Monday, 2 May 2011

Monday Muser's Mad Question Time - Rochelle Webber

Good morning all from a glorious May Corfu,

It is official; Corfu summer tourist season is underway and the first charter flights have already landed. Oh what joys await we humble souls that work in tourism. It seems Kate {sorry - Cathrine}and Will have postponed their honeymoon. Bloody cheek. I spent hours baking them cakes. Oh well, I will just have to share them with Rafa.
I digress. Without further ado, I hand the show over to Ms. Rochelle Webber who has kindly agreed to be in the hot seat this week. Before I do so, I would like to thank her and applaud her bravery. Her answer, as you will see, is straight from the heart. Take it away, Rochelle....

Is there anyone you’ve ever wanted to go “Kill Bill” on and why?

The only person I’ve ever wanted to have permanently out of my life is the woman my ex-husband married after me. I was not impressed by her when I met her (before he did). We hung out at the same singles bar in a fairly small town and I’d seen her dancing with a man I sort of liked. We happened to be in the ladies’ room together and being friendly, I made the ironic statement, “We seem to have the same taste in men.” She acted as though I’d insulted her. I tried to continue the conversation, asking what kind of work she did and she snapped, “I’m a nurse.”
Mind you, I was a Navy medic. My skill level was somewhere between that of an LPN and an RN in a civilian hospital, but I’ve never called myself a nurse. I never graduated from nursing school or took any boards. Later, after she married my ex, I saw her diploma. She’s a Certified Nurse’s Aide. I doubt she ever suctioned a tracheotomy, assisted with an IV cut-down, or did anything more complex than moving patients from bed to the toilet or a geriatric chair and shoveling gruel into their mouths. At any rate, after that encounter I avoided her. Until she married my ex and I could no longer do so.
My real reason for disliking her, however, is the way she treated my kids. She abused them. And my ex was so unhappy in the marriage, he avoided her by getting active at church and staying as far away from home as he could. You know there’s something radically wrong when a woman who has half the priests in the archdiocese of Dubuque among the guests every time she throws a party tells her son he needs to get a divorce, and his parish priest says the same thing. My ex refused because he already divorced me and had our marriage annulled. He didn’t want to be “a two-time loser” and didn’t think he could get a second annulment. Meanwhile, he was totally oblivious to how unhappy our kids were and what she was doing to them. In fact, he blamed the problems in the house on them not adjusting, or being rebellious teenagers.
If I’d known a teacher called DCFS on them when it happened, I could have gotten custody. His wife called my daughter a profane name in front of the social worker and when I tracked the social worker down three days later, she told me that if she’d known the kids had a mother, she’d have removed them from the house and called me that night. Unfortunately, since they were honor students, she couldn’t go back until they flunked out of school, ran away, etc.—which is what finally happened to my younger daughter.
Why did I let him have custody and expose them to that woman? I am bi-polar and I fly into rages with very little provocation. I have injured myself on occasion, but fortunately have never injured anyone else. I’ve had the police and even the fire department called on me and I’ve called the police on myself. Most of the time, I’m a rational person and people usually describe me as “sweet.” So how does a “sweet” person find herself in front of a karaoke bar surrounded by cops, paramedics and other fire fighters being restrained by two of her best friends while she tries to pummel first a very imposing, muscular doorman, and second a (fortunately) thick window? I’ve been wondering that most of my adult life.
I rate these episodes on the Fugita scale because they resemble tornados. They seem to come out of nowhere, do a lot of damage and leave a wake of debris that needs to be cleaned up once the shock wears off.
Usually something triggers it—some person or issue. It starts with a temper tantrum in which I yell obscenities, throw things, break things, and rage around. That gives way to what I call “the screaming heebie-geebies”—primal screaming until I lose my voice. During this phase it’s as though my brain splits in two. Doctors always ask if I “hear voices” and I always say no, but the truth is that I know what the phrase “she was beside herself” means, as there is a voice that sounds as though it’s on my left side telling me things like, “this is inappropriate behavior,” “ladies don’t use that kind of language,” “you’ll lose your voice,” and “you’ll never be able to sing again.” I count this noisy out-of-control/split personality thing as phase one even though it seems to have two parts: verbal and non-verbal. The Voice is there throughout.
The second phase is crying and apologizing, and usually lasts until I become dehydrated and have no tears, or exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open. The final phase is of course, is sleeping it off—unless you count all of the amends I have to make later, or how long I had to keep the cast on when I broke my wrist during an F-Four. The cops and paramedics one was an F-Five, and I’ve been barred from that establishment (not that I blame them). Oddly enough, I’ve never gone postal on my kids’ step-monster. Not even when she un-invited me to my daughter’s graduation party and my mother-in-law put her foot down and hauled me over there because “Rochelle is Elizabeth’s mother and she belongs here!”
I’ve run the gamut of medications—Prozac, Depakote, Tegretol, Celexa, Neurontin and now Topamax. The only thing they haven’t put me on is lithium and that’s because I’m diabetic and they haven’t wanted to risk the kidney or liver side effects. I gained weight on the Prozac and Depakote. Between the two of them, they took me up to almost three hundred pounds. The fact that I am a food addict and started over two hundred pounds didn’t help, I know. I probably would have gotten to three hundred on my own, but I’m convinced the meds contributed to or accelerated my weight gain. These days I seem to be doing pretty well on Celexa and Topamax. I’ve addressed my food addiction and given up sugar. I found out I have celiac disease and given up all foods that contain glutens—no wheat, flour or barley, and I’m very careful about where any oat products are milled. I read labels very carefully. And I haven’t gone into screaming heebie-jeebies in over a year. I’m not sure whether it’s the Topamax or dietary changes, but I’ll take it. I really am a gentle soul. I’m Wiccan and I try to live by the Rede “An it harm none, do as ye will.” I really don’t need any of that “Kill Bill” karma.
I’m doing this blog tour to promote Rock Bound. Jake saved Annie’s life. Now slaves on that God-forsaken rock, the Moon, how will they survive? You can buy it at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions, B&N for Nook, CreateSpace in paperback, and Smashwords in various e-book formats.
But, since we’re talking about anger issues and my bi-polar disorder, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my upcoming book, Rock Crazy, which is due out from MuseItUp Publishing, Inc. in October, 2011. Abandoned, pregnant and bi-polar, Katie’s going CRAZY on that God-forsaken rock the Moon!
For all of my buy links, check out my website:

Once again, thank you, Rochelle and good luck with your release.

Champaign, Illinois
June, 2063

Here is a taste of Rochelle's up and coming release

She didn’t remember, later, what the woman said that triggered her. She didn’t remember deciding to react. She just remembered the hot, red rage—and the split. She watched herself do it, and the Voice kicked in.
You can’t do this, It said. This is inappropriate behavior.
Katie tried to stop herself, but she couldn’t. Her arm rose, as if of its own accord, and poured the pop on the woman’s bleach-blonde, over-processed head. The woman came off the stool and shoved Katie. She flew across the room, seemingly in slow motion. Of course she threw her right arm out to break the fall, and she still hit her head on the floor. But the pain in her wrist was worse than the headache.
I told you not to do it, The Voice said. Now, at least stay down. Don’t try to fight her. You’ve already lost.
Katie lay there gasping for breath, smelling the old, stale, spilled beer that had seeped into the floor. Someone helped her up. It was Scott, her husband, and she was in his arms, holding her wrist. The woman wanted to come after her again, but people restrained her.
The screaming started. Katie cowered in Scott’s arms screaming and screaming and screaming, while The Voice told her to stop acting this way, and people tried to restrain the angry woman with pop dripping from her soggy bangs.
“Get her out of here!” the manager demanded.
Scott half-carried her outside. She was hysterical and still screaming. The other woman followed them out to the car.
“What the f*** is wrong with you, you crazy b****?”
Katie couldn’t answer. All she could do was scream. Just scream. No words, just that high-pitched wail that was a good octave above any note she ever managed to reach when she sang.
Now why can’t you reach this pitch when you sing? The Voice asked. Stop it or you won’t be able to sing at all. Ever again.
The rage was gone and the remorse and regret and depression were overwhelming. She threw herself across the hood of the sky-car, feeling its warmth. She continued to sob, and the pain flared in her wrist again. Katie kept screaming. Her voice was going. It was gone. The screaming subsided and she began sobbing, hoarsely. Damn it. Her physical voice really was gone! The Voice was merging into the background and her mother was there. Linda Snodgrass had been dead for over five years, but she still appeared and yelled at Katie.
You stupid bitch! I told you ladies don’t fight. What the hell did you think you were doing?
“I don’t know why I did it, Mama. I think I broke my wrist,” she mumbled.
Serves you right.
“I’m sorry, Mama. I’m sorry.”
Quit whining or I’ll give you something to be sorry for.
She started hearing what was going on around her.
Scott was there, and the manager and the woman and several bystanders but all she could do was cry and say “I’m sorry,” over and over.
“Who’s she talking to?” the woman asked. “She really is fucking crazy!”
“Katie is bi-polar,” she heard Scott explain.
“Get her out of here!” the manager yelled.
“I’m so sorrrrrreeeeeee,” Katie wailed hoarsely. Someone stayed with her while Scott went back inside to get her sweater and his keys. The sobbing and apologizing would go on for another hour or so. It was part of the pattern. She would apologize to everyone she met. And she would cry until she dehydrated herself and ran out of tears.
Rochelle Weber Rock Crazy Author Page at MuseItUp Publishing, Inc.


  1. Rochelle, how horrible to find out someone is abusing your children. From your posts at Muse, it sounds like you've connected with them again. Good luck on your book.

  2. God Bless, m'dear and thank you for sharing your struggles. As I am sure you have been told, bi-polar is a disease no different than diabetes or asthma or cancer. No blame or guilt needed. Your struggle to control this disease has contributed to making you the strong wonderful woman you are today. Now as a published author, you have even more to make you proud and hold your head high.

    May your children grow day by day in their realization and apreciation of your love and support. Best of luck with your writing career.

    Warm Regards,
    Christine London

  3. Rochelle,
    I totally understand the ex-wife situation, but I had it in reverse. She had the children and wouldn't give me a chance. She tried to dictate my life, manipulate my husband, and lied in court documents about the living conditions in our home. I put up with her for years, until the kids became of age and I no longer had to write out a support check to her. I can't imagine having to deal with someone mistreating my children. Bi-polar or not, I think any mother would go ballistic. You've probably helped others by sharing your most personal secrets. Oh...and she wasn't even the one I wanted to see as the target of a "hit." That would be the woman who ruined my career and took by job by filing a bogus law suit against the three remaining people who worked with her. The university was much more afraid of racial issues than interested in keeping an employee of twenty years who earned "excellent" performance ratings over one who couldn't even handle her own clerical duties. Sad, but true. I could have let it sour me on any person of color, but true to my claim, I don't see skin tones...I see human beings. After so long, I finally let go of the anger and realize I feel sorry for her. How sad to have to go to such lengths to get money and move up in the world. :)

  4. Holy gee whilikers, Rochelle! Now that takes the flight or fight thing to the mat, doesn't it? I've had a few times in my life when I'd liked to have a gun in my hand but I douby I'd have used it. The one time I got into a fist fight with a fellow airman while in Japan, I broke a fifty caliber machine gun ammo box on my opponent's chest, leaving the jagged handle in my hand. I got him on his back and straddled him, holding the sharp piece of metal close to his neck. When he started crying, I got to my feet and threw the damn thing as far as I could. I realized that I'd just been within a whisker of murdering a man. That took the fight out of me. I hauled off to the base hospital and got my broken nose set, while he sat in an adjoining cubicle as they tapped his chest. He had three broken ribs but none of them did any interior damage.
    Looking back, I think that incident prepared me to write violence in my fiction. Feeling the blood lust to do physical damage to another human being, I realized that we are, after all, just a step up the food chain from our animal planet. Due deference to God, of course. I figure He made us from what He had available at the time. Wonder how many times He's looked back and realized his mistake in creating us. LOL
    Good luck with your books!
    Pat Dale

  5. Rochelle, my dear dear Muse-friend. My sister also struggles with bi-polar and it is quite debilitating and unpredictable. I champion you for what you've been able to overcome. My sister breaks my heart as her condition also becomes quite severe especially when her medication is off or she just doesn't want to take it. The medication is constantly watched for balance and she does struggle and it hurts me so much in how hard she tries. My niece who is grown now was also given to my ex-brother-in-law to raise and suffered for it. I'm glad you are where you are and that you've shared this with us. I admire your strength and your heart and in some small way share your pain. Love you, my friend.

    Your book sounds more reason I admire you so much.

  6. not an hour ago i sat talking with my grandson who has been diagnosed as bi-polar. he described it as thinking his brain overloaded with adrenalin. he doesn't remember what he does during his temper storms, says reason is gone. how odd that i read this now and have help understanding even more what is happening to him. so far, they haven't found a medication that doesn't make him sick and help not at all. blessed be, Rochelle.