This article about people without an inner monologue has come up in several of my social circles today, and it reminded me of something I should probably get checked out: I hear voices. Inside my head. Voices that aren’t mine.
Back to the article for a second. I’ve always had an internal monologue, and it sounds exactly like my blog reads. You’re basically reading my inner thoughts right now. How embarrassing for you!
Like most people, I have a “voice” inside my head that is how I process most information: anything processed by one of the 5 senses (that YOU know about) is narrated by this inner voice thing. It’s not necessarily a voice, but that’s a close word for it. However, I also have a wordless version of this that I assume is my intuition – sometimes I will look at something and immediately know. It’s like my brain makes rapid-fire shortcuts and leaps of logic that, thankfully, are almost always correct. This isn’t any kind of superpower, it’s like .. a heightened ability to troubleshoot rapidly. I assumed everyone’s brain was like this until I was like 35. I literally had to have someone tell me that no, I can do these things because I’m smart. Not THAT smart, obviously, but smart enough to figure out why your printer isn’t working. I am confident I will have a place of honour in the brave new world.
Lately – like, for the last year or so – I’ve been hearing voices. I should probably be alarmed about this, but I’m not – there is no demon dog telling me to kill people, no tiny angels or devils on my shoulder trying to influence me one way or the other. It’s not an intrusive thought, it’s just .. snippets of someone else’s train of thought. It’s like playing with a radio dial and hearing bits and pieces of another station’s content. I’ll be in bed, thinking my thinkie thoughts, when I’ll suddenly “hear” part of a sentence someone else’s voice entirely. The first few times it happened I was pretty weirded out, which I imagine is the normal response to hearing voices in your head. It’s become a common enough occurrence that I just go “huh. there it is again.” and continue on with my own dramatic monologuing.
It’s kind of hard to explain. Imagine you’re sitting on your couch, drinking a cup of tea and thinking about all the things you need to gather before you leave the house for the day. In the midst of these thoughts about the laundry, your keys, the package you need to return, longing for Angelica, missing your wife, you overhear a neighbour outside saying “I can’t wait for these tomatoes to come in!” .. except it’s inside your head. In someone else’s voice. Often, it’s not even a complete statement – it could be “then we went down to” or “if he’s not home by Tuesday” .. just random noise intermingled with your own train of thought. The voice is not familiar, and the thought is not a tangent or offshoot of your own.
So, that’s pretty weird. I shall handle it like I handle most other alarming things in my life: make fun of it, then ignore it completely! Haha I hear voices saying the most mundane shit possible! Who else but Kimli!
Seriously, who else? Is this a normal thing, or should I prepare a tinfoil hat?