It wasn’t difficult for me to become a hermit, as my childhood contained a lot of solitude. I felt closer to my dog and cats than anyone else in my world, and knew the weeping willow tree in our backyard objected vehemently when her branches were used for switches. I often dreamed that I could fly.
Occasionally, in pre-school, I used vocabulary that no one else understood. Somehow a college student heard about this, prompting her to follow me around for a day, to write up a paper.
At bedtime, I sometimes saw spirals in another dimension, and was happy to see them, then I’d slip in and disappear. Or, head on pillow, I would sense myself flashing, as large as the universe and tiny as an atom, in rapid pulses that came on me unbidden, but were always welcomed with joy and relief that I could go somewhere else.
In John Mack’s Passport to the Cosmos, he tells the story of Sequoia Trueblood, a Native American who often experienced people from other realms, and told of once seeing “a kind of vortex of swirling lights ‘like a rainbow,’ into which he was sucked.” My spirals seem like something similar, so it’s clear to me that my moving between the realms began in childhood, as perhaps they do for all of us, until we learn to shut it down or forget about it.
My mother expressed concern to her friends and my pediatrician that I had an “imaginary friend” I called Cathy. She looked like a very pretty, even angelic child my size and age, and she once materialized in front of my parents, which alarmed me until she gestured (or told me telepathically?) that my parents couldn’t see her. Then we had a private têté a têté. Like all children, I learned not to tell others about these things, and eventually forgot it all for decades.
Many of my childhood memories are of being alone. I learned to crotchet before I entered kindergarten and made the most elaborate doilies I could find in the pattern books. In third grade, I read classic novels hundreds of pages long.
We’d lived for most of my young life in Merced, California. The summer before fourth grade, we moved to Paradise Valley, Arizona, hometown of Dan Quayle, who went to our public school for a few weeks while awaiting entry to a private school.
In fifth grade, I read the palms of my classmates, always “by the book” – except once when I accidentally went into a trance, vaguely aware of saying things that came from somewhere other than my books. When I regained my normal state, a half-circle of girls stood around me with open mouths and looks of astonishment. I vowed to myself to never “do that” again.
Good grades were normal, as were art awards, and sewing, beading, crocheting, leather tooling, and copper enamel projects.
I was strangely turned off by television. I watched it with the family on week nights, as that was our main family time together. I never watched it on weekends or after school though, and frequently told my younger siblings they shouldn’t watch it either – it was “bad for them.”
By the time I entered high school, my parents decided I should sew my entire wardrobe, and so I did. My mom and I would visit Saks Fifth Avenue, then buy fabric and patterns to combine or adjust, and we’d recreate our favorites. The mothers of my friends could hardly believe my tailoring skills, and in the Fine Arts Department my senior year, I was voted “Best Dressed Girl.”
Using a book, I learned to hypnotize myself to relax or sleep, by focusing on spirals I envisioned in space. I also began to interpret my dreams.
When our varsity choir went on tour, my hotel roommate gave a back massage to a boy who lay on our floor, and she suggested I give a massage to another boy who’d arrived. Accepting the pressure toward this teenage intimacy, I began, having no idea what to do, but figuring I’d imitate my friend. To my surprise, my hands seemed to read some energy and followed it across and around the boy’s back muscles. Repeatedly, I was forced to let go of what I thought I’d do next, as the energy moved my hands.
I never asked anyone, but always wanted to know: How many others experience this sort of thing?
Today, I believe there are a lot of people like myself, and I wonder if everyone has more “anomalous” experiences than we remember, but because we’re taught to ignore them, our natural ability to relate to the other realms slowly fades, and we forget what we knew as children.