My therapist, often with eye rolling, confirms that I am in fact not. But still it niggles at the back of my mind. Why you ask? Well, because I am a medium. (Do I capitalize that word? Lets don't.) In my effort to use this blog as a vehicle for breaking down the outward walls I've built around who I am and to fully spring clean the broom closet I've been hiding in, I must confess that yes, I see dead people. I mean that in a literal way. Call it a hallucination if you want - I feel weird about it too. I hear their voices, see their faces, and am told the messages (which aren't always nice) that they'd like to pass on to the living. Sometimes I do - often I don't.
I mentioned recently to you that I, at the tender age of five, attempted suicide. That wasn't necessarily the end of my flirtation with death though. I'll cut to the chase and say simply that when I was 17, not long before I ran away, I was feeling particularly hopeless and in true dramatic teenaged fashion bashed in a mirror and sliced up my arms with it. Ask to see my scars sometimes. I love it when people do that. (that was sarcasm. Just in case it wasn't clear.) In the morning around 4am my mother kicked me in the ribs and told me to make breakfast.
You know whats a weird smell? Bacon and your own blood puddle.
I got up, mopped up, and made breakfast that day. A few days later my mother beat the shit out of me for the last time, and I left walking with seven bucks to my name. It was the impetus that I needed to change my life, but once again, it's what happened in the in between that mattered.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia:
"Hallucinations. These include a person hearing voices, seeing things, or smelling things others can’t perceive. The hallucination is very real to the person experiencing it, and it may be very confusing for a loved one to witness. The voices in the hallucination can be critical or threatening. Voices may involve people that are known or unknown to the person hearing them.
Delusions. These are false beliefs that don’t change even when the person who holds them is presented with new ideas or facts. People who have delusions often also have problems concentrating, confused thinking, or the sense that their thoughts are blocked."
I never stopped seeing the dead after that night.
They creep in in the quiet hours and whisper their wants at me. They scream en masse when I walk a hospital hallway, or go shopping at the mall. I spend my spare time perfecting my household wards so that I have a little bit of peace in the world.
I wonder if my brain is broken. I guess I just never stopped seeing the screen part of the door. I no longer have the ability to ignore it and only see the world.
But then I have experiences like I had this weekend.
A man, hurt and alone in the world, asking for help.
Convinced that his home was cursed, or haunted by some malevolent creature, I found instead his father. Dead only three months, dressed in his Marine uniform and wanting his son to know that he was there - and that he loved him. I described to him a boyhood memory of feeding the mallards in a nearby pond with his father as he sat before me and wept. I told him his father loved him, and wanted to see him succeed in life. I left this man happier, more able to cope, better able to understand what was happening around him.
I cannot explain how I knew he was in the Marines, or that he had an anchor tattoo on his left forearm,
or that they once shared this memory. I can't tell you how I know these things unless it is real.
But what if it isn't? What if I'm crazy... or, somehow adept at guessing at peoples lives?
The big question, I guess, is does that matter? If I helped him, gave him peace, isn't that what's
most important? Mediumship is a... gift... that's so often vilified that I guess, if I'm being honest, I'm just frightened of what people will think of me if I own it. But here goes.
I'm not crazy. I believe that what I am experiencing is literal, and real, and simply what it is.
I'm a medium - I walk with the dead.
And no, I can't ask your grandma for lottery numbers or where she left the keys to the shed. If she didn't know when she was alive - she isn't going to know now.