8 Hands


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Once she wrote

flowers dangling from her pen

words dripping onto the pages

flowing from a place inside

that hid itself away

like a little girl punished in the corner

not allowed to dance or play

reading books

doing twirls in her mind

playing with friends

being loved in big warm imaginary families

inside two covers on pages that came to life

inside her mind

Writing was her interpretative dance

oozing all the hidden emotion,

dancing playfully…or lovingly…or angrily…

onto pages

Now, the words spit – projectile vomit

in between heaves and gasps

8 hands choking

throat closing

Choking on the very words

which beg for oxygen

thoughts dying to dance in the sunlight

choked back inside into oblivion

4 hands squeezing her heart

scrambling the flowers

4 hands ripping off the petals



Begging the Question – Poetry About OCD and Depression

Sherwyn Jellico - Author

Are you a poetry lover whose life has been touched by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or depression?

Perhaps you’ve experienced one of these disorders first hand?

Perhaps a friend or loved one has?

Perhaps you’d just like to learn more about these oft-misunderstood phenomena you keep hearing about in the media?

If so, then maybe you’d be interested in my forthcoming poetry book, Begging the Question.

It’s a collection of over 140 poems about OCD and depression. I started writing these poems 4 years ago when I made the shocking discovery that I’d been obliviously living with OCD all of my adult life.

There are also 4 supplemental sections about OCD and depression; my personal journey with these disorders; and a controversial section contending that governments and corporations have manipulated the perception of OCD to make money.

I’m currently adding the finishing touches to the book before publishing it on Amazon as an e-book.

If you’d like…

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Hand Lotion & Interrupted Goodbyes


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The days when it hits me fresh, as though I’ve been sleeping and just woke up to discover he is gone.

And gone forever.

I wonder at times if I’m crazy. How can it possibly,  still – after five long years – still knock me to my knees when I realize for the gazillionth time, it’s forever.  Gone forever.

He’s not golfing.  He’s not at work.  He’s not on vacation or visiting friends out of state.  He won’t be home in an hour, later tonight, in a week or 100 years.

He won’t be blowing my phone up later. he won’t be taking me to lunch tomorrow.

He. Is. Gone. Forever.

Just like my daughters, except my daughters live…live to be gone from me.

I didn’t just learn this and I’m not stupid.  He wasn’t my husband or my child or a dear childhood friend.  He was my father.  People lose parents!  For God’s sake, that’s just a normal part of life.  How can it still sting and ache and tear to suddenly think, oh my God, he is really never, ever coming back…? How? What the hell is wrong with me?  How in the fuck does it still seem so, so so very impossible?  That, it can’t fucking possibly be forever?

I’m not in absolute denial. My mind does know and understands.  I imagine on some deeply subconscious level, I’m constantly telling myself that, as for all my life, he’ll be home any minute now.  He will walk through that door, smelling of fresh air and golf greens, grinning that beaming whole-face smile, and tell me how his golf game was.

Any minute now, right? Because only so many unacceptable things can happen to one person, right??

Any god damned minute now…

Darlene (mother) made his funeral a big fucking joke!  I can’t let myself be angry.  Senseless to burn with fury over that now, just like it’s senseless to rant and rave about what my “family” did to me during and since.  Wasted energy to wish so hard that I’d been less in a dazed state of shock and been more aware of what they were all doing.

My dad was fucking dead for Christ’s sake!  DEAD!!!!

I waited after the “Darlene show” of a funeral to have a few last minutes alone with him.  I wanted a last few minutes alone my DAD, my best friend, my only parent, my only cheerleader, my only compassionate, helpful encouraging soul.  Waiting til the people had cleared out, I went to him – peaceful in his casket – looking so much like him, yet somehow not at all like my dad…

I touched his face.  I kissed his cool, firm, rubbery-like embalmed cheek.  I placed my hand gently on top of his and remembered only a few weeks ago we’d sat in his car and I’d touched that same warm, loving, age-spotted right hand as it rested on his gear shift and said, Daddy, your hands look so dry! They need lotion. And I silently wished I hadn’t taken the trial sized lotion out of my handbag the week earlier.  Looking at them, so old and so dry –  almost (dare I say?) frail like?

NO.  They could not be frail!  Not my dad’s hands.  Not my superhero.  Not the only person in the world who really did only hurt me when he wanted to help or better guide me.  Not this strong,  can-do anything, never stopping, ceaselessly giving and doing man with the invisible superhero cape I’d always pictured on him as a child.  NOT. FRAIL!  Not he! Not those hands! Nuh uh!

I just wanted to put lotion on his hands for him, this amazing man who’d done more for my life, my spirit, my kids, and my heart than anyone one human  being deserves… God, how I wanted to put lotion on those hands that day!  I have a thing about hands…  How had I not noticed before today that his hands had somehow become dry, older, so different from MY dad’s hands? HOW HAD I NOT SEEN THIS BEFORE TODAY?


…so I wanted those last precious moments with him after the people cleared out of the funeral room.  After all, it had been just he and I for most of the past 20 years.  Seemed fitting the last final moments with him should be shared quietly between he and I, alone… on our own, like Darlene had expressly seen to it both our lives were?

I touched that hand again, thinking of that conversation and REALLY wishing more than ever I’d had that damned lotion in my bag that day so that the last time we had together I’d done something special and thoughtful just for him – just because I loved and cherished and appreciated him.

I put my head on his chest and I let the tears come out.  Not shrieking and wailing tears for show like Darlene had done in the middle of the funeral, just quiet tears. I held in the sobs and shrieks I actually felt welling inside me.  I lay my head there, imagining the countless times I’d put my head there all my life.  My safe haven – right there.  My comfort when I was scared.  The place my tears often fell as a child and adult alike.

Within moments, my egg donor, Darlene, comes back in to, of course, pull me away.  GOD FUCKING KNOWS SHE HAD TO INTERRUPT EVEN THIS LAST FUCKING MOMENT ALONE WITH MY DAD.

I should have told her to fuck off.  I should have said, This is my last time with my dad, could you please just step away?  COULD I JUST HAVE THIS?  JUST THIS???!?

Get your fake fucking hand off my shoulder and shut your filling-my-kids-heads-with- ridiculous-bullshit-while-we’re-grieving-our-loss filthy, evil, lying mouth!  No, I will NOT do as you tell me today…  NOT TODAY!

Being the dutiful child she trained me to be(and swears to the world I wasn’t), of course I did not.  I just did what she told me.

…And let her interrupt and steal EVEN THAT.

I can’t be angry.  Anger wastes my spirit and there’s just not much left of that to throw away on narcissistic vile evil pigs like she.

Anger would be so wasteful.  My dad never wasted time angry.

And I am my father’s daughter.

Dusty Lamp

I touch the dusty lamp

delicate, soft, lingering touch

as though I might time travel

to that living room of yesteryear

be seven again –

with all the hope and innocence of a kitten

But I’m not three – three was scary

confusing slaps stung my face

over ice cream and desperation to please her

gain her love –

that magical, elusive smoky element

…things from my childhood.

He kept

he despised this throwaway society

he believed in repairing





While she destroyed




Her legacy of disposable people

and love as a cheap fleeting

whimsical commodities like devotion


His legacy of value dies with me

I failed in all the ways

he succeeded…

Tossed away

along with all these priceless trinkets

like hopeful childish faith

will be nothing but


The dusty old lamp of his legacy

dies with me.

You Want to Hear Something Crazy? — After Narcissistic Abuse


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Listen to a narcissist react to a narcissistic injury. What’s the injury? Any path or description that is contrary to the narcissist’s desires or image. You will be able to swiftly see a narcissist’s agenda in how they STRONGLY REACT to your self-expression. Speak up for yourself; act as if you have THE RIGHT to […]

via You Want to Hear Something Crazy? — After Narcissistic Abuse

Into My Arms – Perfection


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Into My Arms by Nick Cave

I found the perfect song for my children.   I always said this to them when they were little. I stopped saying it because it just seemed to sound stupid as they got older….

As though I’d have forever to show them this was true.  As though anything I could ever do or have done would have been enough for them anyway….

seems so ridiculous now, really.

I loved them so much I’d have died for them…

And it just wasn’t enough.

And, I guarantee their dad wouldn’t have, but he’s the hero and I’m the dispensable, worthless one.  I guess loving someone so much you put their life and happiness over you own just makes you not lovable at all.  Selfishness is in style, not love.

I’ve so much more to say….  but I just can’t.


Don’t Anymore

I wanted so much to be everything for everyone and I ended up being absolutely nothing to anyone.  I sacrificed.  I sucked it up.  I took the high road when I was wronged.  I ignored when people took advantage of me and assumed they didn’t intend to.  I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt – that people are inherently good – that if I was a true and decent human being and went that extra mile to show I cared, to show my loyalty or my love, that I would someday matter somehow.

And here is where it brought me.  I’m certain there’s not a soul alive on this planet with living family and friends who could possibly matter less than I.

Since my daughters are adults now, I want them to know that I don’t have sex anymore.  I don’t drink anymore.  I do none of those things they vilified and crucified me for.  I wanted so much for them to know…to know that I don’t anymore.  Anything. For the first time in five years, I don’t even want them to know that in hopes that they’ll love me again.  I just wanted them to know before I’m gone that I don’t anymore.  I tried to tell them in a message, hoping they might at the least feel satisfaction or validation  that I’ve been adequately punished and destroyed for what they deem my unforgivable flaws, but I know that’ll just be misconstrued.

Add it to the ginormous pile of my good intentions that were twisted into something ugly.

What I did not bother trying to say is:

I also don’t play anymore.  I don’t connect with people anymore. I don’t laugh anymore.  I don’t dance anymore or hope anymore…or love anymore.

I don’t hug people anymore or ache to write anymore.  I don’t even wish to be loved anymore.

I don’t go to the beach anymore.

I don’t date anymore or create exciting new meals anymore.

I don’t sing anymore or enjoy the music I once passionately loved anymore.

I don’t bother to stand up for myself anymore.   I don’t long to be heard …I don’t even like to speak out  loud anymore.   Somehow speaking feels ridiculously futile and senseless, like a huge waste of time and energy.

I don’t assume the best of people anymore.

I barely consider myself human anymore.  I must not be.

I just don’t anything anymore.  The pain I’m in inside is so fierce, so relentless, and so crippling it hurts to be touched – physically or emotionally.  The fear in me of betrayal and rejection like my family has done …or more hurt of any kind on top of this agony.. is so strong it terrifies me to allow anyone, past or present, anywhere in my vicinity.

I’m alive.  I know I exist only because the pain is there every minute to harshly remind me that I’m still breathing.

I’m alive but I’m not living.  I don’t live anymore.

All the things I painstakingly learned to love about myself, I don’t anymore.

Yesterday, a random person predicted my death as July 7, 2017.  Funny, all I could think was, oh my gosh, I HOPE so…

And then immediately when I felt the flash of hope that it will indeed be over soon, I quickly remembered I don’t hope anymore.



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choicesSometimes I doubt myself.  I doubt everything I know is true.  I doubt what happened, I doubt what was done, I doubt the evil intention.  I know so much I’m my father’s daughter because he refused to see evil in people also. He was just smarter about it somehow….

Sometimes it’s so bad that I need reassurance that the color orange is, in fact, orange.  Does this mean I’m crazy?  Sometimes I wonder… But the memories, the details, the proof is out there (for most of it, at least).  Still, I desperately need just one person to affirm the obvious – what’s true.  I don’t mean like a narcissist, to just tell me what I want to hear, but the truth of the obvious.

Maybe someone could say, You’re right, that is orange or Having sex as an adult is not a sin and it doesn’t mean you are a bad mom or if you want to drink a bottle of wine after you tuck your teenaged kids in bed, that’s not a crime and it doesn’t make you a bad mom.   The silly little things that I know in my brain are just basic logic, but my experience has made them bizarre in my head and I long for reassurance of the obvious.

This is the legacy a narcissistic mother leaves.  You can’t be sure the sky is above unless someone, anyone, reassures you, Yes, that IS the sky up there.   But then you’ll grow up to have children and they’ll hate you for your insecurities, your lack of “self esteem”.

So, the biggest things narcissistic parents leave us desperate for – love – validation – reassurance – are the very things we can’t accept.  The legacy is strong.

Sometimes I wonder – and that’s ridiculous, I know – but I do.  Sometimes I wonder what my life might have been if I’d lived with my dad as a young child; if I’d not gotten the job in college that placed me on my ex’s narcissistic platter.  I had an abortion once….the love of my life…but I was young and he smoked pot and I actually was scared back then of having children with someone who smoked pot!

Instead, I had children (daughters!) with an abusive man who is sexually preoccupied with young girls; a narcissist who could not let them love me, who could not co-parent, even after I trusted that his sexual predilection for young girls wouldn’t harm our female children and DID NOT prevent or prohibit his relationship with them based on that or anything, but he in GREAT IRONY, mutilated me for having sex as an adult woman, within an adult relationship.

Sometimes I wish I’d understood pathological narcissism earlier in my life.  Maybe I wouldn’t have been quite such an open, easy target?

Sometimes, I’m proud of myself that my conscience is clean.  Sometimes, I’m angry at myself because if I’d been more narcissistic or sociopathic, I would never be in this awful position.

Sometimes, I feel badly that my children are so misinformed, deluded, and manipulated, that they don’t even  realize that their Papa would be so deeply ashamed of them, while refusing to see that I am my father’s daughter.

Sometimes doesn’t matter.  Yet, my mind still goes there…

Sometimes I really want to write about my dad’s air conditioner, but I get swallowed up in pain, injustice, lies, and agony….


Unacceptable death


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album w. beer at picnic

My dad ❤

It’s a rainy, reflective Saturday afternoon here in my dad’s big old house and I can’t help but think of the many rainy Saturday afternoons my dad probably sat here, watching golf or westerns or gospel videos on his big tv.  It’s a safe bet that he’d call me or the girls at least once (or maybe 5?) times to just say, “Hey bayyybeee” in that deep southern baritone voice of his.  I’d guess these would be the rare days when one of the three of us hadn’t asked him to do something for us, take us somewhere or buy us some desperately wanted thing we “direly needed”.

I feel sad when I think of how many of those times I wasn’t really doing anything important, but I’d hurry off the phone after a few minutes of chit chat.  I really don’t believe my dad knew lonely though.  He stayed so busy golfing and taking care of us til the very last end that he never could have felt unwanted or very much alone.  We needed him too much.  I believe he felt sad when mother left him for her boyfriend.  I’d imagine he might have felt lonely then, but I’d guess it was more sad and heartbroken than actual loneliness.

The last few months of his life though, in hindsight it was almost as though he knew it was almost time to go.  He wasn’t sick or anything, he just started seeming more eager for company. And he suddenly started being irrationally worried about me.  Almost as though he feared I might get in trouble somehow and need him and he might not be able to be there this time…

My dad was not a perfect man by any means. There were a few times in my life he really disappointed me.  We only saw him once a month or so growing up, but often he’d get a babysitter and go on a date… And I’d be bummed because I wanted every second possible with him.  Sometimes my dad would drink too much, usually while playing old country music songs and reminiscing about mother. This made me uncomfortable because mother talked so horribly about him that it broke my heart to see how much pain he was in about their divorce.  In hindsight, I realize my mother was leading him on and sleeping with him long after she left him to marry my step-dad, so no wonder he was so torn apart for so long about it.

Once, he took us to one of his clubs where he socialized and drank frequently and got rip-roaring drunk.  He got so very drunk that around 10 pm when we got in his car, he just sat there with his head slumped over the steering wheel – not saying anything.  I was scared.  I’d seen my daddy a bit drunk a few times but never slumped over his steering wheel in total silence!  After awhile, I felt so scared I said, Daddy are you okay? He didn’t reply.  Daddy?  Daddy??!?  Finally he mumbled, “go back in there and get Bob for me, ok?”

Now, I was really scared!  I ran as fast as I could back inside to get his best friend and drinking buddy, Bob Taylor.  Bob was also very drunk and started teasing me, laughing “What’s wrong? Your dad too drunk to drive y’all home?”

I didn’t think it was very funny and I didn’t think that was very nice to say.

But Bob’s girlfriend got us home and daddy apologized the next day.  You couldn’t have given me a million dollars to tell mother that had happened!  I would have bit my own tongue off before I told her anything she could possibly exaggerate and run around putting my dad down about.

No, my dad said he was sorry and I never thought of it again.  It never happened again either.  Unlike mother, my dad wasn’t ever afraid to apologize or admit when he was wrong.

My dad was an imperfectly perfect human being.   He never made me feel bad when I made a mistake.  instead, he made me feel loved by forgiving me and never bringing it up again. He didn’t throw things in my face repeatedly or act as though he was beyond reproach because he was my dad.  He was human.  He was wonderful.  He was patient (usually!).  He was generous, kind, loving, and forgiving.

My dad never once made me feel like he didn’t have the time for me…not even when I was being ridiculous or when I was depressed and talking nonsense.  He never shamed me or made me feel ashamed to be me.

Toward the end though, I treated him like I didn’t have the time.   And look at me now, with not a single person in the world who has the time for me.  All those important friends I had…catering to my children…too worried about this or too busy with that….

Where’s all that stuff now?What did those “important” things add up to be? Nothing.  And certainly nothing of any importance compared to precious time with my dad. I’d give anything for 5 more minutes to just hear his voice, to sit and drink a beer with him, watching tv and chatting about this or that…

I suppose I deserve to know what it feels like to be treated by the world as though I don’t exist at all or as though everyone’s just too busy for me.  I did treat my dad like that sometimes and he, of anyone in my entire life, did not deserve that.

My dad was most incredibly amazing.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to accept or reconcile that he’s gone.

Lions & Tigers & Triangulation, OH MY!


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Recently heard from my step-sister that my step dad is in Hospice care now. He’s 93 and has Alzheimer’s, so it’s hurtful to think of losing him but it’s not a huge surprise that his time draws nearer.  I was so happy to hear from my sister and grateful that she felt safe to turn to me with her hurt and frustration. 

I just offered support and understanding to her. Other than telling her how much I love him and what a truly good man he is, I just listened. I know if she’s coming to me, she must really just need someone safe to talk to… not someone to dump their thoughts and feeling into her though. Sadly, she lost her mother a few years ago as well. She had  such a beautiful mother. 

Selfishly, I wish so much I had someone in this world  to talk about this man. I love him so very much. He represents so much to me in my life and my heart. He’ll be gone soon… 

Chatting with my step-sister was heartbreaking. Mother toiled endlesslyto destroy  and/or  prevent any real relationship among him and his five children from his first marriage. And she continues to do that today, as he’s on his death bed. I know now as an adult with deeper understanding that mother never loved my step-dad, Jim. (Narcissists are incapable of love anyway.) He represented financial security for her and being 25 years older than she, I’m sure she hoped and planned on his passing away years ago. 

It is so pathetic and sad that this woman continues to stand between this honorable man and his children. Now, as his hourglass runs quickly out of sand…

My mother is an expert at triangulation and has successfully utilized the methods all my life. Here is an article on various ways narcissists use triangulation to keep themselves well guarded and protected from any possible exposure of their manipulative games using people as pawns. The 4 most common non-sadistic methods of triangulation

She’d already “won” him from his children. That was won decades ago. It’s senseless and cruel to continue the effort to keep them divided. It shows me again, how once a narcissist has set their sights on taking everything from you, they never, ever turn loose until the object (of their narcissistic supply) literally has no use whatsoever left for them or until their target is thoroughly beyond defeated. Knocking their target down in the mud isn’t nearly good enough, they continue to kick and grasp and bully until said target is utterly destroyed. 

This woman has shamed, emasculated, bullied, manipulated, and humiliated this kind, hard working, honorable, self-made man for over 30 years now.  It’s so disgusting that even as a very young child, I felt sorry for this strong, silent, otherwise manly man.  Long before I could put my finger on why I used to feel nauseated when over-hearing their “conversations”, I always felt sad for him. He loved her so much… so completely … so unconditionally…   He could deny her nothing, literally nothing. And she used that love and devotion to destroy everything else he’d ever had in his life. 

He was always on her side, no matter how evil or awful or blatantly wrong she was. This didn’t always fare well for me, but I always admired and respected his loyalty and love to her. And earlier on, he seemed to always want to make her abuse up to me with little secret kindnesses, like hiding packs of my favorite gum in places he knew I’d find or sneaking lemon drops (my favorite!) into my room. 

When I wanted so much to play the flute, mother said, No, I’m not wasting money buying you a flute, You’ll just lose it or decide you don’t want to play it next month. But Jim stepped in and said, Darlene, let her try it. I’ll buy the flute for her. ( It was all his money anyway, but still…!) And he won that one. Subsequently, I played that flute for 3 years and competively won 1st chair placement  of all 11 flute players in the band for 2 of those years.

Mother never listened to me play no matter how excited I was when I was successful with it, but Jim used to say, Let me hear you play something.  And I was so proud to play for him when I’d finally mastered a difficult piece. 

I still feel shocked that he stood up to her on that. It didn’t happen ever again, but I always felt so deeply grateful for him going out on that scary limb for me that day. 

It’s horrendous that my step-sister was robbed mostly of having her father as a real and actively participating father in her youth and now she’s being left out (as much as mother can manage ) of these final days as well.

Mother, true to textbook narcissistic personality disorder, had an affair on Jim, taking us, her two daughters aged 7 and 9 st the time, to hotel rooms, vacations, and dark driveways to wait while she rendezvoused with her married lover. A man who also happened to be a business rival of my step-dad’s. When she was caught, she blamed my step-dad’s children for the affair…. ultimately, making my step-dad apologize TO HER for her having “been driven to have sex outside their marriage.” This was only two years into their marriage. 

When my step-dad’s first wife (raising his five children completely on her own after my mother had taken her husband) got a job at the local country club,  mother found out and HEADS DID ROLL! She raged and threatened, screamed and bullied my step-dad and the country club management until they fired his ex-wife from that position. 

My mother insisted Jim invest all his money in property with her name on it, so that she could control and inherit every possible dime of his hard- earned money rather than his five children when he passed away.  So blind, controlled, and brainwashed is my step-dad after all these years with her, that he even told his youngest daughter, There will be no inheritance for you when I die. I’m investing it all into property in Darlene’s home town.

All this… after spoiling her financially and emotionally for all these years, choosing her over his own kids because she demanded, and her making a complete fool out of him having affairs. 

No one could ever say my step-dad did not love that woman, though; that he did not do every single thing within his power to please and indulge her and prove his undying and unconditional love and devotion. 

It’s a sad shame that she never loved him back; that even to this day she carries on affairs behind his back for years now, rarely sees him in his nursing home and only calls occasionally- after all she’s busy running around with her boyfriends in her hometown 3 hours drive away. 

And still, as disoriented as he now is, he is devoted to her first and foremost over every person in his life that actually does love him and could care less about his money. This is the exact devotion my children now have for their dad. Narcissists can’t love, but they leave no room whatsoever for those who love them to be loved by anyone else either.

She turned him against me years ago of course, so just like my dad and my children, I’ll never get to say goodbye to him.  He’ll never be allowed to know the truth of me or of her or know how much I truly love him. 

He deserved so much better. His children deserved so much better.

Narcissists don’t just destroy their targets and suck the souls from their supply sources, they destroy every single thing in their paths and even in the peripheral along the way. 

Narcissists take no prisoners and leave no crumbs of possibility behind their people-playing manipulative schemes. They leave nothing but sheer desolation and absolute destruction in their wake.