I'm not sure this is a story I should tell as it's extremely personal. Even within my own family, there are those who would call me a liar for it. When I was about 9 years old I had, what the grownups termed a nightmare of epic proportions. I still remember it quite vividly, and to be honest, I'm still not sure it was a nightmare.
At the time we were living in a 2 story house. The upstairs had a short hallway that ran between two large bedrooms. Three of my brothers shared one room, while I and my younger sister shared the other. There was a unique area that joined the two rooms, a narrow passage way that ran behind the hall wall. In our room it's entrance was a doorway and in the boys' room it was a square hole with a pull-away cover. Of course my older brothers used it to scare the beezeesus out of us girls, so my parents used it as storage. Particularly a roll away bed that was visible from our end of the passage. It sat right in the doorway and blocked the boys from crawling through. It also created a barrier to the boogeyman they claimed used it!
The hall light was always left on at night so we could navigate our way downstairs to use the toilet, and our doors were always left open, unless getting dressed. In this way the hall light also acted as a nightlight for us kids. My brothers were 14, 13, and 4, my sister was almost 7.
This particular night, something woke me - a tapping on the bedroom floor. I sat up expecting my brothers to be pranking me - but what I saw was an old man's hand, raising from the floor! It motioned to me to come. I shook my head violently 'no' and hid in my covers, shaking. I felt it creeping up my bed covers. "Go away!" I squeaked, "You are just a dream! Go away!" I rolled and faced the wall as I had been taught to do by my father. "Go away, or I'll call my Dad!" I was so scared. The hand was then approaching me right through the wall! I could see the veins and age spots, the yellowing cracked nails, and the lion's head ring with ruby eyes it wore. "Go away!" I whimpered. Our dog, Rebel came in and began to growl, jumping on the bed between me and the wall. That was enough for me to give into the urge I'd had from the onset - I began screaming. I screamed so loud and long, I didn't wake just our household but the neighbors as well, who promptly called the police fearing the worst...
Of course my dad had come thundering up the stairs and had almost ran over my older brothers as they all poured into the room. By the time the police arrived, he had quieted down the others and sent them back to bed. Rebel, was pressed against me on my bed growling at the wall. I had ceased my screaming, but was still trembling, when the cops arrived. My mother, beside herself at not being able to climb the stairs to me (her health prevented her from doing so), let them in. I clung to Rebel, while my father went to speak with them. They insisted on seeing me, even after hearing it had been 'just a bad dream'. To their credit, they didn't laugh at me, but treated it quite seriously, even shining their lights under the bed, and feeling the wall. Assuring me, that sometimes dreams can seem quite real. That should be the end of my story. It should be... But- it heralded a change in my father's and my relationship.
At first I thought it was merely embarrassment at having the police summoned to our house. But over time and by degrees he became colder to me and even cruel, and became off-standish to my siblings.
A few months later, he brought up the subject of my 'nightmare'. Even then I thought that was weird. If it was just a dream, why bring it up months later? He asked me the oddest thing, if the hand had touched me, and if I recognized it! This bewildered me, and I only shook my head 'no'.
His behavior towards me, continued its downward spiral. He called me awful things like "Satan's spawn", and told me I was fat, ugly and stupid on a regular basis. He also took to punishing me with the belt, using it until he could no longer lift his arm. He argued with my brothers but I was the reason for everything that went wrong, and all his frustrations with the world. By the time I reached 10, he had started psychological warfare on me. He began touching where fathers never ever should. He warned me that if I should try to tell my mother or anyone else - it was my word against his and who would they believe?
During this same time, God sent me an angel. Maybe it was just a product of my subconscious trying to help me cope with circumstances I didn't understand, but Jamie was very real to me. He looked much like me, only taller and more athletic looking, and obviously a boy. While I laid in bed crying with the corner of my pillow shoved in my mouth to muffle it (if heard my dad would give me 'a reason to cry') Jaimie would come and give me words of comfort. He said he was my twin brother. At that point, I had no knowledge of being part of a set of twins, but I accepted it. (Later this fact would be verified by my older sister and mother.) He expressed anger at what my father did, and told me I should fight back. Bite, scratch, do what ever I could. Leave a mark as proof. I was afraid, and prayed constantly that I would be 'good' enough, that my dad would stop hurting me, and go back to loving me as he once had.
The 'touching' always occurred during 'rough housing' as my father called it. If my mother noticed he claimed it was accidental, and that he was teaching me to defend myself. Jaimie had whispered to me one night that I should cry out as if hurt, when ever this should happen in order to attract her attention. It worked well. 'Homework' became a good excuse not to go anywhere alone with him, or I would insist that my mother needed a break from the younger 2 and bring them with. Again Jaimie's idea. I was safe with witnesses.
We moved several times, but Jaimie never left me. When I was 12, my father said I should do the world a favor and kill myself. Those are his exact words. I won't lie, he really had me thinking God could not love one such as me, that no one could. I was 'bad', 'evil', no matter how good I tried to be. I seriously considered it, and even began to plot out how to do it. By this time my mother had been labeled terminal by the doctors. Somehow that was my blame too. Jaimie told me I couldn't because I had to live twice, once for myself and once for him. Looking back, anything I 'collected' to end my life with simply disappeared. The stolen pills, the razor blades, even the noose, I had tricked an older brother into making by claiming it was for a school project. I still recall the hardness to my dad's eyes when seeing me and snarling, "Still haven't offed yourself?" at me for weeks afterwards. But Jaimie made me stronger, arguing the opposite side.
One day, around the age of 13, my dad was arguing with my mother. Or rather she was taking his verbal abuse, unable to defend herself, he was threatening to leave her and then who would take care of her and her brats? I saw a tear trickle down her cheek. I was appalled. I had never heard him speak to my mother in this fashion before. Yeah, he may have hated me but he had always been loving to my mother as far as I knew. I heard Jaimie whisper in my ear and something snapped. I heard myself growl that I would. We didn't need him. He could just get the hell out. I advanced on him, ready to do physical battle. Logically I knew he could beat me to a pulp, but NOBODY was going to talk to my mom that way. Nobody. He backed a way a step then two. He paled. My mother gasped. I had no fear of being hurt. Looking back it was all very surreal. He left quickly and quietly, and I comforted my mother, who begged me to get him back. I said when he calls and says sorry. (Which he did several hours later.) Then she said the most peculiar thing, she asked where the boy had gone. I asked what boy? And she said there had been a very angry boy with me. Inside, I smiled. Jaimie... He had been with me all along.
I wish I could end this with a 'happily ever after', but Life doesn't go like that. My dad never really went back to being the father I once knew, and we still had teen/parent conflicts, but he did quit being so ugly to me. And in my 20s he did begin to try and make amends. I guess I'll never know if that 'nightmare' hand somehow possessed him, or made him think I was evil. But I do know that before he died, my old dad - my daddy finally said "I love you," like he meant it.