Interesting research I have stumbled upon today about ‘Hearing Voices’. Hearing voices is often a sign of past trauma, especially during childhood, but this new research has revealed that it may not always be a bad thing for artists – especially fiction writers (or bloggers). I got to thinking of a specific memory of mine when aged 7.
“Bend Over” she shouted. The Head Nun could be heard ordering the 2 girls inside the office to bend over her desk. There followed 6 strokes of the cane with the expected squeals from the recipients.
For me to be standing outside this same office ‘in line’ next to be ordered inside – where these squeals where coming from – was not exactly where I wanted to be at that time. The fear I felt was palpable. This scene without a doubt made an impression on me – so much in fact that here I am writing about it again 40+ years later. There is a Trinity College associate professor who has released a book that uses scientific studies and personal stories to offer a balanced view of the phenomenon of Hearing Voices.
In ‘Can’t You Hear Them? The Science and Significance of Hearing Voices’, Simon McCarthy found that some fiction writers who experience the often stigmatised ‘voice-hearing’ may view their characters as “independent beings, whose presence is felt and whose voices are heard”. Their voices may even give plot points and storylines.
The connection I have with the events of that day inspired a few essays I wrote for myself in a spare copy book of mine at age 14. At this age I was discovering my own sexuality and it was confusing for me at first to why I kept hearing that “Bend Over” order of the Nun that day over and over again. The trauma I felt at that specific moment obviously had made an impression on my impressionable adolescent mind. I can still see those 2 girls as they passed by me on the way back to their classrooms after being caned by the Head Nun. All red-faced and teary eyed ….I had never seen anything so beautiful!
This became a recurring dream of mine throughout my teen years – a fantasy of sorts – it involved old school style corporal punishment – schoolgirls in school uniform – and myself wielding the cane! Even after all of these years I have a fondness for school role-playing – the uniforms – the submissive (naughty) schoolgirl.
Today I was Hearing Voices again…