If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a noise? Yes. Not because it literally made a noise but because I probably heard the reverberated vibrations of annoyance the crack from the tree falling made and made some nasty remark about cutting down all the trees in the world after hearing it (I know not very “green”..sorry). If a tree fell on the moon (saying hypothetically the moon had trees) I would hear it.
Kevin was watching the Today show the other morning while I was in the shower and when I came down he told me I had to watch the next segment because he finally figured out what was wrong with me.
“Wrong with me?” I asked thinking, good morning to you too honey.
“You will see, trust me.”
Knowing Kevin, who thinks A) 99% of what is on the Today show is crazy (props KLG and Hoda) and B) that everything and everyone is over diagnosed I knew something was up.
And how right he was….
The segment came on and as soon as they described what could only be liked to a severe “allergy” to specific noises it was like the heavens opened and angels sang.
They call it misophonia. It is an EXTREME sensitivity to noise. Chewing. Typing. Breathing. Taping. Clicking. Popping. Crinkling. Teeth touching silverware. They are all the equivalent to water boarding torture to me, having bamboo shoots shoved up my finger nails or better yet having my blood literally boiling inside of my body. They say that people with misophonia actually register specific noise as pain and have a severe irrational “fight or flight” reaction to it.
And yes it is that bad.
I can’t go to movies, people eating popcorn and fidgeting with their cardboard noise death traps (boxes of candy) makes me so angry and irritated I can’t even hear the movie. By the time we leave my blood pressure is so high and I have such a migraine and I am exhausted from trying to just sit and enjoy the movie like everyone else. I beg myself to “suck it up” but I can’t.
When I was little I actually burst into tears when I had a sleepover and one of my friends ate chips with their mouth open. I just cried and cried saying the noise actually hurt.
No one understood. I felt crazy. So all I could do is try to keep a straight face when hearing these noises all the while I felt like I was dying on the inside.
If someone sucks on hard candy or cough drop around me my brain literally short circuits. The nerves in my head explode and all I can do it pray that it will stop.
Poor Kevin has had to deal with it our entire relationship. When we first started dating in middle school he would swish his pop in his mouth before swallowing it. Even though it made my insides crawl I still loved him – that’s how I know he is my soul mate. That is some serious love.
Over the years I am pretty sure his saliva has evolved to be highly acidic is hopes of placating me. He is careful with every chew and usually eats with a plastic spoon or fork to minimize clinking.
My pugs can’t sit or stay on command or even walk on leash like normal dogs but they do know the stop licking command. All I have to do is glare at them and their tongues freeze and their curly tails go straight.
In high school the girl in front of me clicked her pen so many times between that and the buzzing of the fluorescent lights during a math exam I had to fake sick and go to the nurse because I was so overwhelmed. I came back before school the next day to complete my exam when I could actually think.
In high school I did find some relief when in my human relations class other people described their disdain for chewing but still wasn’t sure anyone was bothered by it as much as I was.
But now there is a name. A condition. Other people who share my crazy.
For example Kelly Ripa says she has to leave the house when her husband eats peaches. Maybe she can come over here and we can sit in silence together while her hubby and Kevin run off to eat things like chips, apples or eat hard candy in peace.
After hearing about this disorder and watching the girl on tv describe living with misophonia I looked it up. I found lots of groups, sites and studies all dedicated to misophonia.
I read post after post of people echoing my revulsion for noise. It was really weird to see all of my thoughts and feelings that I thought for so long was just me just being a horrible petty person shared by so many who also thought they were alone.
All in all it doesn’t change anything. I still hate those noises. There is no magic cure or treatment that will make chomping and slurping tolerable. I still wish manners upon people when we are out to eat. And I loathe people who snap gum or feel the need to crinkle the bag of chips they are thinking about buying at the grocery store. And if you eat popcorn around me I may actually explode.
Anyone else bothered by noises like this? Or is it something else that drives you mad? Or am I just crazy?