For reasons I still don’t fully comprehend, I never spoke of these things to anyone else. The battle remained with me and me alone.My siblings and I were born into a very religious family. Throughout our childhood we memorized long passages of the Bible in exchange for gifts.
One night, in the midst of my terror, I began reciting Psalms to myself as I lay there sweating. I focused my mind on their meaning, on my nascent connection with the Divine. I filled my mind with their beauty and praise with iron determination to think of nothing else.
The fear eased. I lay in bliss and freedom, able to rest by turning away from darkness and focusing only on light.
The evil in my bedroom never left. But from that night forward I had a powerful weapon to use against it. Even in my dreams I could call up favorite verses and shield myself with them. When I awoke I glared into the darkness and told it: Every time you come for me, I will praise God.
Eventually we moved away from the farm house. My nightmares evaporated with the change in location. Years later, my family and I got to talking about times we had felt afraid. I shared for the first time my experiences in the attic and said I even knew where the foulness was centered.
“Stop,” Steve told me. Without speaking further, he drew a floor plan of the attic and circled a small area beyond the western curtain wall. Every hair on my body stood up and I couldn’t warm up for a long time that evening.