Nothing Is What It Appears to Be Is a very raw close up look into my unique life. I give insight into my journey as a gift for the sake of truth, and for the purpose of being there as a support for people who may have been or are now going through anything similar to what I have been through. Open your heart and mind as you embark on this journey I am sharing with you and please know that this is not easy for me but my soul advised me that this was the best way to approach sharing my experiences for the benefit of others.
You see from a young age I was harassed, beaten and taken advantage of by forces I couldn’t see, mostly during my sleep. I would experience strange encounters and night terrors and these experiences made me feel like I was strange, different and possibly cursed. I know this may seem a bit odd but there will be nothing about this memoir that is considered average. For a long time my mother and I tried to figure out my uncommon issue but there was no medical explanation or any common senses amongst the people I grew up around when it came to what I was experiencing. Growing up in Harlem NY made me scared that I would be ridiculed or called crazy if I talked about what I was going through openly. Because my mother knew me very well and was very attentive towards me she knew that I wasn’t insane, didn’t need to be on medicine and was not in need of any psychiatric help. I was completely normal besides battling with what I thought was spirits for reasons I had no clue about. Because of her determination to understand what was going on with her child she turned to a psychic who claimed to be a high spiritual worker for help, my mother assumed I had a spiritual issue that was not usual in the world we live in so turning to people who claimed to see what most people couldn’t made sense. After meeting with my mother this woman claimed to know all about my unseen and uncommon issue and promised to help us which is where I begin my story. Dealing with her caused me and my mother some crazy times. She ended up being a hateful inconsiderate manipulative money monger who took advantage of our vulnerability and desperate desire to make what I thought was spirits stop harassing and attacking me. After years of dealing with her, going through a lot of emotional roller coasters and becoming over sixty thousand dollars in debt from paying her I grew up and decided that I would do everything I could to figure out my problem on my own. It was tough because I was experiencing many unusual things while trying to maintain my normalcy and convince myself that I was not crazy.
From the start I assumed that my issue was with understanding God and what he wanted from me so I hopped from spiritualist, to magicians, to more psychics, to angel readers, to so called priest and priestesses in many African based traditions who all added to both my struggle and my motivation to keep moving forward. After a lot of headaches, confusion, frustration and exhaustion I finally was blessed with all the answers I needed and was beyond elated to finally understand what my paranormal experiences was all about. I know that my situation is not common that’s why I decided that it was important to write about it. Not because I wanted to, no it was many times while writing that I was about to give up, recalling all of those bad memories was difficult.
I decided to put my naked self out on the line because from all that I had been through I understand that its necessary to expose the truth about tarot readers, spiritualist, modern day witches and wizards, magic both black and white, Polytheism, African traditions, voodoo, spirits, priest and priestess from the perception of someone who was both in it and victimized by it. Too often when people need help they turn to these sources as me and my mom did only to be taken advantage of and misled. I also wanted to start the conversation on the human relationship with a world that is all around us but we cannot see. I know that it is more people out there that may be going through what I’ve been through but can’t talk about it because they don’t want to appear to be crazy. I also understand that it may be a lot of open minded people that will be able to relate to my story whether they have been through anything similar or not.
While writing this book I stayed up many nights and struggled through many emotions to be able to give people a firsthand look into what I experienced. I wanted everyone who will read my book to feel like they was there, to feel what I felt and to see what I saw and I think I accomplished that. I made it as interesting, relate able, funny and emotional as possible and I am sure the readers will laugh, cry, and get angry both with me and at me. The conversation must get started for the sake of revealing what is hidden and for the sake of many people who may be considering suicide right now as you are reading my words.
This memoir is for just about everyone, People of all ethnic backgrounds, ages and religions may benefit from my story in one way or another. There is no target audience because it’s truly for everyone.
Now A little more about myself just so you can know more about me; I attended Lehman College where I received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business. After a hard realization of the business world I decided that my personality didn’t fit well with business so I decided to join the social side of things. I worked with intellectually challenged older adults for a while and then went on to work as a case worker helping children that was diagnosed with many different psychological issues. I went back to school to receive my Master’s degree in anthropology/sociology overseas at The American University in Cairo which I must say prepared me to write this memoir. The only work that I have done that is published is my thesis entitled: Understanding the Extremely Impoverished: an exploration into the lives of the poor of Upper Egypt. This work was such an honor for me to write because I was able to live as poor people do and see the world from their perception. I must admit my thesis experience enabled me to conclude how important it is to be able to write from an angle that makes the readers feel present.
Now I am a Secondary Education English Language Arts Teacher and loving it. Yes I went back to school and received a second masters in education which is my calling in life. My calling is to enlighten and to be a former student of life.
I look forward to sharing my journey with you and hope that I connected with you on even a small level. Oh and please know that the publishing of this book is being sought out but I would love to know how eager you are if at all to read my truth. I will hurry the publishing process if necessary.
With much Love and Sincerity,
Shanaya Nour Hassaan Ali