In July 2007, I visited a shaman by using coincidence. My spouse had an appointment with a therapist known as Wendell and, unable to wait, she presented it to me. As I ascended the stairs in Notting Hill, I mused on the reality that I had once labored as a movie editor at a organisation on Wendell Road in Shepherd’s Bush. I hadn’t idea approximately that process for years; it became before I became a father, a comedy writer, a musician and a voice artist – and advanced the calm outdoors that belied my turbulent, contradictory internal nation. It have been 22 years but being cast again to that point made me shudder, as though a wave was passing via me.

As I stopped at the touchdown, the door opened. Wendell, an African-Caribbean guy of about forty, stared at me in a way I didn’t anticipate from a welcoming therapist. He tilted his head to 1 aspect as though to mention: “What’s the story?”“Hello,” I ventured. “Sarah couldn’t come however concept it’d be OK if I did …” Wendell stored staring. He seemed cautious and on edge. “Why?”

It changed into an amazing question. Before I had a threat to reply, or even think about one, Wendell said: “There are two of you. There are of you here.” My instinctive reaction became to do a comedy double-take over my shoulder, but I didn’t. Something in Wendell’s manner become marrying with my ordinary mind and reminiscences at the manner up the steps. And what he changed into saying made feel.

In retrospect, what I assume changed into occurring as I climbed the steps was that the homunculus inner me, realising it was close to a presence that threatened its lifestyles – Wendell – turned into awakening. I recognise that makes me sound, nicely … unsound – but I actually have had a long time to consider this.

Anyway, Wendell beckoned me into his room and asked me to inform him what was on my thoughts. So I advised him the entirety about being abused once I turned into a infant – or as an alternative, gave him a 20-minute summary.

“He’s right here, he’s right here with you,” said Wendell, with absolute certitude. I experienced an extreme sensation of hysteria, as though someone had launched a bag of chaffinches right into a hitherto unknown hollow space internal my chest. Wendell calmly defined that as well as being a therapist, he turned into additionally a shaman. Did I understand what a shaman was? I stated I notion so. Wendell defined further that he should perform an exorcism and rid me of the presence he had detected inside me.There become a flat, padded platform inside the centre of the room, a piece like a massage desk, and Wendell advised I lie on it. He asked me to accept as true with him and stated no longer to be scared through some thing I may see or pay attention. I had seen a couple of therapists and the peculiar counsellor inside the beyond for a consultation or two, lengthy enough to con them (or at least con-vince them) that I turned into best. This felt nothing like that. There became no tinkling water characteristic, meditative song or whale-music. This turned into simply a totally simple, 0.33-ground room in west London, through the windows of which I may want to see the branches of leafy aircraft bushes and hear the sound of passing buses.Wendell requested me to inform him greater about my abuser. None of it came out so as. Rather, there was a series of unconnected sentences. It felt as if the statistics become being proffered by means of a presence inner me, hoping each nugget would satisfy Wendell’s interest. I felt powerless over what changed into being said, but the longer the litany went on, the greater I felt a swelling in my chest.

And then I started to cry. And cry. And cry. Hot streams of tears flooded over my cheeks and spherical my neck. I changed into silent but shaking, because the huge swelling in my torso regarded to pump tears ad infinitum.

“Pffffffftttttt.” Wendell spat a dry, sharp noise from pursed lips, just like the sound of an arrow flying then hitting a goal. There changed into a rattle from a gourd packed with seeds. Wendell moved around the desk and my sobbing shape, his legs bent on the knee, nearly prancing.

He shook around me like the wind, like a kite at the wind, like a shutter clattering – all of the time flitting around me, the mattress, the room. I cried tougher and tougher, the swelling now felt as if it desired me to eject it and all of the time the “Pffffffftttttt”, the shaking of the seeds, the concentrated, forensic attention as Wendell did struggle.