I totally get the appeal of seeing a psychic. Sometimes, life might not be heading the way you imagined and you might be looking for guidance or someone other than your mum to say ‘Don’t worry, it’s going to be alright. You will meet the man of your dreams/pass your exams/land the job you’ve always wanted’.
Or, you might just be trying to contact the dead.
Whatever your reason, I get it. But please be careful – psychics can really fuck with your head. I should know, they fucked with mine.
Over the years, I’ve seen a few psychics. I’m talking everything from jolly jesters in nightclubs (you know the deal, big hoop ear rings, lipstick on their teeth, doling out tarot cards) to slightly more demure seers, considered (in the psychic world) to be the real deal.
The most recent psychic I went to had been on Oprah, for God’s sake. And because of those stellar credentials, I took what she said to me to heart. Really to heart. And it’s messed with my head.
Before I talk about Oprah’s girl, I’m going to take you through my first proper experience with a psychic. She lived in a grotty council flat in the deepest darkest East End. She was recommended to a friend, so we made an appointment, crossed her palm with £20 and she did our cards.
Her name was Lynn. My friend went first, and her Papa came through. Lynn told my friend a lot of stuff about her deceased grandfather and his black dog. She was incredibly specific and accurate. She also predicted my friend would marry and have two sons. This happened.
Then it was my turn. She was pretty vague, telling me the kind of stuff I could make ‘fit’ into my life.
She predicted a close family member’s heart was going to be broken, and that their partner was not the one for them. This turned out to be true, but then relationships are pretty black and white, non?
She also told me a bloke who was my friend would become more. At the time, there were two possible guys who I tried to ‘make’ this prediction come true with. With one, it never came together, and I also dated a bloke from work who was a friend. It didn’t end well.
I didn’t leave there convinced, but felt more positive about life. My friend, on the other hand, was pretty blown away after hearing from her dead grandpa.
My most recent encounter with a psychic was with a woman called Susan in January 2012. This is the lady who’s been on Oprah. She’s led a fascinating life, traveling the world doing readings for the rich and famous.
Am I a believer? I don’t bloody know. But this woman, she knew shit.
The way she worked was that she saw pictures in her mind and she had to figure out what they were. She asked if an old lady called Elizabeth and Black Heath meant anything to me, neither of which made any connection.
Then, out of nowhere she mentioned Johannesburg, South Africa. ‘Who was there?’ she said. At this point she pretty much reached into my chest and squeezed my heart.
My mum’s twin sister lived there from her 20s until her 50s when she came back here and passed away. Susan said ‘I know someone has passed there who meant a lot to you, but she’s ok, she’s absolutely bathed in light and is at peace’.
It made me feel warm and enveloped and yearn for my much-loved aunt. I took great pleasure in calling my mum after the reading and sobbing down the phone that her twin was ok.
Then she told me about my husband. He’d been incredibly ill two years previously, and admitted to hospital for emergency surgery on his spine due to a herniated disc which compressed his nerves and messed with everything from his waist to thighs. He was well and truly messed up.
Susan knew things about his condition our closest friends don’t even know. She pointed to the spot on herself, exactly where he had surgery on his back. She floored me. She also told me my husband was as well as he’s going to be, and that it wouldn’t happen again. He’d be ok.
By this point, I was an emotional wreck. But then came the predictive stuff.
I asked her if I’d be made redundant. I mean the economy is shit, magazine publishing sucks, I work in a shrinking market, it’s not that unlikely that I’d lose my job.
But she said no. However, my job was going to change at the early start of 2013 (let it be known, there’s nothing on the horizon).
And then I asked whether we’d have any more kids. She asked why she was seeing ‘yes, no, yes, no’. My husband didn’t want any more kids, and I did. That was why.
Then she said that we would go on to have another kid, she could see HIM very clearly. She could see his side parting (Hitler?), and that he would be incredibly funny (I’m a funny prick, course the kid’s going to be funny), and it would be before or around the time my daughter is five years old.
Now, here is why seeing a psychic fucks with your head. I’m currently cruising along at work, feeling maybe too secure and safe that I’m not getting made redundant, but still doing the best job I can (hi boss if you’re reading this!)
But am I meant to be applying or looking for another job? (Hi again boss. Please look away). I asked Susan if this career change was something that was going to come to me, or something I should be chasing. She said I’d have to go and get it. Well hello, early 2013 is almost here, and I’m doing nothing! It’s freaking me out!
Then there was the baby thing. If you’re a regular xoJane reader, you’ll know I miscarried in July. Had that pregnancy worked out, my daughter would have been three-and-a-half when the newborn was due, not five years old as Susan has ‘predicted’.
In the back of my mind, I keep thinking, is that why I miscarried? What if I fall preggers again, and this mythical baby is due before my daughter turns five? Should I not be trying to get pregnant until nine months prior to my daughter’s birthday?
See how much this is screwing with me?
Whether it’s a psychic, a seer, a clairvoyant, a charlatan or the goddamn Wizard of Oz, whoever you look to for help or spiritual guidance, be warned - you might end up trying to make your life work around their predictions.
It’s a dangerous game to play, trying to make scenarios fit or play out differently to how they should, but then if it’s destiny, things might have a natural way of falling, and are meant to be. Right? RIGHT?
If you really need some words of comfort and solace, get a bloody fortune cookie or stand under archways hoping for a bird to crap on your head. That’s meant to be lucky, isn’t it?
Dani is tweeting about the future (not really) @danigraph