For many years I lived wanting everything that was on the other side of fear. I was not scared of the dark, but what was in it. I was not afraid of people, but of their rejection. Similarly, I was not afraid to love, but of being loved back. I was not afraid to try again, but of getting hurt for the same reason.’
And it all started on that New Years eve night 1983… I was 6 years old. As usual, my parents insisted that I must have a nap before pulling an ‘all-nighter ‘ to celebrate another year gone by. It was a tradition back then for children and adults to stay up all night. We celebrated the last day of the year with family and friends.
31st December was my favourite day of the year. I could eat what I liked. I could stay up until the early hours of the morning. However, best of all, I could open countless boxes of presents delivered by ‘Ded Moroz’ (Russian version of Santa) at midnight.
The only downside of this wonderful day was a prerequisite nap. I found this to be an awful waste of time. I tried convincing my parents that this time could be spent reading or helping in the kitchen (which involved licking the icing off the knives). Even offering to do maths homework, but nothing worked. (Now, being a parent, I realise why they were so desperate for me to hide out for few hours in a dark room away from the buzz of the house). Fidgeting, crossing one leg and then the other. Feeling like I could throw off sparks, or break a window or rearrange all the furniture in the house but I could not stay still.
As I lay in my bed, waiting to be liberated from this dark & gloomy room, a sense of dread and darkness enveloped my entire body. The thoughts that popped into my head filled me with anxiety and panic. All I could feel and sense was darkness, hopelessness and death. I did not know then that this was the beginning of the next three decades of my obsession and fear of death.
For years to come, not a day went by where I did not ponder on the matters of life and death. Sometimes with indifference, other times with fear and dread. I visited numerous fortune tellers. Experimented with the ouija board. I walked across the night cemetery. Read witchcraft books. Watched countless horror films but came no closer to realising that death was not the greatest loss in life.
Rather, it is what dies inside us while we are alive.
When I was 23 I moved into a house with my friend and his family. It was a beautiful old house with a lot of history. However, most importantly, it deemed to be haunted. I spent my evenings wandering around the rooms seeking out some lost and trapped spirit lurking behind the bar but saw nothing. Only just my own inner monsters who seemed to be following me around for so many years.
One night, celebrating a friend’s birthday, I mentioned to my host how noisy the house has recently been. I asking him whether it was his 4-year-old niece who was interfering with my studies.
‘My niece?’, he asked, confused.
‘But she hasn’t been around the house for days’.
I will never forget the feeling of dread and fear that spread through me.
I realised then that the house has indeed been empty, and his niece was away for the school holiday. Whoever was making this noise was certainly not her. So, who or what, was it?
Subdued By The Experience
That night, instead of walking around the dark house, I crept into my bed pulling the blanket over my eyes with my heart pounding fast and heavy. After a few minutes lying in cold sweat, I felt a gentle rock of my bed. Thinking it was my imagination, I tried ignoring it. However, I only got to feel much harder vibrations coming from underneath me. Perhaps it was an earthquake, I thought as I put my feet on the floor, only to find the rest of the room completely still. Feeling nearly sick with fear I decided to check the room next door for any signs of an earthquake. The house was still, dark and asleep. It seemed that the only thing that was moving in the room was my bed, where I stayed terrified, unable to sleep all through the night.
Fear of the unknown
In the morning, after what seemed to be a never-ending night, I saw something lying on my desk. As I went closer, I realised it was a ring. The ring made from beads by my boyfriend’s housekeeper a few months ago. I loved that ring but managed to lose it shortly after she gave it to me. How did it possibly land up on my desk amongst my study papers which I have been going over day and night for the past few weeks?
I went downstairs to the kitchen where my friends’ parents were having breakfast and told them about the events of last night. There was no look of surprise on their faces! They then only revealed that the room I lived in has previously been cleansed of negative energy by the priests and exorcists. I also learned about the experiences of other guests who previously stayed in this room. Therefore, once the breakfast was over, I decided that it was time for me to move back home.
Fear Causes a Lost Connection
Following my experience in this house, I lost my passion for anything non-human and nonphysical related. I stopped watching movies, reading books, wandering around dark places. Sleeping alone in the house left me terrified for many years.
I lost all my connection to the power greater than myself which amidst my death seeking truth I felt such strong connection to. Only now I have realised that by losing this connection, I lost touch with my true self. Perhaps not the person that was seeking the answers through the Quija board. Instead, someone who was on a quest to find the truth no matter what it took.
So often we are kept separate from our true selves by our fear. We live in the prison of our own creations and tell ourselves that we are limited beings defined by the experiences of the past. Some of us try and free ourselves from those false thoughts and beliefs. Others are still asleep…
To be continued…