Monday, October 09, 2006

Things I'll never understand...

Every once in a while something will happen that will make me question everything I know. It is amazing how powerful culture and tradition can be in terms of defining what we know as right and wrong. It is simply humbling to find oneself in a situation where if logic, reason and science say it shouldn't be, one still accepts it because it is in our folklore and mores to believe that things like that can happen.

Today I saw the weirdest thing I have seen in my life (well, not the weirdest but it's definitely on the top 3).

At around lunch time, I went to peek around the kitchen to see if my lunch was ready. I noticed that my potatoes were still on the stove even though they looked like they had been ready for a while. That was pretty weird because Candida, our housekeeper, usually takes them out way before they start falling apart. I asked Gladys, the laundry lady, where Candida was and she said that she was in bed because she had a horrible headache and chills and God knows what else.

We worry a lot about Candida. In the 7 years she has been working in my house, she has had two heart attacks. As one might expect, I immediately rushed to the service house and went into her room to make sure that she wasn't dying or anything. I asked her if she was okay and if she had taken her medication (she smokes a lot, drinks a lot of coffee, and is a little forgetful in regards to her pills). She said that she had taken it and that she just had a really bad headache. I asked her if she needed to go to the hospital, she said no but I felt that we better.

I came back into the house and I ran into Ivan and I told him that I was going to tell our mom that we were going to take Candida to the hospital. I went upstairs, talked to my mom but she wanted to go check her blood pressure first. I went back to Candida's room to tell her that my mom was coming to check her blood pressure when I notice that she looked dead. I mean, Gladys said that she had passed out but she couldn't have been sleeping because I had left her wide awake 3 minutes before. I freaked out. I sat on her bed and started calling her "Candida, Candida".

Well, like ten seconds later this woman who weighs a good 200+ pounds and is not exactely a spring chicken anymore, somersaulted off the bed, opened her eyes wide open, raised both arms over her head and started saying "I am not Candida" and chanting God knows what else in some gibberish that I am pretty sure wasn't even country Spanish. At first I thought that she was having some kind of epileptic attack but then I didn't know what that was.

Yeah, I ran out of there like a bat out of hell.

I was coming inside to tell my mom that we didn't need a doctor, that we needed an exorcist when I ran into Ivan again. He was also like "what the fuck?!"

While I was upstairs telling my mom what was going on, Candida was going around my house with a bucket of water and some flowers of some sort making crosses everywhere and splashing water all around our property. Marino, the butler, and Gladys, were all freaked out because she kept saying these weird prayers and saying all these weird things. Yet, all the while they were like "oh! she is just possessed".

Apparently in this neck of the woods is normal for people to be posessed!

By the time my mom and I made it to the service house, Candida was back in her room. She was still in this trance. Her eyes were all weird, the look on her face was strange to me. My mom sat with her and held her hand and started talking to her, who then claimed wasn't a her anymore but a bunch of hims. She (or he or whoever that was) said that they had come because our home needed protection because someone was doing bad things to us and that's why we were sick (flu) and that we weren't doing as well as we usually do. My mom kept on talking to her, and after a while "they" said that "they" were ready to leave.

Candida's body started to pray and her face came back to normal. It was like she was morphing back into herself.

Now, as we all know I am trained as a clinical psychologist. I know that what I saw in there, the
DSM IV probably has a name for. That's the kind of episode that could cause someone to get locked up. Yet, in my culture, apparently this happens all the time!

"Oh she is posessed!"
"Oh now we have another Lourdes" (the housekeeper in our MC house who gets posessed and starts foretelling the future. BTW, she is usually right).

My scientifically oriented brain says "this woman needs help" but the side of my brain that deals with the supernatural if you will, says that "this is normal. It happens". My mother says it's okay. I know that no matter what I should always trust her...

I mean, it's not like any of us here practice voodoo or anything like that. I don't get it.


Grant said...

I recommend you start practicing voodou. It helps in situations like that.

Vince said...

That is some wild and crazy shit! Can I come for a visit?!


AVA said...

You have to tell us what happened next, I mean, what does she remember about that episode? does she feel anything weird?
I'm not sure if I believe in possessions, since I've really only seen them on TV, I'm a bit skeptical, but if this happened in your house and you saw it, I believe you, and let me tell you, it is freakin' scary.

miss e. said...

great story! let us know what you find in DSM IV...

Srta. Gerber said...

WOW! That's wild... but I have seen something similar in Brasil once before. I tried to rationalize it too but in the end just believe that it was something that I cannot understand at this point in my life.

annush said...

Grant: My brother went to hang out with his Haitian friends yesterday. HE said he'd ask them abuot the principles of Voodoo that could help prevent future incidents of this nature.

Vince: Yes.

Ava: What happened next is that she missed the whole 20 minutes of her life that was taking place. In her mind, she made the mashed potatoes! She remembers telling me that she didn't need to go to the hospital, but that's about it. after it happened, she was headache free and her blood pressure was back to normal (and considering all the jumpingg around she did, her heart rate should have been up and it wasn't).
We asked her a bunch of questions at different points during the day yesterday, and she doesn't seem to have been lying. She is a poor country woman and she believes in this stuff! She was pissed though that we didn't ask her the winning lottery numbers :)

Miss e: I think that the DSM IV would say that was an episode of dissociative identity disorder ( ), but it has happened only once so it's hard to say.

Srta. Gerber: At least I am not along in this!

nascosta said...

se montó candida. something like that happended to a housekeeper we used to have some time ago. but it wasn't all that exciting, but it wasn't a pretty sight, she was just there, rolling her eyes, in some sort of trance, but didn't really say anything interesting (bummer). it makes you wonder, if it's real, why doesn't it happen to you, or me, or a friend of yours? what is it that they do to them in the campos? :P

local wannabe said...

Now I'm curious... What is the top two weirdest things you've seen in life?

Anonymous said...

Annush, that is so common, i'm am Dominican and I've seen this type of episodes so many times in life. I'm surprise you haven't, but then again, with all your travelings, maybe not.

Quien fue que se le monto a Candida.. was it papa miguel, or the famous lady, can't recall her name..


annush said...

Local wannabe: The #1 weirdest thing that ever happened to me was when I was a student in Germany. I shared a room with angie in what was once an old military base that had switched back and forth from the Americans to the Germans. During WWII, that base had been German and a lot of bad horrible things happened there.

Angie and I lived on the top floor in the last room to the left. We had heard stories that the building was haunted but we never believed that until the day when we both went out, locked the door and then came back like 5 minutes later to get something we had forgotten and found all the doors, windows and drawers open. We thought someone was just messing with us. But then, that very same night we were just going to bed when there was this weird noise coming from upstairs, like a chair being dragged back and forth. There was nothing upstairs. But we were like "whatever we need sleep". Like 20 minutes later I feel someone blowing hot air on my face and I thought it was Angie because she was weird like that, I opened my eyes and Angie was on her side of the room dead asleep. I was like "ooooookay" so I go back to sleep and it was then that all the windows in our room just opened! Even Angie woke up for that one! We couldn't go back to sleep. We called our friends and invited them to hang out until we fell asleep.

The #2 weird thing, I can't tell you.

Lokita: I think she said the name was Uberoyo or something that sounds like that? I don't know...

Alexei Tellerias said...

That´s creepy. WAY creepy.

Diego said...

Eso fue que se dio entero el discurso de Faraonel

Gabemaster said...

Make sure you pull out the video cam next time it happens. Great Stuff :D