Abandoned in an emergency room at the age of four with her name written on her forehead in Sharpie and a mysterious tattoo of a door on her back, Jane grew up in foster care and learned early on that blending in with normal people was the only way to survive.
Published: October 8th, 2018
Jane has spent her entire life hiding. Hiding under bulky clothing. Hiding behind books. Hiding behind glasses. Abandoned in an emergency room at the age of four with her name written on her forehead in Sharpie and a mysterious tattoo of a door on her back, Jane grew up in foster care and learned early on that blending in with normal people was the only way to survive.
Now, at the age of 16, Jane is hoping to get a fresh start at a prestigious college on a full scholarship. With limited resources and no family to help her, Jane takes a job as a live-in companion to a wealthy old woman who lives near the school. Jane grows to care for Miss Adele and loves her new home, the magnificent Thornfield Hall, even though everyone says it’s haunted. She doesn’t even mind Adele’s brooding grandson, Edward Rochester, who the locals believe murdered his first girlfriend. At first Jane tries to stay away from Edward, but she can’t help being drawn to him. As her attraction grows, so do the whispers about the dark secrets that Edward is hiding. After Jane witnesses several improbably accidents, she realizes that any sensible girl should run away in terror. She realizes that only a fool would stay, yet she can’t make herself leave no matter how dark the shadows grow and how real the ghosts become. As her fears escalate, her tattoo begins to change and spread across her back. Jane knows something wicked lurks at Thornfield and she knows it’s connected to her. She knows the only way to stop the darkness is to run, but somehow, she can’t seem to find the strength to leave the only person she’s ever loved.
When A Therapist Writes About Ghost Stories:
Pros and Cons
For me, writing about folklore and studying ghost stories and the paranormal has always played into my fascination with Jungian Psychology. For those of you who aren’t familiar with psychology, Carl Jung was a Swiss psychoanalyst who first studied under Freud’s tutolidge but later broke free from Freud because of major theoretical disagreements. He spent much of his time studied mythology and folklore and looking at the universal human elements that can be found in cross cultural studies of these parts of the human collective unconscious. He believed ghost stories and folklore told the stories of our fears and were our way of working through our fears and sorrows.
Every therapist has their own theoretical philosophy, for the most part I practice using cognitive behavioral therapy, however some patients need more than this. My clients who are struggling with existential crisis and spiritual issues love having a therapist who is a Jungian Analyst who can discuss the meaning of life with them and not just irrational cognitive constructs. For me, ghost stories and my passion for the paranormal only bind me more closely with the Jungian ideas. They are universal stories that every culture has and embraces that help people come to terms with death, loss, and the afterlife. They help us address our subconscious fears. So I don’t see a negative in having a passion for ghost stories and folklore as a therapist. I only see people processing grief, letting go, and facing their fears.
A Lot of people also ask me if my passion for writing about haunted asylums isn’t demeaning to the mentally ill. Many people see this as a con as a therapist. However, I have worked in many inpatient psychiatric units and they are filled with people who are forgotten and abused. History often forgets the mentally ill. They are marginalized and the stigma associated with mental illness often makes them targets for hate and malice. I feel that many of the ghost stories associated with these hospitals help bring the abuses of the mentally ill to light and forces society to focus on horrible history of abuse the mentally ill have had to endure. It teaches us to see the evil in how they have been treated and perhaps even shift our own perspectives to move into the light. These stories only help us focus on the ongoing crisis with stigmatization and abuse of the mentally ill.
So, to me, when a therapist writes about ghost stories, they are exploring other aspects of the human condition and the story. Therapists spend their lives delving into people’s fears and traumas. Ghost stories are just another way to so do that and to understand the things that haunt us all.
About the author:
Jessica Penot is a therapist and writer who lives in Alabama. Jessica is the owner of Tree of Life Behavioral Health and connoisseur of ghost stories and all things that go bump in the night. She is the Author of Haunted North Alabama, Haunted Chattanooga, and Amazon bestseller, The Accidental Witch.