I’m not going to die from it…but you might.
I wanted to share with you that I have been self-diagnosed with misophonia.
In case you haven’t heard of it, misophonia means “hatred of sound.” And boy, do I have a case of that. A serious one.
The other night, I got a little tipsy off pinot grigio as I am wont do to, and started researching volunteer opportunities because what I really need right now is to be working for free. That story is irrelevant, however I had to go to the library to print off a paper because of it so I stayed there to do a little work.
Shortly thereafter, a gentleman sat down nearby and he wasn’t alone. He was accompanied by a huge wad of gum and was open-mouthed chewing like some kind of sloppy barbarian monster. He was four empty chairs down from me, but he may as well have been an inch from my face. My fight or flight response kicked in, and since I didn’t want to make a giant scene right after getting my new library card by launching across the table at him like a rabid jungle cat, Cady Heron style, I immediately packed up and ran the hell outta there.
My journey with misophonia doesn’t start there, nor does it end there. I have been suffering in silence for years.
The first memory I have of this being a problem was around middle school when my family went on a trip to an amusement park. We got a hotel room so we could ride roller coasters nonstop for two whole days and eat deli sandwiches in the parking lot. That night, everyone was snoring so loudly I wanted to smother them all with pillows, but took my blanket and pillow and went and slept in the cold bathtub instead. I would also creep into my brother’s room at night to turn his TV off after he fell asleep, and I would throw silverware at him when he chewed or breathed too loudly. I’ve also been known to remove clocks from rooms, as well as remove batteries from clocks.
I’m writing this today on very little sleep, having been awake between 12am and 5am because my neighbor got a new television and lets it play all night long. I haven’t slept in days. I actually hate the muffled TV noise more than what I can only assume is the pornography studio happening elsewhere in my building. I just have to tough these paper thin walls out for 9 more months!
It’s a serious thing, and there are many triggers.
Sounds that make me want to murder you:
When you chew gum
When I chew gum
My cat licking herself
Other things that are just waiting to be uncovered
I rage silently within myself and bottle my anger, and I’m afraid some day I may burst. Either from that or from all the Chipotle I’ve been eating. We’ll see what gets to me first.
As far as I know, there is no cure for this debilitating disease, and there are very few treatment options. One such option, adding more ambient noise to the environment, may also be another trigger for me. I downloaded a white noise app to try to drown out my neighbor’s TV noise, but the fake rain just drove me equally as psychotic (I usually find a soft thunderstorm to be very lulling) and I tried to listen through the thunder to see if the TV noise was still there. It was.
The biggest issue for misophonia suffers like myself is that there has been very little research done on the condition. I believe it could be genetic, as I know others in my family suffer from it as well. Now, I don’t believe in the power of prayer, but I sure would appreciate yours while we wait for a cure. In the meantime, I’m considering putting together a 5K or a local support chapter. At the very least, that will quench my thirst for more unpaid work.
Peace be with you. Because it is not with me.