June Third; Believably Unbelievable

It wasn’t harmless fun.

One of the problems with having a wonderful imagination, is that you can envision more, see more, believe more of what others do not. While part of me thinks it sad that there are those without this super power, there are those moments when I curse the talent as well.

Way back when I was in the sixth of seventh grade it became a usual event during our recess period for some to gather and pulling coats over our head to create darkness, seek to speak to the spirits of the departed. It helped greatly to be the time of year when coats were needed. I remember taking part in a few of those, but only about the huddling together and someone making the attempts. I don’t recall any results. I’m wondering if departed spirits don’t care for coat caves?

In the eighth grade, girls would gather in this one particular rest room to attempt to call back one spirit in particular. Supposedly the tales goes that this woman killed her child and if you called her back you would see the knife floating.

During one incident, as the student medium recited the needed words, this time there was a reaction. The dark room became noticeably cooler by the second and the room took on a hollow, echoing sound. The moment when what looked to be a shimmering cloud began to appear the girl’s restroom emptied very quickly. I didn’t participate in that again.

My freshman year in high school was the worst experience with this type thing. One of my best friends at the time convinced me she was a medium and could speak to the departed. Not sure I believed her, but I’m guessing looking back I figured I’d go along with it and see where she took us.

I did not have a big walk in closet, but it was big enough that we could sit in the floor inside and close the door. I honestly don’t recall what all steps she took in her seeking to connect. What mattered was the so called results she got. At first it was simple greetings. Then it was words of remembrance. Then after several of these meetings and conversations, it took a very dark turn.  From what she said, my grandfather, who had died when I was somewhere around five, was not happy with me at all. They, meaning him and several other relatives on the other side were angry, upset and considering punishing me. To prevent that from happening, I had to listen and obey everything this ‘friend’ told me. If I so much as balked, I could expect them to pay me a visit in the night and bring me to the other side forever.

Okay, so highly imaginative, naive, not right bright. Very easily fooled and taken advantage of over the course of months. I gave her pens, pencils, notebook paper, and snacks to the point I’m wondering how mom didn’t miss those. Maybe she though I was being overly greedy and eating it all myself. I also spent months terrified to go to bed at night. Every day I feared I had done or not done something that would cause the spirits to come for me in the night. I would lie on my bed for long periods fighting and fearing sleep. Each morning surprised when I awoke, that I awoke. Then she pushed it too far. She demanded a dress that my mother had made for me. There was no way under the sun and stars it would fit her, but she wanted it, because it was mine. When I asked mom and she laughed and said no, I had to face my so called friend and tell her she couldn’t have the dress. Suddenly, it all stopped. She stopped coming over, the spirits grew quiet and the world slowly returned to some form of normal. Yet, even after all these years, the memories linger. I saw her years later in a store that no longer exists. I greeted her and at one point in our conversation I finally got around to asking about that time. She laughed at me and told me it was “all in fun”. No, that wasn’t fun. I’ve not seen or heard of her since.

What, you may ask, is my point?

It is often easy for a manipulator to take advantage of people who are more vulnerable. Those who are or in the least feel alienated from others. Those who are seeking something they don’t have, or feel as if they are lacking. Manipulators seek out these people. Children as especially vulnerable, partly because of their innocence and partly due to their greater needs. Children instinctively need someone to guide them, and if parents or guardians won’t they will seek out someone who will take on that responsibility. Not always with the child’s best intention in mind.

But adults can be used sometimes just as easily. If having the feeling of not fitting in with others, and suddenly there is someone who not only accepts them but seems to enjoy and desire their company, then the individual becomes the victim and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Manipulators often want something from their victim. Mine took school supplies, snacks and I don’t recall how many other things. If we had been older, it could have been money that they didn’t care where it came from. It could have been items shoplifted from stores. It could have been doing something cruel, or deadly. All in the guise of keeping the new friend who accepts them happy and around. Then there are times, when the manipulator may simply be seeking to be entertained and use their victim for that purpose. Their personal puppet on a string.

It is my belief, and I have seen this played out, that if you tell someone something often enough, they will believe what they are being told. Bullies use this on their victims. “You’re ugly” “You’re stupid” “No one wants you around” mind games of the cruel against their victim. Manipulators often use similar yet different, “You know I’m the only one who is your friend” “You know I’ll do anything for you, so why won’t you do this for me?” “I would give you anything, why are you holding that one thing back?” “Your grandfather from the other side said to tell you he is very unhappy right now and I am the only one keeping him from coming for you.”

I think, that one of the ways to fight this, and there are many, is to seek to be a strong individual. Know your value, know your strengths, know your personal super power. If you see children being victimized or groomed to be victimized, take the initiative to stop it before it gets bad. Find out first if the adults in the child’s life know, understand and care about what is happening. Find ways to get the child involved in things that will keep them safe. You do have to be careful about how you go about it as you can’t overstep boundaries unless you see the child is in imminent  danger and no one is taking action to protect the child. Adults may need someone to point out what is happening with their friend, but then the friend has to be willing to stop the manipulation. They have to find their strength.

Looking back, part of me wishes I had been stronger, braver, more able to approach my mother even though I had been warned not to do that very thing. Fear is a big tool in the hand of a manipulator and they use it well. As an adult, I shake my head at my naivete, but this person was good at making the unbelievable believable. It also taught me some valuable lessons along the way.

Manipulators use the dark, their paths one of fear and intimidation.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
This entry was posted in encouragement, inspiration, memories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to June Third; Believably Unbelievable

  1. I can totally relate to this.

  2. Sarah Davis says:

    Acting from wounded places creates more wounds…a human cycle.

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