Haunted Memories: A Flashback

grvghstapparitIn the short time I’ve studied paranormal investigation, I’ve learned much about the tools and theories of the field. Before moving, I joined up with a local paranormal research society and took part in a couple of investigations.

My first investigation yielded incredible results. Our group was working with a young family who had experienced negative paranormal activity over the years, and it had come to the point that it was unbearable. I was able to see the activity first hand on our initial visit to the family’s home, and the impact it was having on the family.

After the investigation, the team leader and I led a cleansing of the home. A month or so later, I ran into the husband who told me they hadn’t experienced anything else in the home since our visit. It felt great to be apart of that process; to bring peace to disturbed lives.

I’m thinking about this now because this morning I had a flashback to an incident when I was 18 years old. I was in a cemetery with a friend. Long story short, she had been experiencing a possession which lead us to the cemetery that night.

And that night shit hit the fan.

Whatever was in her spoke to me and flooded my mind with violent and disgusting images that I can only describe as dark. I saw things that night, as well. Inhuman apparitions that I can’t even begin to describe beyond the dread they filled me with.

With the little understanding I had about the spiritual realm, framed by a religious cult that ignored all things paranormal (with the exception of alien encounters or that which pointed to the imminent “rapture”), I was at a loss over what to do.

When everything seemed hopeless, something in me clicked (or snapped), and I began to speak out against the things surrounding us and the thing inside her. The apparitions retreated and faded from sight. The thing inside her was forced down and she regained control of herself – with no recollection of what happened or how we ended up in the cemetery.

Life and chance separated us. We parted ways with her holding onto the thing inside of her because it made her feel “not alone,” even though she was spiraling downward.

I wonder if I had the knowledge then that I have now, if I could have done more to help her. If I could have done something to protect us. If I could have made an impactful difference.

But…

priestexrcsmI didn’t have that knowledge. My understanding of the spiritual realm was that all things working outside of our rules was demonic. It was to be ignored unless it affirmed our belief that the rapture was to happen “any day now.” We were all but forbidden from even wondering about the paranormal.

Even when the pastor of my youth said I had “the gift of discernment” when I went to him about the various things that had been happening to me, we didn’t explore the matter further. I was left to fend for myself. The events continued, and I received no guidance. I was a child facing monsters on my own.

Today my understanding still isn’t perfect, nor all encompassing, but it is far broader than what I had back then. I have affected change and have little fear because of this greater understanding. I still can’t help but look back and wonder “what if?” And I carry an unfair guilt because of that.

On an unrelated note: I hate flashbacks.

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About Z.

Poetic pipe and cigar enthusiast rifling through the haunted memories of a not so distant past while openly wrestling with faith and God. A rambling writer with the misguided notion that he has something to say. His only redeeming qualities are his wife and children.
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