This is the #6 edition of our new My Misophonia Story series. This week features Abby (18) from the USA. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Abby, take it away…
Where are you from?
Harvest, Alabama, U.S
What do you do for a living?
Currently I’m a senior in high school and I work two restaurant jobs – but I’m headed to a school of ministry to study worship in the fall!
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
Learning, my work and my faith. I like to sing! And bake. I love baking.
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
I was probably around 12 when it became an everyday struggle.
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
Probably a year ago – my mom did some research after I broke down in tears, yet again, because she sneezed.
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Sneezing/sniffling, loud eating, wet mouth type noises (especially when one of my family members spits when brushing their teeth! No matter where I am in my house – I can hear it! It’s awful).
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
I hate if there’s constant fidgeting in my peripheral or direct vision. I have to cover their foot or whatever it is with a blanket or leave the room!
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
My family knows and complains about having to “walk on eggshells” around me (ouch) – and my friends just know that I get really tense and angry when people sniffle during tests. They just sort of accept it and laugh with me when I’m calm.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
One time during an exam a young man was just constantly sniffing, and sniffing, and sniffing, and sniffing and I genuinely couldn’t complete my exam because of the adrenaline and rage rushing around in me – so I calmly stood up and threw a box of tissues at him as hard as I could. I started crying because of how ridiculous that looked to everyone else – how crazy that looked. Not a good day.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
Headphones! Music! Loud music. Things to block out the trigger noise and to mitigate the way the sounds ruminate in my mind even if the trigger is gone.
What are you misophonic superpowers?
Well! The hypersensitivity to noise allows me to hear and catch things others don’t. And I think maybe the sharp awareness of patterns and repetition of noise makes me a better musician – I taught myself how to play piano by ear.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
Don’t fall into feeling alone.
What’s your very best life hack?
If you go into a bakery maybe ten minutes before they close and simply ask to be given one little item – 7 times out of 10 they’ll just hand it over! They throw it all away after close.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
Honestly just hang in there, I guess. I still haven’t found any real relief or answers… so I’m just waiting.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
Six Flags (our big amusement park)
“Shake It Out” by Florence and The Machine
Heart of Darkness” – Joseph Conrad
Favourite work of art:
I guess The Scream by Edvard Munch appeals to me (for obvious reasons)
5 things you couldn’t live without:
Headphones, shortbread cookies, my younger sister Amy, my super soft big white blanket, and chewing gum.