Fun fact: I have misophonia. What exactly is misophonia, you ask? Misophonia, as defined by Wikipedia (a totally reliable source), "is a neurological disorder in which negative experiences are triggered by specific sounds." Boom. That's it, really. And an individual's reaction (disgust, anger, fight, flight, whatever) to his or her specific trigger really sets the tone for the day. My typical reaction is disgust, so if you ever see me with a look on my face like you are the most repugnant person in the world, it's totally not your fault; I'm just reacting to one of my triggers. Unless you're Glenn Beck. Then you are, undisputedly, the most repugnant.
Triggers range from person to person. DISCLAIMER: IF YOU HAVE MISOPHONIA, STOP READING RIGHT NOW AND SCROLL DOWN. I'M GOING TO LIST MY TRIGGERS, AND I DON'T WANT TO PUT YOU THROUGH ANY MORE ANGUISH THAN WHAT IS DEALT IN EVERYDAY LIFE.
My triggers specifically are: eating noises of any kind, swallowing, drinking noises, pen clicking, sniffling, that tiny smacking noise that some people make when they're talking, repetitive consonants (mostly s sounds), chewing ice, and weird visual stimuli like fidgeting with papers.
MISOPHONIA SUFFERERS, COME BACK IN. Welcome.
Okay, imagine you hate the sound of people eating. Not just a dislike, but blood boiling hatred. And every time someone does that around you, it's the equivalent of someone dragging their nails down a chalkboard. And now it's not just eating, it's also the sound of the other triggers I listed. Almost 10 different things a person can do can send you into a fit. The chances of someone activating one of your triggers is incredibly high. And remember, not only do strangers do this, but so do the people you love. Essentially every person with whom you come into contact will make your skin crawl. Imagine that every single day of your life. The constant frustration is enough to drive me to tears, but then again, I'm a baby.
The frustration I feel with myself is pretty constant, considering I get so angry with the people so close to me over something they probably don't realize is killing me. I have no blame for these people, I'm aware it's all me and my hypersensitive brain. The thought of me killing my relationships because of this disorder absolutely terrifies me. What if I miss out on a killer opportunity because I couldn't look at a potential employer because they were fidgeting and had dry mouth? What if I disregard Mr. Right because he has a cold? Like I said, terrifying.
I don't want to be the social pariah because I lashed out at someone who had triggered my reaction. The pain inflicted by this disorder often goes unnoticed or is disregarded, while the sufferers are being told to simply "get over it." Those triggers aren't just annoying; they do mold how I react to a day. If my happiness and comfort is dependent on me avoiding being around someone who on the off chance might breathe, there's something wrong. I'm just saying we need to raise awareness of this disorder. Until I heard the word, I thought I was hypercritical of everyone. Now I know I'm just nutso. Haha, just kidding. It can be difficult and overwhelming, and I do apologize in advance if something does trigger while I'm around you. Just giver me a moment, and I'll be back in no time.
Also, I do apologize for the nature of this post. It's been a very long/tough weekend, and this topic has been heavy on my mind as of late. I've wanted to blog about it for a while, but I could never bring myself to do it. I really hope I've condensed it so people could understand the frustration and hurt that go along with misophonia. Thanks for putting up with this semi-ranty post. Love you guys.