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Down the Rabbit Hole
Paul Kiritsis, PsyD candidate, DPhil., MA (Psychology), MA (History)

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Unfinished Soul Business: Exploring Phobias through Past and Future Life Memories (Part 2)

Paul Kiritsis - Friday, November 16, 2012

Past-life scene

In further sessions, we explored the interrelationships between disease pathogens, physical symptoms, tingly and odd little sensations produced by crawling insects on the skin, and the terror of being devoured from the inside-out. The emerging story revealed the complex to be much more deeply ingrained in my multidimensional psyche than previously thought. In an excerpt of the transcript below you will see how a traumatic memory from early childhood gradually melds into a past-life memory.

 

 

(Transcript from the recorded tape.)

“Can you see anything Paul?”

“Yes.”

“What do you see?”

“I’m in the back yard, my small fingers curled around the steel frame of the security door. I’m banging hard against it, beseeching my mother to let me back in. She’s locked me out again and dropped the keys onto the window ledge.”

“Why has she locked you outside Paul?”

“It’s a punishment.”

“For what?”

“For being difficult or that’s what she keeps telling me. She doesn’t like it when I’m a difficult boy.”

“What have you done wrong?”

“I don’t know what I’ve done to tick her off. I’m too little to know or understand.”

“How old are you?”

“I’m six.”

“So you’re pretty young.”

“Too young to be locked outside. I feel so frightened and alone out here. I’m so scared of the darkness. I’m so scared of what lurks in the darkness (breathing heavily).”

“Just breathe and take it easy Paul. You’re reliving a memory.”

“I’m s-scared.”

“What frightens you mostly?”

“I’m terrified of the dark. I’m looking frantically about, half expecting somebody to come rushing at me from behind a tree or corner. The next door neighbour’s dog is barking; something has upset him. There must be robbers about. Do you know what lurks in the dark?”

“What?”

“Evil lurks there. I’m screaming for her to let me back in and crying my eyes out but my grief and emotion don’t elicit any reaction on her part. I can see her washing dishes in the kitchen, sporadically glancing outside to see that I haven’t been abducted by the evil. She clearly hears my cries of distress but refuses to be moved by them.”

“Maybe she’s upset as well.”

“I don’t know. The only thing I know is that there’s evil out there. I can hear the susurrations forming in the darkness. I can feel them crawling, creeping, and hissing. They move stealthily in the dark like tarantulas, scorpions, and cockroaches. As long as I’m illuminated by the outdoor light I’m safe but the minute it blinks out the evil will come after me with an aggressive vengeance like never before. It’ll try to force its way into all my orifices and wedge itself into my crevices; I assure you it won’t leave any landmark on my body untouched. It’ll get into my hair; my mouth; my nose and ears; my eyes; inside my clothes and undies (shivering). They’re so vile and disgusting.”         

“What is?”

“The creepy-crawlies.”

“The insects you mean?”

“They’re all hiding in the ground. I can’t see them but I know they’re there. As soon as my mother switches off the light I’m finished.”

“Are you still locked outside?”

“Yes I’m still here. If I stay as close to the security door as possible they won’t get me. I’m three steps up from the ground and that’s where they all come from (sobbing).”

“Why are you crying?”

“I feel so alone, so deserted. Oh…”

“What is it?”

“I just saw something flash in the darkness… I now find myself on the opposite side of the security door, looking out towards the backyard.  It’s daytime and slivers of light illuminate the fig and lemon trees, the outdoor shed with its new coat of blue paint, the green lawn, and the lush vegie garden that my parents busy themselves with during the summer months. Mm… I can smell something roasting on the barbeque. It’s beef, chicken, and pork chops. It’s’ Christmas you see, a day on which both my parents have traditionally celebrated their name days and we’ve got guests coming over for lunch. I’m quite excited by all the commotion and by the loud folk Greek music blaring from the record player in the garage. I want to rush outside and help my father cook the sausages and meat but I can’t bring myself to open up the security door.”

“Why not?”

“There’s something perched on the rotating clothesline directly in front of me.”

“What is it?”

“It’s a giant butterfly. It gives me the creeps because nobody else seems to notice it. Everyone else–my father, mother, and grandmother included–are just going about their business in preparing for the noonday celebrations.”

“That’s nothing out of the ordinary. Butterflies are quite harmless.”

“It’s here for a reason.”

“What makes you think that? We get a lot of butterflies in our backyard, especially during the summer months. They just flutter aimlessly about.”    

“I don’t know it’s just a feeling.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just feel like its presence might be some sort of omen or something.”

“Do you have a hunch as to what this omen might be?”

“It wants to show me something.”

“Like what?”

“It’s the same one that comes to me in my dreams.”

“What? The butterfly?”

“Yes.”

“How can you be sure?”

“It looks identical. From what I can see through the diamond-shaped spaces on the security door, it has ambient orange-yellow or saffron and scarlet coloured wings tinted with black around the peripheries. They’re completely immobile. The legs, feelers, and abdomen don’t look busy either. They’re not quavering anxiously or anything. No.”

“How does the butterfly look then?”

“It’s uncharacteristically motionless and still, frigid even. It wants to garner the impression that it’s an inanimate, lifeless object but I know better.”

“You do?”

“It’s pretending to be lifeless but it’s here for a reason. At some point I finally detach from the enchantment that this preternatural being is trying to seduce me with and dart across to the kitchen were my mother is cooking vegetables stuffed with rice and minced meat. I tell her about the strange creature sitting motionless in our backyard. She listens to my story with amusement, obviously taking it with a grain of salt, and after much fantastical coercion on my part she finally agrees to come to the security door for a quick look.”

“Does she see it?”

“There’s no butterfly when we get to the security door. It had vanished into thin air. She laughs, pets me lightly on the head and returns to what she’s doing in the kitchen. I feel angry, humiliated, and cheated. I feel like the boy who cried wolf. Nobody will ever believe me now.”

“Believe you about what?”

“About the butterfly. It used to come to me in my dreams and now it’s appeared in real life.”   

“Are you sure that it’s not just another dream?”

“No it’s real.”

“Okay.”

“The only good thing about its sudden disappearance is that now I can go outside and cook with my father.”

“Go on Paul.”

“I’ve pressed down on the handle and pushed the security door forward. It’s slightly ajar now. I’m scanning the surrounds to make sure that the coast is clear before lowering myself onto the staircase.”

“My small, chubby legs descend the three steps slowly. All the while I don’t stop glancing nervously around. What if the creature appears out of the blue again? There won’t be any time to rush back to safety. Thankfully my worries do not end up taking up a life of their own. The coast is clear and I’m free to join my father.”

“Go on then.”

“I’m walking towards him now.”

“Yes.”

“Oh…”

“What is it?”

“I’m on some planation out in the middle of nowhere. There are no other buildings here other than an old house built in the Classical Edwardian style.”

“Is there anything else about?”

“Yes there’s a windmill, horse stables, and a few tractors.”

“It sounds like you’re on a farm.”

“I’m in the Australian outback, near small town called Ceduna on the Eyre Peninsula. It’s the early twentieth century. The house is evil.”

“What do you mean evil?”

“(Whispering) The land here has been saturated with blood and so the house is haunted by the spirits of the recently departed. They frequently drag chains across the hallway, slam doors, make eerie groans and other disturbing noises, and frighten the stable animals by throwing and knocking down haystacks. There’s never a moment of silence in the house. Something or someone is always grinding and screeching. There is a lot of bad energy and karma here, so much in fact that birds and other winged creatures won’t fly over the house. The negative vibes permeate the sand kicked up by the desert wind; the smell of evil is so nauseating that it makes the hair on my skin stand taunt.

My grandfather, one of the earliest settlers here, is the one who built it. It’s built in the Edwardian style and it’s anything but conventional. The main living area, kitchen, and dining room are all on the ground level; the three bedrooms and the bathroom are on the second floor. For some reason my grandfather has made it so that you can’t access the second floor from the first directly; in order to get to the bedrooms and bathroom on the second you have to climb to the rooftop using an external staircase. The house also has a cellar that is accessible only through the rooftop and an outdoor toilet next to the barn. Some of the rooms are painted in bright, lurid colours; in saffron and in scarlet. I really hate living out in the middle of nowhere. Our closest neighbour is a few kilometres away.”

“So this is home is it?”

“It is. My name is Dylan and I’m thirteen.”

“Thirteen did you say?”

“Yes. My room is the one with the tilted ceiling.”

“The attic?”

“Yes, the attic. I spend most of my time in the dark attic. Often I’ll awake to the sound of my own screams or of a scream caught at the back of my throat. I suffer from recurring night terrors but I can never quite remember what they’re about. I just know that they’re a fixed feature of my young life as armchairs are a fixed part of the lounge furniture. I just…”

“What is it?”

“I just feel so frightened and alone. I can’t make much sense out of what’s going on. I want to die.” (I curl into a foetal position and start sobbing.)

“Why do you want to die Dylan?”

“Because I’m starting to think that what mother has been telling me might be a lie.”

“What has she been telling you?”

“She says that she loves me but that I was a mistake. I was never meant to be. One night when she was coming home from the local pub, she was ambushed and gang raped by a group of vampires. They didn’t feed on her but they managed to get her pregnant. Abortion is against the Christian religion so she decided to keep me and raise me in secret. She didn’t have to leave the house once whilst she was pregnant; my grandfather took care of everything, going into town once a week for foodstuff and any other supplies she might have needed during the pregnancy. He also helped my mother give birth to me when the moment of truth finally arrived. Sadly, I never knew my grandfather; he died a few months after I was born. I don’t remember him at all though I’ve seen many pictures of him in the family album. I look more like him than what I do my natural father. But then again how would I know that given that I’ve never met my natural father!”

“So you’re a vampire?”

“Well that’s what she tells me you see. She says that the reason she never ended my misery by driving a stake through my heart and then stuffed my mouth full of garlic is because she’s priming me to become her protector in this life. My only purpose is to kill and disembowel people; to drink blood from their jugular veins; and to cut their hearts out and eat them. She says that my mind and psychic makeup are different from that of other men and that my dietary requirements reflect this. She also says that there are obvious physiologically different from other men–different-coloured eyes, skin, and teeth–and that anybody who gets a clear eyeful of me will instantly know I’m not human. If this ever comes to pass the authorities will put a trace on me, arrest me, and then have me executed in the town square. That’s what they do with creatures of the night, you see. Light, she tells me, is poisonous and I will do well to stay away from it. The sun’s rays can render me dust in seconds. Therefore I can only get out and about during the nocturnal hours, and then only for a short while.”

“Do you really believe what your mother tells you Dylan?”

“”I’ve always believed everything she tells me. I’ve never had a reason not to doubt her; until today that is.”

“Why, what happened today that’s made you question your confidence in her?”

“I’m somebody who is quite adventurous and daring by nature. Lately I’d been entertaining the idea of letting a little bit of sunlight hit my hand, just to see what would happen. I was indecisive for a few days but curiosity finally got the better of me. I guess when you’re as depressed and unfulfilled as I am death can be something of a satisfying release instead of a heartbreaking circumstance. Anyhow when I did finally push open one of the shutters of the attic window the ray of light that came through didn’t turn my hand into dust.”

“It didn’t?”

“No there was just this nice, tingling warmth. In the beginning I feared that what had started as tickling warmth might intensify and become a searing pain that would lead to spontaneous combustion but I was entirely mistaken.”

“So your mother lied to you then.”

“Well I think she might have lied about the whole turning into dust thing. Hmm…”

‘What is it?”

“I don’t know maybe the burst of light wasn’t intense enough to turn me into ashes.”

“I think a strong enough burst would turn anyone into ashes Dylan.”

“I’m worried.”

“What are you worried about?”

“She was outside feeding the animals when I opened the shutter. I know she saw me.”

“What does that matter?”

“You wouldn’t say that if you knew my mother. She doesn’t like to be doubted or disobeyed.”

“What’s her name?”

“Rosalie.”

“Who else lives with you and your mother?”

“She’s here.”

“Who is?”

“My mother. She’s at the attic door, signalling for me to follow her. I feel helpless in challenging or resisting her. Every time she comes up to my room I have a whole prearranged script of questions ready to pummel her with and destroy the illusion that she is creating but when the moment of truth finally comes I can never quite get the words out. Often the mere sight of her will make me wither. Her eyes are supernatural; they sap you of all your strength and your will to resist and fight. She knows she has these magical powers over me and that I’ll never, ever be free of her. No matter where I go or what I do I’ll always be tied to my mother by an invisible chord and by the fear of punishment. I can’t escape the recurring nightmare. I just can’t. She’s the one that holds the key, not I. As long as she has it in her possession I’m an eternal prisoner of a nightmare that she has created for me.”

“Is she still at the door?”

“She’s pulling me by my ear.”

“Where is she taking you?”

“Don’t let her do it, please.”

“Where is she taking you Dylan?”

“Where she always takes me; to the cellar.”

“Why?”

“It’s a punishment.”

“For what?”

“F-For misbehaviour. F-for being a difficult boy.”

‘What’s in the cellar?”

“I don’t know I can never remember. All I know is that the cellar is dark and lurking inside is something evil. I don’t want to go. P-Please maker her stop (sobbing).”

“Relax Dylan. You’re perfectly safe and nothing can hurt you. You’re just reliving a memory.”

‘It’s just a memory?”

“Yes not stay calm please.”

“O-Okay.’

“Where are you now?”

“Now we’re in front of the two wooden doors painted in red, scarlet red. She takes the keys out of her pocket and unlocks the door, yanking it open. There’s nothing but darkness beyond. No! Please don’t let her put me in there again (sobbing). I’ll promise I’ll behave. I’ll never be difficult ever again.”

“What’s in the cellar Dylan?”

“She pushes me in and slams the door shut. I can hear the jangle of the keys as she locks it. Then comes the familiar sound of footfalls as she ascends the staircase leading back to the rooftop. I pound my small fists against the door so hard that they hurt... Please let me out! Don’t leave me all alone in here! I beg you mother!”

‘What’s in the cellar Dylan?”

‘I don’t know but it’s something really evil. There’s no light so I can’t see anything. I can only feel it when it comes.”

“What exactly do you feel?”

“Jesus Christ they’re so vile and disgusting. They’re the detritus of the earth.”

‘What is?”

“The creepy-crawlies (shuddering).”

‘Are there creepy-crawlies in the cellar?”

“Y-yes.”

“What do you feel Dylan?”

‘Crawling. I feel things crawling onto my feet, up along my legs to my underwear. But not just one, two, or three…they come by the hundreds and thousands.  I try to swat them and flick them off but they’re too quick and aggressive. Their wave of attack is relentless. There are only these two small hands of mine against millions of evil creepy-crawlies. I can never, ever brush them off in time. They pinch, scratch, and bite me. It really hurts. They crawl under my clothes and try to get to my private parts through my undies. They leave no patch of skin untrodden on and unassailed. I have to cover my ears, close my eyes, and clamp my mouth shut so that they can’t crawl into me; so that they can’t eat me from the inside-out.”

“They sound like bull ants.”   

“Nothing can stop them from getting their way, nothing! I want the earth to open and swallow me up before that happens. I want to die and cease to exist (loud voice).”

“Relax Dylan.”

“There’s also this smell in here.”

“What sort of smell?”

“A horrible and nauseating one; it makes me keel over and vomit.” 

“Like human waste?”

“No it’s something else.”

”Is there something rotting in the cellar?”

“I don’t know I can’t see anything (squinting).”

“Are you okay Dylan?”

“Oh no! (kicking legs)”

“What is it?”

“They’re coming. I can sense them feeling their way towards me in the dark from the depths of the earth. They’re coming to get me. They’re coming for me (long pause).”

“You’ve gone quiet Dylan. Tell me what’s going on.”

 “They’re nipping at my feet now. Help me please!”

“Dylan relax! Please calm down. Remember, it’s just a memory.”

“They’re biting and scratching me! (I rise from the sofa and start jumping up and down.) Tell them to stop. Please tell them to stop! Oh, sweet Jesus help me! Help me please!”

“Sit back down on the couch right this instant Dylan. I order you to sit.”

“They’re falling onto my head from the ceiling now. (I run my hands frantically through my hair, shivering.) God they’re everywhere. They’re going to eat me alive. Help me!”

“Dylan it’s just a memory. Listen to me please!”

“She’s going to let me die in here! Help me!”

“Dylan!”

(End of session.)

 

This session was quit enlightening from the perspective that it revealed another traumatic tier to my current endomophobia. In this recent past-life memory I was the bastard child of an incestuous union between my mother and my licentious grandfather, who was both a paedophile and a rapist. It would be safe to assume that the early twentieth century was rife with conventional patriarchal sentiments; as a by-product of such an era, there was no way my mother, a woman who was forbidden male companionship and friendship by her own family, could ever show herself in public again if the deprecating rumour ever got out that her own father had gotten her pregnant. So to avoid jeopardizing her father’s reputation and suffering that ultimate humiliation, she closed herself off from the outside world and gave birth to me in secret. My grandfather died soon after I was born but his absence did little to wipe the trauma of sexual and physical abuse from the slate of her memory.

Then there was the cumbersome problem posed by my birth. Save for the fact that I was incessant reminder of the trauma spawned by such an unhealthy and contemptible relationship, how would my mother ever explain my conception to the rest of the family and to the wider public? In the end she fabricated a comprehensive and fantastical set of delusions to account for my existence which she imprinted me with through negative reinforcement. It’s probably the only thing that saved her from the lamentable fate of disassociation from consensus reality and the subsequent development of acute psychosis.  When it came to rearing her child, the only realities to be believed were ones that spewed forth from her mouth and even the slightest transgressions from them were punished with visitations to the ghastly cellar. The truth had to remain suppressed at all costs.

In hindsight, the cruel punishment of being locked in the cellar with verminous carcasses and a gargantuan nest of aggressive bull ants was the ultimate tool of indoctrination. Fear spawns stress and stress keeps the multidimensional psyche from concretizing properly and fortifying itself against the invasive forces of the immediate environment. Hence the bundle of psychological impulses belonging to it remain as pliable and malleable as a slab of Play-Do, easily moulded by illusions, delusions, and other erroneous facts about human nature. As Dylan, the likelihood of growing up and becoming a productive, honourable, and altruistic member of society could be equated with the likelihood of a rat evolving into an elephant. It just wasn’t going to happen. Sadly, once learned behaviours, attitudes, and complexes are developed and take full possession of personal consciousness they’re passed on from generation to generation without reprieve. You can no more jettison them from your psychic, mental, and emotional hardware than what a big cat can discard its prime instinct to kill and feed on other living animals. Of course the only hope of release from the vicious cycle is through self-awareness; by making these latent behavioural shadows conscious and reintegrating them into our ego personality in a positive and constructive manner, we gain eternal freedom from them.    

The childhood punishment of being locked outside at night by my mother was a recapitulation of a mini-drama that had been dubbed onto the etheric or vital field of my multidimensional psyche in the preceding incarnation (or perhaps over many incarnations), an internal, deep wound whose scar tissue had initially manifested as a generalized phobia of insects and spiders. Once the old trauma surfaced from the unconscious and reopened the same yawning wound, I came to realize that the multifaceted interrelationship between disease pathogens, physical symptoms, tingly and odd little sensations produced by crawling insects on the skin, and the terror of being devoured from the inside-out established by the future-life memory had to be extended to include the desirousness for belonging, trust, unconditional love, and lifelong protection.

Comments
total war rome 2 commented on 26-Aug-2013 08:57 AM
What's up, I read your new stuff like every week. Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you're doing!
Rickie commented on 30-Sep-2013 02:02 PM
If it is started after this time it is mild, but it
definitely just hurt the spots on their scalps and
genitals. The virus can infect internal organs, if the person with that of
his inner values and qualities. The resulting blisters are tiny, red bumps all
over the body.

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