When I was a child I hated watching Hockey Night In Canada and in particular, I couldn’t stand watching the fist fights. I felt like the punches hit me personally. If the hockey player took a blow to the head, my head hurt. I felt so upset I could cry. As a teenager I had a hard time being around people who drank alcohol, usually because it made me feel sick, dizzy and nauseated and very anxious. Later I would learn that this anxiousness is called anxiety. As an adult, it has been increasingly difficult to be around people. I feel whatever another person is feeling and It can be anything from a headache to an aneurysm. When someone has a sore hip, lets say their left, I get a sore left hip. When their nerve in the hip is painful, hot and pulsing; so is mine. At least this is what my brain tells me I’m feeling. My hip and nerve are not actually injured, but my brain responds as though it is. This condition is called mirror-touch synesthesia. I have lived with it all of my life but only in the past ten years have I began to understand it and use it to help other people understand and identify their own pain and medical problems.
When my son was a baby, I took him to the emergency department at our local hospital seven times in the first year of his life because my ears hurt. Several times the doctor told me there was nothing wrong with him. Within a day I would return to the hospital with him to find out he had an ear infection. In no way did I understand during these years what was happening, and both the doctor and dismissed it.
Over the years I avoided family events, large social gatherings, church, the bank and eating in restaurants. When you have mirror-touch synesthesia being with people causes confusion in your mind. You question what is wrong with you and eventually others question your behaviours as well. You feel anxiety but don’t know what is causing it. You feel ill, but it doesn’t last long and this doesn’t make sense to you.
If you are a child or student with mirror-touch synesthesia, school is a terribly difficult place to be every day even if you do know what it is and how to cope with it. Should I go to the doctor or wait it out? Should I run to the washroom before my bowels blow or is it someone else in the class who has to go to the washroom? Should you stay in school for the day or go home sick? What if as soon as you get home and out of the school, you feel great? Are you faking it?
As I began to throw myself into studying quantum psychics, energy healing, shamanism, psychic abilities, medium and medical intuitive, these abilities in my brain became a bonus. Being able to feel a person’s pain validated it for them. A client could call me over the telephone from the United States and I could tell them that their spinal cord was injured and that they couldn’t walk. I could feel the paralysis in my own lower spine and legs. This experience scared the heck out of me many times. On one occasion I told a client that I knew he had had a heart attack. When he asked me how I could possibly know that I told him I knew because I felt like I was having one. He told me he was sorry that I was feeling this pain. We just sat quietly together while I endured the pain and waited for it to pass. It does pass quickly sometimes but on other occasions the symptoms can last for days. For me, someone’s pain can drive me to the chiropractor’s office, the massage therapist’s office or other health care professionals. My team of health care providers know me well enough to know how to help me know if my symptoms are mine or not.
Mirror-touch synesthesia helps me as a medium as well. I feel the pain a person experienced when they were alive. I can describe in detail to a client how the person died by what I feel in my body as I speak to the dead person. Both my daughter and I have these same gifts and we both use them to help people reconnect to a deceased loved one. This information can be of great help to someone who doesn’t know how their loved one died, or if they experienced pain while dying.
Living with this is terribly difficult. It has taken a lot of work and support from family, friends and this community to understand it, accept it and use it in a way that is positive and beneficial to others. If you believe you may have this, reach out to someone who you trust and share this article with them. Let it be the beginning of understanding yourself. That’s a big first step in loving yourself and allowing others to love and support you.