How Anger-Inducing Is Misophonia…Really?

The extent to which a person might be pushed as a result of misophonia is not to be taken lightly – we’re talking to the absolute precipice of “The Verge.” As we speak – oh, the irony! – someone is tapping above my apartment, and I feel this murderous rage coming over me like an insatiable wave. 

No, I’m not kidding. 

I’ve popped in my trusty 44 decibel earplugs (thanks to my amazing husband), and turned up the soothing  “Get High” by the beloved Rob Zombie. “I’ve been stepping on the devil’s tail. . .” Uh, NO. But so someone is seriously stepping on mine right now!

AAAaAaARRrrrrgGGg!!!!

Anyway, misophonia was recognized more recently as a *air quote* condition *end air quote* (oh boy, thrilled to have one of those!) But I can remember struggling with sound sensitivity for…well, as long as I can remember. This article suggests that those of us with misophonia have had bad experiences in life and somehow our wires got rerouted straight to the anger-zone as a result. Hmm. True on the experience part, but most people have SOME baggage by adulthood. Human beings, hello? That thing called life, psycho bosses, and bad exes?

There is some tie, per the above, to the emotional circuit boards when “trigger” noises are heard – on the one hand, I like that my anger can be explained by a trigger prodding my emotional headquarters with a hot poker. I *kind of* feel redeemed. But I also feel like there’s suggestion of emotional instability. Of course that depends on whether we are we speaking about when the noises are occurring or the overarching picture (minus the noises.)  Thanks-a-lot, anterior insular cortex.

*thinking face*

According to other sources, such as this one, there are indeed biological cerebral differences in those with misophonia, and those without. You better believe my frontal lobe and anterior insular cortex would be doing some kind of Martial Art should it be subjected to an MRI while simultaneously being exposed to chewing, breathing, tapping, or other noxiously incessant sounds. My brain vs. Floyd Mayweather? Man’s lucky he’s already famous.

Yet other science folk say that it’s okay for me to “blame my brain.” That’s nice. . .have a scapegoat at the ready. . . But I feel a little disloyal tossing my gorgeously grey matter (how gloomy and gothic!) under the bus.

“Yes, my elegant encephalous…under the wheels you go! . . .Aaannnd the wheels of the bus go round and roundddd…!!”

On top of what’s already ailing, the same article claims that there’s extra activity occurring in:

  • My ventromedial prefrontal cortex (more emotional stuff, self-control, risk alerts, fear mechanisms)
  • My amygdala (motivation, emotional behaviors…uh-gain), AND…
  • My hippocampus (short, long-term, and spatial memory) 

Geezuz, for someone who hates parties, what the hell?! (Maybe they’re doing extra workouts? That might make some sense…) But then there’s the whole I-love-heavy-metal thing – I’m not sure I’m able to reconcile the discrepancy save to say that metal sounds uh-mazing. Chewing, scratching, neighbor’s-baby-crying? Doesn’t.

I’m glad at least there’s a community of us Misophonians (yes, I made the word up) with whom I can commiserate. I liked  10 Things Someone With Mispohonia Wants You To Know for exactly such support. The fact that someone made this image (below) also gives me some comfort. . .(it shouldn’t give anyone ELSE any though, since I punch things for fun.)

There isn’t a cure for this sensory sensitivity but I guess in a strange way I’m thankful (maybe not WHEN the chewing or tapping is going on. . .but after!)

I recently was observing a three year-old boy with autism for a graduate class that I’m taking. I noticed his propensity for reaching towards his ears and asked the teacher whether he had headphones or earplugs, as I wondered whether the crying (which he exhibited about 75% of the time or more) might calm a bit. Well…yesterday I heard from a classmate that the teacher tried headphones, and the child is crying FAR less.  What a joy to hear that news! ❤

As much as I want to seek-and-destroy the things that make my ears scream like banshees…the idea that I might have helped one person as a result is amazing.

I’d also like to – very loudly – note that my husband is a trooper through it all. He is always incredibly conscientious because he knows how painful this truly can be at times (and that it really ISN’T my…or my brain’s…desire to be that way!) Support is key (so long as it’s silent.) 😉 *LOL*

SaveSave

Happiness And Peace Are Up To You

As an empath and co-dependant type, this is something I work on regularly – I’m worlds better  than I once was, and I’m able to hear this sentiment in my mind even during the toughest times. I’ve referred to this idea often because it’s juts so powerful. . .

I remember watching Labyrinth as a kid – you remember that film with David Bowie as the Goblin King, right?  Yeah, that one.  (Don’t judge!) Well, for whatever the reason, I always noted – rather firmly – the “you have no power over me” part (the phrase alluded to in my early post, as linked above.)  It just stuck.  That said, I didn’t really apply it to myself until many…many…moons later.

Today I find myself going back to the sentiment – OFTEN.  As they say, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  You never know what’s going on with someone else, and therefore cannot know the impetus behind their actions.  The reactions others have are (truly) their own and what we see is not always an accurate reflection of the full picture. Because of this, it is important we remind ourselves that whatever negativity comes our way – no matter the form – it doesn’t have power over us unless we let it.  

As human beings, we feel – for empaths, profoundly – and that’s okay.  But we do have a choice about whether we go flying off the tracks in anger, sadness, hurt etc…based on the actions of others.  We don’t HAVE to.  Neither they, nor any other junky energy, need ruin a beautiful day, or change our positive approach – only we can decide that.

SaveSave

Empath (and Nutrition) Humor – Misophonia…Part I

Frustrating it may be at times, I suffer from Misophonia – that’s just the reality.  I also have more generalized sensitivity to noise and to light – fun stuff in a crazy, overly stimulating world!  I try not to let on too much, but anyone close to me knows how extreme it can be (and it isn’t something I can control.)

I love my heavy metal, and I love light streaming into a room…but sometimes noise and light can be too much, and I either need a much darker “sanctuary” or I need ear plugs.  Or both!  I certainly have endeavored to desensitize over time but it’s just something I’ve had to resign myself to…

But that goddamn microwave beep. . . Microwave tones at ALL…they drive me nuts! And I’m always steaming vegetables, making eggs, or reheating my chicken so it isn’t like I have choice!  Still…there’s always preemptively stopping the countdown so I don’t have to listen to a MULTITUDE of beeps in succession (yes, nails-on-a-chalkboard for this chick!)

SaveSave

Empath Humor – The Ambivert’ed, Dichotomous Nature Of The Introvert

Um…YES.

And I’m not alone!

As an Empath I feel sympathy to the Nth degree – to the point that I can empathize with a smurf! I’m not kidding either – cartoons, fictional films or books…doesn’t matter.  My emotions are FULL ON, and have been so attuned since childhood. It takes a seriously concerted effort for me to disconnect and observe without feeling deep compassion.  I also love to give back, as do many of those around me.  

That said…I am ALSO the same person that might go bananas if you double park or didlly-dally when the rest of us have somewhere to be.  Loud neighbors, that’s another one… I get the stare-O-death (same one my Southern Italian mother is notorious for), boiling blood, and a highly irascible tone (probably the better end of my wanting to snap my fingers and have humanity disappear.)

It’s a downright conundrum.  I simultaneously believe in beauty everywhere, and the infinitely generous things people are capable of.  And then there’s a part of me that sees laziness, anger, taking advantage…which makes me view humanity as a plague. . . 

Sigh.

Which is it?

BOTH, actually…

We have the power to create and destroy, terrifying that may be.  Being an Ambiverted Introvert gives me the option, I suppose, to choose which side of things I’m on during any given day. (I *try* to stick to positive, don’t worry…but I will also never claim to be miss sugar-and-peace all the time.  Thankfully I’m a Gemini also…I can point the finger to the Stars! 😉 )

 

 

7 Lessons to Remember When Life Seems to Suck, By Benson Wong

I really appreciated this article by Benson Wong – it just came through to my inbox today via Tiny Buddha, a site I adore.  I get their e-mails regularly, and generally find myself nodding along in agreement – or simply in shared experience – as I read the various stories and entries presented.  What I like is that the authors are real people, from all over the globe, sharing honest experiences…many of which you may find you can relate to.  

I enjoyed Benson Wong’s post because I’m the kind of person who tries to air on the side of the positive.  ALL the time. I can be a real pain in the ass, I have as many flaws as the next human being (if not more!) and I most DEFINITELY have bad days…

BUT. . .

The thing is, as an Empath, I don’t HAVE the luxury of dwelling on the bad – a perpetual focus on the negative (or – FAR worse – adding to it) is a quick trip into depression for me.  I’m okay to admit that – my sensitivity is absolutely a gift, but it’s something I must always remain mindful of, lest my overactive mind, and ultra compassionate heart pull me into some quicktar.  Yes, you read that right (and I made it up!)  It wouldn’t be sand for me.  It would be flat-out TAR.  

This would be me - trying to see the positive, but sinking into a black abyss! http://nachoabyss.com/page/6

This would be me – trying to see the positive, but sinking into a black abyss! http://nachoabyss.com/page/6

But life is stressful some…er…MOST of the time.  There’s a lot going on, ALL the time, and there always will be.  There’s always going to be SOMEthing to feel anxious about, frustrated over, or peeved by.  So having the reminder – or several – in your arsenal is incredibly valuable.

We ALL need to step back, breathe, and remember…especially during those down-in-the-doldrums moments…that things aren’t as bad as they seem, and that we DO have a choice about how to move forward.  

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-6-12-56-pm

Changing our focus to the positive can move mountains.  Okay…maybe not literally, that would be a hefty challenge (and frankly highly impressive on a superhuman scale), but you know what I mean.  A positive mindset can shift the energies in your life rather dramatically, and settle your nervous system down enough to realize that villainous “mountain” is not only scalable, but possibly a lot less threatening than you thought.

(C) Jantoo

(C) Jantoo

5 Signs You Are in a Relationship with an INFJ

The INFJ Myers-Briggs Personality Type is a fairly rare group of people who tend to hide amongst the crowds. They can often be overlooked by those who are unfamiliar with what signs to look for. Ev…

Source: 5 Signs You Are in a Relationship with an INFJ

The Little…Big…Things

Most people don’t get where they are in Life without having first traversed a narrow, steep or tumultuous path…of some kind.  In certain cases, it’s all three.  During such ascents, the World can seem insurmountable, riddled with confusion, pain, loneliness…  But even eclipsed in darkness, there is “good”…and learning…to be seized. 

In each and every experience, no matter how dire, there is always promise of something brighter.  

The last few years were very trying for me – debilitating in many ways.  But even at the worst, I would dream.  I never stopped dreaming…or believing…even when all other lights went out.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.11.32 PM

I’d dream in hues that transcended the universal spectrum…because I needed illumination…not just a rainbow.

I’d dream, feverishly, with every ounce and fiber of my being, that I’d learn my lessons solidlythis time…so I could elevate my soul higher, and finally Live.  

We all deserve the beautiful, wonderful, “little things.”  But without fully appreciating our gifts, understanding our value, and knowing what we deserve, those things have a more difficult time reaching us.  

At the dawn of 2015, I finally understood – The Universe knows the difference between knowing, and actually believing.  Years and years of lessons besieged me at once – “overwhelming” scarcely covers it.  But I knew if clarity was truly mine, only goodness could come from it.

Some days are tiny steps…but they are going forward, and that is progress enough.

Some days feel indomitable, full of anguish, and frustratingly rearward missteps.

And yet other days are filled with joy, confidence, hope and beauty. ❤

 

For me, it’s the little things.  

And it’s the people around me who do, or say, these precious “little things”…

 

Meeting someone and feeling like you have known them for more than one Lifetime is a gift and beyond… But the ability to be yourself completely, without fear, or shame, or embarrassment…because they allow you to be who you are?  Utterly priceless. There are those who set out to change others, mold them into his or her own “ideal,” but it’s a notion I never could quite get my head around – forcing oneself (or another person) to conform, in any way, is surely a sad, and unsustainable end.  And for what purpose?  Where there is one of us, there are many more.

Listening, accepting, at least endeavoring to understand…those are some of the most generous gifts a person could offer – they demonstrate respect.  And respect is paramount to a foundation for lasting love.  We all have flaws, but true respect makes us FEEL that we are good enough, and that what we have to say has value, flawed or fragile we may be.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.21.43 PM

It’s things like a person focusing on the good, and lifting you up…not only when you are having a bad day, but even when you aren’t.  

It’s letting you know that they are there for you, just to listen, or to make you laugh…just because, or should you need it.  Because they love you, and honor you, no matter how silly, or grumpy, or crazy you can be sometimes.  They are there anyway, because that’s what love and friendship IS.

It’s positive.  

It’s UP.  

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 6.46.38 PM

It’s the little things…

Like the flowers that arrived one day because he wanted to be absolutely certain you knew you were on his mind.  And more so, it is the *thought* that he had to begin with…  The thought which incited him to do something so touching, no matter how busy he was.  Not on a holiday, just A day.  

Just because.  

Because you matter

And to FEEL like we matter is a gift words cannot express.

IMG_6023

Little things like letting you go through a door first, opening your door, allowing you to order first…those are things a gentleman would do.  They are things that make a woman feel appreciated, respected, and like a lady.  

I am – no two ways about it – an independent, strong-minded, strong-bodied woman.  I am used to doing things on my own and supporting myself.  But when a gentleman comes along, you can bet I am, without a doubt, the single-most sincerely thankful woman around.  Literally, brimming with gratitude.

 

It’s the little things…

Like reaching over and holding your hand.

IMG_7426

Like reiterating for the waiter that she prefers her food without anything extra on it…to be sure it comes out perfect…

And making her a snack for when she gets home…

And scrolling through her blog even though it’s mostly pictures of lip gloss and eye shadow and shoes…because it’s hers.

 

It’s the little things…

Like kissing her goodbye before going to work…

It’s checking in during a two-second breather during the day, or calling on his way home from work to ask how your day was?!  He may not even know how much that means…but it means a LOT…and she sees ALL the beautiful, wonderful, little things.

 

It’s the little things…

Like not just giving you a hug when you break down in tears…but telling you it’s okay to “feel,” without judgment, because being human means we are all vulnerable sometimes.  

It’s when he holds you – not just hugs you – as if you give him peace, and safety, and joy…and he wants to do the same for you.  

It’s when he looks at you as if neither the Moon nor stars existed…  

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 6.47.10 PM

Those are little things…that some people do…that are really BIG things. 

Those are things that matter…because Life is short and doing something because you feel forced or obligated will always show through.      

Those are the “little things” that make others feel appreciated, and loved, and special…and that need to be cherished.  

Those are the things we hopefully give each OTHER, because that’s what love is.  Accepting and loving in spite of flaws, and quirks and missteps.  

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 6.45.25 PM

Love is a best friendship, in which little things happen all the time, every day…

Love is all those little things…

It’s appreciating all those little things…that are actually a whole lot like HUGE things…and cherishing those who do them.

He makes me feel like the Moon itself…

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 6.28.55 PM

I, for one, feel blessed and grateful…and I’ll just go ahead and blame my alexithymia for begin unable to fully express my gratitude! 😉

X ❤