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.