The Real Reason Long Island Medium's Theresa Caputo Struggled With Her Gift - Exclusive

During the coronavirus pandemic, Theresa Caputo didn't miss a beat. When many businesses temporarily closed their doors, the Long Island Medium star teased out her hair, logged onto Zoom, and got to work. "No pandemic was stopping spirit from delivering messages," Caputo tells The List on a late weekday afternoon Zoom call. The end result of her efforts was a brand-new — and socially distanced — series, Long Island Medium: There In Spirit, which premiered on Discovery+ in early February.

As you can probably gather, if a global lockdown isn't enough to stop spirits from contacting their loved ones, not much is — and that's actually part of the problem. It gets really loud, which was particularly overwhelming for Caputo before she fully understood her connection to whatever comes next. So, what happens when you can't metaphorically hang up the phone?

In this exclusive interview, Caputo sits down with The List to talk about her beginnings as a medium and the struggle it took for her to realize her life's purpose.

How Theresa Caputo discovered her gift

Theresa Caputo didn't just wake up one day being able to communicate with the dead like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense. It was something that was always inherent, but it took years for her to understand. The discovery+ star tells The List that she's always possessed a unique sensitivity and a whole lot of feelings, which manifested in intense anxiety every time she stepped outside.

"It was a very, very long process," she says. "For years, I suffered from anxieties. And at the time of when I discovered my gift, I couldn't even leave my house, because I feel. That's my main way of communicating with the souls of the departed is through feeling. So I could feel the way someone has died."

So, in her words, imagine walking into a grocery store and feeling a rush of emotions from all the spirits buzzing around their loved ones when you're just trying to grab a carton of milk. Now, imagine having no idea what's actually going on. It's enough to make anyone feel like they're losing their mind; however, Caputo eventually discovered that this wasn't some kind of curse — and she certainly wasn't going mad. Rather, it was actually a gift.

"I had gone to a spiritual awareness class, where through that class, I learned that not only was I communicating with my own departed loved ones, but everyone else's," she says. "So I struggled with my gift probably for about five years of [feeling] this is crazy."

Theresa Caputo on finding her true purpose

Once Theresa Caputo learned about her abilities, she took some time to grapple with it. She tells The List that as a practicing Catholic, she wondered why she would have been blessed with such an important gift. As she searched for answers, she eventually discovered her life's purpose: helping people find closure.

"Why would someone want to come and see a medium and speak to their relatives that have died?" she tells The List, describing the way she questioned her career in the early days. "And what I learned is that, unfortunately, we here in the physical world are left with burdens and guilts. Maybe a should've, a could've, a would've, an only if. And at the end of the day, all of these negative emotions and burdens do not give us the ability to heal."

After her realization, the floodgates were open — and that made all the difference.

"I kind of put my gift in [the] spirit's hands, and said, 'If this is my soul's journey, open the doors for me, and I will walk through them,'" Caputo tells The List. "And I feel ... Here I am, being with the Discovery family for 10 years and still being able to share my gift of — and deliver messages of — healing and hope and peace, is ... I'm actually getting emotional from saying that to you, because it really is amazing. And I'm very blessed to be able to continue to do this work."

Long Island Medium: There In Spirit is streaming now on discovery+.