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….