I just talked with my sister and brought up the whole past life thing with her.
She then told me that apparently, odd perceptions of spirits and the like seem to run on Mom’s side of the family.
I know Mom had let on that some weird things had happened before concerning the death of her brother and sister, but apparently there were a lot of things I wasn’t told. It doesn’t help that, being very solidly mainline Southern Protestant, there’s a tendency in the narrative to split these things into “Godly” and “Satanic” camps depending on their nature, so I guess I never really put two and two together.
My uncle (d. 1992) and my aunt (d. 2006) have both appeared as apparitions and communicated with family members and those around them, often to the point of frightening them deeply.
I suppose my experiences don’t seem so weird by comparison after all, and I’m starting to wonder if my concerns about my mental health are really justified. My mother’s side of the family may not be the happiest people, but they’re not psychotic in any clinical sense.