In the last days of my pregnancy, my husband and I mused that we were about to take on a deadbeat roommate. This little being was coming into the world to live with us, but she would not pay any bills, would eat all of our food, party loudly through most night, and would trash the place on a regular basis. She would also not speak the language, so good luck asking her to change her ways.
We are now six months into the 18 year lease (with a possibility of refusal to comply with eviction at that point) and I realize, not only do we have a deadbeat roommate on our hands, but we are being held captive and tortured by her.
1. Genital Mutilation. My body went through the ringer carrying this little one around for 41 weeks and then was torn open in ways that should not be natural. Thankfully, the damage does not seem be permanent.
2. The Breast Ripper was a device used on adulterous women in the middle ages in Europe; Our captor must have researched it while in utero. My nipples feel like they are ripped off each day. They are pulled, chapped and bitten. I have endured blood blisters and hickeys unseen on my body since junior year of high school. I am told when she is done with me, they will be a shriveled mess.
3. Scalping. When not pulling at nipples, my little captor has attempted to scalp me by yanking the hair out of my head. I repeat “gentle” over and over again, but it seems to do no good. At least I am not alone in this pain. The poor dog and my husband’s chest hair are subjected to it as well.
4. Flagellation. I have been flogged on a weekly basis. My breasts, face and neck are covered in lash marks from her tiny razor-like fingernails. This is a method, that I can avoid if I clip her nails in time, but the act of clipping often brings on sound torture (see below).
5. Stress Positions. These place the human body in such a way that a great amount of weight is placed on just one or two muscles. These muscles are usually my already overtaxed from pregnancy lower back muscles. After feeding and rocking her to sleep, I bend over her crib rail to lay her down. This often results in her squirming. I must then remain in the stress position for several minutes before carefully trying to extract my arm from under her tiny head. Inevitably, she wakes and starts screaming. I have to pick her up, rock her and then put myself back in the stress position for further suffering.
6. Instruments of Torture. Baby carriers, car seats, toys that play obnoxious songs like It’s a Small World for hours at a time, etc., etc., etc.
7. Sound Torture. Nothing has ever caused me to question my sanity or doubt myself more than listening to the crying and screaming I’m now subjected to. While it may not be death metal, it’s downright torturous.
8. Solitary confinement. Because I live on the north end of my mountain valley, I do not often get visitors. If I want human contact, I must subject myself to more unpleasant sounds while I bundle up my captor and strap her into the back breaking torture device known as “the car seat.” She will then proceed to scream for the entire drive into town until we get to the grocery store, at which time she will smile and look adorable. This is part of her ploy. As long as she looks cute in public, no one believes me when I beg for them to save me.
9. Sleep Deprivation. This method is both physical and psychological torture. Six months without sleeping more than three hours in a row, I am ready to talk. If only I knew what state secrets she was after. Oh Mel, you say…you just haven’t read the negotiation manual. But, I have. I have read the manuals by Ezzo, Karp and Pantly. I attempted the tight 2 hour schedule of eat, play, sleep. I’ve wrapped her in straight jackets. I struck back with my own shushing sound torture. I tried every S including human Sacrafice (the human being myself) to no avail. Recently I even tried the manual by Weissbluth which explicitly states that we should not negotiate under any circumstances with our captor. After an hour of sound torture and then projectile vomiting, I gave up.
10. After six months, I have finally given in to Stockholm Syndrome. If you can’t beat them, fall in love with them, defend them and if they tell you to, rob a bank. What else can one do? Perhaps now that I promise to submit, she will go back to just being a deadbeat roommate.