monstersunderthebedThis is part of my personal story. Because of what happened to me in Memphis, Tennessee, I have always felt that someone needs to help the kids. Kids need to learn the skills to cope and protect themselves. The problem with this is that most parents do not know how to help their children. That is the purpose of the Monsters Under The Bed series. I want to help parents learn to help their children. To do this, I need to share my experiences, learn about others’ experiences, and gather as much information as possible. Monsters do exist, but unless we work together, the monsters will rule.

My story started when I was very young. I had run-ins with various spirits, but somehow most of them gave me comfort. Of course, most of them were in my grandmother’s home and she protected her home thoroughly from evil. She did the same everywhere we lived. Once we moved away from her, I was no longer protected. My mother had never had an experience and had no clue how to protect our home or how to protect me. All she could do was comfort me, but even that was not enough in Memphis. I remember it all very vividly, although I was very young.

When I was three, and my brother just a baby, we were moving to Booneville, Arkansas, but because of various events, ended up staying in Memphis, Tennessee. My parents found a shotgun house, with each room lined up in a row. Looking back, I would guess the house was built in the early 1900s, but that is just a guess. All in a row, were the living room, our bedroom, the kitchen, and then my parents’ room. The bathroom had been added later and was beside the kitchen. I told mom that the house felt funny, but she said it was because I missed Beaufort. Soon enough, we were settled in and fit right in with the neighbors.

We moved a lot during all of my childhood, but always had a piano. It was something mom took pride in; bringing music into our lives. When we moved in, it already had a piano, so mom was ecstatic. It was a very old player piano. I would tell mom that the lady in the dress played the piano at night, and she comforted me by explaining that this piano could play itself, leaving out the fact that that mechanism was broke on our piano. I knew that the lady played it, but she wasn’t hurting anyone, for now anyway.

This lady resembled a school madam. She wore a long dress that was a dark blue with a very high white frilly collar. She wore her hair in a bun and always had a scowl on her face. She seemed to like to annoy me more than anything. For my birthday that year, I had a smurf cake and mom put the village pieces on my dresser when I wasn’t playing with them. In this shotgun house, my bed was on one side of the door and my brother’s crib and the dresser were on the other side. This lady would walk through our room and knock over my smurfs. She was just annoying me and I would complain to my mom and she would tell me to relax, that she couldn’t hurt me. Mom truly believed that, but in my heart, I knew better. I knew that these monsters and things that were not supposed to exist did have the power to hurt you if they wanted to.

Things got bad one night and it was the last night that I would sleep in my bed. I would get in my brother’s crib with him. She never messed with him. I should explain this first; we moved a lot. And I really mean a lot. Because we moved so much, and sometimes it was a last minute move, I lost a lot of things. I would keep my favorite things in a canvas tote and keep it with me all the time so that I wouldn’t lose them. When I would feel scared or anxious, I would take my things out, look at them, play with them, and it would make me feel better. I would put them back and all would be right with the world.

One night, the piano playing was keeping me awake. It was a creepy song that was just getting louder and louder, yet no one else seemed bothered by it. I had a horrible feeling in my stomach and my chest was getting tight. I was really getting scared. I didn’t know until I was a teenager, but I was having an anxiety attack. I got out my tote. I was playing with my things when the lady walked into my room. She glared at me with these evil eyes and started knocking my smurfs over. It may not seem like a big deal to most, but it really scared me, especially the way that she was looking at me. I yelled for her to leave me alone. Just then, the doll I was holding flew out of my hand and across the room, hitting the wall above my brother’s crib. I let out the loudest scream I could muster and she disappeared.

My mom came running in and she calmed me, already realizing that I was having an anxiety attack. I explained it all to her. Once again, she told me that the lady couldn’t hurt me. I knew better, especially after what happened; that look told me everything I needed to know. I knew that if she were given the chance she would hurt me, but I had no clue why.

After that night, if I stayed awake after mom and dad went to bed, I would either lie on the couch or sleep with my brother. If I fell asleep in my bed, she would wake me. I would usually lie there and pretend I didn’t see her. Sometimes, she would pull my covers off and sometimes she would throw things at me. I knew that if she could do that, she could do more. Eventually, she did ease up some. I think this is because I was ignoring her.

Not long after this, my grandmother got really sick and we ended up moving back to Beaufort to help her recover. I was so excited to get out of that house and to be where I would be protected again.

What happened to me in Memphis may not seem like such a big deal, but it was the first time that I was actually scared by a spirit. Think about it from a three or four-year-old’s point of view and imagine how scary it could be. Looking back on it, I wish my mother had been able to help me more. Sure, she comforted me the best she could, but she didn’t know to teach me to say a special prayer or to tell them to leave me alone. She was as alone and helpless in all of this as I was. She was doing the best she could, which is all a parent really can do.

Looking back, I know what I would have done if it were my child. I would have blessed the room, forced the spirit out of it, and taught my child how to cope with the fear and make sure they understood that I was by their side through it all. I would have taught my child to pray out loud and to tell that spirit to go away. I would have blessed a stuffed animal and had them sleep with it. I would have even put a bible in their bed. The difference is that I have the gift of experience; my mother did not. Those are some of the things a parent can do to help a child. The biggest part of it all is to be there for them and truly listen. If your child is scared of being harmed, don’t tell them that these things cannot hurt them, because they can. If your child is going through something like this, take action. There are many ways of doing this and you can even call a team in to help you. We are their parents and protectors from everything- even the unseen.

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