I've learned that when things seem off kilter, they generally are. I was thinking today about intuition and how so many people have learned to ignore it, to tune it out. The thing is that intuition is really fucking cool, and if we were just willing to start listening to it, we could all benefit. It's a kind of heightened awareness that, when accessed, allows us to see a reality that exists without need of proof. I always describe this "feeling" I get when something is amiss and I've really been pondering what, precisely, that means.
Sometimes, it's a physical feeling: a burning sensation in my gut, tingling fingers, the little hairs on my neck standing on end, a fluttering heart. Sometimes it's all of those things, or just some of those things. But it's always accompanied by something in my head too - a kind of knowing. My guess is that it's based on an acute awareness of our surroundings, which explains why some people are better at intuiting than others. One of my best examples was the day I woke up with an almost obsessive urge to change my husband's cell phone number. I'd had no idea why, really, I just woke up and acted on instinct. Something told me it needed to be done. And I did it, but I was moments too late: NMIL had called him during the half hour or so that it took for me to run through the process of having his number changed.
Was it a sixth sense? How could I have possibly known that something was going to happen right then, on that morning of that particular day? I will say, it wasn't entirely "magic." I mean, hot damn, if I had that kind of power, I'd have used it to predict a whole lot of other unfortunate events well before they occurred and, at the very least, not been caught unawares by them. If you want to know what I think, it was a hyper-awareness of reality: I was very aware of the circumstances, the details, if you will. I was and continue to track the moves my husband's family makes towards us. I know when things get too quiet. I pay attention. I constantly update my own stockpile of information, looking for clues, looking for missing pieces. And I try really hard to listen to my body, as well as my subconscious mind, when they're trying to tell me something.
When things seem too quiet, it usually means someone is hiding in wait.
When people seem too nice, it usually means they're hiding something wicked.
When I see something that seems odd to me, I try to listen to my instincts, even though nine times out of ten there is no visible evidence to support them. In every situation, at every moment, with every person (especially those who I already know to be untrustworthy) I don't just look at what's there; I look at what is missing. That, I believe, is one of the keys to honing intuition. And good lord, with DH's family, that's one helpful god-damned skill to have.