I have a condition called aphantasia where I can’t visualise things. When I try to picture my daughter when she’s not there, I see nothing
I was seven when, in hindsight, I first questioned my imagination. I remember watching the first Harry Potter film and my friend, who was a huge fan, was complaining that the characters weren’t how she imagined them to be. I couldn’t understand what she meant because, in my mind, they had never been images at all, just concepts. When I shut my eyes, I see nothing. It is black. I have no visual imagination.
I thought everyone’s minds worked this way until about two years ago, when I stumbled across a blog post about aphantasia; a condition where you lack a functioning mind’s eye. I was 23, and it blew my mind to learn that others could visualise things. I’d never known any different but it was clear I had aphantasia, too, and a lot of things started to make more sense.