I don’t understand

7/27/2018     4:26pm

I don’t understand. I may have written about this before but I don’t remember and I don’t really care.

I don’t understand. To me it’s a simple phrase with a simple meaning. There is no extra fluff attached, no alternate meaning. Last year my therapist and I got into it because I kept telling him I didn’t understand what he was saying and he told me he believed what I meant was that I didn’t agree. Nope, only disagreed with that.

I don’t follow like other people do. Or maybe I follow too closely. I am cursed with the ability to spot errors, omissions, incongruities, however small. I need the info coming at me to make sense and if it doesn’t I will say that I don’t understand. I am blunt. I ask questions. I have no qualms with raising a stink to get an answer. It is especially disturbing to me when someone “answers” my questions with responses that are unrelated. I will state so and repeat the question, rephrasing it if necessary. A few years ago I started giving up after a few tries but not before stating that my question had still not been answered. I have somewhat of a fan base in some settings because of it. It’s not fulfilling to engage with someone who’s not the slightest idea what I’m talking about. In fact, it’s maddening – probably to both sides but for different reasons. I’m looking for information. If the person doesn’t have it, or won’t give it, it would behoove them to just say that.

People think I’m being rude or annoying. They jump to conclusions about my motives or what I really think or mean. I’m accused of alternate intentions. They tell me what I should say or do or think or not think instead. They often get very upset that I don’t understand and/or that they don’t understand what I mean when I point out whatever they said doesn’t make any sense – in general, not just to me. If they stop to follow the line of thought and learn what’s missing, sometimes they will admit that it really doesn’t make sense. Usually instead I just get confronted with anger, accused of things or people just walk away or insult and then ignore me, then pretend it never happened.

Sometimes the topic is important to me and I’m upset AND don’t understand. Usually though, I’m somewhat devoid of emotion or visibly confused or disturbed when asking questions attached to, “I don’t understand.” I can’t always communicate very well in that state. It’s the mockery and invalidation that usually push me over the edge. I’m not stupid. I can read body language and I understand your words.

Over the years I’ve learned how to convert curiosity/question/notice/wonder straight to bitter hopelessness and move on with my day. I can feel my self turn to ash and float downwards inside me as I do nothing or walk away. Fighting the thought that I don’t matter isn’t worth it because in those moments it’s completely true. What I have to say or my concern or thought doesn’t matter and if I pursue matter-ing it could (and has) make things worse. I ask much like Sheldon Cooper, with a level of non-intellectual understanding only slightly higher.

So I end up hating people. That I very much understand. I “speak Michelle,” as a provider of mine said long ago, and not many others do. I am cross-lingual in a few other person-dialects, but in observation the two-way mirror only reveals one side. This morning’s argument was me asking for details about an event I was asked to donate something to for a raffle, which I believe is questionable but didn’t point out.

Excerpts from convo this morning:
Person B: We always have raffle giveaways at our events to promote wellness…
Me: Why?
Person B: Why what (sic)
Me: Why have a standard of giving things away?
Person B: It’s not a standard. It’s something we like to do for our members. Why not? It’s generous. Omg!! You don’t like free mental health stuff??? Interesting.
Me: Don’t put words in my mouth. Free mental health stuff is fine sometimes, but it all costs money and at the end of the day I have to sit with and justify on paper what we spent the group’s money on. Does that make sense? I don’t mind contributing to your raffle. I just wanted to know the details.

I was livid but calm in text. If in her language “always” doesn’t equal a “standard,” there is no purpose in trying to get through.

It’s harder for me to interact with other humans I don’t understand than to harm myself by attempting to fill my own needs without engaging them. This afternoon’s debacle is within myself about why the HELL I can’t do anything today because I can’t think because my head hurts on the one day I have actual time. (PRN)

So very alone. I hate myself.
I don’t understand.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2018


Grateful to breathe

10/16/12     9:54pm

Gosh, life is hard. (deep breath…)

I made food tonight. I’m so proud of myself. On the energy of a Rice Krispie treat I made chicken-flavored rice, popcorn and a few pieces of bacon. I never cook. It terrifies me. But I was hungry tonight and less terrified than usual. I sit here now listening to KLOVE and cry. I feel so alone.

Today was the first day in a very long time when I could rest. I slept in and took a shower and did some errands, at my own pace, on my own time. I tried the tv but settled on silence, then KLOVE. I feel so alone.

I went to Sea World with my boyfriend yesterday. (He prefers I call us “co-persons.” I don’t.) I had a really hard day, some of which was great. I’m having trouble communicating and getting sucked into the Borderline attachment/abandonment vortex. He’s leaving. It’s not that I’m imagining his leaving or that I’m scared that he will or that I did something to make him leave. He’s leaving the area for a traveling job and he doesn’t know if he’s coming back. I don’t want him to go. I feel safe with him. I’m using every skill I know to be honest and open, even when it terrifies me, and I’m astonished to find that he doesn’t hate me. He actually likes me most days.

I feel so alone. I know there is a purpose for this leaving, but I can’t see it right now. And tonight it is quiet and it all covers me. We’ve been playing house this week and I’ve been thinking I’d really like to do that, to play house with someone or on my own… My mom’s coming back from NY soon with her boyfriend and my guy will leave and I guess all will go back to the way it was. But I’ll be different. (crying)

I want to love. I want to have a family. I want not to be lonely. I want to need to cook more than three pieces of bacon. And to feel okay enough not to cry every time there is silence.

I feel close to God lately. He’s not but I pray for him. I know God is doing something in me. I want to use whatever that is for good. Tonight I just cry. I trust Him. I trust Him. I surrender it all. Every day. Every time. (deep breath)

I’m so grateful for the ability to breathe.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

My bitter love isn’t

3/20/12     10:25pm

Something magical between S- and M- tonight. I am left with a feeling of peace, calm. The most beautiful set – emotional, powerful, soft. He had a realization. He shared some music with her. I watched. I treasure the privilege. It was a moment, her listening, him watching intently. A love. A piece of magic.

I wish I had something like that. Not a romantic love, but a trust. A history. A hug.

I am so grateful to share in the energy, to talk with S-. To pretend. Maybe if I imagine it I can live it in my head. I’ll be loved and no one can get to me. Love will protect me. Bitter love.

– doesn’t know I like him. And he doesn’t like me back. And that’s okay. Bitter love. The silence doesn’t go away.

Dear God,

I watch the dots pass by me.
I am not in control.
You drive my car down many paths.
I am not in control.
The dots pass by. I fill with light.
I am fire. And then I am ash.
But I am not in control.

Be, they say, not do. But how?
Please, God. How?

The dots pass by.
I listen and breathe.


My sadness fills rivers.
My heart, it shrivels.
My body is in pain.
I am alone.
I am alone.

Jesus, I can’t feel you. Are you there? I’m scared. I choose love but feel fear. I feel alone. Am I alone? Why can’t I feel love? Is it a brain thing? It just is. Everything just is. Could you make everything isn’t? I’d appreciate that.

My toes are cold. The tv is on. I’d like it if is were isn’t. Would life be better in isn’t? I don’t know. Please, bitter love, love me or go away. My bitter love isn’t.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012


1-3-11     2:46am

My eyes
They melt & run down my face
Law & Order will not make me better
I feel confused, distracted

I feel so sad
So desperate & lonely
I miss S-
I need a hug.

I work really hard to stay stable…
But I can’t control what goes on outside me.
I can’t be on my own.
It makes me crazy.

I haven’t seen S- in 2 weeks.
Mind keeps telling me she’s dead,
I’ll never see her again,
I’ll be alone forever.
I’m cranky.
I fight with my mom.

I don’t understand.
My brain works slowly.
Annoyed M- in the card game.
Let me work at my pace.

I don’t want to go
Please don’t leave me.
You’re hurting me.

If you take down the walls of an aquarium, how’s the water supposed to stay in?
Holes take longer but you still lose it all.

Jenga explains everything.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

What do you do when you’re lonely?

11-7-10                1:59am

I hear “Without You” tonight from RENT in my head. I’m not sure what to do. Sitting at the computer. The time just changed back to 1am. Great. Another hour. What I’m supposed to do with this hour I have no idea… So I’m eating Oreos and milk. My head feels like it’s vibrating.

What do you do when you’re lonely? I asked Facebook and someone asked why I’m lonely. My response: “Cuz everyone I know has a life and no one new I meet seems to understand mine.” Their response was that I have a wonderful life, that I’m an inspiration and make a difference. Blah Blah Blah. I DON’T CARE! That doesn’t make it any better. Doesn’t make a difference. I save lives. I help people. I change things. I make waves. It feels good in the moment, usually. But it doesn’t last.

I come home from my life to my life every night and wake up to it every day. I don’t wake up thinking, “Gosh, I’m gonna save the world today.” I sleep as long as I can before whatever I’m doing and when it’s over I need something else to do. But there isn’t anything to do. Now don’t fight me. I made a list of people this week, most of whom are local, that I could ping to do something with. People far off my usual radar. I need people who don’t need me. And I don’t have them.

People think I have “a wonderful life.” But what is a wonderful life? What you see on FB is not my life. What you see on my blog is not my life. It’s the parts of my life that are acceptable enough to share in public. I don’t even share with my group. The only person I actually talk to is my therapist. There are people I would like to hang out with. But they have lives. They are the people who can meet for lunch 8 weeks from next Thursday but only if the babysitter doesn’t cancel or they’re not out of town or they don’t fall asleep that day and forget. They have families. They have people they come home to voluntarily and hang out with for fun.

It is when I am lonely that I wish I had family. Not the friends I consider my family but blood. My family. The people I never see. At 1:30 in the morning when I’m sitting in my quiet house bullshitting on the computer wasting time I am at a loss for what to do. I found some Oreos in my pantry tonight – comfort food. I’d like an actual meal but there’s rarely food here that I’m willing to eat and I ate the last of the pizza for breakfast.

It’s not my wonderful life. I’m just a character in it. Marc used to talk about having a “life worth living.” That was the goal. I never really understood that. I don’t spite the people who point out all the wonderful things I do or change. They mean well. But it’s what I feel that’s important. If you were to triage a patient in the ER who came in with chest pains and was wearing a beautiful diamond necklace, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t say, “Gosh that’s such an incredible necklace. You must be rich or have someone who loves you very much. Your fabulous life is so much more important than those chest pains. Scurry along now.” Right? It seems unrelated but it’s not. Like there are people who call me to ask how I am but not because they care what the answer is or want to hear it. The purpose of their asking is so that I will ask them back. I want validation. I don’t need reassurance about my life…

I’m sorry. (sigh) I just don’t understand. Meetup can’t cure a broken heart. I could just go do things by myself, which I love to do, but I have no money. So I just am. I go to appointments and to groups and to choir when it happens. I take care of business, listen to music when I can, and Facebook too much. And I pray. And I sit in my kitchen wondering what do you do when you’re lonely?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Dazed, Dazzled & Confused

9-14-10                3:45am

I’m so tired. I miss –. It’s only been 3 days since I saw her but it feels like forever. I haven’t been thinking about my last journal entry (not posted here). I just miss her hug.

I finished printing all of my blog posts tonight. Looking at the stack makes me feel accomplished. (I hear that guy whistling outside again. At least I think I know who it is.) I started blogging February 21st and the notebook is almost full.

Hard copy of my blog

It’s just a handful of the writing I’ve done. It’s interesting to see it all in one place.

(sigh) I feel so tired. I know it’s almost 4am but the amount of time I sleep doesn’t affect my level of tiredness.

I hosted a lecture tonight at my group. Stupid damn Monday night football screwed it up. The last 3 lectures I averaged 60 people. Tonight? 20. Grrr…

I need someone to talk to. It gets lonely in my quiet kitchen at 2am when I’m filled with thoughts and anxious energy and have no place to put them, no reason to say. I keep hearing “Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos.

There is something about speech that is soothing. When the words are inside me they stir in my heart. They make my soul tremble and throat ache. Just the vibration of sound helps ease the tension. But where do you put the sound at 4 in the morning when everyone’s asleep? Reading my writing out loud can be such a release. (street sweeper)

There is so much to say and yet I feel quiet… My eyes water, my neck twitches. Dogs bark and the cars fly by. The fridge is noisy. I think Mom’s asleep. I’m curled up in the big chair writing. It was my dad’s chair, although he never used it. I miss him. I wish I could talk to him now and that he could answer back. I need his wisdom. I need his experience.

(break to hear music in my head)

I can’t, I can’t.
I can’t right now.
Colors, shapes & music.
I feel confused now.
Touch. Touch.
Let me sort something.
Dazed, Dazzled & Confused
He ordered the test.
Just sing. Just sing.
Please sing.
Please sing. Just don’t stop singing.
Thoughts Go away, go away.
Go away.


© Michelle Routhieaux 2010