“You may have noticed that I’m not all there, myself.”
I don’t remember my first hallucination. Quite possibly because I didn’t consider any of it hallucination, until I was diagnosed.
Now, generally, when someone says hallucination, you tend to think of the Hollywood version. You know, suddenly the person sees a completely different reality, a person or monster that isn’t there, and they lose their mind. And that may have played a role in me not deeming my experiences as hallucinations. But here is the real deal. Hallucinations happen within every sense. When you see something, it is a visual hallucination. But you can hallucinate smells, sounds, tastes, and touch. And they can come in combination with other hallucinations, but they can stand alone as well.
The largest and most occurring combination hallucination of mine, is sound and transparent visual.
When I was diagnosed as Bipolar, I would describe this scenario to people. (if you’ve read my introduction, this will be familiar)
“Imagine, if you will, you’re looking at the world around you. Your phone, hands, desk, floor, etc. Now, imagine someone took an overhead projector transparency sheet, You know, the clear ones that teachers used to write on, and on the transparency was an image that was actually a video. Still mostly transparent but images are there, moving. So they take this sheet and place it in front of your eyes. You see the world around you, but on top of it, you see a semi transparent scene as well. I know it is hard to imagine. But that is the best I can do. So, you’re walking along and this sheet falls down over your eyes. On this transparency sheet are rows upon rows of TVs. On every TV there is a different “show”, each one brightly lit and with their volumes at maximum. The shows changed. Some stayed the same. Some were memories, some were premonitions, some were dark and terrifying.
Then, imagine to your right and left there are radios. Every radio tuned to a different station. Volumes at maximum.”
In general, that is my most common hallucination. An electronics store, on speed, laid over the top of my reality.
But, what I didn’t mention in my introduction, is the detail.
On every screen, before me, is a different “channel”, all playing a different scene.
The scenes have changed throughout my life, but the themes are consistent.
Theme 1: memories
Theme 2: fears
Theme 3: premonitions
All 3 themes are present on the screens. And some of them are of such a gruesomely graphic nature, I won’t even describe them. Some are memories, they can be good ones, but most times they are inspired by hurt. Some are fears I have about life, like, losing everyone I love or sinking to the bottom of the ocean wearing cement boots (yes, lol, that is a real fear of mine). And some, show me glimpses of future events. Yes, seems crazy, but some of them I have written down and seen come to fruition.
On the radios that surround me, the channels are much less distinguishable. Voices seem familiar, some coming from actual experiences. But, others, are messages from the dead. Again, crazy, but most of the time they aren’t scary. Things like hearing my Granny tell me to put a jacket on or my Dad telling me to think about it.
I have only had a few hallucinations that have completely overtaken my senses.
When I was small, I spoke to an Angel.
When I was a teen, I saw the future.
When I was a young adult, I relived a terrible childhood abuse.
And recently, I saw an internal battle of mine, interpreted into an external scene.
(I will add links to those experiences on different pages once I have finished writing them)
However, as I have explained, and basically only recently realized, hallucinations can be through other senses… And can stand alone.
Common stand alone auditory hallucinations in my life are: an incomprehensible chatter between 2 or more people, someone calling my name and a clicking sound, reminiscent of Predator or Signs.
When it comes to stand alone olfactory hallucinations, I have particular smells that precede certain types of seizures.
Type – Smell
Tonic – Burnt Cookies
Myoclonic – Burnt BBQ
But I also experience them alone. Occasionally I smell flowers or icing and sometimes it smells like dog poop or bleach. So, about half good, half bad like the warning smells. I mean, it’s good food, just burnt. lol
Stand alone Gustatory hallucinations (taste) aren’t very common for me. I’ve had a few, but most of my taste hallucinations are a type of synesthesia that comes with feelings. Somehow, my taste buds get mixed with my sense of emotions. So, emotions taste. Which is why I tend to get overwhelmed by large groups with tensions, one big nasty bite of ugly emotion soup, no thanks! lol
My stand alone visual hallucinations tend to be smaller, yet more detailed. As I said before, most of my visual hallucinations are in combination with auditory hallucinations. And the visual is just over laid on my real vision. When my visuals stand alone, they typically come in the form of a single shape. Examples include: seeing dead family, friends and pets standing in my kitchen or hallway, seeing household objects, like the vacuum or dishes, when they aren’t there, and the best one: seeing a hole in the air. The best way to describe that one is, it’s like there’s a rip in reality. The holes seem to be electrically burning into the world around me, revealing completely different worlds on the other side.
And that leaves us with tactile hallucinations. Probably one of the most overlooked symptoms I have experienced. They aren’t huge. Usually… Just a few fingers or a light pat. Easy to brush off as a bug, hair, wrinkle in your clothes, etc.
In my experiences, some have been brushed off, but others, have been near magical. As you’ll discover (if you stick around for it lol) TLE has a large link to spirituality/religion. I am actually very thankful for that link. That link, has always allowed me to attribute these touches, to spiritual comfort. Small tiny hands are the 4 babies I’ve lost in this life. Small pats are my Granny, grandpa, Dad and other family and friends. And, sometimes I feel fur or feathers, usually rubbing against my legs or arms, which of course, can be attributed to the pets I’ve had my whole life.
Many of these hallucinations have existed in my life since I can remember. Some have gone unnoticed. Others, were simply considered crazy experiences in my life or struggles to endure/conquer. Though some of them have been scary, they never last for more than a few minutes and often, the memory fades in intensity as times passes. But the good ones, the deep ones, those have changed me. They’ve made me into… Well, ME! lol
But, not all people have the same feeling I have about hallucinations. For many, hallucinations can be scary, intense and painful.
But, I will also never deny that when my darkest hallucinations have occurred, prayer is the only thing that has ever helped. And it always helps. Do with that what you’d like. 😉