The Unwanted Guest

I would think that being invaded by a unwanted guest is similar to suddenly coming down with a physical illness. One minute you’re healthy and feeling fine and then you get stricken. Maybe it happens over one day or a series of days or weeks. Maybe it was the flu, or something you ate, or something more serious like diabetes or heart disease, or you were told you had cancer. Even with the very best of intentions and extreme self care, we often have little control over our physical state. There are genetics involved and invisible germs and viruses. If you’re lucky, your flu shot will work. With a physical illness, you can hopefully take steps to heal, such as seeing a doctor, getting plenty of rest, taking a prescribed medication or undergoing a series of treatments and then go on to live a perfectly normal life.

However, unwanted guests are hidden and sneaky. They can creep up suddenly, invade your space or be brewing inside over a long period of time. They can be caused by an ongoing stressful situation before finally taking hold inside. Sometimes this manifests into physical symptoms, sometimes not. You can seem okay to everyone else, until you don’t anymore. You can feel okay physically, but inside you know something is very wrong. If the unwanted guests are really disruptive they might even take on the meaning of a demon. You just want to get rid of them.

The definition of demon is: An evil spirit, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor.

I’m not really a believer in ‘spirits’, but when my mom died by suicide it was as if there was an intruder invading me and my life. It was as if there was suddenly another being, a tormentor beside me. One that I didn’t like. One who had spoiled everything. One that I had to get rid of and defeat at all costs. The intruder suddenly had friends. I was surrounded constantly by the spell they had cast onto my life. They had inhabited my body and soul and would not leave. They were unwanted guests and at times they definitely felt like demons.

At first I did everything I could to ignore them. I went to work and did all my daily routines.  Having order in my life was helpful but nothing I did would rid me of them. They stayed with me during the day, sat with me at night, drove around with me in my car, invaded my dreams. I imagined them to be ugly and mean, gauzy grey shadowy figures there to hurt and torment me. Months went by. How was I going to get rid of them?

I finally decided I would have to confront them. This was the beginning of my transformation.

The Intruder,  oil stick on paper

The Intruder, oil stick on paper