Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Quiet Please

This blog post has nothing to do with farming, homesteading or cute little animals, so sorry about that.

I know most of you think I'm cool and have my act together.  Or maybe not.  My immediate family and good friends know how weird I really am and for some reason love me anyway.  At least they put up with me.

Since I was a child I've been sensitive to sound.  My sisters and mother can attest to this.  It's gotten worse as I've gotten older.  I know many people don't like to hear people chew with their mouth open or crack gum, etc., but I don't mean that kind of noise, though things like that can send me into a rage - a quiet one in my head that makes me want to cry, and I have.  I mean things other folks don't even hear.  My "triggers" are things like the sound of someone typing or clicking their pen, utensils tapping a plate, sniffing, foot scuffing, rubbing of pages in a book, loud breathing (sometimes soft breathing) throat clearing, finger tapping, nose whistling, or just plain whistling in general.  My list is very long.  There's a name for this neurological disorder.  It's Misophonia, which means hatred of sound.  I didn't know there was a name for it until last year.  I had no idea there were other people (lots of them) who also struggle with this condition.  We don't usually look like this, but this is how we feel when all we can focus on is THAT SOUND.

I wish I could explain it to you better, the feeling of anxiety when experiencing one of these triggers, which are often coming from the person or people I love most.  When I hear these noises I want to bolt - leave the room - get away as fast as I can - put my earplugs in.  Fortunately for me I'm married to someone who is understanding and patient.  James tries really hard not to make these noises but there's no way he can know what it is that makes my skin crawl because he doesn't suffer from it.  He'd have to be the quietest person on earth to not irritate me.  I recognize this is my problem and try not to give the evil eye when James is tap tap tapping his plate with his fork.  Anyone else wouldn't even hear the tapping.

Along with the noise there's also sometimes a sensitivity to movement.  Things like someone shaking their leg, thumb twirling or hand movements.  I know it sounds crazy.  I used to think I was crazy and perhaps I am a bit. I'm ok with crazy as long as I know I'm not alone.  There are forums and discussion boards, blogs, Facebook pages related to misophonia and, while they don't fix anything, they help me to feel better - like many people are working toward the same goal - finding a way to fix this.

One of the folks on the sound sensitivity forum is a filmmaker.  He's producing a film called Quiet Please.  He's hoping to raise awareness of the disorder because he (and I think his daughter) have suffered with it for a long time.  Here's a link to the trailer for his film.  It takes a while to load on my computer so you may have to pause it and let it load to watch it without interruption.  I think he did a great job and I can't wait to see the full film when it's done.  This trailer explains way better than I can what it's like to struggle with misophonia.  Maybe someone reading this will say, "that's me", and feel better knowing what they're experiencing has a name.  He also has a fund raising IndieGoGo website for the film in case anyone feels so inspired to contribute or wants to read his story and what he has to say about the disorder.

Next blog will have to do with farm stuff, not crazy stuff.  Well, maybe my farm stuff is sometimes also crazy.

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