“Now it’s your turn. Tell us your story, my dear.”
“Ok, this is the tale of my most traumatic experience. The wind that spring afternoon was howling like the end of the world was nigh’ at hand. Earlier in the day, there hadn’t been a cloud in sight. The sky was so blue that it hurt your eyes to look at it. Then without warning; the crack of an angry thunderbolt yanked me out of my fragile sense of security. Ugly, blackened clouds looming above in the horizon. They foreshadowed dire events that were soon to take place. I peered out my window and witnessed the unmistakable outline of a funnel cloud developing in the valley.
By the time I accepted the harsh reality brewing outside, the tornado was almost upon my threshold. The most bitter pill to swallow was that my normal haven wasn’t immune from the utter devastation that approached so rapidly. Everything in its path was strewn about with no concern or discrimination. In a flash, I was cast aside like an unwanted rag doll. It seemed that my prayers for salvation went unanswered.”
“Very compelling! I enjoyed that and I’m sure everyone else did too.”; The therapist complimented. “Now, who’s next?”
“I’ll go next but I warn everyone in advance, mine is paltry in comparison. It isn’t nearly as interesting as her spellbinding tale. Still; it was just as terrifying to me at the time. Now it’s just embarrassing. It all happened so suddenly that I didn’t even have time to prepare for it. None of us did. I was riding in a car with a couple friends. We were on the way to a nightclub in hopes of meeting some ladies. All of us were clowning around and not paying attention to where we were going. That’s precisely when the trouble started. Everyone was bragging about their ‘pick-up lines’ being the best. To tell the truth, we just hoped to get the chance to use them.
At the top of a small hillside, the car’s headlights cut though the darkness. Suddenly they revealed an unexpected obstruction in the middle of the street. My friend swerved violently to avoid a large animal that had apparently taken up residence on the centerline. Whatever it was, we managed to miss it but unfortunately the car still collided with a large oak tree. Adrenaline poured into my bloodstream but it was all over in the blink of an eye. Then all went black.”
“I think all these experiences have certain things in common besides the obvious.”; She encouraged. “Your story of tragedy is no less important than anyone else’s. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. I could visualize the surprised look on your faces as the headlights revealed the nocturnal creature on the highway. It was a strong, pivotal event that you shared with us. Now, who else haven’t we heard from yet? How about you? What event brought you to be with us?”
“I hadn’t been home long and forgot to lock my front door. It was a bad habit of mine but in my defense, I never expected someone to come to my home with intentions to harm me. Certainly; if someone had evil in mind, a locked door wouldn’t have stopped them. At least that is what I comfort myself with, now. I can scarcely bring myself to dredge up those painful memories… and I hope all of you will be patient with me. Experiencing something so traumatic often takes a long time to overcome. I’m still struggling with it.
The first thing I remember, a set of powerful hands pulled me out of the bathtub and dragged me to my bedroom floor. I knew I was about to be assaulted but my mind wouldn’t comprehend that it was really happening. I convinced myself it was only a sinister dream. One that I soon hoped to wake up from. Unfortunately he.. the rapist… was terrifyingly real; and I was going to be subject to whatever he desired. The fear made me go numb at the time but I still felt everything.”
All those assembled at the meeting were in rapt attention as her story was being revealed. It was clear that her dark tale was both horrific and excruciating to relay to strangers. Because of this, even the most silent in the ensemble gave encouragement in various vocal and non-vocal ways.
“Some people instinctually fight back in those situations; while others choose to cooperate”; She explained. “… in hopes of appeasing an attacker and therefore gaining their sympathy. The rebel inside me felt that there was no sympathy to be gained from him. He was pure evil without a conscience so I wasn’t going to make it easy for him to abuse me! The more I struggled and fought back however, the tighter his arm constricted around my throat.
I kicked, scratched, and clawed him in any way I could but it had almost no effect. I began to panic and regretted my decision to fight back but realized it was too late to reverse strategies because I had angered him. The sense of powerlessness I felt will remain with me forever. Regardless, it is nothing compared to the hell of not knowing what he did to me once I passed out. I am filled with rage, disgust, nausea, emptiness, and despair. I fear my anger will never end.”
“In time you will be able to let go of those heavy chains! One day you will be free of them!”; She promised. “The more you discuss those binding feelings with this group, the more we can all help. That’s why we are here! All of us have unresolved issues and traumatic experiences. By mutually sharing them with others, the pain and frustration will slowly float away. Who else hasn’t shared with us yet? Only through this healing exercise can we all grow together.”
“I’m ready to share with everyone.”; A previously silent spectator offered. “My story takes place when I was in my late 70’s. My doctor gave me a physical and explained I was nearing the ‘winter’ of my life. He wanted me to understand that death was coming and that I should enjoy my remaining time, to the fullest. I decided to take a cruise to Alaska, and a senior tour of America while I still had the energy. I can honestly say that the last 2 years were the best of my life. When the white light came… I had no regrets.”
A hushed silence befell the group until the therapist replied angrily. “Clairvoyant imposter! Who do you think you are? There is no ‘white light’ at the end of life! No one that dies content with their lives, needs to come here and be among the restless dead. What do you hope to gain from trying to fool us? Soothsayers, Spiritualists and necromancers pretending to be dead like us are playing a dangerous game.
Return back to your seance for the living and warn them that there is no ‘white light’. We are tortured souls and struggle to overcome the pain we experienced when alive. The dead do not take kindly to your curious intrusions. Do not meddle in our affairs; lest you become one of us before your time! Now begone!”