I’ve written and deleted this post twice now, because I sound crazy. While nine out of ten people I talk to in person believe in psychics and something else “out there”, most of them wouldn’t commit that to print.
This is a coming out post. I’m coming out psychic.
I’ll share the earliest memory of my so-called “gift”:
It happened when I was about four years old. I was attending a bar mitzvah for a distant cousin. I was the cute baby girl at the event, all dolled up in a frilly dress, with shiny shoes and lace fringed bobby sox. My mother was showing me off proudly, in the way that women do when they finally have the daughter they’d almost given up on. I was born long after three sons. She was introducing me to an older woman, a complete stranger, who offered me a sweet. The woman asked my age and birthday, which is standard small talk for older adults speaking to unknown little kids.
I couldn’t tell her my birthday, but I could tell her HERS, which was the following week. I felt a surge of pride, excitement and happiness with this knowledge of how old she was turning. So I wished her a heartfelt happy birthday. From her dead mother.
I think tears ensued, from both of us. We were both confused and startled, as was my own mother.
A lifetime later, I can’t tell you why or how I knew the exact day and date of her birthday. I just remember KNOWING, which is usually how it works. At this point I have a hundred stories like this. They are more frequent in my early years, less common in my 20s to early 30s.
I’m not entirely alone in this madness, thank goodness. The gift seems to run in my family on my mother’s side. My aunt, my cousin, my maternal great-grandmother, and at least one of my brothers. We’re all a little different. Sensitive. Witches, clairvoyants, psychics. Whatever. I scan my kids for the signs. Not sure what I wish for them. Is it really a gift to be so tuned?
“Maybe we should be classified on the spectrum,” my psychic family members sometimes joke. “Maybe we have Sixth-sensebergers?”
Note: I’m sure I”m offending someone right now, but please try to get over it. You should know that Aspergers also runs strong in my family, along with dark humor and a fair share of pride about our quirky assorted gifts.
A certain pride aside, I’ve always had mixed feelings about my “gift” that include confusion and a bit of trepidation. I didn’t ask for this ability. Sometimes, I’ll look at a complete stranger and a random phrase or emotion will pop into my head. Sometimes the info is something I’d rather not know.
It can be so strong that it’s almost palpable. Like somebody walking by with too strong perfume. You can’t ignore it or pretend it’s not there. The scent lingers and sticks to your clothes, returning in a whiffs throughout the day to remind you.
Sometimes it’s sad or awkward. Often it’s stupid. Ham sandwich…Shoelaces…Turn off the water. Not a constant litany. It’s just a sudden random and overwhelmingly strong feeling, like…That guy sitting in line at the DMV really wants a ham sandwich like his ex-girlfriend used to make for him.
The toughest messages are from an otherwise empty space. Twice in the past year I’ve been sitting in my car, happily listening to my music, when suddenly I’ve been sure a particular dead friend is in the passenger seat. I can feel how pissed off she is, so pissed off, that tears of frustration come to MY eyes. Glancing in the rearview mirror, I almost expect to see her.
How can I be sure I’m separating a psychic impulse from a coincidental daydream? When these psychic incidents happen, I think I capital-letter KNOW. Moments later, when logic kicks in, I’m not so sure. It could be a product of my vivid imagination, says my rational side. Or simply my keen powers of observation.
Is the human mind capable of such tricks? Yes. Of course. But does that even matter? Where does my own imagination start and something else begin?
I’m not ruling imagination out, but none of this explains how I knew the date of that woman’s birthday, or a hundred other little shards of fact that have floated to me unbidden over the years.
For most of my adult life, I’ve kept this gift stashed away, deliberately dismissed and ignored or hidden like a grotesque deformity. I can’t stand the sort of books you see under “psychic” in the self help section. I don’t have any posters with pyramids shooting ethereal lights, nor do I own a crystal ball or wear a headscarf when I go into trances. No trances. I have enough tools to embarrass my kids with without resorting to dressing like a Muggle hater.
The worst part about coming out psychic is that it isn’t conducive to friendships. If people don’t think I’m psycho, they get freaked out by the notion that I might actually be psychic. That’s when they worry about how much I can actually “see”.
So for the record, I can’t read minds, predict the future or conjure dead relatives. If I could, I’d get my great grandmother’s lost donut recipe.
I don’t control it or understand what it is, or how or why it works. My psychic abilities seem pretty random. This is frustrating. If you’re going to be psychic, it seems like you should be winning the lottery, or solving crimes or something.
I’m not sure why it’s creeping back with so much more frequency lately. I just know I’m not going to fight it anymore. I’m going to accept that I’m a little
crazy eccentric, and keep hoping there’s a point.