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!