Synesthesia and Empathy


I experience pain as a range of musical tones. When a doctor asks me what my pain is on a scale of 1-10 or if it's sharp or dull or aching, it's impossible to answer. My pain is low- or high-pitched. Sometimes it's staccato, and sometimes it's long and drawn out. My anxiety these days has been a gross sort of brown-gray color, with jagged, sharp edges.

Spoken words appear as visible tags. For example, if someone says "cat," I see the word as a label. That is happening less and less these days; I spent so much energy trying to block it that I think either I don't notice it as much now or it just stopped.

I've always felt different. There are so many ways I feel different from everyone.

I also feel the pain--physical and emotional--of others, both human and animal. If someone is hit, I feel the impact on my own skin. If someone steps on something sharp, I feel the object pierce my foot.

People don't understand different. But I can't figure out if I would really prefer to be like everyone else.