To Pop, or Not to Pop?

On Fridays, I have choir rehearsal. Last week, I went–as I always do–and after rehearsal was over one of my friends there came up to me. She said that the week before she was helping someone clean up the gym from an event. There were balloons scattered around, and my friend, whom I’ll call K, and the person she was helping thought about whether or not they should pop the balloons. K and this other person know about my misophonia, and weren’t sure if popping the balloons was going to trigger me. So, they let the air out by poking the balloons with a pin.

K told me all of this. I thought this was amazing that she thought about that. She didn’t want to unintentionally trigger me or cause me any alarm, so she did something different.

I then told K that I was extremely grateful for what she did. I let her know that next time, if she wants to have fun and pop any leftover balloons from an event, she can let me know beforehand and do so. I’m not triggered by the loud balloon pops, but it is alarming for me nonetheless. Loud noises have always bothered me since I was little, before misophonia. But if she tells me, and I don’t want to be in the same room as the popping, I can prepare myself and go to another room.

What K said to me was the highlight of the night. One, it tells me my friends really do care. I knew they did before, because they don’t intentionally trigger me. However, not doing something they would normally do so I wouldn’t get triggered/alarmed is just phenomenal. And two, it debunks the notion some people have that “everyone is out to get me”. It’s simply not true.

Admittedly, I once believed everyone would trigger me intentionally if I told the people I knew. Misophonia is not well known, and easy for people to dismiss. But once I realized that that way of thinking is irrational, I told people. People I knew. Not out of the blue, but if someone asked “Why do you wear earplugs,” or “Why do you wear headphones all the time,” it became an opportunity to educate them about it.

If there were more people like K, who thought about someone with misophonia and decided not to do something because it might trigger them, the world would be a much kinder place. Perhaps a little quieter, too.

I want to apologize, again, for the late post (they are usually up at 5am PST). I completely forgot to put up a message on Facebook saying that my post will most likely be late again because I got home late. Nevertheless, it’s here now and I hope you enjoyed it.

See you next week!

Comments

  1. James Piper says:

    I assume that each individual suffering from misophonia have different triggers. I would never like to trigger you unintentionally. Can you give some guidelines, maybe your own triggers, and if they exist, universal triggers. Also, by this article, I gather that this not something you are born with. Or is it something that just grows progressively worse as you get older? Glad you stay upbeat, and never hide, but go with the gusto in everything you do. I see you as a role model for other sufferers. In my prayers always.

    1. Yes, everyone has different triggers, but some triggers are universal. No one with a good heart wants to unintentionally trigger someone with misophonia, but it’s not always possible to not trigger someone. I’ll list the triggers I can remember right now:
      “S” sounds,
      chewing,
      gulping,
      smacking,
      saying “aahh” after drinking something,
      any sort of loud sigh,
      making a noise after swallowing saliva,
      gum chewing,
      foot tapping,
      pen tapping,
      finger tapping,
      leg shaking,
      someone biting their nails,
      metal silverware hitting against teeth,
      scraping of plates,
      the sound of foam cups being set down,
      someone shifting from one foot to another.

      Here’s a link to some universal triggers: http://www.misophonia.com/symptoms-triggers/

      It’s probably not something I’m born with. There are some people who say it can be genetic (but I take that, along with most things said by people on the internet, with a grain of salt). I have definitely experienced it getting worse with age. Many people in the support groups I’m in have experienced that too. This really sucks, but I develop better coping mechanisms or refine old ones as needed. And, staying positive and not isolating myself is important. 🙂 Thank you for keeping me in your prayers.

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