Thursday, June 28, 2012

Knowledge Is Power

OMG Humble Readers!

Who ever would have thought that time spent on Pinterest would lead to a personal epiphany?  I mean this is life changing for me.

All my life I have thought I was nuts, wackadoodle, and maybe even a little bit crazy.  No joke.  There have been moments when I have felt like I was just going to snap and go completely insane. 

All because of sounds.  Certain sounds. 

Sounds like that of people eating, smacking their lips, or gulping when they drink.  The sound of crinkling plastic wrappers, like chip bags or candy wrappers.  The sound of typing.  People who walk heavily or stomp.  And then there is the unknown, unexpected sounds that get me, like the fan in our living room that has begun to squeak. 

Think back to Pippin's birth story.  Remember my roommate who had a serious snot-sucking issue?  There was actually a point where I had to leave the room, or I knew I was going to scream my lungs out. 

These sounds trigger an amazing, involuntary response in my body.  It's physical.  My skin crawls, in some extreme cases I feel like I'm going to throw up, and there is an irrational anger that blasts through me.  The number of times I have said, "I'm going to punch you in the face if you don't close your mouth when you eat" to my Beloved would startle you.  And the scary thing is, in that brief moment I actually feel like I could.  I would absolutely never do it, but the inclination is there.

Do you see why I thought I was crazy?

For me, I can usually handle the sounds for a brief period of time.  But it's like it just builds and builds until I snap.  Throughout my life, I have learned little coping techniques.  Things like white noise, music, or leaving the situation (like my hospital room) all help.  Usually once I voice my frustration, the stress level lessens significantly. 

And I have always felt ridiculous and guilty for these responses

Tonight, when I was perusing Pinterest, I came across a pin about Misophonia.  It literally means "hatred for sound", and is sometimes known as Selective Sound Sensitivity.  It's an actual brain disorder that affects many people.  From the little bit of reading I have done tonight, I seem to have a relatively 'light' form of it.  Some people fly into uncontrollable rages, or end up isolating themselves entirely.

I feel like a weight has been lifted.  I know that just having a name for this absurdity that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember somehow eases things a bit.  Honestly, I'm not nuts!

Knowing that this is an actual thing won't make me less crazy the next time I'm sitting across the table from someone who grunts or smacks their lips when they eat.  But, I think it will help alleviate the guilt I feel for my responses to these sounds. 

Pinterest as therapy?  Who knew?

(Yes, I know that self diagnosing via the internet is dangerous.  But reading many of these peoples' stories is like looking into a mirror.  I'm not the only one!)


  1. I think that's awesome! It's always nice to know it's a real thing, and especially to have a name for it. Very validating. :) And who would be better to diagnose you than yourself? You're intelligent and you experience it. Perfect combo. :)

  2. Omg!!! Me too! May I please add to your list: people who make a single potato chip into at least 3 noisy bites, when people scrape their teeth on their fork, or when people drag their shoes when they walk. Makes me CRAZY!!!!

    1. YES! YES! YES! All of the above!

      It's just so amazing to know that this is a real 'thing' and I'm not just being overly persnickity. Other people just don't notice these things, and they don't understand.

      And the relief I feel when an offending noise ends? Absolutely priceless!

  3. I have it too... The sound of whispering, chewing/crunching, even the sound of opening a bag of something because I know the person will start to eat, snoring... I use earplugs to block out unwanted sounds. Thank G-d my husband doesn't think I'm nuts.

    1. I also wear earplugs at night. Between my hubby's snoring, the fan going, the cats meowing and scratching outside the door.....I'd never get any sleep!!

    2. Whispering is just awful... and rude. :)

      There was one time, I was on a long ride on a Greyhound bus (9 hours) and sitting behind me was a couple who were making out and whipsering the WHOLE TIME. Every time the bus stopped for a break, I was the first one off, just to get away from them. It took me forever to feel calm once I got to my destination.

  4. I understand where you are coming from. When my beloved blows his nose it's like the LOUDEST THING EVER!! I especially hate it when he does it at night after Ruby has gone to sleep. He hasn't ever woken her but I give him quite the glare anyway. Also, and this is strange, my beloved like to have either the hair dryer or any other fan on him at. all. times. Seriously. I hate it so friggin much. And don't get me started on the bathroom exhaust skin crawls whenever it gets turned on, so of course beloved will mess with me and open the door while I am going to the bathroom and turn it on. Grr!!

    Hahaha...sorry. End rant :)

  5. I don't have it for as many sounds...but it bugs me to hear spoons and forks scratching against the plates....

  6. I can handle white noise, but I too am super sensitive to sounds. Mine is related to my fibro (because I'm sensitive to everything), but listening to people chew makes me really agitated. Subtle tapping on a person's thigh elicits an evil glare from me. And hubby doesn't snore but he does breath loudly when he falls asleep. If I'm not asleep or nearly so by that point, I am WIDE AWKE trying to ignore it!


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