Me So What??

“I should let you know that I have a noise problem. If I was a spy and got caught and my enemies wanted to  get information out of me, all it would take is a leaf blower or a barking dog and I’d sing like a canary. Incessant noises drive me crazy. A helicopter has been flying over my apartment for a half an hour and I wish it would just burst into flames.
A neighbor who lives behind me is apparently a major craftsman because he is constantly using a chainsaw and other things that make a lot of noise. He could be chopping up bodies for all I know. I wish he’d chop up his rooster, that’s right, his rooster! WTF is a rooster doing in his yard?

The above paragraph was written months ago before I had a name for my disease. It’s actually a condition, but calling it a disease just sounds more dramatic and appropriate for a hypochondriac. A couple of weeks ago, my sister, Kris, texted me and said, “Look up Misophonia, I think you have it!” She had just seen 20/20, which I got to see three hours later since she’s on the East Coast.

Let’s start with the pronunciation: Misophonia is pronounced “ME SO PHONY AH.” As you start to say it, it sounds like you’re gonna say “Me so horny.” Remember that song by 2 Live Crew? But that turns into sounding like you’re gonna say “I’m so phony” but (with a Chinese accent), that’s right…me so phony (ah!).  Now that we’re clear on the pronunciation…

There was a segment on 20/20 spotlighting Misophonia and it turns out that Kelly Ripa and I have it. I never thought I’d ever have anything in common with Kelly Ripa, least of all a neurological disorder, which it is. I don’t think being annoying (like she is) can be the result of a neurological disorder, but hey, I’m no brain surgeon.

Here is the definition: “Misophonia – literally the hatred of sound -can be defined as a hypersensitivity to background sounds or visual stimuli that are generally ignored by other people. More importantly than the individuals inability to block out the offending stimuli or “trigger” is the acute negative emotional response experienced as a direct result of being in contact with a trigger”

If this is a T-shirt, I need to get one!

They have no idea what causes it. Here are some characteristics: “People who have misophonia are most commonly annoyed, or even enraged, by such ordinary sounds as other people eating, breathing, sniffing, or coughing; certain consonants; or repetitive sounds. The reactions are completely involuntary. People who have misophonia may also be annoyed by other people’s repetitive movements, such as leg-tapping, nail-biting, the rising and falling of the belly, and typing.”

I bolded the word “enraged” because this is how I feel when certain noises set me off. Most of the noises that bother me are considered “environmental” sounds. One of the worst offenders for me are loud motorcycles. If I had a BB gun, it would be best used on them and the other main offenders, leaf blower holders. But certain other noises make me crazy too. For example, I had an assistant who’s fake nails typing on the computer made me want to punch her in the face. Sure, that sounds extreme, but that’s part of my disease. Then, she would crunch potato chips and type at the same time, and I thought my head was gonna explode. I wanted to rip her nails off and scratch her eyes out with her own Lee press-ons.

When I saw 20/20, I felt completely validated. You see, I could never understand why some of these noises seemed to have no affect on other people. No one seemed quite as bothered by these things and it made me feel like a little weirdo, but I couldn’t help it. Certain noises make me feel really ANGRY!  So, when I saw that there is a name for it and other people have it, I no longer felt like such a weirdo…at least for that. Of course, no one knows what causes it, but I did have a few head injuries as a kid, which might have something to do with it??

Lucky for me, there is an online support group.  I just log on and type “THE GARDENERS ARE HERE AND ONE OF THEM HAS A LEAF BLOWER! HELP ME BEFORE I KILL SOMEONE!” 😀

One time I was on a plane and the guy next to me started making sounds with his mouth, like he was sucking something out of his teeth. (I had no music device to shut it out). It drove me so crazy, I had to offer him floss. It was the only way I could think of to get him to stop. I said, “Do you have something in your teeth, would you like some floss?” He didn’t even get mad or offended. Of course, I, on the other hand, was completely offended by his oral noises. Gum cracking makes me really crazy too, and there’s always at least one black girl on the train cracking her gum like she’s trying to win a contest, hence my need for the Ipod. In my experience, I’ve observed that black girls excel at gum cracking.

Believe it or not, I have a mild case. The people on 20/20 that they were spotlighting would go berserk and freak out if they heard one of their “triggers.” For example, this teenager couldn’t stand the sound of her mother coughing, clearing her throat or get this…breathing! Don’t  you just hate it when your mom breathes?

Some other guy on the show almost lost his mind when his business partner was clicking his pen and Kelly Ripa has to leave the room when her husband eats a peach. Peaches are juicy so there must be a lot of smacking, and that drives her crazy. Naturally, I thought this was hilarious and yet, nothing is less hilarious than when I’m having what my sister now calls a “flare up.”

The other day I was on the phone with my mom and a neighbor started using some sort of power tool in the parking area below my apartment. As soon as the noise started I said, “Mom, I have to go, my misophonia is kicking in.” Of course, she laughed, my family finds my illness funny, which it is, when it’s happening to someone else. I quickly reached for my headphones, otherwise known as my “medicine.”

Anyway, enough about my disease. I hope you learned something today about a condition that affects many, many people. Maybe I should start a website and take donations to fund research for this little known condition….or I could just keep the money and buy a great sound system to drown out all the noise, or better yet, a high-powered BB gun!! 😀

Have a quiet and peaceful day!

Oddly enough, I LOVE loud music 😀

About Death To Hollywood

My name is Celeste Donohue and I am a writer/comedian who started this blog to tell stories about my life growing up in a funeral home and my adult life which I have spent in Hollywood, California – hence the name, “Death To Hollywood”. Hopefully, you like to read those kinds of stories. If not, go read something serious and boring.....
This entry was posted in family, funerals, Hollywood, weird and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Me So What??

  1. Barskii says:

    Wow !!!

    Sorry to HEAR – ( You are noise disabled ), 😦
    maybe you need a big check,$$$$$$$$ 🙂
    then you can get real help –
    and then get Yourself a HARLEY DAVIDSON with Vance hines Exhaust pipes to help other people understand your trying to Overcome your dis-ease of Noise. 😀
    You must also get some POWER TOOLS to help other people Come out of the House & Closet.
    You will have to Offend them First —- to know they have it —– then tell them to read that sign from 1978 ????

    Just trying to cheer you up !!

    I have a Sister who also shares the same glitch in life.
    when she was a kid, She would scream (stop smacking) at people, when they ate – She now lives by the Ocean in Washington State, She still deals with it –

  2. barskii says:

    I did tell you in the begining that: ” You Are Perfect, just the way You are “

  3. Cissie donohue alias Mom says:

    I don’t think it is a disease,I just think it is really good hearing that kicks in,whenyou are really teed off about something else.Sorry.Love,Mom

  4. Josephine says:

    I knew there was “noise pollution” and I think everyone has a little of this for certain noises especially if they are trying to get something done or it is really loud or goes on too long, but this is definitely different.

    All I can say is don’t have kids (my youngest cried for 18 hours a day for the first three months of her life, I kid you not) and I will visit and bring cookies if they ever find the leaf blower guy in the wood chipper and you must be a superior human being because that hasn’t happened yet!

  5. My trigger is lawnmowers after 5pm – especially on a wkend. I “met” my new neighbor on Sun evening at 7 when I asked him to please shut the f&%*’n tractor down. He was very nice about it. Don’t know if I should get an award or not? Had I let him keep going, he might’ve gotten struck by lightening, as a huge storm came in 15 mins later. I think I single-handedly saved his life & ruined mine!

  6. John Donohue says:

    LOL!!!!! “breathing and sniffing” Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! This is another bullshit disease, like “RLS” “Restless leg syndrome”!!! But it does make for good fun!!! The fact that Kelly Ripa says she has “it” is going to give it just enough validity to make it a “disease”, and she can put it on TV so other people can say; “i have that”. I think people should try to quiet their minds and see if that helps, because you can’t shut up the world!!!! Love you, Johnny

  7. darkwings19 says:

    I have this too. And I am one of the people who dislikes some breathing noises. I would appreciate it if you did not make fun of it. I also hate gum chewing, black girls do seem to be the best at really smacking that gum don’t they? To Johnny, this is not some bullshit disease. It is very real, and very very distressing. Don’t tell me this is all in my head.

    • Hi there! Believe me, I understand the realness of this problem, but if you would appreciate me not making fun of it, well…you’ve come to the wrong place. I am a writer/comedian who likes to make fun of everything, including my own problems such as misophonia. As far as Johnny goes, pay him no mind, he doesn’t have our “problem”….but maybe you should try and see the humor in it because it makes everything easier 😀 Thanks for reading.

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