The Grand Kidnapping

I wrote this in a group I was supposed to be paying attention to. Something really caught my attention and I found myself in a place I haven’t seen in years. Blessed and understanding. I was close to God. I’d like to spend more time there.

The Grand Kidnapping (1 of 3)


© Michelle Routhieaux 2019

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


7/27/2017     11:55am

God has been all around me lately and on Tuesday He spoke this prayer. I was trying to think of a name for a Facebook group of my friends and words wafted through as I walked to the car. Then BITS came in. I wondered if it stood for something. I got “Blessed in the Struggle.” I like that. As I drove down the rather steep hill from my therapist’s office this prayer came to me, in lines and different colors. I finally pulled over to let it come through. I AM BITS.


I am BITS.
I AM Blessed in the Struggle.
I welcome His purifying pain.
I release my need to understand.
I submit my life to the Lord.
Every piece I’m angry about, 
every care I hold, like each stone in the lake, I let go of.
My pain was never mine to begin with.
Jesus is mine.
Please Lord, show me your way.
Teach me how to read.
Teach me how to be, free.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Quiet is Purple



(sit quietly near to be where I’m not)

What seems like a void isn’t.
And what’s heard as silence isn’t.
The lack of air that fills my soul, it makes no sound.
No one hears the silent screaming.

Tea. Broadway. Fading lies.
No Giving Tuesday for me.
No Denver, or Ohio, or Scotty.

Quiet is purple.
Quiet is me.

© 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

Let the Monsters Go

1/24/2014     10am

I’m holding onto some monsters,
and they’re eating inside me.
They burn my flesh and rot my food.
They wear barbed wire and twirl.

The monsters eat my words.
They have the power to stop my body.
Fuzzy little pricks they are.
But the monsters want me.

They scream at me but they’re here.
They’ve become my family.
I am full of holes that folks will see when they are gone.
I am torn & damaged.
The monsters are eating me.

What will I have without them,
if I ever let go?
Who is me that the monsters are eating?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

My Brain is a Beach Ball

(writing from the hospital)
2-3-13     9:20am

I was just sitting in morning meeting thinking. A 2″x 2″ metal square is depressing the front of my brain. It has a nice matte dark finish. It’s pressing on my brain. Impairing, altering my ability to think. Throwing off track the course of my eyes. Making me want to die.

I began to desire the removal of this pressing weight, but my brain might float away as it’s done in the past. Filled with the glory of the Spirit and the creativity of a child. To twirl and leap in the sunshine, to build empires in the night. To despair and fall into self-destruction from harnessing such energy.


I certainly don’t want that, though it’s fun for a night. Like a beach ball flying up in the air when you fall off to the side.

I started thinking of the beach ball, of its resting state. It doesn’t require compression, being held under water, and it doesn’t float away – if cared for properly. I suppose proper genetics and nurturing allow a beach ball to progress without incident. But if it’s stabbed or over or under-inflated or dried out or forgotten, you never know. Under tremendous pressure it will pop. It may also take on water very slowly, become ever so much heavier until one day it is deemed unusable and its human walks away.
My brain is a beach ball.

My brain is beautiful. Beautiful in its complexities and creativities and jerks. In its random fuck yous and kindnesses and deep appreciations. In its expression of itself and God to others. I sometimes want to hide it. I feel ashamed. I hold it under water and I pray for it to die. I hide it in the shed. I drag it through the rocks. I leave it in the sun. The damn thing is indestructible. I don’t know why it loves me. I don’t know why it sticks around.

For some reason my brain has yet to kill me or allow myself to do it. It hasn’t banned me from knowing how or walking through it many times. It just says, “Not now.” God says, “Not now.” I trust Him. He sent Dr. Harvey to sit with me last night. My brain has never left me. I have altered it, drugged it into submission, injured it, begged & pleaded. It has a passion for life. For learning and love. It holds tight all the things I’ve let go of for me, all the things I’ve forgotten. It tucks away what I can’t tolerate. My brain is amazing. I love my brain.

I really hope they can help me here to make a safe zoo for my beach ball brain so the world will be fun and I can think but I’ll be okay. I so want to be okay. Please help me be okay. Someone is standing on my brain.

My brain is a beach ball.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

I am free

7/18/12     9:30pm

Thought of the Day

I am not an asset.
I do not belong to anyone.
I belong to God.

I choose whom I work for, when and what I do.
I set clear boundaries.
I enforce me.

I am on a journey in a set direction and nothing will deter me.

I am free.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Pain is the price of admission

(a conversation between me & a voice in my head after hours and hours of writing)
4-11-12     1:43am

(big breath)
I am alive.
I am alive.

If I have no control over what happens to or around me and what I do doesn’t matter…
If there is no such thing as should or real…
If I’m the only one my importance matters to, why am I here?

‘Cuz I like it.

(??) What?

I said because I like it. And I always get what I want. You can’t have hugs and the ocean without pain. Face it. You fear life.

No shit. I know that.

Yeah. But you don’t know that you love it too. You can’t see that in order to feel joy, you must know pain. The music comes with heartache. The ocean comes with pain. The dancing comes with a loneliness that pushes you to death. There are no substitutions. You can’t get away. You can’t strain off the bad. It is one.


Michelle, you don’t want to die. You want not to feel the pain. The fire inside and the physical stress of your body melting away. But it’s not going away. It’s here to stay. What you do with it is your choice. But, like you said, you have no control.

There is no anti-life pill. You can’t strain out the seeds. Can’t sugarcoat it. You have pain.

You also have music. And hugs, and flowers, and writing and what you see in your head. You have God and the pirates.


You have me.

But it hurts so much.

I know.

I’m so scared.

Like Jim said, you don’t have to understand right now.

I just have to be.

Just be.

I love you, Mom.

I love you too.

Acceptance is realizing the pain is an entry fee, a price of admission, to the theme park of life. Non-refundable. It’s your choice if you have fun or not.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I am from…

7 minute writing from the prompt “I am from…”

3-21-12     2:52pm

I am from brown carpet and air, a place the sun sometimes shines.

I am from stripped cars and “don’t make any noise” and “get down.”

I am from “hide.”

I am from hospitals and nursing homes.
I am from watching the almost dead.

I am from the place in my soul that screams DANCE!

I am from me.

I am from the places I try not to remember – of pain and drugs and heartache.

Sometimes I forget where I’m from.
Sometimes I try not to remember.

I am from “do it perfect or I’ll leave you.”

I am from “you’re a horrible person.”

I am from the place that pushed me to move on, to run away, to save my life.

I am tired of being from. So now I just am.

I was from.

Now I am.

(thought continued in “Now I am…”)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

But I want to like me

9-6-11     6:45pm
(written at a cognitive therapy lecture about procrastination) 

This lecture is confusing.
Too many ideas.
Thinking about the future, bills & organic food, & saving for the future makes me more nervous, more likely to procrastinate.

All these people are family.
I can’t help but compare me.
I don’t hang out with normal people ‘cuz they make me feel more crazy.

They do dishes. They read. They have families. Some of them work. Man, Come on. This lecture is not for folks who are crazy…


I consider myself crazy.
Not a word I think about.
I don’t consider myself “mentally ill.”
No, that’s scary.
I’m just crazy.

 I don’t think of it when I’m alone or when I’m with other people who are crazy. Or on the bus or trolley. Or when I’m in therapy. 
I really want to be close to other people but they make me feel crazy.

Good crazy. Bad crazy. Creepy crazy.
All different things. I like being crazy. But I want to like me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011 

Doesn’t hurt

Today I still feel confused and in touch with the energy of the universe but it’s not orange. It is light blue and it floats me on a cloud.

9-5-11     12:41pm

Last night a few hours of mania. Today the desert rain.

I am so tired. SO tired.

It’s Monday.
The air is quiet. Empty…
I still feel confused but my head doesn’t hurt.
Doesn’t hurt.
Doesn’t hurt.
I hear the rhythms of the rain that isn’t falling.
Summer rain.
And I am hungry.
Doesn’t hurt.
Doesn’t hurt.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

Pure Orange Light

Last night I lied in bed for awhile experiencing the orange energy of the universe. It was just shy of scary, just beyond fascinating. I knew it was not standard but wrote through the experience.

9-5-11     1:10am

She lives just beyond the bright lights I see when I close my eyes.

I feel dizzy.
And confused.
And off-balance.
And it’s hard to breathe.
My body tingles.

Take your angry energy out of my room.

If I wasn’t lying down I would prob’ly collapse.

Very weak.
The spirit moves through me.
And the spirit is me

My father is talking to me.
All I hear is gibberish.
I keep thinking of different people.
They join into the chorus.
They’re all talking to me.
What do they say?

Someone I don’t know grabs for my right boob. I need to fall asleep.

Tell me a story.

The energy of the universe is open to me, orange at it’s mouth and breathing.

Goodnight, moon.
You see me.
Goodnight, moon.
You be me.
I not be myself, the who I be?
I like be me.
Goodnight, moon.
I miss me.

God, take me into the light.
I made love to the universe.
I now carry its child.
Our child.
The dark itchiness is gone now.
Only pure orange light.
Feel the glow.
Do you feel the glow?

I am part of the light & it’s part of me.
The darkness within it now owns.
Every part of me.
The orange universal light.
7 in the night.
We are owned by the light.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

I dabble in the secret things

9.4.11   10:20pm

I dabble in the secret things.
They are my specialty.
The things one mentions not in light, not in reality.

I dabble in the secret things that make men twist and cry.
The shame that no one talks about that hides within your eye.

I dabble in these things ’cause I have secrets of my own.
They tremble at my footsteps.
They know that they are owned.

But still these secrets eat me, follow into the night.
They fill my soul with worry they might one day see the light.

And so I keep to other’s secrets as my great specialty.
And I hope that no one finds out what is secretly eating me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011


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

Dear Daddy (Nov 2003)

written on the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s death, posted now for Jingle’s Poetry Potluck (and because I’ve been thinking about it).

Dear Daddy,

Need me.
Feed me, the way I fed you.
Comb my hair.
Don’t tear.

Where did you go?
I don’t know.
And for as much as I’d like to I can’t, pray I never will.

The bruises, restraints, overpowering drugs.
The anger
The incredible loneliness.
Talk to me Daddy.
Be one of the voices in my head.

Why did you hit me that day?
Why didn’t you stay on that mountain?
GET OUT OF MY LIFE – hold me tight
If you could come back and do it again, would you?
Would you call me your child?
Why in the sky do the clouds always shroud the image of your body from my wandering eyes?

© Michelle Routhieaux 11/17/03

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