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Torfaen Tales

I Have a Gift

“Welcome everyone”. There are eight of us in the room. Some looking down at the floor, others looking straight ahead with blank expressions and the nervy ones darting anxious glances around the room. Me? I’m trying to be ‘inconspicuous’.

“Although I’ve met you before”, the therapist goes on, “you’re strangers to one another. So let’s begin with some introductions”. Everyone avoids his eyes.

“Lisa, how would you like to start?”

The girl shakes her head and mumbles something. “Come now”, he using that slightly hectoring but patient tone used by those of the medical profession who work in ‘mental health’.

“I’m Lisa” she whispers.

“And can you tell us why you’re here Lisa” – his voice is still patient but clearly he wants a more than that.

“I hear voices” – you can hardly hear what she’s saying.

“Can you speak a little louder Lisa, please” – although he puts this as a question, it’s a command and not a request.

“ I hear voices!” – this time it comes out like a shouted whisper.

“Good, Good”, he smiles at her as if she were a naughty child. Now Harry how about you.

And so it goes on, all around the room. Each of them being forced to say their name and identify ‘their problem’. It’s strange really – they’re all saying the same sort of thing – they hear voices, see visions, etc., etc., etc. So that when it comes to my turn I’m going to be stuck.

I mean, these people are sick. They need to be in this place. They needed to get their heads sorted out. But me, well, I do hear voices, I do see spirits but that’s how it should be. You see ‘I have a gift’ - I’m a psychic, yeah that right, I’m a psychic, and a medium.

Now the word 'psychic' comes from the Greek "psyche" and relates to the mind or the soul. People use the word all the time when they talk about the paranormal, or supernatural. Stuff they don’t understand. Some of us use Tarot Cards, or Crystal Balls, or read palms. It doesn’t really matter. They tell me that Psychics are sensitive to subtle changes within the bio-electric magnetic fields that surround all living things, and are therefore able to pick up on things that most people can’t. I don’t know about that. For me it’s quite simple really. As psychics we don’t see with our eyes, we see from the mind! But, let me tell you, everyone has some psychic ability. How often do you hear some one say “ I knew that was going to happen” or “I had a feeling something was wrong”. Like I say, everyone has some psychic ability but they learn to ignore it, filter it out, ‘cause they know if they don’t it could drive them mad. Me, I liked being psychic, it gave me a buzz to know things, secret things, about people just by looking at them or holding something that belonged to them. But best of all I liked to talk to those on the ‘other side’.

Now being a medium isn’t easy, there are so many spirits. Loved ones who have passed on, spirit guides and even angels. And as I see it the Medium is the means of communication for them to pass on information and messages. Of course the most common reason people came to me was to connect with those who had passed on. They wanted to be reassured that their loved ones do indeed go on into the next reality. Now I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t a good earner, but I can honestly say that wasn’t the main reason I did it. I knew I couldn’t take away the loss felt by those in grief, but if I could give some the peace of mind then where’s the harm?

Of course there’s a lot of competition these days for the old fashioned kind of medium like me. In my hey day all people wanted was a darkened room, and a spirit voice telling them that the departed was happy. Now there’s all sorts of faith healers, clairvoyants, ‘new age’ this and that.

Oh, Oh. He’s looking at me, must be my turn.

“My name is Jane” – suddenly everyone is looking at me. It must be very strange for them seeing this guy dressed in motorbike leathers, covered in tattoos talking like Marilyn Monroe, but it’s been like this for months now. She’d been my spirit guide for years, popping up on demand to take over my body during a séance and give me messages from the other side. But it was taking longer and longer to get my body back and I began to get worried so I decided to lay off the seances for a bit. But one day someone offered me the kind of money you don’t refuse and bingo – when the séance was finished I couldn’t get rid of her.

The next few weeks was a nightmare. At home with the wife and kids, in the shops, everywhere. Even in the pub. I’d open my mouth to ask for a pint and Jane would beat me to it, asking for a gin and tonic in that breathless, girlie voice. In the end I goes to this shrink. I tell him about my gift, about my spirit guide. I can tell he doesn’t believe me. He talks about suppression, the need to be honest about what I want. In the end he refers me to this clinic.

So here I am – everyone’s looking at me – expectantly. So how do I explain it?

As it turns out I don’t get the chance. Jane is in full flood. I can’t stop her talking, telling them how she’s a women trapped in a man’s body, how for years she’s wanted to reject her male persona and become a ‘real woman’.

I’m getting scared now, the therapist is looking a her, I mean me, with sympathy and understanding as if there has been a real breakthrough. Oh my God, he’s talking about cross genders, transsexuals, operations.

Fear compels me to summon up every ounce of psychic energy I can muster. I fix all my concentration on ejecting Jane from my psyche. There is a moment of terror as I feel her leave my body and hover overhead but it is quickly replaced with relief. She has gone. The down side is - so has my gift.

By Kath Haughton

Forthcoming Events

Generation Games Exhibition

27/04/2018 - 28/10/2018
This exhibition is a history of home computer games consoles throughout the ages

Claire Allain - Jewellery Showcase

06/10/2018 - 17/11/2018
Having recently returned to the UK after living in New Zealand for ten years, Claire has been experimenting with new techniques. She has been working with a variety of techniques and marrying metals together to create wearable sculptures or as she likes to call them wearable "Sketches", like little mini contemporary paintings

Eighteen - The Lost Generation - Exhibition

06/10/2018 - 17/11/2018
Almost half a million men enlisted in the first two months of The Great War, however recruitment soon fell dramatically and conscription was introduced in January 1916.Most single men from the ages of 18 to 41 were liable to be called up for service and by the end of war over five million British men had served.

Katharina Klug - Craft Showcase

06/10/2018 - 17/11/2018
Katharina create timeless vessels for contemporary interiors. Each piece is individually made from porcelain on the potter's wheel. Naïve, spontaneous pencil strokes, graphic simple patterns that create movement and direction.
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