This is the #13 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Mandi (37) 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. Mandi, take it away…
Where are you from?
I am from Festus Missouri.
What do you do for a living?
I am a middle school science teacher.
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
I’m passionate about my family. My kids play multiple club sports and are involved in lots of activities. My hobbies are skydiving and riding ATV’s.
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
I was in middle school.
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
I learned about Misophonia about 2 years ago. Before that I referred to it as Soft Sound Sensitivity Syndrome.
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Clapping, yelling or whistling in enclosed spaces. Slurping gulping or smacking and finally any repetitive noise.
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
Yes! I hate certain material, specifically anything made out of wood or any body fluids.
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
My husband says “yeah, you think. Can they do anything about that?” 🙂
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
Oh not one thing is funny. Everything about this makes me want to lash out harshly at anyone who violates one of my “noise rules.” My kids are very well trained in these. They don’t scream, they have the BEST manners and they would never clap in enclosed places. However sometimes I wear noise canceling ear protection like I wear when shooting. So my girls think that’s funny, especially when we are driving.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
I read an article once that talked about submitting someone to the things that bother them to desensitize them (you know like forcing someone in an elevator over and over until they are not afraid). I became a teacher (middle school because I can NOT do boogers or snot), knowing I would be triggered constantly. I figured this would be my therapy. Has it worked you ask? Well not really, I think I may be a bit more “tolerant” if repetitious noises, maybe, but I still have that look and my kids no… they better knock it off! Other then that, I have just trained my family very well over the years.
What are you misophonic superpowers?
I can hear ANYTHING! Anywhere any time I can focus on multiple conversations at one time!
I think teaching makes me a better multitasker. I believe I can combat issues in class quicker and I can focus on multiple kids at one time. Even middle school students can be very needy and when operating large science tasks, I can be a more focused for my students needs.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
Breath (like I’m doing right now). Take a step back and remove yourself from the situation if possible. Get somewhere quiet when triggered and don’t be afraid to tell people what bothers you, if you don’t, how will they stop doing it?
What’s your very best life hack?
Read! Read as much as you can, this is relaxing and quiet. It’s that one moment I can completely live in my own head without the outside world and no one thinks I’m crazy!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
Don’t let this make you not be able to operate with the outside world! FIGHT! Control it, don’t let it control you (ok ok it totally controls me, but I still fight against it everyday)!
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Favourite work of art:
Starry Night by Van Gogh
5 things you couldn’t live without:
1. My kids
2. My husband
3. My family
4. My stuffed dog (he’s very old)
5. My books