A person with atypical spectral sensitivity is aware of both their reaction to their visual and non-visual photoreceptors, and highly sensitive to their brain’s interpretation of what they see and feel. They detect the slight rise in red light in autumn, the lowering of blue light in the winter, the change between predominance of red and blue light in the spring, and the lack of red light in the summer. They feel the harmony of colour combinations all around them as soothing, or the discord of colour combinations as jarring, to their systems. They detect the slightest change in luminance, changing all the colours they see and the way they interact with each other, constantly, throughout the day and seasons. They have an extreme experience of contrast. experiencing a dance between colours becoming subtly darker and lighter, altering the way they see and feel line, shape and pattern.
I have wondered my whole life why my face appears so unrelaxed when I catch sight of myself in a mirror. And it is more than this – it is as if I am struggling to connect through my eyes. There is just the odd occasion when I look in the mirror and think ‘Oh, there you are, so you do exist after all!’
Now I know that it all has to do with my difficulty in always perceiving enough blue light. I am not talking about violet or green or any other colour – no, specifically blue. I always have this feeling at this time of year from half way through February to the beginning of April. I discern enough violet light (I know that because my brain is so active, intuitive and creative,) but I am struggling to perceive blue light. I know this because I can feel quite alone and struggle to be a team player.
As I see my own and other people’s energy, I am able to find clues to connection and disconnection, that others may not have. When I perceive too little blue light, I literally see a band of low energy going across my eyes. I find myself trying to connect with people through eye contact but not really feeling the connection I want. I feel open-hearted, but it is amazing how cut off you can feel when you struggle to connect through your eyes.
I have to learn other ways to connect – voice, feelings, touch, smell, taste, movement – whilst I am waiting for the blue light to come back!
Living with Atypical Spectral Sensitivity – Sometimes in the summer I perceive more blue light and less red light. The blue light makes me feel single minded and resolute but also can make me feel a bit lonely and detached.
It isn’t right to be outspoken and it isn’t right to keep quiet
It isn’t right to be with people and it isn’t right to be alone
It isn’t even right to be right and it certainly isn’t right to be wrong!!
There is a lot of blue light today making giving me gritty determination to push forward my own ideas. However there is less red light so I feel less secure in myself and my ideas. The two feelings clash and confuse and confound me.
It’s June and I thought June was about lunches at the garden and picnics at the beach but not always for me.
As a light-watcher my perception is that June can be a bit too blue! I go off my green veggies and brown meat and feel glad this year that our home is neutral and that I don’t have to do my usual trick of taking pictures off the wall and removing patterned table-cloths!
How Do I Feel?
I am finding it hard to feel connected to myself or anyone or anything. My defualt position is to just try to carry on with life and in the most part shut people out. When there is less yellow light I can feel detached too but that is a different type of detachment. I still seem to find it easy to trust that the connection is there. In the blue light, though, that trust is wavering.
I Feel Lonely
I feel as if I am the only person in the world right now.
I Feel my Pain
I feel all the pain that I haven’t been feeling the rest of year about being me and having all my ridiculous sensitivities and I feel it really head on. Usually I am incredibly positive and can always squeeze out the best in a difficult situation but right now I am struggling with this.
I Hate Asking for Help
I hate asking for help at the best of times but right now I really hate asking for help. It is as if those words “Please . . . ” grate on me and it is hard to get them out. Perceiving less red light I just don’t feel so secure in relationship and it is really hard to trust that someone wants to help me.
What Do I Do?
I have to dig even deeper into my ‘spiritual’ resource. If I can’t find what I need at the surface then this is where I go. I wonder what spiritual quality I need to help me through this time. And the word that keeps coming to me is ‘surrender.’
I need to surrender because I just can’t work it all out and make it all fine at the moment. I need to remember that ultimately I am not in control – God is.
February and the light is getting that little bit brighter. In fact it feels suddenly a lot brighter . . . because in my perception the violet light has woken up. Violet light is strong for me in the beginning and middle of winter too but there is nothing like the violet light of February. It feels ‘harsh.’
The reason the February light feels harsh to me is that seeing more violet light when the light is still generally not at its brightest means I see less red light to soften the blue. As the light gets brighter the red light appears in my perception again around May only to disappear again as we head into the brightest month of June.
How Does This Affect Me?
Colours look at their best
At this point between the darker light of winter and brighter light of midsummer. Even though the red is low for me, I can still see enough red to perceive colours very well except for perhaps acid yellow.
My other sensitivities are at their highest.
I am particularly sensitive to sound and white noise drives me crazy – the filling of our water tank after a bath, the fan of my computer, our kettle, the rattling of plastic bags. All these sounds make me feel jangled.
I have a lot of energy!
My brain feels like it is going at 100 mph and there is nothing I can do to slow it down!
What Do I Do?
I celebrate the beauty of the colours
I examine the things that causing me disturbance in the house. For instance we changed the water pressure to make the sound of the header tank filling up more bearable. And I am trying to find a new kettle!
I try to focus on one thing at a time.
I try to filter out any clutter whether that is thoughts or physical clutter in my environment.
I ask other people to be as calm and slow as they can with me and to not give me too much information at once.
I eat food that feels comforting and has a softness to me.
I wear clothes that have a soft colour to me.
Most of all I enjoy my crazy flitty intuition that can lead on me exciting little journeys!
To read more about mine and my son’s experiences of colour sensitivity please see my book:-
Firstly I don’t do know if I am a tetrachromat or not but I certainly see a lot of colours!
And there is something about doing a jigsaw puzzle with snow that really gets me going! I love working with the different shades of white. I can’t do the puzzle on a cloudy day – when I can’t pick up all the light frequencies – only a day when there is enough blue and violet light around to make the whites ‘sing’.