Life matters: Kerri Sackville was sceptical about psychics, but also curious

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Kerri Sackville

What would Kerri Sackville discover on her first trip to a psychic?

Styling by Emma Cotterill. Hair and make-up by Allison Boyle. Kerri wears Sambag black dress; Guess shoes and jewellery

Styling by Emma Cotterill. Hair and make-up by Allison Boyle. Kerri wears Sambag black dress; Guess shoes and jewellery Photo: Nic Walker

This may be an odd thing for a sceptic to confess, but recently I visited a psychic. It was something I've always wanted to do, less to gain any information about myself, but rather to check out how the whole thing works.

Many of my friends and acquaintances have visited psychics and rave about the accuracy of their readings.

I couldn't help but be curious.

Would I finally see what all the fuss is about? Would I uncover the psychic's psychological tricks? Would I - gasp - become a believer myself?

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I had no idea how to choose a psychic, so I asked my Facebook friends for a recommendation. I was careful not to mention which psychic I chose; I didn't want her to be alerted to my visit and research me before my session.

I was oddly nervous before I arrived, despite being an unbeliever. I came up with a few questions, just in case. And I had a think about who I would want to make contact with, if, by any chance, the psychic was bona fide.

My sister. She died eight years ago. Of course, I wanted a message from her.

I walked into the psychic's rooms at my appointed time and stopped in my tracks. It was an office space. Plain, undecorated, just two chairs, a table, and a laptop.

The psychic was wearing ordinary clothes with no fancy adornments or scarves around her neck. I'm not sure what I was expecting - incense? Candles? A crystal ball? Chimes? Potions? - but it wasn't this.

We sat down. She was a medium, she said, who received messages from the dead. I braced myself.

"Your finances," she began, and I felt a tinge of disappointment. Finances? Where was the mention of my sister?

"You need five different accounts," she was telling me, "which all will feed into different areas ..."

I tried to listen but my mind kept wandering. Accounts? When would she get to the good stuff?

After 20 minutes, she finally changed direction.

"You moved house recently?"

"Well, three years ago," I answered.

"Yes," she said, as if she knew that already. But I suspect she didn't, because three years isn't exactly recent. Still.

"You live alone?" she asked.

"With my three kids."

"Yes," she said. "You have a son?"

I nodded.

"He's very challenging," she told me.

"He can be!" I said.

She proceeded to tell me all the ways in which my son is challenging. He doesn't like school or authority. He is a free spirit, and marches to the beat of his own drum. He will spray a fire extinguisher when he's bored.

Which doesn't describe my son at all. I felt myself losing interest again.

"You have a question," she said eventually. And I did. It was about a past relationship.

"Yes," she said definitively. "You will get married again."

Except that wasn't my question.

I don't want to get married again.

"Yes you will," she insisted, then she described my future husband. He is very tall, socially awkward, and has a holiday house that sounds great.

I look forward to meeting him. But we're not getting hitched.

"Who's Julian?" she asked, and I jumped from my chair. It was the first time she hit on something real.

"Julian is the lead character of the book I'm writing," I told her.

She nodded, as though she knew.

But it didn't go further than that.

It was a surprisingly deflating experience. There was no mention of my sister, no answer to my question.

And I couldn't understand why I was so disappointed by a psychic I didn't believe in. I guess I allowed myself to hope, just for a moment, that it was real.

But maybe this answered my original question. Why do people believe in psychics? Because they desperately want to. My desire was just not enough.

I'm wearing ... a nice outfit and make-up, daily. Or at least until I forget that "spotted in the supermarket in pyjamas" incident.

I'm cooking ... schnitzel. It is not my favourite but it is the only meal every member of my household will happily eat.

I'm hosting ... a baby shower for my friend Gab. Her baby will be the niece I never had. I cannot wait to meet her.

I'm buying ... so much food. My 17-year-old son eats faster than I can stock the pantry - which is why I was in the supermarket in my pyjamas.