I just want to be

A thought from today.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

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Vent: I hate humans

8/28/2017     3:15pm

I really hate humans. I’ve been in need of a neurologist for a very long time. I ignore it mostly but my ECT doc recommended I see one back in May and found one for me. She saw me in July but doesn’t take my insurance yet said I should do Botox, which he agrees with. I haven’t had it in me to do the research but I finally did. Narrowed the field, cross-checked networks and affiliations, read reviews. And today I called the office of the one I picked, who happened to be recommended to me years ago. And his office staff was a BITCH. I asked to make an appointment and she said she didn’t have my referral. I said I don’t need a referral since I have original Medicare and she said that ALL of HER doctors require a referral. When I asked for details she said I’d need a written referral from another doctor with my diagnoses and all of the treatment history and records pertaining to the referral. I told her that was not possible since I have been seen for this by many doctors over many years at MANY places and asked what EXACTLY it is that she needs. She just repeated herself. I said I’d really appreciate if this was listed on their website. She said that every specialty is different. I said that’s why each doctor has a separate page. I asked what would happen if I sent her this unattainable information. She said the doctors would look over it and decide IF it is severe enough for them to evaluate and IF I’ve tried and failed other treatments and IF they decide I’m good/bad/whatever enough THEN she would call me to make an appointment.
 
Really? FUCK! I’ve been trying to take a shower for 4 hours now. It’s been 3 months of trying to get to a point of finding the damn neurologist, of accepting what the last one said and just saying FUCK IT. I DON’T CARE. (close my eyes) She may feel lovely in her rudeness behind a phone and made up rules, but she has no idea what she’s doing. WORDS MATTER. I want to give up now. But I can’t. I hate humans.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Secondary

(journal excerpt)

7/10/17     6:22pm

…I shouldn’t be in this group. I really don’t care. I feel angry. Angry. Angry.
Cog says anger is secondary to hurt or fear. Am I hurt or scared? Yes. Of what? Well… I feel hurt that I feel alone. Hurt that I can’t perceive most of the people around me as anything but idiots – people who can’t possibly understand me. Hurt that it’s my fault, that even after so many years of effort on personal growth, even after becoming a me I love, I don’t know how to teach other people how to “get” me or even understand on a base level what I say. I also feel hurt because people trust me enough to believe I’m okay. (slow, deep breath)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

FUCK YES

1/27/17     12:09pm

I am SOOO ANGRY. And I slept 22.5 hours last night so I have plenty of energy to direct that way. I managed at least to scream “FUCK YOU!” after hanging up the phone.

I called the Coordinated Care Initiative line for the State of California. They are supposed to handle the conversion to and exemption of dual eligibles (those of us eligible for both Medicare and MediCal) from the new managed care requirements in this lovely state. The only easy way out of this requirement is to have HIV/AIDS or be an American Indian. I’m tempted.

What am I talking about?

Medicare is the health insurance offered to most seniors and people on disability (after 2 years). It’s hard to find a specialist that takes it but there are many useful hospitals that take it for medical and psych. There is a 190 day inpatient limit for psych days at a free-standing hospital. (When I’m better I shall be tackling this.)

MediCal is California’s version of Medicaid (federal health program for poor people.) It is near impossible to find a skilled clinician, if they give you a doctor at all instead of an intern, on MediCal. It is a good net if you have non-specific or only emergency medical needs but if you have chronic medical conditions and/or psych needs and have only MediCal, you’re screwed. In some clinics it’s better to be completely uninsured and pay a sliding-scale amount and see a good doctor. Having MediCal (and Medicare for that matter) also usually exempt you from prescription discount programs offered by manufacturers, even though formularies are scant.

If you have both Medicare and MediCal, MediCal won’t pay for any fee that is above what Medicare determines they should be paying your clinician – no matter how far below industry standard or just human dignitiy would allow. Yet our great state of CA decided that being covered fully by both insurances was just too much. In Jan 2014 they started a “demonstration period” of what’s called the “Coordinated Care Initiative” and started forcing people into either CalMediConnect (a program that pushes you into an HMO that rolls your Medicare and MediCal into one, SIGNIFICANTLY limiting your benefits) or whatever Medicare you already have plus being forced into a MediCal Managed Care Plan HMO. I opted out of this “demonstration” in the very complicated and hard to find way they barely provided as I watched the change mess up countless lives.

Then a few weeks ago I got a similar packet in the mail. I did some research online finding that the demonstration period ended Jan 2017 but no info on what the outcome was, whether it saved money, links to the actions taken by our government to expand or make it permanent. Nothing. Someone from CCI called to enroll me in a plan Wednesday since I hadn’t mailed in the form. I explained that I had no intention of joining an HMO because it would complicate and jeopardize my care and she told me where to find an exemption form. But the form says it’s only for people who don’t have another insurance. So I called back today.

I won’t lie. I’d be happy if this man’s head exploded and a MediCal doctor was left to piece it back together. He tried to convince me I wasn’t being forced into an HMO. FALSE. Then he told me I’d qualify for a non-medical exemption but failed to mention the American Indian or HIV/AIDS part right away. I asked about the demonstration period and where I could find information. “We’re just the enrollment center. That’s the state… That’s not my department. That’s not my issue,” he said. He kept coming back to trying to tell me my doctors wouldn’t be affected by joining a Managed Care Plan. Then he went and said it. “Well, if the only reason your doctor won’t see you is because of the extra time it takes to do MediCal paperwork, is that really a doctor you want to be seeing?”

YES!!!

How much more of a fucking idiot could he be?!! Just how they want them at the CCI office I bet. I told him, “YES!” Those are the doctors who have time to hear what’s going on, who listen to my situation, who have experience and choose to actually get paid for it instead of working for free or just supervising 10 interns at a time as they run around the office “practicing” medicine. FUCK YES.

Aside from just being rich, Medi-Medi with fee-for-service MediCal was the best insurance one could get. MediCal pays my monthly Medicare premium, automatically qualifies me for Part D Extra Help (making my generic drugs about $1 and my brand name drugs about $3), and picks up the copay at any doctor I see or prevents them from charging me one. I’m not looking forward to this new world and what will be denied or changed. At least I can blame screaming “FUCK YOU” at them on being crazy.

TIP:
I run into doctors who take Medicare but not MediCal and if you tell them you have both they say they can’t see you as a patient because they don’t take MediCal and it’s considered fraud to charge me my Medicare 20% or anything else.
WRONG
Usually I just call back and don’t tell them I have MediCal. Then they take me but I guess it’s still fraud.
I learned this from HICAP when I called a few days ago: It’s not fraud if they give me a statement in writing that they don’t accept or bill MediCal and I agree to this in advance of treatment. Sweet! I’m on the search for a preformatted statement like this and will post it when I find it. Then I can blanket the city and my group with this new information. I even had a girl turned down by a Sharp Urgent Care the other day because they told her the same thing. I do have ins at Sharp…

Don’t fuck with a fucker. I’ll take you out. ;)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Wow

10-2-16     1:13pmfaithquotes_aaa

What’s happening now? I’m sitting in my room. I want to run away but I’m here. I feel my heartbeat where my butt touches the cushion and heavy in my chest. Most of my toes, the side of my left hand on the page. It’s hard to raise my gaze. “I want to die” is on my mind. It’s just a phrase. I’m not getting out.

God sends encouragement just before I need it. And I’ve yet to pair the thought that something bad is about to happen with the joy. Thank God for that.

I just stared at him. All I could say was, “Wow.” And I walked away. (prolonged stare…)

Am I really a miserable human?
(barely moving) Too painful. I don’t want to write. Have to. Need to.
(starting to pass out, not breathing)

After church today I stayed to talk to Matt about the choir, to ask what the fuck is going on. He seemed confused by the inquiry. The choir is chaos. I don’t get the details because I’m on the outskirts but I joined the choir in 2013 when God told me to. I didn’t go for the church or the pastor. I went to sing and to fellowship with Diane. I like the people. The goings on sometimes are questionable but only because I’m not on the inside. I come to most rehearsals. I show up for church. In the past I was able to sing a few pieces for special music. But this year everything changed. There was unspoken drama that caused Diane to quit and many other members to leave the church. I have no details. Bobby took over the choir temporarily. I like him as a human but choir practice sucked. Then a few weeks ago he quit too. Again, I have no details. Richard stepped in to direct temporarily though he lacks any ability to do it and we follow Helen and guess. Sometimes there’s rehearsal. Sometimes there isn’t. When there is we just go over hymns to sing and mark our books. Different choir members shout out what we need to do, direct from the loft. “Special music,” aka the music we sing as a highlight once a month, has become a joke. Even prayer time is lacking. More people keep leaving the church.

At the last rehearsal I went to two weeks ago I asked if in one of the ones I missed if there was a State of the Choir conversation, what was going on in regards to finding a new director and fast. No one seemed to know. They said maybe Matt was working on it. When I asked Richard for information he said he didn’t know. I said, “But you’re in charge.” Silence. The choir concurred that no one had any idea how to even go about looking for a music director or where to find one. I said I do. At least I have contacts who do and would probably help.

At church today Bonnie said she hopes I’m there on Thursday. I said I don’t know, that the situation is making me really angry. I don’t even get texts anymore about whether there’s rehearsal or not. She tried to make it better saying we’re working together and blah blah it will be better soon. It’s not okay. It’s not okay. Music is what ties the service together and speaks to souls. It matters.

After the service I went to talk to Matt. I asked what the info was on finding a new choir director and told him how unhappy I am at the current situation. Richard’s a great guy but he’s NOT a music director at all. Now is when we should be buckling down and starting to work on Christmas stuff. What we need is asking the impossible – someone who is skilled/talented at music and directing, experienced with hymns and traditional music, willing to give at least 2 half days a week, plan and execute holiday performances, coordinate special music, get along with everyone and do it all for free. (listen to solo piano on Pandora)

Matt seemed to have no idea what I was talking about in regards to the choir being in shambles. He said Richard was directing. I’m aware of that. I wanted to know who is looking for a new director, who is working on this. He wasn’t concerned. He said he’s not going to bring in a performer or hire a music director. He said he’s not like most churches. I asked if that meant he was expecting someone from our congregation to just stand up and do it. He kept talking about God’s will and that whatever God wants will happen. I told him I believe in God’s will but I also believe I have to DO SOMETHING too. I told him I’ve been in this choir for several years. I didn’t come to Trinity for the church or the sermons or the people. I came because God told me to come and sing with Diane. And I did. And I put up with a lot of bullshit to stay in it. Now she’s gone and Bobby’s gone and the choir is a mess. I can’t tolerate much more of this. Music is important. It’s connecting. It hurts to watch the program fall apart and the people do nothing. I’m so angry.

That’s when he said it. I thought maybe he would say if I felt so strongly about the program I should step up and lead, but he didn’t. He said Richard is the director for now and that he won’t be appointing anyone to replace him without really getting to know the person over time. He said, “Maybe this is God calling you to go somewhere else…”

I just stood there staring at him. We didn’t say anything. My breath stopped and my eyes squinted. Finally I said, “I’m just gonna leave that with a ‘Wow.’” I walked away without words. I grabbed my purse, looked at the choir loft, thought about the post-it on my hymnal from the first time I was there. Then I left.

I wanted to leave, to hide, go somewhere else but I’m still home. I don’t understand. I think I was just asked to leave my church. It’s not a horrific idea but I don’t get it. I bring people in. My friends like that church. Matt helps them when they need it. My mom gets along well with the people. They have free donut holes. It’s by my house. And it used to have people in it I called friend. They’ve never instituted any of my ideas or requests and they know very little about me, but they care. I don’t want this to interfere with the journeys of my friends. But it interferes with me. Not something I expected.

I don’t know what happens now, just that I feel very alone. Maybe it finally is time to change churches. I wish it didn’t have to be this way.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

Is no one else upset?

9/30/16  1:57pm

cajon_custom-7164ab9a3a6a90cc9d89f557696d1cfcdfac2d09-s400-c85I feel awful, and not just because I feel awful.

You may have heard there was another cop shooting this week where the cops killed an unarmed black man. Seems to be a fad these days. I hear them on the radio and they are upsetting but they are far from me, beyond my ability to affect or be a part of. But this one was 2 miles from my house at a taco shop between the vet I go to and the place I buy frozen yogurt. AND this person wasn’t just black, he was crazy.

(*For those of you who take offense to the word “crazy” or believe it promotes stigma, I don’t care. I am proud to be crazy myself and I use the word openly. The term “mentally ill” makes me MUCH more uncomfortable.)

That said, this man was crazy. His sister called for help, made it clear that her brother was not okay. After almost an hour a non-PERT team was sent to the scene and killed him. You can read the details in this article. The officer with extensive psych training responded appropriately by tazing the man. The other one shot the guy. He’s dead.

Immediately the Black Lives Matter movement and NAACP stepped in. Churches, vigils, protests, marches. Only last night did the events become violent. More is planned for tonight and something big on Saturday, though I don’t know what they are or how to find out the details.

I WANT TO BE INVOLVED. My mom says to stay away from all of that. My contact with the police replied somewhat cryptically to my response. My basic interpretation is, “Stay away from that, Michelle.” There are complaints about violence and I hear people look down on those acting out, but I don’t blame them. What else is there to do? What channel is there for expressing extreme anger and distress? for requesting help and change from a virtually impenetrable source? Of course there will be violence eventually. And it’s the only thing that proves effective right now. It makes the news, gets the word out, releases emotion and sometimes causes officials to actually do something they want or need done, like release information.

(watch live feed of press conference and release of video of shooting, approx 40 mins)

Wow. I’m really glad I live in a city that’s so coordinated and connected and prepared (somewhat) for things like this. The distress of the police chief came through the screen. He did a great job. I’m grateful someone asked about PERT and why PERT did not respond… (watch more, read more)

It’s upsetting to me that cops kill people. I try to avoid them at all costs when I’m not at a PERT Academy or similar event. They scare me. They kill people like me for being me. I’m upset that there is way more focus on the man being black than being in a mental health crisis. I’m upset that there’s no rallying behind the family by a national organization like NAMI or DBSA. I’m upset that only today, 3 days after the shooting, did anything related to the shooting show up on my support group FB group. I don’t watch the news but this is unavoidable. Someone heard SOMETHING. Is no one else upset? Does no one else also believe that crazy lives matter too? This event has implications for consumers, family & friends, and the community at large but I’ve receive no calls. I’ve gotten no emails from organizations locally stepping out saying what happened was if not wrong at least really fucked up and didn’t have to end that way. No condolence emails. No vigil notifications. I can’t even seem to find information on the civil rights-related events planned or happening. It’s like it doesn’t exist.

Meanwhile, I sit here wondering what to do. I want to be a part of change. I want to be able to take some action, to make a difference. That doesn’t happen on Facebook or lying on the floor. I don’t want to be one of the people who just stands by, who places their own safety above the greater good. I get mad at my mom for avoiding meaningful rallies and events because of danger. I don’t understand how she lived through the 60s and 70s and never joined a protest. It makes me angry. I walk toward the fire for things I believe in. I’m not afraid to die. But in this case I don’t know how. I don’t want to get injured at a protest. I don’t even know where to find them. I don’t want to miss out. I don’t want to be aloof or to put myself first. I want IN. How do I get there?

All the time I spend networking and talking to people, forming alliances and gathering info is my greatest addition to change, aside from crisis intervention. Here somehow that doesn’t feel adequate. It’s not enough. And no complaint form or grievance or blog post will fix that. I feel really sad.

I asked my PERT person these rhetorical questions:
  • What am I supposed to tell my people?
  • What do I tell my consumers to try and remember to do or not do while in crisis to not get shot? (aside from the ERP list)
  • What do I tell them when they freak out even more when someone does call because now they’re terrified of being shot too just for being in crisis?
  • What do I tell my family & friends people when they want to know if it’s still safe to call 911 and hope for PERT?
  • What do I tell them to make this okay?
  • What do I tell all the sisters and relatives who now don’t want to ask for help because they don’t want to kill their loved one?

For some reason my people don’t seem upset. I’m not getting FB posts or phone calls or texts. I’m not even getting concern from people about the 2 deaths at a popular independent living this week – murder/suicide. Is everyone asleep?

I don’t know. I just want what I do to matter regarding this. I’m not a sit on the sidelines type of person. I’m crazy and I want change. I want to matter. I want to feel safe in my home and my city. I want to be me.

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/29/protests_continue_in_san_diego_after

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/30/us/california-police-shooting-video/

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

I dare ya

8/14/2016     12:15AM

What the FUCK is wrong with people?
Seriously.

I run into this issue often. People can’t answer a FUCKING question. It’s not that they even give me a reply vaguely related to what I asked. It’s COMPLETELY unrelated. What the fuck?! ANSWER THE GOD-DAMNED QUESTION!

Now, I know I’m more irritable than usual lately but this bugs me on my sanest day. These people aren’t stupid and I know they’ve mastered the skill of answering at least a little or they wouldn’t have passed kindergarten. Can you just imagine this scenario?

Teacher: What is 2+2?
Student: My favorite day is Thursday.

The student wouldn’t pass. Ever. So I know they can do it. Then WHY the Hell not? If you don’t understand the question, say that. If you don’t know the answer, say that. If you don’t want to answer for whatever reason, either say that or just say nothing. But for God’s sake, and my own, do NOT make a pattern of not answering what you’re asked. It’s just rude. I understand it when people are confused or having some episode of illness but not all the time. It’s simple.

Answer the question. I may be upset by your answer but not HALF as downright angry as I am right now. And then you won’t have to deal with my wrath. Now wouldn’t that be nice? Think about it. I dare ya.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

Take Back the Breath

6/30/16 Own your breathI’m sitting in a conference room at the VA in an empty meeting. I’ve been wanting to write on this prompt from my brain for some time but I’ve been scared. I’ve been letting someone else control me. Someone mentioned last week that I hadn’t posted on my blog in awhile. There’s a reason. It’s just not pretty.

5 weeks ago my boyfriend broke up with me. Things had been getting progressively worse for some time and he decided a FB message was the appropriate tool to communicate with. He brought over my stuff, we exchanged keys, and he left. You’d think this would be the end. It was only the beginning. M- started (or continued) stalking me. He sent me notes through text, email, Facebook, Messenger, left me voicemails and off-topic comments on my blog. He went through other people to get to me, asking them to text me for him or contact me another way. He contacted my mother. He even hijacked someone else’s Facebook profile whom I was talking with to get to me. He at least stopped dropping by my house unannounced or at least I don’t know it. I took him off my FB profile as a significant other. I was confused but felt relieved.

It has been up and down since then. I haven’t felt this boxed in or trapped ever. Some of the things he’s done leave me honestly scared. He won’t let go. I can’t post on my blog because he reads it, can’t share in group because it goes back to him. Every time my phone dings or buzzes I’m on edge because it’s usually him and I don’t know what he wants. Will it be insults today or over the top compliments? Have I ruined his life or saved him? I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t care. He researches me online, talks to everyone about me. I don’t even know what people know about me anymore because he tells everyone everything. I’m a pretty private person. I don’t appreciate mass sharing. There have been days I went to comfort him and was yelled at for an hour. He’s the first person who’s ever said something to me so mean or hurtful that it literally took my breath. I couldn’t breathe. He acts as if his assumptions are truth and won’t believe anything to the contrary. The mood instability and purposeful manipulation grind me down and make me mad. He’s texted me “911” to get me to respond when there was no true emergency.

He asked to stop by after church on Sunday to drop off a letter to me. He stayed awhile. The conversation was uncomfortable but he was respectful. I thought maybe he’d changed. Nope. He went home and started messaging me that I need to change my profile picture on FB because it’s not very flattering, not the best of me, and he’s not the only one who thinks it. FUCK YOU. Who the FUCK do you think you are? I AM NOT YOURS.

In a continuation of the emotional blackmail, he posted on his website that any donations would go to me for my Phoenix Rising tuition. He put up a story about me that’s not true speckled with tiny spots that were. That night at group he brought me a journal and some candy and a drink. So wait, now I’m good again? I can’t keep up. I accepted them and said thank you. I asked him to take down the story since it’s both private and not all true. The one thing that’s really important to me and my future is that Phoenix Rising training and he KNOWS I need money for it. Why not tie me to him for the money? Brilliant idea, except that it isn’t. It only hurts me having to choose whether or not to stay in the abuse for the money. The answer is no. Thing is, I’m not even sure he sees what he’s doing. He honestly believes he is helping… I think.

Today I went to his baptism with another friend. He asked if my last FB post was about him. That SO pisses me off and he knows it. He’s back to saying he loves me and that he’s going to marry me and that when he gets back from rehab he’s going to chase me again. He says he KNOWS I still love him and am still IN love with him and KNOWS we’re still lovers in our hearts. He says he KNOWS he broke my heart (by cheating on me, et. al.) “Stop pretending like you don’t still love me,” he says. He claims to know what I think and how I feel and my history, which he doesn’t. He wants to be “friends.” He says, “That’s all we really ever were anyway.” No, it’s not. We were in a relationship. He was part of my family. He messages me in despair and sadness begging for attention and help. Last time I called him when he sent me crisis texts and he said he was fine, that he had talked to some friends and used some skills. I was livid. He said, “Well you didn’t HAVE to call. I’m trying to give you some space since you think I’m stalking you, even though I’m really not.” He wants me at his going away party this weekend and to agree to take one phone call a week from him while he’s in rehab for the next two months.

I can’t do it. I have laid back, kept quiet, tried to deal with this on my own. I have respected his privacy, though he doesn’t respect mine. I have altered my life. I have constant anxiety. When I think about him I get angry. When I see him in person it’s hard to breathe. Texts and FB messages haunt me. Hugs eat at my soul. I can’t get away. Last time I saw him he told me he was going to frame all my PRYT art and hang it around his house. That’s just creepy. I have waited, played along, pretty well I think. Friends and church members have encouraged him to keep pursuing me. He told me we are destined by God to be together and that no matter what he’ll find me and we’ll be together. I don’t know what to do.

I’ve been waiting to set any boundaries because I’m scared, both of the backlash towards me and the very high probability of a spike in his suicidality. I don’t hate the man. I have compassion towards him. I care but I am not in love. I am under attack. I really don’t want to hurt him.

Since what I send to him usually becomes public knowledge anyway, I will spare him the hassle and make this an open letter:

Dear M-,

I’m sorry you’re feeling so scared about this new journey next week. You will make it. I’m also glad to see you get baptized today. You are a man of God now and strong in your faith.

The past 5 weeks have been very hard on me. Your constant pursuing and intense emotions and reactions have left me trembling, fragile, ANGRY. I don’t hate you. I have compassion both for you and what you’re going through, but it can’t include me anymore. Contact from you (good or bad) sets my body on alarm. I feel fear. It’s hard to squelch my anger about what you’ve done. Apologies don’t erase memories. And neither does any other excuse. I truly treasure the time we spent together and what you’ve done for me. We both grew and expanded our lives. But that time is over now. This is a new time. And in this new time we need to focus on ourselves.

You are leaving for rehab on Tuesday. I’m proud of you for going, for having the courage and strength to face your demons. I don’t want you going there thinking the whole time about how you’re going to get back with me when you’re released and live happily ever after. You’re not. I’m not interested. I’m not in love with you and my heart is not broken. I do feel sad though that it had to end like this. It’s not what I expected.

It’s important for me to be specific so these are the boundaries I’m asking for.

Boundaries Needed

  • Please do not call, text, email, FB message, other instant message, comment on my blog or communicate with me in any other way except for true emergencies (impending or imminent death) or about DBSA business matters no other board member can answer or solve.
  • At DBSA meetings, please choose a different room than I’m in.
  • At board meetings, please stick to business.
  • I do not want to work outreach together.
  • At the VA MH Council, please stick to business and be professional.
  • Please do not attempt to contact me through someone else.
  • At church, please sit in a different pew.
  • I do not want to pick up the refugee family anymore.
  • Please do not come to choir practice just to see me unless you intend to join the choir.
  • Stop asking my permission to do or attend things.
  • Stop bringing me gifts.
  • I don’t want to salsa with you.
  • I don’t want to “hang out” or listen. You have other support.
  • I don’t want to be chased or to have a 3rd run at our relationship.
  • I don’t want to be your friend (by your definition).
  • I don’t want to go to couples counseling.
  • I think it would be better if you didn’t call me from rehab.

What is okay:

  • Basic interactions at church
  • Contact about DBSA business
  • Contact re: life & death crises (in progress, imminent death)
  • It is okay to write to me snail mail from rehab if you want.
  • I am willing to work with the staff at rehab if needed.

I know it’s a lot to take in. We will see each other when you get back and maybe someday when we’re both healthier we can be friends (by my definition). I’m not your best friend and I’m not your lover. Until then, we can be fellow group members who really care about each other.

Please leave me alone, M-. Please.

With respect,
Michelle

(deep breath)
It’s time I take back my breath. This is my life and I want to live it. So, hopefully you’ll be seeing more posts from me soon. If not, at least you’ll know the pause is not from fear. Just sadness. And living my life.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

How do you…?

5/13/06     11:26pm

I’m sorry I haven’t written in awhile. It’s not because I don’t think of you. I’ve been busy and scared to share the truth. Today’s truth is not so scary.

It’s almost midnight. I have a bunch of stuff to print for an event I have to leave for by 6:30am tomorrow. I’m trying to read a few articles on FB but my computer is too slow to load them, thanks to having to redistribute my cloud files and them ever so slowly resyncing. The tv in the living room is blaring an infomercial and my mom is in her bedroom talking to her jackass boyfriend on the phone. Mine just sent me a short video mocking people who have too much stuff in their front seat when you go to ride with them. Last week he wrote “horder” in the dirt on my back window. I don’t understand. It’s a trigger for me to be made fun of, but if you’re going to do it anyway at least spell the insult right. He finds it funny. I don’t. My car is full of donations waiting for a specific space at a specific hospital that means a lot to me. There’s nothing humorous about that.

I folded clothes for a friend this morning after a long walk. I couldn’t breathe so I rolled on the floor and stretched for awhile. If I listen in the quiet my body tells me what I need. I met with someone about a partnership with my support group and had a muscavado brownie. Fucking amazing. (Eclipse Chocolate) I wrote beforehand in the car, enjoyed the peace of just the sound of wind in the trees. A man with some unnamed movement disorder kept driving around looking for parking. Eventually he came up to me on his motor scooter and handed me a beautiful red garden rose. He said he came to take his girlfriend to dinner but she wasn’t there. So I got the flower and a dinner invite. While I passed up the offer for tacos, the rose was nice.

I wrote for about two hours tonight. I went to my therapist’s office and laid on the floor in the hallway. There was no one there but the cleaning crew. It was a good safe choice for writing, complete with great jazz music overhead. (God-damn vacuum infomercial. Grrrr. I’d turn it off but that would attract my mom’s attention and she would start in on me again.) (sigh) Too late. She’s silently scolding now.

I don’t understand. All I want to do is write. I want to be by myself somewhere quiet and encounter my mind, vent my soul for a night. I miss riding the bus and trolley. I had that time to listen to music, to think and write. I could solve problems and develop ideas. I could passively observe. Doing everything quickly does not appeal to me. I want the privilege of moving slowly. God’s showing me a direction He wants me to move in but I’m too distracted to take the path. Like anything is really more important than God’s will, right? I feel sad and I want the right and the space to just feel it.

My ECT is on hold and I’m facing multiple losses right now. I don’t really talk to my friends. I’m not leading groups very often. I’m working on sharing in them. I’m starting to unfold and re-experience the traumas in my life. It’s scary but worth it. I want the darkness out of me. I want to let it go. I’m trying to learn to be a girlfriend. I suck at it but there has to be something said for trying.

I’ve been trying slowly to organize my possessions and get rid of things. I know I have too much but some of the stashes have a reason and most of the boxes are wired with memories. That’s not just a box of envelopes. It’s so much more – 3 therapy sessions worth of stories. And there are a LOT of boxes. Boxes, piles and bags everywhere. I have my stuff, group stuff, mom’s stuff, dance stuff. I have no office so my things are everywhere. I try. I know my mom and I have “issues” when it comes to things. Let’s face it, we’re hoarders. I know that. Do you think I don’t know that? I try my best not to think about it every day. It hurts when someone throws it in my face.

I’m so tired. I have a resource fair in the morning and then a Super Choir rehearsal. I’m hoping after to do some writing. Most likely I will be chastised all morning to type instead. Can’t I do both? Life is not all about work. I know this. My mom does not…

I’m sorry. I’m rambling. I just felt like talking with my fingers to someone and you were the person/audience that came to mind. I miss writing and sharing me. What helps you set aside everything you’re doing to follow what God’s told you or what you’ve discerned, even when it goes against all reason and odds? How do you set aside what logic tells you is required and do what you know your soul NEEDS? I don’t know how to do that. I want to learn. (Mom is at it again, nag, nag, nag. I wish she could just be content.)

I have to go prep for the event I don’t want to go to now. I hope to share with you more soon, maybe even some core truths. We’ll see. Thanks for listening.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2106

I’m sorry

12/1/15     7:40pm

I did something that caused my best friend to explode. She called me tonight screaming at the top of her lungs about how she told me not to and she could sue me and I’m supposed to be her friend. There was nothing I could say. That level of distress requires time and sometimes drugs. It ruins friendships. It’s my fault. Whether or not I believed my action was okay I guess it wasn’t. I can’t undo it. I can’t make it better. She doesn’t remember what I remember about when we talked about it…

I feel very sad and I have goosebumps all over my body. My gut feels hollow, forehead burns. And I’m outwardly silent. There is nothing I can do. There are some serious needs of my own that I need to address tonight but in this moment all I can do is sit, furrowed brow, and wait. Makes me wish I’d never posted anything about the event. No good deed goes unpunished. No good friend unshamed. I really hurt her feelings and for that I’m sorry.  There’s nothing I can do to fix it. And there are thoughts I can’t post here. I broke her trust.

My mom is sleep-watching The Voice so I’m going to try to process my issues elsewhere, maybe with my penguin earmuffs. It hurts my heart to know I hurt her so much. I know the feeling of the crack in her voice and the inability to control the pain and the rage. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I have standards – Vent

12/1/2015     6:31pm

I don’t understand why people who don’t agree with my standards take offense to them. I’ve been working with a cardiologist since August. She seemed nice when I met her, listened, ordered some tests. I did a 30 day heart monitor study for her and was supposed to get the results the day of my echo and stress test that they couldn’t schedule before Oct 29th. She’s cancelled on me before and when I showed up she wasn’t there. They said she was doing emergency heart surgery somewhere else. I was NOT happy. They said to re-schedule. So I did. And they called to reschedule that appointment, which I had to cancel because I was in the hospital. Today I called to try again to schedule an appointment. I can’t see my neurologist again until I get these stupid results from this lady who’s impossible to see. The receptionist asked if I needed to see her soon or if it could wait until January. I said I don’t care when the appointment is as long as she shows up. She had the nerve to tell me the doctor was at my last appointment. She was NOT. “Then who did your stress test?” she asked. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU ASKING?! I told her who was there and that my doctor was doing some emergency surgery across town. “Well, that’s understandable,” she said. “It’s not really understandable to me,” I said. “Well,” she huffed. “Let’s hope you never need her on the table.” Well, fuck you, bitch. Is it impossible to just make the appointment and withhold your hatred for me until AFTER you hang up the phone? She said she’d make the appointment and make sure to tell the doctor to show up. Great. Just what I need. A staff member who hates me. I just want my test results. I want to be able to do something to move forward with feeling better. She did return my call when I was in the hospital about ECT but the voicemail she left me was completely unhelpful and uninformative. I’m starting to think this may be why I always use Sharp instead of Scripps.

I am entitled to be upset about the shitty scheduling in that office and the relative impossibility of seeing the doctor. She doesn’t have to agree with me but she doesn’t have to TELL me. Feel free to bitch about me to your coworkers AFTER hanging up, as I’m sure you already have. I’m not offended by other peoples’ standards as long as they don’t directly harm me. I wish others would politely act the same.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Delegate

8/4/2015     12:07am

I went to group tonight and shared honestly. I feel like I’m at the beginning of losing my mind. I’m in a dysphoric hypomania with the return of physical symptoms I haven’t seen in a long while. I feel strangled by my schedule but it’s what keeps me going. I’ve tried telling people what’s going on but I find no validation. Tonight the group’s wisdom was delegation. Again and again I heard the word “delegate,” as if reassigning some of my tasks would magically make me feel better. The only things that make me feel better right now are chocolate chip ice cream and sleep. They also recommended rest, which I already do, and doing fun things. Did they not listen? I’M FUCKING TIRED. I’m okay and then I’m not. I get dizzy, weak, nauseous. My heart beats too fast and reality fades in and out. Sometimes it’s hard to stay upright or not fall over. But sure. Delegate.

People wonder why I lie, why I don’t tell them the truth. They pointed out tonight that I lied about how I was doing before my last crash, said I hated my life. What they don’t realize is that I lie most of the time and have never really liked my life. One person listened to my request for validation but filled it with a compliment about my work at group. Could not one person have said, “That sounds really difficult. I’m sorry you’re going through it?” Or maybe, “I hear that you’re struggling. Thanks for sharing?” A few people offered to do tasks for me. I just need ice cream and sleep, for now.

I tried going to Ralphs for socialization after group. I could feel my body crashing. I made it through the line at Chipotle and ate my food. I leaned on the table as I listened to the people talk. At one point I just started singing. The noise was too much, too much stress. Cuddling with the group who had spontaneously gathered at the end of the table was too much. I walked back to the pharmacy to check my blood pressure, which was elevated. My vision was coming in and out, dizzy, shaky, unsteady gait. I tried peeing and sitting down again but my body is in less distress when moving so I took to walking around the produce section before sitting in the car for awhile and leaving. I had some ice cream, felt better for about twenty minutes and now I’m exhausted again. I hate my life.

For the record, please don’t tell me to delegate. Especially if you’re someone I’ve delegated tasks to before that you have failed to complete. It makes me angry. Thank you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Purpose

Thoughts after a friend’s comments today. She made my life make sense.
Yes, I am safe.

10/2/14     12:45pm

“It’s your job to help them make sense. You’re really good at that. You have a unique angle… Praise these people for the good they’re doing.” -C

Judgement          (piano music)

Anger at incompetence

They’re doing their best

Your best isn’t good enough

My best isn’t good enough
(sigh)
It never is.

She pointed out I let things get me upset. There are many thing worth being angry about. I don’t understand artificial limits. Things are SUPPOSED to make sense. People are supposed to be good and competent and do their jobs well. Life is supposed to be good. Objects belong in their assigned places. Needs should be met. There should be love.

Yet, there is chaos. The force of the world turning empties the drawers. Walls fall down. Good people die. Fourth graders run the world.

IT’S NOT RIGHT.

People wonder why I get mad. I can have empathy for individuals, not so much for systems of care. The happy people seem to not have or have overcome this programming. I observe them operating calmly under the belief that people are good, practicing forgiveness and rest. This is utterly foreign to me. When I try this I have to not care. I stop giving a shit and my anger turns to bitterness. It erases my hope.

The anger is what propels me, causes me to seek or make change. People don’t like it. I assume they think I do, like I could walk away if I tried. There’s nothing else inside.

(quiet pause, close my eyes)
I want to die.
(watch the people)

When you take the anger I sit on the floor, silent, looking up at you. Who’s my mommy? Will you take me home? I don’t belong here.

(silent)

Inside the donut.
Goosebumps.
Thank you, God.
Thank you, C.


“Lord I’m Ready Now” by Plumb plays over and over in my head. It’s so intense. I’m ready to let go. I don’t want this anymore. Fall into the arms of Jesus and weep. I feel so alone.

Yes, I’m a bitch. It’s all I know. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Teach me your ways.

Read the book.

Shut up.

(deep breath)

Go.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Fuck Savings Bonds

1-4-13     2:20pm

Savings bonds are evil. My mom finally found mine from grade school. I thought for sure they would have matured since it’s been awhile. Nope. These don’t mature until 2028. 2028! What the fuck?! Seriously? Why would someone gift these to me or present them with awards? It’s a scam, I tell ya. Why does the government need to borrow our money anyway? Fuck. Stupid damn savings bonds. NO soup for you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Man up, people

12/22/2013     10:22pm

I am SO frustrated by people complaining about the new healthcare mandate. Oh, poor you, now you have to pay for insurance and you think it’s SO expensive. Um, reality check. It’s no more expensive than it’s ever been. You just haven’t taken the time to learn about it, to care. Then you end up in the ER and want charity care for the tens of thousands of dollars of work you had done when you were there. Seriously? I hear employers lying to their people that Obamacare is the reason they chose to give their employees shitty insurance with higher deductibles and less coverage. It’s not true. I know people who want perfect doctors and miracle treatments for free even though they have money. They have thousands of dollars in medical debt in collections. They just see different doctors and move on. IT MAKES ME MAD. Man up, people. Be responsible. Take care of yourself. Learn the facts. Choose wisely. THEN feel free to bitch around me about your terrible healthcare plans and how they’ll keep you alive.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

An expensive lie

8-6-13     8:40am

I am SO frustrated.
(close my eyes, breathe, listen to the wind chime)

I have a problem with debt. I also have problems with memory and confusion. I thought I was doing well with the debt until I got a statement in the mail today. I put $1745 on my credit card last month. What?! (deep breath) I remember shopping at those places. It isn’t fraud. But I’ve little idea what I bought. I remember 2 picture frames and a pair of shoes. Where did it go? What the hell? I thought I was doing well.

I’m not sure what do to. It’s all an illusion. I could cut up that card, but I would have to give up my life. Then again, this life belongs to the bank anyway – and probably the next life too.

I don’t know what to do. All sane minds would say, “Live within your means, dumbass.” That requires acknowledgement & acceptance of my means. I don’t want to be in debt. I just want what I buy more. I want that life. I could rent a room for the amount I pay in minimum payments every month. What an expensive lie.

I am poor. I live with my mom. The government supports me. I ride the bus. Without the aid of credit I would have $130 a month to live on. Some months less. I certainly don’t live like it. I finance smoothies and yogurt. I live a lie. (pause) It eats me.

The most plausible solution is to stop spending. I’m not sure I have that in me. I’d rather die. That’s how scary it is – admitting to myself that no matter what I wear or eat, who I know or what I accomplish, I’m still that poor little girl from the ghetto sitting in the corner wanting more, praying to be like Jane, to live like the others. Money covers that up well. The smell of poverty. It can’t cover up sad eyes.

I’m angry at myself. I didn’t want to be like her. I should’ve known better. Yes I should. But I didn’t. What do I do now? What do I do now?

I’m so tired. I woke up at 8 o’clock because I accidentally took my night meds at 6 last night. I ate oatmeal. Now I’m tired. I was going to go to the gym. Then I opened my mail. Now I wanna die. Brilliant. I’m tempted to go back to sleep.

I took a moment to pray and walked myself mindfully through the whole process of getting oatmeal to me, seeing it in my head.

Please, God. Bring me peace.

9:06am

I’m ready to change.

Pay off my debt.
Get rid of things I don’t want or need.
Tell the truth.
Die.
Take care of me.

I’m going to the gym.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

They don’t own me

9-15-11     2:34am

I am so angry right now. I can’t even express to you how angry I am.

I just wrote a blog post. Personal feelings I would like to post on my personal blog. I believe I have the right to have feelings and to be angry and to write about those feelings. But the issue I wrote about is not a new one, just the beginning of a majorly huge issue for me that has caused many problems. And I’m so angry tonight because I’m sitting here debating over whether or not to post the damn thing because I don’t want repercussions from the entity it talks about.

I shouldn’t have to censor myself on my own turf to avoid offending someone or ones. Yet I feel like I have to. WHY? Why does it matter who my opinions offend? Part of me is worried my venting will have an effect on interorganizational drama, but there is already interorganizational drama. (Or is that intra? I never know. Between the two.) It’s no secret. I don’t understand why I feel like the bad guy here.

Several months ago I sent an email to a friend regarding some of these issues. She asked me, as a friend, my opinion and I gave it to her straight up. She sent said opinion to the person it was about and said person reamed me for it. When did things change to a world where I have to like everyone? To agree with what people do? To pretend things are ok? They’re not. They weren’t. And they probably won’t be. But I still feel guilty. And for that I feel angry.

I don’t care who’s offended by my writing. I just wish people would take it for what it is.

Oppression through self-imposed pre-posting guilt and consequent deep deep anger. Wow. It’s like writer’s Hell. I’m posting it anyway. Whatever comes of it comes of it. They don’t own me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011