Life was going well. My son and I were living in my mom and dad’s basement and I went back to work early so I could provide for my baby boy. I found a job as a Recreation Therapist at the Salem Manor Nursing home in Leduc. My parents were loving having us home and loving watching their grand baby grow every day.
After a few weeks of getting settled in I started receiving telephone calls from creditors. The S.O.B. Anthony had maxed out all three of my credit cards with online gambling. So, I put my nose to the grind and paid off every single one of those cards while on matt leave (as well as cancelling them). After I started working at the nursing home, I received a call from Revenue Canada. I owed over three thousand dollars to them because Anthony screwed up his income tax. Again, I put my nose to the grind and got it paid off. Then as if that was not enough, I got a call from Telus. He had not returned our satellite box that was in my name and of course I owed over two thousand dollars. And again, I put my nose to the grind and got that paid off. I refused money from my mom and dad. I think I had my mom help me out with one insurance payment and one speeding ticket which I am so thankful for. I had so much pride and wanted so badly to provide for my son on my own that nothing was going to stand in my way and I would not take a hand up from anyone, I was already letting myself down that I could not afford a place to live. Although I know my mom and dad were more than happy having us there, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it!
The last straw was the cell phone bill. It would happen every single month. I would go to use my phone and it was disconnected. Anthony again had not paid his half. With it being in my name I would have to pay for it to be reconnected and pay the full bill. I had enough. He was living with his girlfriend and her kids and not paying me a penny. I decided it was time for court. I had to pay to have him served. It just so happened that the day he was being served my phone was once again disconnected. I decided to call Telus and asked for them to cancel his phone. Now I was at work on my lunch in my office at the time and talking to Telus on the work line. Telus told me there would be a fee to buy out his contract and cancel the phone. By this time, I was pretty tapped out. Just then I got a text on my cell phone from the man who served Anthony his papers warning me to document any interactions, texts or emails from Anthony as he was livid and through the roof at me. Just then my cell phone rang. It was the number from Anthony’s work. I asked the gentleman from Telus to hold while I took the call. Well let’s just say the Telus man heard every word through the yelling from Anthony through my cell phone. It was so horrendous the Telus man said, “Ma’am I will gladly disconnect that phone free of charge and I wish you all the best, I am so sorry you had to deal with this.” Finally, peace…. or so I thought….
I worked so hard and pinched my pennies. The day came my son and I could afford our own place. Again, I am very thankful and appreciative to my parents to letting us move back home but I wanted to do it on my own. It was just something I had to do to prove to myself. I had been told over and over that I couldn’t make it without Anthony and I was going to prove him wrong. I found our place. A tiny three-bedroom older home. I loved it. I loved it because it was ours. Just my son and I. I was finally providing for him on my own. I wanted my son to be proud of me when he was older and to see that I did it all for him and to see what can happen when you work hard for what you want.
The day that changed our lives forever was in this moment. We had been there for about a month and my son was two years old. My mom and dad said there was not a very welcoming feeling to the home. They didn’t like it. It felt dark. But no matter what I was going to say the opposite because it was ours. We were packing our bags to go to my cousin Nick’s wedding in Kamloops. It would be my Bear’s first airplane ride. We were so excited. My mom was over helping me get our things together. My son was pulling his suitcase on wheels around and he stopped and turned to the west wall beside the door and waved. He said, “Bye man.” He looked at my mom and I, waving he said again, “I said bye to the man…the Bad Man.” My mom and I looked at one another quietly for a moment. Then with all the business of packing we carried on. It wasn’t until we got back from Kamloops that the house started to become active.
My son would not sleep in his bedroom. He had to sleep in my bed. I was okay with this because I loved his cuddles. But then he began getting sick. I cannot recount how many weeks of work I missed because of this. He was always fevered and lethargic and the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with him. They chalked it up to being in daycare and being exposed to others germs. I became close friends with two of his day care workers and they approached me one day asking, “Who is the bad man your son talks about?” I looked at them blankly and said, “What?” They explained that my son would talk about the bad man who lived in our house. Now I was on edge. That very same night we were cuddled in bed together almost asleep and all of a sudden, I heard my dishes that here drying in the rack suddenly smashing to the floor! I was so full of fear I jumped out of bed and ran into the kitchen. Not a dish was misplaced from the rack. I thought okay this is in my head because of what we talked about earlier. There were no dishes being broke. You imagined it. But when I got into bed my son rolled over to me and said sleepily, “you break glass mommy?” I told him it was okay and to go back to sleep.
Another night we were cuddling in bed. I was awake and my son was asleep. I had one of those tall paper Ikea floor lamps beside my bed. All of a sudden it started flashing on and off. I thought maybe because it was an older house that the wiring was bad. I threw my blankets back to get up and unplug it from the outlet but as soon as I sat up my bed started shaking! I laid back down and pulled my son close and threw the blankets over our head praying for it to stop. Instantly the bed was still and the room was silent. Was this just in my head? Was I loosing my mind?! That’s when my son opened his eyes and said, “Mommy quit moving so much I cannot sleep.” I laid there, tears streaming down my face holding my son telling him, “Sorry baby, go back to sleep.”
I was always petrified to go downstairs as it was a bare foundation and dirt. There were two giant black holes in the north and south foundations. I always felt there was someone down there watching me. I would move as fast as I could and get right back up those stairs. The next night as we laid in bed together sleeping, I heard someone walking up those basement stairs. I kept telling myself it was all in my head. I heard them walk down the hall to my son’s room in the back, go into the washroom, into the living room and stop right outside my bedroom door. They stood there for a few moments and then went back down the stairs. Who was I going to talk to about this without them thinking I was crazy?
Small things like this continued to carry on. Every night I heard a new sound. My leg razor and shampoo bottles falling off the ledge into the bathtub, cupboard doors slamming, the back-dead bolt locking and unlocking. It was as if each night it made the sounds louder and louder trying to get me to acknowledge it. I was scared if I said anything people would think I was crazy and lock me up and take my son away. I had already been through enough getting him to safety.
Finally, some friends invited me over for a backyard fire to have a relaxing night. It just so happened they lived in the house I was in before me. I got my son a sitter and I went out for a few hours. It was nice to take a breather. The fire was warm and relaxing. They had mentioned their friend Derek would be stopping by. I felt I needed to meet him before he was even there. Something went sideways though and he said he couldn’t make it. My heart dropped. But my friends pushed for him to show up. As he walked into the back yard I knew instantly. Who was this guy, how had I never met him before? I needed to know him. There was an instant friendship between us and we talked for hours. It felt like I had known him my whole life and all of my previous life events had brought me to this moment here and now to meet him. Everything had to happen the way it did so I could have my son and meet this man Derek Chaney who would become my son’s father, my husband and life long supporter and partner in life.
After visiting for a while, I spoke up to my friends and asked if they had ever experienced anything in the house when they had lived there. Instantly the kids and my female friend looked at the dad and said, “See! We told you dad!” My mouth dropped open and I said, What?” They explained that they always heard footsteps, doors closing and just weird noises in the house. Well this is not what I wanted to hear but it was validating what I was hearing and experiencing. I explained to them some of the events I had happen in the house. Derek was intrigued by this. He explained as a young child he as well also had experiences with spirits. I left that night anxious to see my Bear, happy to have had my events validated, over the moon with excitement that I had met Derek but full of dread to re-enter that house.
That night it was the same thing, footsteps, dishes, the lock and this time slamming bedroom doors in the back of the house. I laid there holding my baby boy keeping him close. The next day I received a Facebook message from Derek asking if he could come over and ghost bust. I was so exhausted from no sleep, and tired of being scared alone that I responded, “If you’re that stupid to want to do it than by all means come on over, I would love the company.” …….
(Writing this fills me with anxiety. It takes me back to the most intense fear I have ever felt. What I am about to tell you of what we saw and experienced has left me with some type of PTSD but I know this is my therapeutic way of dealing with it.) Continued