Sunday (vent)

4/30/2017     12:32pm

I can’t do this.

I’ve been home about a half hour. I took an Uber from 1925 Elm, wherever that is. It has not been a good day.

I actually woke up when my alarm went off at 8:30am and started researching how Facebook Live works so I could share Women’s Day at the church with my friends. K- had texted letting me know T- was speaking because he knows my friend really likes her. I didn’t get an event up yesterday due to the NAMI Walk but I put it on my page and I wanted to be able to share it, especially with that friend. I told a few people at the NAMI Walk too.

My body hurt quite a bit today from missing my 5pm meds yesterday during a nap, but I got up and took a shower. I had laid out my clothes – a really cute black and white skirt and black top. I heard my mom getting dressed, which baffled me since she neither likes that church, or Women’s Day, OR ever wants to go there. She said she just hadn’t been feeling well. Bullshit. She’s spooked from almost dying and wants to go to church so somehow “going with” me, which means driving me, which means us being late on a day I’m specifically trying to capture everything, seems perfectly sane. Right. But my balance is off today and I’m running into walls and dropping everything and I still fucking hate everyone, carried over from yesterday. I forgot my purse and she was determined for me to eat yogurt instead of writing or changing the last few settings on my phone or figuring out how to tweak a camera accessory to work with my phone.

She was pissed that I’m cranky, for which there are more than a few reasons, some of which are physical. When we got to the church we were the ninth car, including -’s. “Where are the humans?” I said. We were eight minutes late so I thought maybe for once they started on time. The doors were closed. No one opened them. I let my mom in. When the few humans who were there noticed my mom was there they were all excited and happy to see her and saying how they’d been praying.

(make a smoothie, move to couch, turn on piano music)

Everyone was happy to see my mom. I’m glad they paid attention to her. I sat down. The service hadn’t started yet, which I find annoying. – came down from going over a song to hug my mom. He hugged me too. He looked old today and I said so. He said it looked like I got the notification. He gestured towards my outfit. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. The other ladies for Women’s Day were in black & white. I’m assuming that’s what he meant but I still have no idea. I said I wish I had gotten the notice/notification for this day sooner so I could send it out to my people. He said no, that he didn’t want any more notices or people, he just wanted Michelle. I stared/glared at him confusedly. What the fuck was he talking about? I told him you can’t have Michelle without notices or reminders, and I bring people. Again with the no more notices, just Michelle. He said he was changing things, blah, blah, blah. I looked at him again and said, “Don’t make me hit you today. I am not in the mood.” I was not joking and there was no way what I said would have been taken that way. I don’t even remember the last thing he said to me. I just know it was in the same vein. I grabbed my purse, stood up, hands raised in surrender and said, “I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t be here. I’m out.” And I stumbled my way down the aisle and out of the church. I guess I’ve stormed out of enough events in my life that no one bothers to follow, or text, or call. It’s not in the best of neighborhoods. I don’t like being followed, but I’m not sure what meaning to attach to being ignored.

I don’t know what – was referring to, or what he meant. I certainly don’t understand. It was his notice I was talking about. HE sent it to me. He calls me his “new evangelist.” While I don’t like that word, it’s a type of outreach. What is Michelle without networking, without outreach? Really? Go ahead and define me without anything related to connecting people to other people or resources, without some component of organization or information, without sharing, or teaching. I dare ya. Spreading the Good News, or sharing the Gospel, is NETWORKING. I can’t not be me. And I don’t intend to.

I was aware as I left that I didn’t have my journal but I didn’t dare turn back to get it. I walked. I had my purse and my phone. I walked up 49th to Federal, down to Euclid and called an Uber at Elm. I knew it wasn’t safe for me to be walking there. I don’t fit in. I didn’t care. If someone had tried to mug me I would have just handed them my purse. It’s not worth a fight. I’m dressed too nicely on a Sunday morning to be a prostitute and I’m white so that rules some things out. On Federal a police car passed me, turned around and drove past me again. He did this several times. I was paying attention to my surroundings as I walked, but also to my body. Yesterday and today my face has been tense and twitchy, but I noticed something new today. As I walked, my hands were open static, palms forward. They just stayed there. My fingers weren’t moving. My soul was frozen. I give up. I stopped to smell red and yellow roses, said hello to the homeless people as I passed on the street. I smelled the two types of jasmine, picked one. I stopped to stand under the shade of a few trees. I just wanted to write but I had no paper. I needed a safe place to stop.

I wish I had wanted to die. Precarious situation. I’m used to feeling awful and wanting to die. It brings relief and I’m okay. But I didn’t want to die today. I just couldn’t stop the feeling. It’s all over. Nowhere to go from here. Dr. M said we can reset the inside of my brain but not my life. Sometimes I think it’s better to feel worse than good. At least in death there is hope. In this, it’s just endless bullshit followed up by a helping of confusion and then some more shit on the side. Why try to feel or get better if being better hurts worse?

There were no words in the UberPool. Driver barely spoke English. Before he arrived I looked down at my phone and my mom had sent me a text message. It read, “Don’t let the Devil keep you from being in church this am. Come back in, please.” I replied, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll see you later.” I was so hurt. How dare she? Sure. I use everything I have in me to get to a service I’m doing something special for, am extremely triggered and offended by something someone important says to me, leave so I don’t scream or hit someone or say something their delicate ears can’t handle and somehow it’s the DEVIL keeping me out of the church? Riiiiiiiiight. I’m in bed with Satan and my goal is to fuck up the church and cause a scene wherever I go just to get in the way. I’m sorry I never realized the beauty of this plan. I suppose all the people I bring and media I share are Satan-derived too. I earn Hell-points for everyone I bring to church or convert and extra for each time I get upset and leave. (close and roll my eyes) Why even try?

M’s coming over in a half hour to work on folders. I don’t care to see anyone. I don’t want to work. I hate the new labels. I need to return the proof for the table runner. I need a nap.I think I’m getting sick too and my doctor isn’t returning my message. (sigh) Mom called to say she’s bringing food home. I JUST WANT TO WRITE AND SLEEP.

God, please help me.
Happy Sunday.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Life Update – Thoughts from the Couch

11-20-16     11:46pm

I feel sad. (pause) I’m sitting on the couch, tv off. Mom’s asleep. The clock is ticking relentlessly, rain falling on the metal overhang outside. I watch the candle flicker. I don’t know what’s happening.

Today I went to church and lunch with my mom and her friend. I fell asleep after, picked up a migraine and forgot what I wanted to work on. I’m not doing well. I’ve been quite depressed for some time. I wanted to rejoin the ranks of ECT but tried an intensive outpatient program instead. That ended terribly. Now I’m trying to figure out what to do, only I don’t have the mind to do it. Dissociation has taken on a life of its own. I’m losing time. I can’t follow what’s happening. I’m sending freaked out emails to my therapist that later I have no or little recollection of. I started a new med that I’m pretty sure is either making my symptoms worse or holding off the small sanity breaks I usually get. I’m usually a shark when it comes to managing money and two months in a row now I’ve forgotten to pay bills. I can’t keep up with my work, often forget I’m even supposed to be doing it. I go to my group and do the bare bones. I’ve been somewhat honest about the fact that I’m struggling but I don’t share in group or when I’m willing there isn’t time. I avoid it altogether most times since the feedback I get is often silence or replies that are only vaguely relevant. My friends express concern and ask if there’s anything they can do to help. I know if I told them something they would do it, but I don’t know what that is. I’ve pulled away from almost everyone. I don’t know what to do. I go in and out of wanting to kill myself. It’s not a likely scenario considering I don’t actually want to be dead and I can’t undie if I don’t like it. Soleil also pointed out recently that I’m always moving and there’s no movement in death. That would certainly be a problem.

I think it was last month that I had packed a bag and left it in the car should I want or need to go inpatient. I’ve since unpacked it. I did tell my mom after a bit and I told her I was considering more ECT or an IOP. She didn’t really seem surprised or upset, or anything for that matter. When I went into IOP all that mattered to her was that I got my work done, which I didn’t. Ending the IOP was traumatic and I was upset for days. I couldn’t tell her what was happening and when I was finally going to she said something so offensive about a few of my friends that I wouldn’t. We got in a huge unrelated screaming fight a few nights ago. Today she said I wasn’t making sense. I’ll give her that. I tried very hard this evening to talk to her. I told her I’m losing time. I spent all my effort trying to explain what that means, what it’s like for me. (stare off into space) She picked up the remote and said, “What do you want to watch?” There was no response or discussion.

My therapist is doing his damndest, which I have to give him credit for. We’re in rough waters and even I don’t believe in me. For some reason he does. I feel horribly guilty for telling him the truth about what’s happening to me. I don’t want to be the girl who’s always in crisis. I mentioned something recently about working with and educating the police and he straight up laughed, said he would pay to see that, take the whole day off work. I don’t blame him. He’s never seen the side of me that can do that, just the one that’s freaking out.

I don’t know what there is to be scared of. I am so blessed. I live in a safe home with my mom who loves me. I have the most incredible team of providers I couldn’t even dream up and a steady source of income. On top of that, I have a God who loves and protects me no matter what I do and a group that’s got my back. I can let go but I’m afraid to lose control. I’m afraid of losing who I am.
Did who I am even matter?
Not really.
There you go.
I still feel confused and scared. God keeps telling me, “Go.” WHERE?!!
You’ll know.
Shut up.

I have to go to bed now. My goal is 12am and it’s 12:12am now. Thanks for listening to me vent. I hope you’re doing okay.

Michelle

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

Midnight Musings

7/23/16     12:44AM

Trying to write something difficult… So I went shopping… and put stickers on my keyboard. I was sitting on the floor where I usually sit but the smell of dog urine on the rug and the drama of Cedar Cove on the tv have pushed me to the kitchen. I don’t know what to say…

(eat cereal and scan a drawing to distract)

My brother died last week. Well, almost 2 weeks ago. I found out last week I am the legal next of kin. I’ve been asked to sign over my rights but that’s not what I want. I’m very angry about some of the things that happened, and worried about the effect of my actions. “Family” can be such a nasty thing.

I also found out on Thursday (yesterday) that if I want to continue on in Phoenix Rising training I have to do it in Colorado or Vermont, that I can’t do Level 2 here. It’s what I’ve been looking forward to for months. I already didn’t know how I was going to pay for Levels 2 & 3. I didn’t anticipate adding travel in so soon or needing to be stable enough to travel on my own by November. I can’t keep up. I don’t know what to do.

My drawing this week said I’m not alone and that I’m not running. I feel myself not running. In fact, the world seems to be standing still. But I do feel alone. Very. I wish I could feel that moment of wisdom where I wasn’t.

Today I got an email from the management of a choir I sing with. They had talked about us singing at some event on the Midway but never sent out info. Now it turns out they’re giving us a month’s notice to commit to two days of rehearsal in a row followed by the show the third day. This would be great except I just bought concert tickets for a whole group on the first day and I have a support group event the next. Fuck. I don’t understand. It’s Comic-Con. Why can’t one of those superheroes come and rescue me?

(sigh)
I feel like I’m bitching about stupid problems no one needs to hear about anyway. Except for I need to hear about them and I’m eerily quiet. I’m doing the best that I can. I really am. I’m taking my meds, going to my appointments and therapy. I see myself stronger and more grounded than years ago. I know what I want and I’m not afraid to stand in the fire for what’s right, even if I get burned. I’m just learning what it feels like to rely on faith.

I ran over the large remnant of a blown-out tire on the freeway Wednesday evening. I didn’t notice a problem until last night when I stopped to pop the bumper back into place. I told my mom and she discovered it has torn that piece under the car that stops stuff on the road from flying up into the important parts of your car. Lovely. She duct taped it. I think it needs more than tape but she won’t let me file another insurance claim. Last month I scratched a car in a parking lot. For the trivial nature of it it was quite the trial.

I miss how life used to be. I know it sucked but I miss having friends. I miss hanging out and liking each other and staying up all night at a coffee house and having pancakes in the morning. Now most of us have gone our separate ways or are busy or crazy or, let’s face it, dead. When I needed someone to sit with me this week to figure out my brother’s arrangements I literally didn’t know who to call. I went through my phone and finally settled on getting resources from some people I’m on a board with. I cried almost the whole day. Then I sucked it up and helped a friend. I didn’t want to lead a group on Monday but I took one when needed. And when I needed to pass it off at the break because I couldn’t take anymore there was no one there to take the clipboard. The people who used to work crises with me are not there anymore. My transition committee didn’t even show up to the last meeting – not a single one of them. (pause)

Maybe my relationships are affected by my place in the group, but I know that’s not all of it. (fall asleep on the floor) I’m friendly but distant. I don’t share a lot with people, though they share so much with me. I don’t show up to social events I’m invited to, most of the time because I am legitimately tired. And somehow, thanks to -, everyone thinks I call PERT or force people to go to the hospital whenever there’s a crisis, which isn’t true. I miss having friends.

I really want to complete the Phoenix Rising training. And I want my family not to hate me when I have the guts to make my decision regarding my brother known (probably tomorrow). I don’t think doing my best is wrong. It’s just hard sometimes.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

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

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

Making Friends with a Bush

11/2/13     12:18pm

2013-11-01 18.09.53(deep sigh)

I feel nervous. I know I haven’t blogged in forever. Sorry about that. I’ve been so busy and unaware of time or space. I’m barely writing at all. I blame this on driving. And partially on the fact that my brain is turned off.

Yesterday my brakes went out on the freeway. I know that God was there. A few moments before I switched into dissociative or crisis mode for no apparent reason. I was listening to my friend apply a DEESC Script to my current situation. It was afternoon traffic and all of the sudden my brake pedal no longer worked. I could press it all the way to the floor. No stoppage. The emergency brake also failed. Yet, I didn’t freak out. I swerved to miss one car and then again to steer clear of the car I’d just swerved in front of. I made it to an off-ramp and coasted into a parking lot. I chose a bush to stop the car with. We jumped the curb, I turned off the ignition. We were inside a bush. So I put the car in reverse and let it roll back off the curb and out of the bush, pulling the key out midway. We stopped.

My friend Sue who was with me had no idea what was going on, other than that I had swerved twice and that we were now friends with a bush. The car smelled like something was burning and I told her to get out. The drivers side panel was smashed so the door only slightly opened. The windshield wipers held decorative pieces of bush. I called State Farm and we walked over to the farmer’s market. I’ll tell ya, like a good neighbor State Farm is NOT there. I even tried singing the jingle. Didn’t work. It took 3 hours of call after call after call, being transferred and cut off. Didn’t help that midway through my phone started shutting itself off whenever they put me on hold. Eventually the tow truck got there and took the car away.

I did everything right. I did not freak out or fail to respond to the situation. I kept myself and my passenger safe. I did not hit another car. I stopped the car with relatively minor damage. I called the insurance company and had the car taken to my mechanic. I’m proud of myself. I also kept my friend calm who had 2 panic attacks and was freaking out. My mom, however, is not happy with me because I called the insurance and filed a claim. In that moment, and now, the only thing that seems to matter is that her car insurance rate might go up. I might as well have smashed into something dangerous and been injured to distract her from the money. I wish she could see that my coping was AMAZING. I even continued on with my plans for the night and attended a zumba party at my gym and had dinner with Sue. I didn’t freak out. Now I am exhausted.

Today I feel frustrated because our mechanic says there is nothing wrong with our brakes and he doesn’t know why the car would do that. IT WAS REAL. I WAS THERE. IT HAPPENED. I want the car fixed. I can’t have it do that again. I could’ve really been hurt. But for him the car is fine. My mom told me I should never call the insurance before calling her. I told her she’s the last person I call because she freaks out. I just really need somebody to say, “Damn, girl. You’re fucking awesome. You did a GREAT job. We’ll deal with the car later.” My mom wants to go to the gym now. I just want to write.

(eyes closed, head down, deep breath)

I haven’t been writing. My writing time is now taken by driving. All of my story is in me, mixing itself up. I joined an adherent DBT program and got a new therapist. We’re laying all my issues out there and it’s freaking me out. I need about an hour of down time after I see her before I can leave. I want a better life. I want to feel good, be independent, free. But I’m scared of dealing with my issues. All those scary things tucked away in neat yellow boxes tied with a ribbon on the back wall of my life. I don’t open them for a reason. Now they’re all in a pile on the floor and I’m freaking out. Do I want to change? Can I tolerate it? I don’t know. I think I trust her but I need to teach her about me. And communicate. I am in an almost constant state of fear lately. Except when faced with a crisis. Oddly enough I wrote the other day that I need the calm of a crisis. Well, I got it. Now I need to run away.

I gotta go. My mom wants to go to the gym and I’m trying to promote her exercising. I’m so tired, physically and spiritually. I’m singing a duet in church tomorrow that I haven’t practiced. I’m excited. It is “Pie Jesu.” Lord, grant them rest. Lord, grant me rest. I have the appropriate feeling state for the song. Now I need to sing it.

Thank you, God, for keeping me safe. And thank you to whomever is reading this. I really appreciate you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

CRV

9-13-13     1:57pm

I am thoroughly dismayed with the California Redemption Value system. I went out of my way today to go to RePlanet to get the actual amount due to me per item, but they don’t accept crushed/smashed cans or bottles. Really? They’d prefer to smash them personally. I paid the CRV. I want it back. Is it really that difficult? Do other states also steal your money for recycling?

© 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

I feel the need to write…

8/4/13     12:54pm

me 2

I feel the need to write but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m scared. Everything’s changing.

Today I stand tall, walk confidently. A bug sits on my pen. I feel grounded. Diane gave me jewelry. I got many compliments on my appearance, my dress. I feel calm. My head doesn’t hurt yet. I can write without pain. I am removed from me. Watching. It all goes away.

Yesterday I went to a party. I was severely depressed & moderately agitated to begin with. I lied on my floor barely moving, begged myself not to go. But I did. I’m not good at being social. Small talk annoys me. I wanted to leave but I came for S-. I forced myself to participate, to observe. I ate the food, though it scared me. I pet the cat. In my journal I wrote, “I will end up in the hospital soon if I don’t get this under control.”

Today I feel like I’m floating. I sit in a parking lot hugging the sun. A ball of desperation has been growing in my throat causing my voice to be crackly. My body has been weak & riddled with pain. I’ve wanted to kill people all the live long day. The pain has seeped down from my head through my body and into my soul. My thoughts are tainted. They are often not mine. I feel the tears burn my face from the inside. The screams, they live in my forehead. And somewhere deep inside is me trapped in a dungeon surrounded by fire on an island of hate surviving solely on ice chips. She’s going to die…

T- says I look worn down, that she can see the sadness and pain in me. Sometimes it is too great and she must look away. Sorrow runs deep.

I have so much to be thankful for. I am ashamed that people can sense or see my pain. I’m not doing it right. I’m supposed to be perfect and happy. Someone noticed last night and mentioned it. I was devastated.

I am an emotional trash compactor that rarely gets emptied. Sad, tired eyes often imply wisdom. I’d like to let it out. And take these shoes off. I want OUT. I want out.

I went to see about a debt consolidation loan on Friday and the guy talked at me for an hour. Yes, I’m not in the best situation. No, I don’t know how to fix it. I feel thoroughly TRAPPED. I think I could do it from scratch, learn, change my ways. If only I could get there. Someone please help me. (not really) I’m not wearing the right underwear.

My feet hurt.
I’m hungry.

There are so many tasks to do. They will never all be done. I just work as I can. Futile. And eat Chobani yogurt. I need a fan. (not really)

Five of my toes are numb.
I want to go home.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately mapping out how to map out my life. I’ve not had the energy to put the plan into play but it’s coming along. I need to play. And pee. I’m scared.

I need structure, achievable goals, and rewards. Music, dance, art, exercise. SLEEP. I’m a ball of need. And I just keep giving. I feel lonely, alone, even around people. I’m very bothered by things out of place. My other-energy boundaries have eroded. It all comes in. And then I seem pissy and want to kill people and they say I’m rude. Well, you try it, bitch. (deep breath)

I want to sleep and wake up feeling better. My head hurts. I’m hungry. It’s way too hot.

(sit. breathe.)

I breathe the evil out of me. Don’s off beer for 2 weeks for MOHS. We’ll see how that goes. I started NuvaRing today. I hope I don’t gain weight. If I tolerate it well I may be able to decrease or cut out a few other meds. (wave of nausea) I need meds now… Done.

I want to get a FitBit. My therapist is concerned about my sleep and I want to lose weight. I think a monitor and program will help me. Hopefully. Even as just a reminder. I want to be Me again. She is thin. She loses weight. She’s amazing.

My face, hands & feet tingle. My stomach protrudes, despite lack of food. My head hurts. I do not move, but for my hand. My eyes are weary above a faint smile. God is good. Amen.

(fall asleep)

PS – My thyroid biopsy came back normal. I’m waiting on the other one. I’m quite sick for being so healthy. I guess I’m ahead of my time.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Childless

6-4-13     9:53am

(quiet…)

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There is an issue going on at a group I attend. It is heated and ugly and hurtful. I had been handling the situation rather well, even people’s anger at me, until someone said to me yesterday he thinks the problem is most of the people there are “childless.” (pause ) Childless.

(quiet…)

I just stared at him. I said I don’t see that as a or the problem. He said for people with children it’s different… Right… It is the equivalent of saying his views matter more because he got someone pregnant. A grand justification. A rather easy excuse to cut many people off, I say, not deal with feelings. Hate is much easier than truth. I went on about my way but the word kept coming back. Childless.

Yes, I am childless. I have no biological children. I have not given birth. I’m not a foster mom. I don’t babysit. I don’t care often for others’ children. Oftentimes children annoy me. Not by choice… I didn’t wake up one day and decide not to have children, set a goal of dying alone in a house full of cats. I am aware there is a timeline on motherhood and that I’m a good portion into it… Childless.

The word keeps coming into my head. Childless. (deep breath)

I think that men have it easier than women. The person weilding this word pointed out most of the people in the group are childless. I don’t think that’s true. In fact, a good many of the men in the group have children they or someone else care for. A man may complain about paying child support but isn’t caring for the kids. It is harder for a woman to walk away. Like a lion pride, men can fuck and walk away. The women do the work. Most times. If we can’t or choose not to, there are other options. Options of course we will be hated forever for. But yes, it’s the fault of the childless that I don’t hate sex offenders.

I have dealt well with being attacked on many sides in the current situation. For this one I have no defense.

(quiet…)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Damn varmints

11-3-12     8:20pm

Earlier I felt anxious and paranoid. Left a voicemail for Dr. N. Now I feel hopeless and doomed. And a bit paranoid. And my head hurts. :( I was feeling somewhat okay when the pain set in after the anxiety turned to weakness and confusion until my mom told me we change the clocks tonight. All bets are off.

You know, they say it’s daylight savings but there’s no saving involved. It’s more like a credit scam. I need to move to a state where they don’t change the clocks. Nothing gets me more than knowing that tomorrow my days will be lost and I will be cold for the next six months. Okay, some things get me more but not tonight. Bastards.

(break to read Wikipedia)

When my day begins near sunset and ends in darkness…

Society tells me I’m lazy and crazy for getting up in the afternoon and staying up late. But I’m just time-shifting. I live a time-shifted life by about 8 hours and it works for me. Stop pulling time out from under me, ya hear? Damn varmints.

I don’t feel like writing anymore.

Is it Christmas yet?
When is Halloween?
I don’t understand.
Damn, varmints.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Life doesn’t come with airbags

7-26-12     3:01pm

Wow. That is ridiculous. I just called a doctor’s office to request records they failed to send to Social Security. And the lady went off on me. I tried to listen with empathy but finally I said, “Well, I can see how that sucks for you, but it sucks for me too.”

She was telling me how she’s begged and pleaded with Social Security and doesn’t understand why they can’t send someone to the office to copy the records. That she has SO many records she has to do and send and that it’s only her in the office and she’s overwhelmed. (silence) Okay. There are many solutions to this problem. Telling me is not one of them. It’s part of a medical practice to keep records and distribute them as needed. It’s a huge part of a neurology practice that specializes in serious illness. It is unacceptable to be unable to provide the requested documents in a timely manner because you overwhelm your staff and they’re freakin’ out. She literally asked me why they couldn’t just come copy them. I told her that would be a breech of privacy. She said it wouldn’t. Yes it would. To allow access to all patient records by an outsider with copy privileges IS a breech of privacy, in the biggest way. I felt sorry for this lady but I still need those papers.
She said she’d get to them when she can. I said, “Is when you can a month? six months?” She said not six months. (deep breath)

She seemed to think there was a vast pool of resources and available people to just gallivant around town making copies in offices. I’d make the copies myself but she didn’t ask. I’d send her a nice card but I don’t want her to think I’m manipulating her. I’m not sure what to do. The SS guy wouldn’t call me back so I talked to his supervisor today who was so very nice. I was surprised. They’re usually not. (just keep breathing.)

I completed my goals today – make needed phone calls. Email is beyond me. I’m exhausted now. If you’ve sent me an email recently and not received a response, you’re not alone. I’m avoiding it entirely. I just delete what I know is not relevant. I am easily spooked and set off, angered or upset. And I can’t think to deal with business issues. Or any other issues of the sort. I look forward to getting on the bus and riding away. No Acer foreign representatives to frustrate me. No mom on the phone with her boyfriend who is preparing for a tornado, literally. Why do people live in places with tornados? I don’t know. I feel slivly. No, I don’t know what that means.

I’ve been writing a lot. A LOT. I’m glad I see Dr. N next week. I saw him this week too. Dropped off 22 pages of writing yesterday. Too much stress. Life doesn’t come with airbags. I am exhausted.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Rant about politics

*You may find this offensive.*
4-5-12     6:05am

I don’t understand politics. I find myself up ridiculously late exhausted but reading random political news bits. It’s all such bullshit. Like 3rd grade on a much bigger scale and everyone’s fighting over who’s in charge and who gets to do what and whom is in trouble and what they’re gonna do to him and what they’re gonna ban or unban next. Only in 3rd grade there’s a teacher and a principal and you don’t get to choose who they are every 4 years.

It seems lately that most of the bickering is over how not to treat people equally and money. I’ll make it really simple. If you want to solve your money problem, stop fighting wars, legalize assisted suicide and start promoting suicide and abortion and providing free birth control. It’s much cheaper to kill off the people who cost you money and prevent new ones from existing than to help them. Politicians know that. And I’m not being cheeky either. I’m one of the people they’re trying to kill off. They’re just not doing it effectively. And I take offense to that.

Stop fighting over abortion and gay marriage and whether or not we should have a fort on the moon and why we shouldn’t do what’s right by our people. Just stop. It doesn’t make any sense. And for God’s sake, stop the “war on drugs.” We all know you lost. Let’s regroup. Can you do that? I don’t understand. I’m pretty sure you don’t either.

M

© MR 2012

Bitch, you crazy

4-4-12     1:48pm

I wonder how many people PMS has actually killed. I have had THE worst 2 weeks, not just wanting to kill other people (pretty standard), but myself. It took all my energy not to do it. There are stressors in my life but the magnitude of this building freakout was not in proportion. Last night and the night before were THE worst. And then today I got my period and I’m crashing. I feel so much better.

I’m accustomed to the physical symptoms of PMS and being moody, but nothing like this. Being crazy as a standard doesn’t bother me but being crazy from PMS does. I feel like it devalues the experience. Oh, it was just PMS. She’s just hormonal. Well just almost killed me. Damn. I already have one diagnosis that means “it’s all in your head.” I don’t need another that means, “Bitch, you’ just a crazy woman.” I believe they call that one PMDD. Like it really needs a name.

(sigh) I’d like to be less crazy. I have enough trouble managing/handling my day to day symptoms. I don’t know why this is worse now. When I was in high school I had horrible cramps and PMS, but since I’ve been on antipsychotics I’ve been fine. I tried birth control once but it made me WAY worse. My doctors tell me I shouldn’t have kids, which makes me wonder why I even have a functioning system at all. I don’t know, but I do. And it’s trying to kill me.

Bitch, you crazy.
Bitch, I know.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

A Guardian and other randomness

3-30-12     12:55 am

i wonder how the mind works seven in the night. Tonight I went to a bar to hear music. I pondered the plasticity of the brain and soft shoe dancing. And “Mona Lisa” made the joints of my ring finger tingle. I wrote about my feelings and fears, drank tea and ate bad chicken. Altogether a good night.

I was disturbed though by this one waiter. He’s never nice to me. He tries to appear to be but he’s cocky. He asked to see my ID to be in the bar after I’d already ordered. I said since they serve food there’s no age limit. He said I would need a “guardian” with me. Wow. How old do I look? I’m not drinking. I’ve been there many times before. My behavior is not disruptive. I walk around and write. Even 20 year olds don’t have guardians. I felt offended. He blamed it on his manager. I guess tea drinking chicken eating writers are not wanted as regulars there. Quite disconcerting. For the record, I’m 26. And sober.

I talked to Jim today about my trip to GA. I went to Possum Trot last weekend and had a blast, remembered how much I love clogging and how much I need to do it more. The project/idea side of my brain started scheming and I decided I need to take a trip to GA to find myself through clogging for a month. My mom is completely against it, says it’s ridiculous and crazy. My friends and providers think it’s great. I think it’s awesome and exciting and terrifying. But I so wanna do it. I found a craigslist room for rent ad there and actually emailed about it. I want to find me. Wherever I left her she’s waiting.

I took a trip to GA 8 years ago under very different circumstances. I’ve grown a lot since then. It’s something to remember. I want to learn to be more independent, to take care of myself and not have to rely on others. I think this might be like a missions trip. Mission: Find me. Get away for a time from everything here, everything doctor, illness, all the labels and expectations. Write, dance, breathe. I don’t know if it will happen but the planning gives me hope. A thing to believe in. A thing to be.

It’s weird. Today I hear the cadence of what my thoughts should be, but I can’t quite hear the words. It’s annoying. And free. Really it’s not free, but it should be. Knee. Things rhyme but they don’t make sense. Whatever. Just me. I spent $95 at Victoria’s Secret today to get a free umbrella. I shoulda just bought an umbrella. They never have panties that fit me. I know I have a big butt but it’s not THAT big…

Zoe’s on the door and I can’t think. I noticed at the workshop this weekend that I didn’t have as much trouble thinking. Less confusion and thought blocking. And the more days of not dancing the worse it gets. I have to wonder if I danced every day if I’d be less confused. Life processed through dancing makes sense. Life processed through other things is just a mess. Oh yes. (sigh)

I’d really like some peanut butter and jelly. Not so much the bread. Imran. (big smile) I know I’m rambling, but I like rambling, and so do you. Here’s to not making sense. (clink)

I gotta sleep. I feel like someone rearranged all the connections in my brain and it no longer works right.

Happy trails, Michelle

PS – I’ve lost my love of capital letters lately. like wearing pajamas to work.

(happily watching Stand Up For Mental Health videos and random YouTube comedy)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I am SO hungry

1/6/12     11:28pm

I am so hungry. SO hungry. I can’t BEGIN to tell you how hungry I am. Even though I know I shouldn’t be.

I go through phases where I don’t eat much and am not hungry at all. Then there are times like now when I just can’t stop eating. I don’t have an eating disorder. I’m not on a new medication. I’m just HUNGRY. It’s so frustrating. I’m literally salivating, even after just eating Chinese food and drinking a bottle and a half of water.

I don’t know what to do about it. My hypothalamus hates me. There are so many random things going on with me. And last week’s mania. And my staying up super late now yet sleeping 12 hours a night when I was going to bed earlier and sleeping about 8 hours. And my inability to control my body temperature. And getting fever blisters on my lips again. And feeling SO cold. And now HUNGRY. And more horny than usual. What the fuck is going on with me???

I can’t keep eating and get fat again. I can’t tolerate being fat. But I can’t tolerate feeling hungry either. I Googled around for appetite suppressants and all I found were diet pills. I don’t want to lose weight (although it wouldn’t bug me). I just don’t want to gain it by eating when I couldn’t possibly be hungry but feel starved. This is a problem for me.

If I don’t eat, I continue to feel hungry. If I don’t eat for long enough, I get sick. But not knowing when I’m actually hungry interferes with my knowing if I’m going to get sick. If I do eat because I feel hungry, I don’t feel full. I feel even MORE hungry. Which is worse. But I have to eat something. And if I don’t eat, and eat and eat, it’s like I’m going to explode. What is the solution? Is there one? Or do I just have to wait until my body swings back the other way to eating almost nothing? A few months ago I couldn’t eat more than half of a kids meal at Panda Express. Today I finished off a two entree plate, with the chow mein, 4 spring rolls and 3 sodas. And, while the physical fullness was painful, I still felt hungry. As I do now. I don’t know what to do.

(sigh) I’m hungry.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Is there such a thing?

1/4/12     12:20am

Oh, good God. The race has begun. They interruped my tv show to talk about the Iowa election today. It’s all over FB. Really?

I used to somewhat like politics. I thought voting was exciting. I thought I could make a difference in the world. But it’s not true. I have zero faith in the system. I don’t understand why Iowa and Florida are so important. And I know that no matter who wins they will cut social services and healthcare and try to kill me. And that my entire year will be spent trying to avoid radio, print and tv ads by the people vying for the position of person who can kill me and all the people fighting each other about various propositions.

Was it always this way? This sleazy and annoying? What would FDR think? Would Benjamin Franklin embrace this insanity or climb back into his grave? I can’t imagine him loving our “progress.”

It would be nice if I could just sequester myself until after the election, or at least close to it. Where is the hope? I need some political hope. Is there such a thing?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012