I don’t have Turret’s.
Wait – I should have started off with a disclaimer: The following ideation is not intended to be taken as scientific or medical research. The author has no formal training in the appropriate fields. The author has not been bothered to research the particular condition(s) mentioned, and makes several on-the-spot suppositions, in something he prefers to call freebrainstorming™.
I’m not writing about the cause or reason – I’m writing about the perceived effect.
I see patterns in seemingly unrelated things. I may not know the technical specifics of a problem, but I see the resemblance to something else I do know and can draw comparisons that lead the real experts to the solution. I don’t know how different it makes me, but I’ve been told I think differently – outside-the-box / from a different angle. I’m told that it’s one of my strengths (it’s even listed as such on my semi-annual reviews at my day job (which means it’s one of the reasons I get PAID), so let’s assume it has some validity.
My impression of Turret’s is that there are spasms of various sorts that are uncontrolled by the consciousness. Sometimes it’s in the form of involuntary muscle movement, from twitches to flailing, which is mostly inconvenient. But there are verbal variations where people utter words they would not if they could control themselves, on the spectrum of just nonsense to the more problematic profanity and insults. To me, it seems like the body has lost a limiter.
Memory is made of all sorts of connections – pictures, smells, words all joined together because they were experienced together, or were somehow related. This is how puns happen (from Bill’s Theory of Punnification™), and why when you’re talking about opening a bakery and get to the part about financing it, the word DOUGH will pop out of your mouth even though you’ve never called money that in your life.
So all these connections exist, and you see or hear something, and it triggers something else in your memory – a word – and it pops out because you have lost the limiter – or because your focus was elsewhere and you didn’t have the presence of mind to stop it from coming out.
In polite society, most of us control our words, and know what we should and shouldn’t share with present company. We actually talk about controlling our thoughts, but I don’t think that’s possible (try deliberately to not think of the purple rhinocerous.) I’ve talked to someone I trust very much about this, and they claim that they never have thoughts that aren’t their own, so they don’t have to control them. This is a strange thing to me, but like I said, I trust them.
For me, at least, thoughts come unbidden – and many of the thoughts are things that it would be embarrassing (and possibly dangerous) to admit I have, because even though they pop into my mind, they aren’t how I think or feel – they just emerge from my gray matter because of a lot of incidental connections. You know the old saying about put a thousand monkeys in a room with a thousand typewriters, and they’ll eventually type Hamlet? You don’t think they wrote it because they understood or believed it – the incidental connections of their fingers to the keys in the right sequence resulted in something that had a meaning they didn’t intend.
I have thoughts and words pop into my head all the time that have nothing to do with what I really think or feel, and if I didn’t have my limiter engaged, they would pop out of my mouth like a person with the verbal form of Turret’s. Maybe it’s too much multi-tasking for the mind to handle?
Having this condition of unbidden thoughts informs my writing – the voices I talk about hearing inside my head launch say things that begin stories, or launch into soliloquys that I don’t think I could deliberately plan, and sometimes engage in multi-character conversations where I’m only an observer. I can understand the nature of the speakers, but they aren’t me.
No, I’m not schizophrenic, either.
This is probably why I was good with characters when I was still acting, although they did tend to bleed into my real life and behavior until the show was done. Thank goodness that some of the characters who people my stories don’t take up permanent residence in my mind once the writing is done. That would not be good for any of us.
Prepping Downtown Blues: Detective Jimmy Delaney Collection #2, which includes: “The Scent of the Crime”, “Killing Them Softly”, and “Hard Times.” There will be a paperback on Createspace, too, so there’s a lot of work to do. Release date is June 2nd.
William Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent publication “Goddesses”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri