© Michelle Routhieaux 2017
© Michelle Routhieaux 2016
Insincerity is NOT a benchmark of adulthood. It is a result of being brainwashed. And it is what lands us all in therapy.
What is the first thing our parents teach us when we’re little? Don’t lie. And what is the second thing they teach us? To lie. How are you feeling? No, you don’t feel that way. That doesn’t hurt. You shouldn’t say things like that (even though they’re true). Don’t lie. Didn’t I tell you not to lie? Are you listening to me? Don’t lie now. Gosh, wasn’t that movie amazing? (NO) We are taught to say only what others want to hear, that our feelings don’t matter and that we should not, by any means, ever share the ones that aren’t pretty. And definitely never tell the truth.
So when they ask us how we’re feeling, we’re “fine.” And everything inside us is a raging wildfire burning us alive but there’s no one to tell it to. And we’ve been told for so long that our feelings are not valid or real that we now don’t even know what we’re actually feeling. Or some people claim to have stopped feeling at all. And then one day we go crazy. We scream at the boss or blow up a car or run through the streets naked yelling something about George Bush and Al Gore making love at Burning Man in a pig-filled mud pit. And everyone says that we’re crazy. Oh, he was such a nice boy. But really, we’re not crazy at all. We’re just fucked up due to brainwashing that tells us we shouldn’t and therefore don’t feel the way we do and, IF we still do, that we should NEVER communicate it. (sigh) Seriously.
And it takes many years of therapy to learn to trust and to know what we’re feeling and to TELL THE TRUTH. Holy God, that’s a difficult task. Most people are truth-intolerant, you know that? They just don’t want to know. When they ask how I feel they don’t really want an answer. If I tell them, their response is certainly not helpful. Then I feel ashamed because I certainly must’ve done something wrong by HAVING that feeling AND by sharing it. Oh gosh. Now what do I do with this shame I now feel about having a feeling and the guilt I now feel ‘cuz I can’t tell anyone about my shame because that’s not something I can share either. Guess it’s another secret I have to keep.
And again, “How are you doing?” “Fine.”
Inner dialogue: DAMN, I hate my life. Nobody listens to me. Nobody cares. I’m all alone.
Inner therapist: They can’t know what you don’t tell them, Michelle.
Me: But they don’t want to know! AHHHHHHHH!
And again, “How are you?” “Fine.”
Inner dialogue: This is never going to end. I should kill myself now.
Inner therapist: Probably.
And again, “How are you doing?” “AAAAAHHHHH! I FUCKING HATE YOU!!!!!”
Other person: “What a bitch.”
Me: Damn straight. Get the fuck out of my way.
This is not a part of adulthood. This is some fucked up shit.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2011
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
If you don’t want me for what I am, I don’t want you for what you’re not.
It’s all a game really. I just got off the phone with S-. She’s got a date tonight she’s getting dolled up for. I have a headache. We had a conversation (well, more like an argument) about the institution of dating and expectations. She believes and plays along. I play along but I resent the game.
She was telling me how it’s important to look your best and how you can tell a lot from how a person looks about what they believe, who they are, their character. In reality these are assumptions & judgments. The thoughts are real but not necessarily accurate. She was saying how it’s important not to put all your cards on the table in the beginning or they won’t want you. I know that well. But anyone who doesn’t want me because of who I am or where I’m from or how I dress is not someone I want anyway.
I KNOW it’s a game. I dress the part. I play but I don’t follow all the rules. And the last thing I need to do is reel some guy in who thinks I’m something I’m not, fall head-over-heels for him and have him leave me when he finds out who I am. I also don’t want to fall in love with someone who’s not all of him. I want to see the unacceptable side, to know what I’m getting. Show me the CARFAX.
Her interpretation of me based on my dress is that I’m meticulous. I am, but not about my dress. What she sees is what I choose to show her in the game. What she believes based on that image is her interpretation. I have no control over that. I know very well that people are looking, for the most part, for a sane well put-together self-sufficient mate with little drama, little debt, and a rosy disposition. I am also aware that I am not that. I may play the game to get what I want (or close to it) but in a mate I want someone who loves me for me. Someone who loves that I put my hair in a clip and carry Play-Doh in my purse and walk my cat, who’s not scared that I’m sick and doesn’t roll his eyes at my food rules. In return, I can accept imperfection, unpolished shoes, “bad” feelings, and annoying habits. Just love me for me. In the words of Meredith Gray, “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” I’m tired of playing the game.
I want someone who loves me when I don’t love myself. In pearls and in sweats. When I haven’t showered in a week. When I can’t stop throwing up. When I’m inpatient. When I’m angry. And when I’m not. Because that’s me. There is more to me than just what you see.
What do you see when you look at me? What goes through your mind? Sometimes I think you get it. Then there are days like today when you’re so far away. (deep breath) So very far away…
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010