Months after Chaos came to my bedroom, I was sitting on my twin bed with my back against the wall and my knees holding the textbook open in front of me. Soon, the words blurred and I found myself back in the open plain of the underworld watching the shadows and lights flicker around me. How do I get trees? Chuckling without humor, My therapist thinks these are my thoughts. Looking up at Chaos. More shades of purple than gray dancing together while the twinkling stars stretched to threads of silver weaving without a pattern throughout the sky. I can’t believe my therapist thinks this is my mind. Feeling tears well up as the memory of what happened earlier that day clawed at my chest. Lifting my eyes to the wall in front of me, I watched the memory begin to play like a movie in my mind.
Sitting in a heavily cushioned chair facing my therapist, I look at her mousy brown hair and baggy clothes and feel bad for her. She has to listen to people like me all day. Every day. How depressing. Staring at a non-descript watercolor behind her we started talking about the voices that come as feelings and thoughts in my own voice but feel different than when I’m talking to myself. I can tell she already has the answer but, she takes her time before telling me in a reassuring voice, “That’s normal.” Waiting for me to absorb what she just said before continuing. “People get thoughts or ideas they can’t explain all the time. And, people who are creative get them more often than others.” Leaning closer as tears start running down my cheeks, “And from what you’ve described, the pictures in your mind are no different than when you read a story and see what’s happening.” Handing me the box of tissues on the table between us. “Because, it’s all happening in your imagination, Geri. In your mind. The more you get to know your mind, the safer you’ll feel.”
Taking two, I blow my nose, before asking in a choked voice, “How do I get to know my mind?”
“Spend time listening to yourself.” Putting the box of tissues back on the table. “Watch your thoughts and listen to how you feel,” she stated like it’s common knowledge. Looking relaxed, she continues, “What you see is rooted in how you’re feeling.” Raising her finger, “Perhaps the man you saw is what you wish your father was like.” Giving me a reassuring smile, as I processed what she said. She reached forward to pat my knee, “You’ll be fine, Geri. You’ll figure it out.” Smiling confidently as she leaned back in her chair.
“I don’t know.” Feeling more confused than ever.
“You will be.”
“How do you know?”
“Because you have spunk.” Pausing as she collected her thoughts, I stared at her. “Not many people have spunk, Geri. And, you have it. Use it.”
“I get in so much trouble for it.” Feeling a pit settle deep in my gut.
“Don’t let them put out your fire.” Handing me more tissues. “You’ll be 18 in a few years, and then you can get out,” she said matter-of-factly.
Staring at the door to the lobby, “I guess I’ll have to figure it out if I want a better life.” Feeling the pit reach toward my heart.
“You will.” Uncrossing her legs and putting her notebook on the side table. Signaling the session was over.
Shaking her hand as I left her office. Feeling the pit in my stomach grow into tingles throughout my body as I walked out into the gray windy cold of March in Michigan to look for my dad in the parking lot. Drying my face with my sleeve as I walked to the van.
Before I can close the door, he asks “How did it go?”
“Fine.” Closing the door and grabbing my seat belt.
“This was your last time,” he said without looking at me.
“I know.” Turning to look out the window as he pulled away.
This ain’t my fucking mind. Looking around the vast open space around me. But what if she has a point about all this being in my imagination. What if, I treat them like my own thoughts? … Maybe, I can hold one to focus on … Following the idea as we drove home in silence.
“I wouldn’t do that.” Came a thought from above my right ear.
Feeling the energy change around me, “Why not?” Shifting in my seat. Pretending to look at the stores passing us by.
“Because you may not like what they have to say.”
“Why can’t I see you here? I could see Chaos. I can see him now.” Looking up toward the steel gray clouds I see Chaos in the underworld.
“Because I’m with you here and your mind is … elsewhere.” Said the thought in a husky voice
“I hate that you don’t tell me what I want to know.” Feeling spiteful, “If you are as important as you say you are, then I would be able to see you here, Nemesis.” Pulling my attention back into the van. Looking over at my dad who was focused on the road. Seeing I was only daydreaming for a few minutes, I settled into my seat for the remainder of the ride.
“Suit yourself.” Hissed Nemesis as her energy disappeared.
What a bitch, I thought.
Seeing my dad look at me, I gave him a small smile before looking out the window.
For weeks I worked on catching a thought that would tell me what I needed to do to get trees in the underworld. Since therapy was over, I was back to being grounded, which meant no tv or radio until my attitude changed. Never sure how to change my attitude when I barely spoke to anyone, I listened to my thoughts trying to understand my mind.
I can’t get close enough to even touch them! Scrubbing the meatloaf pan with vigor after another demoralizing dinner.
“Become one with them.” Came a calm voice that I’d never felt before.
Feeling my heart race, I looked around still expecting to see someone. After a few moments of not seeing anything, I closed my eyes, trying to feel for someone. “How do I do that?” I ask. Barely moving my lips, “I’m human.” Not sure who I was talking to but, trusting the words coming to mind.
“Not here, you’re not.” Came the same calm voice.
“Then what am I?” Rinsing the pan.
“An unknown light.”
“An unknown light?” Feeling my throat tighten. “What does that mean?” Placing the pan on the drying rack.
“It means you’re unknown to those of us who live in the underworld.”
“Chaos knows who I am.” Waiting for a response. When I didn’t get one, I added. “So does Nemesis. And they both live here.” Draining the sink of dirty dishwater.
“In a way.” Unsurprised by the name drops.
“You’re as frustrating as all the other ones. Just tell me!” Splashing water out of the sink as I wiped it down.
“Who are the other ones?” Curiosity weaving through the calmness of his voice.
“I already told you.“ Feeling my heart thud with my omission as I walked downstairs.
“I’m not sure it’s wise to help you.”
“Then leave me alone.” Annoyed with the exchange as I walked into my bedroom, firmly shutting the door behind me. Grabbing my backpack, I get settled on my bed, with my textbook on my lap. Before I could open it, I hear my older step-brother come downstairs and turn on the tv. Hearing the tv outside my door, made me tremble. Closing my eyes with my head against the wall I feel the hate flowing through me like a molten river. I get up from my bed and open my door, “Can you turn it down? I’m trying to do my homework.”
“No.” Barely looking over at me.
“No.” Snickering at my frustration. “You gonna tell on me?” Turning to look at me over his shoulder.
“What good would it do?” Feeling the heat of my anger turn to ice.
“Right. Now, go back into your room and do your homework before I tell mom that you’re out here watching tv.”
Afraid he was going to tell on me anyway, I gently closed my door and flopped onto my bed; nearly smashing my face on the textbook. I hate this place, silently screaming into my bed. Without warning a flicker of light crossed in front of me. What the … Not realizing I was back in the underworld. Barely breathing, I waited for another one to come in front of me. When nothing happened, my anger came out as a screaming thought, Come to me! Now standing next to my bed with my clenched fists slightly away from my body. As I filled my lungs for another go I began to see shadows all around me. Intuitively I reached out to grab one. As soon as my energy joined theirs I felt pins and needles raced up my arm, causing me to quickly let go. Feeling my heart race as I processed what happened. I sat down on the edge of my bed, ready to grab another one. But, nothing happened. There was nothing. Nothing was flickering or moving or speaking. Frustrated, I silently screamed as I grabbed my textbook to start reading ahead for school the next day.
Unable to concentrate, my thoughts quickly veered back to what happened. How did I do it? Staring down at the page without seeing the words. I called them … but, … I’ve called them before and they didn’t come.
“You should stop trying.” Came a thought making me look up towards the ceiling.
“Why?” Feeling my heart start to hammer in my chest.
“Because that’s not what you’re meant to do.”
“Then what am I meant to do?” Getting defensive at not knowing the answer.
“Wait for what?”
“For your life to change.”
Rolling my eyes, “How?”
Beginning to tremble, “So, I’m just supposed to wait for my life to change to see what it is I’m meant to be doing? Who are you to tell me?” Getting up from my bed to pace the length of my bed. “Answer me!” Stopping to stare at where the ceiling meets the wall. “You come into my thoughts and then leave?” Fed up, I turn away, “You’re worse than all the others.” Grabbing my stuff to go take a shower.
“I’ve already talked to Fate.” Dismissing her with my hand, “And you don’t feel the same.”
“You must have spoken to my sister.”
“Spare me.” Rolling my eyes again, “You wouldn’t have the same name. I may be young but, I’m not stupid.”
“You don’t know mythology.”
“Nope.” Avoiding looking at the tv as I walked to the stairs.
“I could give you my name but, you wouldn’t recognize it.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Closing the bathroom door.
“You can only hear what you know.”
Turning on the water as I thought about her response. “What do you mean I can only hear what I know? I’m taught all day about things I didn’t know before class.” Feeling tense, I stepped into the shower. Hoping I would finish before the hard knocks on the door came telling me to get out. Sometimes I made it, other times I didn’t. The only change was my step-mother’s mood. If she knocked, then I also received a lecture about the other people in the house who needed to shower. Not wanting to deal with her, I hurried through my shower; ignoring the chatter that was building up in my mind from ignoring the thoughts of Fate. After a minute, I told her, I’ll listen when I’m done. I have to get out of here before she knocks. Immediately stopping the chatter, I focused on getting clean as fast as I could.
As I massaged conditioner into my long hair, I jumped at the three hard knocks on the door. Fuck. I know I haven’t been in here that long. Hurrying through the rest of my shower and barely drying off so I didn’t get more knocks, I try to make it downstairs before she sees me.
“What makes you think you’re so special?” Came the sickly sweet voice of my step-mother.
Looking at the clock I passed on my way into the shower, I see that eight minutes had passed. Holding my clothes tightly to my chest I turn around and look into her cruel eyes and say, “Nothing.”
“Right, you’re not special. And, you don’t have to worry, no one wants to see your ugly fat body anyway.” Pointing to the clothes I clutched to my chest. Turning on her heel, she walked back into her study, slamming the pocket door closed as best she could.
Wanting to cry in frustration but, holding it in because I knew I still had to pass my step-brother watching tv. Keeping my head down as I pass behind the couch where he was sitting watching tv, I feel him look at me.
“No wonder no one likes you.” Snickering, “You don’t use soap.”
Sitting on the edge of my bed I silently weep into the clothes I’m holding. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP! Trying not to sob. THIS ISN’T NORMAL. Silently screaming into my clothes. Feeling myself start to shake, I got up to get dressed before I got chilled. Not wanting to go back out there to put my clothes in the laundry room, I pile them on the floor before getting into bed. Opening back up my textbook to do my homework, I jump at the three hard knocks on my door.
“What.” Knowing it was step-brother pretending to be his mother.
“I’m going to tell mom that you didn’t put your dirty clothes away.”
“Leave me alone!”
“Have it your way … Pig.”
Hearing him walk up the stairs, I silently opened my door to put my clothes in the laundry room next door. As I come out to go back into my room, my step-sister comes out of her room on the other side of the basement and stares at me. Without a word, I walked back to my room, silently closing the door behind me.
This isn’t right. Getting back into bed to read. I shouldn’t have to feel this way. Feeling tears run down my face.
“Then don’t.” Came a thought from above.
Sighing at the sister of Fate, “What am I supposed to do?”
“Take the opportunity that has been given to you.”
“I have but … I’m still here.” Exasperated and drained from the evening, I feel her laughing at me. “Just go. I don’t need any more ridicule tonight.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not used to someone who doesn’t know the basics of how this works,” she said sincerely.
“Then teach me.” Drying my face with my sleeves and grabbing a tissue.
“I can’t … “
Feeling my hope burst into anger, “Why not?”
“It’s not my place.”
“Then whose place is it? You can’t help, Chaos isn’t around, Nemesis eggs me on, God and your sister tell me I’m making a mistake, and my spirit guides side with God and won’t help me.”
“You released your spirit guides.”
“Yeah.” Surprised that she knew. “When they refused to help me I told them that they were no longer needed. I’m tired of doing what everyone else wants me to do. When do I get to be me?” Hearing the whine in my voice.
“Well, … being you is what is keeping you from catching, as you say, your thoughts.”
“Great. I can’t even be me in my mind. I mean in the underworld.” Grabbing my backpack to make sure everything that was due was done for the next day. “Do I ever get to be me?”
“Yes, … but, not now. You’re doing something that isn’t normally done and, — and some of us are scared.”
“But, not you?”
“Not even a little?”
“Not in the same way the others are.”
“That still means you’re scared.” Rolling my eyes. “If you’re Fate, are you here to change my fate?”
“No.” Feeling her hesitate, before continuing with, “I can’t change your fate. Only you can change your fate.”
“How do I do that?” Feeling my body relax as I snuggled deeper under my blankets.
“By changing your destiny.”
“This is too much.” Feeling my eyes get heavy. “All I want are trees in the underworld so I can … so I can feel protected while I’m there.”
“Good luck,” she said sincerely as I drifted off to sleep.
Listen below for more about your emotions, using your imagination, and experiencing synchronistic events.
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