This is the #49 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Sarah (12) from Canada. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Sarah, take it away…
Where are you from?
I was born in Vancouver Canada, but I’ve lived in Knoxville, TN since I was 2 ½
What do you do for a living?
I am in 7th grade
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
Dogs, poetry, playing guitar, learning about Constitutional Law
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
8 – 9 years old (third grade)
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
About a year ago. I was getting an MRI and the technician was chewing gum. It bothered me and I knew she’d use a microphone in my ears and I was worried. I had my dad ask her to stop chewing gum (she did, they always do, I’ve never had someone say no), and I heard my dad explain that I had misophonia.
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
I have hyperacusis (super-sonic hearing). I can also smell a candy shop over a block away.
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
Yes, I told my extended family members and my best friend, they are all very understanding and try hard to accommodate me. I also told a friend I used to be closer to. Telling that person was super hard because right before I told her we had to read the book A Mango Shaped Space for class. The girl in the book has synesthesia and when she told her friend, they weren’t friends anymore because her friend was mad that she kept that a secret – I didn’t want that to happen to me. It didn’t – she just said she knew something was different about me, but didn’t care if I didn’t want to tell her what it was.
I also told my teachers last year and this year. They’ve all been very accommodating (except one who still hands out candy in class), I’d encourage all kids to at least tell their teachers.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
When I was playing truth or dare with my best friend (who knows), she asked me “If you could invite your favorite celebrity for dinner, who would it be?”. I said – Netflix. Since misophonia, I eat alone. We both thought it was funny.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
Baths – especially with bath bombs or bath salts. Petting dogs or just being around dogs in general. Escaping the triggers. Hearing aids with white noise and white noise machines.
What are your misophonic superpowers?
I’m really observant – if I walk into a room I can find the safe places right away and not feel lost when I need to flee. My parents tell me I’m very empathetic too, probably from having misophonia.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
People want to understand and help you. More than once (actually more than 10 times) when I see a person chewing gum around me I simply ask if they can spit it out, and every time they have.
What’s your very best life hack?
Taking care of yourself. Learning how to avoid certain situations that could trigger me, even if they seem like a lot of fun. And learning how to deal in situations when you can’t get out of them.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
For the most part people really want to help, every once in a while, you run into someone who says that they want to help you and they really don’t, and that doesn’t feel too good. But the majority of people you meet will do everything in their power to help.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
My Grandma’s cabin in Oregon
Seashore by the Regrettes
The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee
Favourite work of art:
Sunflowers by Van Gogh
5 things you couldn’t live without:
Dogs, music/book/tv, chocolate, family, headphones