OCD, perfectionist & more at nautilus teachings



what label
do you most fit?

all year long
i struggle
with them all
at one time
or another
but during
the Christmas season
i am definitely
in over drive
encompassing all the above…

i can see my mother
right now,
sitting at her table
writing out holiday cards
until the wee hours
of the morning,
baking after a long day of work
for a week
and all weekend
to make sure
everyone she knew and loved
had a huge tray of
her homemade goodies…
she kept her list simple-
each person got
an ornament,
a book,
an outfit
and a toy,
if you were a child…

as i sit at my mothers table
staring at the
18 stockings
i finished decorating
for our own
family Christmas dinner
i pause,
think about the
credit card bill
d will be receiving
and giggle…
two of my moms favorite words
‘charge it!’
as a matter a fact
before she slipped into a coma
she gave me her credit card
and said,
‘sher, make sure everyone has
a nice new outfit to wear
to my funeral…’
thinking about this
makes me laugh out loud
and then i remember
her last.
her vitals were up
so my sister in law and i
drove to the mall to buy
our ‘funeral dresses’
as i was checking out
at 1:58pm
the clerk looked at me
and said,
‘how would you like to pay for this’
i heard my mom scream
‘charge it, sher’
so i whispered,
‘charge it’
and then i looked at
my sister in law
and said,
‘what time is it?’
she replied,
‘1:58, why?’
and i said,
‘my mom just died…’
we raced back to the hospital
mom died
at 1:58…

from that moment on
i felt the need
to never be still
so at the age of 27
i became a perfectionist
every pillow on the sofa
was straightened
before i went to bed
no dirty dishes or laundry
was in sight
i went to bed
and woke
to a clean
organized life…

went hand in hand…
i became a creature
of habits
of rituals,
of putting into place
any thing
that seemed
out of order
and in a small way
this repeatedness
gave me air
to breath
with the assurance
i would be

control freak
entered my life
with husband number 2.
i needed to make sure
i had money stashed
i had to know his routines
and prepare
every day for armed
for my children
by allowing myself
to be the landing spot
for his narcissistic behavior…
being high strung
just kinda went hand in hand
with it as i learned
with one eye open
always ready to protect
and defend
as you know
over thinking…

it’s been a long time
nearly 35 years
since my last memory
of baking with my mom
every holiday…
it’s been 7 since
my last memory
of baking christmas cookies
and breads to pass out
to our friends,
with my own girls…

we hope to pass
down traditions
to our kids
we want so much
to see them
that which we hold close…

what we don’t want
is for them to
have our anxiety
our OCD
to make the same
bad choices in men
to strive for perfectionism
or any other qualities
we ourselves
have struggled with
leaving us feeling depleted
of little worth
and struggling
for air…

ultimately we do not
get this choice
for they become
their own individual selves
as we sit on the sidelines
observing their lives
cheering them on
and praying at night,
‘oh, Lord, she’s got my…..
please heal her…’

i hate labels of all kinds,
just ask d,
because he labels everyone
and every thing
and it drives me nuts…
on a rare occasion i will yell,
‘stop labeling me’
but the big girl
the grown up girl
the girl who became Alice
usually rolls her eyes
and quietly says,
‘lord it will be a fine
institution i put him in
one day soon…’

and that
is the
in me-