This is the #51 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Emma (47) from the UK. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Emma, take it away…
Where are you from?
What do you do for a living?
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
Art, Nature, Music
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
I was about 12. My dad made noises (still does) when he’s eating, it was intolerable.
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
A year ago, I am also HSP (Highly sensitive person) and was speaking to a friend about it. I thought the sensitivity to sounds was part of HSP and she said no so I googled it and it came up with misophonia.
It was life changing. The misophonia was becoming intolerable as my husband and children’s noises was making life unbearable at home, there was simply no escape from trigger noises. I also felt unbelievably guilty and embarrassed and just wanted to be on my own all the time so I could hear nothing.
Now I know, I wear earplugs at home and my family have been simply amazing. Not only that if we are out and someone is making trigger noises I tell my family and we move away and they accommodate me. It’s saved my marriage and my sanity.
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
Misokinesia, husband’s foot twitching in particular, nail biting
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
My immediate family, ie husband and 3 children who have all been amazing. My closest friends who also have been fantastic and my parents (who have not mentioned it since and clearly did not get it at all).
I am very private and careful about telling people. After years of feeling shame about this dark secret I had it’s difficult to let go of that feeling. People generally just don’t get it.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
I don’t find any of it funny, I wish I didn’t have it. I am always on hyper alert with other people, I feel like a meerkat most of the time! I am aware of it being ridiculous and occasionally will laugh at it with my son which feels good.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
Ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones, leaving the room, being on my own when the noises from every day all gets too much. Being open and honest about it with my husband and kids, it is so good to finally share it with other people after years of it being a shameful secret.
What are your misophonic superpowers?
I am hyper aware of every noise. It makes me appreciate the quiet, nature sounds and music. I guess I do notice the small detail in everything, I am very observant.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
It’s ok to leave or have a break from the noise.
What’s your very best life hack?
Nothing is permanent.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
You are not alone.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
Sofia by Laura Marling
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
Favourite work of art:
Anything by Nancy Spero
5 things you couldn’t live without:
Music, art, my family, nature, friends