This is the #63 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Paula (34) 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. Paula, take it away…
Where are you from?
I live in Birmingham, UK.
What do you do for a living?
I work for Ministry of Justice-Employment Tribunals as a Court Clerk.
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
I like going for country walks, spa days, afternoon teas, listening to music, decorating, flower arranging, watching horror films. I am passionate about Christianity, Gothic and Retro cultures and helping people.
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
I started to notice when I was in my teens, I think 13/14 I hated when my brother and mom would be speaking outside my room.
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
Last year, when my friend said she had it. We share the same issues.
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
Positive – I have not heard of ASMR but listening to a softly spoken or whispering voice and being touched (someone messing with my hair, any physical touch) gives me tingles.
Negative – This sounds weird but when I am triggered for a long time I get a sensation in my groin area.
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
My best friend and my colleagues know about it but people at work don’t understand, they do suggest ways to calm myself but it doesn’t work.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
The most ridiculous moment I can think of is shouting at my colleague in front of everyone to shut up, stop cracking his knuckles, to put his phone on silent, to use his headset (for his hearing) as I don’t want to hear it. Sometimes I do expect my colleagues to sit in silence.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
– Music on my headphones is a god send. I use this for travelling, sometimes at work and when I’m at home
– Silicone headphones really help block out noise from my neighbours (but they don’t block out sounds nearby)
What are your misophonic superpowers?
I can hear everything that goes on and I’m very sensitive. I can pick up on peoples energy before I even speak to them. This is a good indicator of whether or not I should associate with them in my personal life. I have noticed that if there is someone in my life who is making me feel negative and I don’t like the person I am when I’m with them, then I know I shouldn’t have them in my life.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
In most cases, there is a solution for everything. If people don’t understand you, it doesn’t matter.
What’s your very best life hack?
When you chop an onion and you start to cry, put a silver spoon in your mouth. It will stop the crying.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
I’m glad I’m not the only one suffering with this, most days I feel like I need help and wish I was partly deaf.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
Neverland Valley Ranch in California
I cant think of just one but I’ll go for Alive by Hillsong Young & Free.
The Little Vampire – by Angela Sommer Bodenburg
Favourite work of art:
Portrait of Mare Antoinette ca 1767-68 [attr. Martin Van Meytens] or, anything Rococo
5 things you couldn’t live without:
– Silicone ear plugs
– My bible
– Red wine
– My bed