My Synesthesia

My Room by cillarah

     If you don’t know what synesthesia is in the first place I recommend that you visit this site

Synesthesia is a mixing of the senses. Like when you look at a building you see a bunch of 9’s scattered over it or it’s purple. Maybe when you see a flag flapping in the wind far away you can hear a sound from that movement. Or when you listen to your favorite song there’s a line of colors above your head flowing as the music plays. There could also be various shapes that accompany that piece.

I’ve had synesthesia for as long as I can remember and until I was in junior high (8th grade) I thought that everyone could see numbers on dogs, cats, buildings, etc. or that everyone saw shapes and colors when they looked at a person. I realized that I had synesthesia from stumbling upon a TV show about Savants. There was a man named Daniel Tammet that had synesthesia and the show explained what it was. I exclaimed to my mom, who was also watching the show, that the building that they showed to Daniel to see what he sees was purple and covered in 9’s. A second later Daniel said the same thing that I saw. My mom was quiet and I asked her if she saw it too. She just called me weird and walked off.

I knew that what I saw wasn’t a made up coincidence because I can also see colors around people (especially their heads). I used to call them “Auras” when I was a freshman in high school and my friends would ask me what color they were. I remember looking into my friends week future (I’m spiritual so I have an inkling of how people’s weeks will turn out) and seeing it in shapes. Like my friends week would start off as a triangle, then have a very small gap into a circle, then connect to a rectangle. I used to also know what each shape meant (something bad would happen, it would be a boring week, something exciting would happen) but I forgot the meanings now. I used to practice the piano at school and I remember seeing a strip of colors flowing above my head with some shapes thrown in. And my synesthesia came in really handy during marching band when I used to remember each set by a shape.

These are the types of synesthesia that I have:

Spatial sequence(number form) [Mild]

Emotions -> colors [Strong]

General sounds -> colors [Strong]

Graphemes -> colors [Strong]

Kinetics -> colors [Weak]

Musical notes -> colors [Strong]

Musical sounds -> colors [Strong]

Pain -> colors [Strong]

Personalities -> colors (“auras”) [Strong]

Phonemes -> colors [Strong]

Grapheme personification* (OLP) [Mild]

Non-graphemic ord. pers.* [Strong]

Object personification* [Strong]

Ticker-tap [Strong]

Kinetics -> sounds [Weak]

Personalities -> smells [Mild]

Sounds -> kinetics [Mild]

Vision -> smells [Mild]

Vision -> sounds [Mild]

The time in my life where my synesthesia was most prominent was before I was a teenager. I guess all of the excess crap you take on when you’re a teenager simmers those connections a bit…or a lot. I can remember when all of these connections happened in my life, but I can’t tell you that I’ve had all of them happen to me recently. The ones that still stand out to this day are the connections with personalities, emotions, smell, movement, color, number, shapes, touch, sounds, vision, linguistic, and personification. It still seems like there’s no difference from what I highlighted, but my synesthesia has been suppressed dramatically I would say. Every synesthete can choose to ignore their synesthesia, especially when it’s not a huge reaction, or pay attention to it. So it comforts me that I’ll be able to experience what I used to experience as a child again if I’m focused enough. I can say that when my emotions are high, like a sudden episode of depression, I can experience my synesthesia really easily. And not just the types that occur more often.

There are confusing moments I have with my synesthesia because of all these connections. When a person has true synesthesia, whatever they see doesn’t change color. For example, if they look at the Eiffel tower and see the color yellow and purple on it then that’s the color that the Eiffel tower has to be for the rest of that synesthetes life. The colors cannot change with true synesthesia unless another factor gets in the way. That’s what causes a  lot of my confusion with my synesthesia. For example, one of my friends will have a yellow aura and it’ll be that way for weeks, maybe years. But suddenly one day their color changes to a dark blue. Someone that studies synesthesia would say that the person that sees these colors is lying, but the color change could have been due to an emotion getting in the way. If that same synesthete has color -> emotion synesthesia as well as color -> personality synesthesia they could have detected their friends emotion that day instead of their personality. It’s a slight difference but it makes all the difference in a synesthete’s mind. Since I have so many connections in my synesthesia this happens a lot. Especially since I like to focus on people’s emotions. And emotions change way too often. Oh and objects themselves can have personalities too. So if you have two identical plastic easter eggs one of them could be covered in a different number than the other or have a total different color (in a synesthete’s mind). One of them could have no personality and one could be a frustrated easter egg.

Here’s some weird things that happened as a product of my synesthesia:

  1. I once thought that all these strange feelings that I was having was because I was OCD. I now know that I am not anymore OCD than a regular person and that my synesthesia is the cause of all of my strange habits.
  2. My smell synesthesia is so strong that everyone in my hometown knows that I hate stank people (precise wording) and that I am more than willing to spray my perfume on a burly man standing next to me.
  3. I breathe out when I look at a person I don’t like and quickly try to find someone I like to breathe in because my vision/personality -> smell synesthesia is so strong.
  4. I’m a germaphobe so when I touch something that looks unclean I smell a really gross smell around me.
  5. I thought that I should join the Shinto religion because I saw objects as having personalities.
  6. My most common pain colors are red, orange, yellow, and green. And they appear when my back hurts mostly (I have scoliosis).
  7. High notes are white and low notes are dark purple.
  8. I used to think that everyone heard screaming sounds in the shower when I was younger.

Synesthesia is not a rare condition in the least bit. I think that everyone has a bit of synesthesia in them. Have you ever watched a funny video that involved someone in pain? Could you feel that persons pain on a part of your body? Synesthesia is kind of like that.

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