Jane first contacted me because she thought she was under psychic attack. I agreed to meet her at her apartment.
A slender, attractive blond answered the door.
“Jane?” I noted her hesitancy, but she stepped aside to let me in.
The apartment was small, and despite the clutter, quite tidy. I asked her permission to walk around. Nothing that felt external jumped out at me, however, I did feel a lot of chaotic energy connected to Jane herself. What I was sensing didn’t fit the woman before me. She seemed “normal”.
“What makes you think you are under psychic attack?” I asked her.
Jane told me she felt it, and sometimes she would hear voices. She said it happened at all hours, day and night, and she was losing sleep.
“It doesn’t make practical sense,” I told her. “Who would be attacking you and why? I am more inclined to believe this is an internal phenomena.”
“You mean I’m doing it to myself?” She considered this thought, and then slowly nodded. “I’ve wondered that, but why?”
I suggested she come to see me in my office where we could explore the possibilities.
Nothing on the surface seemed out of place. The first couple of visits, Jane arrived looked refreshed and well dressed. She shared that she had troubles holding down a job, mostly because she still didn’t know what she wanted to do. She had also been seeing a psychiatrist to help deal with personal issues. She didn’t really remember much of her childhood.
I noted that Jane, apart from being highly intelligent, was also incredibly creative.
“Sometimes, I can be,” she concurred.
I maintained that the phenomena she was experiencing was internal, as if there was more than one person inside her.
This notion set of an unexpected chain of events. This well polished woman of nearly thirty suddenly transformed into a little girl before me. Her legs started swinging back and forth and her responses took on a childish, sing-songy tone.
“How old are you?” I asked on a whim.
“Nine,” she replied, and then without hesitation, “Where’d you get that picture? Is it your hand?”
She was referring to a plaster mold of a hand that hung above my desk.
“No. See mine’s too big. I don’t know whose hand is it. I don’t believe we’ve met.”
“I know you,” her eyes continued to scan the things in my room. “You are going to help us.”
“I hope so.” I suddenly knew I was in over my head.
* * *
“What do you like to do for fun?” I asked Jane during our next visit. She was her usual self when she arrived, but the question caused her to stir in her seat.
I waited for her to get comfortable again, but suddenly she didn’t seem to be able to. She stood, and started to pace.
“Did I ask something that was upsetting?”
The woman that turned to me was not Jane. She looked much older, and worn by the years.
“Oh, I know how to have fun, alright!” came the response. “Are you one of those self-righteously moral types?”
“Can’t say that I am?”
“I like a good drink, and a hard man, if I can find one.” She laughed at this. “What is it you hope to do here anyway?”
“Jane thinks she’s being attacked psychically.”
“Jane thinks she’s too good for the rest of us.”
My head was reeling. What was happening here was beyond me. After ‘Jane’ left, I had to confirm with my secretary that what I had just experienced was true.
“Did you see Jane before our appointment? What colour was her hair?”
“Blonde, as usual.”
“And what colour was it when she just left?”
“Come to think of it, it was red. How did that happen?”
“You tell me!”
* * *
I shared with Jane what had been happening during her visits.
“How is this possible?” she asked me.
“From what I can tell, something traumatic must have happened to you to cause your psyche to split into different identities.”
“That’s what my psychiatrist says.”
“And you don’t believe her? Doesn’t it make more sense then psychic attack?”
“I just wish I could know for sure.”
A thought occurred to me.
“Tell me about grocery shopping.”
“What do you mean?”
“How do you know what to buy? Do you ever find yourself getting home with things you either don’t remember buying, or don’t even like?”
“All the time!”
“Well, that must mean everybody participates. Next time you grocery shop, stop and listen. See if you can get a sense of the others.”
The suggestion worked. Jane called me with excitement. “I know what you mean, now! My psychiatrist says this is a great breakthrough.”
But the progress would be short-lived and my lack of expertise would be to blame.
Little Janie arrived next accompanied by a horrible smell that made my stomach turn. I could only describe the energy that followed her as evil, and I reacted accordingly.
We did a ritual to cleanse her from this demon, and banish it.
It worked too well.
It turned out that the demon-like figure that had appeared in my office that day was the one that held the key to Jane’s ability to heal. The evil that it reeked of was the torture and humiliation that had been perpetrated against young Jane. In order to be whole again, she needed to access that knowledge, and I had banished it.
I had not seen that like the ying yang symbol, there is good in bad, and bad in good. I had reacted out of fear.
“Evil is the construct of man,” a religious studies prof once said. “The idea of demons was borrowed from the Greek, daemon, which actually means mischievous. The idea being that demonic beings were intended to shake us from our complacency and help us grow.”
The entity that appeared in my office that day accompanied the young Jane. It came because she trusted me to help it, and I did not.
Judgment is such as harsh thing, and when we put it in the context of good and evil we eliminate other possibilities.
Jane would have to work long and hard to regain the trust of this part of her – so essential to her wholeness.