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TOPIC: Kinda unsure

Kinda unsure 1 year 8 months ago #39504

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Hi all!
I still feel sort of like I'm forcing myself in your space by making a post in this subforum but the introductions section is... not all that much like an introductions section.
I am not at all sure if I have aphantasia or if I'm just someone with lower than average ability to visualise things. I realise there are a lot of things that shape your experience and your ability to do this (I think I've seen people talk about learning how to visualise better?) and it's hard to determine what is and isn't "normal" sometimes. It can also be hard to tell if you are imagining something vaguely or just thinking about it as a concept with some senses, in my opinion at least.

If it isn't clear yet I tend to overthink things, look into everything and metaphorically tear them apart until I can't tell what is going on, what is real and my own experience and what I've just created by focusing on something too intensely. What I know for a fact is that I am not completely unable to recreate images, sounds, feelings and such in my head. The hardest for me are probably sounds: almost everything is just my internal narrator imitating different sounds (the weirder sounds will be really quiet even though it's still the narrator voice).

I first looked into the term a few days ago when an artist I follow on tumblr mentioned having aphantasia and only being able to "imagine the vague concept of a cat". I draw as well but unlike them I never felt like I could become an actual artist because I cannot plan the pictures I draw in my head and I can't see the "big picture" nor can I focus on details either. But they are an artist (studying to become a graphic designer/artist for video games) and they say they can't see images in their head?? I was amazed (and still am). Do they have to figure out how to position the things in their art on the canvas while sketching as well?? I haven't had the courage to ask them (and I'm a little afraid they are here and will see this and recognise themself in this post) about any of it. They are the first artist who I've ever met who I think might understand my frustration while most people I have ever talked with about this have responded with "yea, I can never copy the image I have in my head on paper exactly as I imagine it and it's so frustrating!!" which... is the opposite of what I described and as a response always makes me wonder if I am just that bad at communication.
I'm seeking some clarity on this and trying to figure out where on the spectrum of ability-to-imagine-senses I am so I'll add my explanation from another post on this forum here under a spoiler (to save space):
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

It's a little hard to explain. Some things I can imagine better than others and I think it correlates to what I've drawn the most... and the bits that I can imagine are never realistic (I think of a giraffe and it's a few vague lines that I know I could fill in on paper to make a found faced, round bodied being with two things sticking from the head and four equally long legs).

I know this all could be something else (or nothing at all) but I found the experience similar enough to wish to read more about aphantasia and other people's experiences with it. I'm sorry this post got so long. I have a tendency to ramble but as I know people will lose interest if I make this too long (which this probably already is) I'll leave all my other thoughts and observations out of this post.
on a stroll
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Kinda unsure 1 year 7 months ago #39533

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You’ve got aphantasia.
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Kinda unsure 1 year 7 months ago #39535

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Not sure if this helps or not, but my experience is I don't even get scrambled or peripheral images. It's literally just black when I close my eyes.

Since I found out other people actually get pictures, I've been trying to will myself to see pictures. It feels kind of like I've drawn an image on a screen, but I can't actually see the screen, like I'm looking in the wrong direction. It's hard to describe, it's like I know it's there, I just can't access it.
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