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Summer 1992

 "Mummy, when I see Graham Alexander play football, I see fire inside his stomach. It burns really brightly, it's very nice to see". Hilary could see her daughter picture the image in her mind, completely fascinated by what she had witnessed earlier that day. 

 In the background Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' was playing loudly on the radio, Hilary was half heartedly listening to her special daughter whilst she was emotively singing this song.

 She turned to the radio and quickly turned the volume down, Jamie watched her mother do this. She was wearing light denim ripped jeans, and a tight black spandex/nylon top.

 "Sorry baby, I didn't hear that correctly, Graham was playing netball and was on fire?" Hilary smiled and let out a giggle when she asked this. 

 Young Jamie let out a huge barrel of laughter and said 'No', and repeated what she said about the talented young football player at her primary school; Richstead Wood Elementary. 

 Jamie looked at her loving mother again, noticed the love emanating from her chest, a pure red and golden colour spreading out like the sun shines in the sky. . .  emanating all over body, slowly spreading and thinning out as it reached the outer extremities of her legs and arms. 

 She could see her mother was teasing, knowing too full well she heard her, but always making her feel very special about the family 'secret'.  It was this secret that haunted Jamie from her early years, but was now mostly in control of it.  Over time little Jamie was able to understand her gifts as unique, but was careful not to tell anyone else other than her parents. They didn't want their daughter to be labeled, or at worst, taken away from her. 

Often she couldn't wait to get back from school and tell her mum what she saw that day. 

 Once she came back and said 'Becky Lofthurst' often gets 'Very red when no-one wants to play games with her mummy'.  Jamie then explained the little girl kicks and screams and eventually turns 'Blue and slightly Grey', often crying her eyes out.    It is only until one of the teachers comes over to 'Comfort her' does she go back to normal.

"She isn't nice to play with Mummy"

 To Hilary it sounded amazing, truly special to look at things this way. Although she  acknowledged that, to a young child, it would be a very scary experience. Now, at 8 years of age, it seemed young Jamie was able to see it for what it was, a gift. 

 As an infant it was a very different situation. Her parents worried deeply about her, then bit by bit they were able to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

 A lot of the initial understanding came from their pet cat, Albert. He adored the young girl. Even now as a 10 year old Siamese, an adult in the feline world, he wouldn't leave Jamie alone whenever she was in his presence, he truly was attached to her.  He even got separation anxiety when Jamie was away from him for a greater part of the day. He would wander in circles, and patiently sit by the door for her waiting for her to return. 

 Over time they watched how their daughter took great joy at playing together, seeing her point at the cat's stomach, forming her first full words because of this amazing animal. 'Love' 'Yellow' 'Smelly' 'Itchy'. 

 Equally Hilary and James took great care whenever they took their baby Jamie outside. If they went to a park they made sure there weren't kids around. Not because they didn't want their child to socialise or learn how to make friends, it was the noise. They realised she was very sensitive to it. 

 One day they took young Jamie to a nearby park in Richstead Wood, and unfortunately, the young boy fell off the swing.  He twisted his ankle, fortunately not breaking it. He let out a huge cry of pain, naturally his own parents rushed to his side, worried for his welfare. Almost on cue Jamie began to scream too, she instinctively threw her hands over her eyes, and then her ear's, and threw her tiny head onto Jame's chest. Anything to block out the noise, anything to block out the pain she was seeing, and feeling.  They left the park very quickly. 

 Knowing it clearly wasn't 'Growing Pains', that a previous GP said, Jamie's parents began to research what was going on with their daughter.  They understood that when Jamie was settled at home, she was very happy.  Whenever the occasional accident happened such as James hitting his thumb with a hammer whilst doing DIY, or Hilary slicing her finger whilst chopping up food and both reacted, expressing pain. 

 Jamie would immediately look startled, hurt and worried over their welfare. She could see their pain. At that particular time her parents correctly sensed she would see emotions as pain, within their own bodies.  They just never fully understood the extent of it, that Jamie could see an array of colours when someone expressed heightened emotions. Just like the boy crying out in pain, she could see this as a shooting dark red around his body, she could see the excruciating pain vibrating from his body.  It was a very rare type of synesthesia. 

 At times her daughter fell into long moments of silence, it was like she was despairing, a child-like form of depression. Both parents often fell into abject misery trying to understand what was going on with her. They learnt not to blame one another knowing it would only make matters worse.  Still they didn't give up. She was way too precious to them both. 

  At 4 years of age Jamie attended school for the first time. They were a little nervous because Jamie had mixed experiences in playing with different children, yet they knew they had to send her to school if she was to 'Fit in'. .After lunch time Hilary received a phone saying her daughter just didn't stop crying and screaming to be taken home, causing much disruption to the first day.  Apparently a girl in the class had a fight with a boy and it upset her massively.   On getting home Jamie pleadingly asked,

"What is wrong with me Mummy?"

 Her loving mother rushed to her side, giving her the most loving cuddle ever. She reassured her baby that nothing was wrong with her, that she was 'Very special' with a 'Very Special Gift' and that she had to learn to control it, not let what she could see bother her. This helped calm Jamie down and Hilary noticed how quickly her daughter's emotive state could change with love, reassurance, and warmth.

 James and Hilary both discussed what they could do and came up with an idea. 'The Step Back Game'. They were both at home one Saturday afternoon, in the kitchen looking out the back garden that backed into a large wooded area. It was a very peaceful, quiet and warm day.  Hilary and James decided to sit their daughter around the circular pine farmhouse style table. She was sitting on a booster seat so her chest was at the table height, in a sense joining her parents around the table to talk.

 "Baby, we need you to imagine that when you see something, or hear a loud painful noise, both me and daddy want you to step back". 

 Jamie smiled, looked up at her loving mother, her huge smile and warm heart was what stopped the young girl from losing her developing mind. She felt extremely secure when she was by her side, and with Albert and James there too. 

 "What do you mean mummy?"

 Hilary explained  in very simple terms that the 'things' she could see would never change, 'This is your gift baby, you should never be afraid of it'. She told her daughter to think of the young boy at the park who hurt his ankle. Immediately Jamie's face looked nervous. 

 "It's ok baby, he's ok. . . but you need to learn to step back from what you see and understand that nothing can hurt you. You are seeing people's reactions, you are seeing people's feelings. This is a great gift to have a baby". 

 Jamie's young face looked at her mother, looked away again. Her whispy brown hair blew a little in the summer breeze. She was wearing a new dungaree's denim outfit, bright green t-shirt underneath, with little doc martin boots on too. 

 "They can't hurt me?" for confirmation.

 Both parents shook their heads. James explained that it was just someone's else's response she was seeing, it was never directed towards her. She had to learn to 'Step Back' and see this. 

 At that moment both parents could definitely see a slight emotional shift in their baby girl. She kind of registered that she had been thinking the pain she was seeing was directed towards her. She looked happy, she then understood she could watch what was happening and never be afraid again.

 Since that very momentous day, 4 years ago, she went to school happy and came back with many stories. Sometimes she still got upset but learnt not to have too many confrontations with people, but at school it wasn't always possible. At times the stories were hilarious, other times they caused further problems. 

 "Mummy, Stevie Turbit looks very golden when he's fighting. It's very funny to see when he throw's the boys around at play time, he's really golden, everywhere in his body". Hilary laughed when she heard this, picturing the young boy she just mentioned, knowing his father is a martial artist.

 "Daddy, Miss Eldrige was asking if you are still a builder and if you could come and repair something at the school". 

 James nodded and said he would get in contact with the school. Then Jamie followed up with "When she said this daddy she had a bright orange and red flame inside her". 

 Later that evening when Jamie and Albert were asleep,  Hilary kissed James whilst in bed. She lay on top of his large manly chest. His muscles bulged from years of hard work and hours in the gym. She had some very luxurious underwear on and her breast's were bulging upwards with the new design in bra's that were on offer. 

 He responded in kind and stopped reading his book and looked up at his lovely wife. She looked beautiful, jet black curly hair down to her shoulder's, having gone back to her natural colour.  She had slightly olive skin, green eyes, and full lips. A real stunner, he knew most men wanted her, he always felt appreciated that she wanted him too.  James went to sit up and kiss her but then Hilary responded, she forcibly pushed his chest back down with both hands, looking very serious, almost with a menacing intent.

 "Don't even think about calling that bitch at the school to do the work, you know she's trying to get her claws into you again".

 On that she rolled off him and lay on her side of the bed with her back to him, satisfied he'd taken on board what she meant.  

 James, a little annoyed at his child's innocent remarks earlier that day had landed him well and truly in the shit. He turned round and attempted to comfort his wife. Sensing this she venomously replied. 

 "Forget it".

 Knowing he couldn't win, he turned over to his side of the bed, turned the light off and went to sleep. 

Bio: Young Jamie was born with a very rare type of synestheasia. Initially her parents struggled to understand what was going on with their daughter. Over time they learnt to understand what she was seeing and feeling. This part of the story is about young Jamie understanding what she was seeing as a gift. 


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