11 Nov Eidetic
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Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
Before I begin, let me explain what is happening to me. The technical term for what I am is called an eidetic. You’ve probably heard of people with photographic memories, well that’s what it is, except eidetics are not limited by the visual sense in what they remember. While each case varies in their specific capabilities, feelings of sound, taste, smell and touch can also be vividly recalled at any time. Some eidetics are also known to have the ability to see what they are thinking. This is the category that I belong in.
I have to admit, this ability does have its perks. School is a breeze because I can see my notes next to every exam that I take. I’m able to bring up happy memories that I’ve had with friends and family to help brighten their day. Whenever I get bored I can read books that I’ve read or watch TV shows that I’ve watched in my head.
Seems cool right? At least that’s what people tell me. I wish they were right.
What they don’t know is that I would give anything in the world to be rid of this.
The way that my vision works is that in addition to what my eyes actually see, my brain overlaps whatever I’m thinking of over this and the result is a combination of the two. Therefore the effect of my “mental vision” is limited during the day because my actual vision interferes with it. But whenever I go to bed, and the room is totally dark, my mental vision is given free reign of what I see.
Now one might ask, why is this so bad? As long as you think of pleasant things this must be a very relaxing way to go to bed right? This would imply that you are in complete control of every thought that goes through your head at all times. This, however, is almost never the case. The brain is constantly bombarded with what are called “intrusive thoughts.”
I’m sure you’ve heard the normal creaks and groans from your house at night and you think that maybe someone or something is walking around in the dark. Fear swells in you for a few seconds, but after a minute or so of nothing happening, you are able to shrug it off as your imagination and go to sleep. This is an intrusive thought. Though you know there is nothing there, your brain forces you to think, at least for a moment, that there is. Except with me, these intrusive thoughts conjure an image that accompanies the sound. Sounds in the night are always accompanied by some sort person or creature walking around my room or standing there watching me.
Obviously, this made growing up hard. I couldn’t understand any of this when I was young and just assumed that there were monsters in my room when I went to bed. Many a night my parents would rush into my room after hearing my cries and try to console me even though their presence never made the image go away. Eventually I could understand that the images weren’t real because they were all things that I had seen before and being able to recognize where they came from had a calming affect. I learned to live with, and even anticipate the “entities” that would appear each night.
Until a few months ago.
I had just gotten back to my apartment after a long night working at the hospital and I noticed that my roommate wasn’t home. I assumed that he was out at the bars, thought nothing of it, and went inside. As I opened the door to my apartment, the normal darkness greeted me and my mental vision took over as I walked over to the light switch. Just as I was about to turn on the lights, I saw a man at the end of the hallway looking at me. I could tell that he was just an image, but for the first time, he was something that I had no memory of. He was extremely fat, and had no clothing except for a small, black bolo hat on his balding head. His skin was a light, sickly purplish color and appeared to be peeling across his clearly disease-ridden body. His mouth hung open, revealing a set of gangrenous teeth and pus laden stump of a tongue. But the thing that stuck out the most was that he had no eyes or even eye sockets. They were replaced with lumps of flesh that seemed to grow from the edges of his hat.
My hand hesitated on the light switch and my fear was temporarily replaced with curiosity. I wanted to see what this man would do if I sat around for awhile; he was after all, just an image that my brain had conjured up. So I took a seat on my couch and observed quietly. After a few minutes he started to move. Like all of my other hallucinations, his actions made no noise in the real world, and he just silently shuffled around my apartment. He didn’t seem to be heading towards me at all, nor did he appear to have any clear destination in mind. I started to lose interest and got up to turn on the lights and get ready for bed.
Then he spoke.
A fear, the likes I which I have never known, resonated down my entire spine. None of my hallucinations had ever made their own noises, let alone form words. I tried to rationalize that maybe I had heard people talking either from outside my window, or perhaps outside my door. But before I even had a chance to validate my claims, he spoke again.
“She just wanted to see you again.”
His voice was garbled and deep, and he spoke very quietly, but I heard every word. Panic took hold of me and I bolted for the light switch. As always, the light instantly made the man disappear and I was left alone in my apartment. Relief washed over me, and I tried to make sense of what had just happened. I knew that the voice had come from the man, but I couldn’t figure out how that was even possible. I didn’t recognize him from any scary movie I had seen or any picture on the internet, nor could I recall anyone talking like that. No matter what conclusion I came to, I knew that I would see him again when I went to bed.
He didn’t disappoint. No sooner had I jumped under my covers, he waddled into my room. I tried to distract myself from him by thinking of other things. I resorted to my normal tactic of getting an image of my sister to appear to calm me down. She was always so understanding, even when we were kids, of what happens to me. Her presence made me feel at peace and I relied on her to get me through some of my more severe “episodes.”
However, her image also seemed to have an effect on him. He immediately stopped his shufflings and seemed to turn to where she was. It is difficult for me to describe what he did next because it makes me question my sanity, but he somehow forced her to fade from my vision. It wasn’t possible. I should of been able to keep her in my vision if I thought of her, but for the first time…I couldn’t. As soon as she faded, he spoke again.
“You should of been there. She thought about you at the end.”
A memory was then thrust into my mind. It was of my grandmother; she had been in the hospital for the last few months of her life and my dad used to take my sister and I to visit her. My grandmother adored us, and absolutely loved whenever we came to see her. One time when my dad was going to visit, I told him that I wanted to hang out with my friends instead and he obliged. That was the last time that my dad went to see her and she died a few days later. I felt horrible for not going and regretted it for a long time.
These feelings of regret and sorrow overwhelmed me and I suddenly realized the meaning behind the man’s words. He was somehow able to project a memory that I didn’t want to think about and relive the emotions that I felt during it.
He has visited me every night since then. Each time a horrible moment in my life is wrenched from my subconscious and I endure the sorrow of each event. Each night I am unable to cope with the overwhelming surge of emotions and what little sleep I get is plagued by nightmares of these memories. I see no end in sight and am at my wits end.
I often think of the nature of heaven and hell and whether or not there is a god. Originally I was inclined to believe that there couldn’t exist a god that would allow this kind of torment to be inflicted on a person who, seemingly, did nothing to deserve it. However, I cannot think of a more terrifying version of hell than this. To be forced to relive and reconsider each bad decision in one’s life is the ultimate and most effective method to push a soul to it’s breaking point.
I can see only one way to escape this. If my family reads this, just know that I love you all and I’m sorry for any pain that I caused. Hopefully you will understand.
Credit To – bgends