When Jackie Gillies was a child she was relentlessly bullied.
Growing up in Newcastle, she would have rocks thrown at her because she was born in Croatia rather than in Australia, where her family had immigrated to.
Even then, there was something in Gillies that told her not to play the victim.
"I just remember knowing that feeling and I didn't allow myself to be in that state," she says.
"[But] experiencing some of the things that I did when I was younger made me able to handle situations when I did start doing psychic readings."
When Gillies was in her early 20s, she was in an emotionally abusive relationship which left her crying in her bed at night, saying: "Why is this happening to me? Why? When I've done everything the right way?"
These moments are what she considers to be her "depths of despair".
"There were times when I didn't want to live, but I don't think to the point where I wanted to take my life. But I feel like the feeling was there," she says.
"So I understand when somebody is in that darkest moment of their life, where you could choose a decision that is regretful."
But as dark as these moments were, Gillies believes they led her to her life's purpose - something which she writes about in her recently released book, Shine It Up.
The psychic and personality on The Real Housewives of Melbourne has since been committed to living her life "through the power of positivity and affirmation".
She's a strong believer in one's ability to manifest your own reality, and says everything from her fame to her marriage to Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies is a result of her manifestations.
In fact, her husband was her first crush, and her childhood bedroom had Silverchair posters plastered over its walls. Underneath Ben's head she had written: "I love you and am going to marry you".
"I believe that your thoughts create your experiences, and I have been doing vision boards from the age of 17 and up," Gillies says.
"And everything on those vision boards has come to fruition."
When people ask Gillies how she turned it around, these vision boards and her belief in manifesting her own reality are a large part of her answer.
But it wasn't until she left the jungle after her appearance in the 2018 season of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here that she decided to actually sit and write it all down.
"People haven't really seen that side to me on Housewives; you just kind of see one side," she says.
"But really, the true side - the true, true, authentic side - of me, is this me."
The side of Gillies which Real Housewives of Melbourne fans are more than familiar with is her career as a psychic.
But although she has been giving professional readings for 15 years, Gillies says she has always "felt the energy" and "heard spirits".
"I always just thought it was my imagination when I was younger," she says.
"For me, I knew it was something more when - and this is in my book - I was laying in the bedroom with my sister when I was younger and we woke up to see kids singing Ring a Ring o' Rosie with a dog, in our bedroom.
"Me and my sister were crying and we put our heads under the cover and we looked back up and it was still there. I remember I screamed out to the people who owned the house and the gentleman said: 'We know this room has always been cold'."
It wasn't until after Gillies' abusive relationship that she considered being a psychic professionally. It was also about the same time that Gillies says she started to take responsibility for the things which weren't working in her life.
"That meant that I had to look at my life and look at what wasn't working and if that meant taking away some of the friends that didn't answer me, I did that," she explains.
"I listened to my intuition and asked my angel to guide them out.
"It was in that moment that I heard an angel and I saw an angel and it said to me in my mind that I had a higher purpose. And from that moment that's when I started to take responsibility and through meditation, I heard the answers."
Gillies says she was guided to leave her career in banking for a job as a psychic in Angels by the Lake, a shop in Warners Bay, New South Wales.
When she originally walked into the store, the last thing that was on her mind was a job offer, but when Gillies started giving the owner advice, the owner couldn't pass up the opportunity to ask.
"I was so spot on about people who had passed away and names and how they passed, and she said: 'Will you work for me as a psychic?' and I worked in the banking industry and I thought: 'I'm not working as a psychic. Are you joking?'" Gillies recalls.
"She found me two more times and then I said yes. It just came out of my mouth.
"So from my first reading, I started getting booked out for three months and then six, then a year, then two years, so it was just word of mouth and it was the universe's way of putting my there and synchronising those events by saying 'You need to do this. This is your life's purpose'."
While some may see this encounter as just one of those "funny" things in life which leads to everything just falling into place, that's a sentiment that Gillies denies.
"Do you know what it is? It's your soul, your intuition," she says.
"You can either stay on that track or you can delve into something.
"When people are in the depths of despair that's when you're healing really projects. That's when your soul is saying, I'm ready to change and that's your psychic energy speaking to you."
Gillies is used to people trying to discredit her work. Recently she even hit back at critics on Channel 10's The Project, when host Hamish MacDonald suggested that psychics who charge for readings are potentially "preying on vulnerable people''.
When MacDonald pressed on whether Gillies charged for readings she responded, "Absolutely! Just like you get paid for this job, [which is] quite a lot."
Gillies tells me rather than focusing on the haters, she thinks about the number of people that she has helped over the years.
The psychic does what is called a cold reading. The only thing she knows about a person when they first meet is their first name and the surname they were born with.
"What that does is, it takes you right back to when you were a child and it shows me what you have gone through emotionally, physically and spiritually," she says.
"It's looking at someone and seeing their past, present and future. Family members come to me when I'm actually in my zone, that's when they start coming through."
Nobody has power over your mind. The only person who can make real change is you.Jackie Gillies
From there, it's all about recognising someone's energy, whether that be in person or over a video call, and from that, becoming a "vessel" relaying information that in any other situation she couldn't know.
"I will start naming the most random things. I've named passed-over animals, I've named situations that you've been through or people that have passed away," she says.
"I can see if there was an abortion; if there was an abuser. And this is why I give cold readings because I'm going to be telling you things that no one knows.
"Things that you have locked up in your head and the reason that comes through so clearly is to show you that you are not alone.
"There is another side to living life on this earth than just living in a mindset of going to work every day, being a mother, being a wife."
This is the part which Gillies says participants find cathartic and healing, as it acts as proof that there is a higher purpose to life.
"Sometimes people say, 'Jackie you have done more for me than any psychologist or counsellor has ever done', particularly if they have lost a family member," she says.
"That's because they are receiving information that I couldn't know and the only person who would know is the person I am giving the reading to and the person who has passed away."
Gillies says she has tens of thousands of testimonials attesting to how she has helped clients over the years. Despite this, she says she's no better than anyone else.
She says that everyone has a psychic ability that they just haven't tapped into yet.
"When I say psychic energy, psychic energy is your inner wisdom that is forever talking to you, when you get goosebumps," she says.
"Do you know, people ask me, 'Jackie, how do you differentiate true guidance with false guidance?'
"False guidance is out of fear, out of anxiety and frustration. Where positive, when you're hearing positive moving forward energy, it's out of love and it's almost like you're guided to do it without even realising you're doing it, even when you're in the depths of despair and you feel like you can't get out of it."
It all comes down to physics, Gillies says.
Putting aside the "traditional" imagery of psychic ability for a second, she takes it back to energy.
"We're all energy. We're all connected to the water, to the trees, to every human being," she says.
"And even when you pass away, there is still energy inside of you, which is called a soul, whether you believe that or not that's what I believe.
"I believe that every soul is connected to every living entity, and we're always evolving which is elevating our consciousness. And then once you realise that you've always had this power and you start to tap into it, then you start to see how life changes for the better."
It's the law of physics, Gillies says, and it's all about action and reaction. Or in other words, if you put something out into the universe, she believes that's what is sure to come your way.
"So if someone said 'Everything is s*** in my life and it's not working' of course you're going to attract that," she says.
"If you're resisting change, you're going to keep attracting the things that you're asking for. Action and reaction actually stems from your thoughts."
For the non-believers, Gillies says to send two weeks in a "state of gratitude". By changing your mindset to a positive one "you start to see opportunities that start to come to you that probably wouldn't have normally come".
"I've seen people who are unwell in their life and most of the time I believe that what I am seeing stems from something that happened to them when they were younger," she says.
"Something traumatic has happened to them, whether it's sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse. And it's manifested in their body physically over the years.
"I am a big believer that stress causes toxic energy in the body. When the body is in a state of negativity or a state of stress, your body starts to cause your immune system to become lower but also starts to create havoc in the body.
"You start getting headaches or the flu or colds or coughs and all of those sorts of things. But if you're like that your entire life and riddled with anger and frustration and not forgiving people, it becomes a very toxic situation."
It's a philosophy that Gillies wholeheartedly believes in and will be sharing at her upcoming Shine It Up Live tour.
Heading to Novotel Canberra on June 25, Gillies says she really wants to delve into what it means to have a consistently positive mindset.
"It really is about how to get the law of attraction to benefit you and how to live your best life," she says.
"I will be talking about how your conscious mind and your subconscious mind is the magnet for the laws of attraction.
"It is how to take responsibility for what's not working, how to bring that into everyday life and use the tools to bring that into every part of your life.
"That's whether it's in your relationship, whether it's in your working situation, or it could even be to make your life more positive.
"Nobody has power over your mind. The only person who can make real change is you."