As I have already said in my previous post, "Possession, Apparitions and Terror", I went through a period of my life where I had constant encounters with a being that I call the 'Shadow Man'.
I would wake up every night with him sitting on the couch in my bedroom watching me. Whether it was him waking me up or my subconscious waking me up because he was there I do not know, but the fear he projected was always a constant.
The night that I finally decided I had had enough was, to me, my awakening.
As usual, I awoke from a deep sleep at around 3am with a feeling that I was not alone in my room. I rolled over to check and, yes, there he was, watching me from the couch as he had done for two years. As soon as I saw him, again, as usual, I felt wave after wave of fear hit me. My body would start to shake as if an ice-cold wind was blowing. I always slept with the window closed and my bedroom door locked, so there was no breeze. I would try to concentrate on creating a shield around myself but I couldn't focus. The easiest way to describe it would be like two positive magnet ends being pushed together, just when I was able to form my shield in my mind's eye, another wave of fear would hit me and the image would slip away from me.
By this time I had begun to get really angry, I call it my righteous anger. I was tired of living my life in fear of him and my family. Tired of being alone and feeling like there was nothing I could do and no-one I could turn to (although my mother was beside herself with concern, I really believed that her and my brother were being influenced by the 'Shadow Man' and were trying to kill me).
I took a deep, calming breath, sat up in bed and faced him head on. I looked directly into his eyes, being the only feature that wasn't just black shifting shadows, and demanded that he leave me alone and let me sleep. I felt another wave of fear hit me, but I also felt an undercurrent of confusion. I think this was due to the fact that I had never confronted him before. I would always lie in my bed, terrified, close my eyes and wait for the sun to rise. Again I demanded that he leave as I was tired and had no time for him. Another wave hit, but it felt weaker than before and again I sensed confusion. Taking advantage of this, I immediately focused on my shield, and I found that I was able to hold to the image.
That was where I lost my temper with him. I stood up right in front of him and shouted for him to go away. The shout must have woken my mother because a few seconds later she knocked on my bedroom door. In that instant, he vanished. I heard my mother's voice on the other side of the door ask what was happening and if I was ok. I told her that I had had a nightmare, but I was ok and that she should go back to bed.
I felt like I had just climbed a mountain while doing hours of mathematical calculations. My body and mind were spent. I climbed back into bed and immediately fell asleep. The sleep I had that night was the best sleep I had had in two years.
The next night, I went to bed as usual and fell asleep pretty easily. Again, at around 3am, I woke up as always and turned to see him on my couch. I could feel waves of fear hitting me, but my confidence had grown since the previous night and again I felt my righteous anger boiling up. This time I didn't wait. I sat on the edge of my bed facing him and visualized my shield. I could feel myself shaking, but not from fear, from anger. I visualized pushing this anger at him, willing him to go. It took everything I had to control my fear. I don't know how long we faced off, but there came a point where I thought I wasn't going to be able to continue this titanic struggle. It was at that point that I became aware that he was no longer looking at me, but looking past me.
I felt an overwhelming sense of peace come over me. My body felt lighter, my head clearer and the atmosphere in my room became less heavy. I turned my head to see what was behind me. There, standing at the foot of my bed and looking at me, was a woman. She was not solid, as if an actual person was standing there, but I could see a faint glow in the shape of a woman and vaguely make out her features. I tried to focus on her face but it seemed to be in a constant state of change. It was like trying to look at a person made of water.
I turned back to the 'Shadow Man' and saw the hatred in his eyes towards this woman. Again I looked at her and she had become much more solid than before. I could make out that she had brown hair and pale blue eyes. She smiled at me and gestured at the bed, as if she was asking to sit down next to me. I shifted over enough for her to sit and I felt the mattress give when she did. I cannot explain it, but I had the feeling she was there to help.
It was a very strange feeling to sit there with the two of them. It felt like I was inside a cocoon of warmth and peace, while all around me there was this raging storm. I just kept thinking that I did not want him around anymore, that he was unwelcome and that he should leave. I pictured my thoughts slamming into him, willing him to leave. I remember seeing the light of dawn through my curtains. It was at that moment that a stray thought popped into my mind, "In what way?" Before I could even think about a response, I blurted out loud, "In every way possible!" I heard a low growl, and he was gone.
The woman that was sitting next to me put her arm around my shoulders and hugged me tightly. We sat there for some time. I remember a faint voice, just on the edge of hearing, as if she were talking to me but from very far away. I started feeling warm and drowsy. I don't recall lying down, but I remember looking up at her as she stood over my bed with her hand on my chest. I asked her for her name and just before I fell asleep I actually heard her voice, say "Marise".
I slept right through the day and only woke up because my mother was knocking on my bedroom door, letting me know that my dinner was ready. For the first time in two years I wasn't concerned that the food was poisoned or full of glass shavings. I opened the door and just as my mother turned away, I grabbed her and hugged her tightly. We stood there for I don't know how long. I told her that I was fine now. That I just needed to tell her that I loved her and that I was sorry for everything. I felt her grip tighten and as she pulled away I saw tears running down her cheeks. I asked why she was crying to which she replied, "I'm glad you're back my boy. I've missed you. Now come and eat your dinner."
I have only seen Marise once since that night. She came to me while I was meditating. She has only ever answered one question, "Why did you not appear before that night?"
Her reply was short, "You had to find strength before I could help."