Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Beauty From Pain

When I was eight, my uncle, who used to be very close to me, died. As part of the family ritual, all of us went to the province for the wake. Since I was still a grade school student then, we just stayed for the measly weekend before we decided to go home. It was my first time to look at a loved one over the coffin then. And as frightened and anxious as I was, it felt really nothing, it’s as if I just looked at my uncle, only he was dead.

As we were headed home, I could still recall seeing myself in a trancelike state almost all throughout the entire trip --- between the state of wakefulness and slumber. It’s as if I was dreaming, only I was partly awake. And in my dreamlike state I saw my dead uncle talking and interacting with me as if he was still alive.

My mom said I was crying that entire time. I fell acutely ill for almost a week and I wasn’t able to go to school. I’m having this vague feeling as to whether I’m having hallucinations or I’m just dreaming. Because all those times, I was seeing, talking, and living with my dead uncle’s spirit.

When I told my mom what was happening, she dismissed the idea and thought that I was just seeing things, as me and my uncle used to be really close when he was still alive. However, when I fell seriously ill then—I was having chills, unexplained fever, night terrors, and crying spells—those incidences prompt my mom to consult my pediatrician.


My doctor said that everything is normal.
No pathology could be determined, nor any organic abnormality be established. Since I still feel worse at that time, we finally consulted a child psychologist.


It was post-traumatic stress disorder, told my psychologist. I wasn’t aware of that term back then, nor I’m not really sure if that was my exact diagnosis really, but I recall that what was happening is due to a traumatic event my emotions/psyche could not handle. I was given a short-course therapy of defusion and some psychological exams to ascertain my wellness.

It was a really short therapy session. I was well by the time I finished 1 month therapy. I resumed my studies, and thankfully finished on the top of my third grade class.

Months passed and the same visions ensue. This time I did not tell my parents of what was happening. It is in this time that I discovered my special gift. Just like in the movie.

I see dead people.

And I think this is one thing I just have to live with. Not only for this Halloween, but for the rest of my life.

Images from flickr.

47 comments:

crazed_heck said...

PTSD...post-traumatic tress disorder...i think i have that too only a lot different...

and you see dead people? that would be cool...ano feeling?...pasexa sa questions ha, interested lang...

KC said...

Ah just like my cousins. They saw our Grandma when they were still little. Hindi na nila kasi naabutan yung lola ko. She died a year before my cousins were born.

I only feel their presence but do not see. When I was a child, nagparamdam si Lolo. I felt pressure on my head, as if a palm is resting on my head while the air smelled of gangrenous tissue (He had Buerger's disease). My lolo used to do that to me kapag natutuwa siya sa kalokohan ko. Nagtatakbo ako sa Mommy ko...katakot eh. Haha!

coach said...

tapang mo. hanga ako sa mga taong may ganyang skills. di ko kaya makakita ng multo baka himatayin ko. happy halloween.

aries said...

mare, ipadala ko dyan astral drop ko. usap tayo...chos!

KRISJASPER said...

hello.. nice post.. scary though.. ako d ko kaya yan..

JOSH said...

oh my, oh my Rufruf, and you live alone in ur rooftop. I already told u about not sleeping well for almost a month after seeing dat movie, Yikes!

Anyway, Happy all saints day! :)

Marcus: Bading Down Under said...

I can't imagine living my life with that gift (of seeing dead people). I think I have neither the inner strength nor courage for it. Still, it seems you are coping well and that's always good. :-)

LAD said...

hey ruff, call me with my name LAD, haha im not NETHER anymore. :D

oh well, thanks for the visit, i really appreciate it. PTSD haha. ive encountered lots of patients with that during my mental-ward-duty years.

you sea dead people? i also do, in the morgue. haha kidding side. :d support my site ads, will you? haha thanks thanks.

Bryan Anthony the First said...

may nakita ka na bang cute na dead people??

goddess said...

ndi ko talaga kayang tumingin ng patay sa loob ng kabaong.. i dunno.. ayoko ko kasing marecall yung face nila.. scary..

the nomad said...

i'm torn between wanting to see dead people or not. i'd like to befriend one and see how he/she sees things from his/her point of view, and also talk about things i'd rather not share with anyone alive.

any advice mr. clairvoyant ruff?

akosikai said...

OMG!! u see dead peope nurse ruff tapos nurse ka, tsk tsk tsk..

eskiri,=(..

Kiks said...

one time naadik ako sa big awesome house party something ni Bloo.

ginagawa ko yan habang inaaalala ko ang lolo kong nagpakita sa akin nung bata ako.

daw.

post-traumatic ang moda ni doctor. back in my early 1980s days, magpatawas na lang daw kami.

kalansaycollector said...

i have this fascination with the supernatural. umabot pa ako sa point na hiniling kong magkathird eye.

until now actually...

i want one.

...

but ewan kung kaya ko kung andiyan na. haha.

Phoenix said...

Hi Ruff, they say its a gift to have an eye for the supernatural realm (spirits and all), but it's a scary gift.

Perhaps you were really heartbroken when you saw your uncle lying in a coffin. Death is never an easy thing to handle, especially if that someone was close to you...

I choose never to look at my relatives or friends who passed away through a coffin.. I just want to remember them as they were-- vibrant and happy. Seeing them lifeless might take away the happy memories, I believe. But that is just for me.

I'm sure by now you have learned deal with the gift you have.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@CRAZED HECK: I’d like to believe that after every stressful event, we enter into a certain phase of disorganization and disarray. I guess it just took me quite a longer time to recover back then.
~The feeling? Lets just say there came a point when I no longer could distinguish what is real from what isn’t anymore. That freaky.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@KC: Kids usually have that innate sensitivity. Like in Reese Witherspoon’s Just Like Heaven. They have a certain capacity for knowing the supernatural without exerting much effort. I think the gift either digress or develop, to which in my case, the latter happened.
~When our loved ones die, they enter into another dimension --- one that is beyond time, space or matter. It just happens that ours, and theirs, sometimes do coincide, and at times we feel their presence.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@COACH: Haha. Actually, it runs in the family coach. My mom, my dad, and my eldest sister have much spookier stories to tell. And they knew all about it all along.

@ARIES: Astral projection, mare? Gugulatin na lang kita pag bigla akong mag-aparisyon sa ulap. Welcome back aries, warrior princess. Kamusta naman tayo diyan?

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@KRISJASPER: Don’t worry, hindi ko rin kinaya sa una. It just takes some getting used to. If all else fails, half a tab of Valium does the trick.
~Thanks for the visit Krisjasper. Really nice of you dropping by.

@JOSH: Haha, I know, Josh! We used to have a resident ghost at our rooftop a few years back, but now he’s gone. I wonder where he is now. I kinda miss him. Hahaha.
~That line will always be a classic, “I see dead people.” I just never knew that that would happen to me after all.
~Have a meaningful week josh.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@MARCUS: Bading Down Under: That’s what I thought of at first. Too bad some of my family members back then have tried to hide the fact away from me. I think for them, it is better to become a psychologically-disturbed child than to be an extra-gifted one.
~Thanks marcus. It’s been with me for more than a decade now, and yup I have coped. My life would never be the same without it.
~Happy Halloween to you and oli. And david too.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@LAD: Hmmm, you’re reinventing. I like that. Well, hi Lad. Glad to see you back.
~Good thing my PTSD didn’t resulted into schizophrenia. Or is it? I don’t know, I have no idea. Hahaha.
~My dead people will do everything in their powers to support your ads. I hope you do the same with mine. So far, I’m earning nothing. Hahaha.

@BRYAN ANTHONY I: Hahaha. Not yet bryan, not yet. I’ll let you know if in case I happen to encounter one. I’ll even ask him to visit you personally. Hehehe. Kidding.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@GODDESS: Haha, ayoko din. Kinwentuhan kasi ako ng sister ko na apparently eh meron ding gift. Nung sinilip niya yung kabaong nung tatay nung friend niya na namatay, narinig daw niya na nag-s-snore yung patay, tapos nung nilapitan niya, nagmulat daw yung mata.
~Pagkatapos nun, hayun, hindi na talaga ako tumingin sa mga patay. Not once, not ever. :-)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@THE NOMAD: Hmm, there’s actually no hard and fast rule. I’d like to think of this ability as a gift, though I’m not into communicating with them. My friend adviced me not to because they might develop some earthly attachments and that ain’t really good, trust me on that one.
~It’ll come you know. It’ll eventually come out if you really have the gift. What I’d like to do is to prove other people’s assumptions as incorrect. That it’s a curse, or not possible, or satanic. It just happened that I’m a tad different, but that doesn’t mean I’m not normal. Just gifted.

@AKOSIKAI: Exactly. But it could be worse, you know. If I’m an embalsamador or a coroner. No wonder I’m not into forensics and legal medicine. I’m not that brave.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@KIKS: Ako naman ang gusto kong makita eh yung mga guardian angels ko (kung meron man). But I guess that would be too much. Hindi pa ako ready. Hehehe.
~Naaalala ko pa eh nagpatawas na rin kami dati, with matching ibaon ang kandila effect (no pun intended). Since dati eh ayaw talaga nilang naniwala hayun tinago ko na lang sa aking mga parentals ang lihim. Hanggang hayun, lumabas din ang lihim na sila nga ay nakakakita rin.
~Buti na lang pala hindi ako nabaliw. Korek?

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@KALANSAY COLLECTOR: “Be careful what you wish for” ika nga.
~Yung close friend ko naman na *ganito rin, wish naman nya mawala yung powers niya. Mas lapitin kasi cya eh. We operate on a different wavelength. Mas developed yung abilities niya. And she’s a nurse too.
~You might just get it.

Have a meaningful week kalansay. See you Monday!

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@THADIE/PHOENIX: I agree thad, and I believe gifts are always meant to be kept and used, not discarded nor rejected. I doubt however, whether this is a god-given one or otherwise. Hehehe. I'd like to believe the former.

~My guess is that I really have the gift all along. My uncle dying just served as a catalyst for me discovering it further. And for him, I guess I could be a tad thankful.

~We could either look at death in various perspectives. Death undeniably is a saddening experience, but it could also be interpreted as a liberating one. As a nurse, and as a person, I have always chosen the latter. After all, with the knowledge that our loved ones who passed away are just here with us, who would have the right to be sad, isn’t it?

~Happy Halloween Thadie! Have a meaningful week too. :-) And thanks for the concern, too. Really appreciated it.

Portable Bitch said...

the irony...

ang title ng post reminds me of my sickness...

aCey said...

hi, dear! it must be tough being in your shoes. you were so young when you had all that shock and mix of emotions when your uncle died...

aCey said...

by the way, have you heard of superchick's song "beauty from pain"? :)

crazed_heck said...

salamat sa chamomile tea...minsan talaga gumigising ka ng inis...di pa tpos mga videoke addicts dito despite the pouring rain, they continue to disturb people...di nila alam na sila me kasalanan sa ulan...asar...hihi...kagabi 1am na sila natapos...

KRISJASPER said...

I dont think masasanay ako! Ghost yan no.. Baka 1st tym pa lng, maging ghost din ako kaagad.

kingdaddyrich said...

a gift or a curse?!

napanuod ko nung isang araw na parang isinusumpa niya ang kanyang kakayahan na makakita ng mg abagay bagay na out of this world..

at meron naman na gusto pang mabuksan ang kanyang third eye!!!

omg..

the thing is, kanya kanyang pag handle yan sa mga sitwasyon. kung may roon kang ganyang klaseng kakayanan, gamitin na lang ito sa tama. diba? makakatulong ka pa sa mga nangangailangan!!!

;)

bananas said...

u see them and u talk to them? congratulations! wow! really...fascinating.

pat said...

seryoso?

and you're a nurse. you work in hospitals.

mag-pray ka lagi ha. Ü

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@TONSKIE, Portable Bitch: I guess we do share the same sentiments tonskie. There indeed is beauty amidst so much pain.
~What are you feeling sweetie? Is there anything I could do for you? :-)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@ACEY: Tough, hmm, probably. But I'm enjoying it every once in a while. Like I always say, it just takes some getting used to. My uncle died when I was little, my favorite teacher died when I was still little too. Probably its just that I was exposed to the concept of dying at an early stage that I became prematurely traumatized. Good thing I have learned how to cope.

~And Yup, the title of my post is inspired by Superchick's song of the same title. I'm their huge fan. I also have a post entitled "Stand In The Rain." You might like it too.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@CRAZED HECK: "What doesn't kill you crazed, can only make you stronger" sabi nga ni Kanye West. If you can't beat them, join them! Malay mo, maging videoke-buddies pa kayo ng mga kapitbahay niyo. Hehehe.
~But that's just me. :-)

@KRIS JASPER: They're not that hostile naman. Atleast not most of them.
~I still haven't encountered one that scared the shit out of me though. But I know there'll always be *that first time. :-)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@KING DADDY RICH: I agree kingdaddy. You've said it suuupperr right! :-)

~Sabi nga ni Phillip Dick (insert *pun here) "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." I could either look at in either of these two perspectives -- a thing to be accepted or a thing to detest. If I'd choose the latter, siguro I'll just be fooling myself with the thinking that denying it would serve me right. But then again, why would I do that to myself right? :-)

~Mahirap siya, and it's something I don't deny. Its just that, for things I could change, I hope, but for those I could not, I cope. And yup, I'm coping kingdaddy. I'm coping in the best way that I know. Sana nga lang eh magamit ko rin siya. If not now, probably in the future. :-)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@BANANAS: I see them, yup, but I prefer not to do the talking. Sabi ng friend ko, wag daw eh, the last thing they'd want is an eartly connection. And if in case they'd get that, the human would be damned. :-(
~Fascinating, indeed. And not to mention, terrifying too.

@PAT: Thanks pat. The more interesting part? I used to have a classmate who has the same gift as mine. She made me *more in touch of my abilities. And oh, she's a nurse, as well.
~Actually, hindi na kailangang pumunta sa ospital para ma-experience ang mga ganitong pangyayari. They're everywhere pat. And prayers, indeed, are extremely helpful.

lad said...

haha, ive added u sa frndster.

lol dalaw ka sa page ko hehe. thanks sa visit. kapal na ng traffic ng site mo haha

savante said...

Yikes. What a scary post for Halloween. Luckily I read it at home.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@LAD: Oh my?! You saw me at friendster?! That'll be our little secret ha. Just between you and me. :-)

~About the traffic? Sana dumami pa, I'm donating the revenues I'll hopefully earn from my blog to the Pedia Ward of the Charity Division. You gotta do what you gotta do diba? :-)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@DOC PAUL: Wanna try my life doc paul? Just kidding.

~Gawd, I so so love your site doc paul. The sight of Zac makes me extremely delighted, and not to mention horneeeey. :-) Hahaha.

~Have a great week savante. Argh I so love Zac!

dazedblu* said...

it was a bit unusual fer me.. honestly i haven't seen any relative of mine lying down on a coffin.. seriously.

bingskee said...

this is kind of scary, huh.. do you still see 'them'?

chase said...

wow, maybe i should send myself to a shrink maybe i would get smart like papa ruff. heheheh..

wow, really? u see dead people.
that's wicked. i don't want to have that skill though. scarry!

kawawa man si papa ruff. tabi nalng tayo para sabay ma scared heheheh..

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