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.

Michelle

He bought me shoes

3/23/16     7:25pm2016-03-25 16.25.34

He bought me shoes. M- bought me shoes today. We went to the outlets by the border to find him shoes and I found an Aerosoles outlet. He gave me money and I pitched in and bought four pairs of shoes. I feel guilty but happy. It’s been a long time since I let myself indulge.

I have a hard time accepting help or gifts. I am constantly telling him, “No.” Even now I’m curled up on the couch at the massage place because I declined a massage. He’s getting one. What does accepting kindness bring up for me? Hope. Guilt. Shame. Fear. Anxiety. Self-hatred. Sadness. Automatic thoughts: I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve this. I don’t matter. I don’t want to owe him. I want to be independent. But there are things I can’t afford that I want. I’ve done really well the past year or two not buying, denying myself. I don’t know how to find balance between getting everything I want and buying nothing. It’s self-deprivation and even looking brings up shame – shame that I’m not independent anymore, that I couldn’t make it.

The more amazing he is, the more shame I feel. I’m not. I try to be. I try so hard, but I’m not. I want to be everything for him, for our lives to intertwine and not just intersect. I want to learn to stop running. M- is safe. I am safe… We are safe, Michelle. He bought me shoes.

© 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

I feel the need to write…

8/4/13     12:54pm

me 2

I feel the need to write but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m scared. Everything’s changing.

Today I stand tall, walk confidently. A bug sits on my pen. I feel grounded. Diane gave me jewelry. I got many compliments on my appearance, my dress. I feel calm. My head doesn’t hurt yet. I can write without pain. I am removed from me. Watching. It all goes away.

Yesterday I went to a party. I was severely depressed & moderately agitated to begin with. I lied on my floor barely moving, begged myself not to go. But I did. I’m not good at being social. Small talk annoys me. I wanted to leave but I came for S-. I forced myself to participate, to observe. I ate the food, though it scared me. I pet the cat. In my journal I wrote, “I will end up in the hospital soon if I don’t get this under control.”

Today I feel like I’m floating. I sit in a parking lot hugging the sun. A ball of desperation has been growing in my throat causing my voice to be crackly. My body has been weak & riddled with pain. I’ve wanted to kill people all the live long day. The pain has seeped down from my head through my body and into my soul. My thoughts are tainted. They are often not mine. I feel the tears burn my face from the inside. The screams, they live in my forehead. And somewhere deep inside is me trapped in a dungeon surrounded by fire on an island of hate surviving solely on ice chips. She’s going to die…

T- says I look worn down, that she can see the sadness and pain in me. Sometimes it is too great and she must look away. Sorrow runs deep.

I have so much to be thankful for. I am ashamed that people can sense or see my pain. I’m not doing it right. I’m supposed to be perfect and happy. Someone noticed last night and mentioned it. I was devastated.

I am an emotional trash compactor that rarely gets emptied. Sad, tired eyes often imply wisdom. I’d like to let it out. And take these shoes off. I want OUT. I want out.

I went to see about a debt consolidation loan on Friday and the guy talked at me for an hour. Yes, I’m not in the best situation. No, I don’t know how to fix it. I feel thoroughly TRAPPED. I think I could do it from scratch, learn, change my ways. If only I could get there. Someone please help me. (not really) I’m not wearing the right underwear.

My feet hurt.
I’m hungry.

There are so many tasks to do. They will never all be done. I just work as I can. Futile. And eat Chobani yogurt. I need a fan. (not really)

Five of my toes are numb.
I want to go home.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately mapping out how to map out my life. I’ve not had the energy to put the plan into play but it’s coming along. I need to play. And pee. I’m scared.

I need structure, achievable goals, and rewards. Music, dance, art, exercise. SLEEP. I’m a ball of need. And I just keep giving. I feel lonely, alone, even around people. I’m very bothered by things out of place. My other-energy boundaries have eroded. It all comes in. And then I seem pissy and want to kill people and they say I’m rude. Well, you try it, bitch. (deep breath)

I want to sleep and wake up feeling better. My head hurts. I’m hungry. It’s way too hot.

(sit. breathe.)

I breathe the evil out of me. Don’s off beer for 2 weeks for MOHS. We’ll see how that goes. I started NuvaRing today. I hope I don’t gain weight. If I tolerate it well I may be able to decrease or cut out a few other meds. (wave of nausea) I need meds now… Done.

I want to get a FitBit. My therapist is concerned about my sleep and I want to lose weight. I think a monitor and program will help me. Hopefully. Even as just a reminder. I want to be Me again. She is thin. She loses weight. She’s amazing.

My face, hands & feet tingle. My stomach protrudes, despite lack of food. My head hurts. I do not move, but for my hand. My eyes are weary above a faint smile. God is good. Amen.

(fall asleep)

PS – My thyroid biopsy came back normal. I’m waiting on the other one. I’m quite sick for being so healthy. I guess I’m ahead of my time.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Feelings

1-4-13     7:27pm

In the silence music comes to me.

Now “I Need a Miracle.”
Before “Walk on the Water.”

Waves of intense anxiety followed by crashes. Labor of feelings.

(breathing)

I colored. I am a unicorn. My head hurts.

I’m glad Mom doesn’t have the tv on.

People keep asking if I’m okay. I don’t know what to tell them. I want their support. But I don’t want to want it. I don’t want anyone to know I need help.

15       LEAVE ME ALONE.

There was so much love and support at the group last night. I couldn’t take it in. I felt squirmy.

15        Leave me alone. Stop talking to me. Hide under my desk.

I’m not supposed to feel. Don’t you understand? Feelings are for secrets, closed
doors and letters. I don’t feel. I dance.

Feelings get me in trouble. I am not allowed to have them. I am pro other people openly having feelings, sometimes. I, however, tuck them away safely in a vault that eats at me. I can’t even get to them if I want to.

Feelings are scary and dangerous. They make me feel ashamed. It is my job to be strong. It is my job to be a robot. Do the work, listen, comfort, be.

I am angry that other people can have feelings but not me. I feel them in a tiny ball, an orb in the center of my brain, best friends with the hippocampus. They hover there and tell me what to do. I speak this out loud as I write it purely monotone, a few syllables at a time. I stare. My head hurts. Please help me.

*Smack* Don’t you EVER say that again.

I see other people cry and they’re comforted. I’m not easily soothed. I get angry. I don’t want people touching me. I don’t want them to know. I want to be fucked up in private and then go back to my life. I don’t accept help. I feel lonely. I push people away. But not out of unlove, out of self-stigma.

15
Leave me alone.

I don’t trust them.
People who say they will help lie.
They just hurt you.
It’s a trap.
Stay in the dungeon where it’s safe.

FG                 
She doesn’t understand.
She has good cause not to trust.
She is learning.

13                               
She is killing us.

FG                
Maybe so.

I want to cut or hurt myself to feel. I could cry a few days ago. Now I just stare. Tears in my forehead. Crashing. Must sleep.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

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

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