I never told anyone about the ghosts. Not really. I told Mom that my first daughter would be named Sophie but I didn’t tell her a kind male voice whispered that twenty years before her birth. My run-ins with Spirit really slowed after elementary school. Could be because we moved from that notably haunted house in Bellaire. Or could be I stopped listening. Whatever the case I didn’t hear that soft voice again until college. And the intervention was timely.
Because my last year of university was awful . . . actually, ‘awful’ doesn’t quite convey ‘raw despair,’ does it?
Let’s just universally accept it was one of the ugliest, most painful times of my life.
But it wasn’t because of school. I actually made a 4.0 that last semester . . . because academics I could control. The rest of my life was a tangled, chaotic, emotional mess. I shared an apartment with my best friend as well as my boyfriend and both relationships were ending at the same time for separate, now irrelevant reasons.
Suffering slow, painful, simultaneous break-ups is no easy feat.
Think of the worst break up you ever had.
Multiply that times two.
Now imagine sharing a kitchen with your exes, dividing chores and a phone bill.
… to say I handled it badly is an understatement.
I spiraled into self-destruction. Put on more lip gloss, drank another beer, and smoked more cigarettes further distancing myself from these people I loved and know loved me . . . Once upon a time. Living together while our relationships circled the drain was torture. And every day was harder than the one before as tension fed our big, hairy invisible gorilla. This went one for months… until finally, I broke.
I walked through the empty apartment one night, dazed with grief. I’d just had a fight with one of them (can’t remember which) and the other, my previous support system, was estranged now too. I sunk to the floor sobbing. And I must have been a pitiful sight: a nicotine thin girl slumped on the carpet in her underwear, clasping pale hands in prayer to a God she wasn’t sure she believed in.
Even then I had the intuitive nudge to cry it out loud.
God if you exist I really need to hear from you. Please. My life’s all fucked up and I don’t know how to fix it. If you’re really up there please help me. PLEASE HELP ME! I sobbed at the ceiling.
That next week I visited a psychic. I’d been to this lady years before and she was good enough for a second visit. I sat in her brightly painted room, holding my knees. I was down to 113 pounds and my brain replayed shoulda-woulda-coulda on repeat while I waited for her entry. (I hate that song)
She breezed in and started flipping tarot cards, immediately picking up on my crap. But mid-sentence she paused.
“Did you ask for help recently?” she looked around the room, “Like, from God?”
She examined the space around us with a surprised look on her face.
I nodded tearfully. I’d been crying for days.
“Well you got it,” she looked to the left and right of me, smacking her gum unceremoniously, “I’ve never seen so many around one person.”
“So many what?” I looked around too. Her room was lovely and bright.
“Spirits. Guides. Angels,” she chewed her gum like cud, “Call ‘em what you want, but you got a lot of them.”
That night I sat on the patio, smoking while Angie and Ryan watched T.V. I hadn’t talked to either one of them in days, and hanging outside with a pack of Camels was WAY easier than wading thru the tension indoors. I stared into the trees as a voice crept in, a nasty voice validating the worst in me.
You are a selfish and worthless and nothing you do will fix that mess you made inside. Nothing.
Fresh hot tears spilled and I lit another cigarette, wondering how early was too early to start drinking.
That’s right, my ego ripped into me, drink and smoke. That’ll make it better. You-
“NO!” another voice boomed, interrupting my ego, “STOP!!!“
I’d need a 1,000 pt. font to illustrate how LOUD this voice was, though it wasn’t loud in decibels. The voice radiated through my entire body, coating every cell with its message.
S T O P !
I froze, my cigarette trembling while smoke billowed around my head. Did I seriously just hear that? I looked around the patio then stood to peer over the balcony. No one.
I walked inside, shaking. And not because I wasn’t eating enough.
“Did ya’ll hear that?” I asked Angie, breaking our silence. Pride had to take a backseat to curiosity. Just this once.
She didn’t take her eyes off the television.
“I have to tell you what just happened,” I said anyway. And I did. I told her everything. About the psychic. About the horrible things that were running through my head when the voice told them to stop. She didn’t look at me.
“At least she’s listening to someone,” she told Ryan.
I walked to my room half deflated half elated.
Spirits. Guides. Angels. The psychic’s words echoed.
So no one else heard it. Did it really matter? Something healthy was trying to reintroduce itself to my conscience. Right after I prayed. I didn’t associate this voice with the one I heard when I was young, but it was the same . I’d just forgotten.
* I’ve since reconciled with both Angie and Ryan. Please know I work very hard to make these entries 100% accurate. This particular entry represents of my feelings/perception at the time and in no way intends to place blame. We all know it takes two to tango.