struggling with perfectionism at nautilus teachings


i was never perfect enough
so i was always striving
for perfection…
i would spend hours
when i was small
making sure everything
was hidden before i left
to go anywhere
everything needed to be
locked up and
out of sight
so i did not feed
the demons more reasons
to taunt me with their words
i was used to being called
stupid, ugly, fat, adopted,
that i ate poop,
i was used to being tackled
held down and i will never forget
the long wad of spit they would
let hang from their mouths
over my face
then suck it back in
call me a big baby
giggle and run off…
so i spent most of my time alone
drawing over and over
a world where i was accepted
it is here i would giggle
and feel pretty…
i knew nothing i could do
in the real world would ever
be good enough
i would never be accepted
liked or even talked to…
so i became obsessed with
building my box of shame
i drew outside the lines
i wrote the words i could not speak
i looked into a tiny mirror
at my knotted hair
crooked nose
closed my eyes
and wished to be beautiful
to not stutter when i spoke
to be liked…

love your "self"
love your “self”

i wanted to be like the girl
who lived down the hill
who rode horses, did gymnastics
and could twirl on her ice-skates…
i would hide in the trees between houses
just to watch her
she was full of strength and courage
and on some days,
when all else failed
she was my friend
but most of the time
i was not good enough
because we did not have money
for lessons like her family did
they owned their house
we were renters
she had cool new clothes
i wore hand-me-downs…
i spent my days observing
every one and every thing around me
i remember most
my father never being home
my mother always busy with
housework and volunteering
and my brothers ruling us all…
they got to play football and baseball
the were cub scouts and boy scouts
and both my parent were active
in each organization
i was the,
“don’t forget sheri…”
“sheri, sit over there while
do this…”
i remember the day my mom
enrolled me in the summer
water ballet program at the
public pool…
my best friend and i became
magical swimmers
we could hold our breath
for long periods of time
we would giggle under the water
and watch the air bubbles rise
while the leaders turned us
into mermaids, sea turtles and
brightly colored fish…
we would practice all summer
and her mom would make us
matching swim suits…
for 6 summers i felt like i fit in

trust your faith
trust your faith

and then came brownies
“sher, you can be a brownie
but i cannot be a leader
i am a cub scout leader, honey…”
but i still went
wearing proudly my brownie attire
i would pull my knee socks all the way up
past my knees and feel proud of me
until the demons words,
“hahaha look at the stupid girl
she can’t even dress herself right…
hey dummy your clothes are too big-
no way you are my sister,
you must be adopted…”
so i withdrew to my closet
and dreamed of summers
of being a mermaid in the
healing turquoise waters
swimming side by side
with my bff…
it took me many years to
learn to manage my perfectionism
i am still a control freak
still like order
and on those days when
i feel less than who i am
i crank up the Dixie Chicks
staple canvas to the wall
and start throwing paint…

running in the rain
running in the rain