the letters at nautilus teachings

when i am harmed in any way
i retreat to darkness
and silence…
i pull inside myself
and get creative.
in fact,
i have made some of my best pieces
in my healing.
for in order to mend my wounded self
i must first re-open the wound
let it drip drip drip
into my entire being
and then
i feverishly write in charcoal
upon the blank canvas
the words that need to be said…
then begin building layer upon layer
the wet healing balm of color
i love this process…
i did not learn it from any one person
i just combined all the ways i release
with my passion-painting…
three years passed
i did not call, write or communicate
with my father.
i was in my car
top down
sun brilliant and warm
music blaring
when my phone rings
interrupting my song,
“call from, dad…”
click, end.
music resumes.
next day
“call from, dad…”
‘hi dad, what’s up?’
“why are you posting
naked pictures of yourself on fb?”
i pause,
‘dad-you can’t post nude pics on fb
and besides i would never do that…’
“well…….say’s, her friend…..saw them…”
his crazy wife and her
just as crazy friends..
‘love you dad.’
click, end.
that was it.
nothing more
the forgiveness challenge by desmond tutu!
my studio was doing very well
all the kids were happy
d was well.
and then
God sends me this challenge
and i can hear HIS voice saying,
‘it’s time sheri…let it go…’

i loved this book and challenge.
i posted many videos on it
and then the time to write the letters…
Dear Dad-

You and I have had many ups and downs. I have put you on pedestals you did not deserve I know, but I needed to because I needed you to be someone you are not.
You always provided for me perfectly fine. I can never remember wanting for anything. When I needed you, you were there.
Mom once said to me, “sheri, you expect too much from him, your father was born broken. just love him the best you can…”
My truths don’t matter now. I have grown up and grown into
a woman I love and I respect. So I hope one day Dad, you can feel proud of me. All i ever wanted was family, love and art.
As you celebrate you birthday please know I have written ……. a letter telling her I forgive her. it took Nelson Mandela 27 years to become an icon of reconciliation, forgiveness and honor and lead a country back from the brink of civil war and self destruction.
So…3 years is not bad at all!!!
If you were here with me, I would take you for walk along my beach and then to my favorite coffee house for breakfast. I would follow that up with showing you all the colors that live within me…

I love you dad.

and the second one, to his wife…

It’s been nearly 23 years since you married my father. From the very beginning I welcomed you, loved you, and asked you to be my children’s grandmother…
Throughout the first 20 years you were absolutely a good grandmother to them. You were always kind to me and I was the same in return.
So when 2 1/2 years ago at …..graduation party when you began speaking against me in words and stories that were not just untrue but hurtful, it threw me to the ground.
Why you think these things about me, or why you felt the need to say them does not matter.
“I know who I am, I know what I have lived through and I am so proud of myself…”
We are all inherently good and flawed. I thought maybe you hurt me because you yourself were hurting, I just don’t know Thank you for the years of loving my kids and my father. I hope you continue on in good health and feel such happiness and peace.

forgiveness is such a gift to ourself…
i can tell you in writing these letters
and all my letters
i lost the need to carry any hurt
i felt incredibly lighter
almost flushed clean…
forgiveness led me to
true expression of gratitude
it re-opened my eyes
to the beauty and wonder
of my life
those i know and love
wrapping me in a balm
of cool calmness
with faith as my center…
we have to have these hard conversations
we don’t have to live with people who hurt us
it’s ok to say goodbye
and love them from afar.
this is your life
your choices
for me
i choose inner peace…

Read More the letters at nautilus teachings

mean girls at nautilus teachings

what is your breaking point?
do you have a long fuse?
i have always hated anger
because my life was so filled
with it being hurled at me
that i had come to
never even flirt with it-
oh sure,
once in a blue moon
i could be pushed
and when i am shoved?
look the fuck out
because i become
my disheveled father opened his door
the morning sun was blinding
his hair was a mess,
i had obviously caught them both
getting ready for the day…
my father is very hard of hearing
which can benefit you sometimes
but today,
for the next 15 minutes
i hurled at him so many
ugly, hurtful words
i told him truths i swore
to my dead mother
he would never find out
and just when i ran out of air,
as he was standing there
looking all broken
mixed up
and confused
slathering the cream her face
came out
and said,
“oh grow up.
we all had hard childhoods…”
and who did she think she was?
i had welcomed her
when all three of my brothers hated her
i stood up for her!
to come to my home
spewing lies about me,
this woman had no idea
what i had lived through
i had told no-one except God!
i lost it.
i began to cry.
i told my father
what all three people said to me
that his wife said,
he did not speak
he mumbled
and then
“oh, that’s bullshit. i never said any of that…”
ok so now she is going to lie to save face
to my father?
arguing would do me no good.
i was glad the two of them had one another.
i said to my father,
“i don’t ever want to see you again.”
stormed out.
drove home
had a drink
waited for d
and cried like a toddler
throwing a temper tantrum…

from what i have seen
in my lifetime
people only lie to protect
they don’t want anyone to know
their truth…
i don’t believe to this day
she was truly out to hurt me
and i know, i will never know why
she said what she said
or all of what she said
but i did write her this letter-

I hate that your words scream
Inside of my head
I hate that I let what you said
Make me feel so small
Make me recheck my memory
And question my beliefs
And values
Since you married my father
I have been nothing but kind
And loving
And giving to you
How dare you come to my home
And throw up vile
Lies about me and my life
How can you sit at a table
With me and my family
And say I was a bad mother
Why would you even care if I was a jesus freak?
How would you personally know what I say
Think, feel or do
You have never been granted full access to my heart
You are not my mother
But I gave you the right to be a grandmother to my kids
You are hurtful
And as
Taylor swift would say
A liar
Leave me out of your conversations
You have successfully destroyed what little relationship
I had with my father
I can no longer walk into his home
Or hug him
Because you may be lurking in the shadows.
What you said to my mother-in-law, my daughter and my friends
Will never be forgotten
Your daggers wounded us all
And as my daughter said to me
“that was some pretty twisted shit mom, what is wrong with Grandma?”
All you wish
Live in your world
Of ugly
I find it hard to believe my mother called you a friend
She would hate you for the things you said about
Her daughter
And the lies you told
My mother knew my truths
My mother held me
My mother protected me
I hate

did i feel better writing and sending it?
did she read it?
probably not.
for years she deleted
every email i sent to my father…
so i wracked my brain
why oh why
did she hate me?
my oldest brother said,
“sheri, she was always mean.
i remember her as a kid
being ugly and mean to everyone…”
this was not helping me.
sure, i remember her being a gossip queen
every time i saw her,
but i just tuned her out
walked away
did not care what she was saying…
this time it was about me, though…
i remember at my wedding to my crazy ex
i sat upon my dads lap
and was telling him i loved him
when she came onto the deck and
“oh, you two, get a room…”
then she laughed.
odd and mean…
sugar land says it best…

Well, I ain’t a mean girl
But I’ve known a few
They’ll make you cry, baby
And then blame it on you

Read More mean girls at nautilus teachings

betrayal at nautilus teachings

as i grew up
i learned to choose
faith over fear
in fact,
my faith is what grew me…
i knew i had to go through troubles
that good times would follow.
this was another test for me
how strong had i grown
how powerful was my voice
did i trust myself
enough to face my ex?
i never had to see him again.
we spoke only once
i called him and asked him about
the peanut butter and letter
he vehemently denied both
so i let it go
hung up
and blocked him
and all his family-
ya gotta love technology!
for me,
that was the end of his story
he eventually decided to get help
went to rehab
fell in love
stayed clean and sober
and lives a faith filled life.
our oldest daughter reconnected with
and now lives near him
our youngest was adopted by d
and never wants to see him again…
breathing in and heaving huge sighs right now…
and my life
my tiny bali studios
began to grow…
i was asked by a close friend to host
a paint night?
she had gone to one in alabama
and loved it…
so she got me started with the
byob’s 9 years ago
and up until the last 3 or so years
i was pretty much
the only byob…
they are every where…
in 2009
i began kids summer camps
and hosting private parties…
i love my life.
yet behind all the colored paint
the funky aprons
the painted tables
my pain was still raw.
i hurt.

i embarked upon reading
and taking classes on forgiveness –
i never ever thought i could forgive
all the men who hurt me-
but through the guidance of several teachers
and books,
the most influential being
Desmond Tutu’s book on forgiveness
i began writing letters of forgiveness
asking for forgiveness
all while having no expectation
of ever hearing from anyone
or of anyone acknowledging
their part of grief and pain in my life…
in fact, the few people i felt i needed to apologize to
laughed and felt i had no need,
“we were young and stupid!”
the people i wrote letters of forgiveness to,
not one,
and there were only 5
even acknowledged receiving them.
four i really did not care about
i had let them go years ago
and in a small way had already
come to terms with their abuse
inflicted upon me.
but the biggest pain
and still unhealed
is my father.
i was never close to him
i never felt supported by him
but i did love him
after mom died
and he remarried
i asked his new wife
to be my children’s grandmother
and for years
i felt like i had a somewhat kind
and loving relationship with them both
then BAM,
it was just 5 years ago
this may…
my youngest graduating from hs with her aa
the party was at our home
all our friends and some family
were there
including my dad and his wife…
the day went along fine
everyone went home.
the next day we had them
to our home for dinner
we all sat outside
along the water
my dads wife began
talking about what a bad cook i am
and how my kids were never fed…
my son and his girlfriend were there
he looked at her so confused saying,
‘the only thing i remember not liking was
moms chicken breasts, they were always dry…hahaha!”
she proceeded to say i was not a hands on parent
my kids ran wild…
doc stood up
took her hand
and escorted her and my father out…
then the 4 of us sat there,
like WTF just happened…
my son said,
“grandmas crazy…she doesn’t know anything.
just ignore her mom…”
so i did.
the next morning was a monday…
my oldest daughter called me early,
“mom, grandma was saying some pretty
twisted shit about you at the party
to everyone at our table…”
she then proceeded to tell me tiny
ugly words this woman said about me…
we hung up and i thought
my phone rang again,
this time it was our office manager
who was at the table with her husband
and she was in shock saying,
“i cannot repeat the vile things she said,
but she called you a slut…”
my head was spinning
another phone call
this one from mom in law,
“oh, my sheri…oh, my sheri…
i don’t know how to tell you this
but you have to know that
your dads wife was saying….”
exactly what she said i don’t know
i was only able to get these three
beautiful souls i love to tell me
small pieces…
“her brothers hate her because…”
“she should have stayed married to….”
it was all vile, ugly and hurtful…
but to find out she had been talking
to my ex
buying into all his bullshit-
that was the last straw…
i got in my car
and drove to the hotel we
had put them up in
i stormed up the steps
pounded on the door
and screamed,
“let me in right now dad..”
i kept screaming and pounding
until he opened the door
looking all bewildered….

Read More betrayal at nautilus teachings

bali studios is born at nautilus teachings

they say karma
always comes back
to bite you in the butt.
for this brief moment
no one lived in fear
her ex was in jail
the kids were all happy
she and d were in love
building a beautiful life…
the time had come
for her to fix sher.
where to begin…
she started with writing classes
pouring out her life story
weekly in the classroom
next up was photography
a month long of selfies
with the goal being to
actually take a picture of
your naked face
by months end.
most posted their toes
half a face
their flowers blooming…
not sher!
she build complete sets
painting corners
one with blue waves
one with angel wings
one with the closet
she hid in as a child…
she smudged mascara on her cheeks
and red paint on her body
she set up her camera
and click, click, click
she did not just take one photo
she took hundreds
and made slide shows…
this was how she would heal
through her art.
march arrived
and d asked her to go to el sal with him
on a surf trip
so the two of them few off
and for 5 days stayed in the guarded
yet extremely beautiful hotel
where he surfed three sessions a day
she napped, read, wrote, drew and photographed…
on the third day
under the almond tree
sipping cold water from a bottle
he picked up an almond that had fallen

‘blondie. how would you like an oceanfront studio
to teach your art?”
speechless, she stared at him
“i own the double unit next to me
and as a wedding gift i want you to have it…”
‘yes, yes, yes…’ was all she could stammer out.
they returned home and began
tearing down all the walls
opening up the whole space
to the gorgeous mother ocean view…
they laid the floor
put in a mosaic entry
painted the walls different colors
made tables out of saw horses
and plywood,
Bali Studios was born.
“well blondie, this is all yours.
time to begin.
let everyone hear and see you.
you can do this…”
and so sheri began to be being born.
the unraveling of so many locked images
the very first painting in my studio
was wise old mr. hawksbill
who hangs above my desk.
he was my imaginary friend
and guide as a child.
he introduced me to fancy finns the mermaid
lots of tropical colored fish
waving seagrasses
i hung sea stars in the dark closet
to light my way
all while being engulfed in the warm
cradling of my faith…
now, at the age of 45
it was all becoming real.
i had no idea what would come out
how it would look
and i did not care
just the release of paint
on canvas
the soft brushing sounds
began to heal me.
at first,
every painting had to have air.
it had to be protected.
it needed light.
protection=black outlines
yellow at the top=light
that’s how my painting started
here in cb

in my tiny ocean front bali studios.
for a whole year i threw paint
i cried
i screamed
i yelled
i wrote
57 paintings later
with mr hawksbill
-as the not for sale- main piece
i had my first art show
at juice and java,
selling all but 7 paintings…
they have all sold accept 2.
those hang in my home…
my kids were all doing well.
our first grandson was now 1 1/2,
my ex was in jail
his family hated me
blamed me
that was ok.
i could live with that
knowing full well, now
that he brought his problems with him
into a marriage
through bold face lies.
the girls and i wrote a letter to the judge
asking to keep him in jail
and they did for a tiny while longer.
we were picking up the pieces of our life
and it was hard.
you cannot just forget
15 years of madness
because there were some beautiful moments
there was love,
or so i thought…
one day in 2008
right before my show i got a
large manilla envelop
it was
it was a story
his imagined story
of what life would be like
once he got out of jail-
us picking up as a family…
i knew the drugs had played havoc
with his brain
and i did not want to ever hear from him
so i put it and the letters
her wrote the girls
in a box
sealed it tight
and stuck it in the attic.
a week or so after my show in october
i came home from errands…
i noticed on my porch an
empty peanut butter jar
there was also a note…
“i fucking hate you.
i want to pin back your eyelids
and make you watch me…”
i was thrown right back down
into shame
filth, ugliness, terror…
every sound made me jump
and then the phone calls
i started receiving
and recording
from him-
he was out of jail…
my first thought?
bring it the fuck on!

Read More bali studios is born at nautilus teachings

bitter sweet life at nautilus teachings

dory & sher 1968

never gave up.
never gave up.
dory stayed.
sher left-
what would her mother do?
ran through her head
at the very moment
her boyfriend held out the ring
and asked her to once more
take a huge leap of faith…
her heart was in her throat
her mind was racing…
what about you?
this is your time,
you cannot get attached
so fast.
go home.
find yourself.
she knew he was a good man.
she knew what he had lived through.
they were not young kids-
they were both middle aged…
her faith was strong
her mind had been clear for a while now
her marriage was over
years before the divorce
was granted
she hadn’t had sex in 3 years…
she was looking at his
big gorgeous green eyes
surfer dude
oh man…
she smiled,
and whispered
through her own tears,
then came the waterfall
‘but,but…i have the girls still at home
we cannot live with you unless we are married
and i have to sell the house
my life is a mess still…’
“shhhh. blondie. i love you.
i have your back.
i love your kids.
now, let’s celebrate your freedom!”
they giggled and loved
like teenagers
that night,
they met all their friends
for her divorce party.

one by one
young, handsome
surfer men came in
with a flower
offering sher their phone number
in case she got lonely
as everyone laughed
cheered and toasted
her new life.
as the night was drawing to a close
her friend noticed the ring
which sher purposely wore backwards
so all you saw was the yarn
she had to wrap around it to keep it on her finger…
“hey…what’s on your left finger?”
she glanced at sher’s boyfriend and said,
“no, you didn’t even give her one day?”
then everyone was raising a glass
to the two lovebirds and
taking bids on how long it would last!
the girls were ecstatic.
she started renovating his house
making it her home
they settled on november for their
small, private wedding
because the only other month
no ones exes had birthdays or they
had been married in was february
and sher did not celebrate
valentines day!
so, november it was
with their reception being
at pompano-
their favorite restaurant.
september and october
came and went.
the day after halloween
as sher was backing out her truck
lauren and her friend piled in the back seat
they all waited for molly…
the sun was bright
it was warm
low humidity.
molly emerged
backpack in hand
sleep still upon her
big brown eyes
she walked towards the truck
her ex grabs molly.
molly held the inside door handle
the rest of them screamed
he was pulling her
she was kicking back
one of her shoes
slides off as he stumbled backward…

she jumped in the truck
sher locked the door
dialed 911
as everyone is screaming
and crying…
her ex spits on the windshield
beats the truck in a few spots
and yells,
“these are my kids
you can’t take them…”
the police arrive as he
and his crack whore girlfriend
are walking to his truck.
his license plate is a scrap piece of cardboard
upon which he wrote
lost tag…
the cbpd do not check his license
or registration
they do not do anything
except ask him to leave.
then they walk back
check on the sher and the girls…
molly is a mess.
lauren and her friend
are still crying.
the police assign the school officer
to the case, to keep an eye on
the girls
making sure her ex does not
just show up at school
everyone is shaken up,
but the girls eventually
calm and say,
‘mom, we want to go to school…’
sher is amazed at their determination and strength.
‘mom, we can’t let dad get to us.
he is crazy.’
“ok. let’s go to school”, said sher.
this was her life
bitter sweet madness…
a week later
under a full november moon
on a balcony overlooking mother ocean
with 25 of their closest friends
d and s
said i do.
they embraced
each others messy past
accepted all the broken pieces
of each other
and became one.
their honeymoon
was beautiful
life fell into routine
when they returned.
it was january 2007
sher had taken molly to her friends house
as she rounded the corner in her truck
this time he was alone
on a motorcycle
staring at her as he drove off…
“what did he want?” she asked d.
‘oh he tried to intimate me,
and when i backed him down the driveway
and flexed my muscles
he started crying
got on his motorcycle and took off…’
she was home.
this she knew.
she and her girls were safe and loved.
her phone rang,
‘this is cbpd, we have arrested
your ex-husband….’
she dropped the phone on the driveway
looked up at d
and said,
“they got him!”
then she fell into the arms
of the man she loved
and cried…

Read More bitter sweet life at nautilus teachings

begin again at nautilus teachings

divorce is hard
on the whole family
even if it is an amicable one.
but when you find yourself
being accused of
making drugs
even though you were in no way
even close or involved,
well, you grow up fast…
over the next 24 hours
the phone was attached to sher…
she spoke to no-one accept her attorney.
by nightfall the girls were on the sofa
clean from their baths
eating pizza, drinking a soda
and watching a movie
when once more her phone rang…
“awww, mom do you have to get that?”
‘yes. but i will be right back…’
she walked to her bedroom
and listened to the key west police,
“yes. we understand now that
your boat was stolen and you were
ordered by the court to find it and sell it.
we have removed the meth lab
your husband and his girlfriend
are both under arrest
but no charges will be pressed
against you.
we apologize for any inconvenience
this may have caused.
have a good night…”
then a dial tone.
she heaved a huge sigh
poured a drink
and hopped onto the sofa
with the girls…
‘what did i miss?’
they filled her in
and all three fell asleep
and dreamed sweet dreams
for the first time in months
upon the blue suede sofa,
with sam their golden lab
right by their side…
maybe 2006 would turn out ok
she thought as she woke up
the next morning…
she had been seeing her neighbor
for a few months now.
he was handsome
loved her kids
and kind.
she was not ready for a serious relationship,
this she knew.
her plan was to move home
after the divorce was final.
it was already nearing the end of
the school year.
the girls were going for their last year
of sleep away camp
then would land home for a few weeks
before jet setting off to see her
soon to be ex’s family in
virginia an utah…
she wanted the girls summer to be happy.
she knew they were both loved
and a few weeks with his family
before the divorce
was the perfect end to a 15 year marriage.
what happened after the papers were signed
no once could predict…
it was a lovely summer…
sher was alone during the day working
on ending one marriage
starting over
and filled with possibility
hope and dreams of the unknown…

first and foremost
was finding herself…
dinners she spent with her neighbor
and soon they were a couple.
the girls were excited
and approved of moms new boyfriend…
it seems he played softball and baskeball
with them in the street in 2005-
how had she missed that?
she thought,
‘i was tied up in the madness of
my second husband…i cannot believe
i never noticed…’
her son had moved back to n.c.
met a girl
and was happy.
he called her every now and then
was back in college
and really growing up.
the girls seemed happy too.
as summer drew to a close
the girls were home
shopping for back to school
and every night
the 4 of them ate dinner…
having a man at the head of the table
a man of faith
who to sher
was Einstein
who made them giggle
and feel not just heard
but loved unconditionally,
it was so
unbelievably wonderful…
her day in court
was august 20, 2006
exactly 22 years
to the day she married
her first husband
and nearly 19 years
since her beloved
mother’s death.
she woke up early
got the girls off to school
and walked down the two houses
to see her boyfriend.
he kissed her
wished her luck
and left for work.
‘well, she thought, i need to pack up my things
from his house. soon i will move home…’
as she was packing and crying
he came back
and startled her.
“hey! what are you doing?
why are you crying?
i forgot my files…
baby, what’s the matter?”
his eyes were welling up too.
he knew.
he knew she wanted to move home.
that she would not stay.
she needed family.
he hugged her tight
and once more, left for work.
her husband did not show up
to court.
the judge gave her
what was left of the money
told her to sell everything she could,
including the house,
he stripped her now ex
of all of his parental rights
and told her,
he is not qualified to ever
make more than minimum wage
so there will be no child support
or alimony-
divorce granted!
she drove home
with her top down
music blaring
smile upon her face…
tonight was her divorce party
at pompano grill
being put on by her boyfriend…
it was a warm sunny day.
she pulled into his driveway
and walked through the garage.
he was lounging on the chase
she had given him for his last birthday.
“hey! how’d it go?” he asked.
she sat with him and told him
all the details finishing with,
“so now i pack to move home…”
before she could rise up
he pulled his doctorate ring from his pants
and with eyes full of tears
he said,
“well, blondie, will you marry me?”

Read More begin again at nautilus teachings

can things get worse? at nautilus teachings

there is a well known phrase,
“what would Jesus do…”
for sher she knew,
Jesus would forgive
if we asked.
the next morning
the call came early.
he was in tears,
“please, i am so sorry.
i was drunk and stoned.
i will go to rehab again.
please drop the charges…”
sher obeyed.
it’s what she witnessed
her mother do
for her father
it’s what she was taught
as a daughter
and as a wife,
she was dutiful…
she made the call
went and signed the papers
releasing him.
he went to the boat
she went home.
she met with her sister in law
over lunch.
it seemed she thought sher knew
before she married her brother
about his “addictions”
she came to sheri’s house
to visit the kids
then went to the boat
where her brother lived
as a woman…
the following day
she flew home,
while sher’s second husband
launched the sailboat
never to return.
she found a good attorney
filed for divorce
rented a van
and took the kids back to OBX
for thanksgiving.
while they were in the car
she told them,
‘i filed for divorce.
your dad has been served.’
the van erupted in cheers.
“yeah mom. it’s about time!!!”
for the first time in a long time
she felt at peace.
this was the right decision.
whatever was going to happen
she would handle
with faith as her guide…

upon returning home
she busied herself
with cleaning out the house
putting it on the market
making plans to fly back home
and look for a new house
for her and the kids…
the day came
when she had to say to her son,
“you have to move out.
my house…”
it was hard for her
because she loved him so much
but that is why they call it tough love.
he settled in an apartment
with a friend
worked at a local restaurant
and agreed to only come see her
when he was not drinking or smoking,
hence the visits were few
on holiday, birthdays and mothers day
and always first thing in the morning.
she was fine with that.
her oldest daughter was having
a hard time because she was the closest
to their father.
to sher, her daughter was lost and sad
but on the outside appeared happy
the baby, who was now 12,
sher let attach to her bf’s family.
sher knew she was loved
and safe there…
what she did not know was
how much damage she was doing
to the bond she shared with them all.
dismantling 15 years of life,
regardless if it was happy or not
is work.
selling off the runabout boat
was a piece of cake
she had power of attorney
and he was no where to be found
as of yet.
all she knew was
he was somewhere in key west
because that is where all the
charges were…
she called the key west police
to see if he had been arrested.
when they responded with a
she got a name of a local
bounty hunter…
she hired him to find her ‘husband’
and the 38 foot catamaran sailboat
that was to be their dream boat.
less than 48 hours later
a call came in,
“hi, this is….
i have found your boat
and your husband…”

two days later
the key west police
along with her hired
bounty hunter
arrived on deck
knocked on the glass doors
and waited…
he appeared half naked
his face was smeared with
dry peanut butter
crack whore by his side
‘can i help you officer?’
“yes. we have a warrant to seize
this boat and sail it back to
we will wait out here
while you pack up and
clean out your personal belongings…”
the police officer did not see it coming
a fist came across his face so fast
followed with the words
begin screamed,
“this is MY BOAT and you will not
take it from me, now get out of here…”
he was handcuffed
and as he was being hauled off
he yelled to his crack whore
“take all my stuff for me, will you?”
sher’s hired bounty hunter
boarded the vessel
shot a video of the mess
and took photos…
the call came late at night,
“sheri, this is the key west police department
i am afraid we are confiscating your vessel
due to the fact that there is a meth lab aboard.
the boat is only in your name,
so we suggest you get a good attorney…”
no way was she going to pay for this
no fucking way…

Read More can things get worse? at nautilus teachings

the final straw at nautilus teachings

temptation surrounds us,
food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling…
we also are exposed to gyms, churches, farmers markets,
the beach, parks, people on bicycles, skateboards…
we consciously have choices
good over evil
kindness over cruelty
love over hate
peace over war…
for sher,
she chose obedience
to her parents
to her faith
to her silence.
she vowed no one would ever know
the shame she felt
how ugly, dirty and worthless…
she kept her voice hidden
as much as possible
knowing whatever she was thinking
was best kept to herself…
as a child this worked out ok
as a teenager, she added giggles
and expressions with her face and hands
but by high school speech class
forced her to find a tiny voice.
mostly she wrote
and at writing she excelled.
in grade school she had to take speech classes
because she stuttered.
they never really worked
but she did learn some tricks
like what letters to avoid starting sentences with
and how to breath.
during her first marriage
she did not use her voice.
it was all she could do to deal
with her mother dying.
but she sang all the time to her son
and talked to him all the time
because with nicholas she was free.
in her second marriage
she would get verbally assaulted
for even speaking her own thoughts
she kept long thick journals
of words, photos and drawings
her soul lived in a silent,
bound, paper world.
the night he has his episode
the one where he broke down
and called the police on himself
he threatened to burn it all,
he even held them up high
with a lit light underneath
snickering at her,
“go ahead, call your daddy, sheri…
he cannot save you
just like you cannot save yourself
or my children…”

over the few months they lived
in florida
while he was gone
she began to paint
like a crazy woman
stay up all night writing her stories
and then BAM
he enters her life again
and this time
holding a bag of weed
right out of rehab….
did he really think she would crack?
fuck no!
she stood very straight
grabbed her $150
8 quart all-clad
spaghetti cooker
and screamed
‘get out of this house
and never come back…’
he was so high
he just laughed at her.
as he turned to leave
she pulled the cooker back
over her head and threw it
straight at his head
she missed him
denting the stainless steel
refrigerator she just bought…
he hopped in his truck
drove off
and sher
crumbled to the ground
pounding her fists
against the wall
and screaming
‘i fucking hate him
i hate my life
Lord, please show me the way…”
the summer breezed by
the kids were excited about school
the house was coming along
the pool was just about complete
and he
mr. smoke weed every day
she was paying his enormous
credit card bills
waiting for the call
informing her the boat
had arrived from paris
and interviewing divorce lawyers.
august hit with blazing heat
she was looking into getting
re-certified to teach school
researching cross-dressing
talking to her cousin
about helping her find a house and job
back home in Illinois
and getting her home finished up
to put back on the market.
one Tuesday morning the phone rang,

“sheri, this is… your boat is….
when would you like to pick it up?”
she thought for only a moment,
‘i would like to sell it..’
“i’m sorry. we have already talked to your husband
and he told us he would pick it up.
we just need the date…”
‘oh, well, i will have to get back with you…’
sure enough
two days later
in he pulls
grabs nicholas
and the two of them fly up to annapolis
to sail her home.
she was stuck,
the whole process took about a week,
the boys sailed her into port
down south off of Eau Gallie
on a bright sunny day.
the girls were so excited.
sheri was even excited.
“you see. we can rent the house
and take the kids
and sail around the world
just like we planned…”
she knew right then and there
she would never be locked up on a boat
with him-ever…
he moved aboard the boat
lived as a woman
and refused to talk to her.
one day while the kids were in school
she drove over to see him.
again, he asked her to get high
she saw all his bras, fake boobs, toys,
opened the side portal and began
tossing things out
‘what is a matter with you?
this is disgusting…
why are you doing this?’
then he proceeded to hit her over
and over
she tried to protect her face
so he beat her chest…
she finally broke free
ran up to the top and called 911
the police came and arrested him
took pictures of her
and when she got home
this message was waiting…
“this is your sister in law…
you get my brother out of jail
or i will finish what he started.
this is all your fault,
you lying piece of shit,
i am coming down there tomorrow
and he better be out of jail…”
sher erased the message
took a shower
and cried herself to sleep…

Read More the final straw at nautilus teachings

reality hits at nautilus teachings

what happens when you
do not accept reality
when you see the world
through rose colored glasses
when you wear your heart
upon your sleeve
when you refuse to grow up?
you spend the morning
and small pieces of the next
6 months taking parenting classes
meeting with DCFS
changing all the locks
paying all his credit card bills
lying to people you love
about his whereabouts
entertaining scheduled friends
who flew to visit
when finally your besties show up
and you break wide open
revealing the whole shitty truth
about the last 15 years…
their eyes wide open
their lips silently gasping
and when you are finished
you hug
they leave
this was sher’s reality.
only this time
she rose up
rooted in her faith.
faith had always sustained her
always seen her through
never let her down…
little by little
one day at a time
she began baby stepping
into the unknown
down the path towards finding out
who sher was…
she called to cancel the boat…
“i’m sorry, you cannot cancel this, but we can
put it up for sale as soon as it arrives.
another option is to put it in the rental program
in tortola, bvi”
she breathed in a heavy sigh
“yes, put her up for sale then…”
as she hung up
his hand grabbed her
spun her around
and the venom of his words
mixed with the twisting
of her wrist pierced her heart…
then he packed his truck
drove away
and did not come back
for 3 months.
she was outside weeding
when a blue pick up truck
pulled up.
the girls were outside playing
when she heard,
“hey girls…daddy’s home…”
they both ran up
and hugged him-
big smiles upon their faces.
‘mommy, daddy is home…’
another huge sigh.

she had just finally started sleeping
through the night again.
she did not acknowledge him.
she knew where he was-
she knew what he was doing-
she did not care
she hated him…
she finished up outside
went inside to start dinner
and grab a shower.
he was waiting upon the sofa
when she entered.
“SHERI…sit down.”
‘no. why are you here?’
“this is MY house. MY family.
you are all MINE…”
she froze for only a second
walked into the kitchen
poured a glass of wine
took a very long sip
breathed in calm
and prayed,
‘oh, Lord, give me strength…’
he left her alone the rest of the evening.
she put the kids to bed
then took her book to bed.
she was just starting to doze off
when he came in…
‘you cannot sleep in here.
use the guest bedroom,’ sher said.
he started to cry
“i am going to rehab tomorrow.
i need $25,000 transferred to
the facility. i almost died three times.
i need help…”
‘oh, shit’, she thought
not again.
the nearly three months he was gone
was heaven.
she began cleaning up and moving out
all of his belongings into his trailer.
she would take back her life.
it was the end of may, almost her birthday.
she had made spaghetti for the kids
the four of them sat at the table
laughing, sharing and eating
when their was a knock
on the door…
she rose up
opened the door and
there he was screaming
the kids froze
sher turned
walked back to the table
and the four of them continued on
like he was not even there.
‘what was he doing here?’ she thought
‘he’s not due home for 2 more weeks…’
he grabbed a plate and a chair
sat at the table
and said,
“it’s almost mommy’s birthday,
so they let me come home early.
i rented us a house on sanibel
for four days…and i made you each
a gift while i was gone…”
he passed out plastic wooden crosses
he strung on plastic string.
no one said a word
except nicholas…
‘what is wrong with you?
you can’t just come in here
and tell us what to do.
why don’t you leave us alone?
i am not going with you…’
nicholas rose up
and went to his room.
the girls sat there speechless.
he looked at sher and said,
“you WILL go.
you WILL have fun.
do you hear me?”
all three nodded quietly.
the girls began to cry
so sher took them both to their rooms
hugging them the whole way.
when she got them settled
she returned to the kitchen to clean up.
he was sitting their
with a stupid grin…
“come here baby. i missed you.”
gag me
did he really think she wanted him?
she paused
glanced at him
was about to speak,
when he continued,
“look what i scored
at the airport!
wanna play?”

Read More reality hits at nautilus teachings

CBPD/DCFS/REALITY at nautilus teachings

when a tsunami hits you
full on
as her second husbands
revealing of his truth did
sher could have bailed
but she stayed
they went to individual
and couples counseling
he got clean and sober
and in the spring of 2004
they piled the kids in the suburban
drove to Annapolis boat show
and finally ordered their dream boat
a customized 38’ catamaran sailboat
able to sail them around the world
as one big happy family.
he asked her to marry him again.
they renewed their vows.
they traveled to cocoa beach
and bought a house
life was good.
he appeared better.
and for the first time in years
sher felt love.
in the fall of 2004
after their closing on their new home
he packed up his truck
and his trailer and began moving the family
to their new home…
he would live there,
renovating the house
and travel home once a month
to get more of their belongings
she would stay,
sell the house and pack up their life
with their final journey
together as a family
to be january of 2005…
it was a busy time
everyone was sad about the move
but also excited about the new journey
sailing their boat together for three years
around the world was the plan
they would leave in the fall of 2005…
in november of 2004 they all loaded in the truck
and drove to florida.
when they pulled up in their new driveway
the kids ran outside,
it was warm
and their oohs and ahhh’s told sher
this house would be their new start…
when the garage door opened up
she noticed water
all the boxes of their memories
was damp and wet
the kids were the first to speak,
“dad…what happened to all my stuff?”
he looked bewildered
‘i don’t know. this is strange…’
as he started moving boxes to the
she and the kids went inside
she was so excited to see all the newly
painted walls in the colors she picked out,
to see the pool under construction
all the beauty of the new…
the kids ran ahead of her each claiming a room
but sher stopped
and gasped at the hole
in the wall,
the mess on the floor
the smell…
she opened the door a bit
but it was too warm
she put the AC down to 70
fell to the floor and cried
in a dark corner…

she could hear the kids
so excited
spreading out their sleeping bags
unpacking a few things
“hey mom, can we order pizza?
we are starved!”
“yes! order pizza,” said sher
as she rounded the corner…
‘mom,’ nicholas said, ‘why are you crying?’
“oh, you know your ole mom, i am crying happy tears…”
nicholas knew she was lying
but he did not let on.
‘i got this mom…you go help dad…”
he was such a good son.
he had no idea how much he saved her
time and time again.
sher walked to the garage
where he was steadily unpacking boxes
“what is going on? nothing is done. it’s a mess in there,
and all of our stuff is wet… i don’t understand…”
he just looked at her
with his big sad brown eyes
and in an instant she knew
he was using again…
this was his last chance
their last attempt at saving
the family
now what?
the weekend there
was quiet
he drove them home in silence
unpacked them
and left.
they all moved in january.
10 days after their move
late at night he arrived home
the girls were in the back room
having a sleep over with their new friends
her son was out with his new friends
he sat upon the sofa
looked at her with a lopsided grin
and said,
“you know, if you would just smoke a little pot
everything would be just fine…”
sher looked at him
then yelled ,
“get the fuck out of my house…”
he did not leave.
he locked himself in the bathroom
on the other side
and began using.
she called the police
while all the kids slept peacefully.
“yes, this is… my husband has locked himself….
he is using…..i want you to come arrest him…”
‘i’m sorry but we cannot do that.
you need to take your children and leave.’
are they crazy?
me, leave with three kids in tow?
what is wrong with them?
she slept fitfully all night long
rose with the sun
got the kids
off to school
and when she returned home
cocoa beach police
and DSFS was waiting on her front porch
while he was asleep on the bathroom floor…

Read More CBPD/DCFS/REALITY at nautilus teachings