Let Go

What are you holding on to?
© Michelle Routhieaux 9/6/2017

Advertisements

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

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

Take Back the Breath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear M-,

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

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

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

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

Boundaries Needed

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

What is okay:

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

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

Please leave me alone, M-. Please.

With respect,
Michelle

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

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

No Batteries

5/2/16     9:53am

I want to write but I’m SO scared.
Curled up in a ball on the floor,
Scenes flash through my head.
TERROR, Horror, Guilt, No control.
I don’t move.
I can’t do what they want me to.
They don’t know who I am.
Do you?

Tick, tock, tweet, meow, the sound of cars.
My mind has passed by.
Why did you leave me?
Radical acceptance. No batteries.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

Still Worth Saving

7/14/14     2:05pm

pink button 7-14-14Still.

(several sighs)

I feel my throat burn and face and hands tingle. The chaos floods back in quickly. I drew my picture. Then I colored out the anxiety.

Today I let go.
I am worth saving.
I am still worth saving.

Still. That implies that I was before.
I’m also still okay.

I feel nauseous and scared.

(go outside)

(stretch, toes in grass, look at sun & upside down trees)

I am okay.
I’m afraid of the pain.
I’m afraid of the pain being real.
It’s everything I want.
If I go through it, will it subside?
If I come to life, will I want to be in it?
Will I be able to get back out?

I am okay.
I’m still okay.
I don’t know what that means.

I’m accessing. I’m getting closer to her. I’m letting her take over me.

I feel frustrated because today it’s different. I went from chaos at an 8 to a 0 with Soleil. I practiced trust and truth, hanging on and letting go, listening. (wave of sadness). Then chaos clamped down like a dungeon door trapping me in when I left.

(image in my mind of me begging at the door when the back of my cell had no wall)
Just turn around.
You’re still okay.
It’s okay to save you.

Remember today, resist self-sacrifice.
Eat. Move your body. Believe.

That’s all ’til next time.
Over and out. –

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Pain is a hat

6-30-14     2:07pm

Pain is a hat 6-30-14

Pain is a hat.

Pain is more of a hat than a liver. It can’t hurt me. It’s not part of me. Letting go isn’t loss. Hanging on isn’t gain. Pain is a hat.

I just finished with Soleil. Amazing session. I started out very agitated, scared. I talked about being scared Dr. Nicolas will be mad and afraid to go back to being sick.  A small dot in my stomach was me.

I laid on my back and she put her hand on the dot. We talked. I couldn’t trust, was still scared, so she held my hand. It was grounding. She was real. My hand felt real. She touched my forearm (real), my upper arm (real). She stretched out my arm, pulled. It was the reach of a line, a dance stretch. It opened up the inside of my upper arm, like when I twirl. I joined my other arm. I was calm. So calm. I felt pleasant joy. No anxiety. I listened to the tick of the clock, felt my heartbeat in my stomach. And I remembered what I told Ana – that maybe the pain/feeling doesn’t want to be there either. Am I fighting a friend, an ally?

Pain is just a hat. I can take it off and still be me. It and emotion and life are experiences. I choose pink glitter. I can change hats every day. Or leave one on for years. Or wear more than one at a time. Or I can wear no hat at all.

Some hats have magical powers. When I wear them I transform or change, but they don’t affect the real me, the foundation. Except the ones that are tattooed on, but those are more like skidmarks, scars, memories.

Pain is a hat.

(pause)

So, I guess it doesn’t matter what I go through, whether I’m sick or treated or not. Telling Dr. N doesn’t make the hat more real. Taking medication to remove it doesn’t remove me. Pain can’t hurt me. It’s a hat. Pain is a hat.

Thank you, God. Thank you.
For Soleil, and for hats.

Remember realizing Dr. N isn’t mad at me. I’m mad at me for not getting better. I want this fucking done. Get in the game, bitch. He just wants me okay.

My head hurts.

Getting better or healing and the process are no less painful, but I’m no longer afraid to do it. Me minus illness still equals me. I may be ragged but I’m still here, fighting, waiting for you.

I want a gluten-free brownie.

Me too.

I’m hungry but I don’t want to move or leave. I’m sitting in the sun in the parking lot. I hear the cars. They seem real. (run my hands over all of me) When I touch me I seem real. Then it fades quickly away.

A baby fell on its head in my car.

No it didn’t.

(sit under the trees)
(notice the breeze)

Train!

I don’t feel safe to drive.

(clasp my hands together)

I’m real.

Choose to hold on to the happy. Why not?

(13) I have to tell Dr. N.

It’s okay to be scared.

I agreed to tell Ashley when I need to use a skill to drive. I don’t want to . Where am I going? WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING ME?! 

TICKLE FIGHT! :)

Dr. N called me back. I told him I’m okay. I was at the moment. But I’m not.

I remember with Soleil God was a big fuzzy purple shoe bag that scooped me up. It was dark inside and I was trapped, so scared. I couldn’t see. He pulled the drawstring tightly closed when life was dangerous and let me look out the top when it was safe. Life was land.

Sometimes there are reasons we cannot see.

(13) I don’t want to wait here. This is stupid.

Is my life a sheltered workshop?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Are you the pumpkin man?

11-29-13     11pm

Well, I feel tonight. Jumbled words in my mind let go with the music. A moment just to stop.

I watched the hall empty, mesmerized, listening to the sounds, taking it in. Streisand-man is annoying. Otherwise a wonderful night. Even the food was good.

The anxiety is trying to escape me but it’s stuck inside my body. Tweet tweet goes the bird dog. Scream. I said SCREAM. (scream)

(deep breath)

Parked in Old Town.
I miss my mom.
Want to run away.
Or just run.
I don’t know why.

Feed the toilet.
Arms not right.

Are you the pumpkin man?

Where am I?
Take me home.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013