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

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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

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

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

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.

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

If you’re the prayin’ type…

3-27-14     10:30pm

I feel like I should be typing on a typewriter. The sound of the keystrokes is more fulfilling.

It’s 10:30pm, still an hour and a half in the day. I hope it is dull. I woke up in a terrible funk. A curl-up-on-the-couch-and-stare-afraid-to-move-no-thoughts-unable-to-do-anything funk. I managed to scribble a few words on the page. After a few hours I ate, turned some music on. I dragged myself out the door, despite the paranoia telling me I couldn’t go, that they were watching me and they’d find out. I didn’t want to go to choir. I needed someone to help me. But my mom was asleep and I couldn’t ask. I thought of calling my therapist or my doctor but my words were slipping away and I couldn’t explain it, didn’t know what to ask for or from whom. So I went to Staples. I figured binder shopping on rewards couldn’t hurt. I was able to drive safely. I was astonished. I figured I’d swing by Starbucks for a banana and a cup of hot water to warm my throat so I wouldn’t crack while singing my solo in choir.

This should be a simple thing – getting a cup of hot water from Starbucks. I had finally made it to a semi-stable place and calmed myself into being able to wait 15 fucking minutes in line, pushing me late for choir. When I got to the register the woman told me they no longer serve hot water there. What? She claimed that one of the partners got burned and it was a liability and that some people bring their own stuff to put in the water. ??? I just stared at her. I asked if I could order something else on the menu minus everything but the water. She said sure. She asked what I’d like. I asked what on the menu has water in it. She said if she did it for me she’d have to do it for everyone and glared at me. My emotion was at a 10. It took EVERYTHING in me just to stand there and not move, not make a sound. I put the banana down, put my hand up and said, “I can’t do this,” and walked away. I was to the car by the time I realized I could have ordered tea with the tea on the side. Not that I drink tea. I would have paid $10 for a damn cup of fucking water. What she said made no sense. And was rude. And was just beyond what I could tolerate.

I sat in the car not moving, barely breathing for several minutes. Couldn’t scream. Couldn’t talk. Needed to die RIGHT THEN. I kept seeing myself stabbing me in the stomach with the ice pick my mom used to own but now doesn’t remember. The urge was SO intense. I didn’t move. Cuz seriously, I don’t need to be driving like that. I was pissed when I remembered I’d agreed to live 6 months for the DBT program. Fuck. When is that up? Eventually I started driving. I had the urge to admit myself to Grossmont as I passed by. Air 1 helped. I couldn’t figure out how to get to the college from the mall. The freeways were all twisted and I kept missing the off-ramp, driving in circles. I was so mad. I wanted to quit altogether but I thought choir might help me feel better. I made it to the school, paid for parking, got a big hug from Derek. Much needed. Sat next to Karen. I told her I was a 1/7.5 on the mood chart. She got it, invited me to a movie this afternoon. Singing was much needed. Bumped me up to a 4 for about an hour, then I crashed to a staring 2 for awhile. The movie brought me back up. Honestly, the best film I’ve seen in quite some time. I needed the feel of home. It’s Kind of a Funny Story. After the movie we went to dinner. Then I skipped choir, hit Walmart, and crashed again on the way home.

I’ve been crashing a lot. I’m concerned. My doctor says I need to cut back on what I’m doing but I don’t know how. I know if I don’t I’ll only get worse. I don’t know how. I wake up in the morning when my alarm turns off, not when it comes on. I need express instructions. I am tired during the day and my back is spasming and locking up on me. My head pain has returned and my blood pressure has dropped markedly. I can’t concentrate. I don’t write. I can’t think. When I come home at night I shovel M&Ms into my mouth (literally a giant bag every night) and fall asleep on the couch on or around 9pm. My mom wakes me up and I go to bed. There are all these positive opportunities for me right now. I even just had a great weekend at Possum Trot, which was awesome. I don’t know what is happening.

So tonight while I was curled up on the couch falling asleep next to my almost empty bag of M&Ms I heard my mom shouting into the phone. It seems my sister-in-law died unexpectedly this morning in my brother’s arms. What? Right. I know. Where the Hell did that come from? I got up and came in the kitchen to read the post-it note she was scribbling on. I would have known this sooner if I’d checked Facebook today but I didn’t. Lovely. My mom told him he shouldn’t be angry at God. Actually, IT’S OK. Not that she’s dead but that he’s angry. I don’t understand. And I don’t have to. I just have to go. After an errand in the morning, my mom and I will go up there. Crisis is a good distraction but why death? He was finally happy. I don’t understand.

I’m tired. I am tired. I will go tomorrow and do whatever is needed. Greg is family. MY family. I pray this brings the family closer instead of pulling them apart. I hope my brother can hold on. I love him dearly. I also hope my staring, body-crashing episodes are paused for the duration of this crisis. They are not needed. I should tell my people. I should also sleep. It will be a long day.

Thanks for reading, listening. I know I haven’t been posting. I write things that just never make it here. It’s been a bumpy ride. Please keep my family in your prayers if you’re the prayin’ type. Thanks.

© 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

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

Just One

12-21-10    3:01am

People don’t get it. It just takes one. One tiny thing to change my mood. A look, a thought, a smell, a word, a song. Just one.

I work really hard to maintain my sanity, to balance all the people and memories and places, to refute the distortions, to pick out what’s real from what’s not. It’s like walking backwards on a tight rope 100 feet in the sky blindfolded during Santa Annas in the desert over a pit of hungry tigers and fire. Most days I do okay. But it just takes one thing.

Today was very stressful. I made it through my group and my meeting, enjoyed dinner with a friend, worked on the Thursday Poets Rally. And I had found a bit of peace. The sound of the rain. The feel of my breath. And there it appears – a Facebook message that reads, “Thanx for nothing!” Really? Do you have to be such a bitch? I can’t control the fact that you have no tact but I also can’t control how you make me feel. I can attempt to use logic to change that feeling, but I can’t change the seething anger in my soul. You take perverse delight in waking the colicky child I had finally calmed for the night. Just because you can! And for what reason? (Don’t reach) It’s all about you.

People don’t think. Most people I interact with don’t take the time to wonder how what they say will affect the next person. They don’t care if I’m teetering on the edge. Not their problem. I might be able to handle just one. But they’re everywhere.

I want to move away, get a new phone number, change my email and my FB, and my blog. I can’t take it anymore. People are making me crazy. I am too tired to put up with their shit. It’s too much.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Insufficient Funds

12-20-10    12:10pm

I fucking HATE PEOPLE! Oooooooh! I just want to scream. All they ever think about is themselves. You should read the messages I get – email, text, IM. They tell me their problems, what they want, why they’re mad. Why I should care, say “poor baby,” kiss it and make it all better. Most days I can handle the rush. Not today. I’m not afraid of the storm but don’t shower me with shit.

There are some people who are predictable – like the girl who texts me symptoms. Not “Hi, how are you?” but things like “my scalp is really itchy”

(call from a stupid person)

or that she’s having horrible heartburn. There is the one who calls but doesn’t want me to answer, the ones that are 99% of the time mass messages, and the ones from people who always want my immediate attention. I am surrounded by people in various states of disrepair.

And then there are people like J- who send multi-text rants to me about my friends, complete with insults against me, with not so much as a forward and are CONFUSED when I’m upset. What? About 10 texts in I texted back, “J- I don’t need this right now. You just randomly text me to bitch about S- and then insult me for no apparent reason. Leave me the fuck alone. You didn’t even ask how I am today.” His response? “Are you ill? If so, my apology.” Ill or NOT this is ridiculous. He continued his rant and said he’ll text me later.

I have a board meeting tonight. My mom is freaking out about our mostly bare Christmas tree and her online bill thing not working and the rain. She said to eat cereal for breakfast but when I was eating it changed her mind and said I should eat a bagel. I open the door to hear the rain. She shuts it and goes back in her room. I’m gonna make brownies. She decided maybe she should make them. Maybe we should NOT decorate the tree we fought so much about (because she refused to decide) because of Zoe. Or MAYBE since it’s raining we should only put on the generic glass bulbs that shatter instead of the breakable ornaments we love. I don’t get it. Then she cries because she’s making me mad and if I’m mad it must mean she’s a horrible person and she should just die.

**NEWSFLASH! I have feelings too!**

I don’t mind helping friends in need but it’s not my job to rescue you. And if I do and you jump back in the water, don’t expect me to happily risk my life for you again. I woke up to a call from Illinois about this woman’s brother who is bipolar and has a restraining order against him (blah, blah, blah) for threatening to kill his wife. Do you think that’s a happy way to wake up? Everyone wants something from me. There’s not much left to give.

I’m so angry…

Now Mom’s bitching about food. She’s upset that I don’t want to eat because she told me to eat cereal and I did. She said that’s not what she said, then that it is. Is it too much to ask for a little peace? When the walls of my castle are under attack it would be nice if the people inside didn’t add to the stress.

There is a board meeting tonight. I hope it goes off without a hitch. I’m tired of people saying they’ll do things and bailing, doing things that require damage control, or being all bitch and no work.

I am tired. I feel weary and beat. I want to be alone. Just leave me alone. I want to go somewhere on the bus in the rain, to get wet, to listen to music. To feel my jaw unclench itself, my eyes let go. I want to ride the train. Get out of my way. You’re cramping my brain.

The bank of Michelle has insufficient funds. Please seek help elsewhere.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Some days I’m just crazy

12-1-10 6:47pm

I’m sitting on the sidewalk at 30th and Laurel. My hand is so cold I can barely write. My heart is on fire.

I went to the art show tonight to find that none of my art was displayed. They neglected to tell me this. Apparently, the gallery chose 1 piece from every artist and they chose that I read my poem instead of taking up space with my art. I did not want to read that poem, especially tonight, and I left.

I know I’m not Picasso. I don’t paint huge masterpieces. I use markers and crayons. But I don’t paint or create for fun. I put my heart on the page as it is, what my feelings look like on the inside. And I don’t share what I create because it is so personal to me. But I took a chance this time on an art show that didn’t ask for brilliance. It asked for me. And I felt proud of what I had created.

The message given tonight was “there’s no room at the inn.” Not altogether disturbing. But the message received is “you’re not good enough.”

I am good enough, just not tonight. Just not long enough to stay and pretend to be happy and read a poem about my dying inner child, whom I can’t save. Not enough to not be crushed and hurt. I don’t have a collection of glass bowls or silver jewelry. I just have me. That’s it. A- thinks she offended me. I’m not mad at A-. She is a pawn in the game. I thought for a moment, “Why, God? Why?” But it doesn’t matter why. It just is… It just is.

7:16pm

I feel like a horrible person. It is the silent car ride home after a behavior – walking out of somewhere or screaming or telling someone off or running away. It is what I need to do in the moment to stay alive and sane, but no one else understands it. They want to know what’s going on and why and what the hell I’m thinking. Does it matter? No. All that matters is I’m not okay. But it’s not me that they care about. It’s the behavior. God forbid I embarrass myself or anyone else.

I have learned well that in the moment I want to scream or am beginning to tremble or cry I need to leave. If I stay, bad things will happen. People other than me will be hurt. And no one cares to see a tantrum or a meltdown. Nobody cares. And few are truly equipped to be helpful.

Now my mom is angry. I’d like a banana smoothie but we have no bananas and she broke the blender – a year ago. I don’t want to go home. I miss Sarah.

I should’ve gone to the Grant. I need music. I need to be free.

11:35pm

I don’t understand why this is happening. I don’t understand why this is me. Why things don’t make sense. Why people are mean. Why I can’t tolerate change or surprise or defeat.

A little over 5 hours ago I left an art show I was very upset about. I walked until I could walk no more, then sat on the sidewalk to write. Mom picked me up and I bought comfort food and stuffed my face while surfing FB. I was SO upset about the show. And then I forgot. I knew I was upset but not why. I’ve been typing blog posts and tonight’s writing feels ages away. It’s not important. I mean it is. I don’t understand.

I don’t want A- to be mad at me. If I had stayed there would have been a scene. Me crying and screaming is not art show material. There is no one to be productively angry at. Just a bunch of people I like and want to keep as my friends. I can’t do that if I’m screaming at them.

I wish I was the kind of person who could take it in stride, just roll with the punches and move on. But I’m not. I can’t stop the feelings, especially when they’re at 100%. And when I’m already upset. I don’t want to be the crazy person. I work really hard not to be. But sometimes I am. I can’t stop. But I can move it away from the people. I’m sorry, A-. I just couldn’t do it today. I just couldn’t do it today.

Some days I’m just crazy.
I am out of control.
Not everyone’s, just mine.
I wander the streets.
I walk quickly.
I have a destination but it’s abstract.
I never quite make it.
I talk to myself.
I talk to God.
I talk to whoever it is that’s bugging me.
And my feet carry me away, quickly away.

I don’t usually know to where I am heading.
Some place I can hide or be alone and cry,
Where no one will bug me or find me.
Somewhere safe.
Not in the literal sense of the word but the feeling.
But nowhere’s safe.
And eventually somebody finds me.
And eventually I have to go home.
And face the fact that everyone thinks I’m crazy.

Well, not everyone.
There are a significant number of people who believe nothing’s wrong with me.
They believe I’m not sick, that I don’t have problems.
It’s all make believe.
But whether or not they believe, to most the wandering is not okay.
The anger’s not okay.

I don’t know what she told them.
Rationally, I am a mental health consumer who left the art show without reciting poetry due to a mental health event that I had no control over.
To me, I’m a horrible person who ruined A’s night and made a fool of myself. A crazy who’s not worth saving.
I feel awful.
Did I have to remember this?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

How are you?

11-7-10                2:07am

I shall continue my wee hours pissed off rant with some thoughts about the phrase “How are you?”

I think it should be stricken from the English language, from any language actually. It’s an AWFUL phrase. Who the Hell came up with it? Seriously. 99.9% of the people who ask me that don’t give a fuck how I am. They don’t care about my day, nor are they equipped to handle it if I told them. They want me to say good or fine or great. Some of them don’t even stop walking. Why can’t they just say, “Hey.” And if they do stop, “Hey, Nice to see you.”

It doesn’t make any sense. You’re supposed to ask me how I am and I’m supposed to lie. And I’m supposed to ask you back and be satisfied with your non-answer or lie and then move on with my life. What? WHAT IS THE POINT?! And then people get all flustered when I actually want to know how they are, how they’re feeling. Gosh, that’s so personal. And if I should choose to say something other than one of the few acceptable responses there is shock and awe. WHAT?! You’re not OK?! What ever could be wrong? (subtext – please don’t tell me.) Someone asked me the other night if I was okay. I said no. He said, “Be okay. That’s my motto,” and walked away. I had a meltdown. Don’t worry. I cried where no one could see me. Couldn’t risk not being okay in public. (roll my eyes)

Acceptable replacements: How are you feeling? How’s your day? What’s going on? Anything you actually want the answer to.

I just don’t understand. The How are you? interaction makes me feel separate. Like there was an opportunity for an actual connection but it just didn’t happen. It was “fine.” I’m pretty good at reading past people’s non-answers but they usually aren’t as invested in reading past mine. What’s the point really if it’s nothing that will ever be said? But I would rather walk away at “fine” with someone I know doesn’t care than open myself up to feeling worse from their stupidity.

Everyone asks and nobody cares.

How are you?
Go to Hell.
Alrighty then. I’m fine, thanks.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

No Peace

5-23-10                 5:36pm

I wish my mom would just let me be. There is no peace in my house, little when I’m out. She’s constantly contacting me. Last night she sent at least ten texts wanting to know where I was, what I was doing, if I knew how to get there, what time it was over, if I got a seat, if I was still there. For God’s sake. I sit at the computer and she’s constantly asking me questions and to do things that are neither her tasks or related to what I’m doing. She “thinks” (assumes) I will do things or magically know what she’s thinking or wants me to do. Then she gets mad when I don’t do what she thought. THOUGHT. Key word.

She says she’s mad because I never help her around the house, but she never asks me to do anything that helps or affects HER. Like today she was mad I didn’t put my makeup in the bathroom. But it’s MY makeup on MY floor in MY room. It’s MY business. She always wants the table cleaned off, though she is constantly moving my things and adding to piles I’ve worked hard to pare down. So I started to work on the table today and she got mad about where I was putting my papers. I said, “If you want this stuff off the table, you don’t get to say where it goes. It’s not yours.”

She’s finally stopped yelling at me most nights. That’s good. But nothing’s ever good enough for her. My shirt is too low. My pants are too long. I spend too much money. Yes, she bitches about MY money too. I can’t do laundry. She asks me for directions but refuses to follow them, then gets angry at me when we’re late. What? There is no peace.

And when I cannot stand being around her and leave she calls and texts again and again. It’s fucking insane. People wonder why I stopped taking her calls when I moved to LA. This is why. There is no peace. It’s also why I like going places alone and why the peace of the hospital is comforting.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010