Reconciling your psychic gifts, maintaining friendships and how to say no when it's needed
By amanda linette meder
A Psychic Medium is not what I dreamed of being when I was a little girl.
Truth be told, I always told my mom I wanted to be a cashier.
Cashiers get to meet people, cheer people up and make friends with customers when they've had a bad day. Also, they got to stand right next to the candy, all day, every day - and that was a real perk.
While I surpassed my cashier dreams years ago, I did eventually go on to meet people, cheer people up and make friends in my work as an environmental scientist and educator.
I was a wildlife guide, a naturalist, a researcher, and a presenter.
In my time working for and with the environment, I wore many hats. And one of the things that always prided me about being ‘an environmentalist’ was that I was making a difference in this world.
I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, I just never intended for it to be like this.
Up until my father’s death in 2006, I was certain I’d had my psychic abilities (abilities I’d been told I was cursed with since I was 5 years old) under control.
No one knew about my gifts - not hardly my boyfriends and definitely not my coworkers, and I was sleeping soundly . . . most nights.
But when my father died just shy of my 21st birthday, every aspect of my life that I thought I had under control went right out the window. Things amped up - and they amped up fast.
Pictures started falling off walls.
Objects were being mysteriously misplaced.
I started getting weird, static-only phone calls from disconnected phone numbers.
And I started to see my dad’s face - overlaid over the face of every man I saw.
At the time, I’d had a roommate whose dad had also passed away about a year before mine - and she validated all of my experiences, often relating similar tales of what had happened to her. She anticipated things that would soon happen to me, too.
Everything she predicted came true. And with each prediction that came true, I became more and more convinced that I was going crazy.
I went from doctor to doctor, to try to figure it all out. From antidepressants to sleeping pills to anti-anxiety medication, I tried every suggestion and every prescription, but nothing changed.
Paintings still came flying off walls, and pictures from photo boxes, still wound up mysteriously on my bed, after coming home from work to a locked house all day.
I tried to tell my then-boyfriend of all of the trouble I was having and he was convinced I was getting sick.
Maybe the flu, he said, maybe from all the stress and grieving I was under.
But the fact was this: I wasn’t grieving.
I didn’t miss my dad - at all.
Abusive while alive and struggling with an addiction before his death, I had detached from my father years ago, preparing for the inevitable. My father and I - we hardly had what you could call a relationship.
When he died, I was relieved. Happy even. I was glad it was over.
The years passed.
And as they did, the more haunted my life became.
I quit jobs. I moved houses. I broke up with boyfriends.
As a scientist, I did everything I could do to try to isolate the problem and identify the variable. But no matter who or what I left behind, I was still hearing things at night. Even when alone.
Then one early Spring day, my sister’s boyfriend died.
She and Bryan had gotten into a fight the night before, and she’d kicked him out.
That night, he overdosed on Heroin.
Devastated and lost, my sister blamed herself.
And Bryan, came to me.
So freaked out by the non-stop presence of a dead guy in my house, I drank a whole bottle of wine and tapped my finger-tips obsessively on the kitchen table. I didn’t sleep a wink that night.
Not sure what to do or how to deal with it, I drove 5 hours north to the nearest medium I could find.
She laid out the options.
I had gifts. My gifts were the same as hers. And I had these choices: I could consider myself crazy for the rest of my life, or I could learn to love the gifts I'd been born with.
I’d already considered myself crazy for the entirety of my life, and that hadn’t worked.
So I was ready to try option two.
After all, I knew I had abilities - that I’d been told when I was younger - but what I didn’t know was that they had a name or that other people had them too or that I could use them to help others. All of that was new frontier.
So, I drove another 10 hours to my sister’s house - the other sister.
We discussed it. We talked it through. And we decided, it was worth a shot, wasn’t it?
Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in a class for psychics to try and sort out my gifts.
I had just been awarded a grant for an environmental project I was working on, and that gave me the extra money I needed to pay for it. It was perfect timing, as far as money was concerned.
I took the class and I did my assignments.
I started giving readings and, I honestly surprised myself.
I knew I could see ghosts - after all, I’d been hiding under my covers from them for years. But I never knew they had information to share, or stories to tell.
I’d spent so many years either avoiding them or convincing myself out of them, that I never once thought to ask the simple question, what are you doing here?
So I started asking that question anytime I heard a noise in my house or saw a weird mist in my bedroom. Lo and behold, there was always an answer. Someone would always appear to explain it. I’d hear their voices just as clear as any other human voice in the room. That . . . was a little creepy at first, I’ll admit. It was weird. It was unfamiliar, and it was, kind of mysterious.
Around and around in my head, I’d ask:
Did this mean I’d have to quit my job and do this for the rest of my life?
Was this who I was now, and was this who I was going to be?
What about my normal life? What about these degrees?
With all hopes of a ‘normal life’ now gone, I knew I’d just have to sort all this out.
So now, when people accuse me of being a fraud or send me emails questioning whether or not I am the ‘real deal,’ of course, there were times when I was offended.
Had they not know how long I struggled with this?
Had they no idea how far back this crazy saga went?
Or the great measures I had gone to avoid all of it in the first place?
Had they not understood that I wasn’t doing this because I wanted to, but because it was just a way for me to make it right somehow?
Had they not figured out that if it hadn’t been for *their* dead people, I wouldn’t even be in the position in the first place?
They didn’t. And most people don’t.
Most people, when they look at a medium - they see someone grasping for straws or someone wrestling with their own ideas of mortality.
Unfortunately, that’s not it at all.
Most mediums are just trying to make lemonade out of the lemons they’ve been handed.
We’re trying to make the best of the experiences we've been given - just as you or anyone is trying to do.
The majority of us never expected or anticipated we would be doing the work we do now.
The majority of us are well-meaning people, whose lives just happened to take one crazy, left-hand turn all those years ago.
And these days, I care less when people say they don’t believe in that ‘sh*t' - a comment that was thrown at myself and a fellow medium friend, just a couple of days ago.
I brush it off more easily than I have in the past, because I’ve found ways to rationalize it.
All we have to do is look at politics to know that the majority of people make statements, form opinions and develop thoughts on topics before they have any real facts or even a well-rounded understanding of the story.
I also empathize. I know that there are people who have gifts like me, but they’ve not necessarily been raised with the same ethical standards as I have.
As someone who comes from a scientific family and out of a scientific career, the importance of cultivating a firm ethical standing is driven into you so many times, it’s just not an option to lie, cheat, or steal. But not everyone is like this.
Not every medium comes from science or has it drilled into them, the importance of following an ethical code. I suppose that’s one benefit I get from coming from a hard-working German family, the mantra: work hard, be fair, and always honor your word.
There are people who take advantage.
When I first got into this business, I met a psychic at a barbecue, who had a practice on the busy main street of a small town nearby.
Being new to the game, she thought she’d give me some sage advice.
“You want the vulnerable ones,” she said.
All I could think was, What? Huh? What does *that* mean?
Seeing my speechless mouth gap open, she filled in the space -
“The more upset, lonely and lost someone is, the more money they’ll give you to fix it.”
I simply replied, “I see,” and I turned and walked away.
Up until that point, taking people’s money and developing a strategy of who to prey on had never occurred to me.
I had a session time, a price, and a slot to fill. If someone wanted it, great. If they didn’t, that was fine. Whatever. They’re your dead people, not mine, I'd always thought.
While her practice was not something I condoned, I can’t say she didn’t teach me anything.
It was because of her, that I now know there are people out there with abilities who will and do take advantage of others. Do I socialize with them? No. Do they make my stomach turn a little bit? Oh yea.
But . . . it is because I’m aware of them, I can be more empathetic when people suspect me of the same.
Though it has hurt.
And honestly, there have been times when all I've wanted to do is scream, “I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for you and your d*mn dead people!”
It’s just not worth it though. So I don’t scream.
It’s not important for me to defend it or defend myself to anyone - because I already know what is true.
Besides, I’m not the one who has a problem with it anymore.
Yet, in living a life where I’d ignored the innermost parts of myself for so long, at some point, I’d realized I’d done nothing but draw people to me who had done the same. At the same time, because I had previously ignored, medicated and pushed aside these elements of who I was, I knew I couldn’t judge, blame or persecute anyone else for doing the same.
It’s not easy living with the knowledge that there’s a whole ‘nother plane of existence that we share this universe with - and I get that. But, in return, it’s also not easy seeing things that most people can’t, and then spend your whole life trying to explain that to someone who refuses to even consider the possibility.
Mediums have a hard enough time as it is reconciling their gifts with themselves, the last thing they need is to create an even more difficult time for themselves, by reconciling it for others, too.
Yet, people seem to always ask me, Amanda, what do you say to skeptics?
And my answer is, “I don’t.”
That is, most of the time - I say nothing.
It’s not my responsibility to help someone else make peace with my life.
Mediums have spent hundreds of years trying to prove themselves to their husbands, to their friends and to their clients - all with varying and unpredictable levels of success. So, I'm kind of over doing that.
What I have found, though, is that if someone wants to become a believer, they will.
Usually, it's through their own experiences with the spiritual world.
I can help facilitate that experience through a reading, or take you somewhere filled with Spirits and ask that something happen. Yet, when we boil it all down, it’s up to you.
You have open your heart up to it.
You have to drop your want and tendency to resort back to your own confirmation biases of what you already thought you knew to be true.
It's you who has to change your mind.
And I shouldn't have to tell you that the truth changes.
For years, I thought I had an idea of what was true - and it was only through first hand experience that I came to know otherwise.
And in my finding of these truths, I came to see why many people believe mediums to be frauds.
But these reasons aren't what you might think.
There are social pressures and putdowns -
A lot of mediums succumb to the social pressure, the put downs, the humiliation, and the skepticism hurled at them by their friends and family members. Absorbing information like this, can make a medium doubt the value of their own gifts, and in turn, become self-conscious.
They then have a hard time saying what they see clearly, and without a little waver in their voice.
Doubt in self, as we know, begets doubt in others.
And even the best medium on earth, when feeling uncertain, can come across as someone who is pulling for straws.
Then there's the general nonchalance regarding the advice they give.
Many mediums use their gifts to help their friends, family and loved ones. Since it’s so hard for us to turn our gifts off - after all, they’re basically going all the time - when a friend or family member asks for help, we can all but stop ourselves from having a psychic vision, and then passing that vision off to the person who needs it's insight.
Despite what my Uncle has always said,
“It has never been found fruitful to give warnings unasked.”
I've mowed right past my better judgment, and I have given warnings unasked and advice unrequested. And yes - even to people in my life who haven’t listened before.
Then, when the sage advice of Spirit is inevitably not followed and the premonition still comes true, it is understandable that we feel disrespected - can you imagine bringing a medical problem to a doctor, then not following that advice? He’d shake his head and never help you again.
It is this same way when you bring a life problem to a psychic medium.
When advice given to our friends and family is not followed (read: rejected), we stop giving it and we can, in turn, begin to turn that rejection inward and start to doubt the usefulness of our own gifts.
If you’ve ever wondered why many mediums have a ‘we don’t read for friends and family rule,’ it’s not because we are embarrassed of our gifts or because we have something to hide.
It’s because, for the most part, our friends and family are more disrespectful than most (and more than they’d like to believe) when it comes to honoring our gifts, and in turn, honoring us.
Yes guys, you can train your family and friends to be more supportive, but this takes time.
The truth is, many of those close to the medium have just as hard of a time accepting the medium’s gifts, as the medium themselves do. When it comes to family - they truly are the last frontier when it comes to compassionate behavior.
This is why I tell many of the mediums I train not to offer help unless you’ve been explicitly asked. It’s a slippery slope of value, and doing so, it can hurt the medium much more than it can or will ever help the person.
It is for all of these reasons and more, that mediums tend to be more reclusive people.
We’re sensitive by nature and we’re heart-led by blood.
I wouldn’t be doing what I was doing now if I hadn’t been led here by my heart. Who cares what the skeptics say. In environmental work, while I knew I was making a difference, I always felt something was lacking.
That is, until I was led to this.
In the work I do now, I know I'm making a difference on a deeper level. And for me, that’s all that matters. I help the people who want to be helped. And I do my best to ignore everyone else.
That’s really all there is to it.
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Amanda Linette Meder is a psychic medium whose gifts come from her father's side. She also has 10 years of teaching experience in the environmental sciences, and she often jokes that she's more a modern day witch, than anything else. Learn more about Amanda here.