It is time. 

Actually, it is past time.  I’ve let it go on because I didn’t want to face up to it, and because it is infinitely easier to try and hide from it, than to face it. But I’ve reached a point in my life where I KNOW I need to figure out a way to either change it, or accept it.  And it all begins here, with the first step of writing it down, and admitting to something only me and my husband know.  My Grans knew, and loved me just the same as always until she died.  And I’ve had reason to talk with my mom about it every now and then, but she just can’t understand, and I don’t blame her. 

All my life, I’ve been afraid of the unknown.  It is only in recent years that I’ve been able to start getting past it, and be able to explore more of my world, and what I want to do, and who I want to be, and how to move past the things that frighten me. 

After reading this, more than likely, your opinion of me will range from total nutcase to liar.  But, if you don’t want to believe it as the honest truth that it is, you have my full blessings to PFFT! it all off as pure hokum and nonsense, or as simply the long ramblings of a young, crazy woman.  Either way, I don’t care; I simply feel the need to put it all down into words for once.  I feel the need to begin my quest for the truth. 


My first clear memory I have of being able to feel things was when I was 3.  I know, because “Hippi” was there.  Hippi was a big, blue hippopotamus stuffed animal, with a red, silk ribbon mouth, that my most favorite grandma in the world had made for me for my 3rd birthday.  I was crazy about that hippo, I still remember to this day what he smelled like--a combination of slightly musty linen, cigarette smoke (grans smoked back then), and that wonderfully indescribable smell of “grandma’s house”.  Until I was 4 and got my first “real” doll, Hippi was my EVERYTHING (well, to a 3 year old, lol) ---a stuffed animal, a baby doll, a playmate, and someone friendly to sleep with at night, someone to keep me safe. 

I always slept with a light on, a habit I’ve kept for most of my 31 years.  Sometimes my room light, a lamp, or a nightlight, but more often than not, I’d leave on the hallway or bathroom lights with my door opened wide.  I can still remember clutching onto Hippi (always on my right side, because that was the side closest the door), I can remember the feel of the sheets around me, and I remember the hall light on, and it shining through my open door.  But, what I remember most, is just staring at that door, and being afraid.  Afraid because I knew every night, they would start their search again, and they would see me, and I was so afraid that one of the times, they might hurt me or take me away from my mommy and daddy. 

When I was young, I almost always felt them around, but during the day, when I played and my mom there with me, it never bugged me.  But, at night, when my brothers and I were settled in for the night, and mom and dad were asleep, the house would get so quiet.  And it would start.  More than just the usual creaks of a house “settling” at night, more than the sound of plumbing, or the sound of the wind in the trees outside my window.  I would hear whispers, almost sighs, but more than hearing anything, was the feeling.  I always knew when they were coming, because I could FEEL it.  And my little arms would clutch tighter around Hippi, my whole body would begin to sweat in fear, and my eyes would be glued on that damn open door. 

On a good night, meaning if they were in particularly good spirits, their coming and going was very silent and subtle.  I could feel the pause at my door, I could feel the sudden chill in the air, I could feel their quick glance around my room, and then, not finding whatever they were looking for, they simply moved on. 

I always knew when it was going to be a bad night.  Even before the house would start creaking, I would feel the strength of their anger.  They would be searching again, but not in the careless way of searching for a lost glove or sock.  This time, they were angry and frantic, and full of rage.  I could feel their hatred intensely, like a heavy, wet blanket on me, and I knew they were trying to find someone, and that when they did, they were going to hurt them.  

On those nights, I would either start crying as loud as my lungs would allow, just so that my mom would come into the room with me, or stay there, with all the lights on, until I fell asleep; or I would run, as fast as my legs would carry me for fear that they would catch me otherwise, from my room, down the hallway into my mom and dad’s room, and I would shut the door, and get into bed with them.  For some reason, they never went into my mom and dad’s room.  But I still shut the door anyway.   

When I was three, Hippi and I decided to have a tea party for all our friends.  My room was an unadulterated mess, so I simply moved my little table and chairs into the hallway instead, right in front of my mom and dad’s room, lol.  I laid out the “fine” white plastic china set that my mom had gotten for me at the cheapie store, and I dressed Hippi, and a couple other nameless stuffed animals, in doll clothes, before seating each of them in a chair.  I put on a play dress and hat, and like the little lady I was pretending to be, I began to ever so politely serve tea to my guests.  My mom thought it was cute, and she took a picture.  To this day, she still has it in one of her albums, and every time I see it, I remember that day, but not because of the tea party.  It was the day I first SAW one of them--the ONLY day, as we moved from that house soon after. 

I remember I was facing my parents room, serving “tea” and talking with Hippi and the others, when it VERY suddenly got cold, and I *KNEW* someone was behind me, and that it was a woman and she was angry, and I knew it wasn’t my mommy.  I lifted my head up, and instead of turning around, I looked right ahead into the open door of my parents’ room.  In the mirror above my mother’s dresser/vanity thing that was straight ahead, was my reflection.  Mine, Hippi and friends, and hers. 

I still remember what she looked like.  She wasn’t solidly there, but she wasn’t just an outline of mist either. She was an older lady, with a very lined, worn face.  Her dark hair was in a very untidy bun, with tendrils of hair escaping everywhere.  There were smudgy, dark stains on her “Laura Ingalls” dress, and on her face and hands, as though she’d been out in the dirt all day, maybe tending to a garden like my mom did.  But the thing that stands out to this day, that makes me shiver almost 30 years later while writing this, was watching our reflection, and seeing her stare through me, into my parents’ room, and watching her face shift from the appearance of a dour, sullen woman, into something plain evil.  Her colorless eyes seemed to look right into the reflection, and she suddenly smiled, not a warm smile, but an evil smile, full of hate, and at three, I got the distinct impression that she was going to kill me.  And I started screaming my head off. 

My mom came running down the hall, my screams having scared the holy bejesus out of her, and as she approached, I watched the evil lady fade away.  I remember telling my mom what I had seen in the mirror, and my mom logically telling me that I must have seen her reflection in the hallway, or that I had just imagined it.  My mom never did believe me back then, lol.  And after she helped me pick up my room, ate some ice cream with me, and sat up with me for a week’s worth of nights, all was okay again.  Although to this day, I have VERY few mirrors in my house, and I avoid looking into anything that reflects, even a placid pool of water. 


Then, we moved.  And although I still felt things, they weren’t scary things, as much as…unnerving.  For example, dodging out of my room to steal a glass of water in the middle of the night, I might feel that someone was there, or someone was watching me, but it wasn’t a heart-pounding, sweat-breaking feeling of dread, it was more a slight fear of the unknown, that would slightly nag at me as I tried to get back to sleep.  The only times I ever felt any real fear when I was living there, was not from them.  They never came to me, they were never angry or bothered.  They were simply going about their own business, and never really bothered with any of us. It was a great arrangement, and still is, as my parents still live there, and probably will until the end. 

Looking back, I realize it was never the phony stuff that scared me.  I could watch “Friday the 13th”, I could watch “Halloween” or “Nightmare on Elm Street”, and I could watch “Hellraiser” and “Children of the Corn”.  Not only could I watch it, I could still sleep soundly that night. 

No, I felt fear when sometimes, just reading or seeing something on TV, I would “feel“ too much.  Anything mysterious, unusual, or paranormal, that was based in TRUTH, gave me the weebie-jeebies.  Aliens--CHECK; ESP--CHECK; Ghosts--CHECK, CHECK!  If it was unsolved, unexplained, or unknown, it preyed on me. 

I felt fear watching “Unsolved Mysteries” episodes that dealt with murders or anything paranormal.  Because I’d watch the reenactment, and sometimes, I’d FEEL it.  The show would share details or tidbits of information, and I would catch myself saying “No, that’s not right!” or “You’re looking in the wrong place.”  And THAT scared me.  THAT would keep my 13-14 year old self up all night, with full lights blazing.  To this day, when I hear the theme music to that show, it still sends shivers down my spine. 


At 17, I discovered that I should no longer watch historical documentaries as well.  Why?  Because I caught a four-part series on “The Titanic” on A & E once.  Aside from shivering sometimes when they showed an old picture, it was all going extremely well.  UNTIL…they brought on an OLD lady, and her daughter.  The old lady had been 13 when she was on the Titanic, had been one of those in the life boats who’d survived.  And to this day, I’ve never forgotten one thing she said in particular, “I can still hear the screams in my head, and I remember hating those screams, because I knew one of them was probably my mother or father, my sisters or brother.  But what I hated worse, was when I realized the screams had stopped.”  And after she said that, I knew without a doubt that I was screwed, and that I wouldn’t be getting any good sleep for at least a couple weeks in the nights to come, lol. 

And I was right.  When night came, and I was left alone with my thoughts, I tried to desperately not think of it.  I picked up books to read, put music on, I did everything I could to stop it from happening.  But, I failed, as I knew I would, and finally I FELT myself there in her place.  It was me huddled in that boat between other nameless survivors, hating the scratchiness of the drab wool blanket wrapped around me, feeling the boat rocking under me and trying to keep my balance, feeling the frigid coldness of that North Atlantic night air on my cheeks and seeing my breath curl into tufts of smoke.  And I heard them.  I heard them all.  I heard them from the water, and I heard them on the boats, crying and screaming also.  And then, I heard the silence, after the boat had gone down.  I heard them, and I’ve never forgotten.   

Stupidly, a mere 6 months later, I watched the Civil War PBS series with my mom (knowing full well I shouldn‘t, but stubbornly trying to prove something to myself by doing it), and can still hear the gunshots and shouts, I can still feel myself slipping down a hill on rivers of red, and I can still smell the smoke and fear in the air, and the rancid overlying odor of death.  

(A popular kid in high school…I was not.  Artistic--yes.  Bright--yes.  Dramatic--yes.  One of the beautiful, athletic, popular kids--PFFT!)   


There has only been one time in my life that I can honestly say, I was grateful for feeling and knowing things.  Because it brought comfort to someone who I loved dearly. 

Growing up, it was never a secret that I was “missing” an aunt.  My Aunt Clara, my mom’s sister, had died from the Asian flu at 17 years old, in ‘57.  My mom, being 9 at the time, had never been close to her due to the age difference.  But regardless, every time I saw the picture of my Aunt Clara that my grandma kept in her living room, there was always something in her face that made me feel safe.  And when I slept at Grandma’s, in that same house that Clara had died in, and later both Grans and Gramps, I always slept deeply and dreamlessly. 

I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 19.  I moved in with some friends of mine, in another town, and it was a new house, no lingering karma or vibes going on.  It was bliss! 

And it was there that I met my Aunt Clara, first-born daughter of  the grandma who had made me “Hippi” all those years ago. 

I woke up one night, and there she was, standing in my room.  The lights weren’t on for once, but I could see her there, clear as day, along with my dirty laundry on the floor, and the red LCD display on my alarm clock reading 1:33.  And she stood there, bathed in a very soft, dim, whitish/blue light, wearing her trademark cat eye glasses, smiling at me.  Slightly disturbed, I looked away, and when looked back, she was gone.   

Normally, after something like that, I would have flicked those lights on and been up ALL night scared senseless, but for some reason, the thought that SHE had been there, was okay.  I wasn’t scared, and fell right back asleep. 

She appeared again that night, in dream or for real, I’ve never figured out.  But all the same, she was sitting on the edge of my bed, smiling at me again.  This time, I spoke.  I said “You’re my Aunt Clara.”  And she smiled and nodded her head.  Then she said, “Tell mom that I’m here, and I’m watching the children play, and they’re happy.  And, Sarah, you have the power to end it, just stop hearing.  Or you’ll have to discover the truth yourself.”  And, with that, she was gone. 

So, I told Grans what Clara had told me to tell her, which brought tears of happiness to my grandma, as one of my cousins had committed suicide a few months before that, and my grandma took the “children playing” as meaning that he was there, and okay. 

And I don’t know if that’s what my Aunt meant, but either way, it made my grandma happy, and I’m thankful for that. 

That year for her birthday, I was out shopping and ran into a pretty music box (stop laughing, OLTL fans!) with a pretty poem and hummingbirds engraved on it.  I opened it, and the song “You Are My Sunshine” started playing.  And although I’ve NEVER liked that song, I KNEW, without a doubt, that I was supposed to give this to Gran.  I fought against it for a moment, because there were certainly prettier things in the store--pricey, breakable knick knacks, melodious wind chimes, and other charming odds and ends, along with other music boxes with much more prettier, and elegant tunes.  But, regardless of what I wanted to get her, I knew I HAD to get that for her.  So, with a sigh, and “Fine!” to no one in particular, I grudgingly paid for it. 

But, when she opened the box up, and the music started playing, I was assured that it had been the right thing to do.  Gran’s eyes filled up with tears, and after looking at it in a sort of awed silence, she looked me in the eye with a serious and confused look, and asked so softly, “How did you know?”, and I told her simply “A little bird whispered in my ear, grans.”  And she laughed about that, cried a little, then she hugged me, and told me, “Thanks for bringing her back.  I’ve missed her.”  And that was that. 

I do not know what the connection was between that song, my aunt, and my grandma.  It always felt “wrong” to ask her, so I never did, and Gran took the secret with her in September when she joined Clara and Gramps.  But, I know there was a connection, and for once, I rejoiced about knowing something I shouldn‘t have.  Because for once, it had brought some much needed peace and happiness to someone I loved very much, and still miss every single day. 

Then, I got married, and had kids, and I literally have done as much as I feel I can do to keep the feelings at bay.  For the most part, what I’ve had the last few years, hasn’t been bad.   

For example, my 10 year old niece got abducted by her non-custodial father in December of 97, and I told everyone she was in Mexico, but no one wanted to believe me, except the hubby, he’d learned his lesson by then, lol.  And he believed, and believed me when I told him we’d see her again, and she would be quite grown up.  About a year ago, I told Ruben that I had a feeling that she was pregnant.  To which, no one wanted to believe, seeing as she was only 15 at that time, and plus, how could I know?  But I just KNEW she was pregnant.  But I had a bad feeling about the pregnancy.  Nothing that I could pin-point, like it was a rape or she was sick or anything, I just had a bad feeling about it.  Well, last August, we were reunited with my niece, who had been in Puerto Vallarta MEXICO all these years, had gotten married at 15 to get away from her dad, had gotten pregnant, but had lost twin boys in May, in her sixth month.  Hence, the bad feeling I’d had about her pregnancy. 

But it’s not all been lovely times either.   

I’ve had to really curb myself from delving into any historical or paranormal books, movies, or other things that I want to do, read, or see, just so I can keep myself grounded.  I simply do NOT want to take the chance of opening myself up to any unknown happenings/feelings that could result.  And it’s all wearing thin, as I WANT to be able to read whatever I want, watch whatever I want, and STILL be able to sleep like a baby that night. 

Also, we’ve lived in the same house for 5 years, come April Fool’s Day.  It’s a rental, and an older house, and it’s got its own characters.  One in particular, likes to fool around at night, levitating things, and if I don’t put my keyboard away at night, it likes to click at the keys, which is quite a disconcerting thing to wake up to.  Another, likes the stereo and the TV, and likes to turn them on in the middle of the night.  Which is a nuisance, but not deadly. 

But, I still don’t like it. I’ve told them all to go away, but it’s like they don’t respect me, and won’t leave me alone, lol. 


I remember what my aunt told me, that I have the power to end it, simply if I “stop hearing them” …but, HOW do I stop?  And since I can’t seem to find the damn stop button, she said that I would have to find out the truth for myself. 

So, here I am.  At the beginning of a journey, with no road signs, and I honestly do not know where I’m supposed to even start. 

I want to stop hearing and feeling.  I sleep with a fan on, even in the dead of winter, to drone out any sounds I may overhear.  I’m tired of not being able to get decent sleep due to “falling off the bandwagon” and reading or watching something I logically know I shouldn’t.  I’m tired of being so unbearably tired and crabby the next few days, and having to listen to the usual, frustrated lecture from my hubby about “If you know it‘s going to bug you, then why do you watch/listen to/read it?!?!” 

But, again, how do I stop feeling it, when sometimes, in the dead of night, it comes to me?  How do I stop them from seeking me out? How do turn off that side of me that feels it, even when I don‘t want to?  I want to stop feeling them.  I want to stop knowing things I shouldn’t know, or feeling things that aren’t my own feelings.  I’m not John Edward or Sylvia Browne, I’m just me, and that’s who I want to be.  Just me. 

I do NOT want to accept that I have no power over the situation!  The idea of that not only frustrates and angers me, but it empowers my fear, and I end up caught in a vicious catch-22 (being scared because I feel I have no control, but having no control because I’m scared).  Is my fear of accepting whatever THIS is, keeping me bound to it?  Has my fear of it led me to become a slave to it?  

I don’t want to be part of the unknown.  Which leads me back to where I began at, in fear of the unknown.  How? Why? When?---I don’t know.  How can I stop it?  Not a clue. CAN I stop it?  I wish I knew.  Is everything just a coincidence and I have over-reacted?  That idea has floated before, on the edge of the realm of possibility, but I honestly feel that’s not the answer.  Am I just simply crazy, delusional, or paranoid?  I feel well-adjusted for the most part, and am actually very happy with most aspects of myself, so I don’t feel that this is the answer either.  

So, at 31, I’ve decided to try and figure it all out, and make peace with what I find, whether it be I’m crazier than a loon, too empathetic and/or dramatic-thinking, or if it’s something else.  

I need to know, I need to accept it, because I want to be completely free. 

And in writing this, my quest has been born. 

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