Monday, February 14, 2011
Karen and Linda (not their real names) were sisters. They grew up in a two parent home with two other siblings, a sister and a brother. Karen was considered the black sheep of the family, and when she became an adult, she moved away from her family. Though she kept in touch with her sisters and brother, the times they spent together were few and far between.
I met Karen when she was in her mid-twenties. She told me that nobody in her family understood her or cared enough about her to build a relationship with her. At one point, she shared with me an ongoing nightmare that she had experienced from the time she was a child. The nightmare was the same, again and again, year after year.
In the dream, she saw every member of her family murdered. Blood was everywhere. The scene was shocking and frightening, because the murderer was Karen.
That dream haunted me for years. But what occurred several years later impacted me so much more, I couldn't help but think that reincarnation might have played a significant role in this family's life.
Though their relationship was strained, Linda called Karen one day to ask if she might stay with Karen and her husband and children, because she was pregnant and didn't want her parents to know that she was going to give up her baby for adoption. Karen agreed to have Linda stay with her family until after the baby was born. She hoped it might bring them closer.
Linda, probably feeling alone in this new city, found herself attracted to Karen's husband and betrayed her sister by sleeping with her brother-in-law. When Karen discovered the betrayal, Karen kicked Linda out of her home. Because Linda knew nobody in the area other than me, I allowed her to move in with me and my family until she found a job.
One day we discussed her relationship with her sister.
"I don't know what it is about her," she explained. "For some reason I'm afraid of her."
"Have you told her you're afraid of her?" I asked.
"No," she said. "But every night I have this recurring nightmare that she has murdered me and the rest of my family."
As the chills ran down my spine, I asked her if she had ever discussed the dream with Karen. She hadn't. Neither sister knew that they had been sharing the same nightmare their entire lives.
Years have passed since that time. I still wonder what underlying thoughts color our perceptions of the world around us. I have so many questions I would have loved to have asked Karen's family. Did they ALL share this same nightmare?
Sadly, Karen died several years ago, and the mystery remains. Could Karen have killed her family in a prior life? How did both sisters have the same dream?
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