I’m not psychic. I get flashes of insight, and I apply a lot of reasoned thinking to trying to work out where everything is going and what might be needed ahead of time. I miss things, I fail to work things out and I make mistakes, because I am not magically all knowing. That should be fine, and straightforward, but it isn’t.
I’ve spent a lot of time in situations where I was required to magically know ahead of time exactly what would be wanted. Told off for things I didn’t do for other people that I had no reasonable way of knowing were required. This is because I have been through some profoundly psychologically abusive stuff. If you ask a person to magically know things you don’t tell them and then punish them for not being psychic enough, you will harm them. Demanding a magical reality is not always good for people.
For me, the damage manifests as obsessive over thinking as I try to work out what is wanted, based on far too little information. I panic about getting things right in contexts where I couldn’t possibly hope to know what the right thing would be. No matter how well I think of a person, I still go through rounds of fear that my failing to magically know will lead to anger and rejection.
I beat myself up over poor relationship choices, and for getting into situations with people who hurt me and messed me about. In my head, that was clearly all my fault because, magically, I should have known what they were like. I should have used my non-existent psychic powers to see through the lies and deliberate deceptions. That they were able to hurt me is my fault for not protecting myself. This week it has occurred to me that here we have another consequence of being treated like I should magically know everything. How could I know that a sweet smile and an offer of friendship masked a cold heart that just wanted to use me? Or the weird and frustrating weeks when the things I was being asked to do were not the things that were needed, nor even the things that were wanted. There have been many such.
I am willing to see the best in people, and I’ve managed to keep doing that to some degree despite my history. That’s not a trait I plan to let go of. However, I can give up the story that I am supposed to magically know everything. I can stop trying to be that – most especially for anyone who asks it of me. I can become a bit more wary of people who expect me to magically know things. I can recognise that the idea that I should have magically known who was kind and who was manipulative without really testing anything, is just a way of making me responsible for what other people do. I may have mistaken innocence for complicity, and blamed myself for enabling people to hurt me. Perhaps I wasn’t so very complicit, just open hearted and well meaning.
I am not psychic. I do not magically know what you want or need, but if you’re in my life, I’ll be doing my best to figure that out because it’s important to me. I want to know what I can usefully give. It works a lot better, I realise, when people tell me what they want, what they would like, what would be good. On the whole I am much better at magically getting things done than ever I am at knowing what to magically do.