Cordelia’s story is tragic, not because of where she came from or what happened to her, but because of who she let it turn her into. She gave dominion to the monsters she could not spit out—the demons on her back—the familiar spirits...

Some people live in a backwards world. A world where their lies are the truth, their victims are the villains, their destruction is heroic, their jealousy is humble, their sin is righteous, abuse is love and paranoia is healthy. In their world, when they are wrong, they are right. There is only one side to every story—theirs; anyone who disagrees with them are evil and those who are wise enough not to believe them are stupid. They want what they want no matter the cost and will stop at nothing to get it, or keep it. They destroy reputations to preserve their own and will go to drastic lengths to create the illusion that they are justified in all their actions.

In their backwards world, there is no justice. Those they accuse of all manners of evil are not allowed to defend themselves—if they do, then they are declared crazy—in fact, this is the only excuse ever given to why anyone stands up to them, “I didn’t do that horrible thing to them which I clearly did do, they are just crazy.” These people seek pity and attention, and want to be both the hero and the martyr at the same time. They weave webs of lies and are masters of manipulation, but they can never back their lies up with evidence, because the only evidence they have exists in their warped imaginations. These people are narcissists, and they live their lives backwards because they are cowards who are too afraid to face forward. They live in the past, out of touch with reality because they are selfish, judgmental, deceitful, dishonorable, destructive and hypocritical.

How do I know all of this? Because, I have looked a narcissist in the eye and watched them do everything listed above—I’m all too acquainted with this topic. I could tell you my story, but I can’t bear the haunting pain of its memories. Let me just say, that I escaped the abuse. Yet, my abuser did not. She is still very much trapped within the prison of herself. Her life is sad, lonely and empty. In reality, she is insecure and feels powerless, which is why she is so obsessed with power—she desperately wants some. Not all narcissists are created equal, and she’s not a carbon copy. There was a time that I believed her to be delusional, and perhaps she was, as sometimes it was the only thing that made sense in her cookie-cutter, perfect world of lies. Delusional, however, did not explain how she became narcissistic—that is a whole different devil altogether.

She was born into abuse; everyone around her abused her; her family, friends, and everyone she trusted. The many levels of abuse Cordelia endured were unspeakable and she became what she was made to be, broken.

This broken girl grew up trying to glue the pieces of her self back together, but like Humpty Dumpty, no amount of superglue could put her together again. Yet Cordelia wasn’t an egg or cannon smashed into shredded pieces at the bottom of a tall tower, she hid her wounds well. Quietly eccentric, she lived with racing imaginations, intrusive thoughts and haunting memories. Her flashbacks were not pretty, and she excused them as simple nightmares with no meaning—yet their meaning was as real as her brokenness.

She was deeply religious, as she was raised to be. Yet, her religion was as stable as an ice-covered river. In the bitter cold, it may appear frozen, but the rapids rushing beneath the ice compromised its integrity and kept it from solidifying from the inside out. Only one small shift of weight could cause the ice to snap and be swallowed within the freezing cold waters. Her religious beliefs were formed in the midst of her childhood abuse, and as a result were chains of misery—chains that would not only shackle her, but her whole family, seemingly for all eternity. Yet, she learned to live with these lifelong fetters, as did her family, who were all born in captivity—unawares.

Overtaken by acute paranoia and vivid imaginations, It was almost as if she hallucinated in a controlled way and was able to organize her delusions. This helped her to live with the madness tormenting her mind, but it could not hush the voices, calm her nerves and ease her thoughts which told her everyday that everyone but her was evil. She trusted no one and lived in constant fear. Fear chases away a sound mind, and Cordelia's fled nearly four scores ago. Just an old woman now, she could cause no more harm, right?—wrong.

Cordelia spent many years creating an agreeable facade, one of which even the most skeptical among her peers would believe. She was a master of disguise, costumed as her self—or at least as the version of herself that she wished she was but knew she wasn’t—yet she was determined to be the only person in the world who knew that. Cordelia’s story is tragic, not because of where she came from or what happened to her, but because of who she let it turn her into. She gave dominion to the monsters she could not spit out—the demons on her back—the familiar spirits...

(You have just read the introduction to a paranormal thriller and I hope it left you wondering, what are familiar spirits?)

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