What do I mean Diving Coconuts tastes like soggy crackers?
What I mean is that I am a bigger oddball than you could ever believe….
It turns out that Elsa ❄️ and I have something in common – we’re both basically human anomalies with unusual abilities kept hidden from the outside world. Only, mine is slightly more common than snowy super powers, it can’t kill anyone and it isn’t really a secret 🤣 – Having said that, I have made no efforts to publicise it and it rarely is a topic that arises in conversations – and until now I haven’t used it as an icebreaker, but maybe I should! – Hi Emma! Nice to meet you! Did you know your name tastes like sponge cake?!
For me, words taste like food! And it is called Lexical Gustatory Synaesthesia. It turns out it is likely linked to my already quirky wiring, particularly in the sensory division. (This article by Live Science explains the phenomenon eloquently)
As I have previously revealed in my blog I am totally #quirkylikelani , I am loudly and proudly a neurodiverse humanoid with inattentive ADHD. Coexisting with this, I have many substantial sensory processing deficits including tactile input such as textures, deep pressure and clothing, oral sensory input such as food textures/tastes and auditory sensitivities (omg a broom sweeping on concrete is PAINFUL, and don’t get me started on those street sweepers 😱)
One evening I was chatting with a friend about Facebook pixels and I think the word “pixel” was used more times than either of us could count. My friend said to me, “After this I think I am going to name my next kid Pixel”. This prompted me to tell her that “Pixel” would taste bad and to look up Lexical Gustatory Synaesthesia right now and find out how weird I actually am 🤣 So she did. And her response? “This is the craziest, most awesome thing I have ever heard”
I tend to agree!
I remember experiencing tasting words since my earliest memories. I am not sure if at some point I had expressed something to my parents or teachers and was told I was crazy in response to articulating this phenomenon because up until I was 35 I was silent about it. I can only imagine the feedback I would have received growing up if I had said “No, I didn’t do that on purpose! And thanks a lot because purpose tastes like salt and vinegar chips and now I have a craving for them”
Deep down, like my ADHD I knew that there was something about me that was atypical. I seemed to instinctively know that if I told people that words tasted like things I would have acquired an “insane” stamp on my hands. What I was experiencing was not distressing to me, just sparked curiosity and thoughts about why and how. But in my adolescent years I was so immersed in the game of social masking that I literally hid, ignored and suppressed all the oddball traits I now proudly wear as a badge (all except for my fashion rebellion in my refusal to wear jeans – I just cannot get past that skin violation called denim 😱)
It wasn’t until my 20s that I googled “words taste like things” where I found out there was a name for this. As I was still in the phase of pretending to be normal I didn’t actually tell anyone, including my husband.
In the rise of one by one my family emerging as quirky for various different reasons, I realised that I held preconceived ideas and prejudice about people like, well me!
I was able to see that differences can certainly pose challenges (like my inability to support the denim industry) but they also provide the world with neurological diversity that contributes to innovation. And sometimes, like in my case of Lexical Gustatory Synaesthesia, it might not be contributing to world peace or any advancement in technology in reverse climate change, but it adds character. And that is a gift.
So unless your name tastes like shit, when I meet you I may just tell you what your name tastes like….