Misophonia. Which Means OHMYGODPLEASESHUTUP!


My husband is eating a blackberry five inches from my face, and it’s as loud as fuck. I lean back and give him the evil eye, and he knows he needs to stop making the noise immediately or I am going to throw him down. He laughs, takes a step closer, crunches louder and in my ear, tells me I’m crazy. I run out of the room, my heart pounding. He’s the one capable of making a blackberry crunch at epic decibels. Clearly, the crazy one here is him!
I have been told I am not the most normal person in certain situations. When someone sneezes in a car, I roll down my window with the urgency of a crack addict looking for another hit. When we go to Costco to buy toilet paper in bulk, and some lazy asshole is dragging his feet on the concrete floor, I feel like I’m going to vomit. When we go to the movies and get trapped between mouth-stuffing popcorn eaters, I need to move my seat.

But this time, my husband is right. I am crazy, and I am overjoyed to admit it.
I have a disorder. It was recently verified and documented on the “LIVE Kelly and Michael” show. Kelly Ripa announced on national television that she suffers from misophonia. So it must be real. Pronounced mis-oh-foh-niă, it’s literally “hatred of sound,” a neurological disorder in which negative experiences—anger, flight, hatred, or disgust—are triggered by specific sounds.
Kelly said something to the effect of having to leave the house when her husband eats a peach, and my mouth fell open. Here I was all these years thinking that the world and everybody in it severely annoyed only me. I nearly dropped to my knees with this revelation that I am not the only one with a slurpy, chompy fruit-eating crazy-inducing husband.
I rush to tell him about my newfound diagnosis.
“Kelly who?”
“Kelly Ripa, the soap opera star-turned-talk show host! We both have misophonia. We are soul sisters! She wants to punch her husband when he eats a peach! Can you believe it?”
I tell him it is a form of OCD, which is a form of mental illness, which means he is right: I am crazy.
“Isn’t this an amazing discovery?” I ask.
He walks away, crunching on a handful of almonds as I consider slaying him with a kitchen knife.
I might never convince him of my disease. But it’s real and I have lived with it my entire life.  Running water, pens clicking, nail clippers, humming, beeping, whistling, sucking, slurping, chewing, bass booming, leaf blowers, lawn mowers . . . the list goes on and on and on.
There are ways to soften the irritable sounds—but no need for earplugs here because I recently found out that I am losing my hearing. Having to wear double hearing aids at the ripe old age of 44 would make most women cry, but instead I am jumping for joy. Relief, actually. I can just turn those bitches off when things start to get too loud.
It must be hereditary.  If I really want to piss off my older sister I just call her up and rustle a plastic shopping bag over the phone. I am sure to get an instant hang-up with a soon-to-be returned call with her slurping on a bowl of cereal into the receiver.
And as I laugh at the irony of the hearing aids and the insanity of it all, I look at my six-year-old daughter falling asleep next to me.
“Mom, can you stop breathing so loud?” she whispers.
“I’m sorry baby doll, I totally understand,” I tell my poor little mini-me. “I will try breathing in another direction. Or better yet, not at all.”


Bio
Jennifer Scharf is a humor writer with essays published in McSweeney’s, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and more! Follow her on Twitter @momcoms https://twitter.com/momcoms and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MomComs?fref=ts

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