Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Earliest Memory, growing up with night terrors..

I had this memory before I had words for it, as I grew, so did my vocabulary and not unfortunately not an understanding of the memory which occurred sometime in 1974 or 1975. I related this memory to my mother who told me that it was probably around 6 months of age and they were having family over for a party.

(Apparently you can purchase this (or a photo) on eBay!)

When I was little , under a year old, we lived in a house on Vegas Ave. in Castro Valley , Ca. My parents were having a gathering of family and I was put down for a nap. I remember the white basinette  and quite distinctly the walls which were covered in that fake 70's wood grain paneling. I awoke and shapes coming out of the woodgrain with large insect-like eyes. I started to cry, my Cousin Sandra entered the room and tried to calm me but I was inconsolable, such was the fear of what I was seeing. The memory stops there, we moved soon after that and as memories go I was quite surprised that I could remember anything that early. My mother has taken photos of our cats that would take turns sleeping with my in my crib. Could it have been a cat and I distorted it thinking it formed from the wood grain? I have seen things form out of wood grain much later in my life due to being dosed by angel dust while in Jr High. (There were some very cruel kids in the nieghbourhood when that age.)
                                             "A Wind in the Door" By M. Engle book cover illustration

I often saw things in the dark as a child , another time it was a floating creature with many eyes of all different types and always staring and blinking. I was relieved that I shared a room with my sister for a few years and terrified when we were older and I didn't have the "protection" of someone else in the room to distract the focus of the creatures focus on me. I would often ,quietly as I could, drag my blanket and crawl on the ground to sleep on the floor of my sister's room. She would wake up, yell at me and send me back to my room and then I would start the whole process all over again. I was getting so adept and crawling on my stomache and not making a sound that I was sure she couldn't hear me but most often she did.

I honestly could not say where these night terrors came from. Was it some movie I watched and too young to remember? Was it a bi product of a Temporal Lobe malfunction? Could there be truth in being a mystic? Boy, I sure wish Chip Coffey was around when I was a kid to explain some things to me!

 There was the darkness in the closet that I am sure I saw eyes peeking at me or the space between the bed and the wall where a slimy green arm could fit to be able to grab me. I slept with a hooded sweatshirt or better yet, a hooded wool sweater that my Auntie made me in between her visits to the US from Scotland to protect me from  those scary thing getting into my head. I always wore a rosary and even though at school they would tell me I was committing a Sacrilege, I needed the protection from  the whatever the heck they were. My parents were much more permissive. If wearing my rosary till the Jesus fell off made me feel better and help me sleep through the night then so be it. A funny aside: in High School Freshman year I was sent home for looking like a Satanist. I have no idea what exactly they felt a Satanist was, but rest assured I was the poster child of  Satanic youth in the 1980's in Modesto , Ca. where we had moved to from the Bay Area. My dad had to explain to them that it was a Catholic thing. To so other church going folk, that was the same thing. My Dad probably wondered if switching my sister and I from Public School was such a good idea. They were always bugging him about something concerning me.

                                                              Artwork by Brian Froud.

In Jr High I would wake up to a room full of a motley sort that I was sure were Demons! I guess thinking of it now, even though they certainly had an awful rotten egg smell they actually didn't do anything to hurt me as demons probably would. One small one in particular seemed to hang out when all the others have left and shared with me it's name and cause all sorts of mischief I think in some effort to befriend me. Now when I think about it. I think perhaps , if my inner skeptic doesn't discount it to a vivid imagination or side effect of Temporal Lobe Seizure Disorder, that it was some sort of Elemental Creature, like a nature spirit. It certainly looked my knarled wood and around this same time was the time that I would hear knocking in the inner corner of my room. It was always quite late at night and having been on my roof and peeked in the crawl space I knew we didn't haven't rodents or woodpeckers. I also had turned 13 so this was high time for any sort of telekinetic energy to manifest itself.

That was the time I started scaring my Mum a little more, thinking about turning a light on in the kitchen and it would go on, telling her stuff about the death of an uncle , information I was not privy too. Thankfully through all this my parents , though my Mum wasn't so keen on it , treated it as something pretty normal and I have to say how much I appreciated that. I was lucky enough to have met a friend whose mother was a honest to goodness American Witch. Since my Auntie had passed on, I had no one to talk to about these strange happenings and what they meant. They loaned me my first Tarot Deck until I could get my own and I  was able to practice my skills on my Mum's friends that wanted to know questions about their business they hoped to prosper.

I found myself by luck or providence to be invite to a Psychic Science Church based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles. This Church still exists to this day and whenever I am in Modesto , Ca. I always try to make it to the Creative Life Center. They took me and gave me a focus even allowing me to become a Sunday School teacher to the younger kids of the community. When schools , deans and teachers were busy  trying to keep me in detention I had a place to go where I felt like I could grow through the scary time of the treacherous teen years without being judged for my looks and celebrated for my abilities.

The main thing I learned is that the more I learned less I had to fear. As I moved backed to the Bay Area I sought out other spiritual practitioners and questioners so that I could learn more, eventually taking initiations in Santeria and learning more about my abilities with Espiritismo or Spiritualism. (which gave me some more paranormal experiences to share here forthcoming)

I learned that I wasn't crazy but had these abilities that just needed some development.. I love that I can have these experiences and still be a doubting Thomas skeptic because when something happens that I can't explain, it just makes it that much more amazing.

Now I am all the way in Kentucky and I feel like the Ancestors have me on another adventure and I am really excited to see what next to learn in this classroom and this experience we call LIFE.

So what's next?

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