accepting your weaknesses at nautilus teachings

when you know the
inevitable is going to happen
you might as well just accept it
instead of stressing over it
loosing sleep
and lying.
what if you want to change
the pattern of behavior
you were raised in
to unlearn it
erase from memory
the words
and boundaries
given you
your whole life?
what if
you had not
been given a voice
allowed to make
your own choices
and always been
the good girl?
what then?
when we leave our home
to go away to college
or move out and get a job
we earn the responsibility
of beginning to make our own choices,
good and bad…
this is not an easy task
to accomplish,
especially if it means
putting our own values first.
it doesn’t mean you
necessarily rebel
but for a family of
control freaks
it can certainly appear
this is exactly what you are doing.
sher did not break it off with peter
peter did make the semi pro team
she was going to marry him
and if she had to lie to her parents
that is what she would do…
sher and peter agreed
they wanted a small wedding.
“ya know, schultz, i cannot wait for you
to see God’s country
where i live.
it is so beautiful.
my family is going to love you.”
sher was never worried about fitting in
but she was wondering
could she pack up and leave
just change her life
turn catholic
and let her parents go?
all three of her brothers
had already let her parents down
but they were also all
on the right track now
married with children
and happy.
sher had never rebelled.
never not done what they wanted,
the fact that she was at this school
was proof enough.
somehow she needed to find her voice
she needed strength
and to muster up courage
to go home and talk to her folks
before school let out.

the phone in the hall began to ring
sher ran to pick it up.
“hey sher, it’s dad.
listen mom fell today and broke
her ankle. i need you to come home
this weekend and help out…”
this was her sign.
‘absolutely dad. how’s mom doing?’
“she’s in a cast and hobbling along.
you know your mom
headstrong and stubborn.
i will see you friday night.”
she told peter about her mom.
“hey, why don’t i come home with you?
i can help out your dad if he needs.
i want to meet your parents…”
‘great idea, i will call my dad tomorrow
and let him know.’
she had not told peter
her parents told her to break it off.
what they were asking was unfair.
the next day her friend knocked on her door,
“phone for you. it’s your dad”
‘hey dad! i was just going to call you…’
“sher, mom fell again today and broke her wrist.
she’s a mess…”
‘oh no. well, i will be home friday night dad.
pete is coming with me. he wants to meet you.’
“no. sher i told you to break it off.
you are to young.
you cannot bring him here…”
what would you do?
how strong were you at 18?
could you defy your parents
knowing it would break their hearts?
sher broke the news to peter,
‘hey. my mom fell again and this time broke
her wrist. i need to go home alone this time.
my parents are a mess and my mom
doesn’t want to meet you with a
broken ankle and wrist!’
peter laughed,
“that’s fine. i will meet her in a few weeks…”
‘wow,’ sher thought, ‘that was easy.
he’s so kind.’
traveling home
in a car with no radio
gives you a ton of time to think
and for sher it was 90 minutes
of frustration and worry.
when she entered the house
her mom was asleep with two casts on
her dad was watching television.
‘hey dad…’
her dad got up and gave her a hug and kiss.
“it’s good to have you home.
mom sure misses you.”
the weekend was over in a flash
she did not have a conversation
with them about peter
because saturday night at dinner
her father and mother once more told her
after looking at peters class ring
perched upon her left hand,
“you cannot get married.
you are to young.
we expect you to break it off.”
sher just shook her head
she would never win
sher cried the whole
drive back to campus.
she knew she was too young.
she knew she barely knew peter.
she knew he was her first love.
what she did not know
was how to say no
to her parents.
she had never
stood up to them.
she unpacked her clothes
took a long shower
and poured herself a glass of wine.
then she gathered all her friends
for a night of fun
butt sliding down the hall
ending with pizza and beer
for everyone.
by 11 peter showed up smiling
that handsome face of his
melted her heart.
“hey, how come i wasn’t invited?” he kidded
‘hey, baby,’ sher said, ‘i missed you.’
she stood up
wrapped him in a wet hug
then gave him a kiss.
‘no men allowed, my handsome fiance’,
but i will see you tomorrow!’
then she padded his butt
and off he strolled.
she slid on her butt
down the hallway toward the girls
landing on their feet,
‘well, ladies. tonight we drink,
and tomorrow,
i accept reality…’

Read More accepting your weaknesses at nautilus teachings

defiance or acceptance at nautilus teachings

and then one day
we begin to grow up…
sher was floating
in a mix of candle light
belly kisses
and love…
the funny thing was
they laughed so much
they never really
even finished
but got dressed
and went for a walk.
it was the middle of the night
stars still glistening
more snow had fallen
the world looked new…
their footprints were the first
upon the grass
and the steps
leading to the dimly lit chapel…
peter opened the door
sher stepped inside
“stay here” he whispered
then he walked to the altar
lit a candle
and softly said,
“now look into my eyes
and walk slowly
towards me…”
she was smiling
and excited,
when she reached peter
he set the candle down
took her hands
and spoke,
“schultz, sheri, i love you.
i want you to know this
before God
that i intend to marry you.”
then he got down
on one knee
gazed up at her
and asked,
“will you marry me?”
here sher was-
not yet 19
no idea of what
she wanted to do with her life
in a chapel
89 miles from home
with a gorgeous man
who wants to marry her?
she paused for just
a tiny moment
taking in the cross
the beauty
her faith
this man
then nodded her head
a tear strolling down her cheek
and whispered,
‘oh peter, yes. yes i will marry you.’

hand in hand
they strolled
back to his dorm
and finished
what they started
falling into a deep lovers sleep
never wanting reality
to wake them up…
the next day
she told all her girlfriends
excitement quickly took over
they rushed out and bought
every bridal magazine
grabbed some beer
and settled into sher’s room
to dream together,
‘look at that dress’
‘do you want a spring or fall wedding’
‘where will you live?’
‘are you going to go to school up north?’
it was all mind boggling
but a grin never left her face
around mid day
peter popped over with
flowers and a grin
not to mention his class ring…
in front of all the girls
he once more
got down on bended knee
and proposed –
this time with his class ring!
sher once more said
everyone cheered and the
soon to be newlyweds kissed…
“i gotta run” peter said,
“we are piling in the bus to go workout
with the kenosha cougars,
i’m gonna try out for their team
so i can stay here next year
and be closer to you, schultzy…
i love you. i will come see you when i get home…”
‘awwwwwww’, said all the girls.
he was off and sher knew it was time
to call her parents…
‘what would they say?’ she thought to herself
she was actually dreading the call
but it had to be done.
her parents knew she was dating peter
they knew it was serious
would they chalk it all up to puppy love?
as the phone rang
butterflies danced in sher’s stomach,
‘hey mom, how are you?’
“i’m good dear heart. how is school.
in a few more months you’ll be home!”
‘yeah. about that mom.
i think i am going up to spend
the first part of the summer with
peter and his family…’
“oh. don’t you think it’s a little to soon
to do that? i mean, meet them, yes,
but live in there house?”
sher took a deep breath
and began,
‘oh mom! last night ……’
she unraveled the whole story
while dory was silent.
“what about the other boy?
the one you’ve been writing?
he comes from a good family
and he will be able to provide for you.
This peter is just going to be a teacher,
sher, you must call it off immediately….”
there it was.
the line had been drawn.

‘mom. i love him.’
“sher, this is dad. you cannot marry this guy.
we have not even met him.
break it off.
you are to young…”
‘but dad, i will bring him home.
you will love him.
he has very deep faith
a strong family bond.
he’s wonderful…’
“sheri lynn
you heard what i said
now do it!”
with that,
her dad slammed the phone down
the line went dead
and sher began to cry.
her friends all heard
and were soon wrapping her
up in a big hug.
“it’s ok, schultzy, you can do what
you want. you are an adult…”
“they are just mad…”
“give them time…”
sher looked at the clunky
college ring
just given to her
by the hunky
super sweet
football star.
she thought about
their love
their conversations
how well they fit
she thought about it all.
then she turned to her friends
and said,
‘come on girls, let’s go try on wedding dresses!”

Read More defiance or acceptance at nautilus teachings

losing IT at nautilus teachings

the first time we try
anything new
we begin to grow
from first breath
we are thrust
into this cold
dog eat dog world
turn on any television,
radio station or
sign on to any social media site
and you will hear
about conflict
no one ever agrees
someone always has another opinion
arguing is entertainment…
it’s like in the movie
the Grinch who stole Christmas
when he was talking
about the people of Whoville
celebrating christmas,
“oh the noise, noise, NOISE, NOISE…
sher learned at a very young age
silence was like a
warm chocolate chip cookie
straight from the oven.
her tiny ears
had heard so much hate
felt filthy hands
her parents tremendous pain…
had known and lived
through her own…
so,  lying in the grass
on a crisp fall evening
with a guy
who seemed interested
in her,
who was kind
and funny,
or opening a letter
from another boy
who was curious
about who she was
and liked that she made him smile…
was all new and sher,
for the first time,
felt a type of love
she had never experienced
and it scared her.

the letters from
(blonde haired, blue eyed guy #1!)
arrived ever other week.
this is how they were dating,
exchanging their life stories
in words
through snail mail.
the anticipation of it
kept sher smiling inside,
it’s like meg ryan in you’ve got mail
when she is secretly communicating
with tom hanks via email,

Subject: RE: Brinkley
Date: 9/16/98 7:28:50 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Shopgirl
To: NY152

I like to start my notes to you as if we’re already in the middle of a conversation. I pretend that we’re the oldest and dearest friends — as opposed to what we actually are, people who don’t know each other’s names and met in a Chat Room where we both claimed we’d never been before.

What will he say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer, I wait impatiently as it boots up. I go on line, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail.

I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beat of my own heart. I have mail. From you.

this is exactly how sher felt about BHBEG#1
oh, my, melt in your mouth
kiss me again please,
she figured she was
just his flavor of the month
with his being a senior and all
but just like a pair of shoes
you have to try on more
than one pair to see if
it’s the perfect fit
and are comfortable.
she was having fun
performing at all his
home football games
taking long walks
and learning to love.
she knew BHBEG#1
was also dating,
as they had both decided
it was silly not to,
and she knew she would not
see BHBEG#1
until next summer at the earliest…
letters and an occasional
3-10 minute phone call –
depending on how many
quarters she was able
to scrounge up to feed the phone,
would have to do!

The holidays came and went
winter break was a month long,
with graduation requiring you
remain on campus
or do work study off campus
three of your four years.
sher was on campus taking art classes
peter was in california
on a work study for football coaching
when the hall phone rang,
it’s me!
i’m baaaack home.
i am driving to campus tonight,
will you have dinner with me?”
a few hours later
pete was standing at her door
all suntanned
curly hair
crooked fingers
sweater, jeans, boots
and smiling…
he gave her some flowers
and a kiss…
“oh, Schultz! i missed you,
but california was great.
how was your art class?”
they chatted the whole drive
to the pizzeria, while they ate
and drank beer
and all the way back to campus.
the snow was newly fallen
the moon brilliant in the sky
peter threw a snowball
landing straight upon her cheek
a snowball fight
filled with giggles
and ending in
making snow angels
they were soaked
and still smiling as they rose up,
“hey, Schultz…let’s go back to my room
and warm up. i will make you some
hot chocolate…”
she knew.
sher knew
in that instant
was she ready?
she did not know,
but she took his hand
nodded her head
and they walked
up the two flights of steps
into his dark room
as she stood
scared to death
he lit candles
put on soft music
and said,
“i’m going to take a shower
and warm up,
do you want to take one to?”

‘bbbbbb but it’s the boys dorms,
i can’t’
peter grabbed a clean towel
tossed it at her,
“schultzy, i will watch the door
for you…”
‘sure you will,’ she thought…
they walked down the hallway
entered the bathroom
and he was true to his word
she showered alone
wrapped herself in a towel
and dressed in a big
flannel shirt he had left her.
peter entered
and said,
“give me two minutes
then i will meet you
in my room…”
sher nodded
and pretended to leave.
when his shower started
she peaked her head
around to look
‘holy shit,
he is gorgeous …’ she though
then she surpassed a giggle
and thought
‘well, Lord,
if i am to loose my virginity
i guess he will do!’

Read More losing IT at nautilus teachings

remembering first loves at nautilus teachings


first loves,
WOWZA! (mine was 37 yrs ago!)
when your entire life
is controlled
and ordered,
being left off
on campus,
for sher
was like
being in
another country…
she was curious
about every one
and every thing
she saw.
she spent very little time
in her dorm room
because there was a beach
to walk upon
cute boys to talk to
new friends to meet
classes to drop out of
and change to
art, art and more art!
there were movie nights
keg parties
meet and greets
it was unbelievable…
sher knew
no matter what
this would be
the best time
of her life…
she quickly bonded
with a group of girls-
they called themselves
the inseparable seven.
the first week,
she tried out for Pom Pom
and made the squad.
when she put on her
red and white saddle shoes
scrunchy socks
wool skirt and sweater
she felt like an
something she had never felt.
the first day she put on her
uniform, peter was there
watching her walk,
but i like the red shorts better.
wanna grab a pizza tonight?”
‘why is he talking to me?’,
she thought.
‘is it because i am a freshman
and he thinks i am easy?’
sher was very insecure
had no self esteem
and told herself,
‘i will never be used
or harmed again
by any dumb boy,
if he wants a date
and if he wants me
he will have to earn me.’

that night,
they ordered pizza
and went to the commons
to watch the movie,
A star is Born…
all her girlfriends were there
so the boys hung back
as sher and her friend
soaked up the love story on screen.
midway through,
sher got up to go the bathroom
another boy approached her
and said,
“hey you wanna go make out?”
she was stunned
and very mad
so she took her beer
and poured it over the guys head.
peter ran over
grabbed her hand
twirled her around
and planted a kiss on her,
“oh, there you are.
i missed you…”
he stated loud enough for
the guy to hear
but the guy did not give up
he walked over to sher
and poured his beer on her head
and walked out…
sher was embarrassed
and wanted to hide.
peter took off his sweatshirt
gave it to sher
and said,
“come on, let’s get you
to the bathroom
so you can put this on…”
why was he doing this?
she honestly did not trust
any guy
she knew if they were kind
they wanted something
and she was tired
of giving her heart hope.
she came out of the bathroom
still smelling of beer
flush with embarrassment
head hung low,
“hey schultzy!” peter said
“come on, let’s go for a walk…”
the night air was crisp
winter was approaching fast
peter took her hand
as they walked in silence…
“hey, schultz…it’s ok. that guy was a jerk…”
she looked up into his big blue eyes
and her mind drifted for a moment
to the other blue eyed man
she had been writing…
she never knew if she would see him again,
and here peter was in front of her
grinning ear to ear…
whew! she breathed in a huge breath
‘why do you like me, peter ?’
he just smiled,
shook his head
and said,
“schultzy. there is no pressure here.
i want to get to know you.
i don’t know where that will lead.
i am a senior
you are a freshman
but tonight,
it’s just you and me…”
hand in hand they ran
across the grass giggling
he pulled her to the ground
gave her a long kiss
and then said,
“let’s look at the stars while you tell me
about your life so far,
we have all night…”
sher had never had
any man show interest
in her
and as she unfolded
the story of her life
he listened,
asked questions
and squeezed her hand
while looking
not just at the stars
but sometimes in her eyes…
‘oh man,’ she thought
when he walked her back
to her dorm
and kissed her goodnight,
‘he may be a keeper…’
the following day
sher ran to check her mail box…
sure enough a letter
from the first mr blue eyes.
she tore it open
and read his words,
“something about you
makes me smile.
can’t wait to see you again…”
oh boy!
two men
both blonde
blue eyed
sher thought,
‘i am only 18
and i think
i will date them both!’

Read More remembering first loves at nautilus teachings

being good enough at nautilus teachings

do you remember your first
day of college?
i do, like it was yesterday.
i remember how small i felt
i remember being yanked
from my mothers protective arms
i remember standing on the sidewalk
in my walking shorts
knee high socks
ralph lauren polo shirt
with my monogrammed sweater
tied around my neck
preppy handbook in my purse
‘please, don’t leave me…’
i watched my parents
all soaked in tears
drive away
leaving me behind
and then
i was surrounded by
the welcoming team of
happy faces
asking me my name
where i was from
what i was majoring in
which room i was in…
they escorted me up
introduced me to my room mate
then told me,
“we will be by at 5 to pick you up.
wear comfortable clothes…”
sher’s college was small
and sat upon the shore
of Lake Michigan
in Kenosha, WI.
Carthage was private
co-ed, a faith based college
with a beautiful chapel
and comfortable dorms…
it was a busy little campus
filled with,
from what she could see
love, excitement, happiness
they were all
without parents
out from under
their thumbs
not being told
everyday what to do
and not to do…

for the first time
she took a deep breath
put on her shorty red shorts
and teeny tiny white shirt
(her first purchase from the college store)
with scrunchy white socks
and red and white tennies
setting off down the hall
waiting to be picked up
by the welcome committee.
all the girls on the floor
were freshmen
all were buzzing with
and excitement
standing nervously
in the gathering room…
soon boys and girls
all upperclassmen,
burst through the door
telling them
to follow…
like little ducks in a row
they all did exactly as told
and for once,
sher did not mind
following every direction given!
they walked to the gymnasium
were broken up into groups
made huge circles
given a partner
and told
to play the trust game-
you know the one,
where you fall into a persons arms
backwards without even thinking
‘am i safe’
her partner was
of course
a cute as beans boy,
(mr. blue eyes was being forgotten!
at least for this moment!!!)
several other games followed
with the last event being
a barbecue…
they were seated by floor
at huge tables
kegs were tapped
music was loud
faces all smiling
as one by one
they met their floor mates…
afterward a bit of dancing
led to a walk around the campus
at night
with a last stop for ice-cream…

as sher was leaving the commons
a young man
in a yellow hooded sweatshirt
with curly blonde hair
and big blue eyes
smiled at her…
‘hey…what’s your name?’
sher smiled
but said nothing.
her new friend yelled,
“schultzy”, her name is “schultzy”
he smiled.
sher’s heart skipped
10,000 beats
and then he said,
‘i like your shorts.
my name is Peter.
wanna go for a walk?’
what just happened?
did this gorgeous
buff guy just ask
gumby- no tits no ass- me out?
sher smiled
and said,
her first night on campus
as a college freshmen
ended with her first
freshman kiss
in the tiny chapel
before God…
he was a senior,
a football star
from northern wisconsin
he would become
the first man
she ever loved
on her own terms…
but for tonight,
at the age of 18
only 89 miles from home
in a state where
drinking age was 18
unlike Illinois 21
on a small lakefront campus
buzzing with new faces
under the brilliant twinkling stars
holding the hand of
a gorgeous young man
who had the most crooked fingers
she had ever scene
the softest smile
and sweetest voice,
who told her stories
about himself,
his family,
his dreams and
of being in ‘God’s country’
which is what he called
mr. blue eyes faded completely out
of her mind

as she raised her lips
to greet his for a second time,
standing next to
lovers rock
listening to the water crash
upon the shore,
sher let go of rules
of being controlled
of all the hurtful names
she was called
of feeling unloveable
and unwanted…
this guy did not seem crazy
like her hs boyfriend…
she was willing to
take a leap of faith
and allow her heart
to open.
all the while, her brain
was telling her,
‘well at least the landing pad
for your broken heart
is soft sand… because you know
you were told over and over
you are a mistake…’
‘no, no, no’
she cried,
as she lay upon
her soft sheets
alone after
peter walked her home…
‘i am good enough
i will be ok
he is kind…’
soon, sher was fast asleep
dreaming about having wings
knowing this was the
footpath chosen for her
and that maybe it wasn’t her dad
that truly picked it,
but God….

Read More being good enough at nautilus teachings

attempting freedom at nautilus teachings

sher knew her parents loved her
she never understood
why her father could not
really show it
and because he could not
dory was beautifully
wrapped up in
devoting her life
to friends
and family…
her dad worked long hours
laughed with her mom
yelled at her brothers
worked on the house
and in the yard
in so many ways
he was like a normal dad
there just was never
any conversations
sher was being told
what to do
where to go to school
who to date
what to eat,
but mostly
she felt
ignored by him…
so when her mom
made a “date for her”
she once more obeyed…
mr. blue eyes
kept shuffling across
her brain…
how sher was raised was not
nor was it wrong
it is just her truths.
why she felt this way
what she lived through
could not have been changed
because her mother
was never given any power.
she was not allowed to work
or use discipline.
sher believe’s if dory was able
to work and
to use her voice
she’s childhood
as well as that of her three brothers
would have been completely different.

sher looks at her beautiful aunts family
and thinks WOWZA!
now that is what dory wanted.
several years ago sher had a
nice chat with her aunt
about her mom and so many
other wonderful memories.
one of the things she did share
with sher was
she was allowed to discipline
her children.
inside of sher her whole life
was this loud voice screaming
leave me alone
i want to run away.
she planned her escape
many times
stashed money
and always had a bag packed-
even when she was 11.
when mr. blue eyes
entered her life,
sher thought,
‘why not! you only live once
and my mother will never know…’
she sat at the table
learned to play cards
drank cold beer
ate real food
and laughed
all the while her
sat sulking on a chair
with his boring friends.
mr. blue eyes
and sher hit it off right away
soon they had snuck out
and were walking in the muddy grass
to his tent…
after a serious session
of making out
they exchanged numbers
as well as addresses
and left the tent…
her date was standing there
“it’s time to go…”
she followed him to his truck
after nodding goodby to mr. blue eyes.
he was so mad he floored the gas
and the truck sunk in the mud!
soon mr. blue eyes and his whole crew
including sher
were behind the truck pushing
it to hard ground, when
nearly everyone shoving the truck
landed face first in the mud.
soon belly laughter took over.

soon, each person stood up
rinsed themselves with the hose
and changed clothes…
sher’s date stayed in the truck.
mr. blue eyes brought her some dry
sweatpants and sweatshirt.
she changed in the girls tent
hopped in the truck
and began the 30 minute drive
to this guys mother’s house.
sher took a hot shower
and went to bed.
mid way through the night
to be
being her date.
she felt him climb into the bed
she felt him against her
and she knew
this would never happen again.
she rolled over
facing him in the dark…
‘why are you in here?’
“you owe me..
now lay still while i fuck you…”
sher froze.
then she began to cry.
she cried so loud
soon his mother was in her room
as he slid into the closet
trying to hide…
his mother
never got an explanation
from sher as to why she
was crying
but sher fell into
this soft woman’s arms
as if they were her own moms…
the sun rose
she had breakfast
and climbed into the truck with him
for the 2.5 hr dreaded ride home.
he played the music loud the whole way
never said a word
and drove very fast
all the while sher sat
with her head hanging out the window
tiny tears taking flight
in the wind.

when she got home
she jumped out
ran in the house
and took a long hot shower.
soon her mom knocked
on her door,
“hey, sher. i just got off the phone
with…mom…she said you were
crying all night. what happened?”
what she wanted to say was,
‘i met the cutest boy ever
and he gave me his number and address…’
but what she said was,
“i was just tired and had to much beer, mom.”
“oh, are you going to see him again, dear heart?”
“no, mom. i’m tired. love you…”
and with that,
sher rolled over
and pretended to go to sleep.
she would never tell her mom
what almost happened
she would never go on a blind date again
from this day forward
sher was going to make her own decisions
she would be strong
find her voice
become an artist and writer
and marry who she wanted one day…
but for now
her father ruled
her mother obeyed
and sher
like the good daughter,
echoed all she was taught
until the end of august 1980…
‘this may be his choice of school
and i may be registered
in the classes he chose,
but from this day forward
i make my own choices…’
she thought to herself
with a tiny grin
expanding upon her face…

Read More attempting freedom at nautilus teachings

beginning to rebel at nautilus teachings

graduating from high school
means leaving your childhood behind
making new friends
studying for what you wish to do
with your life,
it means growing up…
graduation had finally come.
sher woke up with a high fever
from infected wisdom teeth
but told her parents,
“i don’t care how sick i am,
i am walking…”
upon arrival at school
the principal greeted them,
“well, it seems …..has gone missing again
from his facility…”
sher thought
“who is this guy, houdini?”
“i don’t care.
he won’t hurt me.
he’s in love with me.”
she searched her parents faces
they nodded in agreement.
they agreed to let sher walk
as long as the police stood outside
the gymnasium door…
everything went off without a hitch…
the summer was flying by
and sher was getting excited for school
when dory approached her
“hey, sher… i met a very nice young man
up at the lake last weekend
and i set up a date for you.
he will drive down from…
and pick you up friday.
he is taking you to a pig roast
the next day and he will
bring you home sunday…
you will stay with his mother
at their house …”
it was true,
sher did not have a boyfriend
but that is what she wanted-
to be free.
to meet college men
and make her own choices
she loved her parents
but she was so tired of being
the good girl all the time,
the obedient one
and rule follower….
sher smiled at dory,
“ok mom, whatever you say…”

then she locked her bedroom door
and began to cry.
was she ever going to be able to break free
decide on her own
what her life would be like?
her father had chosen the college.
her father had chosen her major-
with a minor in german
her father,
her father,
her father…
silently she obeyed.
friday arrived
with a knock on the door,
“sher, that must be your date!
go answer it…”
here we go,
sher thought…
as she opened the door
a tall
very thin guy
with weak hair
an even weaker mustache
stood gazing down at her,
“um, hi…i’m…..”
sher just waved
let him in
grabbed her stuff
kissed her mom
and was off…
the drive took 2.5 hours to get
to his mothers house…
the time was mostly filled with music
although every now and then
sher would ask a question,
“so, what do you do ?”
“i’m a police officer…”
“how old are you?”
wow, she thought
not the guy she would pick,
she’d had enough of the police department
growing up
with her crazy brother
always getting in trouble,
running away,
in and out of half way houses…
his parole officer
even came for dinner sometimes.
it’s not that she hated cops
she just never saw one
help her brother…
that night they went to a bar
drank, ate some burgers
and then went back to his mothers house
where they slept in separate bedrooms.
the morning sun woke her
so she cleaned up,
dressed and walked to the kitchen
where his mom had made a
nice breakfast…
“sleep well?” she asked sher
sher just nodded,
sat down
and began eating
‘where is he? i want to go home…’
what was her mother thinking?
he strolled into the kitchen
kissed his mothers cheek
grabbed a plate and sat down
next to sher.

“so we are going to a pig roast
out in the country
with live music.
should be a lot of fun…”
sher just smiled
and continued eating.
this car ride took 30 minutes
and as they got closer
it began to rain
the field was a mud pit
but off in the distance
sher could see a tent
with lights on
filled with people laughing,
as they approached the tent
she noticed a table
of guys and girls
playing cards
drinking beer
and laughing loudly.
they all waved to her date.
he waved back.
sher asked,
“who are those people…”
“see the blonde guy
in the middle
with glasses?
i work with his father.
stay away from him.
he’s no good.
the rest of them are all his friends…
come on, lets get some food
and a beer…”
um, HELLO,
the blonde was damn cute
and if he was no good
sher would definitely meet him.
how else could she defy her parents
and how would they ever know?!!!
she followed her date to a corner,
the pig was gone
so they ate bean sandwiches
and drank nasty warm beer.
he was busy talking to a group of guys
and sher
felt lonely…
she set down her beer
strolled over to the
‘stay away from him, table’
tapped the blonde guy
upon the shoulder
and said,
“hi, i am …..i was told i needed to meet you
by my date………”
he looked up at her.
she fell into his baby blues,
“hi, I’m…. won’t you join us?”
and with that
she was caught
hook, line and sinker…

Read More beginning to rebel at nautilus teachings

from verbal to psycho at nautilus teachings

when you are married
to a verbally abusive spouse
you tend to sidestep
cuss words
as part of your own vocabulary,
sugarcoat almost everything,
by pleading
and crying on your knees
for them to stay,
apologizing for things
which are not your fault
even beat yourself up
verbally in front of them
taking the blame
for the reason they drink
do drugs
and abuse you…
for sher
this cycle of accepting
she was no good
undeserving of a thought
belief or opinion
started when she was small…
born into a family of boys
she was the baby
very ill
and when her parents
brought her home
the boys were sat down and told,
“sher is not to be touched…”
how would you feel if you were
3, 5 or 11?
i cannot tell you how they felt
because i am not them…
what i can tell you is what
grew inside her
was fear-
of rounding a corner
without being tackled,
descending the red wooden steps
without being pushed,
or ever thinking being alone
was a good thing…
her hearing
and sense of smell
became extremely sensitive
she learned to be
as quiet as a mouse
and to never ever
let them see her cry…

sher only felt safe
when dory was there
but back in the 60’s
they only had a baby sitter
if it was night time
and her parents were out-
usually it was her 11 year older brother
who obviously had girlfriends…
sher became very good at hiding
in corners, under the steps
behind trees in the park
across the street
even in the dark, damp basement.
think about how you would feel inside
if for the first 11 years of your life
you were afraid
to move,
let alone speak…
if at night
you witnessed your father
spanking your brothers
yet their behavior never changed
it only got taken out on sher
more and more…
unless dory was around…
sher never developed socially
when she was a teen
she fell in love with softball
that introduced her to
more criticism
their words fueled her
to be better
and in her first year
she landed on the
varsity team
where she would stay
as a starter until she graduated…
her art in school
was winning her trophies
her writing earning her straight A’s
soon she fell for a boy
who seemed to be just as shy as she was
he was kind
but very odd…
it wasn’t until dating him
for over a year
her friends told her
he was hit in the head his freshman year
playing football and was never
the same…
what did that mean?
it meant,

sher did not run
they dated for the whole year.
she spent the summer
in California
with her older brother
and his wife
cut off her long hair
learned to roller skate down hills
ate tons of pizza
and listened to her brother…
“listen, sher, this is your senior year
then you will go to college
you need to break it off
when you get home…”
so she did.
the week before school started
she got a call
while she was babysitting,
from his mom…
“it seems…..took his gun
and we cannot find him.
are you in a safe place?
we are out looking for him…”
she called her dad,
explained what was going on.
she called the people she was babysitting for-
they came home
sher and her dad left in his car
driving very slowly the route
she knew he drove to her house…
sure enough,
about a mile from her home
he was walking
on a dark back road
gun pointed forward
determined look…
sher’s dad pulled over and said,
“wait in the car…”
sher did not wait
she jumped out
leaped in front of her
and said, 
“what are you doing?
the young man cried.
put down the gun
and said,
“i was walking to your home
to protect you
i wanted to sleep under you window…”
hello, psycho much?!
they put him in their car
the gun got stashed in the trunk
they drove home
called his parents
and the police…

he was put away
in a psych unit
school started
sher was happy
life was good…
the call.
her principal called sher
into the office
“it seems….has somehow
broken out of…..
he has a gun
and we think he is on the way here.
we will need to remove you from
the school…”
the police arrived.
sher was allowed to take all her friends
to the principals house
and have a free day
watching movies…
as the day was drawing to a close
the home phone rang
and her father answered,
“hello…yes. uh huh…”
then silence as he listened
followed by,
“of course. thank you…”
“well sher…it seems ….has some
severe psychological problems
none of them caused by you
but by the brain injury
he suffered freshman year
before you met him.
he is safe.
now go to bed…”
what was it with the men in her life?
all sher knew was graduation
was fast approaching
and then
outta here!

Read More from verbal to psycho at nautilus teachings

birth of the swear jar at nautilus teachings

in order to find
and live a life
filled with joy,
happiness, gratitude
and forgiveness
sher had to
walk away.
leaving her past
a person
or place
vowing never to go back
or talk to them
did not erase memory.
for sher
the pain of loosing her mother
still lived within her
30 years later…
for sher
anger and ugly words
made her retreat
to darkness and corners.
for sher
knowing she failed
her children in any way
left her
feeling unworthy,
even of being a grandparent…
relationships suffer
when you have never felt whole,
you become a perfectionist
running yourself ragged
making sure everyone is
‘had enough…’
all the years growing up
sher witnessed her own mother
including underwear for her father,
making home made desserts every day
stretching a thin budget
as far as she could
washing and waxing floors
volunteering at school
little league
pee wee football
cub scouts
to name a few,
all the while living with the understanding
she was not allowed to work for money
not allowed to punish her children
she would do what she was told
speak only when spoken to
never complain
and accept that if any one child
was in trouble or failed
it was
HER fault
and she
was then labeled a

sher always found herself
in dory’s shadow
that being a wife and mom
meant doing it all
putting up with
whatever was thrown at you
crying in the bathtub
wearing the perfect
wife and mother masks
never having a voice…
sher saw dory
as this incredibly colorful
kind, giving and loving
full of faith
there for everyone
but who was there for dory?
her sister.
sher’s aunt
was beautiful.
tall, slender
a working woman
she managed the women’s department
at a big, local clothing store.
in fact one summer
she got dory a secret part time job
to help earn money
to purchase new clothes
for the boys…
dory would walk downtown
come home
and make sure all
household chores were done
before her husband returned
at night…
when he somehow found out
dory was working
he went down there
and made her quit the job
humiliating her in public…
dory found her voice
when sher was 11.
she got that job.
she moved up
quickly in ranks.
she became a voice
for women.
she made new friend.
held onto the old ones.
kept the family together
all the while sher struggled
to even speak.
her father did rule over them all.
her brothers all rebelled in
various mean and ugly ways
with her mother always
taking the worst
tongue lashing
carrying the heavy burden
of shame ~ that she was not
and never will be enough.
sher was just drowning in
low self worth
had no courage
looked like gumby
had her share of acne
and struggled repeatedly
to find her voice.
she found it in solace
in writing
she built her own world
inside her head
upon her journals
and refused to show anyone.
when she secretly applied
to the San Francisco school of art
and got accepted
she was so happy.
finally she would get out of this home
away from her father.
she knew leaving dory would be hard
but finding sheri was more important.
so at dinner that evening
sher gave her parents the letter.
dory smiled and her eyes welled up with tears.
well he nodded three times
struggled with his words being released
and then,
“well,” hahahaha, “ you cannot make a living at art, sher.
i will not support this. you will go to the school i pick
and major in business…..”
sher became silent.
she nodded.
she accepted her fate

her father was in control.
it’s what men do.
women are to be obedient.
this man,
her earthly father
just could not wrap his head
around the fact that
his daughter needed acceptance
a listening heart
to be able to step outside
his preconceived plans for all his children
and allow them wings
to pursue their own dreams
and become who God intended them to be…
he could not and would not bend
because he was born broken?
 what did that mean?
mom always said it.
and even though mom always
had her blue suitcase packed
mom always stayed.
sher heard dory scream
several times
that she was going leave…
dory even fainted one night
during an argument with her father…
what was sher learning from all of this?
what did she teach her own children?
she grew up with the fear of being left
not wanted
by a man,
became a perfectionist
in pleasing the men in her life.
she gave up all her dreams
and became
now 30 years later
with her children all grown
she wondered
what had she done
to them?
she tried not to be like her father,
distant, cold, punishing.
she also knew that
by the time she found her own voice
her kids were 12, 15 and 20
had witnessed verbal abuse
and physical abuse
and lived with a man
who had so many addictions
it would not surprise her
if they, themselves
had no idea who they were.
so, at the age of 42
sher looked up to the sky
and for the first time she could remember
ever saying it
and from that
her swear jar was born….

Read More birth of the swear jar at nautilus teachings

walking away from family at nautilus teachings

could you walk away
from a family member?
end your relationship with them?
never talk to them again?
i can
and i did.
you may see me as cold
and unforgiving
but it is actually the opposite…
through the process of forgiving them
i learned all their truths
this allowed me to understand
where their pain and anger came from-
it landed upon me because
i was the baby of the family
the only girl
and for my exes the closest
one to their heart…
we tend to take out anger
upon those we love the most
because with them we feel we
can be honest and open-
and we can,
but we must also have boundaries
we cannot blame or harm
someone we care for
because we have been hurt or abused
we must break this cycle and accept
their love unconditionally…
during my marriages i
felt sympathy and pity for them both
i wanted to fix them
help them heal
the result was them
taking out upon me
all the pain anger and shame they felt
for whomever had harmed them
prior to me entering their life…
in understanding this
in accepting all this as truth
the path away from them
was healing…
the shedding of all the
cumbersome barnacles
of their failures
which i too was carrying
literally floated away.
they do not have to accept or acknowledge
your forgiveness.
in granting forgiveness
you welcome inner peace
into your soul
you gift yourself freedom
from the energy sucking
never healing
always fearing being attacked life…

when it is a parent,
and in this case
it was my father
i knew
i could not
and would not see him again
as long as his wife was alive.
that may sound cruel
but he made his own choices
to deny to my face what
his wife said
to take her side
allowing her
to belittle me
accuse me
and verbally assault me
in front of him.
not long after
my father called me
accusing me of putting
naked pics on fb
i picked up my phone
and called him…
“hey dad. listen. i don’t know what…..says about me
but i am your daughter. all i ever wanted was
for you to love me and be proud of me.
i cannot talk to you if you continually attack me.
i wanted you to know i love you…”
now, remember his hearing is bad
this is the response i got,
“she denies saying anything.
oh, and by the way
i am going to be cremated
when i die, so you don’t have to come home
she will just put me in the mausoleum next
to your mother. no party or service…”
more silence
then i hung up.
my father is odd.
always has been.
but this lack of hearing can
sometimes bring about the weirdest
responses from him.
i still remember the one time he was in my convertible
in the backseat
his wife in the front-
remember i told you we were friends for 20 years
prior to the incident of her ugly loose lips-
he was talking and smiling…
upon arrival home i asked him what he was saying
and who he was talking to.
his response,
“to myself. i always talk to myself
because no one yells at me
and i can tell myself jokes…”

is this what d is in for with me
when i am old?!!
i think about my dad a lot
i know she takes care of him
and for that i am eternally grateful.
the family i walked away from
does not
and never did
need or want me in their life.
does it hurt?
it did for years.
did the pain stop
once i wrote my letters?
it healed.
every now and then
i get a tiny fissure
that produces a
toddler temper tantrum
which ends up with me
and throwing paint
but yes,
pain free.
the burden was lifted
of having to participate
in a life
that truly was never
one i was invited to.
all of this explains
my inability to form close bonds
with any one person…
i love my kids
i would love to have weekly
if not daily
“hey mom, just thinking about you…”
like i did with my own mother
but that will never happen
because even though i know
i did the best job i could raising my kids
i also understand the bigger picture
i was never whole while raising them
and just as my mother says about my father,
i was born broken.
i am my father’s daughter.
at the age of 42 i began separating
from my life and
finding sheri…
today at 55
i am still a work in progress.
all my broken pieces
are now bonded to me
with faith as my center
making up my one beautiful
colorful mosaic life.
could you walk away?
i did
and in doing so
i found true love,
inner peace, joy
and happiness…

Read More walking away from family at nautilus teachings