Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mind Shadows (To Date)

This is a compilation of all of MacKenzie's story. It is not complete by any means and not all parts were written in order. But it's here if you'd like to read it all in one place. Segments have been placed in order despite the numbers.

Trifecta: Mind Shadows/Dream State

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The haunting image flashed at inexplicable times in her dreams, always awakening her as she clutched her throat while screaming, body soaked in perspiration, pulse racing. She was clueless to its meaning. And she feared learning of its significance. Or was it merely a random image in a scary movie she once saw? It nagged at her so pervasively she finally sought help from a therapist who also specialized in hypnotism. MacKenzie had to rid her dreams of this symbol before it haunted her waking hours as well.

Uneasy in the therapist's office, she described the menacing shower curtain, even joking that perhaps it was from viewing Psycho as a teen. As the therapist asked probing questions about her childhood, MacKenzie was puzzled by her lack of detail for those years. A few pictures from a scrapbook and the same childhood stories told repeatedly by her parents were all she really knew.

Several months into therapy, MacKenzie was at ease with her therapist, Georgia, a somehow comforting name. A few times they had tried hypnosis to reach into a known memory of her childhood only to reach an impasse in MacKenzie's mind. The fear of the unknown was overwhelming. Today both were determined to gain some ground. Suddenly, in MacKenzie's trance state, the image of the shower curtain appeared. Fear overwhelmed her senses and she begged Georgia to perform an act of alchemy to transform what might be behind the curtain. Georgia gently awoke MacKenzie from the trance reassuring her that one day the answer would be known.

That night, MacKenzie, intent on an answer (against her therapist's advice) intentionally focused on the frightening image. When it appeared in her dream, she defiantly flung back the curtain. She awoke in such a state of shock and terror, she was barely able to dial 911. She swore to herself then she would never return to that internal horror.

Trifecta: Mind Shadows/Behind The Shower Curtain

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The nightmare became so prevalent. Initially just glimpses but now more blanks were filled in. She dreaded going to sleep since the night she had pulled back the shower curtain. It hadn’t really been an answer. More like a flashback of horror. It held no meaning to her, but the emotional impact brought her to what felt like the brink of her own sanity. That man with no face constantly appearing. She had come to see these flashbacks even while wide awake at unexpected moments causing her to gasp out loud.

Returning to her therapist Georgia felt like sentencing herself to an insane asylum. How could she possibly share such grisly details whether true or not? A man with no face in a graveyard late at night standing next to an open grave wearing a hooded robe and chanting, joined by several others. It gave her chills to hear the chanting in her mind. Fast forward to feeling like a little girl peeking into the grave. The man is holding a gun to her head telling her to jump in or be killed. She can feel the gaze of the other hooded shadowy figures. A pile of corpses, grotesque and moving with reptiles and insects, lay at the bottom. The first time she peeked down, she woke up screaming, color drained from her face, hearing the cock of a gun.

The nightmare skips to behind the shower curtain where, in the bottom of a claw foot bathtub is a scene similar to the grave. Again she has a gun to her head with orders to enter. The cock of the gun awakens her screaming, sweating, and gasping. It’s not true though. It’s just a nightmare. Besides, how could people do such things without being caught? Where did the bodies come from? Why was she witnessing such macabre scenes?

In the movie MacKenzie is watching on television, someone cocks a gun. She screams so loud she can’t believe it came from her throat.

FSF: Mind Shadows (1)

She had considered her terrifying flashbacks and nightmares from every possible angle.  Nothing made sense to her, yet it was palpably real. Returning to her therapist Georgia was her only sane option in spite of fear of being deemed a lunatic.

After trembling nonstop and tearfully describing the details of the horror she had witnessed, including the graveyard and chanting robed figures, MacKenzie was shocked to hear Georgia's response.

"Unfortunately you are not alone in having these kinds of memories and flashbacks," Georgia said quietly and assuredly as a show of support and compassion.

Write At The Merge: Mind Shadows (2)

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“They can’t possibly be true, can they?” MacKenzie’s voice cracked trying not to think details of her nightmares and ever increasing flashbacks.

“Whether there is truth to them or not, you are experiencing great emotional distress. I can help you cope with those emotions and help you through whatever is happening.” Georgia paused to see if MacKenzie was able to hear what was being said.

“Can’t I just shove them back inside?” MacKenzie asked plaintively.

“Unfortunately, whatever was protecting you from remembering since childhood is no longer working. Sometimes the mind decides it’s time for you to know. Some believe age has something to do with it. There’s no stopping it. Normally it has a pace to it. Moving slowly is best. Trying to deny or reject the message or messages will only make it worse. I’m here to help you through this.”

MacKenzie slumped back into the comfortable chair letting her head hang back, closing her eyes. She imagined herself on a foggy bridge that led only half way into the fog. She wanted to disperse the fog to see what was hiding in her subconscious. Just get it over with like tearing a band aid off. But she heard Georgia and knew that was not an option.

“Let’s schedule more frequent visits. And try to write down thoughts and feelings you do have that come up after a nightmare or flashback...or if you notice anything else causing a fear reaction like you did with the gun in the television show. Think of them like puzzle pieces. At some point you will begin to see answers.”

MacKenzie nodded and agreed to see Georgia twice a week until she felt in control again. On her way home, she stopped to pick up a special journal for her thoughts…one that was pretty. While wandering through the bookstore to pay for her journal, she happened to pass through books on The Occult. Some covers showed hooded figures and one even showed a cemetery at night. It gave her the chills. She quickened her pace to the register and hurriedly left the store. 

Trifecta: Mind Shadows (3)

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Swirling gracefully in mid-air, spellbinding music and movements, pure ecstasy as a Sufi reaching enlightment...then she turned around waking MacKenzie with a start. It had felt like a peaceful dream until the veiled face started to be revealed.

Somewhere in a dusty trunk resided family photos and personal mementos that her mother had saved for when she became an adult. Not being able to return to sleep, she located the trunk. Walking down memory lane was interesting: photos of relatives she adored who were no longer alive, graduation announcements, stacks of cards she had sent her parents as a child. She saw the sheets of paper neatly typed with a manual ink-clogged typewriter. Long ago forgotten, she clutched at her throat while reading, somewhat taken aback. Each poem from her eight-year-old mind was about a grave. Staring at her words, she wondered why no teacher thought the subject matter odd and very dark for such a young child. 

She thought of her parents. She adored her mother but had always been frightened of her father’s unpredictable anger. Growing up trying to avoid him wasn’t always easy. She thought for a moment of him being in that graveyard of her mind. Even with his sinister looks, she couldn’t imagine him being part of something so awful. Then she remembered her nanny. Both her parents traveled quite frequently, leaving her in the sole care of Sofia. Between birth and beginning kindergarten, Sofia was, for the most part, her primary caretaker. MacKenzie barely remembered her but stared at a photo of Sofia holding her as a young toddler. No clues there; just a few benign momentary memories and the stories relayed to her by her mother. 

She kept the poetry and photo of Sofia to show Georgia at her next therapy appointment.

FSF: Mind Shadows 5

Since learning she'd had amnesia until her recent flashbacks at age 35, MacKenzie's world felt like constant sensory overload; her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder surfaced fully and her startle response was so much faster than normal reaction time she often frightened herself with her own screams.

Her memories came in pieces and not always in order and not always one piece going with the next piece. It was enough to make one go insane if not for her therapist reassuring her that the way her memories leaked through her broken amnesia was to be expected.

Since seeing the steampunk goggles on a passerby, she realized she was highly agitated, foretelling the coming of a memory--a sign she learned to recognize rather quickly,  a feeling of dread knowing she would see more details in her now predictably fitful sleep.

In her dream state, her mind floated from the innocent steampunk but triggering goggles to the the face of a surgeon wearing goggle-like glasses as she, feeling so small, lay down restrained on a metal table, her heart pounding out of her chest.

Trifecta: Mindshadows (4)  (Further into story)

Polyvore by grace2244

Never in her art was there an image of a mother with her birth, but she sensed her mother’s egg was part of her being. So much art where she was wearing a crown. Royalty always a message. How could she be royalty unless…

MacKenzie frantically researched and found that artificial insemination was being done in the concentration camps and the United States had sheltered Nazis wanting their knowledge of space and other “experiments” following the war. One only needed to see Werner Von Braun’s rise to head of NASA for proof.

Her mind eerily wandered to The DaVinci Code and societies of royal blood. Even though the movie was fictional, any secretive society and rituals touched a very sensitive nerve with her. Perhaps the royals, wanting to ensure their bloodline, kept what would now be considered a sperm bank for the elite. Is it possible her mother’s egg was fertilized with royal sperm? That dark world her father had descended into and its covert government programs. Perhaps it had only been his job to ensure he kept her living in terror to maintain her amnesia.

It was only a theory but she was determined to know her origins. Royal blood would connect many of the puzzle pieces of her life. But why her? 

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