When Abbey was a toddler, she told her parents a story that chilled them to their very core.
‘I told my parents how I died’.
I was three years old, hunched over in my bathtub and completely distraught. My parents ran to me, terrified.
“I know how I died,” I cried. “When I was a boy, I know how I died. I drowned. I remember now. I drowned.”
When I was two years old, I began talking about a time ‘when I was a boy’.
They were innocent stories like “when I was a boy I went here …” or “when I was a boy my dad looked different…” My parents put it down to childlike imagination, likely because I learnt to talk a lot earlier than I learnt to shut up.
But the older I got, the more sophisticated my stories became. I began recounting with a level of detail that was inexplicably vivid, and speaking with such genuine certainty. My parents could not fathom how a child so little seemed to be able to say so much.
As a toddler I used to love the bath. I would sit and splash and play and chatter away to myself.
Then chatter got strange.
“It sounded like another language” mum told me recently. “Almost like Italian. I didn’t know what you were saying, but you sounded so confident with it.”
Every time I came out of the bathtub I was armed with a realm of new stories about my time as a boy. It was almost as if my imaginary friend took the form of the water.
It was odd, but it was always harmless. Or so my parents thought in the beginning.
That was until the final moment that left me screaming and reeling in the water.
After telling my parents how I died, I never brought it up again.
I don’t know what happened or who I thought I was speaking to. But whoever or whatever it was, they really wanted to tell me about the drowning.
I always knew this happened. It was never particularly taboo in my home. Just a weird distant occurrence that my family and I have never given any real thought to. Because what could we possibly say to rationalise it?
But every time a new story breaks about a child and their creepy gift, I’m reminded that I am one part of an unexplainable global phenomenon.
I’m not afraid, necessarily, but I am unsettled.
I spoke to psychic Rose Smith to hear how she interprets the strange phenomenon.
“The child is going through a developmental stage from 18 months to two-and-a-half. And because they’re becoming more aware of their independence and who they are, it kind of fits that they might have memories of times before they were born” said Rose.
Rose Smith is a Queensland woman who claims she has a very special gift – the ability to see past lives and communicate with the dead. As head of Absolute Soul Secrets psychic network, she has done thousands of readings in her life. Including readings for many mothers who suspect their children may have psychic abilities.
Rose believes it’s common for children to freely speak to spirits because they’ve not yet been taught to be sceptical and cynical. “At that age they still haven’t had that programming and conditioning to get those imaginary friends, if you like, out of their head.”
But not only is the phenomenon driven by childlike open-mindedness, there is also often a unique sense of safety that surrounds us in our earliest years.
“The thing with remembering past lives, or things that are deep in your subconscious, is that it will only come up when you are safe. So you can deal with it. That didn’t happen for me until I was about 22.”
Rose’s childhood was clouded in danger.
It wasn’t until she was in her 20s that she felt finally out of harm’s way. And that was when her own past lives interacted with her for the first time.
Her first memory took place in Ancient Rome. She and her husband were a wealthy couple with many servants. But she was a brutal master. She suspected one of her slaves had stolen from her so she had his hand cut off. Her slaves then revolted and viciously murdered her.
Her next memory came a year later. It was in France in the 1700s. She had stolen bread to feed her starving family, but was caught and publicly beheaded. “And the shock of that, the shock of the guillotine coming down on my neck, I could feel it” said Rose.
“The people were all baying for blood, they were all screaming and they hated me because I’d done this terrible thing, stealing food for my family.” Rose said that as we spoke, the memory came back to her clearly. She was so disturbed by this memory that it was five years before she saw another past life.
Just like my own experience, Rose’s traumatic deaths were the most vivid part of her vision.
According to Rose, the majority of us have thousands of past lives, but only those who feel unresolved will come back to us. Rose believes that most fear or anxiety we feel now can be traced back to a past life. These lives come back to us because “they do have something to say, because they want healing, they want resolution.”
The impact our spirituality has on our psyche is a huge focus of Rose’s. Not only is she a psychic, she also has a degree in Psychology. “There’s not many psychics that have academic qualifications,” she said. She approaches spirituality with a psychological and neuroscientific perspective, “I think I’m in a unique position as a psychic to do that.”
I told Rose my own story, and she wasn’t shaken in the slightest.
But she was especially intrigued by the detail of the bathtub. “The water is symbolic of emotions. To be in the bath, it’s like being in the amniotic fluid in utero before you’re born. The water is regressing you back to an earlier time.”
Rose assured me that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and by no longer seeing this past life likely meant that they now feel resolved. But she also thinks there is no harm in attempting to once again channel this past life, or my many others.
As interesting as it was speaking to Rose and going down the weird rabbit hole that was my childhood, I don’t feel I need to do any kind of regression. The way I see it, whatever needed to be said was said.
It’s odd to believe that I am a part of this strange phenomenon. But I am at peace knowing it was just an unusual, albeit a bit spooky, part of my life many years ago. I don’t think I’ll be jumping into amniotic fluids/my bathtub and channelling my little Italian mate any time soon.
But if I ever do get another visit, you can be sure I’ll be writing about that one too.
Abbey Lenton is a contributing author to kidspot.com.au. Please click here for the original interview on kidspot.