Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Noise Abatement Society
This is my coming out post - not as a lesbian (this time).
From this day and for all days to come I proudly announce myself with enormous pride as a life-long sufferer of Misophonia; a Misophone; une misophonique. Je suis.
Misophonia, if you don't know already, is the neat Latin name for members of the official We Hate Annoying Noises Club. To clarify: the word literally means hatred of noises and boy do we have a lot of that.
Next we must pick our poison as to what sort of noise is the offending nuisance. In my case, it is sharp, loud sounds - doggies barking and old people coughing, those currently top the list. Either could have me reaching for a loaded revolver after ten minutes any day of the year, even if was promised £10m just to sit there and listen to it. I know it's nutty but I am a slave to sounds.
TBH though, just about any repetitive noise can take me there. Sneezing. Yawning. Dance music with a really annoying sample looped for its entirety. A child shouting the same thing over and over. Alarms. Radio 4 through my bedroom wall (more of later). Pitbull.
I feel much more disgusted than the average person by farting and burping. Breathing and blowing your noise is pretty rank. The confident jet of someone urinating (ick). Metal on metal; blackboards; felt tip pens; the sickening sound long nails make. Ew, ew and ew.
Sometimes I trigger my own Misophonia. It's that bad.
A lot of Misophonics centre their obsession on the noises people's mouths make when they eat. I've only had this a few times but I'm sure if I had to frequent a canteen every day, I'd soon be going bat shit. Comprendo, amigos.
I think I first knew I was a bit mental in the audio depratment was when we used to visit my dad's family every Sunday. They had this horrible aggressive Collie that would follow you everywhere and bark. Sit in front of you and bark. Make like it was going to bite you and bark.
That smelly miscreant just wouldn't stop barking and it made something in my mind go utterly cray cray. And it was absolutely impossible to think of anything else all the time we were there. The barking wasn't so regular that I could let myself relax with the loud noise going continuously right in front of my face.
It was spordaic and made me jump out of my skin with frightening intensity each time. Every bark would set off deeper waves off panic and the obsession grew and grew within minutes of our arrival at that awful place, like a monster in the back of my head that I couldn't even begin to describe to anyone.
I did try but they just didn't believe how truly overwhelming the experience was for me every week. Only fellow Misophoncs can understand how debillitating it is when you get stuck in a particularly bad episode; when your mind hears something that it simply can't accept.
When I tried to explain all this to my family though, they'd just be like, "What barking?" or "Just ignore it." But sadly my ears never ignore anything. I'm fairly convinced they're supersonic.
One of the most prominent emotions is rage. Oh how you would love to slap that person or thing stupid and stop them from ever making that noise again. From looking at Google, it doesn't seem like anyone's actually committed murder in the name of Misophonia yet, but surely it's only a matter of time and it's certainly one of the more understandable reasons for harpooning someone through the head.
Anyway, I have waaay more to say on this subject but this post's getting kinda long so I'll just leave it at this for now and bid ye a (quiet) adieu :)
Read this Daily Mail article for a bit more info on Misophonia.
And if you have Misphonia, please share with me in the comments what really grinds your gears. Let's cover our ears and sit rocking together.