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TOPIC: Do you ever feel like you're missing out?

Do you ever feel like you're missing out? 9 months 1 week ago #5010

  • Ygalh
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I get that having aphantasia makes me the person I am...but I don't know. I get really disappointed or even depressed sometimes because of it. I've known for a long time that my 'imagination' doesn't work the same as everyone else's but knowing that people can relive memories, see the faces of their loved ones, imagine flavours...I just feel like I'm really missing a part of what people define as human.

I take lots of pictures, but I'm still pretty forgetful even in day to day experiences, but at the same time I definitely get more involved with experiences than a lot of other people I know. So there are bright sides right?
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Do you ever feel like you're missing out? 9 months 1 week ago #5012

  • Charlise
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I also feel disappointed and sad to recognize that I lack an ability that sounds like an amazing! experience. Though it's kind of funny because until recently I didn't know it was possible; therefore didn't realize that I was missing out. As if I couldn't taste sweetness, but didn't know it. So watching others eat fruit wouldn't arouse any jealousy haha.

Though it is a relief to recognize why some tasks that require visual memory and imagination are so difficult for me. For example I have always struggled with directions when driving. I think it's because it takes a long time for me to recognize familiar visuals, and I can't recall them to mind when they're not in front of me. I rely a lot on memorizing street names, orders of names, and order of directions L,L,R etc. Sometimes when I'm at a street I've been to many times, I can't remember which direction my destination is - left or right? It's so embarrassing if someone is in the car with me - to the extent that I feel anxiety when driving others :(. I never understood why I'm so terrible at directions. So I do feel relieved to understand why for the first time, sigh...

As it's so new I haven't had a lot of time to reflect on strengths I have that are possibly a result of aphantasia. One could be that I learn very well by listening to words and reading. For example in university I could listen to lectures and read the textbook and retain enough information to excel on the exams. I have met many people who say they are "visual learners" who needed to interpret the ideas into visuals to retain it. So it's pretty cool that we don't need to do that ;).

I also have an excellent ability to focus on details on documents or spreadsheets. I wonder if this stuff is more interesting to me than others who have a mind's eye. Damn, I wouldn't be riveted by a spreadsheet either if I could fantasize about lying on a beach in paradise haha.

So I definitely think there are some benefits! Still hurts to know that I'm missing out though...
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Do you ever feel like you're missing out? 8 months 4 weeks ago #5038

  • Blackstage
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( Apologies for the length)

Charlise, it was almost as if I had writtem that! So many close similarities. I have worked as a translator, editor, curriculum writer, etc. and I can even immediately see details that many others overlook, such as one extra typed space in sentences, for example. At university I also never studied much, I just listened intently during classes, took mostly illegible notes which I only tried to half-heartedly read and received very good marks.

Yes, I am missing out on many things and there are some compensations. What is the worst for me is not that I am missing out on things, but that others often seem to presume and project onto me all kinds of things that they think I am missing out on without even asking me about it. Funny, when I want to talk about aphantasia and how it affects me, they don't really want to discuss it. As if it doesn't interest them because they think they know enough about it already. Why? Because they HAVE a mind's eye, so they know MORE - which they unconsciously equate with ME knowing LESS.

Family members complain that my smell and hearing are so oversensitive that they are suffering from limitations on what to cook, etc. I have struggeled dealing with many people's insensitivities over the years, but maybe they just might be "insensitive" because of their own sensory overload of inner pictures. They might not want to hear more words from me because that would induce even more inner pictures: they don't want to deal with more, they are being selective. That is their way of compensating and protecting themselves.

MY way of compensating and protecting myself is by having my other senses be more sensitive. Wow, no wonder we have a hard time understanding / communicating. I don't really feel like it is all my fault, but I with time I have come to realize that others DO act as if it were my fault. As if I should be more similar to them and everything would be easier. Hmmm.
Last Edit: 8 months 4 weeks ago by Blackstage.
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Do you ever feel like you're missing out? 6 months 5 days ago #39235

  • kp2937
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It has only been within the last two years that I realized I think differently from most people. I did not realize I was "missing out" on visual memories. When I eventually realized the difference, I was a little depressed. We were planning a trip to Ireland, the place of my dreams. Now I knew I would not be able to recall all the beautiful landscapes and experiences! ACK!
So, here is what I do now. I stop and really experience that gorgeous landscape and the way it makes me feel. How bright are the colors? How does the sunlight play off the water? What does it smell like? What can I hear? Waves? Birds? Laughter? I take a deep breath and remember the feelings. Then I take a few pictures with a camera. When I think back on the trip I remember how happy I was and it was bright and shadows played on the waves. The air was salty and there was some sea spray. I loved it. Can I picture it? Only if I look at the photo. But it is really relaxing to flip through all the pictures and remember the feelings and feel more rich for taking the time to experience the moments.
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Do you ever feel like you're missing out? 1 week 3 days ago #39642

  • DeathWhinny
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I have stumbled across a couple of other things I console myself with as being advantageous.

The first is a lack of anxiety. Despite struggling with depression in recent years, I have always thought of myself as very relaxed - quite at odds with the usual association of depression and anxiety. Speaking to others about their anxiety experiences, they tell me that the depression makes them think constantly about the worst possible outcome (familiar to me) but then they get the visualisation stuck in their head and have to keep 'reliving' that outcome, which causes the anxiety. I am really glad I don't have to deal with that!

More recently, I have finally come to understand why most people I know get jealous when previous partners start seeing other people. They are able to visualise themselves in place of their exes new partner and constantly see the 2 people getting together in their minds-eye. I can sympathise that would be an extremely negative experience but given that I don't have that happen, I am able to move on quite quickly - at least physically...
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