I cannot believe reading a novel (Split Sense, by Barbara Ellen Brink) has led me to this confession. I have this thing called Synesthesia. I wrote a full review of this mystery.suspense at www.booksbyjoy.com. I hope you’ll read it – this is a book worth reading and is only $3.99 for your Kindle. Actually, Barbara has a lot of purchasing options on her website at www.barbarallenbrink.com.
I decided to share the personal part of my review with you. It seems important, so here you go. . .
From My Heart:
I’ve always known I was different. I kept the reason for this a secret until I found out there really are others like me in the world. I have worried from the time I was little, that if anyone knew they would think I was crazy.
In Split Sense, the author tells the story of twins who have Synesthesia. Zander feels other people’s pain, tastes words, feels sounds, and hears voices. Emma heals with music created in her soul.
Synesthesia is an often misunderstood “condition” experienced when two senses respond to the same stimuli. (Learn more here: http://synesthete.org/)
For me, I see words, months, and other thoughts in color. Some songs also have colors for me. A couple of examples: the first time I heard the Beach Boys singing Good Vibrations was on the radio. I was 9 years old and when I listened and saw flashes of color – orange and yellow. Another song example is Everyday by the Oak Ridge Boys. For me, this song is shades of blue, green, and teal. The word “cool” is also these three colors. The word “hot” is white. I have no idea why. Some words taste like different metals or what I think those metals might taste like since I’ve never actually tasted copper, steel, or aluminum. When I hear the word gold, I taste butterscotch candies. (No wonder I think of jewelry stores as delicious!)
I smell change coming on. When I was in the 6th grade, every time I took a breath, I could smell a specific kind of bread. (it was white and sold in polka-dot bags) When the change came, the smell went away.
My other symptoms include a strange ability to feel pain when described by others. Only I don’t feel the pain where they feel it. As they talk about their pain, the nerve endings in my body hurt – especially in my fingers and toes, in the form of prickly shocks.
For me, this is a natural part of who I am. Until recently, I would never have told you this. I know this will always be unbelievable to some people and that bothers me, but I’m no longer ashamed. Split Sense shows how synesthesia is a gift and not a curse. It is a part of my DNA as the color of my eyes.
As I write this confession of sorts to you, I wonder how many others are keeping their abilities a secret. That child you teach who sees everything differently may not be disruptive, but instead honest and confused by why you can’t see what he does. Or the little girl who talks about smell, color, and emotion as if it were one thing – for her, it probably is.
A family secret: They say synesthesia runs in families. I have no idea where mine came from. My maternal grandmother? Maybe. But, I wish I could ask my paternal grandfather what was going on in his head. He was considered crazy by some. His sister told me he “saw,” knew, and felt things that could not be explained. She thinks he was mentally ill. My heart tells me it was more, and so much better than anyone knew, but there weren’t words for his insights. Sadly it’s also likely there was no one who could hear what he wished he could say.
I hope you’ll read Split Sense for the pure enjoyment found in an excellent book. I pray you will find a desire to offer mercy to those with giftings you can’t understand. Maybe you know someone is like Zander, Emma, and me. Maybe it’s you.