Ever since I was a little kid, I have been obsessed with acquiring secret or forbidden knowledge of people and events. I've had intuitions about people that I can't explain. By the time I was 4 years old, I already knew things about life that I shouldn't have known or understood. I began to explore the dark side of reality.
I was obsessed with death, and life after death. I began having lucid dreams and night terrors at the tender age of 4 years old. I still remember them in vivid detail 28 years later. My earliest dream-memory is a vision of heaven and hell, and I was getting cast down into hell.
I didn't go through the worst of it until I experienced the first traumatic event of my childhood. I watched my favorite cat Mischief vomit up blood and die on the floor right next to the bed where I slept every night. He had run away from home and was gone for three whole months, and when he finally came home, he died two nights later from getting into a can of chemicals that was left open in the basement. He was poisoned. It was an accident, it was nobody's fault, but it changed me forever.
I slept in a room downstairs in the basement by myself every night, and after Mischief died, I became convinced that my house was haunted. It progressed to the point that I was having audio and visual hallucinations. I would see lights turn themselves off, doors open and shut themselves, and hear things moving around in the other rooms of the basement. I was so terrified that I would lie under my covers awake most of the night, because every time I fell asleep the nightmares would ensnare me. And the nightmares were even worse than the things I would see and hear when I was awake.
In my nightmares, I would see Mischief stalking around the basement, my poor dead cat, but he had changed. He wasn't the sweet friend he used to be anymore, he had transformed into some kind of demon. Sometimes I would see my stepmom, but she had changed too. In reality she was very much alive, but in my nightmares she was dead and decaying, an animated corpse from hell.
This unrelenting terror went on for a few years, until I finally found peace in a new friend. Our family cat had had kittens, and I fell in love with one of them. He was jet black just like Mischief, and I named him Willow. This peace was short lived. A few weeks after Willow was born, he died one morning, while we were at church. We came home, and it was a very cold winter day, and they had left the cats outside. They went to bring them in, but all the kittens had nearly frozen to death. My dad managed to revive them all except for my little Willow.
And the nightmares were worse than ever after that... I think you get the idea. I still remember all of this like it happened yesterday, but I can separate myself from it emotionally now. I was just a little kid, and what I went through was tragic and unfortunate, but many kids out there have gone through so much worse. So I'm not looking for anybody's pity here. I share this story because it fundamentally changed who I was.
After years of being tormented, there was a night when I was laying under the covers, quivering in fear, and I finally couldn't take it anymore. I walked upstairs and stared down at the dark stairwell, and I stood my ground, and focused all my will power on conquering my fear. I told the demons and the ghosts that they weren't real, and that I wasn't afraid of them even if they were. I prayed and I felt this energy flow through me, this overwhelming power. And when I went downstairs again, I was never that quivering little boy again. I still had nightmares after that, but they didn't shake me to my core anymore. I could deal with them. And for the first time in my life, I could finally get the sleep I so desperately needed.
I don't know how long I was sleep-deprived, but I think the greater part of my early childhood was spent that way. And I think that contributed to the emotional disturbances I experienced. The night that I overcame and conquered my fear of the dead was the greatest psychological breakthrough of my life. Emboldened by my newfound powers, I began to openly explore my inner darkness; the thoughts and feelings pouring out of that nether region of the soul which Jung called the collective unconscious.
I was no longer an innocent little boy anymore, and I lost my faith in God. I would go off by myself sometimes and curse God over and over again. I was only 7 or 8 years old. But I knew what it meant. It was the unforgivable sin, or so I thought. And I wanted to commit it as many times as I could. "God fucking damnit!" I would snarl. "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!" I wanted to go to hell. I wanted to break the whole paradigm. I hated it. I hated God.
I remember having a nightmare of a ritual to talk to the dead, and the next day my cousin came over, and I convinced her to re-enact it with me. We were just 8 or 9 years old. There was a point where we both screamed and ran out of the basement. I don't exactly remember what happened, but I never tried to perform that ritual again.
When I was ten years old we moved out of that house and started a new life in a new house in a new town. And I went to public school for the first time at ten years old. I was about three grades ahead of everyone, because I had been homeschooled my whole life, and I was a gifted student. This was the beginning of the worst part of my childhood. And the first time I would experience what I can only describe as precognition.
I knew that things wouldn't be better at the new house. Even though I left the old demons behind. It wasn't the house that really mattered. The darkness followed you wherever you went. And I somehow knew that the worst was yet to come.
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~ Seldons Plan
Writer | Trader | Traveler | Father of 5