God Loves

2-12-2018When I was really little I used to get bored in church. I was that kid that couldn’t stand children’s church when it was really daycare but had no idea what the pastor was talking about in actual church. So my mom and I would pass notes and sometimes she’d write phrases for me to copy.  This is one of those phrase papers. I found it in a box of things from before I was 5. :)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2018

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Making Friends with a Bush

11/2/13     12:18pm

2013-11-01 18.09.53(deep sigh)

I feel nervous. I know I haven’t blogged in forever. Sorry about that. I’ve been so busy and unaware of time or space. I’m barely writing at all. I blame this on driving. And partially on the fact that my brain is turned off.

Yesterday my brakes went out on the freeway. I know that God was there. A few moments before I switched into dissociative or crisis mode for no apparent reason. I was listening to my friend apply a DEESC Script to my current situation. It was afternoon traffic and all of the sudden my brake pedal no longer worked. I could press it all the way to the floor. No stoppage. The emergency brake also failed. Yet, I didn’t freak out. I swerved to miss one car and then again to steer clear of the car I’d just swerved in front of. I made it to an off-ramp and coasted into a parking lot. I chose a bush to stop the car with. We jumped the curb, I turned off the ignition. We were inside a bush. So I put the car in reverse and let it roll back off the curb and out of the bush, pulling the key out midway. We stopped.

My friend Sue who was with me had no idea what was going on, other than that I had swerved twice and that we were now friends with a bush. The car smelled like something was burning and I told her to get out. The drivers side panel was smashed so the door only slightly opened. The windshield wipers held decorative pieces of bush. I called State Farm and we walked over to the farmer’s market. I’ll tell ya, like a good neighbor State Farm is NOT there. I even tried singing the jingle. Didn’t work. It took 3 hours of call after call after call, being transferred and cut off. Didn’t help that midway through my phone started shutting itself off whenever they put me on hold. Eventually the tow truck got there and took the car away.

I did everything right. I did not freak out or fail to respond to the situation. I kept myself and my passenger safe. I did not hit another car. I stopped the car with relatively minor damage. I called the insurance company and had the car taken to my mechanic. I’m proud of myself. I also kept my friend calm who had 2 panic attacks and was freaking out. My mom, however, is not happy with me because I called the insurance and filed a claim. In that moment, and now, the only thing that seems to matter is that her car insurance rate might go up. I might as well have smashed into something dangerous and been injured to distract her from the money. I wish she could see that my coping was AMAZING. I even continued on with my plans for the night and attended a zumba party at my gym and had dinner with Sue. I didn’t freak out. Now I am exhausted.

Today I feel frustrated because our mechanic says there is nothing wrong with our brakes and he doesn’t know why the car would do that. IT WAS REAL. I WAS THERE. IT HAPPENED. I want the car fixed. I can’t have it do that again. I could’ve really been hurt. But for him the car is fine. My mom told me I should never call the insurance before calling her. I told her she’s the last person I call because she freaks out. I just really need somebody to say, “Damn, girl. You’re fucking awesome. You did a GREAT job. We’ll deal with the car later.” My mom wants to go to the gym now. I just want to write.

(eyes closed, head down, deep breath)

I haven’t been writing. My writing time is now taken by driving. All of my story is in me, mixing itself up. I joined an adherent DBT program and got a new therapist. We’re laying all my issues out there and it’s freaking me out. I need about an hour of down time after I see her before I can leave. I want a better life. I want to feel good, be independent, free. But I’m scared of dealing with my issues. All those scary things tucked away in neat yellow boxes tied with a ribbon on the back wall of my life. I don’t open them for a reason. Now they’re all in a pile on the floor and I’m freaking out. Do I want to change? Can I tolerate it? I don’t know. I think I trust her but I need to teach her about me. And communicate. I am in an almost constant state of fear lately. Except when faced with a crisis. Oddly enough I wrote the other day that I need the calm of a crisis. Well, I got it. Now I need to run away.

I gotta go. My mom wants to go to the gym and I’m trying to promote her exercising. I’m so tired, physically and spiritually. I’m singing a duet in church tomorrow that I haven’t practiced. I’m excited. It is “Pie Jesu.” Lord, grant them rest. Lord, grant me rest. I have the appropriate feeling state for the song. Now I need to sing it.

Thank you, God, for keeping me safe. And thank you to whomever is reading this. I really appreciate you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Soooo…

3-29-11 11:43am

I know I haven’t blogged in forever. Sorry about that. My blog starts in my journal and there hasn’t been much I could put online.

I wanted to check in, let you know I’m not dead. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital trying to get my meds right. Still working on that. Not even close. Tweaking my list of diagnoses. Dealing with voices in my head, confusion, and big mood swings. Random happiness. I’m functioning more efficiently than a month ago… It’s not good.

I went to a clog convention this weekend that was a short reprieve from the madness, polka-dotted with madness. I’m so grateful for Scotty. And for learning I still can dance. Pain or not, it’s do-able. And I decided I should teach dance again and came up with this grand plan. I brainstormed all day and was so happy. And then I got home. And now none of it seems possible. I don’t understand. A friend wrote on my FB wall, “Michelle has returned from her alternate life on Planet Scotty to the real world on Planet Shit.” Exactly. It’s like detox.

My mom’s having surgery tomorrow. Instead of spending time with me she’s cleaning the house. What? She’s freaking out about it. My doctor told her I am NOT to take care of her.

(break for Mom to freak out in apology for something she didn’t do. I can’t take this. I feel like I’m gonna throw up. And I’m pissed.)

I went to my group last night. I just wanted to talk. Instead I facilitated the most intense group of my life. My stalker is back and came to my group. I also had a very manic guy. I’m really glad I had a good group there to help. I can’t do this. I am alone.

Right now I am supposed to be supportive and empathetic of my mom, productive for my choir and the group, and effective at taking care of myself. Well, I’m not. I’m angry and sad and completely NOT effective. My new med’s making me fat. And I don’t know what to do. It is simply too much.

Soooo… I stopped for a moment to pass you a note. (deep breath). Lady Gaga sings “Just Dance” behind me. You have no idea.

-Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

What to Contemplate

9-7-10                  8:10pm

Last week I was contemplating opening a dance studio. This weekend I was contemplating how to stay conscious. I just went to a lecture on motivation and now I’m contemplating contemplating.

Change, is inevitable. Change is hard for me.

I’m looking at a lot of change and stress, good and bad. Here’s the layout. Work at my group is slow but about to pick up. Gospel choir brings me great joy, and great responsibility. A storm of planning and fundraising awaits. No Broadway San Diego events this week. Those are my work-like activities.

At home, mom is spiraling. She’s depressed and irritable and she doesn’t hear half the things I say anymore. She’s constantly yelling at the cat. The tension really gets to me. And she’s gonna have another surgery on her arm soon. I don’t know when. I’m still paying on the last one. I am significantly less healthy this time around and I barely made the last one.

I saw Dr. Tecca today after I had my mom page him last night. He couldn’t find anything wrong (as usual), other than slightly high blood pressure and a low fever. He doesn’t deny my illness this weekend. His verdict? “You are… a marshmallow.” He says I’m too weak and fragile (like a marshmallow) and that I should exercise.

The question for me is how much? He said an hour at least 3 days a week. By why, you ask, did I page and see him today? Because after attending a baseball game Saturday (attending NOT playing) I was barely conscious but for an hour here and there ‘til today at noon (Tuesday). Severe weakness that nothing helped. I know there’s something between nothing and an hour, but what is it? This guess-and-check method is costly.

I finally talked to Dr. Licht and he’ll order one of the two ataxia panels I asked for – either the complete or the autosomal dominant. Mom is pissed that I told him there’s no definitive diagnosis of HD. But at this point there isn’t. She doesn’t think it’s important. She yelled, “IT IS WHAT IT IS!” Ya, but what is it? I can’t write that on an insurance form and a doctor can’t treat “it.” It’s not fair for her to try and block me from finding what “it” is. It doesn’t mean she did anything wrong. But someone did. It’s not her body. “It” is killing me.

And I’m trying to come to terms with that and I don’t know how. So yes, I am a marshmallow. I am fragile and weak. But I’m here. What of this do I contemplate? It’s too much to handle. Thankfully, dissociation and memory problems help with that. But what do you do?

Pray. “Paciencia y fe.” Thank you, Broadway.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

I Can’t Make Her Happy

8/20/10               1:15am

Mom is throwing a no-one-cares-about-me fit. (sigh) I hate these nights. There is so much guilt and tension. She’s stressed. I get it. No control. Life caving in. But it’s not my fault that she doesn’t talk to anyone. And I don’t appreciate her putting me down when she’s upset.

There is nothing right I could do tonight. I don’t want to talk to her. I’m not in an understanding mood. I’m NOT her friend. She drove me around today, which I’m grateful for, but now she’s mad at me for never finishing projects. I counted all the change in her piggy bank tonight and she told me to put it back in. What? And she’s constantly fighting with the cat. I know she’s into everything but it’s NOT IMPORTANT. Zoe being on the counter is not worth getting upset about. She’s not gonna learn if you’re never not mad at her. If everything is wrong, nothing is.

Zoe was stuck balancing on the door tonight and I told Mom to sit down, that scaring her wouldn’t do any good. She was so angry. She sat down at the computer and said nobody cares about her. (I have a headache now.) Then she stormed off into her room mumbling to herself.

This week she’s mad at me for not being stable, not being able to make decisions, not understanding what she says. I can’t answer your question if I don’t know what you’re talking about. And I can’t twitch my nose and be magically symptom-free. I can’t make money appear out of nowhere or make Zoe a calm kitten.

Today was pretty good. I saw Jim and ran errands, went to the Jazz 88 happy hour, and then to see Janice Edwards who sang “Come In From the Rain” for me. And I decided that some time in the future I want to have a baby. Even if it is selfish… And I brainstormed a new project that might actually be successful.

I may not be able to finish a sorting project. I may rock randomly and be confused easily, but I’m living my life. I’m making it. I’m doing what I need to do to get by and to be happy. I can’t make her happy.

(breathe…)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

No Peace

5-23-10                 5:36pm

I wish my mom would just let me be. There is no peace in my house, little when I’m out. She’s constantly contacting me. Last night she sent at least ten texts wanting to know where I was, what I was doing, if I knew how to get there, what time it was over, if I got a seat, if I was still there. For God’s sake. I sit at the computer and she’s constantly asking me questions and to do things that are neither her tasks or related to what I’m doing. She “thinks” (assumes) I will do things or magically know what she’s thinking or wants me to do. Then she gets mad when I don’t do what she thought. THOUGHT. Key word.

She says she’s mad because I never help her around the house, but she never asks me to do anything that helps or affects HER. Like today she was mad I didn’t put my makeup in the bathroom. But it’s MY makeup on MY floor in MY room. It’s MY business. She always wants the table cleaned off, though she is constantly moving my things and adding to piles I’ve worked hard to pare down. So I started to work on the table today and she got mad about where I was putting my papers. I said, “If you want this stuff off the table, you don’t get to say where it goes. It’s not yours.”

She’s finally stopped yelling at me most nights. That’s good. But nothing’s ever good enough for her. My shirt is too low. My pants are too long. I spend too much money. Yes, she bitches about MY money too. I can’t do laundry. She asks me for directions but refuses to follow them, then gets angry at me when we’re late. What? There is no peace.

And when I cannot stand being around her and leave she calls and texts again and again. It’s fucking insane. People wonder why I stopped taking her calls when I moved to LA. This is why. There is no peace. It’s also why I like going places alone and why the peace of the hospital is comforting.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010