I know longing well

9-7-12     11:23pm

So, I’m sitting in my kitchen. I feel trapped. The sprinklers outside have filled the air with the smell of ant spray. My mom’s boyfriend has turned our living room into a movie room and they’ve been watching movies for hours. Loud movies. Sad movies. “What Dreams May Come” was last. I have the soundtrack on my ipod but I don’t need to see it.

I went shopping today. I spent too much money. I know that, but I didn’t know what to do. I managed to get to the social security office today to drop off some papers and was struck with “fear of life,” as Joe calls it. Fear of life is when I’m scared of everything and don’t know what to do. I’ve been extremely confused lately too and the mall was the closest safe place to me. I ate Chinese food, which gave me the stinky farts (who knew?), and shopped. And shopped some more. I thought long and hard before buying things. Did math. Put things on hold. I came away with 4 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of slacks, an awesome shirt, a new glasses case, and a journal. A pink pearl necklace is now waiting for me on layaway.

Today I thought intently of a friend’s happiness. I will call that friend J. (No, not Joe and probably not anyone else I’ve represented with the letter J in the past.) I like J. He’s special to me. I’d like to be his girl. I’m not sure what he wants from me. He’s always busy and the time we spend together doesn’t involve much talking. Yesterday he said he’s having a rough time and today I spent my time intently thinking of his happiness, sending warmth and love his way.

I don’t have experience with relationships. But I know longing well. It has a strange life. The experts say when you feel the primal/caveman feeling of love or affection the accompanying action urge is to embrace. They also say our pattern of action urges changes based on life experiences. Through life I’ve learned that I need to stay away from what or whom I am drawn to because if I embrace or move toward they will hurt or leave me.

I know longing well. I know the desperate need to be held, the wanting nothing in the world more than for the other person to be safe, warm, comforted, happy. Spending every waking moment thinking, praying, trying to find ways to make their life better and quell my own pain at not being able to be near them. But I don’t want it to always be that way. I don’t think it has to be. And I think this person might not hate me for not staying away. But I don’t know how to do that. It’s like a blind person painting.

I know how to get through the pain of being alone.
I don’t know how to be with people.
I know how to distance or detach myself.
I don’t know how to be authentic. It’s scary. Terrifying.
But I’m being honest, authentic, with him. When I talk to him. Which is almost never. But I’m trying. I’m trying to be me. Trying to find that girl I left on a park bench somewhere years ago and bring her back to life. Reintegrate her into the community. For now she wanders and rocks and sings and talks to herself somewhat happily. Except when she’s scared or mad. Don’t make her mad.

I want to feel loved, whatever that is. I’m accustomed to wanting or loving people who don’t want or love me back, so it doesn’t take much to make my day. But it takes something.

So tonight I feel that longing with all of my soul to be held by this person. And my involuntary urge is to turn away, to shut down. But I don’t want to. I think he’s safe. But I don’t know what to do. What do people do instead of shut down that doesn’t cause the other person to leave? (pause) I want to do that.

When asked what I think love is my answer lies along the lines of finding someone to grow old with. According to my therapist I know more of parental love than romantic love. I’ve never seen what people call “love” in front of me. I lived with my mom growing up. None of my friends had happy couple parents. I don’t know what it looks like. I don’t know what it means. I do know, however, that I need to find out. And stop rambling.

Tonight I eat salsa that tastes like the smell of rubbing alcohol and spy on my mom who’s cuddled on the couch with her boyfriend watching a movie and write to an internet of strangers about my current inner struggle with learning how to love, how to be vulnerable. Seems a stretch, doesn’t it?

I have to go now. This moment of thought is fading and I feel really confused again. Thanks for listening. I’m grateful to have this outlet.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Fathers are people

4/4/12     11:55pm

What does it mean about me that I keep the only framed picture of my dad under a stack of pajamas in a dresser I never open? I just rediscovered it quite by accident. I can’t breathe.

SHAME. What does that mean about me? (crying)

The man never did anything to me. He’s been dead over 10 years. And I hide his picture. There are no pictures in my house, of anyone. Just empty picture frames. In the picture my dad looks happy, healthy. Half-smiling with his siblings. I just wanna hug him. Please, God. Please… Send him back to me. Like last year at jazz. I hear him. Not him healthy. But him.

The picture is of -, Dad, # & Danny. – doesn’t talk to me. Dad is dead. Danny killed himself. And I don’t know how to contact #. She doesn’t seem to hate me. I hated that picture because – sent it to me. But it’s special. The only pic I have of my dad healthy.

I wish he wasn’t a secret. That I could’ve shared my life with him instead of lying. Everything. Fathers are people not secrets. So are daughters. I didn’t want my mom to see the picture so I hid it. Guilt. Shame. Longing.

He’s not real. GET THAT AWAY FROM ME. (pause) Let me be. Please, I don’t want him to see me. I love you, Dad. Back in the drawer now.

I should plaster my walls with pictures. Start making life real.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I can’t remember, a test & permission

8-22-10                1:35am

I can’t remember what I did for my birthday this year. I remember the night before at Bing Crosby’s and the black dress. I remember at Ralphs not letting them buy me cupcakes (I don’t like Ralphs’ cupcakes.) I remember opening the four cards Mom got me and the bouquet of flowers, but I have no idea what I did that day. Maybe I was sick. I know there was a plan and that it didn’t get followed… (flash) Dinner at Rubio’s. Yes. That wasn’t the plan though. I don’t even remember if I had a party sometime that week. This concerns me as I think it’s something I SHOULD remember. Don’t you?

(break to watch the rest of “Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again”)

I got out my ring last night that I bought when I tested negative for HD. I was thinking about it because last week Sacha mentioned wanting to buy herself an engagement ring and the ring I have is just that. I’d forgotten how beautiful it is. Sadly, after a few hours it hurt my finger so bad that I took it off. Apparently my fingers are fatter now. But I wondered what my reward to myself will be when I get the results of this upcoming test.

I’ve been waiting on a diagnosis for years now. And the list I was expecting from a friend is not coming so I called my neurologist Friday night on a break and told him which test I want him to order. There is one dx I’m looking at in particular. It’s called DRPLA. Good luck Googling it and finding anything useful. This is the best thing I found http://www.ataxia.org.uk/data/files/drpla.pdf. It seems to fit and I’m hoping it’s what I have – not because I want it but because I want an answer. I want a name, some validation. You know? I want to be able to say, “See, I’m not crazy. I DO have an illness and it has a name.” I’d have an answer for, “Why are you twitching?” I’d have some proof that’s it’s not, in fact, a conversion disorder but it is in my head. In my BRAIN, not my thoughts. In my fantasy today I would get this wonderful/awful news and have a Celebrate Life party. The news itself would be a relief. This part of the search would be over. However, if it’s not what I have, it would be devastating… I want to have that party. I want to know what’s going on.

I talked about it with my therapist this week. It’s great having a neurology professor as a therapist. I asked him if he had any tips on dealing with cognitive impairments and he said if it is cell death in that region of the brain the best thing I can do is dance. God is good, isn’t he? (big smile) I also bought a ping pong paddle and balls. It’s all part of the story, revealed one page at a time.

I’m so exhausted. I really should sleep now. I’m going to a piano thing tomorrow and have to be on the trolley in 8 hours. Yuck. Hopefully it’s worth it. Thanks for listening.

Love,

Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010