2019 has been a brilliant year for addressing an unhappy era of my life and letting go of the ugly memories that came with it. Much of my catharsis was initiated by two linked dreams pertaining to my family moving out of our old house last year, and closing the book forever on the bad memories that happened there.
The first dream was a surprise message the night before the big move that directly paralleled a (literally) haunting experience I had 3 summers ago. One weekend in June 2016, I was sick out of the blue, to the shock of my family and coworkers at the bagel shop I used to work at. One coworker even said that it looked like I had seen a ghost, I looked so pale. Everything peaked that Sunday night, with the strange sickness causing flu-like symptoms and leaving me bedridden.
I woke up in the middle of the night twice: once, to rush to the restroom in a fit of nausea, only for the ugly sensation to be dispelled by the comfort of what felt like an invisible washcloth being pressed over me. The second time, I lay still in confusion on our basement couch as I heard what sounded like Mom softly calling my name to my right in the middle of the room.
Out of paranoid instinct, instead of turning to address the voice, I said a silent prayer to the Virgin Mary and Michael the Archangel asking for direction. In response, I heard a whispered command that went something like this: “Don’t turn your head to the right.” Next thing I knew, a low, evil wind started to blow through the basement despite the lack of windows, sending horrid shudders up and down my spine for a good 15 seconds. After the wind disippated, my sickness was completely cured.
Ever since that bizarre occurrence, I’d wondered what would’ve happened had I unwisely tried to face off against the presence in the basement. That question was answered by both Mary and Michael in a rapid-fire dream that took place the night before the big move.
In this dream, I welcomed a young red-haired Russian girl into our home, happy to escort who I believed was the new homeowner around. The young girl remained quiet as she followed me into the basement, where I wanted to discuss something with her in private. When we took the last steps down into the room, I turned to her and told her in a hushed voice that I was afraid that our house was bona-fide haunted by something evil.
Right after I said that, to our mutual horror, the culprit from 3 years prior appeared on the last step of the basement stairs. It was a demonic specter made from swirling grey mist, glaring at me with pitch-black void eyes. The girl fell to her knees in understandable alarm, before transforming into none other than Mary herself, robed in blue and hands clasped in stoic prayer as she glared up at the demon.
I’ll never forget the look on her face. Never in any of my Catholic dreams or artwork have I seen her that enraged. I know that look, and all children beloved by their mothers know it too: her terrifying glare was the look mothers give when somebody tries to threaten their child’s safety.
The entity on the stairs made the unwise choice of ignoring Mary’s silent fury, and tried to attack me. It teleported behind me and lifted me into the air with one hand choking my neck. As I struggled helplessly and tried to speak, Michael appeared next. The demon was evidently unaware of the towering archangel behind it, decked out in glimmering plate armor and wielding a massive broadsword. Before it could so much as flinch, Michael shanked it from behind, piercing the thing all the way through and slaying it on the spot. And that, folks, is how the dream ended.
In hindsight, I believe they both made a violent warning against not only this thing that had haunted me, but all the other demonic creeps that’ve tried to ambush me in my dreams. I’ve had an infamous history of dealing with these things constantly in my nightmares, sometimes multiple occurrences in a week. But after Mary and Michael teamed up to lure out and obliterate this entity, I can count on both hands the number of evil nightmares I’ve had after the dream.
Remembering this dream adds a whole new light to the dream I had this past June of revisiting the house as an apparent divine espionage agent to uncover an ugly secret lurking in the basement. To quickly summarize, me and my sisters found a hidden chamber hidden from all other eyes where an evil man had imprisoned a young boy, keeping him locked down there with false exits and employing constant intimidation. When a beloved family friend commented on the dream summary to cleverly hint at what the man represented, I realized that I had been an outsider looking in on the echo of how it felt living with my ex-stepdad.
Without beating a dead horse (because I’ve already achieved closure through this piece from a few weeks ago), seeing this image and understanding what it was referencing is what triggered the end of my denial over what happened back then. Rest assured, my ex-stepdad never physically abused me like the man in this dream did to that boy; if he had, well, my family would’ve retaliated to say the least. That image is a symbolic representation of feeling trapped and helpless to fight back in my own home, ugly feelings that I’d denied for so long, until I finally made myself admit the severity of his wrongdoings.
I regret not speaking up back then, especially after the reactions to that post. One of my high school best friends was understandably horrified, while one of my aunts pulled me aside (making it expressly clear that she wasn’t trying to victim blame me) to wish that I had told her. As an especially poignant reaction, I was also treated to a sad but touching dream of my male college best friend pulling me into a bear hug while crying over what I’d been put through. Out of our collective grief, we must remember that just as one evil specter was defeated, the specter of my ex-stepdad’s mistakes has been defeated likewise.
Now I understand the importance of letting myself admit just how awful of a situation things were back then. Now, I can truly put all of that behind me, after receiving much-needed inspiration from those dreams. Like always, I’ve got God to thank for helping me get where I need to be.