This is the #30 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Lisa (57) 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. Lisa, take it away…
Where are you from?
Live at the beach in Southern California. Grew up in Boston.
What do you do for a living?
Office worker in corporate America.
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
My Family; Nature Lover & Protector (Ocean, Mountains, Forests, Parks & Gardens); Community Activist in local politics; Yoga.
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
Around 8 years old with my mother popping gum.
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Sorry I couldn’t narrow it down to just 3.
1) Eating, 2) Certain Vocal Tones/Loud Voices/Laughs, 3) Power Tools, 4) Nail clipping 5) Pen clicking 6) Loud Bass/Rap music (especially when stuck in traffic).
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
Yes, I have visual sensory quirks such as people picking their teeth, rubbing their nose, rubbing their face, jiggling their leg, cutting their nails, scratching, eating. (Editor’s note: this is called misokinesia)
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
Yes. My husband doesn’t believe it’s a real thing. My sons can emphasize because they have some of the same issues. My best friend doesn’t understand why all loud noise doesn’t bother me only some. I’m embarrassed to tell others.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
I don’t find any of it funny. I hate being this way. The most ridiculous thing is I’ve been known to change seats in a restaurant three times to get away from noise. Another ridiculous thing I’ve done is to mimic the sound. If somebody is chewing gum I will start chewing loudly.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
1) Getting away from the source of the offending sounds
2) Listening to music
3) Putting on a fan
4) Telling myself the sound will end soon
5) Receiving and reading Misophonia International / Allergic to Sound emails
6) Talking to a qualified, kind therapist
7) Sharing my condition with loved ones to help them understand my behavior
8) Staying as healthy as possible physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually
9) Ask my higher power (whom I call God) to help me through it
10) Say something to the source of the offending sound to make it stop, if possible
What are your misophonic superpowers?
I can emphasize with others who I perceive to have selective sound sensitivity. I try not to be a cause for stress to others when it comes to sound.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
I am not alone, I am not crazy, I am not needlessly mean, there are others like me who share this condition and research is being done to help us.
What’s your very best life hack?
May I be treated today the way I treated others yesterday.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
I hope I am able to help you the way you are helping me.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
Queen, Fleetwood Mac, U2, Tom Petty
Favourite work of art:
Anything by Monet
5 things you couldn’t live without:
1) Family; 2) Friends; 3) Nature; 4) Spiritual Connection; 5) Great Food