The following letter just came in earlier this week, from GirlsNightOut:
Dear Dr. Ding: Hola chica! I have a nephew who apparently talks to people but when asked he denies it and goes on with whatever he is doing. I told him in front of several family members that it used to be seen as being a weirdo but in all actuality it isn’t so you’re special in a very special way. He thinks I’m a lil on the weirdo side to begin with. I need help asking him about any and all the intuitive stuff. I can be very straight forward and I don’t want him shying away cuz he is a very shy young fellow. I know his lil brother saying that he heard him talking to someone made him shy away, but he too was like me – very close to my grandmother who was a curandera herself. Please help a sista out thank you. Love you!
Love you too, momma! Great question, and I’m so glad you wrote! And here’s my answer: just ask him. Seriously. The more straightforward you are, the better. Since there’s a common belief in many spiritual and psychic communities that the ability to naturally connect with the Unseen is often inherited, you can also reassure him that he comes by his gift honestly. And you can also tell him stories about your grandmother and anyone else in your family with intuitive gifts as a means of normalizing his experiences. Talking in a direct manner also makes it seem less “woo woo” and will help reduce his anxiety.
I’m assuming here that he’s pretty well-adjusted otherwise? Because talking to unseen others can definitely be a symptom of certain types of psychological issues, as you know. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case here – usually with a mental health issue there will be things like odd behaviors, social and emotional withdrawal, and/or actual hallucinations, and it doesn’t sound like any of these are happening. He’s just talking to people who don’t have bodies, is all.
I sympathize with this fella; we live in a society that doesn’t approve of sacred healing traditions that fall outside the allopathic fundamentalist/medical model norms, and therefore when healers emerge as they’ve emerged for thousands of years, it can produce crisis. The thing that cheers me is that he’s got you; an adult who takes him seriously and who will encourage him to develop his gifts if he so chooses. You’re a safe person for him to talk to, even if he doesn’t feel much like talking right now! You’re offering him reassurance that he ain’t nuts, and also giving him a way to understand his experiences. Curanderos are in short supply these days, and the world sorely needs more of them.
I’m encouraging you both to check something out, as a kind of safety measure. My friend Crystal, has a truly bitchen psychic training program and has created a huge catalog of free videos available on YouTube. In particular, I’d like you both to check out this one on the issue of dominion, which is essentially a “how to” on psychic protection when dealing with disembodied entities/energies. She has a gift for taking these esoteric concepts and making them understandable without losing their beauty, and I think your nephew will feel a lot less like a “weirdo” after watching even just one!
Lastly, as far as those making fun of him – they’re totes jelly! Yup. Jelis bigtime. He’s just gotta brush that kind of dirt off his shoulder and keep stepping forward, secure in the knowledge that his abuela is watching over him, helping him learn and grow when he’s ready.