I have been sensitive to sound for almost forever. But in the last 10 years it has got remarkably worse.
These are a couple, in no real order, that drive me to anger and rage almost instantaneously:-
1. Kids chewing cereal …. even Pro-nutro … but you can only imagine what the sound of crunchy cereal does to me head/mind/sanity.
2. Slurping tea or coffee – and my best is slurping soup.
3. Repeatedly tapping of feet onto a surface (my kids kick the centre pole in our kitchen whilst eating) or Isabelle picks up her spoon and drops it on the counter, picks it up, and drops it — repeat until mother bursts a blood vessel.
4. The sound of normal chewing …. I always sit next to Kennith at the dining room table, and I have been wondering whether it would be rude for me to move to the other end of the table. We have an 8 seater, me on one end, him on the other at dinner time … strange much?
5. Sucking of marrow bones, or chicken bones or anything that makes your lips smack …without a doubt this is when I excuse myself from the table to go and attend to a child … even when I am out without my children.
6. Sniffing…. I keep tissues in my bag for the sole purpose of handing to my children and strangers. I make it look like an act of guidance or caring. Meanwhile. Not so much.
7. A door that isn’t closed properly that knocks every time a breeze blows down the passage.
8. Someone flicking through television channels, and the variance in sound that occurs as they move from one channel to another.
9. Reality shows – especially American Idols or X-Factor – there is a severe pitch variance, and a lot of screaming and loud voices and then the low sound as someone says something deep and meaningful and then the screaming again. Does my head in.
10. Wind that whistles through window joints, and the bang-bang-bang that usually occurs on windows.
11. The squeezing and sucking sounds caused when someone drinks from one of those water bottle numbers. I can’t. I really cannot bear it.
12. Teeth sucking …. like after dinner and then there is this teeth sucking.
Okay let me stop.
Now that I make a list, I realise that the list is rather long and I have not touched the ice berg of the things that make me lose my shit completely.
I think there are lots of noises/sounds that we do not like. But with me it does more than just annoy me. It makes me angry, and irritated, and well just fkn angry.
My heart starts to pound. I can feel my eyes narrowing. I focus on the sound at the exclusion of everything else and then I can feel I get angrier and angrier as the sound gets louder and more acute in my ear.
Kennith always says that if we go to the movies, I will attract the guy with the slush puppy who sucks, and does that shoesh-shoesh-shoesh sound as he pushes his straw through the slush to loosen up the liquid, for another suck.
Kennith is probably right – I attract these people like nobodies business. But the reality is that no matter where the slush puppy person sits, I will be able to hear them. And the added problem is that I can’t hear the movie, as the sound gets louder and louder and louder for me.
This issue alone is probably the main reason I no longer go to movies.
Of course I just put it down to the fact that I was a miserable cow with too many issues to number – seems fair enough, so let’s not totally discount that as a good reason for my being irritable.
Then I saw this word on Friday “Misophonia” and suddenly so much makes sense, or at least I do not feel so guilty for always feeling so damn angry when there is a sound that sets my teeth on edge.
I thought this definition was bang on the money:
The response has been described as a reflexive emotional flood of rage and panic with a storm of fight-or-flight reactions becoming paramount. Adrenaline flooding, face flushing, heart-pounding and/or shaking and the need to physically flee or attack are often experienced. The mindful thoughts that the emotional reflex/response is unreasonable given the facts of the stimulus is often actually harmless come only after the fight-or-flight response is in full force and the affected person may find themselves in a constant mode of “talking themselves down” into a normal state of calm.
The hypocrisy of it all, is that I make a noise when I eat, and I often flick my nail when I am alone – I also love chewing raw pasta — all of these sounds would drive me to commit manslaughter if someone else did it.
According to my research there is no cure – one either must avoid the sound, do extensive CBT or take enough medication to not hear anything.
One bloke suggested moving to a quiet town, and never being in public places so the sounds of the masses do not drive him to insanity. He also has opted to work from home as “office” sounds also set him off.
Sadly I think it is too late for me. What is sadder is that I understand his point of view, and his plan does not seem that unreasonable to me.