It was a few days ago that I was in a session with the counsellor I go to sometimes – another experiencer of transpersonal sorts of phenomena, and open to taking such as what they are (whatever they are) without trying to explain them off – and I was describing the sense I had of being different from the moment I entered kindergarten, even sooner; it was, and is, a familiar thought. Not an original one. One I’ve had before, and I’ve heard expressed from others, and for me, it went like this:

As soon as I was first dropped into the pen with other children, at a very early age, I pretty well knew already I wasn’t like them. They all seemed to understand something I didn’t. They all took to this shared experience or expectation what being human and socialized and otherwise in on the same trip was about, while I was explicitly aware of being outside it. “They all took to the social imprint,” I told Dr. Tom. “They might not have been very good at it, but they got it, while I just never did, and I understood that from day one.” I never took it as a sense of elitism, or puffing myself up to be somehow better than the others. It was just a lonely feeling, a certainty that I did not belong.

The thing about this wasn’t just that I was expressing something that I knew I’d articulated before – and so had others – but that I felt that I was following an established pattern, both in feeling that sense of alienation, and specifically in expressing it. I don’t know if I can explain this. Talking about the feeling, as much as having the feeling, were both expressing some necessity. The pattern seemed, whether innate or externally imposed, something that in a subtle way I’d been rutted into, a fixed groove, though the sentiment now was, as was my early experience of it, entirely genuine.

I often worry that I’m following in stereotypical lines somehow, or just saying the expected thing in a given situation, and so I may have dismissed this thought as maybe trying to conform to some expected pattern, except that the next day, I heard an interview with an experiencer of a mass abduction describe exactly the same feeling on air. It struck me: he also has to talk about this. He had the very same feeling, but he also needs to tell it. He pretty much expressed this straight out of the gate, in the interview.⁠*

What does this mean? Or, what is this juxtaposition saying to me, if anything?

That he and I are alike? Certainly we are, in that we share that same experience. But are we also in other ways alike? “Sam” (the interviewee) professes memories of abduction. I have no such memories, but have contacts of other sort described in detail throughout this site. Among the topics Dr. Tom and I discussed were the possibility of “abduction” or other visitor involvement at an early age. Certain early memories invoke the involvement of uncommon orders of reality, if they don’t present the more typically-reported images of contact. At least they seem as though they might, to me.

I’ve long considered my experiences as a form of “contact lite” – nothing like the sort of heavy involvement that many people speak or write books about. Many of my remembrances are of things half-seen and easily mistaken, things just as likely to be the suppositions of an overactive imagination as anything else. Yet through these self-doubts something remains, a core of knowing, some handful of images that I’ve never had doubt over, though I may have, for a time, dismissed them. I’ve also often wondered if looking for deeper memories of contact would be a useful pursuit, worried that I might invent what I’d hoped to find, seeking some narrative or cause for my seemingly groundless wounded condition.

* Dreamland podcast posted 11/07/14, host Whitley Strieber. I’d downloaded this the same day as my session, and listened to it the next. “Sam” is a contactee who was abducted among others en mass from a resort hotel in Coronado, CA in the summer of 1994. Coincidentally, I paid a brief visit to this same hotel the following summer while staying on the island, though I lived in Washington State at the time, and knew nothing of these abductions.

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