An Autocidal Life, Part 5: In Which Babe Lives La Vida Telenovela


Before this post is through, there will be love, marriage, cursing, spitting, and…MURDER.

(If you missed the beginning of our exciting and gross-but-still-riveting story, here it is. It won’t take you long to catch up.)
 
Oooo…First, Babe Gets All Hot and Sweaty
 
One night, Babe woke up in a puddle.
 

Asian Eye Night Sweats

You’d Better Not Be Laughing To Hear I Sweat the Bed.


 
At first, she thought she had wet herself, but it turned out that she had sweated so much that her perspiration had actually made a puddle on the all-foam mattress. And she was still sweating. (At half the age for hot flashes.)
 
Then she got the shakes until her teeth chattered–probably from the fever. It reached 104, just like when she had the pinpoint rash. Joe sat by. There wasn’t anything he could do.
 
From that night on, although the high fever didn’t return, Babe continued to get night sweats, often waking in a cold, wet pool.

Study Questions:
What is wrong with this girl?
Why do you think she doesn’t she see a doctor this time?

Get Ready…Here Comes the Action:
 
She was being stabbed! Babe saw the knife go into her chest when her killer punched it hard through her breastbone. She felt the horrified shock of seeing it sticking out of her body. She felt the pain worsening.
 
Every single night, for the next year, Babe was killed repeatedly in her dreams. Some people say you can’t die in a dream. Wrong.
 
She’s driving a car, flooring it, madly changing directions, but it’s no use: They catch up, and shoot her through the glass.
 
She’s racing down a cement-walled stairwell so fast she’s scared she’ll trip. Her heart is pounding so hard with fear and panic, she wonders if her chest will burst.
 
No use. They swing around the landing above her and open up on her with a machine gun. It hurts so much!
 
Even while she sees her blood pouring out of her chest–even through her tremendous pain–she’s focused on her heart, still pounding wildly. But slowing down quickly now… Stopped.
 
Miami Vice Tough Guys

Someone’s Dream-Weavers Watched WAY Too Much 80’s Television


 
Of course Babe didn’t go to a doctor! She didn’t want to be labeled crazy.

Study Questions:
Do you think this girl IS crazy?

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage
 
Where Babe gets headaches, hip-aches, and pees a lot.
 
Babe and Joe got married in 1984. Whoo-hoo! For their honeymoon, they went on a three-week truck-camping trip up the California coast and back down its middle.
 
Right away, Babe was having terrible difficulties:
 
For some reason, she had to pee several times every night, which meant climbing over the truck liftgate and stumbling around to squat in the dark and cold.
 
She had trouble balancing when she first woke up, which made it challenging to miss her feet.
 
Girl Has To Pee In the Woods While Camping

Like This, But In the Dark.


 
When she woke each time, her eyes were swollen, and so dry that her lids stuck to them.
 
Much of the time, she had the most horrible headaches she could imagine–far worse, even, than the awful ones she’d had upon first moving to California.
 
On top of that, whenever she sat or lay down, her hips hurt deep inside, in their very core. The camping mat didn’t help at all on the corrugated truck bed, and no position brought any relief.
 
Babe often lay awake silently next to her happily-snoring new husband, suffering for literal hours in the most unbearable pain.
 
Each day, while Joe was driving into the rising sun, Babe’s head felt like it was a delicate glass shell barely containing her entire self comprised only of her headache. She turned her face away from Joe, leaning it against a pillow on the truck window.
 
Only rarely would the intense pain from her seated hips distract her by reminding her that they happily lay in wait, in case her headache chose to step aside.
 
Babe didn’t want to spend their honeymoon complaining to Joe, so she didn’t. She wasn’t being brave:
 
Babe hid her pain like an abused kid.

Study Questions:
Do they make violins small enough?
Does Babe’s martyr complex ever make you wanna pop her one? (C’mon: At least give her a good shake?)
 
Silent Movie Drama Queen Martyr

Just SEE How I Suffer So.



Her Crowning Glory Abdicates
[when a ruler gives up her/his throne]
 
Where Babe imitates a dog.
 
In 1985, Babe and Joe bought a fixer-upper house in a very rough neighborhood (with an eye to profit).
 
The house’s previous owners were far from clean. When Babe had first swept out the rooms, she’d been disgusted at the huge clumps of the wife’s long black hair.  Yuchh!!!
 
What goes around comes around. Within weeks of moving in, Babe was waking up with her own hair on the pillow. Lots of it.
 
It was summer, so the newlyweds made jokes about how Babe was shedding like a dog, but Babe wondered what the heck was going on. She was starting to get a little worried.
 
When she next got crusty, peel-y, scabby things on her scalp, even Babe thought she was gross. Where each thing fell off, it left a small bald patch.
 
She tried different styles to cover the bare spots , but finally gave up and cut it all short. It was a new look for her, but definitely fit the neighborhood.
 
Bald New Look

Babe’s Bald New Look



Study Questions:
This girl is only STARTING to worry?
Does she seem a little slow to you?

You're Just Getting That Now Slow-On-The-Update

“You’re just getting that now?”…..(First Draft’s Version: “No sh#t, Sherlock.”)


Leave the Room, Kids—Psychotic Alert!!
 
Where Babe imitates a son of a dog.
 
Apparently, fate didn’t want Babe to get too comfortable. Along came a new symptom to keep the gods amused:
 
Fury! Babe had always had a temper, but now, when she lost it, she’d use the “f” word ten times in as many seconds.
 
This just wasn’t her. She began to refer to this as the “F*ck Index” of her health. But that’s not the really bad part.
 
During these wild periods, Babe had a scary urge to do something she wouldn’t admit to anyone: To spit! Spit right on the floor!  
 
Asian Woman Spitting Indoors

Let Me Just Say The Internet Is One D#mned Impressive Place.


What was HAPPENING to her? The feeling was so strong that she sometimes had to give in. Then, embarrassed and afraid, she’d cry while she wiped it up.
 
Between the murderous nightmares, the cursing, and the spitting on the floor, Babe was positive she was going crazy.

Study Questions:
Show of hands: Who agrees Babe should pack her bags
and head for the cracker factory?

Children Raising Hands

You Even Got the CHILDREN To Go Along? That’s Just Cold.


ADDENDUM
 
I admit I exaggerated for effect: Joe didn’t really snore.
 
Part 6, In Which Babe Becomes A Magnet!


 

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21 Comments

  1. This post brings to mind Adult Onset a book by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I just finished reading it. The protagonist lives with chronic pain and is used to it. As a child, it was “normalized” when she tried to hide it because being in pain meant she was bad, something she learned from her parents.

    I don’t think that you are a martyr. I don’t think that you are insane. I think that you are abundantly human and the product of the good ol’ nature/nurture thing which equals someone with an inordinate tolerance for pain.

    Rest well.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Very interesting–that will tie in with something about my sister Meg in an upcoming post in this series.

      I have learned that “tolerance” doesn’t mean it hurts me any less than others.

      I do think it is (anti-)nurture more than nature, although Asperger’s plays its part in masking my pain.

      The nurture side is similar to how children from homes of emotional turmoil show flat affect; e.g. they show the same facial expression throughout a funny film, but if you ask them, they’ll say “I think it’s funny–I just don’t laugh during films.” But after healing occurs–time away from the turmoil–they develop normal responses, and you will hear them laugh aloud like others.

      I don’t know how to cry out loud–never learned how, or, rather, learned to suppress it very young–but I certainly feel THAT pain, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. I am following this saga with great interest and empathy, Babe. I hit the “like” button to let you know that, and hope you will carry on with the excellent writing of this….even as I don’t “like” what happened to you…at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Paul

     /  2015/05/25

    Scary. HUGS

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Well I hope that you’re happier and healthier nowadays. I’m still looking forward to the next chapter hoping for a happy, positive resolution. Also, now you’re making me paranoid about every little physical symptom I have.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. You are one tough cookie, Babe. The dreams alone would have freaked me out. I am in suspense now waiting and sweating about what that turned out to be, hopefully a logical if not lupus-y explanation (not that it makes it better but at least explanable). But I do feel a kindred spirit with you, as I quote my husband “I married you for better or worse, in sickness or in health, I just didn’t expect the sickness to start right away”. I couldn’t always hide my illness, I was unable to breath turning blue, so it was rather obvious. I too became a calendar, every Thanksgiving weekend, like clockwork, hospital admission. Those were the days. Thankfully that is much more under control now except for the bronchial pneumonia thingees from time to time. Humour is good medicine. If we can’t look back and laugh we would loose it. But you are right, it’s not funny at the time. You do a fantastic job of making things funny so we can bear the incredulous discomfort thinking about your situation. That is a gift. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Sarcoidosis? COPD? Turning blue…breathing…Mediterranean anemia? But why Thanksgiving? Asthma could do that…Visitors + different allergens + stress. Okay. I give. What is going on with you? Not that it’s any of my business, which you can tell me.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • It was asthma triggered by a peak of allergens. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is the second week of October. My asthma improved much when our dog died. I didn’t want to believe my beloved pet was contributing to making me sick, but that was a big part of it for 13 years, including through 2 pregnancies, during which I fired 2 doctors. I always say looking back is is not 20/20 it is 40/20 sigh. That’s a start of the list.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • Waait a minute…The instant you were diagnosed with asthma, you weren’t administered a patch/skin-prick test (whatever that thing is called) for allergens? That would have revealed the awful news. (It did in my toddlerhood, which is why our beloved dachshunds Pixie and Gretchen had to be given away.)

          Or by “didn’t want to believe”, you perhaps meant “couldn’t give your beloved friend up” even as you were falling apart. I get that.

          “start of the list”. Time for you to blog about it? Although my actual-folks-who-are-reading is now sinking with each post in the series (and still lots to go–yawn!!) so, perhaps not.
          😀

          Like

          Reply
  6. You were lucky to wake up… I mean I wonder why nightmares last so long and I always wake up after I am kissing someone…. LOL
    Anyhow the sweating incidents in your dream and the pool with cold water as you say are intriguing… Seriously, you could even write a book starting with the introductory lines of your post, dear Babe. Very well penned!
    Long life to you and hope those off murderers never came across you in your dreams. Rest well. Love and best wishes! Aquileana ⭐

    Like

    Reply
  7. I read this. Like, yesterday. Maybe the day before… What day is it?? But I didn’t comment? How did that happen? Oh, yeah, snatching blog reading between eating breakfast, making lunch and hassling boys out the door to school so I can get to work…

    But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. I don’t know what to say about you. You seem to have taken on more than your fair share of horrible symptoms. Every time I think it can’t get worse, it does. Can’t think what to say except “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry it happened to you. I’m sorry that your past meant it was even worse. I’m sorry that you didn’t have that trusted person who could tell you it was okay to take care of you and that you were more than entitled to complain as loudly as possible.

    Oh, and like Cynthia, that “Like” was just to say “I read it and I’m with you.”

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  8. Blimy! As we say here in old Blighty….going straight on to read part 6.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. Loved the self-deprecating martyr joke. 2. Really loved the “No sh*t Sherlock…” reference. I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Why thank you, ma’am! And that Sherlock line didn’t occur to me, either, until I’d reread that borrowed meme within my post about four dozen times.
      🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  10. “She was starting to get a little worried.” 😮 [shaking my head]

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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