One of the attributes accompanying some synaesthetes is personification. There are a few different types and different stimuli, e.g., ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP) in which an individual associates ordered sequences such as numbers, letters, and months with various personalities. I have relatively weak OLP in months and planets whereas Skye has OLP in everything.
Another personification type is Object Personification (OP), which is the type I would like to discuss in this blog. As indicated by the name, people with Object Personification Synaesthesia see personalities in objects. This synaesthesia type has been with me for as long as I can remember. There has been much less research done in this type than many other types of synaesthesia. I was not aware of the association between this and my children’s synaesthesia until early this year. Now I think Object Personification may have the same genetics or neural basis as other synaesthesia types.
Generally, I see my Object Personification as a negative thing, but I have learnt to make the use of it. It has become my stress indicator.
Two weekends ago, I cooked a roast dish for dinner. There was some fatty oil in the tray. I soaked the tray with water. An hour later, I was going to put dirty dishes away into the dish washer, I saw a sad man’s face floating on the top of the tray. What actually floating on the top was the fatty oil. I knew straight away that my stress level was too high.
I love eating fruits. However, when I am stressed, I find shopping in the fruit and vegetable section of a supermarket quite challenging. Things I usually like or don’t notice, such as bright colours, can overwhelm me. It is unpleasant to look at patterns of how oranges and carrots get stacked up as they look dangerous. What is the worst thing? Cantaloupes! I see a horror man’s wrinkly face if I look at a cantaloupe. Unfortunately, this association doesn’t change. My husband tried a few things to make me not scared of cantaloupes. Once, he put one on the table and asked me to stare at it. It made things worse.
When I was writing “Live Forever”, I started thinking if my object personification synaesthesia was developed as a result of my childhood’s fear of death. Fruits were used to pray for the deceased. They always were stacked up in the same neat way.
But doesn’t matter what was the cause, my object personification comparing to when I was younger is weaker though it still intensifies when I feel stressed.
Once again, I want to look at the positive side. Having synaesthesia has enabled me to comprehend a wide range of enterprise functions, and to make connection across different domains much quicker and easier. I observe this attribute in a few of my synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes work colleagues who operate at an enterprise level. At least three of us do indeed have synaesthesia.