Coming Out of the Broom Closet

The oddest thing happened when I announced publicly in 2006 that I was a psychic medium.  All hell broke loose in my personal and professional life.  And I had no idea that that was going to happen (oh, the irony!).  Perhaps it was because I expected that people would judge me for who I was and not based on some preconceived idea about psychics.  Oh yes, I learned a lot about judgment in a very short period of time.  For anyone who is thinking about coming out as a psychic, this article is for you!  And for anyone who has ever come out against a social norm, you’ll also get some benefit from reading about my experience.

First, I announced on my blog that I was developing my psychic abilities to a point where I could actually begin doing readings for people.  I blogged about my awakening and my experience on the Criss Angel MindFreak show.  I was off and running, I was happy, congruent, and really proud of myself.  At the same time this was happening, I was still running my online magazine, VegFamily.  I was also doing web consulting and programming, and I had an independent publishing company.  I announced on VegFamily that I was a psychic medium and that if anyone wanted a reading, to go to my new site.  This was the beginning of the end of my naiveté.

I immediately got a bunch of nasty emails from readers who told me I was doing the devil’s work, and that the Bible expressly prohibited them from interacting with me in any way, shape, or form.  They told me they were going to stop reading the magazine, even though they’d been loyal readers for years and found the information great.  That surprised me. 

Then I got an email from a woman who had contributed several articles to the site over the years – a  woman I had exchanged many pleasant emails with – who asked me to remove all of her articles from the site because I was going against the Lord and working for Satan.  I wrote back to her for clarification since I had no awareness of what she was talking about.  She sent back a lot of quoted scripture and there is indeed a passage in the Bible that says you’re not supposed to truck with mediums and you should stone them on sight.  I’m glad she lived in another state. ;)  I got into it with her for a few exchanges because I wanted to sincerely understand how she could be my friend one day and the next want to shun me. For her, what it came down to was that she was a devout follower of the Bible and the Bible expressly stated to her that she could not have any contact with me.  I wished her well in her life and we parted ways permanently.  I think what shocked me most was that I felt I was being unfairly and harshly judged by vegans, who were no strangers to harsh judgment from family, friends, and society.   Shouldn’t they have known better?

Next, a couple of my web clients stopped doing business with me because I was a psychic.  And some members of the vegan community with whom I’d been doing business suddenly stopped responding to my emails.  None of them called me devil-spawn, they just drifted away or gave me the cold shoulder.  So coming out publicly as a psychic negatively impacted my businesses and to some extent my income. 

Then there were the friends.  I don’t have many religious friends so I wasn’t expecting any kind of negative response from them regarding my new profession.  I was wrong though.  There was a new problem to contend with.  It took me a while to figure out why some of my friends and acquaintances were treating me so coldly.  I found out quite by accident that they were wondering why I’d turned to a life of crime.  Yes, crime!  Apparently, and I’m not sure you’re aware of this, all psychics are frauds, charlatans, and criminals who prey on people who are gullible enough to think that psychic abilities and talking to dead people is even possible.  Yes, that’s right.  These people thought I was actually, and quite deliberately, turning to a life of crime.  I can’t blame them for not wanting to associate with a criminal, except for one problem, I wasn’t a criminal!  This actually hurt me a lot more than the religious issue.  I’m used to some religious people turning a blind eye to their own intuition in favor of what’s fed to them via holy scripture.  I’m not used to being thought of as a criminal though.  That took some time for me to digest.  Rather than try to understand how I was developing my psychic abilities, they found it much more believable that I had simply decided to rip people off.  Some friends, right?  I recall one day asking one of my friends if he thought I was fraudulently ripping people off and he said, “I know you believe you’re psychic, and I know you’re not trying to rip people off, but everyone knows psychic abilities aren’t real so I think you’re probably deluded but not intentionally trying to hurt anyone.”  Gee, thanks.  Over the years he’s really come around, though, and thinks I just have an uncanny ability to accurately name people’s dead relatives and tell people what they do for a living without them telling me first.  He uses words like “lucky guess” and “coincidence” a lot. ;)

I started to have concerns about even calling myself a psychic because of all the negative connotations built into the group.  To be fair, there really are a lot of frauds, charlatans, and criminals in this industry, and that’s a real shame, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.  Not everyone who claims to be psychic is a criminal or fraud.  It reminds me of when I joined a sorority and my non-sorority friends thought that all sorority girls were vapid sluts only interested in hair, make-up and the size of frat boy bulges.  Lordy, people. 

So, long story short, I lost a lot of friends and apparently credibility when I came out as a psychic.  It wasn’t all bad though.  There were some unexpected positives.

My family has been incredibly supportive and proud of my work as a psychic medium.  My dad is so cute, he tells everyone about his psychic daughter.  He carries my cards around with him and gives them to everyone: the dental hygienist, the mail carrier, his business contacts, and friends.  In fact, my mom had to tell him to tone it down a bit as they came to find what I found, that some of these people thought I was a criminal too.  I think my dad was just as surprised to find this out as I was.  They started having uncomfortable situations with their own friends when my name was brought up. 

My sister has run into this problem too when she tells her friends that she has a psychic sister.  They all want to know why I haven’t won the lottery yet.  So for some, it’s just purely the fact that they know nothing about how psychic abilities work that cause them to suspect I am being less than honest.  I think the fact that my family has known about my psychic gifts for my entire life has helped them see that becoming a professional psychic was a natural progression for me.  They know I’m not a criminal or fraud and it’s hard for them understand why others think I am.

My aunt and cousin are also exceptionally supportive of me.  Sometimes when I’m in Los Angeles I do my in-person readings in their home.  Steve’s family has also been supportive.  I was concerned as they are very religious, but apparently their priest told them it was okay as I am using my gift to help others and because I believe my gift comes from God/Source, as I wrote about in my blog entry, But Where’s the Love?

I told Steve at one point that coming out publicly as a psychic medium must be somewhat similar to how homosexuals feel when they come out publicly.  You have to deal with and accept the fact that some people will shun you because of their beliefs about your “group.”  I have great compassion and respect for people who proudly share their real selves with the world, knowing it will probably create a disconnect with some people in their lives.  But it is only by fully sharing who we really are that we can begin to bring down the walls of preconception and challenge people to get to know us before deciding what we are.

If you are a fellow psychic, what has been your experience of coming out publicly?  Or do you only tell certain people?  What reactions have you received, and how have you dealt with any negative judgment?  If you’ve come out as a homosexual or anything that is sometimes perceived as an abomination or against the Bible or social norms, what has been your experience?  What words of wisdom can you share with others who are considering coming out?

All I can say is that coming out of my own closet was really eye-opening for me.  I discovered that even intelligent people can make assumptions that are not based on personal observation but just on preconceived ideas about a group.  This is wrong.  It’s wrong for all of us.  Guard against this at all costs as it’s very damaging to society as a whole.

To the budding young psychics out there who are considering becoming a professional psychic, know going into this that you may lose some friends, that some people who claim to love you may disconnect from you.  But if your heart is aligned with this truth you have nothing to be ashamed of.  Let people have their reactions, let them walk their own path, but don’t hide who you are.  We can’t change people’s beliefs about psychics by staying hidden or underground.  Be honest and forthright in all your dealings.  Perhaps in time we can repair our damaged reputation, and help people see we are truly aligned with love.  Even with all the negativity, the loss of friends, the damaged relationships, the harsh and critical emails from total strangers, I wouldn’t trade my path for anything.  It’s been an incredibly rich and rewarding journey, really a dream come true.

Now where did I put that broom?  I’ve got some flying to do. :)

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