An excerpt from Alice’s Ego:
‘I need to go and feed my baby girl,’ came Viola’s bright and breezy solution.
‘I’ve loads of food in the fridge. If she goes to the second shelf down, she can help herself or to the cupboard by the sink,’ I can’t leave so am clutching at solutions.
Viola leans over and whispers to me that her daughter has said the kitchen is filthy. Oh yes, yes, it is. I look helplessly at Viola.
The spell, hypnotism, whatever I believe was happening to me, is broken and I leave with Viola. Matilda looks furious, objects and we are gone.
In the car, Viola is telling me that she wants to buy her son a TV for his room while she is up here.
‘I’ve got a couple there. The biggest one made it into the house and I can’t lift it. It’s in the room you two are staying in. Please take it with you for him,’ I insist.
‘Couldn’t possibly. It’s yours,’ she replies.
‘I have such a strong instinct that I need to give it to you. Matilda is livid that it is in the house and I’d like to help your son out. Just take it, it is only a few years old. Seriously, my intuition is screaming at me that I must give it to you.’ Problem solved.
At a local takeaway, I begin telling Viola and her daughter about my experience. ‘I can’t use the washing machine, even if I try to book a time slot in advance. She always has it going, sometimes with one or two things in it, and always on a 2 ½ hour cycle. I’m mostly eating out; she seems to get annoyed if I use the kitchen, although I always leave it clean. She is so cruel to the cat. Poor puss is not allowed in the house, just into the laundry room. Matilda says she is dirty and leaves hair everywhere, has fleas and is very unwelcome. If the cat gets in the house, Toby and her chase it out. Little Toby is taught to kick the cat and laugh. They think it’s funny. I’m spending hours out the back, in the freezing cold, patting and brushing her, she really is lovely, and the only one who knows how I feel. I keep asking myself if I am being oversensitive. Am I unreasonable to be upset about this stuff? You should have seen Sam run out of there.
Vee, she keeps disappearing in the night. What is going on? She keeps all the internal doors closed and the blinds at the front of the house down, claiming the neighbours look in all the time. I’m sure they have better things to do than look in. I have to do what she says. I’m staying there, so am happy to oblige with driving her around, but she is so demanding and there is never a please or thank you, just an expectation that I’ll do whatever she demands’, on and on I went relieved to speak of it. ‘I need to get her help, but don’t know what to do.’
In the morning I asked Matilda if I could clean some of the dishes in the now heavily cluttered and slightly smelly kitchen to make breakfast.
I was met with an affronted look and told, in an exhausted fashion, that she would get around to it later.
We went to breakfast at a local restaurant. Matilda was a combination of I am so busy and important with my paperwork I don’t have time for you, and poor me I can’t afford to go, when I invited her to come with us, even though I offered to pay for her breakfast. Odd, I thought but I was much relieved she wasn’t coming and I spent the day in town with the girls.
In the afternoon, we rested in the soft gentle energies of Glastonbury Abbey. We were the homeless, taking refuge in this deeply spiritual place, the Heart Chakra of the planet.
I had suggested we go to Matilda’s and sit in the front room to rest, reasoning that she would be at the dining table working hard on her Form E. We giggled at this. ‘Honestly Viola, it took me two hours to do mine when I got divorced. She has been at it for months now. What on earth is she doing?’
Viola did not want to go near the house, ‘I felt she was really unkind to me in the pub last night. Like she was looking down her nose at me. She was so rude whenever I spoke, as though she didn’t want to let me speak or what I had to say was of no interested to her. No, I don’t want to go back there. I feel really uncomfortable around her. Why is she staring and making rumbling sounds all the time? Are you paying her rent money?’
‘Yes, but I suppose I should be paying it to Max. She doesn’t pay any of the bills so it is not costing her anything for me to be there. She doesn’t want me to pay, I just feel like I should chip in. As though somehow it will help me maintain some independence, you know. The petrol for running her around is costing me too, though as a non-driver I suppose this contribution doesn’t register with her.’
After a fish and chips supper, we headed to a friend of Matilda’s, who’s flat overlooked the High Street and was perfectly located to watch the carnival on this dark rainy evening.
A gorgeous artist man arrives. He is a few years older than me. He begins a conversation with me. He is open and expressive, discussing his feelings with ease. Matilda rushes in from the kitchen and joins us. Our conversation ends and we dance to the rising music from the carnival below.
‘I’ve left my car in a side street for the last two days, and bizarrely still have the keys in my coat. Viola is sober, so we can drive home. What a stroke of luck!’ I am thrilled, as it is pouring with rain outside.
‘No, I’ll walk,’ Matilda insists. ‘I insist that I walk. I love to walk in the rain. Then I’ll call a taxi. I am not going with you. I’ll see you at home!’
It’s raining heavily and I notice she is leaving with our host and the artist chap. At home, I apologise that I haven’t been able to cook for our guests. Enough! I sit Viola and her daughter on stools in the kitchen and we chat whilst I do all the washing up and clean the kitchen.
I am apologising to them, as I go about doing the dishes, for the appalling visit they have had. I am trying to understand my fear of Matilda and what is happening to me. My behaviour is so unlike me. A text arrives from Matilda; she is at the artist guy’s house for a cup of tea and will be home later.
‘That artist guy seemed nice,’ Viola smiled at me slyly.
‘Yeah, I was having a real connection with him. Then Matilda rushed in an interrupted it all. I kind of felt she wanted him,’ I continued. ‘Remember earlier this year when Jim wanted to take me to the Yew Tree and she wouldn’t let me go? In fact, she went so far as to declare her feelings for him before he had the chance to take me. Did I tell you about it? Max was still living in this house at the time. Well, tonight had the same feeling as that. It was as though she doesn’t want me to meet anyone. Or more oddly, like she will make any man who is interested in me, hers. I mean, she is at his house now.’
Viola bursts out laughing, ‘I said to Matilda that maybe he was the guy you are here in Glastonbury to meet. You know, the one true love for you the psychic predicted. She ran out the kitchen into the front room to you. She jumped up and rushed in like her life depended on it.’
‘Why would she want to stop me dating?’ I’m puzzled. ‘Do you think she deliberately made the kitchen a pigsty so I couldn’t cook for you? Do you think she deliberately arranged for me to be out when you arrived? You know, to make you feel unwelcome, pushing us out, asserting her power in some crazy authoritarian way? No! Why would anyone? Yet she has done some petty and cruel things to me along these lines. Is this her game? Because it’s pretty sad if it is.’
‘Right, let’s get the Tarot cards. Up in your room in case she comes in. I want to get to the bottom of this,’ and I thank Viola for her offer of help.
‘The energies in this house are so black, the blackest place I’ve ever been in. Your room is fine, in fact it’s lovely in here, but the rest of it is gross.’
I agree with Viola’s statement and point out my collection of crystals I have constantly helping me clear the energies.
She smiles, connects with the Tarot cards, and lays out the spread. ‘You have to get out of here. I know you have been complaining about her, but it is a lot more serious than you think. She is out to destroy you. She is so jealous of you. Get out!’
I am confused how could she be jealous of me? ‘I am unemployed and nearly ten years older than her. I pretty well have nothing; how could anyone be jealous of me?’
Viola begins pointing to the cards and working through their meanings. I can see it clearly there in the cards. ‘Things will get a lot worse for you if you stay. Your own spirit guides are constantly showing you that something is wrong.’
Viola lays out more cards and continues, ‘Is she doing witchcraft? I can see her casting spells. Look at these cards, they all speak of witchcraft and mind control. She is controlling your mind with a combination of witchcraft spells and telepathy. Watch the way she stares at you; she is speaking into your mind. You’re such an open person. You are absorbing it all. You’re her puppet. It’s like she wants to own you, be you, take the very essence of you. She is doing it by demoralising you, making you feel small. She is saying awful things about you to other people. Things that is not true. Somehow it makes her feel important to put you down and boss you around.’
I am stunned, in disbelief.
Viola is not. She has seen it, and continues, ‘I know it’s far from normal behaviour, but it’s happening. I’ve listened to everything you have told me, and, with the evidence of the cards, well, I just have to say get out now. She will break you. I can’t stand being here. The energy of the house makes me sick and I can’t bear to see the way you’re being treated. In the morning say my son called and I had to go and get him. We’ll sneak off before she gets up. Nite.’
On the stairs in the morning Viola is saying quick, quick to her daughter. I run out and say, ‘take this TV with you.’
Viola is terrified. ‘No! We need to go right now, get away from this hell hole. I do not want to see that woman. I’ve had a dreadful night.’
I drag Viola into the room and whisper, ‘Get the other side of this TV. I need to leave this place and I’ll never be able to carry it down the stairs on my own. Your son may as well have it! See it as a step to my freedom.’
We struggle, lumbering down the stairs, giggling. The TV is safely in the back of the car. I am hugging her and saying goodbye. Viola is looking nervous. Matilda flings the front door open. She is looking rushed and flustered.
‘What! You’re leaving? No, no!’ Really sweetly, she swings her hips a little and looks girly cute, ‘you said you’d do me a Tarot card reading. Please will you come in for a bit and do it?’
‘No, no, I have to go! It’s my son!’ And with that Viola backed out of the drive.
Tears of laughter roll down my face.
Matilda frowns at me and demands, ‘Did you do my washing up?’
‘Well, it was disgusting.’ I retreat quickly.
I have been a therapist for over 10 years. During this time I have listened to a lot of peoples stories. I began to see there was a theme to many of them and studied archetypes. From this I was able to build a novel that I believe will resonate with a lot of people. I am qualified in Magnified Healing, Massage, Reflexology and Crystal Therapy. I am also a Reiki and Seichem Master. I’ve owned a Crystal Shop and a Harley Street Practice. I’ve travelled the world working energetically. Finding this path and breaking my linage has been my life purpose. It has been a hilarious and sometimes arduous journey that has left me with a unique outlook on life.
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