Oh no, the bad girl..

The first born child is always very special. Everything had to be perfect, I didn’t dare accept “second hand” clothing. All purchased items had to be brand new! I wouldn’t have anything less for my baby. Myself, on the other hand.. I had let myself go, during my pregnancy. I rarely ever wore makeup anymore. Appearance didn’t seem so important, now focused on this beautiful feeling! I had always been complemented on my beauty. Nobody was paying attention now, I even started wearing my Father’s Jogging pants! (They were so cozy)

I was 22 years old, when my son Keelan was born. He came into the world at 11:28am. He weighed 7 pounds, two ounces and was 19 inches long. His Father and I lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment. My paternal Grandmother lived beneath us. She was very much involved in his life! In fact, it was she who taught him how to walk. My Grandfather had just passed away the year before. Having a newborn baby come into her life, lifted her spirits. I had all this joy around me so why did I cry so much? Unfortunately, I was struggling with postpartum depression. I refused medication and kept it to myself! (I was still nursing, that was important to me!) Soon after, I had become pregnant with my second son. It pained me to leave, but we required larger living accomodations. Thank God for everlasting memories. Those times can never be forgotten!

Keelan was a pleasure to care for, I called him my angel! He was such a content infant. He loved bathtime, while laying on my tummy. He slept (like clockwork) from 7:00pm to 7:00am. Would you believe at six months old, he would tidy up his toys! He was a late talker, he was stuck on “cracker” for some time. After we moved, things started to take a turn! I had regrets about relocating.

We were now living in a security building. I had to take the elevator, to bring my laundry downstairs. One morning, I took Keelan by the hand. I secured his brother in the carseat and grabbed the laundry bag. When we started walking down the hall, he began yelling “Oh no, the bad girl.” This was the first time I had seen him upset! (He was 22 months old) He continued shouting, “the bad girl” while pointing to the end of the hallway. Next, he grabbed onto me so fiercely that I dropped the laundry. I had to sit the carseat down, while trying to console him. He grabbed onto my skin, pulled my hair and literally climbed my body. He fought, until he was almost on top of my head! I had scratches, the event also left tiny bruises all over me. This behaviour continued.. The superintendant notified me, that other tenants on my floor were worried. He also told me, that a family had died in a fire decades before! This information upset me, I felt terrible for my son. I envisioned him seeing a little girl, that was badly burned! A few months later, I gave notice and moved.

As luck would have it, my Uncle had just purchased a house. (directly across the street from my parents) He was almost done renovating. I asked if he would be willing to rent to my family? My parents were delighted to bring us back closeby. We had been living there about six months, when I invited my Mother over for lunch one afternoon. We were talking, while enjoying soup and sandwiches. All of a sudden, Keelan said “Oh, she’s behind you Mommy!” I had not heard right away, as I was leading the conversation. My Mother looked surprised. She said “Who’s behind Mommy, Sweatpea?” Keelan’s response was “the bad girl” The hair stood up, all over my body. I jumped up and ran outside.. I couldn’t believe this was happening again! My Mother reminded me, that I put her through the same thing. I was told that, I spent my toddler years speaking to an entity. I said he was an old man, and that he was very nice. I would apparently speak to him in my parents bedroom closet, or seated on my bed!

We moved again, while remaining in the area. I never heard about “the bad girl” again. However, I was faced with something else! While watching a movie one night, both my boys started crying. Then, Keelan let out a howling scream! I ran to the room and turned on the light. He was standing up in bed. (He had the top bunk) He shouted something about a bunny, started walking and nearly fell off the bed. He was awake, yet not coherent at all.. I was really worried, as I could not calm him down. I assumed that it had been a nightmare. Only, it started happening quite freakwently. I called his pediatrician with my concerns. During the appointment, he explained the meaning of night terrors. I had never heard of this sleep disorder. I was told that, he may outgrow it. He said that if by age 17 it continued, he would have it for life! I refused prescription medication, I did not want to drug my child!

The episodes continued throughout elementary school. I had many sleepless nights. A habit formed, where I started sleeping lightly. When he started yelling and crying, I would grab him and lead him back to bed. (Sometimes he walked all around the house) I spoke to him in a calm voice. I stayed in bed with him, until it was over and he was asleep. (The body wakes up, as the brain stays asleep!) His eyes would be open, while he walked, or ran around in a state of terror. He answered my questions, sometimes requested that I join him in whatever he was fighting, running from and so on.. One time, he got sucked into a video game, he jumped, knelt down and went into stealth mode! His brothers have cried in fear, laughed so hard and also had conversations with him. He never remembered having the terrors. He sometimes seemed in a state of disbelief, when told about it..

Things started to get intense during Middle School. I had hoped it would diminish, as he got older. (He towers me, as a teenager!) I continued doing my duty, as his Mother! I DO NOT regret it, I would endure it all again. There is nothing like the bond, between a Mother and her child! As a parent, we do everything possible to keep our children safe! Besides, scroll back to the beginning.. Now, look at that little face!

Keelan is now 17 years old.. He LOVES music, (mostly metal) he’s interested in black arts, he likes spicy food, hates school (yet aced law class!?!) and enjoys working out. He wants to be a police officer, because he likes helping people. He has not had a night terror since early last year! I’m proud in saying, that I’ve accomplished my goal in keeping him safe – MEDICATION FREE! He turns 18 in May, here’s hoping that terror has found another kids mind to play with!

©D.J. Woelders, 2019.

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