Thoughts on synesthesia

I love reading up about topics, absolutely LOVE it. On any given day, if I come across something that catches my interest, I`ll immediately start Googling away and I end up with tons of tabs open in my browser with at least 5 different topics of interest.

But every now and then something comes along that catches my interest for different reasons. Sometimes I just get stuck in a topic and love learning more about it, and sometimes it`s a bit of a journey of finding something out about myself. This always comes with a risk of becoming slightly obsessed or relating myself to things I shouldn`t be relating myself to.

Today`s topic: synesthesia.

Inspired by this video by booksandquills on YouTube, I started thinking about synesthesia, and about whether or not I might have it.

I still don`t think I have “real” synesthesia, at the most it`s something similar but a lot weaker than what I see people describe. Although I did only start looking into it properly today, so, you know, it might change. I just still think I have a visual way of thinking, and not necessarily in a “I can imagine exactly what the scene you described looked like” (which I usually can anyway) but more in a “things are dark or bright or rainy or sunny depending on how much I like them and sometimes things get assigned colours”.

I have always associated words and things with colours, the weather and moods, and I always assumed that it`s a completely normal thing. Like, of course I have a mental image of the weekdays and of course some of those days have a specific colour? Because yes, Wednesdays are a bright, light yellow and Fridays look like the sky on a sunny day and Saturdays are gloomy and tuesday is smaller? I don`t like Thursday because it`s a murky brown. Friday is on the left and Monday is on the right and basically it`s in the reverse order than it actually is. I don`t literally see the colours or the days like they`re holograms or on a screen over my eyes, but I just know they are that colour like I know the sky is blue when I can`t see the sky. It just is what it is.

I honestly thought that was completely normal, just like I get images of places I`ve been to and their surroundings when someone mentions them and just like I have a 3D Google Earth-esque map in my head of places I`ve been to and can mentally walk around in (I also rarely get lost, even in new cities, as long as I`m outside). I`m still not sure, because it`s such a normal thing for me that I can`t imagine other people don`t have this. I just can`t wrap my head around how thinking works for other people if they don`t have associations like this. Do you not use pictures? Do you not see things in your mind when you talk/think about them? How do you retain information? It`s all a big mystery, to be honest.

Then someone in a comment on the video above mentioned misophobia, a hatred for certain everyday sounds. I`ve suspected for a while that I have this, or some kind of oversensitivity to specific sounds. I have had to leave dinner tables in the past, after bursting into tears and rage because of the sound of my brother and sister chewing and the clinging of the cutlery on plates. Something about it sets me off real bad. Though it`s gotten better, I still can`t eat at the same table with other people without having sufficient background noise (regular restaurant noise, or a radio, will usually be enough, luckily). And if I have no choice, well. It`s an exercise in patience and self-control, to say the least. I often end up eating noisily myself to drown out the sound of other people`s eating.

That said, misophonia is associated with just negative feelings, whereas I also have a lot of sounds that I absolutely love. I love the sounds of people typing quickly on some keyboards, I love the sound of rocks falling on other rocks, kind of like this  (it`s a very round sound), I love the way some people pronounce certain words (I can fall in love with someone`s voice based on their pronunciation of one letter). There`s something really round and filling about the sound of rain on windows, like it fills my ears just right and it`s all the exact right pitch and it`s not at all relaxing but it does feel good, like all other sounds are a bit off and now something is finally right.

It`s a very strange notion, to have always considered something to be completely normal, and to find out it might not be. I asked my parents earlier if they associate colours and weekdays, and they just looked at me quizically and asked me if I do. I`m not sure if I`m overreacting, if I`m projecting something that`s normal on something else, or if this is really a thing that I always just seemed to assume is normal because this is what it`s always been like.

So, if you recognise any of this and think it`s all completely normal, let me know! Or if you think it`s not, also let me know. Because at this point? I`m at a loss.

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2 Responses to Thoughts on synesthesia

  1. I was just watching this video. I really love her!
    I’ve heard of synesthesia but I don’t know anyone who has it. It was great to hear the way she sees things

  2. Pingback: Misophonia: a struggle | Charlotte Blogs

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