Strong Enough

12/13/2017     1:30pm

I’m sitting here scanning a box of poetry from high school. It’s been under my bed for years, now next to the couch for months. Today is the 17th anniversary of when suicide became real to me. I wish it’d never happened. And the impact of this writing I only read a few lines here or there of gives me ultra goosebumps, makes me extremely nauseous, and if I was standing I’m sure I’d collapse. (and the tears…) (“If You Want Me To” by Ginny Owens)

I want to be right in the middle of the pain. I feel SO guilty. I LEFT her there. But she was me. And I can’t get her now. And she just screams and screams and screams. I can’t imagine having been my teachers when I wrote or spoke emotional truth. (stare…)

The music is very loud and I’m not sure what to do. Supposed to give a friend a ride to a group I’m leading tonight, at which I anticipate there to be some problems. I can’t be this person, or get into this person, and then do that. But not doing it validates that she doesn’t matter and never has. (head in hands…) (“Stronger” by Mandisa)

I wish I could see David today. I need to write too. Something specific. This is really best done somewhere with a garden. ;) I have to be strong enough to stand with her. I have to be strong enough for her, strong enough for me. Strong enough to let go.

© 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.


I am not me

12/2/12     1:24am

I had a really hard day today. So hard I can barely write. Physical pain, funeral, ton of triggers. Nurse from my past, comparison to childhood friends, too much noise at music, people flirting with me, disaster at the end.

Please, I just want to be free. No one in my life but my mom now knows the real me. ME. I’m in here. Please. I’m not a “loyal jazz fan.” I’m a girl. A human. Someone who once was great, who is deeply pained now just to watch. It hurts to be alive some days. It hurts to be alive.

Photographer                    Actor                    Teacher
Dancer                                Writer                  Fundraiser
Singer                                 Speaker                Organizer
Idea-maker                       Tutor                    Traveler
Lover of Life

I was these things.
I was good.
Now I see myself as darkness and pain. Still. A motionless watcher. Shell of a soul. My core is still there but my body refuse. The worst part is that I know. I know what I am not doing, who I have become. And no matter how awesome others see it, it’s not me. I am not me.

When my mom picked me up after jazz tonight I just started crying. I was so upset – not at any person but circumstance. There was confusion over plans. I am not able to be spontaneous. I don’t drive. I plan my rides and they take a long time. Tonight there was a last minute switch and I didn’t get to go. I felt trapped, gypped. I can’t get out.

M- asked the other night why I don’t drive. I couldn’t explain it all. (crying) I failed at life. I feel ashamed & guilty & embarrassed. He called me out. I can’t take care of myself. I try to keep that a secret. I want to drive. I just can’t do it right now.

I want so much to be free. Not to feel lonely. To be independent. But tonight I hide & cry. I am not me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

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

I am scared

From my journal tonight. The dialogue is between me and me and me.

11-18-10     2:12am

I keep hearing the chorus of “You are More” by Tenth Avenue North. I feel the urge to say I’m sorry over and over again. Please. Just please don’t leave me.

I’m cold. I’m lying in bed. Today was the ninth anniversary of my dad’s death. It wasn’t much different than any other day. I saw my therapist, had dinner with Mom, took a nap and went online. I recall going to choir but that wasn’t today. I wanted to go to the cemetery but we didn’t. It closes at sunset.

I feel so angry, and sad. Helpless. Watching an illness is good training in codependence. It compeletely control you and is out of your control.

I’ve been napping in the early evening. I haven’t felt good and I have nothing to do. I can’t handle working on the endless tasks for the group. I need the group to leave me alone. To give me some space. You don’t own me. I don’t appreciate waking up to calls from strangers, urgent FB chat crisis pings, or 75 emails in a week about stupid shit I don’t care about from 1 person. LEAVE ME ALONE. (sigh) I need some respite.

I feel guilty tonight for telling a friend I wish her learning curve was steeper. It’s true but it’s selfish. It has to do with fly paper – a model of my feelings. Whatever she feels I feel. I can’t control it. If she’s happy, I feel joy. If she’s sad, I feel pain. When she hurts, I hurt. It’s like voodoo magic. Whatever’s there sticks. I should be angry at myself for not being able to control this phenomenon, but that reminds me I have no power and is scary. And I’m already scared enough. So I hope these people who affect me avoid pain. Because I feel that pain. You know? There’s no fix. But avoiding pain is impossible. I don’t understand.

I’ve been thinking about independence.

I am so scared. I can’t run away. I can’t get away from me. But I can’t stay here with me either. I will kill her, put her out of her misery.

Who is she?

She is that girl, that little girl playing and crying for her daddy. The one who wishes on dandelions and smiles and swings.

I love her.

Yes. She is beautiful.

Why does she have to die?
Why are you going to kill her?

Because she won’t stop crying. She is hurt and there’s no way to fix her and I can no longer handle her crying. I can’t take it.

Girl: I’m scared. Daddy, please. Make it go away. Please, Daddy. Why aren’t you listening? Why can’t you help me?

How often do you see her?

Every day. She keeps tugging at my shirt. Play with me. Hold me. Comfort me. Please, just make it go away.

I can’t take it. She’s driving me insane.

Do you love her?

Yes! That’s why I have to kill her. She deserves peace and so do I.

What would bring you peace?

If she wasn’t sick.

SHUT UP! I’m not talking to you.

If she wasn’t sick. And she wasn’t stuck in time. And if people understood that she’s only 7.

She is the hope. Why kill the hope?

So the rest of me can die in peace.

Do you really want to die?

No. I want to be free. I want to heal her with a magic hug. I want to never feel alone again. To never feel helpless. To be taken care of.

Can you give her comfort?

I wish.

Girl: Please, Daddy. Don’t leave me. I don’t understand. Please. Somebody help me. Get off the phone and pay attention. This teddy bear can’t cure me.

She sounds distressed.

She’s almost always distressed. Except when she’s exploring or brainstorming. Then she’s happy. Or spending time with people she loves. She’s like a cat. She needs comfort.

Does she get it?

Sometimes. Not enough to survive. I give her drugs to numb the pain. But they can’t fix her. She’s going to die.

She is broken.

Yes. She is broken. And she is all that I have. And when she dies I die. I want to hold her in my arms and make it better but I can’t. But she still keeps tugging on my shirt.

Where is my daddy? Why doesn’t he love me?
How do angels fly?
Can I have an ice cream? …

I can’t save her. (deep breath) I can’t.

But you can’t kill her either.

I know. I love her too much. She’s all I’ve got.

Do unicorns fly?
Can I get one as a pet?

She still believes, you know. In hope and God and love and faith. And unicorns. She loves everything good and beautiful, always stops to smell the flowers. She believes in Santa and knows that people are good.

And you don’t.

I try… I try.
It’s like trying to believe you are blessed as you watch your house burn to the ground.
I am blessed. I just can’t.

She is your bunk mate.

She is my best friend.

A dilemma.

Quite. (long pause)
I feel rage and I am scared.
I am scared.
I am scared.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010