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Pressure, Tugging, And The Unsightly Bruise


Not too long ago I posted a comment that I'd thankfully never experienced anything spooky - except for the disembodied voices that may be seen as such - but that's since changed.

The first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning, unless I urgently need to use the toilet, is check up on my mother -more so since her surgery, which left her looking so terribly fragile and ill (exaggerated by the weight she'd lost - cancer). Her recuperation is 'amazing' (one of the surgeon's words). Another surgeon said to me, while my mother was in hospital (post op): "Your mother is the bravest woman I know." At the time it did nothing to alleviate my stress as she was so weak, and I'm not used to seeing her looking and being so helpless.

It's two months later and she's regained her appetite, and she's pretty much her old self, (though she still tires easily). I am grateful beyond words. Then this happens...

19 September 2018

Woke up several times during the night (howling wind and heavy downpour). Heard mommy moaning in her sleep - but that's normal, as she experiences arthritic discomfort and pain when she changes her 'in sleep' position - and it's COLD; which always makes everything worse. Didn't check the time.

Just after 6am (my alarm goes off at 6am as a reminder for my eye drops), I went to check up on mommy as she's also an early riser to perform her morning prayers.

Mommy was sitting bolt upright in bed rubbing her upper right arm, wincing. I checked her arm (she's unable to lift it), and there's a dark purple (bordering on black) bruise covering the (almost) entire length of her inner upper arm. W...T...F?!

According to her, she was woken by intense pressure on her arm. At first she thought one of the cats had snuggled up on her arm (which they love doing, and they're big, heavy cats), but no, they weren't even on the bed - they'd spent the night cuddled up against me. Then she thought she'd somehow gotten her arm tangled in the bedding, but even I could see that was highly unlikely since her bed always looks as though it's been turned down, not slept in. She sleeps on the left side of the bed (if you're standing in front of the bed). When the weather is cold, she places her continental pillows next to her for extra warmth and comfort. I think she still misses the warm body that used to occupy that space.

Before she could switch on the light, the pressure intensified and it felt as though someone was yanking her by the arm.

Asked whether she's sure she hadn't hurt herself somehow or been dreaming (despite me seeing the bruise), but she was vehement in her response that (1) she would KNOW if she knocked her arm or done something to cause pain and the bruise. (2) she can discern a dream from reality, AND (to my surprise) it wasn't the first time she had been woken by 'unseen forces', though this one was by far the scariest due to the visible physical evidence (the bruise).

Previous experiences involved feeling a pressure on her chest and being unable to move, sometimes feeling she's being smothered (sleep paralysis?). She'd recite any and every prayer she could remember during her distress, including a few choice expletives. While the pressure did not immediately go away, it also didn't leave gradually. When it eventually left, it was sudden, as though someone had been sitting on her chest then jumped off. She went through the same routine this time, but the pressure on her arm became excruciatingly painful until eventually feeling as though an unseen hand was ripped away.

That bruise was not present the day before, as I'd helped her bathe and apply lotion to her body (as I've done every day since her discharge from the hospital).

Things to know about my mother:

1. She's devoutly religious, but open-minded about the spiritual world. The only person who believes my 'tall tales'.

2. She's mentally and physically strong (high pain threshold).

3. She doesn't scare easily.

4. She believes in the afterlife and that the spirits of deceased loved ones visit us.

5. She abhors the practice of 'black magic', and that there are people who resort to it to obtain material things. "Yes, I want to be comfortable in this life, but I'm working towards a place in Paradise," is something she's fond of saying in response to talk about material possessions. She'll remind anyone that: "They are THINGS. You can't take them with you when your time is up, and can cause siblings to fight to the death, leaving a stranger the victor".

6. She's a second time cancer survivor.

7. Even though she's fair in complexion, she's never bruised easily.

Further (perhaps relevant) information:

A. Our home has been blessed several times, as a matter of religious custom and the burning of incense is a regular custom too.

B. We're the first and only family to occupy our home (40 years), and there have been no deaths in the house. My daddy passed away at his brother's house, though the funeral service and 'reception' was held at home. My paternal grandparents passed away when I was a toddler (in the house we were sharing with them). My maternal grandmother died when my mother was herself a child, and grandfather, who lived with us for a few years, when I was in my teens - at my aunt's place two streets away (where he was then living). My mother was a working mom, hence when he became ill, her siblings were concerned no-one would be home to assist him, so he moved in with my aunt, his oldest daughter. Out of 6 children, my mother has only her sister left (oldest - 80yrs, active and healthy), and on my father's side, of 7 children, a brother (oldest - 96yrs, still able to move around by himself and healthy). As far as I know, the land our suburb is built on was bushveld - developed during the 1970s to provide housing for 'Coloured' people who were forcibly removed when the apartheid government implemented the Group Areas Act. I was 9-years-old and as far as I know and remember, we were excited to move into a house with running hot water.

I'm baffled - especially because my mother is so pious - though of course, bad things do happen to good people, right?

Our GP immediately referred her the hospital. X-rays revealed no broken bones, hairline fractures etc. One of her consulting doctors for the operation referred her to orthopedics because of the mobility issues with her arm. We're still waiting on a call from them for an appointment. It's a government hospital and they're fully booked, though I'd expect, with her being a recovering cancer patient, they'd be eager to check her out. She appears emotionally stable and laughed heartily when I told her she looks like a T-Rex when she tries to lift her arm. It pokes out like those short arms of a T-Rex. LOL

I hope I've given a clear account of what happened and a look into the psyche/personality/character of my mother. That said - what could 'it' have been - that caused the pressure, tugging and that unsightly bruise on her arm?

What's going through my mind? 'Something' like The Grim Reaper is coming for her because she's 'cheated' death not once, but twice. How lucky is she, considering that hundreds/thousands of people don't survive their first encounter with the Big C?

I welcome your questions and I'd appreciate your thoughts, insight, advice and guidance. This is unfamiliar territory to me and I think I'm having a harder time dealing with it. Thank you. And my apologies for the lengthy read.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Aporetic, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-24)
Aporetic - I know I haven't commented on your account recently but I often wonder how your mother is coping.

Please know that you are in my thoughts, as is your mother. I hope things are going well.

Regards, Melda
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-06)
Hi Apo, cancer patients can bruise or bleed easily because of a low platelet count, a condition called thrombocytopenia. Platelets are necessary for blood clotting. So any pressure by a seen or unseen force can have an extreme effect. Rex-T wakes up with massive blood spots on his arms from scratching himself while half-asleep. Even the mild chafing from his watch can do damage. Some medications like aspirin that thin the blood (to prevent blood clots) can have side effects of excessive bruising.

Has your mother ever sensed the presence of your family members who have passed? Could the tugging be someone trying to get her attention? Maybe it was a passing spirit? Were there any deaths in the area recently?

Having gone through such an ordeal, your mother is probably quite vulnerable at the moment and that could be why she feels 'troubled'. Or something is taking the opportunity to 'trouble' her. She might benefit from being strengthened in the spirit as well as in the body. If your mother is devoutly religious and prays often, perhaps some of her fellow worshippers can hold a prayer meeting at your place? Even if she isn't up to actively participating, they can quietly pray for her and worship in the house. The idea is to fill the place with positive light to counter all the darkness from pain and sadness. She might be comforted and draw strength from all that loving energy.

Don't forget to take care of yourself too. Treat yourself once in a while and have some "me-time" to replenish your strength. Carers need regular energy boosting to keep on caring. ❤
MrsRizzo2429 (4 stories) (93 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-03)
I wanted to stop in to say that I wanted to let you know that I am sending happy wishes your way! I am an only child. I understand how much All of our moms mean to us. You seem like a wonderful daughter helping your mom. You seem to have a big heart. I know I don't know you but just how you write about your mom makes me believe you have a big heart. I am here if you need a friend to talk to.

It sounds like some type of sprit came to visit your mom. I hope next time they don't leave her with a bruis if they visit again.
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-02)
Hi there Apo,

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's health. Although, it sounds like she is one tough lady. 😊 I also want to acknowledge what a wonderful daughter and caregiver you are. Your love and respect for your mother is obvious. That in itself is a beautiful thing. I lost my mother almost 17 years ago (this November), when she was 42 in a car accident. No matter our age, we always want and need our mom. ❤

Reading your account, I was thinking the same thing as Melda. Perhaps there is a medical and paranormal cause regarding your mother's bruising? Maybe when one is weak from illness, they are susceptible to subtle (or blatant) energies? You also mentioned your mother believes in the afterlife and is open minded (a wonderful thing!).

Sending healing vibes your way ❤ ❤

BeautInside (3 stories) (326 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-02)
Hello Apo,

Wishing your mother a very fast recovery, and I'll definitely be sending my positive thoughts for your mom's blood tests to come up normal. 😉

Of course we can't rule out any medical explanation for your mom's bruise, but if it was a bruise it wouldn't go away in 24 hours. Even in a healthy person it would take about a week to completely disappear, so I am wondering if your mother's experience might trully have a supernatural component to it.

When it happened your mom felt a presence, right? Some medical conditions can make the individual bruise easily, and I might be wrong but the bruise won't go away in 1 day only. So unless it wasn't a bruise I can't find a logical explanation to this.

Thank you for sharing. ❤
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
6 years ago (2018-10-01)
Aporetic - yes, you are painting within the guidelines. Thought I'd acknowledge that 😊
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-01)
Greetings, Haven

Thank you for the positive vibes - please keep sending.

We had a bit of a scare today because my mother collapsed. She said she suddenly felt dizzy and nauseated, then her legs gave way. At first I was terrified, but remembered she had not eaten and I iterally chugged Coke down her throat. I'm pleased to report she has been feeling much better since that dousing and having something to eat. I'm so grateful it happened at home and that she wasn't alone. Phew!

Haven (20 stories) (307 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-01)
Hi Apo -

I'm sending positive vibes your way and praying that your mother is well. ❤
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
Greetings, lady-glow

Thank you for your kind wishes and every ray of positive energy helps.

A following from or attachment at the hospital did cross my mind, but somehow I can't justify it, especially since I asked my mother whether anything strange happened at the hospital (on the morning of this encounter), but all she recalls is her discomfort, the horrible food, and not being able to sleep at night (or nap during the day) because the nursing staff were so noisy.

If there is a malicious spirit, I've just told it to F**K OFF and leave her in peace. Crazy as that may sound, I'm willing to try almost anything for my peace of mind.

The sun is warm, the grass is green... LOL

Warm regards
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
Greetings, Miandra

Thank you, you're a sweetheart. I appreciate you taking the time to read that long account and posting a kind message.

lady-glow (16 stories) (3163 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
Aporetic - wishing your Mother a speedy recovery. I have nothing to add to the previous posters' advice other than I enjoyed reading your experience.

Would it be possible that something followed your Mom from the hospital?

Sending positive energy all the way to Cape Town.

Thanks for sharing.
Sleeping-with-steve (guest)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
Hello Aporetic,

I'm so sorry to hear your mummy is going through so many dramas with this entity/whatever it was.

My thoughts are with you and your mummy.

Hello Melda

My condolences to you. I'm sorry you lost your mother to leukemia. May her soul rest in peace.

Miandra 😘 ❤ 😘
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
Greetings. LuciaJacinta

If medical, I hope it's something as (seemingly) benign as you mentioned. I think I'd much rather it were paranormal - something one could 'tackle' hands on? Until my mother gets the appointment to deal with the immobility issue, all I feel I can do, is to keep a close eye on her, pray for her, and perhaps tell the possible entity to F-off? It's not her time yet!

She's due for blood tests next month, so please (everyone reading this) hold thumbs, cross your fingers, say a prayer, send positive vibes - anything for a clear report. Thank you.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment.

Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
Greetings, Melda

I'm so sorry to read of your mother's passing, no matter that it was quite some time ago. I can only imagine that a mother's absence is something one never fully comes to terms with? The void! Just the thought of losing my mother causes me to break down crying (even as I'm typing this). Cancer is also the major cause of the deaths in our family.

The good news is that at her last checkup, the doctor advised that the haematology report showed no spread of the cancer, and she was also impressed with my mother's recovery. Her surgical wounds are already completely healed. Aside from being easily fatigued, she's also slowed down considerably over the past few years, but I think that's a normal part of aging? On the plus side, the clear haematology report means my mother doesn't have to undergo the discomfort of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, which was a huge relief (for both of us). She'll go for regular blood tests though.

Prior to my mother's surgery, one of our neighbours was undergoing chemo and she passed away not long after. She was 61 and because of this and my mother's age, I think I'm letting my fears get the better of me. The unknown is scary, however, if the YGS community can shed some light on my fears, I'll sleep a bit more peacefully.

"Well, she says she has been bothered by "something" for a while."
Clarification: her experiences have been few and far between - over the years, though she can't recall when it started. Something I didn't mention in my narrative - she's also, on a few occasions, felt a shifting weight on the bed beside her and we can't blame it on the cats. At the time, there had not been any pets in our home.

Melda, please go ahead and share what you did in your daughter's home. I'll take no offense and so should no-one else. If it can help someone else reading here, then why the heck not? I'm pulling rank - my thread, my rules! Within YGS guidelines, of course (That's if you're comfortable sharing). I am painting inside the lines, right Mods? I see you nodding. Good.

Apart from their long waiting lists, I can't complain about the level of service and dedication my mother and I received at Groote Schuur Hospital, although it took over a year of tests, prodding and pricking for them to detect the cancer. The food, though, is unpalatable - even to the eyes. I wouldn't feed it to the stray dogs around my neighbourhood.

Thank you for reading my account and for your comments. A big bear hug for the positive vibes. Yep, Cape Town is not just a place - it's the blood that runs in your veins. I might consider Durban if I need a change of scenery.

I hope your daughter and grandkids are still doing well. Granny kicked [at] $$!

Warm regards
LuciaJacinta (8 stories) (291 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
I don't discount it could be paranormal. But, with her health concerns, do you think it could be medical? My first thought was a blood clot that dissolved itself. The pressure feeling is common in heart symptoms, and a bruise could be a result of a vein clot.
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-30)
Aporetic - I am so sorry to learn that your mother has cancer and I sympathise with her and your family as well. I lost my mother to leukaemia when she was 64 (1989), as well as other family members (different types of cancer) after that and I know the toll that it takes on the entire family.

Happily your mom seems to be doing well at the moment and I hope she continues to recover at a rapid rate 😊 These days more and more cancer patients are treated successfully.

I think your mom might be very vulnerable due to her current health situation and whatever entity is in your house is fully aware of that. It doesn't matter how religious and pious she might be. I come from a very staunch Catholic family and oh boy, was my childhood home ever haunted 😨

Perhaps she is experiencing sleep paralysis to an extent but it doesn't seem that this is all that she is experiencing. Well, she says she has been bothered by "something" for a while.

Is it possible that the bruise is due to her medical condition? My mom used to bruise but that was to be expected due to the leukaemia.

I don't know what your religious affiliation is and I really don't want to offend anybody. My daughter had some mild activity in her new home. I could only just sense something but it was definitely nothing malevolent or in your face, so to speak. I know because I spent a weekend there, although she only lives 15 - 20 minutes drive from me. Anyway my daughter wasn't happy because of the kids. To cut that long story short, I gave her some blessed holy water and told her to make the sign of the cross on her children's foreheads every night. According to her, her two small children seemed to be affected. I have to admit I'm rather a lapsed Catholic but old beliefs die hard! The two of us did some cleansing in her house as well but I'd rather not go into all that after the drama we experienced on Bathrick's story about cleansings. You're welcome to email me, if you're interested, and I'll let you know what we did. She says her house is now "ghost free". Whether that is psychological because she has so much faith in her mother, I really can't say.

Put the grim reaper and similar thoughts out of your mind. I seriously doubt whether the scary soul collector is out to scare and bruise her.

Most of the government hospitals in SA are seriously bad, over-crowded and under-staffed. A lot of them are nightmare material.

I'm sending good vibes your way - it's easy for me to send them to Cape Town ❤ I miss that place so much 😭 As they say, once a Capetonian, always a Capetonian.

Regards, Melda

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