November 2004 Page 23
Life Through Hypnosis
Some years ago, I had hypnotherapy – my husbands idea. I was suffering from postnatal depression. The first two sessions were fairly uneventful. I was tearful and surprised that I was "under," but no more, although I did feel a slight improvement in my general outlook.
Third session, the hypnotherapist asked me (as usual) to think of a happy memory to go back to. I'd been riding the day before (a new hobby started in an attempt to life my spirits) and chose that. After a while, she took me to what I assume was a deeper level of hypnosis.
Suddenly, I was riding another gray horse – not the one I'd been on the day before. And this is the really odd thing. I wasn't me. For starters, I was a man. I was wearing a green army uniform and I had an awareness of a totally different set of memories. I was thinking about my parents and my sister, but they were different parents and a different sister. I had a vivid memory of a desk, which was mine, in a room with a bay window looking out over tree tops – as clearly as anything, but it wasn't my memory. I wasn't married. I was enjoying the weather, which was brighter than it had been for some time. I was riding down a wide, whiteish track. I was heading to a big house. I had to leave a message there.
When I approached, I could
see the house. I think I had been riding through its grounds. It was made of
white stone with a doorway above ground level, reached by stone steps with a
black metal balustrade; it's hard to explain, but the stairs were on two sides
flat against the house. Quite distinctive. I live in the UK and I wasn't there,
but I was British in the memory, more specifically English.
I walked my horse to the back and tied it to another railing near the back door. There was a very large paved courtyard with an open barn on the right with an old black car parked in it.
It was obvious that there was no one in the house, and for some reason this terrified me. I knew I had to go in and check the house over. I had a revolver/pistol (sorry, don't know the right term, a handgun, not a cowboy type, smaller) in a thick brown holster/belt thing and I took it out and entered the house. I checked all the rooms. It was absolutely still and I was petrified. I thought someone was going jump out and attack me or shoot me. I was sweating. The uniform I was wearing felt unbearably itchy. Room after room was empty. There was no one there.
I remember thinking, "They've just left it all." I walked back out into the sunshine and leaned my head against the horse's neck and cried. I can still remember the smell of the horse and the feel – truly as if this had happened to me.
And that's about it. I must have been crying. The hypnotherapist gradually brought me closer to consiousness, but my memory lingered in a dreamlike way and carried on with me finding some childrenin an orchard, but this was more like a dream; the other was just like a distinct memory.
When I was back to normal consciousness, I had a brief chat with the therapist, and said that I didn't believe in past lives or reincarnation, and she said something about a common memory theory: we can dip into others' memories. I just don't know. I can tell you that those minutes remain with me as vividly as my strongest memories, and I feel a kind of kinship with the person I was there, as if some of his memory has somehow found a space in mine.
you have a paranormal tale to tell?