Many years ago, I had a past life regression (actually, the only one I’ve ever had).
I was a young girl - about 7 or 8 years old and as I looked around, I could see tall ceilings, and greyish, cold looking walls. There were beds all lined up, and lots of other children around. It seemed to me, to be some kind of orphanage.
I made my way into a kitchen and among all the cooking equipment and steel benches, I could see the back of the cook, working away busily. I felt that this was somewhere I would visit when I wanted comfort, and this woman, while I couldn’t see her face, I knew that it was the soul of my Nan (she is still living).*
She hugged me and I continued through another door, which led to an area that I can only describe as being outdoors, but still indoors.
A stream of water and puddles ran through the middle of this area, and in order for me to get to the other side, I had to carefully step on rocks - so I made a game of it and jumped across them, taking care not to get my feet wet.*
I found myself back in the big room I had been in before, and this time, I felt scared. I knew that something big was about to happen. I looked around at all the beds and the empty, grey walls, and felt someone yank at my arm. Before I knew it, I was being dragged towards the exit. I didn’t want to leave, but I was pulled along the slippery floor like a rag doll.
Out the front, I was shoved into a car and as I cried in the back seat, all I could hear were the stones crunching underneath the car as it drove down a long driveway and out onto the main road. All I could see around me through the window was grass. I didn’t want to go.
After a little while the car stopped behind a small stone fence beside a beach. We didn’t go down to the sand, but I could see the ocean and was too afraid to go near it.*
The next thing I remember was being at a beautiful property on acreage - I wasn’t sure whether I was the same age, or even in the same lifetime. This house was set on a property behind a magnificent oak tree. I remember sitting on the tyre swing that hung from it, and looking down to see my black Mary Jane shoes.
Once inside the house, I felt uneasy because there were lots of people inside. It seemed to be some kind of party and I knew that the people there were family. The way everyone was dressed reminded me of the seventies. I clung to a male while I watched everyone around me, and that was the last thing I remembered from the regression.
As Mum and I have been researching our ancestry, there is one person that has stood out to me, and there are some aspects of her life (the little we can find so far) that I feel strongly connected to. Her name is Amelia Connor, and she was born in 1865 in Sandhurst (now known as Bendigo).
The facts (so far)
Amelia and her sister Mary were admitted to the Sandhurst Industrial School in 1874 (when she was 9 years old) after Amelia was indecently assaulted by a Chinese miner. Her mother was living in adultery and her father was destitute and dying. Both Amelia and Mary were taken in as wards of the state due to neglect. They were to remain there for the next seven years.
In 1882, Amelia married (when she was 17 years old) and over the course of three years, moved from Victoria to NSW, then to Longreach QLD, where she remained until her death in 1944 (at 78 years old). Her sister Mary died four years earlier in 1938 in Bendigo. Amelia and her husband would have travelled by boat in those days to move interstate.*
Amelia had 11 children in total (3 of them died before they reached 2 years of age), with her husband Charles Joseph Eves.
Interestingly, my Nan (as mentioned, still living) told my Mum recently that her first ever nursing job was at the very same place as Amelia was - Sandhurst Industrial School (which had turned into a psychiatric hospital by that stage).*
I was born in 1979, which was the era that I saw people dressed as in my regression.
What I’ve discovered since visiting Bendigo
When I visited the Sandhurst Industrial School, I didn’t feel much at the front entrance. It was strangely quiet throughout, for such a large facility (which is attached to the hospital). All I could hear were the birds chirping - that’s it. It wasn’t until I walked around the back, that I was drawn to a loud sound of dripping water. I looked and saw that the sound was coming from a large drain. Then I looked up and saw an overhead walkway that attached the main front building to the one behind it. Underneath were bushes and a garden area, and as I walked through it, I began speaking out loud to myself - “Step, step, over the water, step step”.
I continued to walk, knowing that Amelia was connecting with me to show me that this was the place I had seen in my regression - then I looked up and saw the three or four massive rainwater tanks at the end, up on an embankment. It’s entirely possible that there actually used to be water streaming in between, through those two buildings, just as I had experienced.*
I continued to explore the buildings and gardens, took some photos, and found myself wondering whether or not Amelia and Mary had been treated well while they were here. I stumbled upon a garden area that had a couple of park benches in it, and as I walked past them, I distinctly heard, “We used to play here”. I couldn’t get the smile off my face, and it was then I knew that this had been a happy experience for Amelia. It then made sense to me just why, in my regression, I didn’t want to leave.
I felt so much at peace while walking around the grounds of Sandhurst Industrial School - which I wasn’t at all expecting. While there may have been many children whose experience wasn’t so great there, I am happy, as I feel that for my great, great aunt, hers was an experience that set her on the right foot to a better life. She did after all, live well into her late seventies with her husband and children.
Throughout all of this, I wonder whether it’s possible that I was regressing into the life of Amelia. Or could it be that I was Amelia before I came into this lifetime? I may never know, but for whatever reason, I was drawn to dig deeper into her life, and still am.
Regardless, the most important thing is that I now have such a better understanding of Amelia’s life. While something from the past may seem as though it was tragic in our eyes, like all things in life, they happen for a reason. In this case, Amelia being admitted to this school was quite possibly the best thing that could have happened for her.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to comment or send me an email, as I’m still exploring this.
*Where asterisks are, note the similarities/synchronicities of events.