This is the #19 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Ayla (16) from the Netherlands. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Ayla, take it away…

Where are you from?

I’m from the Netherlands. So in advance I apologize if I make mistakes in my English.

What do you do for a living?

I go to school and I also teach little kids gymnastics and I bring folders in my neighborhood.

What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?

I love gymnastics, cross stitching, traveling and photographing.

How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?

I think I noticed when I was around 12 years old.

When did you first find out it was called misophonia?

About a year ago.

What are your 3 biggest triggers?

Crunching, loud breathing and people having the hiccups. (That may sound weird but I just can’t handle it).

Do you have any other sensory quirks?

I can’t stand people scratching their skin or their head. It also makes me really uncomfortable when people run their hands repeatedly. I think this is also the sound that it makes when their hands are dry that triggers me.

Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?

I told my mom when I saw an article about misophonia in the newspaper but I don’t think she really understands because she always says that I have to think about something else when we’re having dinner, but that doesn’t work for me. My dad and my brother also know about it but they think I’m crazy and that I’m overreacting.

What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?

This isn’t really a funny moment but my mom was eating a really crunchy piece of bread. When she started eating it, I was making food for myself so I was waiting for it to be cooked. So she was eating it and I was trying to calm down but the bread was just too crunchy and I couldn’t handle it anymore so I walked to the living room and I started crying (she couldn’t hear it). So I was crying and I heard that my food was cooked so I quickly walked back to get it and my mom saw that I was crying, and she asked me why I was crying. I told her that I was crying because of the bread she was eating and she just started laughing at me like I was crazy.

What helps you to cope with your misophonia?

Turning the television on while having dinner.

Earbuds!!!!

Wearing hoodies really helps me because when I’m triggered I can just put in my earbuds and put the cap (is that what it’s called?) over my head.

Casually covering my ear with, for example, my knee or my hand/ hands.

What are you misophonic superpowers?

I can’t really think of I misophonic super power.

What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?

Always bring earbuds with you.

What’s your very best life hack?

I worry a lot about things and I’m really trying to stop worrying because it doesn’t make me feel very happy (obviously). So when I’m worrying I always think of this quote from the movie Fantastic beasts and where to find them: In my philosophy, worrying means that you suffer twice. Just thinking about this quote really helps me and maybe it helps some of you as well!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?

Not everyone has misophonia! A big problem I have is that I think that whenever I make a sound everyone is going to be annoyed because they notice it. But not everyone notices it when you eat something or cough. I get really anxious when I have to eat/drink something in public because I’m scared I’ll make a sound. This causes me to have trouble swallowing which I find really scary and annoying.

And finally! The quick fire round…

Favourite place you’ve visited:

Norway

Favourite song:

This is a hard question but I really like songs by Stromae.

Favourite book:

I can’t really think of anything.

Favourite work of art:

As above.

5 things you couldn’t live without:

Gymnastics

Harry Potter

My family

My stuffed animals (yes I’m 16 years old I don’t know why but they comfort me)

Food (I don’t really know haha)

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