Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mama Bear, The Warrior Princess and the Narcissist - Part One

I come to you today from a place far, far away from the comfort of zen. Fuck zen.  I am steeped in anger, seething with a fury that can only be likened to that of a mother bear, charging at that which threatens her cubs. I am in full stride, mouth dripping, teeth bared - my enemy identified. 

My muscles are tense as they lunge toward this predator. I cannot be stopped. I can climb faster and jump higher with my claws curled and sharpened to afflict torture and dispense suffering upon this vile menace.

I instinctively desire nothing more than to wrap my jowls around the neck of this beast of prey, picking up his helpless body and shaking it until it is limp and lifeless. I am growing dizzy from the taste of the kill. But I stop short of taking his life. For I want him to eventually perish from that which ultimately brings the demise of all who linger in their own reflection. He will be his own undoing. As with the 16th century painting of Narcissus from Greek mythology, attributed to Caravaggio, shown above. He will face his own nemesis and he will perish; not in a physical sense but in the worst way possible for a narcissistic man. He will fail.

The son of a bitch almost killed our youngest daughter.

As is typical of his patterns of behavior, he was either too busy investing all of his time and energy into his new business venture or two unaware and imbecilic to notice the youngest of our seven-year old twins was suffering from more than your average stomach flu. I suspect it was a combination of both. Narcissistic people tend to believe nothing bad, really bad shit like a ruptured appendix, will ever happen to them. She had been throwing up for three days, then became listless, refusing to get out of bed for the next three days. She had pain and she told him about it.

He dropped her off to me Monday afternoon of last week. He said nothing about her pain.  He simply said she is still weak from being sick. She went straight for my couch. I could tell she had to gingerly position herself to lie down and I noticed her flinching from the pain. By this time, her appendix had ruptured. The deadly toxins were already spilling into her abdominal cavity.

I sat down at her feet and rubbed her legs prompting her to scream at me for touching her.  This is the same child who has some sort of built in magnetic feature where the moment I stop moving, the very second I sit down, she is immediately on top of me. She has always required more loving, cuddling, tender touching than any of my other children. All of my mommy senses were now in full alert. I asked her to show me where she was hurting. When she pointed to the lower part of her right side, almost at the crease where her stomach reaches the top of her thigh, I knew this was not the fallout from a bout with a bug.

I called Mr. Sunshine to ask about the leg pain. He said he hadn't really noticed anything but he did think perhaps she might have a bladder infection because it had been hurting her when she went to the bathroom. This would have been a nice piece of information to share with me earlier when he dropped her off.

A quick call to the doctor advised me to take her to the emergency room. Mr. Sunshine was busy, letting me know he could come pick us up in an hour. By this time, my baby girl, whom I now and forever shall refer to as The Warrior Princess, could not sit up, stand or walk. When he arrived, he insisted we go to the after-hours clinic instead of the hospital. He stood firm on his belief this could be nothing more than a really bad bladder infection. The clinic was on the way to the hospital so I agreed to let them take a look at her.

Ten minutes later, we were on our way to the hospital.

When we received the diagnosis and were told she would need immediate surgery, she had already endured nine examinations. Each one beginning with the same incessant, redundant questions and ending with pressing on her belly forcing her to scream from the intensity of the discomfort. She had been poked by the urgent care nurse, the hospital triage tech, the hospital triage nurse, the ER nurse, the ER doctor, a new ER nurse that just had to see for herself, the surgeon, the surgeon's PA and finally, the surgery nurse.

Just before being wheeled off for a CAT scan, a young medical student walked in and asked to take the medical information and give her an exam.  He had a look of fear on his face indicative of this being his very first time to do so.  He began by asking the same questions we had already answered during the previous nine interviews.  He frequently checked his handy pocket notebook to make sure he wasn't forgetting anything. I was holding it together, maintaining my trademark calm in the midst of a storm persona, when he informed her he was about to poke on her belly again.

At that moment the calm broke, the dam burst open and mama bear looked him straight in the eye and said, "you touch her belly and you will lose that finger Doogie". I then explained that nine times was enough and there would be no more pressing, prodding or poking on her because ten pokes is gonna get you a prize; namely, you will be the lucky recipient of everything I am currently holding inside and it won't be pretty.

He very quietly said he would make a note to the record that parent refused the exam and he left the room as quickly as he could.

They took her away and operated on her mess of a belly for well over an hour. The surgeon said she would not have made it much longer with all the internal draining. When she was in recovery, we came to see her. She had taken one of her favorite stuffed animals into surgery with her. He came out wearing his own surgical cap,which the Anesthesiologist had taken the time to cut holes for his floppy ears. This is what we saw.

I took the first deep breath of the night, feeling as if we had made it. We could rest easy now. She would be going home tomorrow and would be back to herself in short order. I did not realize, the worst was yet to come.

There were serious complications in store. The narcissist would virtually abandon us while he went about his life and I was to spend the next full week at her side teaching her how to be strong but instead learning the strength of a woman was already there. She would be the one teaching me.

(To be continued.....)

Also, look for the continuation of the #1Son series soon!


  1. I am speechless, and I think you know my writing well enough to realize that is no small feat. Thank goodness for Mother's intuition. I'm the same way - great in the moment of crisis but after it's all over and I realize what COULD have happened...that's when I lose it. Lots and lots of healing prayers for you and your little one!

  2. I am speechless also. While reading this I developed a headache, got teary eyed and dug my nails into my palm from clenching my fist so tight. How can some people be so....stupid.

  3. I've spent today catching up on my reading and I have to say I've been on pins and needles, unable to pause between posts.

    I am SO sorry for what happened to your daughter, and relieved to hear that she made it through the surgery okay. :/ That must have been a terrifying experience for both of you.

    Can't wait to hear how she's doing, and hope things are well.

  4. Yes, he is a bad bad man. Maybe it's a man thing. My husband is a nurse and yet is eager to believe nothing serious could ever be wrong with his baby. I've had to practically scream "look, look at her. That is not normal." It's a scary thing because they can't control it.

    Now your daughter can make up stories about her she got it in the war in Nam.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  5. You are the mama bear, thank God she has you. She was very, very ill. I cannot tell you how happy I am she is in recovery.

    Bears occasionally hunt in packs. I will be your Huckleberry.

  6. Your an excellent writer aunt Angie, I'm surprised I never knew this about you. I hope you guys are doing ok, and hope I can visit you soon! Love you.

  7. I hate your ex. God forgive me. I'll get over it.

    Your daughter is in my prayers for a full recovery. What a brave kid.

  8. Omigosh. From one mommy to another, I am crying from reading this. I'm thinking of you and your baby girl. And that anesthesiologist rocks.


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