We had our first major fight with Mr. K on the last day of our honeymoon. He woke up singing and whistling while I wanted to sleep! The whistling is what removed the pin from the grenade. It set me off so badly that I was blue with rage. Understandably, Mr. K couldn’t understand how anyone would be so upset by such a harmless noise.
As it turns out, he had triggered a reaction caused by Misophonia also known as selective sound sensitivity Syndrome. According to WebMD, Misophonia is a strong dislike for specific sounds.
It’s classified as a neuropsychiatric disorder in which negative experiences such as anger, disgust, hatred are triggered by specific sounds. I have lived with this condition for three decades, without a clue, until last week when I put a name to my craziness.
With Misophonia, certain sounds make you extremely irritable, enraged or even suicidal. People with misophonia are so affected by specific sounds that they are incapable of normal functioning. Many times I’ve wished I was deaf, just so I can stop hearing all these noises; yet all I needed was earplugs (offers to buy me earplugs are welcome.)
Different people have different triggers. According to misophonia.com. a trigger set is a group of sounds that affect a person. You can read all about it here.
I cannot stand the sound of breathing, soft or otherwise. I would rather watch a camel being slaughtered than be in the same room with someone who’s snoring. Or chewing loudly. These actions annoy most people, but for them, they easily blend in the background.
Someone with misophonia, on the other hand, will experience a fight or flight response. These sounds will produce anxiety, rage, and emotional distress. Many end up bursting into tears or fleeing the room. Like me.
One time, some trigger noises from outside my house were so bad that I couldn’t sleep. I woke up, totally overwhelmed and broke down crying. I walked out of the house in the middle of the night and moved to the rooftop just to experience some quiet. That day Mr. K told me I need to see a shrink. He’d come to his wit’s end. Maybe I should have.
The earliest I remember having a reaction is in my pre-teen years. Of course, no one takes you seriously, you’re branded a nuisance at best and a proud freak at worst. Yet, I’d be losing my mind and grinding my teeth at the sound of someone sniffing or slurping. Yet everyone else seems to be coping just fine!
I cannot stand the sound of a music woofer or a ticking clock! There are times when I’ve been unable to even cook because a neighbor is playing music! It feels like someone took my brain apart and forgot to put it back together. I get anxiety attacks and my blood starts to boil. I feel like if I don’t kill someone, I will kill myself. Luckily, the spirit of the Lord is at work even in my Misophonia.
The worst part of Misophonia is, the people suffering from it don’t get reactions if they produce the trigger sounds themselves. Mimicking the trigger sound is actually mentioned as a coping mechanism for some people. Sadly, I’m not one of them.
Looking back, I wish I realized that this was a condition earlier in my life. I have suffered emotional distress, rage, and guilt from thinking I’m not in control of my life. Often times when faced with a trigger, I’d hide and cry at how helpless I am and how bad the sound is making me feel, yet I couldn’t explain why I was reacting that way.
Be kind today, Be silent. I’ll be sharing more as we go along.