I saw a man walking up to my stairs – without moving his legs – kind of like it was floating.
I honestly thought it was my boyfriend; he was the same height and size.
So I followed him.
However, when I got to the top, about to turn the corner, my boyfriend asked me what I was doing at 3 am? He was behind me.
It wasn’t him who I was following.
And we were the only two people in that house.
All I could do was descend into the fetal position and shake.
How it all started
I grew up in an abusive home; I won’t get in too much detail about my home life.
I have done that a lot in previous articles.
Nonetheless, as a small child, I was traumatized by the dark – if I can be honest here, I still am.
Nightmares were and still are a regular for me, even after having a child of my own, 32 years later.
When you develop as a child with unstable and violent caretakers.
You can become a victim to your mentality — a victim to your subconscious fears.
My nightmares were always the same;
I start in my childhood home; everything is black and white.
The walls and floors are infested with rats and filth, and void of any light.
My father is there, in the shadows, rocking with a belt, my mother in the corner humming.
And then she comes, a woman dressed in all white with long black hair covering her face.
Her arms are long enough to drag on the floor, and her jaw is elongated, accompanied by a none-stop scream.
If I look at her, she gets closer, so I try and avoid her.
Upon awakening, in my bed, alone in the dark, I would stare blankly into the room, too scared to move.
Pressure on the blanket would start at the base of the bed.
And it would often crawl up to my chest.
It felt as if a body was laying on me.
This happened every night.
Being a child, I had no concept of the non-existence of monsters; monsters were all I knew.
Fear was all I knew, and it consumed me, it altered my mood, damaged friendships, and took over my being.
I tried to confront what was haunting me
After I was well into my teens, I started to dabble in the art of witchcraft.
I was convinced that my hauntings meant I was a supernatural magnet, and I could contact the “other side.”
I was still unable to see the direct correlation between the fear and abuse I endured, and the hauntings.
To me, I just assumed that that is what my life is, a pile of mess-ups and fear.
The Ouija board
My first attempt was to contact that woman who haunts every dream of mine.
I decided to go with the well known Ouija board.
I collected a few close friends who would be down to experiment with me; we gathered candles and incense.
And a box of salt for the ring of protection.
I would come to find out later that the salt did not do its job – or perhaps, it was I who did not do my job.
We waited until it was dark, because why not make it more terrifying than it already was, then we sat around the board.
“Ok, guys, we are going to close our eyes and ask the board if anyone is here with us,” I said, while knowing full well this was a dumb idea.
They all nodded in agreeance.
What happened next was beyond me, like most teenagers who would blame another person for the mysteriously moving board piece, my accusations were directed at the board.
With a few quick swipes, the board spelled out the words, LEAVE ME ALONE.
My friends laughed and mocked the board.
I, however, did not. In every one of my nightmares.
I would scream those exact words. this may seem like something out of a movie, but after that day, things got much worse.
I continued to dwell in the realm of fear, instead of trying to face where the fears were coming from.
I adapted to them, even encouraging them.
As a young adult, I felt plagued with the nightmares, shadows creeping in the corner of my eye, and voices.
The voices got pretty bad at this point, I became used to it and even relished in the fear.
I watched a YouTube video on astral projection and sleep hypnosis.
To eliminate depression and anger and decided to try and confront this darkness head-on.
Another bad idea.
I laid down on my carpet and turned off all the lights – the laptop was on full volume.
The video was playing binaural beats, which are meant for hypnosis.
Within a few mins, I felt my body drift into sleep, yet, I was fully awake and aware of my surroundings – and unable to move.
It’s a horrible combination for someone who is always scared. The sounds began to fade, and I felt my eyelids flicker, my body was buzzing like an electric toothbrush. And once again, the fear took over. I saw her – the woman.
People laugh at me when I tell this story.
But even as I type this, I find myself looking over my shoulder.
It is a fear that will remain until I am fully over my past.
Everything was black.
However, I was awake.
I felt the carpet fibers; I could still hear my laptop.
But I couldn’t move.
The woman stood over me with her mouth stretched open and crying out.
All I could do was stare.
I felt my body being pressed on, and my head began to throb.
The last thing I remember was my boyfriend hovering above, asking if I was okay.
My mental breakdown that led to self-evaluation
This part of my life, I can remember vividly.
I was in high school, I was troubled, and I was a loner.
I guess I would’ve considered myself Gothic at the time; I was attracted to the dark arts.
I was in math class if that’s not scary enough.
And I was watching my teacher explain the problem on the chalkboard.
I was drifting in and out because I was tired, and was wondering why every student was staring at me.
It was the strangest feeling.
I remember feeling uneasy. Then I felt a quick tap on my shoulder. That would be the kid who would change my entire perspective on life. He said, “why are you pulling your hair out?” I had to think for a second, I stared at him confused. However, after a few seconds of shock, I noticed that I was, in fact, pulling out my hair.
Therapy — I decided it was time to seek some form of professional help.
It was nerve-racking, the idea of telling my stories to a stranger.
None the less, I went.
I hated every second of it — my body would shut down, and I would feel a rage inside that I’ve never felt.
I told the Dr. about the ghosts and my dreams about my childhood and my life.
He told me I was suffering from PTSD and the after-effects of trauma.
I was shocked; I told him that I don’t even think about my childhood anymore.
I found out that I was suppressing my fears and past, I became distant to reality, and my worries were haunting me.
I was allowing my consciousness to play tricks on me.
Mindfulness — Having refused any form of medication.
I started to practice mindfulness.
A method of centering myself taught to me by my aunt.
When I experience dark thoughts or allow myself to manifest vivid scenarios, awake, or asleep.
I focus on that moment — remembering I can choose to dwell in this haze or remove myself from it.
Not an easy task to do.
Still, today, I practice mindfulness.
Having a child of my own, it’s essential to be mentally stable and available for her.
Forgiving my past — This was hard for me, how do I forgive my parents for what they did?
How do I forgive the men who abused me?
So many people who I felt deserved nothing but my hatred.
However, I did forgive them — it took a long time.
But after being able to let go of the anger and hatred in my heart, it felt like an actual weight lifted off of me.
Carrying around hate is like poison; it sickens you.
I am now 32 years old, and just now realizing that I am not my past — I am a fighter.
And I won’t allow my past to define me as a woman or a mother anymore.
Fear has a violent way of controlling you, it hires its copartners, anger, anxiety, and hate, to assist in the destruction of one’s morality.
Waking up from that lifestyle would prove to be the hardest thing I have ever done.
As children, we aren’t able to understand fear for what it is, an irrational over-exaggeration of mental damage.
Most of us don’t even realize we have suffered trauma until well into adulthood.
Now that I have taken the time to self evaluate and start to heal my mentality.
I have quite a few ways to help someone else, suffering from fear and anger, hopefully.
- Allow yourself to recognize where your fear comes from.
- Don’t hesitate to seek assistance.
- Practice mindfulness
- Allow yourself to forgive your past.
- Realize that what is haunting you is a creation of your fears and anger.
- Don’t force yourself to forget your past; face it, and accept it.
- Don’t use fear as a means to run your life.
As adults, we are capable of understanding the differences between fear that grows from an inadequate past, versus being a child and associating fear with monsters and ghosts.
Allowing yourself to succumb to a posttraumatic stress disorder, or any Traumatic event, can debilitate you mentally, physically, emotionally, and deteriorate your reality.
It is essential for us to navigate through our fears, to locate a more peaceful aspect of life.
Everyone deserves happiness; everyone deserves to feel free anxiety and hatred.
All it takes is the ability to understand the process of letting go, self-evaluation.
And directing yourself down another road, a road that allows you to live without fear.
Meghan Gause, I gather words like pieces of sea glass and then distribute an enchanted array of emotion. Buy me a coffee PayPal.me/MeghanGause