Thursday, December 24, 2009
Christmas Carol Syndrome
For this auspicious holiday, I thought I’d leave you with a thought about ghosts and their potential role in our lives. My favorite part of ghost hunting (besides getting evidence and being in scary dark places) is helping people reframe their interpretation of the phenomenon they’ve encountered. It can actually be a testing ground for a family and its coping skills. Sometimes, however, it is a sample of a much deeper problem.
There’s a phenomenon I personally call the “Christmas Carol Syndrome.” This occurs when a family dynamic is so dysfunctional that the ghost becomes the scapegoat for everything that’s wrong. The family looks to the unseen to blame for their fear, anxiety, sleeplessness. It’s not the father that drinks too much or the mother who is absent or the siblings who are depressed, it’s the ghost.
The unexpected sounds, feelings of being watched, hair pulling, and visitations at the bedside become an obsession. There was a family on “Ghost Hunters” show (probably more than one, but one that I know of) who had several teams to their home, were on several ghost hunting shows. They seemed really normal. They must have a ghost problem, right? One has to wonder. When a family seeks out so many teams, so many shows to come inside their home to prove “it’s the ghosts,” they’re either attention seekers or desperately wanting confirmation from others, “no, no, it’s not you, it’s the ghost.” These are the sort of folks who need to feel helpless and victimized, tormented, and afraid. They need it because the ghost explains why they’re feeling these things in their home life. Therefore, they don't need to place blame where it belongs and face issues they really don't want to try to approach.
In the tale “A Christmas Carol,” the main character is visited by ghosts from his past, present, and future to show him what he did wrong in the past, how it led to his miserable present, and how much worse it could get in the future if he continues this path.
There are times I wish I could send those three to certain family’s homes.
It’s true that a family in distress can create poltergeist-like activity. What does one do about that situation? Every poltergeist situation I’ve seen involved a repressed anger. Getting the open talk going about the elements that might be unspoken of amongst the family members is the ideal start. Presented to them in the form of everyone putting their cards on the table to band together against the ghost, presents it in a positive light. If they feel helpless, they will continue to feel fear. And the reverse.
I have been very interested in the concept of feng shui and home organization in terms of keeping the house energy flowing properly. You’ve probably noticed the cluttered and dark houses that attract ghostly happenings on the ghost hunting shows. You don’t see ultra modern, neat, and bright homes that have issues. The same goes for families. The energy of the family itself can become balled up and twisted. If they clean out their closets (get their frustrations off their chests), there are no dark places to hide, no taut energy inside their bodies and minds, no feeding source for activity. It sounds rather new-age, but these are trends I see in homeowners complaining about hauntings; congested homes, congested emotions.
The ultimate question is, do these people attract spirit activity, somehow cause phenomenon? Or, do they create a haunting to blame for their bad dynamics? Perhaps they move into a house that is haunted and don’t handle it well because of poor coping skills or team work? It’s really all three of these reasons.
The Christmas Carol Syndrome may sound like a hokey name for a complex problem, but whenever I think of that term in my mind, I immediately want to ask “what about your past? What about your present?” To determine their future.
Have a happy holiday and perhaps take the time to review your own ghosts from the past and the present to determine your future, especially at this time when everyone is prepared to turn a new leaf and resolve to change their habits. If you put it down in writing, for example, “I tend to think of others and their feelings and want everyone around me to be happy. As a child, I hated to see my family sad, so I would be extra cheerful and accommodating. Nowadays, I anticipate loved one’s needs and rush in to fulfill them and make their lives easier.” What is this person’s future? “I will continue to neglect my own needs at the risk to my dreams, goals, and health.”
So, I wish for you a chance to get a visit by the 3 wise ghosts. Don’t forget, these ghosts don’t just show you what you’ve done wrong, but also what you’ve done right. For example, someone might realize, "I am not afraid of hard work. As a child, I could work for weeks on a treefort and not give up. I'd find older kids to teach me how to do it right, ask my parents for the right tools, and work away. Today, I don't give up on projects. If I don't know everything, I find someone who will teach me, a mentor. In the future, I see that no matter what happens, I will always work hard at my projects and have success." Look at your past, your present, and your fate. You can’t get anymore powerful and in control than that.
at 7:59:00 PM