When I was very young, my best friend in the whole wide world was a little boy named Ebby. He was my age with short brown hair, big brown eyes, and he always wore a knitted yellow jumper, blue jeans and red wellington boots. We'd run around playing hide and seek, dig holes in the garden or just sit chatting and singing for hours on end. He was a cheeky thing and sometimes got me in to trouble with his wild escapades, but I didn't care. I loved Ebby to death. There was just one problem; I didn't realize that Ebby didn't exist.
Then one night I went to sleep. When I got up, Ebby was gone. I never spoke to him or of him again. He just disappeared.
Cut to twenty or so years later. I went to see a hypnotherapist in an attempt to get to the bottom of my depression and agoraphobic tendencies. I was very open minded about the whole thing, having no opinion either way to whether I thought it would work or not, or even whether or not hypnotherapy was real or just a hoax to get money out of naive people who were looking for answers to unanswerable questions. Either way, I figured it couldn't make matters worse so I may as well give it a try. The hypnotherapist was a mousy little man with a calming presence, a warm demeanor, and a strange selection of pullovers. I was led to a little room with lots of candles and crystals, and lay on an adjustable bed. (I should point out at this point that I didn't go and see this stranger on my own. I wasn't a complete idiot.) I half expected him to wave a watch on a chain in front of my face and chant, "You are getting very sleepy... very sleeeeepy..." and I was kind of disappointed when he didn't. Instead, candles were lit, a crystal placed on my forehead, and with the help of deep breathing, counting backwards, and a "Sounds of Nature" c.d, I was soon floating away.
In my third session, the hypnotherapist suggested that I try a past life regression. All I knew of this was what I had seen on television, although it seemed that everyone who had ever been regressed claimed they were either Napoleon or Cleopatra in a former life, but I was willing to give it a try. As I said before, what harm could it do? So, once again I was put in a trance, not really expecting anything different to occur. To say I got a hell of a lot more than what I bargained for is an understatement.
The best way to describe it is it was kind of like watching a movie, only you're the main character and you see everything through their eyes. All of a sudden, I was a little girl of no more than five years old. I couldn't tell you the year or the place, but I know I was in a very dank, dark room, that I instantly knew was my home. As the hypnotherapist spoke to me, I was able describe (in a very childlike voice) my surroundings and the people who were with me. Some unexplained instinct told me they were my family. I had a drunken, loutish father, a wide eyed and some what battered mother, an older brother of about ten years old who I despised for being pathetic, and a twin brother I adored. I was hungry, cold and afraid of the dark, but there was no doubt in my mind that I was loved.
And that was when I woke up, shaken by how real and vivid these images were, and not fully understanding if I'd just seen what I thought I'd seen or if it was all a dream.
Whilst in my hypnotic state, I knew my drunken father's name was Edward, and my twin brother was named after him. To differentiate between the two, my brother was nicknamed Baby Eddie. My childlike tongue struggled to pronounce that name, so instead I frequently called him Baydee Ebby. Ebby.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking one of three things, either;
1) She's making this up.
2) There's no such thing as past life regression.
3) The hypnotherapist used the power of suggestion to make her imagine these things.
In response, I can only say;
1) I truly don't believe I made this up The emotions I felt and the things I saw while under the trance were as real to me as these words on the screen are as real to you. I freely admit I could have imagined it all, but it felt undeniably genuine to me.
2) After my experience, I do believe in past life regression but I can understand why so many other people are skeptical about it. There have been so many documented cases of wackos claiming to be a significant historical figure, but little is heard about the people who went through the same experience and found they were just normal, everyday folk in a past life.
3) There's no way on earth the hypnotherapist could have put these thoughts in my mind. I hadn't thought about my imaginary friend in over two decades, and I wasn't even sure if I truly remembered having fun with my non-existent playmate or I just thought I did because of all the tales my parents told me about my very early childhood. And although I had no control over what I was saying whilst in the trance, I did remember everything I said after the event. I know for a fact I hadn't mentioned that I had an imaginary friend as a child to the therapist.
All this took place over ten years ago, and to this day I still don't know what to make of it. I don't know if it really happened, if in another existence I did have a twin brother who died saving my life. The Ebby of my childhood could have been a ghost or a guardian angel, or perhaps my imaginary friend was exactly that; a creation in the imagination of a small girl who wanted someone to play with. Maybe the name Ebby was just some kind of bizarre coincidence, created by someone who was just looking for something real. There are more questions than answers.
All I can really say is this; Ebby, whether you were really there or just a figment of my imagination, you were the best friend I never had.