The return of the Babadook.
Babadook got out of his cage about two weeks ago. The night I ended up in the Emergency Room (ER), he went with me, and he hasn’t left my side ever since. The only thing Babadook cannot touch – the only part of my life he does not get to participate in – is my time with my baby, Peanut. When she is near me, interacting with me, she is a shield to all that is ugly in my head. But right now, as she naps, he is standing over my shoulder watching me type, with his arms around my rib cage, pressing on my chest, putting a knot in my throat.
Like I said, it all started the night of the ER… It was a normal night in the middle of the week. I had a headache, but that is not uncommon for me. It was 7pm PST and Peanut was unusually ornery and wide awake. I tried playing with her but my headache grew, like an octopus growing on the side of my head; its tentacles wrapping around my face. Peanut finally fell asleep around 9pm, and I was running out of ideas on how to make this now full blown migraine go away. I took probably more medications than I should have, and tried every sort of homeopathic remedy I could think of. Nothing helped; not even a dent. The pain grew, and before I knew it, it was midnight and it felt like a full grown octopus was wrapped around my head. I was dizzy and leaning to one side, I was vomitting uncontrollably, I couldn’t open my left eye or unclench my jaw. I had never had this happen to me before, and for once…. I was truly scared.
I called my parents to come pick up Peanut. Poor baby was dead asleep but only woke up to how loud I was vomiting and running into walls. The dogs were scared and running all over the place. I felt like the octopus wrapped around my head was now trying to suction my brain and spine out. The only pain worse than this, that I have ever felt, was child birth. And let me tell you reader, I have broken ribs, tried to walk off multiple fractures in my foot, broken knuckles, dislocated my knee cap once, got hit by a drunk driver, fell of a speeding jet ski onto the levy, fallen out of the second story window of a house and injured my tail bone, was hit in a parking lot while walking, was thrown out of a moving vehicle (TWICE!), and have been beat up about a dozen times. Three concussions that I can remember. So when I tell you this is the worst pain I have ever felt, I mean it. I even drew you a picture!
I found myself in the ER at 3am. Afraid, in pain, convulsing, hanging off the side of a wheelchair, and vomiting into a plastic bag. Oh and crying. I was crying uncontrollably. That deep sobbing you only get when you’re in so much distress and grief that tears feel like they are coming from your belly. The crying wasn’t from the pain though. The crying was from the fear. Fear that I was letting my baby Peanut down, that I was possibly leaving her without a mom, or with a mom that could not properly care for her. Fear that I thought I had a village established for her safety, and that night – just like the night she was born – I felt more alone than I ever imagined I could.
When I started this journey to get pregnant alone, I worked hard to make sure my village was established; I had people that were like family to me. Then just like that… people ghosted, people up and moved away, and other people’s lifestyle choices became too risky for Peanut and I who are immunocompromised – and trust I do not judge them, if anything I am jealous because I wish Peanut and I could be a bit stronger so that we could safely be more social. But with all that the village shrunk, and when I went to the ER the Babadook was the only thing I could see. I had no idea what was wrong with me and all I could think was, “Please God, don’t let that be the last time I see my baby.”
I am a person of faith, and I can admit that I prayed the entire way to the ER. I sent my mom text messages asking her to please take good care of my baby. I didn’t know when I could see her again. The ER was surprisingly empty, and they took me into a room almost right away. I don’t remember how long I was there or what all tests they did, but there was a point where they had to give me injections right into the base of my skull – it was the most bizarre feeling but it felt good. I could feel the pressure releasing. I got home and the days and nights blended. It was a couple days before I could eat or sleep. My body ached and I could feel the Babadook spooning me as I lied in bed watching 90 Day Single Life on Discovery +.
*Side note: that show is a fucking shit show. If you ever want to feel better about your dating life, watch that garbage. Especially Big Ed and his girlfriend. #TragicHotMessExpress!
Fast forward, and we are a few weeks from that day. I am still having minor issues and going through all the testings and specialists to try to figure out what is the root of the problem. At least for now, they have me properly patched up and medicated. Besides that on-going battle, arises the news that my parents decided to move to Europe at the end of August, and all I can think is, “and another one bites the dust.” Babadook has been choking the life out of me ever since. I lie awake terrified at how I will deal with the changes; changes at work; anxiety; health issues; a looming feeling of death (ever since the ER visit); exhausted from missing people – things we did together, when I will see them again… Who is going to leave next? And what part of me will they take away with them this time?
I am so grateful and blessed to have a home and a steady income, a beautiful baby, my village that has stayed…
But the Babadook won’t let me breathe. The Babadook won’t let me forget that people leave me. The Babadook won’t let me forget that I thought I was going to die.
In better news, Peanut is beautiful. She is so damn tall! She is two years old next month and already three feet tall! I cry about the village that I lost, but Peanut still has a great village – her aunts Lindsey and Karma are especially always on top of the latest Peanut news. As a new mom, and with many of my friends I am the only one with a kid, and I get self conscious about over-sharing and being that mom who won’t shut up about their kid. So when friends ask about her or get excited to talk about her, it fills my heart with joy and excitement that there is love out there for Peanut. A little village of tias and guncles who love her. I hope they never leave her (and if they do, then do it before she’s old enough to know better).
I am terrified of letting Peanut down. But I guess that is the struggle of every parent.