My Latest Synesthesia OLP Developments

I have synesthesia. 🤍

Specifically: ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP).

For those new to the terms, synesthesia is a genetic neurological🧠 condition “in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (for example, hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (such as vision). Simply put, when one sense is activated, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time.” [Thanks, Goo-gal.]

The type I have (OLP) means all of my alphabet letters🔠 and numbers🔢 have personalities (and some assigned colors that I can’t not associate them with.)

The best guess is that 1-2% of the population has it, but I think it’s much higher⬆️, because a lot of people don’t know it’s a thing and think it’s normal🧐. It literally took until I was total adult status before I was informed it was a thing that a few others had, and that there was some research into it. Imagine my shock😱! (From freak to kindred spirit in no time flat!)

Now that I’ve said all that, I’m being raw and open today and just putting out there the latest synesthesia-caused developments in my life👩🏻‍💻.

My reading, writing, mathematical skills have all been impacted by OLP all my life. It takes a process to spell words, read words, and do math. In some cases, a process that is 2 to 4 times longer⏱ than my counterparts.

To learn to read📖, I memorized the “soap opera” that was playing out🎭 between my letters alongside basic phonics. But basic phonics was a failsafe. “Feeling” my way through words was much safer🌷, much easier. To this day, I can take any word and tell you what “soap opera” is going on between the male and female letters in a word. (Truth: I freaked out happily🥳 when I married and my new last name no longer had negativity in it! His letters were all at peace😌 and in perfect order for me to relax with them every time I read it. My own real first name has an ongoing war⚔️ in it. I’ve recently thought about changing my first name, but haven’t convinced my Husband yet🤷🏻‍♀️.)

Math was the same “soap opera”… Algebra was a nightmare👻 of numbers and letters straight-up refusing to talk with each other. I was homeschooled, so after multiple breakdown episodes, my poor Mother recognized I was stronger in words📓 regardless of her own strengths in math, and offered to train me further in words than force me go on to advanced advanced algebra. A deal I took in a heartbeat💓.

So, here I am. Author. Blogger. And realizing just today that all my life I’ve been pushing😓 myself to be “normal.” Well. Trying to appear normal🚻.

[Crap. Why am I crying while typing a simple blog?? Ugg. Carry on…..]

I’ve known that I was “slower” getting to the same lesson solutions my Brother (no synesthesia) worked out. I was slower🐌 at reading, writing papers (unless said brother was unfocused), head math, and several other schoolwork areas. And I didn’t know why then, but now, I understand I was putting words and math through a much longer process⚙️ to arrive at the same output.

It was something like this when I was young.

  1. See word
  2. See each letter as the person they are and discover what they are doing with the surrounding letters in that word
  3. See if the “soap opera” seems familiar
  4. Find the “soap opera” word
  5. Double check✅ to be sure not confused with similar “soap opera”
  6. Triple check✅ with basic phonics Mom taught me
  7. All points agree? If yes, that’s the right word. If no, look again.
  8. Move forward with confidence! That’s the word!🎉

Over time, I memorized🤓 a ton of words and got faster and faster at running through this process. Only getting stumped on the words that were new✨ or their “soap opera” hadn’t been seen in awhile. My vocabulary grew as long as I was fascinated by the “soap opera” feel of the new word.

Convert the above process⚙️ to numbers and that’s how I learned math and new equations.

This all came up recently. Right after a nasty breakdown while I was handling our Household Budget💸.

I’m proficient enough in math these days, (got a ton of dramas memorized,) but I still have to run through the ridiculous process⚙️, and it’s… well… taxing. Somewhat exhausting in itself🤤.

Just so happened that my Sweet Husband was sitting beside me trying to answer any of my placement questions, because he set up Mint🌱 for us, and I was handling the directing of finance-flow. But then I had to log into Mint on the laptop💻 for some reason, and saw that my paper📝 income total was different than that inside Mint.

I panicked😰, and tried to figure out which number was right. I had so carefully tried to avoid mistakes, how could I have missed the freaking income?!? Asking my Husband availed to my paper budget being flawed, so I franticly ran through everything to try and get the budget back into place with $300 less. Where there’d been wiggle🐛 room, there was no longer. I agonized over paying the Housecleaner🧽 a bit less (I try to overpay her always, I love her so much), agonized over the food🍱 budget again, on and on. Math through the current-day process⚙️.

Finally I got it right. Then, I realized, Mint🌱 on the web wasn’t tallying our income correctly. I showed my Husband and he quickly corrected🙆🏻‍♂️ it so it showed me the right thing.

I looked down at my paper budget and realized: I’d gone through the agony😖 of math for an hour, trying to fix something that wasn’t a problem at all.

I melted down.

I yelled🌋 at the situation and how everyone is good at math and it’s such an emotional💔 struggle (because I have to “feel” through the numbers each time), then I was yelling💢 about how it’s the same with my Co-writer and how she writes with apparent ease while I struggle through not only the freakin’ word feels, but the feels of my characters (HSP also, hello🤦🏻‍♀️), too!

Then I cried mad. Stormed to my room⚡️.

Cried sad. (Okay, maybe sobbed.)

Then wondered what on earth was wrong with me, melting down over letters and numbers and a budget that had $300 more than I thought.

God very gently told me, “You’ve been trying💔 to be like everyone else all your life.”

I cried again because He knows I’m visual, and He did a great job of reminding me how hard I tried as a child, as a teen, and in college to appear🚻 to learn and think and spout off answers as quickly🐇 as everyone else.

But, learning the world around me by feeling🤍 has been a slow and tedious process⚙️.

In essence, I lied to everyone💔.

Why? To be accepted and seen as normal and worthy💎, I guess.

I always wanted to be worthy of that gold star⭐️, of the pat on the back, of the “good job” exclamation. I might’ve gotten some growing up, but it felt like nothing compared to the Brother that tested well🥇 and got through University with a 4.0 GPA. [My Husband is quick to point out every time I mention this that I had a 3.8 and graduated Magna Cum Laude, just above the threshold to get the same gold sticker as my Brother on my diploma.] To this day, I’ve always imagined the notes📒 I keep for work, the spreadsheets kept for world-building🪐, and the emails and texts I craft take far, far too long to come up with.

Again, compared to others without Synesthesia. Or HSP.

It all came out in the meltdown. And God challenged me on it. 🦋

Just being me means I step up with the truth: I’m not normal, and acting like I am has been pushing my writing and math too hard for too long💙.

I need to give it up. Not burn out. And not freak for being different.

Just be me. 🦄

So yeah. If you or anyone you know needs to see my story for encouragement, please share.

And if you have OLP, welcome to the club. 🖖

It’s weird here, and we have our genetics🧬 and God to thank.

Skin and the HSP

Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) means I explain sensations to others. A lot. Since I experience sound, taste, touch, smell, and sight-related phenomena at a louder setting than most, everyone who knows me always wants to know just a little more.

Sometimes I try to explain what happens when my skin is maxed out on its ability to feel, but I seem to fall short on it. Many other HSPs agree with me when I use terminology of “static” and “overloaded,” but describing the feeling up-close is… well… hard.

So that’s what I’m trying to do here.

What’s it like to have HSP skin?

Let’s say I start out with skin at “normal 0″—a ground-zero of sorts, where nothing from the day before has upset my nervous system in any way, it was a good night’s sleep, and my skin is well rested and quiet.

More than likely, the process of touching the cold floor, the cold water or hot water to clean up, or cold toilet seat will be the first items of the day to take my resting brain to 90%. (I use percentages to describe to my Husband what amount of my brain is paying attention to the sensation, whatever it may be.) Of course, once I move on to clothing, the 90% will drop down to 10-20%.

Clothing decisions in the morning are always of importance. HSPs fist-bump.

Some days, I really need clothing that will not irritate my skin, i.e. make itself known via “loud” textures in an ever-growing manner. all. day. long. Other days, I’m brave and don’t care. Bring on the areas that are going raw from the stitching. If I’m in rough shape, I’m not so brave, and just about glare at those clothes and pass them over. (God bless my over-soft fluffy hoodies and Lu-La-Rue Leggings of velvety delicate goodness. You rescue my skin organ often!)

From dressing, the day will progress with various surfaces, textures, and people touching my skin. Either my choice or not. And each time, two things will happen:

  1. The surface/ texture/ person will ping in my brain to some percentage and I’ll be aware of it, especially the surfaces and textures higher than 60%, and
  2. Every single surface/ texture/ person will take a little (or a lot) from my “HSP Endurance Tank”

As the day winds down, if my HSP Endurance Tank is above, say, a quarter full, I see the day as a win. It’s usually when my tank is in the last fourth of a tank (or empty) that bad things happen.

Meh. Remind me to post about the HSP Endurance Tank sometime. Thanks.

Descriptions of Sensations

Every HSP is different. So this might not be accurate for other HSPs. Even so, here’s a list of some of the sensations my skin and I have gone through. Usually these sensations occur strongest around the back of my arms and torso. When it’s a really rough time, it will be all over, down to my toes. There you go.

Listed from least obnoxious to most.

  • weightiness
  • tiny debris feeling
  • air hurts “buzz”
  • water/ wet
  • fake burning
  • tingles
  • static
  • cold
  • tickles
  • pins and needles
  • one, solitary hair moving to tickle
  • rash sensation

 

Beyond this, I believe I’ve given you all I know about my skin.

Maybe.

I’ll let you know. 😉

endkevianaelliot

Gratitude Series 02

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Today, I am reminiscing friends. Realizing how grateful I am for buddies.

To all those who are close to me and see me for who I am and love me just as:
I’m so thankful for each of you. I’m even thankful for how we grate on each other. 🙂

For each of you who have been with me for over two years, extra special thanks for your patience with my apparent inability to listen well: you taught me to shut my mouth and drink you in.

My world is so much better for it.

Thank you.

Friend, I Listen

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

Friend
Breathe deep
Let me hear and let me stir
Dissolve the facade free
Our eyes delicately see

Share
Speak all
Empty your heart so I hear
Cry and sip and swallow
Pain poured out makes us hollow

Here
Right here
I listen to what you say
The galaxy of you
I dare not disturb the view

Time
Like tea
I give because you matter
I shan’t hurry us on
Even if we sit ’til dawn

Breathe
And smile
For tea doesn’t stain hearts
It is okay to spill
Be with me and please be real

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

by Keviana Elliot 3/26/19

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Gratitude Series 01

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

 

Steps plodded into unwavering gratitude start with the realization of a 30,000-ft view.

A flyover.

Stare down into the tiny dots that make up memories and backstory and see what’s there.

If I were a commercial airliner, soaring over my life, what would the terrain be made of?

Black dirt. Green trees. White snow. A little further on, endless blue oceans and island-dots. Then finally, land filled with flowers and endless miles of flowering trees. (I think they’re cherry and plum trees… But it’s hard to tell from up here.)

Let’s divide it up.

black dirt.

The nitty-gritty on my life story.

The pain.
The sorrow.
The hard.
The stuff I wish each flood of rain would wash away.

Can I be truly grateful for all of it? #unsure

green trees.

Life.

The places God was gracious to grow it in me.

Through parenting poured out on me by my Mother and Father, and expounded in me through my Heavenly Pappa.

white snow.

Where I started.

With nothing.

Getting to choose nothing.

My life, placed in the hands of others at my birth, innocent brown eyes taking everything in as I aged into a girl.

endless blue oceans.

Chased by the fathomless, ravishing love of my Creator.
Wooed by His worlds.
Drowned by His goodness.
Wowed by Him. Wowed by Jesus/Yeshua. Wowed by what He shares with me.

island-dots.

Worlds for He and I to uncover, discover, and form.

Working together. This is what’s mine to steward under His supervision.

land of flowers and flowering trees.

Blessings I didn’t work for.

Gifts I don’t deserve.

Delightful beauty that is given to me to watch, touch, play in.

 

This is the overview.
This is where I start.

 

endkevianaelliot

Introducing SweettheMi

So, I’ve discovered one of the most calming bakers on all of YouTube.

One night while struggling to fall asleep while my Husband was away, I stumbled across this talented woman.

Her name? Sweet The MI.

This is what I saw:

Of course I was intrigued by the “No Oven Cream Bun” and how it is made. But what really fascinated me, is in this video, and in 99.9% of her other videos, she says nothing.

Nothing.

It’s just sounds.

Sounds of her mixing and stirring and cracking eggs.

And it’s beautiful.

I love it.

It’s so calming.

Like being invited into a friend’s kitchen late at night, where no one speaks. There’s just comfort and welcome and good smells.

Ahhhh.

Thank you, Sweet The MI! ❤

Enjoy!

endkevianaelliot

10 Loving Things You Can Say To Yourself Everyday

1. I’m content.

“Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep-blue sky and the clustering stars above seems to impart a quiet to the mind.”

-Jonathan Edwards

2. I’m valuable.

“God sees us with the eyes of a Father. He sees our defects, errors and blemishes. But He also sees our value.”

-Max Lucado

3. I’m free to choose.

“The brain controls the body, but the mind controls the brain. And for the mind to function optimally, it needs to be controlled by your choices, which in turn need to be led by the Holy Spirit.”

-Dr. Caroline Leaf

4. My smile is a gift.

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

-Mother Teresa

5. I’m generous.

“True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share.”

-Suze Orman

6. It’s okay to rest fully to be able to go another round later.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

-John Lubbock

7. It’s okay to unplug.

“There are few times that I feel more at peace, more in tune, more Zen, if you will, than when I force myself to unplug.”

-Harlan Coben

8. I will never regret letting go of that bad habit.

“Journeying from back then to now involved surrendering to the Creator-God who loves me, and letting Him gently remove what He wanted. My only regret is not doing it sooner.”

-Angela Carmack

9. I can find good in any situation.

“Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.”

-Jesse Owens

10. Breathe.

“Then Adonai Elohim formed the man out of the dust from the ground and He breathed into his nostrils a breath of life—so the man became a living being.”

-Genesis 2:7, Tree of Life Version (TLV) Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

 

 

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