Friday, September 16, 2005


The only book I've read that I remember being unnerved by was The Amityville Horror. I thought it was odd that I'd be spooked by a book about a person being possessed by the devil since I don't believe in the existence of such a creature or person or whatever Christians refer to the devil as. Anyway, that was the only book...until now.

I'm currently reading "Before and Again" by Doris Mortman. This book has me spooked because of the similarities that carry over into my own life. I know it's just a piece of fiction, but it hits too close to home for me in more than one way.

It's the story of a woman, Callie, haunted by reoccurring night terrors which seem to be memories of her ancestors rather than just random dreams. She has the same dreams over and over, the same dreams that haunted her mother and ultimately led her to commit suicide. Her mother was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic when Callie was little and ended up being institutionalized which is where she took her own life.

Ok, now I know I'm not having visions of ancestral memories and neither my mother nor I have schizophrenia. The similarities that shadow my own life are more in the details throughout the book rather than in the general synopsis of the storyline.

As a child I did have the same night terrors repeatedly, which I've been told is rare. A person may have night terrors often, but they are usually different dreams. I had the same three regularly, meaning at least twice a week, for many years. None of the details ever changed, it was always the exact same dream as the time before. I had them so often that even though they are gone now, I can still remember them in vivid detail and with the memories come the same feelings of overwhelming fright.

The description of the mother's uncontrollable rages and psychotic episodes bear a very similar resemblance to the ones I've exhibited over the years. The description of this woman's psychiatrist is identical to the way I would describe my own pdoc. But oddest of all is that the family Callie is researching that is somehow tied to her ancestors (I'm not done reading so I don't know the relationship yet) has the surname of Hale.

My mother's only hobby is genealogy. She's been working on our family tree for at least 10 years. She has traced as far back as the 1600's and part of our lineage is Hale, including that somewhat famous American Patriot Nathan Hale who in 1776 said "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" just before he was hung by the British during the American Revolution.

There are many other similarities between my life and the happenings of this novel. I know they are just coincidental and have no meaning whatsoever. But yet I'm still spooked by this book. Almost as if I'm reading the history of my own life as it should have been. I feel compelled to buy this book once I'm done and have to return it to the library. It's fucking weird shit to say the least.


Blogger Shannin said...

That is weird....I find things like that in books, movies, tv, and such. I had the same night terror that would repeat itself over and over in the night and did this for head on a chopped log about two feet high and an ax coming down on it...then I wake up......over and over for years.....they went away, but I can still "see" them in my head. So, I say, again, you are not alone!
take care of you!

12:58 PM, September 18, 2005  

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