I Get to Be

2/18/20182018-02-18 16.00.30

© Michelle Routhieaux 2018

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God Loves

2-12-2018When I was really little I used to get bored in church. I was that kid that couldn’t stand children’s church when it was really daycare but had no idea what the pastor was talking about in actual church. So my mom and I would pass notes and sometimes she’d write phrases for me to copy.  This is one of those phrase papers. I found it in a box of things from before I was 5. :)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2018

How to Disengage

1/25/18     12:04pm

I really need some help disengaging from someone. This is not mean or bitchy or inappropriate. Currently it’s one of a last few options I have.

I have an ex-boyfriend who is currently making my life Hell. We have been broken up for over a year. He is obsessed. When we first broke up he stalked me, which he denies. I was afraid to do or go anywhere. I couldn’t post online or on social media or my blog (you’ll notice the sharp drop-off in content). His interest/obsession goes up and down. He recently went to rehab and I didn’t hear from him. It was so peaceful. But he came back with such a renewed obsession over me. He texts at all hours. He corners me at my group. Thankfully he hasn’t shown up at my house. He asks all sorts of questions. A few days ago, in response to me saying I do NOT want to be friends, he emailed me a suicide note, involving me in a PERT operation and tracking down doctors I don’t care to be involved with. He talked the PERT team down and went directly back to texting me. He’s trying to get me to let him go to a concert with some friends in a few weeks. No! I’ve tried to be nice but I finally just texted “LEAVE ME ALONE!” In true fashion, he replied with more than one text. It spills over into FB Messenger and email.

Since he came back from rehab and started pursuing me again, my anxiety and fear have been through the roof. I can’t pick up my phone without wondering if he’s waiting there for me. He’s not a bad guy. He’s just refusing to respect my boundaries and this MUST stop.

  • I DO NOT want to be friends.
  • I DO NOT want any contact. If there is an emergency, go through someone else.
  • I am NOT your “hope.” I will NEVER be your “hope.”
  • What you’re doing is HURTING me.
  • THIS IS NOT OKAY.

The last wave of obsession last year did not result in a restraining order because I was trying to be nice. I’m done being nice, but I only have so much energy. I ignore most of his texts and he actually said a few days ago, “U don’t have to assume that if you reply to any message I send you, I’m going to purse (sic) your heart anymore then I would normally.” SERIOUSLY?!! He keeps saying he’s giving my mom and I a bunch of money in a few months. I appreciate that, and I won’t claim we don’t need it, but you can’t buy us. (pause) I feel defeated and I can’t get away.

Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated. And yes, he is most likely reading this post.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2018

Resolution

12/4/12     12:50am

Today was a little better. I didn’t sleep much last night. Woke up a bunch of times semi-clear and paranoid. I was really agitated so I took half a Xanax. I went to the dentist to talk with the billing lady and couldn’t think at all. Then I slept the entire day. But before sleeping I went to the mall to return something and actually shopped a little. It was a good sign to me.

I slept all day with my kitty next to me and went to group tonight. And J showed up at the end to see me. I was caught off guard but we had a good chat. A heart to heart and I was able to be assertive and not aggressive and listen actively. I’m proud of myself. We are now on, I guess, somewhat good terms. We are not a was but I’m not sure what we will be. For now we are slightly more than friends, which is okay with me. I got to share in group too. It was good.

My muscles are only moderately painful today and didn’t start bothering me a lot until this evening. Granted I did sleep all day, it’s still good. I’m hoping I’m on the tail end of this round. My head barely hurts today. Fingers crossed. It’s been a long 19 days.

My kitty’s sitting on the table giving me the “PLEASE take me to bed” stare so I have to go. I’m so grateful for today. When I have trouble walking I can still dance. When I have trouble talking I can still sing. And tonight I can pet my kitty.

Love you, Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Life Update

12/2/12     9:54pm

I’m having a really hard time.
My muscles are fighting me.
Round after round of sustained contractions in my back, stomach, left arm.
Almost constant moderate to severe head pain. Small windows of reprieve. Weakness that makes it difficult to breathe, move.
My brain feels heavy, paralyzed.
It’s hard to think.

My mood is up and down. Sometimes euphoric or elated. Others suicidally depressed. Small periods of effective work. Minutes. Trouble standing. Pain sleeping. I wake up thrashing, throwing my head back and forth. My left hip keeps popping out. My wrist is improving slightly from the fall.

I can’t hear my stream of thoughts.
I can’t feel my feelings.
I don’t want to shop.

It’s 10pm & I’ve been ready to sleep for hours.
Hours…
Hours.

I need to sleep.

Some days I wonder how long this can go on. The voice in my head says “forever.” My history says usually about 2 weeks. When I’m in it I think it will never end. When I’m out I forget what it’s like. Right now I watch NCIS.

(stare)

I have sharp pains in my muscles too.
Happy Sunday. (weary grin)

(eat chicken rice)

My organs get in on the action.
My heart, bladder & bowels. My stomach.
My eyes.

(stare)

I started talking to a recorder on my phone. I’ve yet to transcribe. Feels good. Eventually they’ll be on the blog.

I’m really glad I write.

Mom’s boyfriend is going back to New York tomorrow. I don’t want him to go. We’re not buddy buddy but I like him. And he makes her happy. The house will be quiet without him. I feel lonely.

J’s back in town. (It feels good to write.) I haven’t seen him yet. He texts me on and off. I don’t want to see him. It was good while it was good. And it was bad when it wasn’t. It was better when he left. It will be better when it’s over. His texts and actions and inactions and lies make me angry. I’m proud of myself for keeping my boundaries and for knowing and believing at my core that the ending does not devalue the good. I just can’t do it anymore.

He’s texting now. I feel frustrated. I can hear the sales-pitch in his tone. I feel bad because I think he honestly doesn’t know or understand. I love him. I want the best for him. I want him to grow up. We can play, but I can’t be his mother. I can’t be his God. And I can’t be his taker.

I haven’t written in so long it’s like unclogging a pipe – the one from my hand to my brain. Reconnecting with an old friend. I do not control what comes out. I just watch.

My brain and body are fading. less pain. falling asleep. NCIS is like family.

My eyes feel glazed in plastic.
My feet are tingling. My tongue is curled.
My back needs to crack.

I’d like to paint my nails but my muscles are too weak. It’s better than being cramped.
I wonder what my Potassium level is.

I feel like I have to keep writing even though I have nothing to say. And I have to pee. Hmmm…

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I know longing well

9-7-12     11:23pm

So, I’m sitting in my kitchen. I feel trapped. The sprinklers outside have filled the air with the smell of ant spray. My mom’s boyfriend has turned our living room into a movie room and they’ve been watching movies for hours. Loud movies. Sad movies. “What Dreams May Come” was last. I have the soundtrack on my ipod but I don’t need to see it.

I went shopping today. I spent too much money. I know that, but I didn’t know what to do. I managed to get to the social security office today to drop off some papers and was struck with “fear of life,” as Joe calls it. Fear of life is when I’m scared of everything and don’t know what to do. I’ve been extremely confused lately too and the mall was the closest safe place to me. I ate Chinese food, which gave me the stinky farts (who knew?), and shopped. And shopped some more. I thought long and hard before buying things. Did math. Put things on hold. I came away with 4 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of slacks, an awesome shirt, a new glasses case, and a journal. A pink pearl necklace is now waiting for me on layaway.

Today I thought intently of a friend’s happiness. I will call that friend J. (No, not Joe and probably not anyone else I’ve represented with the letter J in the past.) I like J. He’s special to me. I’d like to be his girl. I’m not sure what he wants from me. He’s always busy and the time we spend together doesn’t involve much talking. Yesterday he said he’s having a rough time and today I spent my time intently thinking of his happiness, sending warmth and love his way.

I don’t have experience with relationships. But I know longing well. It has a strange life. The experts say when you feel the primal/caveman feeling of love or affection the accompanying action urge is to embrace. They also say our pattern of action urges changes based on life experiences. Through life I’ve learned that I need to stay away from what or whom I am drawn to because if I embrace or move toward they will hurt or leave me.

I know longing well. I know the desperate need to be held, the wanting nothing in the world more than for the other person to be safe, warm, comforted, happy. Spending every waking moment thinking, praying, trying to find ways to make their life better and quell my own pain at not being able to be near them. But I don’t want it to always be that way. I don’t think it has to be. And I think this person might not hate me for not staying away. But I don’t know how to do that. It’s like a blind person painting.

I know how to get through the pain of being alone.
I don’t know how to be with people.
I know how to distance or detach myself.
I don’t know how to be authentic. It’s scary. Terrifying.
But I’m being honest, authentic, with him. When I talk to him. Which is almost never. But I’m trying. I’m trying to be me. Trying to find that girl I left on a park bench somewhere years ago and bring her back to life. Reintegrate her into the community. For now she wanders and rocks and sings and talks to herself somewhat happily. Except when she’s scared or mad. Don’t make her mad.

I want to feel loved, whatever that is. I’m accustomed to wanting or loving people who don’t want or love me back, so it doesn’t take much to make my day. But it takes something.

So tonight I feel that longing with all of my soul to be held by this person. And my involuntary urge is to turn away, to shut down. But I don’t want to. I think he’s safe. But I don’t know what to do. What do people do instead of shut down that doesn’t cause the other person to leave? (pause) I want to do that.

When asked what I think love is my answer lies along the lines of finding someone to grow old with. According to my therapist I know more of parental love than romantic love. I’ve never seen what people call “love” in front of me. I lived with my mom growing up. None of my friends had happy couple parents. I don’t know what it looks like. I don’t know what it means. I do know, however, that I need to find out. And stop rambling.

Tonight I eat salsa that tastes like the smell of rubbing alcohol and spy on my mom who’s cuddled on the couch with her boyfriend watching a movie and write to an internet of strangers about my current inner struggle with learning how to love, how to be vulnerable. Seems a stretch, doesn’t it?

I have to go now. This moment of thought is fading and I feel really confused again. Thanks for listening. I’m grateful to have this outlet.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Grown-up things

7-4-12     10:46pm

I didn’t feel like sitting in traffic so I walked 3 miles after the fireworks tonight. Fireworks make me cry.

As I walked I talked to myself and God, enjoyed the cool night air, the freedom to move and to be me. I was thinking about a DBT lecture note in my journal:

Acceptance allows gentleness – making room for something in our lives without approving or judging.

I thought about Mom and Don and about independence. I’ve been thinking and planning and dreaming lately about what I want and what my future could look like. It greatly raises my anxiety. So as I walked and talked to God I tested out some positive affirmations, things to say to myself to make it less scary. I came upon this one that hits the spot:

I can do grown-up things without losing me.

(breathe…) I can do grown-up things without losing me. Growing up scares me. I don’t want to do it and thinking about it freaks me out. Like someone trying to kill me. But I can do grown-up things without losing me. Or killing me. Or changing me. I like me. I love me. I need to keep loving me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I had a birthday recently

3/21/12     1:45pm

I had a birthday recently. I just remembered this. I never responded to the 150 or so posts on FB – not because I’m rude. I just couldn’t deal with it.

It seems I have a birthday every other year. One year of party, one year of hiding. This was supposed to be an on year. My prediction was wrong.

This year I wanted to celebrate being alive, to treasure the gift. It didn’t quite work that way.

(too painful)

Breathe…

Need to sing it or throw it up out of me. My head hurts. The words are backed up in me. About to explode – no sound. I think I should take less Seroquel. Three pounds of water weight in 3 days.

I’m sitting in my yard pulling cattails (the weed). Jenny’s excited to go to Possum Trot with us. I’m second guessing my offer. I am SO tired. SO hurting. I cannot make it rain.

I had a birthday recently, a great lunch with a friend and an entire day’s meltdown. Loud weepy crying spells. I locked myself in the garage, bathroom & car. I smartly went to hear music and unsmartly tried to drink. I had a birthday.

I am now 26. I never celebrated 25. Like it never happened. I don’t want to be 26. I want to be 25. Divisible by five, a nice round number. I don’t like even age numbers. 26 starts the Sex & the City part of life. I don’t own enough pairs of heels. Yet somehow I’m here, sitting barefoot on a towel on my lawn in the shade of shirts on the clothesline pondering my age. I don’t even feel 18.

I don’t want to remember but I hate that I can’t. I see snapshots. Re-experience. The rest is blank. Sometimes I ask people what they remember about me because I can’t. They’re confused. Well, honey, so am I.

Angela (my birthday lunch friend) said she’s been honored to watch me grow through the years into who I am now. Who am I now? I don’t remember. I tried to think of what changed me, something. The only thing in my mind was when I thought I was dying. It really shaped who I am, gave me a platform. I don’t take as much shit anymore. I appreciate. I hold dear. I am more grounded in my work. I feel steady knowing I know my shit and that no one can take that from me.

(pause to freak out about new freckles)

11 years ago yesterday I entered the hospital for the first time. 11 years ago tomorrow there was a shooting at my school. It’s been a long 11 years.

(call from S- to say M- is married. tears.)

I’m tempted to say I’m happy for him, but I’m not. Good people have good people. I’m not one of those people. Why didn’t J- just tell me instead of saying it was crazy, I was crazy? Why not just wear a ring or post it on your FB profile? Much easier. Nothing is easier.

(hear “Do You Love Me?” from Fiddler)

Watching a dizzy ant.
Sometimes crazy doesn’t deserve to be loved.

I would like to throw up my gut. Then maybe I wouldn’t hurt so much.

There is a place in everland.
Fall behind the glass.
Where people fall out of touch.
They lie right on the grass.
Behind the glass
For all to see.

Happily ever after land,
A place that taunts me,
Haunts me.
I watch them go there.
(quiet)

It all falls away.

I had a birthday recently. I’d rather not remember.

(rocking)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Stuff, Love & Family

11-29-10     1:03am

I feel like my heart has a whole in it. My room is empty and so am I.

I worked for several hours with M- today on organizing my room. We moved my chair into the living room and the bulk of my journals onto my bookcase. Now there is a large open space of floor. (breath) I hate it. I don’t want it there. Something should be there. I can’t handle the nothing. It’s too much.

I don’t have people (or historically haven’t) but I do have stuff. It doesn’t leave me. It doesn’t tell me I’m unworthy or make me feel like shit. I have stuff and the stuff are my memories. Most of my stuff is stuff I don’t need but I need the memories. And I need to feel safe, to be surrounded. I NEED love. But instead I have stuff. And when I get rid of the stuff it reminds me I am alone.

S- posted this week that she is grateful for the unconditional love of her grandparents. I don’t know this thing called unconditional love. I try to give it to others. I do my very best. But it is not something I learned as a child. Love had boundaries and rules, none of which were clearly explained. But the gist was, and mainly still is, that if I do good and act perfectly I might be loved. If not, I will most certainly not be loved. I may be hated and I should hate myself too. But good & perfect are undefined, although they lie just past what’s achievable. And should I achieve them, the consequent love is temporary. We love you and are proud of you. What are you going to do next? And when? We’re getting impatient. I try to love and accept people for who they are or be honest that I don’t.

I was thinking tonight about that nasty email my cousin sent me months ago. If she had listened to what I said, took the time to understand and set her judgments aside, she could’ve been less downright cruel. I did nothing to her. I did not put her down, dismiss her character, or place blame or shame. I expressed my feelings and my story. But she chose to tell me how I’m a disappointment to her and all this other crap. She doesn’t even know me. She shouldn’t even care. But she cared enough to send an email that I’ll never forget, just enough to hurt me out of spite. Such love.

The walls close in. At least they try. I feel like the force of the world is pushing against them and they’re just barely holding up. (I hear “Call the Man” by Celine Dion.) I am so cold. I talked to J- tonight. She is so strong and so scared. I wish I could help her. I wish that it wasn’t so cold.

(Rocking, trying to unnumb my toes with the heater, hearing “Austin,” thinking I am The Giving Tree. I don’t want to be.)

I should sleep. I see Dr. C tomorrow. I found Mr. M’s hundred dollars today. I don’t want to spend it on doctors. I want to spend it on me. I know that he’s helping but I can’t afford him. His helping is hurting me, as it helps me. Weird.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

It’s all a game really

11-27-10     4:35pm

If you don’t want me for what I am, I don’t want you for what you’re not.

It’s all a game really. I just got off the phone with S-. She’s got a date tonight she’s getting dolled up for. I have a headache. We had a conversation (well, more like an argument) about the institution of dating and expectations. She believes and plays along. I play along but I resent the game.

She was telling me how it’s important to look your best and how you can tell a lot from how a person looks about what they believe, who they are, their character. In reality these are assumptions & judgments. The thoughts are real but not necessarily accurate. She was saying how it’s important not to put all your cards on the table in the beginning or they won’t want you. I know that well. But anyone who doesn’t want me because of who I am or where I’m from or how I dress is not someone I want anyway.

I KNOW it’s a game. I dress the part. I play but I don’t follow all the rules. And the last thing I need to do is reel some guy in who thinks I’m something I’m not, fall head-over-heels for him and have him leave me when he finds out who I am. I also don’t want to fall in love with someone who’s not all of him. I want to see the unacceptable side, to know what I’m getting. Show me the CARFAX.

Her interpretation of me based on my dress is that I’m meticulous. I am, but not about my dress. What she sees is what I choose to show her in the game. What she believes based on that image is her interpretation. I have no control over that. I know very well that people are looking, for the most part, for a sane well put-together self-sufficient mate with little drama, little debt, and a rosy disposition. I am also aware that I am not that. I may play the game to get what I want (or close to it) but in a mate I want someone who loves me for me. Someone who loves that I put my hair in a clip and carry Play-Doh in my purse and walk my cat, who’s not scared that I’m sick and doesn’t roll his eyes at my food rules. In return, I can accept imperfection, unpolished shoes, “bad” feelings, and annoying habits. Just love me for me. In the words of Meredith Gray, “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” I’m tired of playing the game.

I want someone who loves me when I don’t love myself. In pearls and in sweats. When I haven’t showered in a week. When I can’t stop throwing up. When I’m inpatient. When I’m angry. And when I’m not.  Because that’s me. There is more to me than just what you see.

S-,
What do you see when you look at me? What goes through your mind? Sometimes I think you get it. Then there are days like today when you’re so far away. (deep breath) So very far away…

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

The Forever Trap

9-9-10                  11:40pm

I was talking to a friend tonight about her new boyfriend and she was all stressed that (in a nutshell) they’re not forever material, that everything’s not quite right. I thought about it. I do it all the time. I did it tonight. I talked to a guy I kind of like and, while it may have appeared to be a conversation, it was more like math – a puzzle or equation. Does he fit? Is he what I need? Are our lives compatible? In reality it doesn’t matter. I can’t control forever. All I have is tonight and even that’s out of my hands. But I always come back to that. The forever trap.

Sugarland has a song “Settlin’” that says “Mr. Right Now not Mr. Forever.” While I do want a Mr. Forever, I want a Mr. Right Now. Because right now IS forever and it’s gone in a blink.

Right now I am happy, and cold.
Right now my thumb hurts from texting.
Right now I’m not worried about my problems. I’m just riding the trolley one-mindfully.
Right now.
I like right now.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

For All We Know – Audio Post

7-3-10                  12:36am

Okay, so I tried out the new Phone Your Blog feature tonight. This is a less than optimal phone recording of my favorite song by Sacha Boutros at the Westgate Plaza Bar tonight. For being the equivalent of a recorded phone call I think it’s pretty good. Johnny G on the piano and some rude people talking in the background. Enjoy. :) (click the gray triangle button below to listen)

-Michelle

Sacha & Johnny G

Maybe it’s time to dream

5-15-10                 2:55am

My friend posted this today:

Is wondering what’s more important love or a dream? What was the biggest thing you had to give up to pursue your dreams? –S

My original response:

I gave up my dreams to pursue me.

But I’ve been thinking. Why does one have to be more important? Can the dream not be love? Can you not love the dream? Do you really have to choose?

I did give up my dreams to pursue me. But maybe I’m thinking of the wrong dream. I gave up my dreams of being on Broadway and of getting a Ph.D. and of curing disease and having a family, of owning a dance studio and having a place and a dog. But the dream I followed was me. The dream of stability, of enlightenment. Okay, so I wasn’t after enlightenment but it would be nice.

The biggest thing I gave up in my pursuit of happiness has been control. I am pretty successful at what I do and in my recovery. And the biggest thing I keep giving up is control. Accepting that I am not in control is uber hard to do but so important. It’s not me who’s driving my destiny. I can’t control others or my body or the world. My life is in God’s hands. I still like being in control of things. Just not everything.

I also gave up thinking I matter so much and giving a damn. I used to care what everyone thought. It was so stressful. But now, there are very few people whose opinions I respect and whose criticism can throw my whole world off. I just don’t give a shit. I can’t afford to. I don’t have the energy and it doesn’t help me. Realizing I really don’t matter that much is hard but it’s helpful. That thing I said that’s stressing me out probably DIDN’T ruin his life. My late bill won’t kill me. Missing the meeting is NOT the end of the world. And without me, life goes on.

I also gave up love. I’m not sure I can say I gave it up though because I never had it. I don’t think I’ve given up the dream of love, just the hope that it will ever happen. I don’t stress about it most days. It’s out of my control. I’m just doing what I can.

I used to dream big. I remember dreaming about a party for my sweet 16. I remember it included ice sculptures. Lol. In reality I got a banner at Possum Trot and a dance with Jeff Driggs. Not quite an ice sculpture. The retreat was dreaming big. REALLY big. So is the movie night event this summer and the studio. But they’re not dreams I actually expect to happen.

I gave up my dreams to pursue me. Now that I’ve found me, maybe it’s time to dream.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Love is Possible

Got the SDGE guy to take a picture of me :)

I did something incredible today. I feel empowered and I can’t stop smiling. Love IS possible.

Last month my friend posted on FB, “There are easier things in life than trying to find a nice guy… like nailing jelly to a tree.” Ever since then I’ve been thinking about nailing jelly to a tree. How would I do it? Is it even possible? Well, today I tell you that it IS possible to nail jelly to a tree. With 8 packets of stolen jelly, jam and marmalade, some nails, my freezer, a hammer, and a tree borrowed from a neighbor I’ve done it! :)

I feel SO empowered. I just stood there and stared at my achievement, my art. Because for me it wasn’t just jelly nailed to a tree. It was proof that love IS possible. It’s not out of my reach. I have goosebumps and I can’t stop smiling. :) I didn’t want to take them down but the rain is coming again and it might be kind of messy.

Except for 9 tiny holes, this tree is just as it was when I met it today. But I’m not. This project has changed me. I feel hope. Pretty powerful stuff. Love is possible. I promise.

And nailing jelly to a tree is actually pretty easy. If you’d like to try it, here’s how. (And many thanks to Tim for help with the brainstorming.) I froze half the packets with the nail already through them, which made them slightly easier to put up, but it doesn’t matter.

BIG smile. :D I feel like twirling on a dance floor in a circle skirt with my arms out and screaming. (sigh) High-five, God.

The first picture in the slide show is the one of supplies.

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What is love?

4-17-10                 9:30pm

I had an incredible day today. Only slept about an hour. Woke up in so much pain I was in tears. My neck and arm hurt. I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow and struggled to use my arm.

On the way to the NAMI Walk I cried. Mom didn’t notice. Or maybe she did and ignored me. There is so much in my head and I haven’t been able to write. My arm and my body and mind simply have refused to let me. Sometimes there’s so much there that it’s just impossible to slow down long enough to write. I need a way to download streaming thoughts wirelessly…

“Fearless” by Taylor Swift runs through my head. I saw Janice today. I ran up and hugged her. I am so grateful for her and I miss her. (slow breath) I close my eyes and remember the happiness she brings… My thoughts are quiet. She means a lot to me.

I talked to S—, or attempted to. My words were not working so well and I was fighting pain. He wasn’t feeling well either. It was a weird interaction.

I had a walk team but no one to walk with. I wanted to walk with Impact but it didn’t feel right. So I set out to walk alone. It’s what I usually end up doing. I talked to several people along the way. I saw Jamie. It’s so good to see him. He’s fun to talk to.

I walked a lot with John. And we talked about S—. I talked to a few people about love today. Defining love and waiting for people.  John kept saying to keep looking for different people. I heard his words but it’s like Teflon mind. They slid right off because they just don’t fit.

As I started to tell you before, I think I have a different definition of love than most people, or most people my age. We don’t want the same things. (wave of agitation/anxiety)

What is love? How do I define love? I don’t understand romantic love. I’m not looking for dinner and dates and sex and babies and happily ever after and riding off into the sunset. I don’t get that and I can’t give it back.

(Tears. “Only Hope” by Mandy Moore.)

I know a loneliness I’ve never quite found in a person. Love for me is giving everything. Looking through the glass for years, even though he never looks back. It’s sitting in the emergency room at 3am with someone who’s unconscious just to be near them. It’s writing hundreds of letters to someone who never writes back. Traveling thousands of miles to spend maybe 2 minutes with someone, if I’m lucky. Showing up, being there, just to be near them. It’s saving the life of someone I hate. Rescuing a bug. Taking in my psychotic ex-hospital roommate when I’m having a crisis of my own. It’s buying gifts just because. Love is choosing to accept and love the brokenness even when it scares me. It’s a quiet hug. It needs no words.

Jim called it unrequited love. Maybe. But I don’t know anything else. I’ve never had a successful relationship or one where the other person didn’t treat me like shit. I don’t have reference points. I don’t even know what that looks like. What I do know is the loneliness.

I know this “unrequited love” thing because it’s the closest to what works for me. There are people I really want to be close to but I can’t, or they’re not available. So I watch through the glass and observe and build a fantasy. It’s painful and frustrating but it’s given me an intense compassion for others I can’t quell. I have intense anger and hate but not as strong. When everything in me is gone and there’s nothing left, there’s still someone on the other side of the glass – inaccessible but there.

I’ve learned that although with some things you have to ask for what you want or you’ll never get it, with people it’s the opposite. Because I’m asking for things people are scared to or don’t know how to give. Trust, time, love. It scares people that I actually want to know what they think and that I’m usually not fazed by their drama. They don’t like that I’m honest.

But I’m not going anywhere. It doesn’t change. This need for love from people who don’t have it to give. If I look at him while he’s looking at her and she’s taken, what does that do? I don’t know. But it makes for good writing. There is a reason for my connection to S—. I reveal it a thought at a time but I’m getting there.

So do I love him? Yes, I do. I’d take a bullet for that man. But more than anything I just want to be his friend. To talk. To just be. I need someone to share the brokenness.

I feel my heartbeat in my ears. (deep breath)


I’m grateful for Carol today and music.