It can start as early as four in the morning. Your neighbour stomps his feet around. All of a sudden you go from half-asleep and calm to a nervous wreck. You’re tired, exhausted, and you’re angry. How dare he stomp around and have no regard for your feelings or personal space? Rationality plays no part; that’s gone. Logically you know he has no idea how loud he’s being – but the response is there.
Then there’s the pen tapper in class, and the leg shaker. Your eyes might start to water. You feel the shaking inside of you, you’re trapped. You can’t watch them, because your breath is getting quicker, impatient. You cover your eyes but you still know. You cover your ears, but you still hear. Eventually you want to scream, loudly. You may even see yourself hurting them, or yourself. You don’t want to feel this way. Your mind perceives it as a threat. Your body is reacting, and you may even feel scared and guilty. Then the rage takes over. You have two choices. You can leave, even if it’s important to you to stay, or you can react. If you’re low on the “scale of suffering” you’ll probably just leave. If you’re higher? Like a 10? You might react with violence. Sometimes even with self-harm.
Misophonia isn’t a joke. It’s a neurological condition that leaves the sufferer with no control over their reaction. There is no “calm down”. Could you calm down if a serial killer was coming at you with a knife? Our minds trick us into thinking it’s a similar severity.