Sunday, 19 February 2012
Auditory Hallucinations, Case number 0003
I will start with the facts, like a Poirot.
The first time it happened:
Location: Kyle's dads house
Time: late afternoon
Event: P&G and Kyle were there and one of his sisters. I had been working all day on the garden, and had eaten my usual breakfast and had a 'sub' from Subway some hours earlier. I was hot, tired and thirsty. All his family are discussing something towards the house and decided to escape and am at the bottom of the garden, weeding. I suddenly hear a voice, like a stage whisper (loud, but raspy) 'Lauren.. Lauren... Lauren!'. I froze, scanned with my eyes and checked where everyone else was. It felt malicious, as if someone was trying to make a fool of me. Do you remember the queue for the rides at Disney World? They put little speakers through out it to cheer us up, I suppose. I thought it might be a speaker hidden in the garden. The noise stopped, I unfroze. I went towards the where it came from and looked for a speaker. I found nothing. I told no-one.
The second time it happened:
Location: My garden
Time: probably late afternoon (it was light, but not morning, as I recall)
Event: I was in my garden this time. Many members of Kyle's family were in the flat, and I had come out to my shed for a moment. As I stood there admiring all my hard work, the beans, the peppers, the cacti I had smuggled back from Ibiza, I heard noises again. This time it was fervent garbled whispers, like a message, but I couldn't work out at all what was being said. At first I was just as petrified as before, but I knew I had to take courage and find the source of the noise. I could still hear it, a whisper, urgent and incomprehensible. I went further still and the noise stopped. After I looked around the see if it could be sound bouncing off the other houses, maybe kids etc. But it didn't seem to be. Later that evening I told you and Kyle - neither of you seemed worried. I was a little concerned I was going mad. I thought about Grammy, and the funny turn you had and thought 'is this the beginning?'.
The third time:
Location: Claudio's car.
Time: about 6pmish
Event: I was in Claudio's car with L&C and Kyle on the way to Cafe Brazil. All the family were talking over each other. I started to hear whistling. Tuneless whistling. Not a tune I knew, not very good whistling. I looked at every person, and each family members lips were moving, but none were pursed. I tried to work out the source of the noise. The radio was not on. I later asked about their mobile phone ring tones, it was not that either. I felt more amused this time. Less frightened. But I didn't mention it at the time. I later told it to Kyle, he said 'muh', although I felt stronger, like it's a perfectly normal thing to hear voices. Perhaps Kyle's lack of panic (read: 'interest') had brought on a sense of calm.
Investigation: I would like to investigate the voices. Are they real? Who are they? What are they saying?
Last night (yes, saturday) I watched 'Ghost Hunters' by myself, absolutely nothing happened in the show. Some nice beardy men came to the house (they could be truckers or cowboys, y'know, real American - they high-fived when they left the house), hung around and recorded things. Their main aim seemed to be to reassure the nice middle aged lady who lived there that everything was ok - the spirits weren't going to hurt her, but nor was she going mad. Anyway, I am going on a bit. At the conclusion they advised the lady to move her computer tower away from the fridge. The ghost hunter explained that because both have fans it can create a 'sound matrix' of white noise and our brains try to make sense of white noise which can lead to hearing voices. He gave the other example of when you think you can hear voices when vacuuming.
I like the idea that this is what is happening to me. The chitter-chatter of my extended family becomes some garbled white noise to me. My mind is unable to comprehend the viscous* banter of a large family and instead makes distracting voices appear.
Being an only child I did as I was told growing up. I still remember the day I was told not to interrupt others' talking or talk over other people - it was the same day I learnt to do a headstand.**
Conclusion: The voices are caused by a weakened physical state (i.e. being hungry) combined with a sensory overload (i.e. lots of Kyle's family talking (why doesn't it happen with the Welshies? Or at parties?)).
This is, at its base line level, similar to an ancient way of inducing hallucinations, depriving the body of fuel and then overloading the senses to create a 'trip'. Perhaps this is a way of connecting with some other realm. I just like the idea that family chatter is like white noise to me.
Extending the investigation: We can always try to induce this state to hear some more noises. For now I will be carrying my camera at all times to capture the noises if I hear them.
Love you enormously, can't wait to see you this afternoon xxx
The photo is a ghostly image we saw when we went to Forkbeard Fantasy's *** exhibition at Southbank. They are so clever.
* I know 'viscous' is not really an appropriate word, but I am looking for a word that describes the many layers, the constant-ness, and the impenetrability of another families discussions, and I quite liked this one. Other families banter has a thickness to it.
** I know what I am implying here, you know what I am implying here, we will leave it there.
*** no idea where to put the apostrophe there. Forkbeard Fantasies, Forkbeard Fantasys', let's call the whole thing Waterstones.
p.s. can you suggest some labels for this post? xxx