Working private cases can be emotionally taxing

Sometimes investigators with no locations to investigate take on private cases without truely knowing the responsibility and how involved you need to be. It is more than just an investigation and it can take it's toll on you.
Sarah Chumacero
8th January 2016.
0 comments.
General, Paranormal Investigation.
294 page views.

One of the things that happens when you become part of the paranormal field and you have some sort of social media presence, is people contacting you asking for help. Sometimes it is just a case of they have taken a photo and they want your opinion on it. Usually you debunk the photo and they get really defensive and upset with you for pointing out that what they have captured is simply a bug, dust particle lens flare etc and even though you are able to back up your information, they feel you have attacked them and get upset. Or they are upset that you haven’t fallen for the ghost app edited photo that their friend’s cousin’s sister’s roomate’s uncle took but still stand by the photo as being legitimate. For that reason I don't really review photos anymore.

What I do look at is the geniune people who contact me for advice or help. They are usually people that feel they have some activity happening in their own home. Sometimes all they need is a quick chat on the phone and that is that. In some cases, they want you to get involved and do a house visit. A lot of paranormal groups happily do these but don’t advertise it as it is a very private matter and you don’t want to be advertising someone else’s private business all over facebook just to prove you have done an investigation. There is a lot of emotion involved and speaking in general, the private cases I have worked in the past – there is always a lot more to it than some bumps in the night.

I find these cases extremely emotionally taxing. There is usually something happening in their lives to cause them to be at a low point. Whether or not there is paranormal activity going on or not, this always needs to be addressed and you feel obliged to help your fellow human being in need. This is where the emotional part comes in. Maybe it’s because they have reached breaking point, maybe because you have a common interest in the paranormal or maybe just because you are a stranger, you can become a bit of an emotional dumping ground and they confide in you. This is necessary to get the ‘bigger picture’ but it can sometimes be very difficult to sit across from someone and not feel what they are feeling. We are only human and we all have natural empathy. How can you not be affected?

I personally have a tendency to take on other’s emotions and working these cases used to have a massive toll on me. If I myself am not ‘high on life’ so to speak, I have to stay away. I can’t handle taking on someone else’s problems as well as my own if I am not mentally prepared. The last case I worked on for example, I felt the emotional effects and high anxiety which I had picked up from the client for days. It was a big lesson for me and stuck with me. Whilst I will always try to help someone where I can, sometimes you need to help yourself first. It remains the last private case I worked and will remain that way for these reasons.

Being a paranormal investigator is fun and I find it really rewarding when we are able to help someone. I’m not going to say I’m a paranormal investigator because I want to help people as that isn’t entirely true. Whilst I do want to help people and will always answer the call for help, it is not the initial reason why I became a paranormal investigator. Im certainly no paranormal expert and I am quite honest and open about the fact that I am always learning, and I would never attempt to help a client on my own without my more experienced people with me. When I say more experienced people, I mean not just people who have investigated before, but people who are experienced in house clearings and private cases. People that are trained to identify people that could be suffering from mental health conditions. They can't cure them, but they can recognise that something is not right and point them in the right direction to the professions who can help them.

I find my role in a house call always seemed to be the one that listens. Listened to whatever it is they want to tell me to make them feel better. Unfortunately while they might feel better afterwards and feel a weight is lifted off their shoulders, I usually feel horrible as it is like I have taken on that burden and that weight. There are things I used to need to do afterwards to rid myself of that and usually it is isolation. I have to go off the radar, no facebook (which come on is one of the most negative influences out there I can think of), no friends, basically removing myself from the potential of anything negative and find myself again to get back on track. Half the time I don’t even know who I am so it can be a tricky one!

I guess what I am trying to say is that while we all see investigators running around on tv, the case is usually they go in, do their investigation and leave. There is no emotional connection to someone they are helping and there are no phone calls or messages from a client at 11 o clock at night freaking out because they think something has happened. It’s not all fun and games and if it is something you are going to get into, this is part of it. People will come to you for help and these are genuine people in need. The biggest surprise for me once I started becoming involved in private cases was the emotional toll it takes on you. I didn’t realise how deep it really goes and how emotionally connected you can become. It usually relates to something negative and it can be really difficult to take on so if you don’t feel you are emotionally ready for a case, take a step back and have someone else step in. The client is still getting the help that they need and not at the sake of your own sanity (even though considering what we all do you probably could say our sanity went out the window long ago!)

This was actually the last private case I did. I think in total I have done maybe 3 and you know what? They are not for me and when I get a call for help now, I refer them onto other groups who are better equiped to deal with the situation. There is no shame in saying no I can't do it. Remember it is real life you are playing with, it's not a tv show.

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