Something about me…

For context, we (Toby, The Mighty Q and I) were chatting over dinner a week or two ago. We talked about how Toby reads books super fast, and how I read really slowly.

Q said he liked when I read out loud to him still (awwww) and I said I thought that was maybe why I read so slowly – I actually feel like I’m reading out loud, but in my head. Thankfully they got what I meant.

I mentioned how I thought it was so amazing how our brains all worked differently – like how I basically have a running narrative most of the day and that I discovered that most people can actually picture things in their mind. Both Q and Toby stopped and demanded an explanation.

Oops! doodle hand drawn vector typography

I explained that someone had posted something on FB and asked whether people could picture things in their minds and I realised that that meant some people COULD do this.

You see where I’m going right?

I cannot. I close my eyes. I see darkness. I can see light shadows – like actual light shadows, if you look at a bright light though a grill and close your eyes and you see the grill and light still? That’s what I mean.

But like, close your eyes and imagine an apple? My brain can describe an apple but I cannot SEE an apple. I see darkness and my never-stop-talking brain tells me about what I am thinking about.

A couple days later Toby asks “have you heard of aphantasia?” (turns out he was watching YouTube and a video came up and because we had just been talking about it he watched…)

Me: hmmm is that when you can like smell colours, or taste sounds?

Toby: no, that’s synesthesia. Aphantasia is when you cannot see images in your mind.

Huh. It has a name. Wiki link here.

First an objection – the definition: or at least the etymology:

derived from the ancient Greek word phantasia (φαντασία), which means “imagination”, and the prefix a- (ἀ-), which means “without”

Oh dude – I have GOT an imagination thank you very much. I am working on stopping, or at least slowing down, the worry spirals I go on imagining all the possible negative outcomes etc. Lack of imagination ain’t my issue.

I just don’t see pictures in my brain. And I really didn’t think very much about it because it’s the way it’s always been. My brain talks to me, it doesn’t show me pictures.

WAIT a minute.

My brain doesn’t show me pictures – when I am awake.

I definitely dream. And I have – what I have also discovered is weird / unique – the ability to remember my dreams a lot of the time and to influence what I am dreaming. Like to the point where if I wake up but want to go back and see how it ends, then if I can drift off to sleep again I pick the dream right back up like if it was just a commercial break and the program resumes. And I usually know that I’m dreaming and can change the story if needed.

So there you go. First post in ages and I thought I’d share something about me.

Profile photo of a white female presenting person with lots of grey hair and dark eyebrows; with dark brown eyes and a bit of a smirk. Wearing a blue knit dress with a solar system necklace

3 replies on “Something about me…”

I dream like you do, with being able to take a “commercial break”, then continue or alter the dream. My dreams are very vivid and I often remember them. But as I was reading this, I closed my eyes and tried to envision the apple. I can describe it perfectly, but I really only see darkness.

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