When I was young, I was very perceptive, very empathetic. I seemed to be able to tell what others were feeling or thinking, and sometimes people wanted to know if I was reading their minds. (I wasn’t. I’m still not.) What I did know was that life was full of the people everyone else was able to hear and see, and then other people that no one else seemed to be able to hear or see. I talked to them all. A lot of them talked back to me.
My friend Donna, who was older and lived next door, said all the invisible people were imaginary friends and I’d grow out of it. But I didn’t want to grow out of it. I didn’t want them to go away. Because I grew up in a really challenging family—one without boundaries, one that spoke in harsh, critical words and, too often, acted with violence.
By the time I was in high school, I started keeping journals of what these voices would say to me. Especially when they got complex, explaining to me how in one reality I was holding a pencil and writing on a paper on the desk on the floor of the house on the land. But in another reality, the energy that made up my hand was interacting with the energy that made up the pencil, and the energy of the paper and the desk, and it was all vibrating in a way that made me think they were solid, but it wasn’t. And there were parts where my hand touched the desk where the energy was both hand and desk and also neither hand nor desk.
You can see why I had to write this down.
The things these voices were telling me were amazing and awesome, and it just couldn’t still be imaginary friends. One of them had already saved my life. Maybe they were real. And maybe they were here to help me. They’d already helped me.
I was so certain they were of spiritual origin, I hesitated to even name them, as if any name I chose might insult them, so I very creatively named them Voice A, B, and C. And I filled half a dozen notebooks with their words about how I was here for a reason, how my true self was far more than the body I inhabited, how I was loved far more than I could ever understand, how they were helping as much as they could with my family, how I would never, ever be alone.
They helped me feel a sense of worth and value. They helped me feel safe, even in the midst of imminent physical harm. I loved being able to hear what they said and writing it down. I loved that their personalities came through their words, how it was clear they cared for each other as much as they cared for me. This is what I thought a family should be.
And I knew for a fact that my parents could never know about these journals. They’d made it clear they didn’t want to understand my gifts, saying there was something wrong with me, that I was crazy or sick, and maybe I needed to be locked up in a psychiatric hospital.
One day, after school, I walked in the house and the energy was all wrong. It was heavy, oppressive, and there was a horrible foreboding feeling. I found my mom in the family room, with my well-hidden journals in front of her, open. She’d been crying. She started screaming about my talking with demons, and when I told her the voices spoke only of love and connection, she yelled that I was sick and crazy. She hit me and shoved me to the floor, and then burned my journals as I looked on in shock. Then she told me to go to my room, and used one of her favorite sayings, that she wished I’d never been born.
I really did question, that day, if this was real. If I was making it all up. The love, the safe feelings, the weird everything-is-energy explanations. Maybe I really was sick. Maybe these were just the rantings of a badly damaged, abused child. And if they weren’t real, if their love was a creation of my own making, then what my parents said must be the truth: I was not loved or valued or worthy. I was wrong and broken and unlovable.
I didn’t hear the voices for a few months after that, and I was resigned to it all being in my head. And if my parents were right, then there was no point in going on, no point in living. So I made a plan to end it all.
The day I planned to kill myself, I saw a man, solid as any of you, watching me from beneath a tree near my locker at school. He said, “We need to talk.” I instantly recognized him as one of the voices I’d been transcribing, the one who told me about energy and vibrations. The one who told me to always remember I was loved.
A lot of things were set in motion that day, and those voices—those guides—helped me climb out of my depression and hopelessness. And in the years since, they’ve helped me also with anxiety and chronic pain, with all the physical manifestations of trauma.
Because our bodies do remember our traumas, even if our conscious minds don’t. And that trauma gets stuck, locked up in cells and muscle and organs. Talk therapy can only help so much. Trauma therapy can help more. But connecting with your own guides, remembering why you’re here on the planet, knowing that you are a spiritual being with a birthright of joy and love and happiness—that can elevate a life of healing and coping to a life of creation and radiance.
With that connection to our guides, ideas start flowing, opportunities start popping up serendipitously, and instead of life being stagnant, it flows with synchronicity and abundance.
And what I know for you, is that if you’re ready to step out of feeling alone, powerless, full of doubt and confusion, you can take those courageous steps to reconnect with the deeper truth of who you really are, who your guides are, what you want to experience in this life, and how very much you are loved.