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TOPIC: Almost 50 and now things start falling into place

Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 1 year 11 months ago #1754

  • MiM
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Hi everyone, I am new here

I stumbled on an article about aphantasia a few weeks ago. That started to ring some bells in my head and I have since discussed visualisation a lot with my wife of almost twenty years, and some with our teenage kids. I am not 100% aphantastic, but my ability to visualize is severely limited. To begin with, I have a hard time even understanding what people mean, when they talk about "the mind's eye". When I shut my eyes, I mainly see black (or maybe some random color patterns). Any kind of attempt to visualize requires a lot of conscious effort from me, and yields shadows, at it's best.

Some glimpses into my quirky mind:

- It is very hard for me to conjure any image of people, while I have some ability to see spaces and more geometric shapes, like buildings. It is also easier for me to see a picture of an actual picture, e.g I can somewhat visualize an old portrait of my mother, but I have real difficulties visualizing her (even though I saw her yesterday, and have not seen the portrait for months). If I try to see a person, I might be able to get short glimpses, but I cannot hold the picture for any length of time.

- Color of eyes, no dice. I get very uncertain, if someone asks me the color of my wife's eyes.

- I have an old fear, that I would be required to identify a dead loved one. Probably because when I imagine that situation, I try to imagine what the person would look like, and I cannot make a picture. But in reality I normally don't have problems recognizing people, like last Friday I stumbled on an acquaintance from 25 years ago, and was the first of us to catch the situation.

- As someone else already wrote here: I like to read, but get very bored by descriptions. I also always had difficulties with understanding why people have problems with movies conflicting with pictures of characters or places in books they have previously read - "what pictures?"

- I am a good cook. I almost never follow recipes (not even the first time I make something) and I often experiment with new combinations, and am quite surefooted at it. I usually can recognize and name most spices in what I eat. But ask me to "taste" something in my mind (like the apple on the "Do you have aphantasia" page here) - "sorry, what are you talking about".

- I like photograpy, I am reasonably good at it and I master the basic picture editing techniques. I recognize a good picture when I see it, but my photography is mainly "hit and miss", as I have only conceptual pre-vision of a picture in my mind. I envy those who have the ability to "see the final picture", as they work towards creating it.

- I am notoriously bad at remembering movies. Quite often I realize that I have already seen a film, only 10 minutes before the end, when I suddenly know with absolute certainty how it will end.

- I cannot sing a tune if my life depended on it. If I try to memorize the melody of twinkle, twinkle, I have to go "a-a, e-e- b-b, C" (or whatever). On the other hand, I am rather good at noticing if a stereo system has a well balanced bass, or if a surround system is set up correctly.

- I frequently have difficulties remembering the names of even my close coworkers, and have to look up their names, e.g. when emailing them.

- I believe my emotional memory is also affected. E.g. I cannot recall clearly how I felt about something last spring, so it is difficult for me to see change, unless it is rapid and/or major.

So, I've had this concept only for a few weeks now. I really did not realize earlier how different I am from most people, in this respect. I am sure I will learn a lot more in times to come, and hopefully this can be one of the places for me to learn.
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Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 1 year 11 months ago #1759

  • MiM
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Oh, and yes. I do see pictures when I dream. But I had to catch that question, while I still had a dream fresh in memory, to be certain I do. This morning, I did.
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Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 1 year 11 months ago #1760

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good to see you here. so much of what you say is so familiar. yes finding the name is to me like the last piece of a jigsaw i have been doing all my life.
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Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 1 year 11 months ago #1761

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Thank you for the welcome phoenixmoon.

Iv'e done a bit of Mindfulness meditation, and usually when I sit to meditate, I sit in full darkness, also internally. As I told you I am not 100% unable to visualize, so today, while meditating, I tried to consciously create images in my mind, and noticed that in such a setting, I actually can create almost decent visual images of places where I have been often and/or that are of special importance to me. It takes a hell of a lot of concentration and effort, but it is not entirely impossible. Interestingly enough, Images from old pictures, and my fathers old 8mm films presented themselves, when I tried to see places some where pictures or films have been taken. I wonder if this is because I have seen those exact pictures/films many times, or if I in some way store actual pictures more strongly as pictures in my mind?

Visualizing people still doesn't work well. I could make some kind of picture of our living room, but not really see my wife sitting in the cosy chair. But I could visualize the 1970's style long hair on my brother, from an 8mm film snippet, that I am sure I have not seen for 10 years.

Weird.
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Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 1 year 11 months ago #1806

  • Nathan Buzby
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Thanks for sharing, very informative!
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 1 year 11 months ago #1807

  • Mike_M
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MiM wrote:
Thank you for the welcome phoenixmoon.

Iv'e done a bit of Mindfulness meditation, and usually when I sit to meditate, I sit in full darkness, also internally. As I told you I am not 100% unable to visualize, so today, while meditating, I tried to consciously create images in my mind, and noticed that in such a setting, I actually can create almost decent visual images of places where I have been often and/or that are of special importance to me. It takes a hell of a lot of concentration and effort, but it is not entirely impossible. Interestingly enough, Images from old pictures, and my fathers old 8mm films presented themselves, when I tried to see places some where pictures or films have been taken. I wonder if this is because I have seen those exact pictures/films many times, or if I in some way store actual pictures more strongly as pictures in my mind?

Visualizing people still doesn't work well. I could make some kind of picture of our living room, but not really see my wife sitting in the cosy chair. But I could visualize the 1970's style long hair on my brother, from an 8mm film snippet, that I am sure I have not seen for 10 years.

Weird.

I have the same thing - I can call up some mental images that are fleeting glimpses, quite dim and indistinct, but they're nearly always of still images - photographs or diagrams. When I remember a face, it's from a photograph I've seen. I also wondered whether it had something to do with the number of times I've seen the image - but if, like MiM, I can't form an image of something as familiar as my living room, then perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it's a flat image that makes it possible to recall. In any event the mental image is gone almost immediately - I can't 'examine' it in any way.
.
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Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 1 year 11 months ago #1817

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I am 42 and have been looking at the Internet for years to find out why I cannot visualise anything. Most scariest thing is that today I only realised that everyone else remembers smells & tastes. I have never been able to do this. Quite sad really !
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Almost 50 and now things start falling into place 10 months 1 week ago #4754

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I just learned that most people can simulate smell, taste, touch, audio today too. It never even occurred to me to ask. I've known the "visual" for about 10 years. It is, at least, reassuring, in some way, to now know I am not alone.
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