I mentioned on my About Me page that I would elaborate on the ‘apple’ subject. Today’s the day. I have just removed myself from an apple situation at work.
I have nothing against apples as an entity. They are good for you. They are healthy. They are one of your five a day. Apples, apparently, keep doctors away. But for me, they are evil tree spawn put on this earth to burn my ears and make my life miserable!
‘But apples don’t make a sound!’ I hear you say. Oh yes they do. Next time you bite into an apple, listen. You might not notice it normally but it’s there. They make that sort of wet crunchy sound as the flesh is torn from it’s core. I can’t bear it. I have this sound problem whereby certain sounds send me into a state of unnecessary-ness. Most people will have at least one sound that they can relate to in this manner. Think of someone dragging their nails down a chalkboard, or a fork accidently slipping and screeching along a plate. It sets your teeth on edge. If it lasted for more than a second or two, you’d probably do anything in your power to stop it, wouldn’t you?
Well, that’s what happens to me when I hear someone bite into an apple. For others it’s the sound of constant sniffling and throat clearing, or shoes shuffling along the floor, or the repetative click of a pen or the clickety clack of a keyboard, the shrill whistle of certain birds or dogs barking incessantly. I think I’m rather fortunate that it’s just eating noises that bug me.
Most people who know it bugs me just think I’m over sensitive and a moaner.
Of course I am! It’s not NORMAL to react in anger to someone eating an apple! But I didn’t choose to have sounds affect me in this way. I would do almost anything to get rid of it so I don’t have to leave the coffee break area when colleagues bring out the fruit, anything not to feel so angry with my colleagues when they get their lunch and start chomping on raw carrots that I have to walk away so I don’t grab the offending item of food and throw it out the window. It’s a weird and unpleasant feeling and I live at least 70% of my working life with earphones in because of it. I found out a couple of months ago that it has a name and there’s a whole bunch of other people with the same problem! It’s called Misophonia.
I cannot be at the same dinner table as someone who eats like their face is channeling a cement mixer or someone who talks with a ton of food in their mouth. If I DO have to be at the same table, I will try not look at that person for the duration of the meal. There HAS to be music on in the background or I will sit and go internally insane. It’s actual torture and the only escape is to…well… escape!
Not a lot is known about misophonia as it’s only just being ‘discovered’, despite it affecting people for decades and decades. Most doctors will have never heard of it. The people that have done studies on it reckon it triggers something in the brain that kickstarts the fight or flight response. That’s just daft because these sounds aren’t exactly going to kill me are they? So that probably means that my brain is wired up wrong. Unfortunately it gets worse as you get older and there’s no magic cure to make it disappear.
So if you break out the fruit n veg or open a packet of crisps, don’t be surprised if I get up and leave. If I can’t get up and leave, expect me to start growling at you…. But please, for your own safety, don’t even think of chewing any gum around me because I guarantee I WILL be planning your accidental death!