1950s London, England. A baby girl was born - that was me. My parents had no inkling I was different, of course neither did I. It was a while before it dawned on me not everyone saw and heard as I did.
My first proper memories are starting school, struggling to sift through what people thought, said, and actually meant - often 3 completely different things. And all that other stuff in people’s heads, tunes, repetitive phrases, emotions and sensations - happy, sad, cold, hot, sore throat, hungry. Emotions are the things that seep out most, and they become tangled with those seeping out from others. Not surprising I got a lot of headaches.
One person is noisy, several make a dreadful din, and output from a crowd is mind-aching. I had to learn, and I did, taught myself to automatically tune out, barrier-build, and compensated by mimicking the reactions of others. The trickiest thing was knowing what I should be hearing and understanding as opposed to what I shouldn't. Seeking guidance often got me even deeper into hot water.
Luckily my family were on the paranoid side, and as they came to understand more about what I was and what I could do, paranoid proved politic. Taking everything into account I think we all managed rather well, and it wasn’t really anybody’s fault things took a turn for the dangerous, and then the life-threatening. You have to learn to take the rough with the smooth.
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