Once upon a time I spent a summer on the other side of the planet in a place called Papua New Guinea or PNG as the locals call it. It was really good for me to meet black people who were different than Black Americans, as I felt like I was so different from the Black Americans I knew. I remember one night in particular, I was talking with a friend’s sister. We’ll call her Red, because she, like her brother, had red hair (yes, black people can have red hair).
We’re out on the bush talking philosophy with this lady from the bush when she asked me about vampires.
“Do you believe in vampires? I don’t know if I do.” This might seem strange for a 30-something woman to ask me, a then 23 year old boy if vampires exist, but in the bush it was well known that tree spirits inhabited the local river. Besides, I was an expert on vampires, as I had recently read the twilight saga at my sister’s request about a year earlier. I looked deep into her eyes and said,
“Think about it this way. Wouldn’t they want us to think they didn’t exist?” I said, trying to put a twinkle in my eye. Her eyes widened in awareness.
“You’re right!” She gasped. And I almost choked on my spit.
I have no idea what happened after that. In the morning she’d gone back to her village, so I never got the chance to say vampires are not real enemies. But there are real enemies. Poltergeists are real. The amalgamation of negative energy, left over from relationships gone awry. And they don’t want us to think they exist.
The other day I was working on some stuff and I had to run out to the school library to print something out. My wife was on the phone so I didn’t say anything to her. I didn’t want to interrupt her conversation with her brother. Besides I would only be a minute. Of course I’d forgotten that I’m a bibliophile. I’ve got a serious thing for books. I can’t walk past one without cracking it open, leafing through its pages, and sniffing deep, talking long draughts of its moldy, mildewy scent.
Of course I came back an hour and a half later. My wife was, ahem, upset?
“Where were you? You didn’t even take your phone!” She snapped as I came into the bedroom. Apparently she’d been in bed for a while, not sleeping.
The poltergeist had entered the room and was tempting me. Trying to get me to feed it negative energy. I wanted to say “Back off. I’m a grown man. You don’t have to check on me.”
To which my wife would have replied. “You think you can control everything! You don’t get to just do that! You don’t get to just walk out and not say anything,” which of course would have only fed the poltergeist.
But I didn’t give in. I sat down on the bed and said “You were scared, huh love? You thought something might have happened to me.”
“Yes!” She said exasperated. “I didn’t know where you were.”
“I’m sorry. I got caught up at the library.”
“Can you just not do that next time?”She asked. She wasn’t even angry anymore.
It’s not always easy to do. Sometimes the poltergeist gets me before I know he’s there. But I’m getting better at catching him when he rears his head. See here’s the thing – Poltergeists are the enemy. They will lie and make you feel like your partner is the enemy, but above all you must remember that your partner is just that, your partner. The enemy is the poltergeist, and he WILL feed off of your negative emotions and put a huge wedge between you two. And when you learn this it will bring you two closer. Nothing brings a couple closer together than dealing with poltergeist.
A friend of mine calls their poltergeist their cycle. They say things like “we got caught in our cycle, but we were able to see it.” Or “we almost got caught in our cycle, but I noticed we were doing it again.” I’ve heard of others calling it a wolf or a dragon which comes in and rips into their relationship. I don’t care what you call it as long as you remember who the real enemy is, and that as you fight against the enemy you will grow closer with your partner.
Jordan Harris just passed his PhD defense and is waiting for conferral in august of 2017 (YAY). He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has over 5 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families from a wide diversity of backgrounds. He sees clients both in his office and consults online. You can contact him at 318-238-0586 with him online or connect with him through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter @changeencounter.