Hallucinations

In the past few days I read something that I thought was rather interesting. Hallucinations are not uncommon in the tapestry of human life. While there are always the lurid cases of people with schizophrenia or other mental illnesses, hallucinations aren’t restricted to just that segment of the population. In fact, it is quite normal for everybody to hallucinate at some point in their life. The hallucinations don’t have to be full-on false visions. It can be something as seemingly benign as hearing a voice. But when our perceptions deceive the mind into seeing or hearing or experiencing something that didn’t happen, that’s called a hallucination.

I suppose it caught my attention because I’ve had a series of hallucinations recently. They bothered me a little bit, especially when one followed another, and I only remember one or two other times in my life where I’ve experienced anything I would attribute to hallucination. I was hesitant to write about them here, because I don’t think I’m going crazy, and I certainly don’t want you, dear reader, to think I’m going crazy, either. But when I read that it is not necessarily abnormal to hallucinate from time to time, I thought to myself: Okay, I’m game; I’ll share.

But just to reiterate. I’m not crazy. Ha ha. No, really.

I’ve had five hallucinations in the past ten days or so. Two auditory and three visual. Each has been extremely brief, lasting just a fraction of a second, but each was so clear and vivid that I can’t deny that I really sensed them. Each occurred on a separate day, but they have all come fairly close together.

The first was my name, spoken sharply and with urgency, as if to get my attention. Maybe like I’d expect to hear if I were not paying attention while driving and started to drift into oncoming traffic. I didn’t recognize the voice, and there was nothing more. Just my name. And it wasn’t in a situation where my attention was needed for anything in particular. I was just minding my own business when bam! my name was called out. With nobody around.

The next three, all days apart from each other, were all images that flashed into my mind with such clarity and focus that if I were an artist I could accurately draw what I saw with exceptional detail, including texture and color. Each was an image of a person, and all three episodes were the same person, but each time from a different perspective. I don’t know if it means anything, but the person was a girl I know. A girl I wish I could be friends with. I’ve written about her on this blog before, calling her Girlfriend.

The latest hallucination was auditory again, and it brought with it a physical sensation of pain. It was a loud explosion, accompanied by a pain that felt like it was inside my head, just above and forward of my right ear. The best I can explain it, it seemed like a gunshot. Like maybe what you’d hear and feel for that final brief moment if you committed suicide. The pain in my head after the explosion lingered for about five minutes, and I felt absolutely horrified emotionally. Like I’d actually held the gun and pulled the trigger, even though that wasn’t part of the hallucination. Just the sound and the pain.

I could offer up any number of plausible explanations of what it all means, but I don’t think it’s fair to try to assign meanings to hallucinations, although I suppose it’s possible that the subconscious was at work in at least some of these. In any event, I don’t feel I’m qualified to proffer an explanation, even if they aren’t just random.

I think my mother has been praying for me to have some sort of hallucination. Ideally, that one of my dead grandfathers or Joseph Smith or Jesus would appear to me and set me back on the one true path. I don’t want to poke too much fun at her expense, but it is oddly coincidental that I would be having these right now, don’t you think? In a sense, I suppose you could say that an angel really did appear to me. Three times. Of course, neither my mother nor my wife would likely see it that way, if I were to tell them. I’m sure they’d offer a much less heavenly interpretation.

So yeah, kind of weird. Have you ever hallucinated? Do you have any insights into it?

5 thoughts on “Hallucinations”

  1. When I was four years old, I thought I heard a man call my name (not my given name–my nickname) while I was playing in our front room. Since no men lived with us, I thought it odd and told my mother. (Looking back now, I couldn’t say whether it really happened or was a dream.)

    Three years ago shortly after my brother died, I was walking towards my desk and stopped abruptly. I remember staring at the printer, and thought I felt, not heard, my deceased brother tell me that he was sorry for the pain my family and I were going through because of his death; that it had been accidental.

    Those are the only two I can think of.

    1. Thanks for sharing. It can be a bit disconcerting when it’s happening. It feels as real as anything else in your day, but you have to discount it because you know it couldn’t actually have happened.

      It’s interesting to me that the apology you felt was definitely related to that moment in your life when you were likely struggling over that issue. Much the same that my episodes are most likely also related to what I am struggling over.

  2. Really intriguing i remember when i had a series of hallucinations when a man was trying on hard and calling a name. I then realized it was my past neighbor who died in an accident..!!
    But I am curious to know about the woman..

    1. I probably didn’t make it clear enough, but each separate visual hallucination was simply an image. There was no motion and no context. That is, there was no background, at least that I remember. Just the image of the woman, seen from three different angles.

That’s my truth. What’s yours?