My father has always been in touch with the spiritual side. He can tell stories of witnessing ghosts and apparitions. He can sleep somewhere and wake up knowing who died how and when. My brother, a strong believer, bought all the books, crystals, everything, keen to find something like my dad has. He is yet to see anything, only hear a few bumps.
I shan't lie, possibly just from being a typical stubborn child, I rejected all that my dad claimed as tosh. We used to have to endure ghost programmes (which I actually now love...) and I would mock and complain.
Despite my rather poor behaviour, alas I was young and typically dismissive of anything any adult said. Of course, it was all a front. I knew when my grandfather died (I was seven) before my parents came to give me the talk. I had seen him, in fact he lingered for a while in a hospital gown before he went. I did tell my mum, who dismissed it as just a child dealing with trauma by using their imagination. Then come the 'imaginary friends.' I had many, but Jack was the most influential, he was a soldier, he used to bet on things with me, in an encouraging manner. I realise now that as a small child I probably had no idea what betting meant. He always told me things, where stuff had been hidden, when family members were talking about me. Oddly it always seemed to be true. I went to a Christian school and was just convinced it was God. Which changed drastically as I grew older.
I found the spirits, if they were, nice. I always remember an instance when we were visiting my nan, my brother locked me out of the flats/apartments she lived in and left me, a small child outside. I remember seeing someone pass me, and the door opening. Jack always supported me, I was an unstable child and found myself often alone without support. I knew random things about random people, that I had never been told. I thought I was special, maybe an alien, again the imaginations of a child.
However, it took a huge turn for the worst. I can't remember when it actually started, but it was horrible. Sleep paralysis began. Different things would come, the worst would crawl out of my wardrobe, a bald man in ruined clothes, sweaty with really bad teeth. He'd strangle me, I could see, I couldn't move or scream. There were so many different beings that took turns each night. I told the doctor, I got told it's a vivid imagination and probably stress of high school and bullying. Finally, I told my dad. He didn't really imply anything, but he told me if it is my imagination, then use it to fight them. Think of someone, the first person that conjures up in your mind, like character creation. That will be your guide, who will protect you, think of them, each night, standing over you, guarding you. Of course I thought of Jack. Now I know what that meant. Sure enough they went, only returning once more at University when I was attacked by a bride in my paralysed state.
Then it faded, everything faded. I stopped seeing or hearing anything at all. Until we did two stupid things. The first was a ghost hunt. I saw them, it was horrible for me. My brother was psyched, he thought he'd see something (he didn't) I was just hiding my face in my hands. I could describe the man in detail, stood at the car window, or the woman weeping on the log. Then there was the Ouija board fiasco. Bearing in mind no one really knew the truth, I never told anyone about seeing things aside the sleep paralysis. I was refusing outright, and getting comments like "I thought you didn't believe Rachel? I thought you said it was rubbish?"
I did. I just didn't want to see them. I didn't want to admit to both defeat and sounding crazy. In the seance I blacked out. But I got told what happened, bangs, doors opening, me... Tears streaming down my face, nose bleeding, lethargic and mumbling.
Such a stupid thing to do. It was done safely, supposedly, but still.
I went back to nothingness state. Aside the odd dream, dreams where I would see people I don't recognize, along with family members that have passed. My dead Nan usually would guide me around the place, and tell me that there would be a new addition soon. Funnily enough, I say funnily... But it wasn't, my Great Aunt died. Another? Grandfather, my other grandfather, that died before I was born, who I have never seen or met, told me that "That bastard had what was coming to him." My uncle went missing, and was found hanging dead in his apartment. Naturally I freak out when I have a living person dream, I assume they're going to die and live a while in anxiety. I could do what my dad can, sleep in places and know who died and how, or smell burning, among other things. But it wasn't as strong as it used to be. I no longer saw or heard Jack.
It was all so quite. I even started work in a well known old haunted mansion house. Nothing.
Then I had a breakdown. It's all personal, mental things, everything just got to me. I started the medication as prescribed. I've been on it for months now.
But recently... They're back. Small, for now, but things I've not had before. For example at work, doors will open, I'll close them all again, the second I turn my back, all open once more. I've seen a woman stood next to me. I've seen things going into doorways only to find nothing. But the thing that's getting to me most is the talking.
I hear people, conversations, muffled. There's so many it's hard to concentrate on one. Odd bits such as "Tell her I didn't do it, please." "You have to check, please." "They don't know I'm dead." Just babbles. Sure I googled it, to be told I've either got schizophrenia or autism. Which I'm sure I don't.
Then there's Jack. I found out what, or who Jack is. Whilst doing family history I found a relative, a great uncle, John, who had to be called Jack. He hates John. He was a soldier whose dream was crushed after a leg injury. He gambled a lot, and died in his twenties. I asked my dad about 'John,' what he looks like. The picture was uncanny.
Since I hadn't heard from Jack in a while I decided it would be a good idea to go "John where are you?" I got abuse back. But I'm glad... He's still around.
I know this is a lot. It's everything, major anyway. It's more my physic story.
One day I'll tell my dad. One day.