This is the #41 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Florence (51) from France. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Florence, take it away…
Where are you from?
What do you do for a living?
Software Test Analyst.
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
What are your 3 biggest triggers? [bg_collapse view=”link” color=”#eb9500″ icon=”arrow” expand_text=”Click to Show Triggers” collapse_text=”Click to Hide Triggers” ]Loud chewing, clicking jaws, Loud voices, Loud bass from car stereos. Also people chewing gum. Neurotic whistling next to me. I have to add: any man made water noises (not waterfalls or rain), screaming children, and people playing music in the wilderness[/bg_collapse]
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
Cannot watch movies using animals as main characters (worried about animal exploitation).
Really bothered by fake microwave popcorn smell as well as car/truck exhaust smells and cheap perfume lingering smells.
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
I told my husband yesterday, and it turns out he has it too to a much lesser extent, he does a really good job with it. I never even knew. He is much more tolerant than me. He felt relieved when I told him about it because he felt more accepting of his own symptoms immediately. He has always been very patient with mine all the while we were not able to put a name on them.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
Never found them funny nor ridiculous-just painful, distressing, and time consuming.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
Telling my husband, venting on my own, confronting people about their coarse behaviours, leaving the place with a dramatic exit.
What are your misophonic superpowers?
I have to find off the road paths in every aspect of my life. I surround myself with kind and well mannered people and hike/ski away from the frequented paths or trails or ski runs. It means that I will enjoy more of nature’s beauties without seeing (too many) coarse people.
My allergy to man made noises forces me to constantly question our modern lifestyle and constantly seek to stay true to my human nature.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
Get a high end noise isolating headphone.
What’s your very best life hack?
Do not buy salad dressing. Make your own: quality olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, your choice of herb, salt, pepper. Pour everything in a glass jar, shake well. Store in fridge.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
Misophonia is labeled as a disorder, and that pains me a little. I still consider it as a way of refusing the ridiculous amount of man made noises that we have to put up with. Some people do better at coping than others. I seem to be very sensitive to these nuisances, and in my idea, when my body tells me “I don’t like this noise”, I trust it has good reasons for refusing that noise.
It’s for me to find ways in this noisy world to keep my body and mind sane. I am not saying I always succeed, but I made much progress with the door slamming annoyance, and I am good at finding restaurants where people are most likely to have manners.
For me, misophonia is one piece of the puzzle of my ultra sensitive personality that I am still trying to become friends with.
I react strongly, or stronger than most, to everyday life stimuli. That’s me, that’s how I am, and I am on the whole so happy to spot a little bird sing a beautiful song, or to be moved by little things few notice. I much prefer to be an ultra sensitive person than a hypo sensitive. No judgment of course.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
I visited Northern New Mexico last year, could not believe my eyes. It took me 8 months to move here.
Something, Al Green
L’Assommoir, Emile Zola
Favourite work of art:
5 things you couldn’t live without:
Oysters, Skies, My Aerial Silk, Sailing, Closeness to Nature
I can relate to so much of this. The sounds of nature are very important to me; there are many times I have stopped in the street to listen to a bird singing in the trees. How many people didn’t even notice it, I wonder. (They probably also wonder why some daft, ecstatic woman is standing gazing into a tree; their loss, I’m afraid!)
I’m fortunate to live near the Lake District in the north of England. Lots of ‘nature’; waterfalls, birds, animals, wild plants….& my favourite, Herdwick sheep!
It’s absolutely silent as I sit here typing; BLISS!
Why do people have to eat on trains? I end up having to change carriage several times during any journey to find a place where there is no feeding frenzy going on. I don’t mind children eating but adults who can’t seem to get through a few hours without chomping on something makes me have to get up and leave, even with my headphones, even with my book I can’t cope.
I can cope with my children eating, no problem, age 16 and 20. But my husband! I can’t bear to hear or see him eat. I don’t like the noise he makes cleaning his teeth, sniffing, yawning or peeing with the door open. Oh my goodness I could scream. It did not used to be like this. We are married now for 31 years. It definitely became worse over the last 8 years when stress has been high due to relocation to England after working overseas together for 25 years. I am very stressed. I started misophonic reactions age 8 but have been able to deal with it by knowing that the torture of hearing someone eat would not last forever. But now I can’t stand it. I turn the radio on in the kitchen, put the oven extractor fan on, have a fan in my bedroom to block out the sound of my husband breathing. White noise is helpful. Some cars and buses have an engine idle sound which I can’t tolerate, it hurts my ear drums, I have to put my fingers in my ears and swallow. I can’t have only one window in the car open, I have to have two windows open evenly to balance the air pressure otherwise my ear drums hurt, I can hear sounds other people can’t hear, I can sing in tune, pitch the right note, play the flute, harmonise without music, recognise when someone is singing flat or sharp, I can’t bear shouty singing like Adele or any of the modern stuff, I have to leave shops if there is some music on that I don’t like, it makes me angry.
Anyone clicking their nails, picking their nails, scratching, rubbing stubble, doing anything with their ears, nose, hair, eyes drives me insane and I am a nurse! I deal with horrendous injuries, blood and gore, pus and discharge, fouls smelling wounds and sputum, all of this is fine, I have absolutely no problem tending to the sick and dying, I love my job, I can feed people who dribble and spit, I have no issues with any sounds from my patients or poorly people. Just well people and my husband. How can that be! It sounds like I am mad.
My daughter started with intolerance to sounds aged about 10. She can’t sit with my husband or son to eat, she will sit with me but only with the overhead extractor fan on in the kitchen, she can’t tolerate any picking of nails etc, just like me. She is also very talented musically and very sensitive to emotion and feelings of minority groups or suffering of people. She can help anyone, she will do anything to promote justice and fairness, passionate about so many causes but she will virtually scream in agony when she hears sounds that upset her, anyone talking in an adjoining room, the television or radio in the background, anything at all will disturb her concentration on her music practice or homework. It is genetic I am certain.
It is isolating. It is horrible. It makes me sad. I wish there was a cure so me and my daughter could sit at the table as a family with my husband and son like we used to do.
This is the first story I’ve heard where someone said one of their trigger sounds was screaming children. That is my #1 trigger sound, followed by dogs barking, powered garden tools, loud bass, etc. However, eating noises–one of the most common trigger sounds–don’t bother me.
While I’m sorry Florence and anyone else has to deal with misophonia, it’s good to know my triggers are not unique. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Janelle, for your comment. Yes, screaming children are a big one for me, especially since I moved to the US, where it seems to be the normal thing to do for children: screaming and squealing. For years I would just freeze and put my fingers in my ears with a look of horror on my face all the while having to bear with the parents’ dispproving gazes. I have learned to spot children wherever I go and anticipate a quick « removal plan » on my part if necessary. Also, I always tell myself or my peers « too much high fructose corn syrup » when I spot the screaming children, it’s my way of acknowledging my sensitivity and their dysfunctional behavior. Maybe I am misophoniac, yes, but maybe it is not so awesome for the children themselves to be screaming on top of their lungs for everybody to hear.
I’ve read only 4-5 of these stories, but so far your story has resonated with me the most. I’m a big lover of nature and animals. There is nothing I enjoy more than being outside on a nice day, hiking through a beautiful forested trail or open flowered field. Reading, “My allergy to man made noises forces me to constantly question our modern lifestyle and constantly seek to stay true to my human nature,” rang so true to me. I’ve been decrying noise pollution and our societal turning away from all things natural for the last few years. I live in the states, where many see bigger as better (yuck).
I think people with misphonia are a rare breed, and I mean that in a good way. I feel as if we’re more closely connected to what’s natural and house a justified rejection of the harmful unnatural.
For me, my biggest triggers are loud bass, vibration from vehicles and constantly hearing people’s phone noise! It drives me crazy and I don’t understand why people act in public as if they’re in the privacy of their own home. It feels inescapable and has lead me to having compromised health. It’s disheartening to feel like nothing is being done to stop all of this unnecessary, damaging noise. I agree that “mouth noises” are awful. Screaming children, or adults for that matter, and barking dogs are also bothers, but only if they persist.
I’m happy to have found this site, as I’m already feeling a bit better about my circumstances, and wish everyone on it well!