Hallucinations in Childhood

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Something I’ve been thinking about recently is hallucinations. As an adult, I haven’t really had a history of hallucinations. The closest things I can think of are a few times I have been awoken from my sleep by my husband or my mother’s voice loudly calling my name, only to find they are either not even at home or they swear they didn’t call for me. It is easy to assume this might be just weird remnants of a dream though, so I don’t consider it definitely a hallucination. There have also been a few times I hear a weird, high-pitched whining noise that no one else seems to hear. This could just be my autistic sensitivity though, picking up on something others don’t. It isn’t tinnitus, I have that as well, so I know the difference.

However, as a child I do have at least one vivid memory of a hallucination, maybe two. The first happened when I was around 5 or so, and it happened in the middle of a church service at my grandfather’s house (he was a pastor that ran his own church). In the middle of the service, this huge bird suddenly appeared next to my grandfather as he talked. It was a beautiful, rainbow colored bird, and I could physically see it, so it wasn’t like an imaginary friend (which I also had). I was excited by its appearance and made a bit of a fuss trying to tell my mom about it, but it became clear soon that she couldn’t see it and apparently no one else did either. I got in trouble for yelling out, so ended up sitting there staring at this huge bird and wondering what the heck was going on and why no one else could see it. To this day, I have no idea what happened that day or why. I wish I remembered what was going on in my life at the time, to see if I was under acute stress at the time, but I really don’t know.

The other possible hallucination happened when I was 12. It was soon after my father died and I was having the worst panic attack of my life up until that point. I was sitting on the bed, trying to breathe, feeling terrified and alone, when suddenly a bright figure appeared at the end of the bed. At first I was terrified, but the being told me not to be afraid and I immediately felt a calm I had never felt before in my life. The panic attack was gone and the bright figure somehow communicated to me that I was safe and protected before leaving. I assumed at the time it was my guardian angel, but now that I am no longer religious and not sure what I believe in, I wonder if it could have possibly been a hallucination brought on by grief and terror. I honestly don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t mind having a guardian angel, but if I do, why didn’t they protect me or show up during even more dangerous moments of my life, moments when my life was actually in danger?

These two experiences as a child makes me wonder if they were hallucinations, and if they were, is it normal for children to have hallucinations and then grow out of them? Or is this just a warning that if I am pushed too far emotionally or mentally, that something may break inside me and I could lose touch with reality? Could I someday have another hallucination out of nowhere? That is a scary thought. Has anyone else out there also had experiences like this as a kid and apparently grown out of them?

*Art by Maranda Russell

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Some Cartoon Character Inspired ACEO Art Trading Cards

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Check out my art for sale on my Ebay!

A Few New Coloring Book Pages

I wanted to share a few of my favorite new coloring book pages I have completed. If you like any of these, they are for sale on my Ebay store!

I really like this creepy guy peeking out of a well….

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Who doesn’t love cats, hamburgers, and french fries?

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Black and metallic colored pencils are always a good match…

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Even simple trees can be creative…

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Some New Art Trading Cards!

I’m still on a bit of a sticker collage kick with my art, as you’ll soon see. I’ve always loved the fun, child-like aspect of stickers, so I enjoy finding ways to include them in my art trading cards, especially when I get the chance to feature favorite characters or cherished subjects (like fairy tales). If you like any of these ACEO trading cards, feel free to check out my Ebay store to see what I’m currently selling (most of these new ones I’ll be posting for sale tomorrow)!

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Some Fun New ACEO Sticker Collages

 

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Check out my art for sale on Ebay!

Halloween Watercolor and Sticker Collage Art

I may be almost 35-years-old (my birthday is October 27th), but I still love stickers! Glittery stickers, cute stickers, puffy stickers, shiny stickers, character stickers…I like them all! Sometimes I take that love of them and try to integrate it into my artworks, mostly in ACEO art trading card collages that can also be used as bookmarks, which I sell on my Ebay store. I figure it is a simple, fun way to share my favorite stickers with the world.

I don’t just stick stickers on paper and be done with it though, I try to create eye-catching designs and often spruce them up with painting or other color-boosting techniques. Here are a few recent Halloween ones I’ve made with a combination of watercolor paints and stickers:

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Writing Prompt: Favorite Childhood Memories

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So I’ve decided to try to post a writing prompt every Saturday. Hopefully I won’t fall off the wagon too many times trying to do so!

Today’s Prompt: What memories from your own childhood would you most like to relive?

My response: I know it sounds corny, but the memories I would most like to relive are just ordinary days filled with happy ordinary moments. Eating cinnamon toast made by my mom while I sit and watch My Little Pony and play with my own pony toy collection (how I wish I had kept those toys!). Playing on the trampoline in our screened in front porch. Watching Nickelodeon back when it was the bomb. Coming home on the last day of school with my backpack full of goodies from the teacher and an entire summer spread out in front of me like a magical adventure. Camping out in my Smurf sleeping bag with my sister, telling scary stories and then being unable to sleep. Family picnics and midnight fishing trips with my dad. Those are the things I miss the most and would love the chance to revisit.