May 1st

It’s hard to believe it’s already May. This year is going by so fast. I love the spring time, and I’m so thankful to be out in the real world to experience it. This time last year, I was trapped behind the hospital walls, in the psych ward. Last year, on this day, I believed the world was renewed. It was the beginning of a new world. I wrote about this day before, but wanted to repost it now.

On May 1st I watched the sunrise while sitting on the ledge of the window in my new stark-white room. I sat on the wide windowsill, my legs perched upon it. The sky looked different, like a bluish purple color. Indigo. It reminded me of book I came across years ago, about indigo children – a new generation of children with amazing powers and abilities. Was this the Indigo sky? Are we the Indigo children? But, I’m not a child. I pondered these thought as I looked out at the sky. I returned to my bed and sat in the same upright position with my knees to the sky. I buried myself in the blanket. Like a frightened child I sat with the blanket completely over me. I wasn’t afraid of the dark; I found the cocoon comforting. Inside the blanket that earthy, organic smell enveloped me. It was as if I was in a chrysalis and I would emerge a beautiful butterfly – or at least a beautiful and compassionate human-being.

I felt like that day was the first day of the new world. A more loving and compassionate world existed just outside the hospital walls, if only I could escape. Can we call this “one” I asked aloud. I nodded yes to my own question. I thought it was day 1 of the new world. It was a fresh start. All day long I asked everyone I encountered, nurses, patients, and doctors – “did you see the sunrise?” It was breathtaking. “Out of this world,” I proclaimed.

Then, looking out on the neighborhood behind the hospital I saw a house. It was a grand house, filled with many windows and rooms. It was a modern design, something I’d always admired. It was the grandest house in the neighborhood. It towered over the houses on either side. It was the house I had always dreamed of, “Is that my house? Do I live there?” My intuition told me yes, and so I believed that was my home. Or, at least, it could be and it would be in another reality plane.

I felt so much love for everyone and everything. Well, everyone but the people who were trying to get me to take medication. I thought they were trying to silence me and change the course of history. I believed they wished to harm me, and I feared for my life. I already believed Doctors had killed me in the ER when my heart stopped beating. I didn’t trust them at all. Each time they tried to give me medication I refused. I thought the Doctors were not real Doctors, they were simply projections I had imagined, with names that sounded like Charlton and bed-wetter. “These are not real Doctors,” I openly proclaimed.

The Doctors wanted to make it easy, to make me sleep, to make me stable, but I wanted none of it. I felt I had been enlightened, surely they wouldn’t understand. They could not see the world through my lens, and they weren’t interested in trying. I had been violent and aggressive and they needed to sedate me. I didn’t think I needed drugs, all I needed was some time. I would wail in the night, screaming and crying. I was fighting for my reality, for my vision of a less material world and a less medicated society. I wanted to create something new. A world where people helped one and other, where jobs were no longer needed. I was dreaming of a commune – a place where friends and family helped each other, where everyone enjoyed meals together. We would sing and dance and celebrate life each and every day. This was not the reality the Doctors had in mind.

All night long I looked at the limited number of vehicles in the parking lot. Some of them seemed familiar. I thought they were my rescue crew, waiting for the cloak of darkness to move me to someplace new. I thought the problem was that I looked dead. I thought they needed to move me at night, so I would go unnoticed by the government, or by other people. I looked like a monster, or a zombie, I thought. Would they be frightened of me? I believed I could not be resurrected again until I could leave the hospital. I was patient all night long. Eventually I clothed myself in the blanket and began singing an REM song in my head, “it’s the end of the world as we know….I feel fine….I feel fine.” I was in so much pain and had such fear that I was rotting, of dying. Shadows of darkness crept into my mind and I had a long night of singing and praying before the sun rose again.

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Rantings of a Maniac

I love having a record of things. I recently stumbled upon my journal from my manic period. I found some real gems in there. The thoughts were coming so quickly I felt like I had to write them down or risk losing them forever. I’m glad I wrote them down. I also love how my handwriting shifts depending on my mood. Much of this writing is difficult to decipher. There were a few things I couldn’t read at all. It’s interesting if you compare my handwriting to my handwriting towards the end of my hospitalization. Very different.  Anyways, I hope you find these thoughts and sketches as interesting as I did.

First up – my brilliant stick figure drawing. This is what I kept having visions of. Me igniting others “on fire”  It reads “ignite the flame in others”

photo 1 (3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my thoughts on how to interact with other people.

It reads “Be so raw and real it makes others uncomfortable but attracts more like-minded people. Don’t reach out at all – only take what is coming in – in terms of people and circumstances. Don’t chase. Share what you want – what matters.”

photo 5

 

Here is a thought that inspired one of my early blog posts. The idea of “a moment” really stuck with me. I had this theory about key moments in our lives that help us identify the nature of our soul and our mission.

It reads ” Think about a moment that was REALLY hard but mattered – when you spoke but voice shook- when you seemed to be in another world – complete disalignment – that’s your moment!”

photo 5 (3)

I’m less clear on what this bit is about, but clearly some brainstorming for blog posts.

It reads ” Various states of shame & acceptance & how family & society play out. Starving artist. Van Gogh. Passionate, true, REAL, self esteem, shame issues.”

photo 3 (3)

 

Here is a list of labels vs. truths. Under labels I have “mean, cold, bitch, cruel, distant” and under truth I have “sensitive, emotional, empathetic”

photo 4 (3)

 

This seems pretty simple, but it was based on the whole lightworker/darkworker concept. I should probably expand this into a blog post. Basically I was equating lightworkers to heart workers and darkworkers to spine workers. It’s not a complete thought or theory yet, but it still interests me. Maybe I’ll finish that thought at some point 🙂

photo 2 (2)

 

I have more scribbles I could share, but I’ll leave it with this for now. Do you ever look back at your rantings or journal entries and get transported to another time? I guess it’s part of my fascination with history, but I just love having records of moments in time.

Barely Breathing

I’d scream but who would hear me? I’d cry but you would fear me. My emotions are too intense. You can’t understand me, you think I’m a mess. Irrational. Illogical. Full of rage. Smiling and laughing. Then crying and drooling. The energy enters my body. It leaves me bloody. I’m rotting from the inside out. I can feel the flesh falling off my bones. I’m cold and alone. My feet are blue. I can barely stand on them. I know I am rotting. They’re just waiting for nightfall to carry my corpse outside these hospital walls. If only I can hang on – my rescue team will arrive soon. I bury myself under the blankets. The smell of rot and death is inescapable. I find it comforting. I sing to myself. It’s the end of the world as we know it. I feel fine. The tune keeps the nightmares away. Don’t fall asleep. You may never wake up. I can barely move, the flesh from my back tears as I try to adjust myself in my bed. I’m dying here. Why won’t they help me? They never arrive. I’m barely alive. I walk the halls with my blanket draped around my body. Beneath the layers I am a zombie. Maybe a vampire. I am definitely dead and I don’t want anyone to see what my body has become. I will frighten them. They can’t stand to look at me. The death. The destruction. I am the darkness the roams in the night. I am the evil that lurks in your mind. There is no turning back now, I’ve seen what I am. I am everything I’ve ever feared. Death and destruction. It’s my construction. I am all that ever was and all that ever will be. I am you and I am me. I’m dying on the table. The doctors are injecting me with unknown fluids. I can feel the life draining from my body. I deserve this. I am evil. I dragged them into the darkness and now they are making me pay. They’ve taken it too far. I’m barely breathing. I know my last breath is near. I have no fear. I deserve this. I am thankful. This is our moment, I say, as they take my life away.

Day 1

On May 1st I watched the sunrise while sitting on the ledge of the window in my new stark-white room. I sat on the wide windowsill, my legs perched upon it. The sky looked different, like a bluish purple color. Indigo. It reminded me of book I came across years ago, about indigo children – a new generation of children with amazing powers and abilities. Was this the Indigo sky? Are we the Indigo children? But, I’m not a child. I pondered these thought as I looked out at the sky. I returned to my bed and sat in the same upright position with my knees to the sky. I buried myself in the blanket. Like a frightened child I sat with the blanket completely over me. I wasn’t afraid of the dark; I found the cocoon comforting. Inside the blanket that earthy, organic smell enveloped me. It was as if I was in a chrysalis and I would emerge a beautiful butterfly – or at least a beautiful and compassionate human-being.

I felt like that day was the first day of the new world. A more loving and compassionate world existed just outside the hospital walls, if only I could escape. Can we call this “one” I asked aloud. I nodded yes to my own question. I thought it was day 1 of the new world. It was a fresh start. All day long I asked everyone I encountered, nurses, patients, and doctors – “did you see the sunrise?” It was breathtaking. “Out of this world,” I proclaimed.

Then, looking out on the neighborhood behind the hospital I saw a house. It was a grand house, filled with many window and rooms. It was a modern design, something I’d always admired. It was the grandest house in the neighborhood. It towered over the houses on either side. It was the house I had always dreamed of, “Is that my house? Do I live there?” My intuition told me yes, and so I believed that was my home. Or, at least, it could be and it would be in another reality plane.

I felt so much love for everyone and everything. Well, everyone but the people who were trying to get me to take medication. I thought they were trying to silence me and change the course of history. I believed they wished to harm me, and I feared for my life. I already believed Doctors had killed me in the ER when my heart stopped beating. I didn’t trust them at all. Each time they tried to give me medication I refused. I thought the Doctors were not real Doctors, they were simply projections I had imagined, with names that sounded like Charlton and bed-wetter. “These are not real Doctors,” I openly proclaimed.

They Doctors wanted to make it easy, to make me sleep, to make me stable, but I wanted none of it. I felt I had been enlightened, surely they wouldn’t understand. They could not see the world through my lens, and they weren’t interested in trying. I had been violent and aggressive and they needed to sedate me. I didn’t think I needed drugs, all I needed was some time. I would wail in the night, screaming and crying. I was fighting for my reality, for my vision of a less material world and a less medicated society. I wanted to create something new. A world where people helped one and other, where jobs were no longer needed. I was dreaming of a commune – a place where friends and family helped each other, where everyone enjoyed meals together. We would sing and dance and celebrate life each and every day. This was not the reality the Doctors had in mind.

All night long I looked at the limited number of vehicles in the parking lot. Some of them seemed familiar. I thought they were my rescue crew, waiting for the cloak of darkness to move me to someplace new. I thought the problem was that I looked dead. I thought they needed to move me at night, so I would go unnoticed by the government, or by other people. I looked like a monster, or a zombie, I thought. Would they be frightened of me? I believed I could not be resurrected again until I could leave the hospital. I was patient all night long. Eventually I clothed myself in the blanket and began singing an REM song in my head, “it’s the end of the world as we know….I feel fine….I feel fine.” I was in so much pain and had such fear that I was rotting, of dying. Shadows of darkness crept into my mind and I had a long night of singing and praying before the sun rose again.

The Day I Was Hospitalized

On April 29th I awoke wanting a shower so I tip toed to the guest bathroom where I was surprised to find the couch cushions lining the floor. It felt like I was walking on clouds as I made my way to the narrow shower. The water wasn’t working. My husband turned off the water valve at some point during Sunday evening. I quietly walked down the stairs and opened the water valve. When my husband awoke he was angry and frustrated. “Get dressed,” he said as he handed me his clothes. I put one foot through each pant leg and pulled them up in a deliberate fashion. They were his pants, and they were several inches too short. I then put on his shirt, without a bra. I slid on some of my shoes and then I looked down at the outfit I was wearing. My hair was disheveled and I looked tired and confused. I looked like a crazy person.
I heard my husband say “I want to go this community garden and see if it is still there.” At least that is what I heard. I thought he too was a time-traveler and that he wanted to make sure everything in the current time was aligned for our future lives. Maybe he wanted to be more community focused and help with the garden. I thought this was good news. As we drove to Boulder I rolled the window down and felt the breeze fully. That new earth smell was stronger than ever and I loved breathing it.

We got to the facility, but it was not a community garden at all. It was the mental health center. I thought – maybe this place gets destroyed in the apocalypse and it is our job to warn them. “This is your moment.” I tell my husband. He goes inside for several minutes and returns to the car. “This is the place. They want to help,” my husband says. “These people are smart,” he assures me. I believed we were on a mission to save these smart people. The forgotten people at the mental facility. They are smart. I know it.
We walked inside a small office and checked in at the front desk. We then sat in the lobby. I curled up next to my husband and began crying hysterically. I felt sad that these people had been labeled mentally ill and I wanted to help them, to make sure they were never mistreated or judged harshly again. I looked up to the ceiling and up against the glass in the ceiling I saw a small figure waving at me. It looked like a child’s toy or a fictional animated character. It was triangular in shape and looked to be two-dimensional. It had a face and it was smiling at me and waving. I perceived it to be a clue that we were in the right place. They eventually called my name and we entered a private office to meet a gentleman. Something about the dynamic between my husband and this man led me to believe they knew each other. Maybe in the future they have a close bond, but in the present we need to ensure people survive the apocalypse. His voice is gentle and he spoke softly. When he says my name, it’s as if he knows me – presumably from the future. I sit in a curled position gripping my husband’s chest and crying profusely, not concerned that my mouth is hanging open and drool is getting on me. He tells us to go to the Emergency room. Once there I thought we would meet more people who needed to be saved.
Upon arriving at the ER I became emotional. In the parking lot I clinged to my husband’s leg and cried profusely. I was sad that these people didn’t have an apocalypse plan, and I was sad that normal people were being held her, living in fear and discomfort. My husband finally got me up off the concrete and we went into be checked-in at the ER. At the ER I feel much the same about the interactions. Everyone who said “Shayna” seemed to know me. I must be important in the future, I believed. They gave me a wheelchair and took me back to another room. The ER doctor asked me typical questions, about my marijuana usage and behavior. He was hurried and busy, not spending much time with me. He seemed very judgmental and uninterested in helping us. He seemed annoyed with me, at one point stating, “You keep talking about seeing, but your eyes are closed.” He did not understand what was happening to me and sent us on our way because we did not have insurance. We went back to the mental health center down the street.
When we arrived at the mental health office again I could feel palatable tension. My husband and the gentlemen we spoke to earlier  began talking about financials and then I heard my husband refer to our home as Shayna’s house. I lost it. I thought they were dividing assets, when in reality they were discussing financial aid. I lunged towards my husband screaming in a fit of rage. He ran outside. I was enraged. They refused to let me leave the building, which I took to mean if I left, these people would not survive the apocalypse without my protection. I ran around banging on the glass doors and screaming. I could not be calmed. I ran into a small glass room in the lobby so I could sit and calm down. They wouldn’t let me do that.
They called the cops and they were unscrewing the handle to get at me. Once I was outside the room the cops tackled me down, but I wouldn’t stay down that easily. I punched, I kicked, I screamed. They loaded me on the stretcher. As they lifted the stretcher I suddenly began dreaming that they were taking my body and using it as a symbol of death. I thought they were making fake news stories with my body, showing a dead version of me on the news. Murder victim. War criminal. Rape victim. I thought they were staging my body all over the place just to make interested news.

Once inside the ambulance I could barely see what was going on. “Feel something that feels like hair? Grab it,” one of them said. It was a horrifying experience, confusion, fear, anger, they were all along for the ride.

The emergency room was much different this time. I remember sitting in a white room all alone. At this point I firmly believed that everyone I knew, everyone in Boulder was repaying our karmic debt. I believed everyone in Boulder had been in Nazi Germany. This time period, it was our job to right our wrongs. This is where we would take a stand against hate. I thought each Dr. was a Dr. or someone important from Nazi Germany.  I thought that each Dr. had to act their karmic debt with me. So, one by one the Drs. came into my room. The first Dr. stood on my right side, “This is our moment,” I said. I believed I was being humiliated and injured as part of past life karma. One by one they came into my room. Each time I said “thank you. This is our moment.” I had been poked and prodded so much and it hurt each time. Eventually I believed I felt my heart slow down and then stop. I thought I died. I was petrified. I later heard that someone told my husband, if they gave me any more drugs, I could die. I thought I did. I thought I was experiencing Heaven.
The hospital staff claims I never slept that night. But, I did dream. I dreamt of Heaven. In my dream I was still in my hospital gown and I was at a facility, more like a wedding facility than an Emergency room. I could hear the people outside and they were singing my praises. Everyone who had ever inspired me was there: Ron Paul, Damien Echols, and Deepak Chopra. All there to see me. Every time I would blink they would see a light show and they thought it was beautiful. I was showing them what I’d been seeing when I close my eyes. Bright lights, a glowing heart symbol. It was stunning. I thought that all of my family and friends were waiting for me. I was ready to make my entrance. I would be celebrated and my husband and I would renew our vows, in front of this whole new world.

First, however I would have to pick my husband out of several possibilities. I stood in a cold, barren room and could see a man, but I could only see him from the shoulders down. He had a box for me, I believed it was a new wedding band. I stared at the box and his hands for some time before declaring that he was not husband. I never felt confident that any of them were my husband. I was confused and too medicated to make decisions. I didn’t even believe I was awake. “She loves him more than me,” I heard my husband say. Had I made the wrong decision? I was lost and confused.
I found out that was just one possibility of Heaven.
Guided by the same 2-D triangular figure, I learned of the other levels. The figure seemed to be in hiding, and shooshed me when I tried to acknowledge it. It was as if he’d been sent down to tell me the truth, but I wasn’t supposed to let the hospital staff in on it. With the guidance of the figure, they let me see the other levels. Behind curtain #1 was a mild version of my friends and family, an okay place to be. I could be whoever I wanted to be, and have any skills I wanted. I chose dancer, and Jessica Rabbit. I heard a voice “Shhh…your family doesn’t know this isn’t the best level – there are other levels! “

In the second level of Heaven I thought I could be a star in the sky! All of your family and friends will be there. But wait! You’re actually the moon. I remember them putting a costume on me and then, blast off! I would be in the rocket and get sent to the sky. It never happened because I was sent behind door #3 and told I could be an element. As I waited in the room I saw the triangle figure again “shhh! Be water.” I was told that my husband and I could be two particles of water that swim together until the end of time. I had to get very close to the ground in order to hear my husband yelp from the shore. We would be happy together, forever. Two particles of water swimming together. It was a romantic love tale. I just needed to feel small enough and release myself. I ultimately chose version 1 – all of my family and friends and a big ceremony. I wanted to renew my vows in front of our circle of friends, which I now believed included many more people and some big names. I believed they would all be there.
I don’t remember how I get to my room that night, or what happened after I chosen version #1 of heaven, but at some point I awoke in a room in the mental wing of the hospital. I would be there for nearly a month.

How It Happened – Continued

I gave some explanation of what happened to me leading up to my hospitalization. Here is the continuation of that story.

When I awoke the next morning I entered a new reality. I stepped outside to enjoy the sunrise and the earth was different. A new smell filled the air. A smell I believed to be a sign that we had survived and it was a new age. It was earthy, with a bit of perspiration. The birds were chirping. The spring air was crisp and comforting. I felt brave and confident. There would be no more pain, no more war, and no hate.
When I entered the living room my husband was watching a video on the tablet. It was a RedBull sponsored video showing people carving their own path on their BMX bikes. The earth was red, and the men were brave. My husband is brave enough to do those things, but I am not. I took it as another symbol. People should carve their own path. That was a pretty amazing moment, us watching the video both being inspired for different reasons. I was inspired that others would find their way, those that were going our way, we already knew them. They would be in our lives because we had invited greatness in.

I think I went to lay back down after the video. It was so much stimuli, and I had a lot of settle in my mind. My husband entered the room, “I called your family,” he says. My mother, sister, and stepfather soon arrived. I thought they were coming to discuss this new reality. When they walked in the door I went to greet them – partially clothed. Once again I had forgotten the importance of clothes. I smelled the same earthy smell on each of them and my mother appeared to be sweating, like it was a hot summer day, but it was not. I could smell the new world smell on her, but I also thought she looked excited and scared. They came armed with sleeping pills. I’ve always had a problem taking pills – I don’t believe in them and I don’t think they allow you to be your truest self. I refused the sleeping pills. They continued to try and coerce me with reason and login. I viewed it as a test from God about my commitment to my values. No. I was firm. I would stand by my beliefs, even if it meant hurting other’s in the process.
At some point I laid in the bed and my mother came into the room to lay with me and comfort me. She was scared and concerned, I could see it in her eyes. Next was my sister, she laid with me and rubbed her hands across my body. It was comforting, but I still did not sleep.
Finally they decided that the best course of action was to use force. My mother and my sister held me down while my husband tried to shove the sleeping pill down my throat. The whole thing seemed like a symbol to me – forcing something down my throat – I wasn’t going to give up that easily. I bit my husband’s hand. I could taste the blood as I continued to groan through my clenched teeth. I wouldn’t give in.
I laid in bed for most of the day – stuck in a dream. I rolled onto my side and vomit began oozing from my mouth at a very slow rate. I spit it out onto the crisp, white pillow and continued to lay there – confused and scared. Feeling betrayed and frightened. Even the vomit in the bed became a symbol – you made your bed, now lay in. I felt as if I was dying. My body ached and my brain throbbed as I tried to determine what would happen to me next. I could still taste the blood and my mouth hurt from being pried open. My family stood above me, scared and unsure of what to do.

I raised one hand and gave the peace sign. I thought I was dying and the second act was coming. At that moment it felt like humor, but I was petrified. My body shook as I lay there with the cold sweats and an exposed body. I was being transformed, and resurrected in my mind.

The rest of the day is a blur, spent inside my head with my delusions. I laid there thinking about my new theories and how to save the world. Eventually, I curled into fetal position and began shaking uncontrollably as I chanted “This one is odd they will say. Somehow different they will say.” The chanting and convulsing felt like it lasted hours. I looked over at my arms and they had many red welts, the skin was raised and they irregular rectangle shapes. I thought it was my stigmata. It was real. At least, it felt real. When I was scared I would sing a verse from a Journey song, “Don’t stop belieiving, hold on to this feelings. Streetlights. People.” It comforted me and allowed me to go on. I had to believe things were happening, or else I would go truly mad. I would sing those lyrics over and over and over again.

In the evening, I tried my usual routine of bathing and showering, that’s what I do when I feel stress or anger. My husband became very annoyed after the fifth shower and decided to remove the faucet from the shower. Throughout the night I tried to get to the other shower by going through the jack and jill door and exiting the second bedroom into the hall where the guest bathroom was. My husband would find me and get very annoyed. My husband entered our bathroom and noticed me siting in an empty, porcelain tub. He came back with a bucket of ice and began pouring it over me. He would later say he was trying to get me to snap out of it, but I swore I heard him say “this is how they killed me!” – that statement reaffirmed my belief that we had been reincarnated. But that statement was misheard, I heard many false statements over the coming weeks. I thought my husband had died in a past life by being covered in ice. I thought this was my test. I sat there in the tub as the ice melting atop my stomach. It was a freezing burn, one that lasted for nearly thirty minutes.

I went to bed afraid that night. Afraid of my husband. Afraid of what was going on. He’d later tell me that he feared me that night. He locked himself in the guest bathroom with the dog so that he could sleep without fear. He had taken the couch cushions and laid them on the floor so he could rest. At some point he moved to the couch, which is where I saw him on Monday morning.

How It Happened

While I’m not sure what caused me to have an insane manic episode, I can tell you how it unfolded. This is just the beginning of the journey I took. The last blog post I wrote before my episode is here. I wrote that post at 3am and slept on the couch, sweating and tossing and turning throughout the evening.

When I awoke the next day it felt like any normal day. It started out typically. I drank my coffee with extra cream and sat at down at the dining room table to enjoy the music and pet the animals as they crossed by. I enjoyed a standard breakfast of eggs and toast, made by my husband. I felt like I had all the energy I needed. Even with little sleep, today would be a good day.

My husband turned on the music and I began dancing wildly. The mixture of energy and coffee made me feel exhilarated. Suddenly my stomach began to churn. I walked over to the sink and vomit began freely flowing from me. It did not hurt as it usually does, and the smell was intoxicating to me. I had never felt such relief. It was a cathartic experience. I hovered over the sink smelling it, something about it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I felt on top of the world, and un-phased by getting sick. I wasn’t sick, I was simply enjoying life – the good, and the bad.

I had plans from one until three o’clock. I had bought tickets to a talk on women’s vintage lingerie. I have always been obsessed with old Hollywood glamour and the beauties the graced the golden age. I had purchase tickets through my great aunt – the kindest lady you would ever meet. She is a petite woman, around five feet tall. She also has the typical hair of someone her age, a tiny round bunch of perfectly groomed gray hair. She is regularly awarded for her generosity and volunteerism. I’ve always admired her selflessness. I also had the added mission of picking up the big box of family photos. I had promised my father I would go through them and make copies so he could have them for his home in Texas. He felt he had lost all of his memories through the divorce and I wanted to help him get back a sense of his history, and his life.

At 12:40 I received a call from my sister asking where I was. I had forgotten our agreement to meet at my mother’s house and carpool together. I quickly got into my Mazda hatchback and sped down to meet my sister. I arrived with just enough time for my mother and sister to hop in the car and head over to the titillating talk. I would have to pick up the photos after the talk.

We entered the room greeted by handmade cookies and treats that some of the volunteers had prepared. The crowd was 90% over the age of 65 and they were very welcoming and excited to see some younger people. My great aunt smiled big and proud. I think she was happy to see us there, and excited to let the other volunteers know that history was still appreciated with the younger generation. I also saw someone I knew from High School and exchange a brief chat. We’ve both always had a fascination with pinup culture and beauty. I told her my name, “Look me up!,” I say with warmth and a smile.

The talk was about to begin when suddenly the woman at the table beside us shushed me and my sister because we were laughing during the pledge of allegiance. We didn’t even know it was going on. Sitting beside the woman was a smiling stranger. A beautiful woman full of gray hair and wrinkles. Her wrinkles are the kind that come from smiling.

The speaker approached the stage and setup her presentation. She was a distinguished woman, with a serious demeanor, and yet, she had a childlike curiosity about her. Her clothes were dark green and drab, she wore her hair in a medium bob. Her glasses gave her a professorial appearance. She was a modern day historian, and she looked the part. She talked about her career and her interest in cold cases. She clearly had a love of history, and the macabre.

The opening slide showed a vintage picture of what appeared to be a woman of the night. I thought I had seen the phone before, but something was different. I shouted out to the speaker “was her armpit hair removed?” She assured me that she didn’t Photoshop the image and didn’t know one way or the other. I just laughed.

She began her discussion with pre 20th century lingerie and undergarments. Much of it looked like torture devices and I openly laughed and had a dialogue with the speaker throughout the presentation. As she described the women of the times and how they would use such garments, I nodded. I couldn’t stop nodding the whole show. My mother later claimed my eyes were closed, by I saw everything. She moved on to 20th century undergarments. I no longer nodded, instead I made comments and answered audience questions. It was as if I already knew the material. It was all so familiar. She ended with the 1950’s era. When she mentioned the spray tan they used I couldn’t help but laugh. I felt like a woman of another era mocking “those crazy kids.” What were they thinking, I thought to myself.

The thing that interested me most about the talk, was one slide of the presentation. It was one woman. Frizti. She was a beautiful, risqué character, and she seemed strangely familiar. The speaker told us that Fritzi was alive in the 1800’s and very little was known about her, except that she traveled to Europe, and she was a belly dancer who performed at the Chicago World’s Fair in the late 1800’s. I immediately felt, this could be me. In my mind we both had the soul of a dancer. Plus, I loved Chicago. In my mind, it had to be a real connection.

I left the discussion feeling honored to have been invited. It was very fascinating and energized me. I wanted to learn more about the speaker and about Frizti. The speaker, now off the stage, was putting her things her briefcase. I approached her with a smile and told her how much I enjoyed the talk. “Can I have your card,?” I ask. She hands me her glossy business card and I thank her again. I turn behind me to see my great aunt speaking to the table that had been behind us. I approach her and introduce myself to the beautiful woman I had mentioned early. She puts her arm out to shake hands, “I’m Flo,” she says. I’m fascinated by her name because I had been reading so much about experiencing flow in life. Flow is when you are so immersed in a task that you no longer worry about time, you are just in the flow, creating and being. I give a warm smile and say goodbye. I give my Great Aunt a hug and head out to the car.

Following the talk, I headed home. On the way home I noticed the car in front of me had a license plate that read “CSLEWIS.” It seemed appropriate, given the fantasy world I was about to embark on.

I don’t recall much of the early evening hours, but around 6pm a dear friend stopped by. We talked about the material on my blog – the idea that god is in all of us and we must find our true calling. He seemed genuinely interested despite the fact that he is a Muslim and my views do not fit into any religion. I tell him I’ve been seeing shadows, everywhere. I had been seeing them out of the corners of my eyes, but never looking directly at them. I just let them be. They are a part of my vision, but they do not consume it. He sounds frightened, but intrigued.

He drew a picture for me of something he had seen in the sky. I was intrigued, and it led me to believe that people can experience alternate things, new and different realities that are just beyond the eye.

Just as we were getting into the discussion, my friend and my husband headed to a friend’s house to watch a sporting event. Alone with myself I decided to do what I always do – I turned on music and started dancing. I had been finding dance to be extremely therapeutic, and now that I felt I had Fritzi’s energy, I was dancing harder, more emotion, more feeling. I felt so at peace dancing to the music and feeling it in my core. Some of the music I was listening too was rather dark – rap music about Satan and death. It felt real to me. Raw. The music was either dark and raw, or light and inspiring. It all related to spirituality and life and death. Somehow in the course of listening to the music something changed in me. Something caught fire and began burning down my sense of self and my ego.

I decided it was time for the world to experience the love and oneness I had been feeling for days and weeks leading up to this moment. Twitter. I would tweet my messages to the world so that they could all see. I began using the keyboard as a Ouija board – not looking down, only letting my hands glide across the iPad screen. Much of it was gibberish but some real words came out. KFC. Eco. Big. #emailmarketing. I thought people would find my tweets and be awoken. I thought I was going to change the world through Twitter. I thought I was a mystic – suddenly seeing how we’re all connected. The world would hear my words.

When my husband returned home with our friend they could tell I was acting strange, but they didn’t know what it was. Soon it was bed time and I retired to the bedroom. I didn’t make it to bed. I stood in the doorway naked and exposed, in plain sight of our friend. My husband begins shouting, “What are you doing?! Do you know you’ve opened the door naked? TWICE!” I didn’t remember it happening twice and I didn’t know why I was doing it now.

The next thing I remember was sitting on the couch with my husband and our friend asking me things. I only had two phrases I could say. I would answer my own question. “Really?” “Shut up!” I said those three word over and over again. I also said “Holy Shit,” and I believed that meant what was being discussed was holy. Following my catatonic state I sat on the couch with my friend. He placed a pillow over my head and began reciting a prayer in another language I did not understand. I’m still not sure what it was or what he said, but it didn’t snap me out my state. I remember being free of fear and knowing it was part of life’s great plan. I felt at peace, not scared, not angry. Calm. Ready.

I don’t remember going to bed, but that night I had a dream. I dreamt that we were all one, all interconnected. I believed reincarnation was very real. It was as if I was downloading all of the information from the universe and sorting it out. All of the information from all of human history was being displayed right before my very eyes. I believed that everyone I knew was my muse. They all inspired me, and we were interconnected for this life, and for all of our lives throughout human history. Anyone I had met in this life, they were also a part of my past lives. We were all eternally connected, for this life and all lives. They were a part of my circle, as Laura Day described – they were the people who would make my dreams come true and vice versa. If they inspired me, I believed they would now be a part of my life. Deepak Chopra, Laura Day, Ron Paul, Damien Echols, they would all be a part of my life.

Everyone I knew – I now knew who they were in a past life. I believed I was God and that everyone I knew, they were the best of human history. Michealago, DaVinci, Poe, they were all people I knew. I believed my nephew was Jesus, my friends were Einstein and Vincent Van Gogh. That boss that tortured me – she was Pontius Pilate. My family, I believed, was filled with archetypes – my mother was Mother Earth, my sister – the devil, my other sister the yin to my yang, and so on.

I believed that all we needed to do was face our problems – which came in the shape of projections in our mind, we could travel through to a new reality, to a reality filled with love and peace. By journeying through the mind we would transcend reality, we would create a new world by using our minds. Each person would have to face their fears in order to transcend. If you were afraid of a bear eating you alive, you would have to encounter that bear and battle it with your mind, not with your hands.

My battle, I believed was with death and evil itself. I would have to fight the darkness inside me, and come out stronger. It was a lofty mission, and one I would fail at miserably.