

There are portraits of Jenny, Hobo Joe, Stacy, Nina, Andrea’s Party, and Marilyn Monroe, with bleach-blond hair, white fur collar and a pink background. She names them off.

“Marilyn is my favorite. I’ve been painting since I was 47 and I never had a lesson in my life. It gives me an outlet. If I paint or write poetry or sing or sculpt, I find it keeps me from being angry. It transports me to someplace else.”

Busque also sings at weddings and funerals. She asks if I’d like to hear a song she has learned in Hebrew.

Closing her eyes, she belts out a loud, soulful tune, pronouncing and enunciating the Hebrew words perfectly.

“I taught myself the song from an album. My father was a singer. He used to sing me songs all the time. It helps me to cope.”

Her father, she said, died of cancer, in her home.

“I took care of my father, right till the day he died.”

She also took care of her husband through all his illnesses — two heart attacks, a stroke, an aortic aneurysm repair, triple bypass and throat cancer, she said. Andrew Busque, a mild-mannered, 69-year-old, white-haired former police officer and sergeant, says he doesn’t know what he would do without her.

“She has been my strength through our whole marriage and she continues to be my strength and she’s amazing. She’s truly amazing. I don’t think there’s a person in this whole world who’s more supportive than she is.”

Beverly Busque, who is disabled, has her own physical and emotional ailments. She said she has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, degenerative disc disease, gout and hypertension, and she suffers from sleep apnea and obsessive compulsive disorder.

It is important, she said, that people not judge others by how they look or act. They may be harboring invisible pain — from physical or emotional injuries so deep they take a long time to heal.

“It stays with you for the rest of your life,” she says. “I’m never going to be ‘normal.'”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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