As I write this, it’s just turned midnight and I’ve had a revelation.
Before we go into the meat of this post, or quorn for those of the veggie persuasion, can anyone let me know why oh why do revelations always happen in the middle of the night – and usually on a Sunday before work and yes, for those who know my current work status, I do have work on Monday, albeit unpaid. My alter ego has a complex preparation for an eight-hour training delivery on Thursday in Southampton about the Financial Planning Regulated Diploma case-study exam. I need my sleep and I’m not going to get it until I’ve laid this demon to rest.
So what’s the revelation, I hear you cry?
Just as I was drifting off to sleep, trying to ignore the nagging realisation that I’d Facebooked an effective promise to get my next blog post written, it occurred to me that I needn’t worry because, in the words of a previous post, a future me has already posted it on my behalf. All I have to do is get there.
That’s when my past rose up and slapped me across the face with a wet kipper.
Unbeknownst to me until now, I come from a long line of skilled conversational hypnotists who don’t have the foggiest idea that that’s what they do. Either that or my mother and my mother’s mother before her back into the mists of time, to continue the atmospherically obscured metaphor, are Antipodean shamen.
Unlikely! comes the retort from my apparently quite vocal imaginary readers.
Well let me explain. As a small child, there are always situations that you find yourself in which you wish fervently were not happening. Dentistry in the 1960’s, for one. A Christmas appendectomy, for another. Not to mention room-tidying and all manner of household chore. Well, my mother had a spell, learned for her mother, which made them all go away.
My fishy awakening came about as the ‘posts of hypnotic suggestion’ theme of my blog dragged itself away from my present and wrapped itself around my childhood. My mother, assuming for the moment that down-under sorcery is actually pretty rare, appears to have had a profound working knowledge of post hypnotic suggestion, time distortion and the induction of amnesia in small children.
How so? I hear… Look could you stop with the interruptions and let me get on with the post? I’m obviously over-tired and positively hallucinating an actual audience, which as a regular bloggee you’ll know about from previous posts, (not the audience, the hallucination), if you’ll excuse the blatant nudge to get another view logged on my blog stats.
The particular mantra, spell or induction was quite simple. ‘Don’t worry. You’ll soon be here coming back‘. As with all pattern interrupts, the incongruity of this phrase for a five year-old boy enabled it to slide straight into my subconscious and weave its hypnotic magic unnoticed.
In another link to earlier posts, this effectively stopped me taking the usual number of snapshots of now that would befit a traumatic experience destined for painful recall later. So, even though the dentist’s drill hurt like hell, by the time I was back in the waiting room I had fewer units of bad experience stored up and the intervening time pretty much collapsed into not very much, thank you. My appendix was removed and I was back home in time for Christmas dinner, to the annoyance of my younger sister who was admitted to the same hospital with the same condition half a day before me but who still missed out on the turkey. The post-hypnotic suggestion was triggered. Time was duly distorted and amnesia induced. Job done. Hoorah for my Mum. Or so you’d think.
Unfortunately, this didn’t really account for my over active imagination and a misguided determination to develop a skill which appeared to enable effective time travel into the future, avoiding all unpleasantness on the way. I may even have known that I was destined to become a hypnotist and called on that future talent to nurture my progress as a spotty and precocious youth. I started to use this spell to carve out longer and longer slices of unwanted or useless time. School Assembly? Gone in a flash. Latin? Couldn’t remember a thing. History became, well, history. So far, so good.
Then I found I could do entire weeks, even entire school terms. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t daydreaming my way through my education. I was just getting to the end of it quicker. Before I knew it, my A-levels were done. I suddenly found that I’d left with good exam results but very few memories. You see, the problem with this particular spell is that it is designed for short-term use. Not an entire childhood. I had unwittingly time travelled right through my youth with the intention of editing out all the nasty bits, of which there were many as with any normal, hormone ridden adolescence. However, I now found myself at the other end of the time tunnel having forgotten to remember the good times as well as the bad.
I still have very few memories of my childhood. Come to that, I have very few school friends that I keep in touch with. It wasn’t until I graduated from University and sobered up that I finally cottoned on to the fact that life is about what happens to you as you grab the next piece of the puzzle and struggle to find out how to make it fit. Now is important. Now is what the past is made up of and what the future will become. Now is the only thing that’s real. And it’s gone in an instant. All that’s left is what you’ve logged and stored to ponder over in your older ages. Store more. Life is fuller that way. Whether it’s good or bad, lead a full life.
I’ve spent years de-hypnotising myself from this particular trance. I now spend most days firmly in the present and I hope I’ve successfully modified the family spell for my children. Despite its drawbacks, it really is useful to be able to reduce the impact of negative experience. It’s just that it shouldn’t be used out of context. It shouldn’t delete them entirely. Apply this skill with care.
So, is my mother a master of Hypnosis? Personally, I prefer to believe the mystic shaman theory of my ancestry. She certainly had eyes in the back of her head and knew exactly what we were thinking or planning as children. She could tell at a glance who had struck the first blow and doled out punishment accordingly. She was always right. Well, mothers always are.
There is of course another possible explanation for my lack of schoolboy mental scrapbook.
Maybe I just wasn’t the sort of kid that other kids liked very much. Maybe I don’t have many long-term school friends because there weren’t many friends in the first place and the reason I don’t remember much is that actually I don’t want to. I’m sure if I thought about it for long enough, I ought to be able work out whether my mother was a gifted caster of spells or I’m trying to forget that I was a snotty oik. The problem is that I can’t, (or won’t), remember enough to decide. So I leave the decision to you. Here’s how;
If you suspect I deserved my apparent lack of school friends, then ‘like’ this post, (I won’t take offence, honest)…
If you’re a fan of matriarchal magic, leave a comment and a request for the spell of your choice…
If you’re undecided, why not follow this blog. You never know, future posts might shed more light…
…and if you’re already following, thank you. I’m hopeful that clarity will eventually emerge.