I went to Mass on Sunday morning after only having about six hours of sleep, and sat in the choir section to sing and help out in making sure the kids behave. Because I was tired, I feared my triggers were going to be heightened. Before mass started, I noticed an older lady sitting in one of the front pews directly across from me. She was kind of staring at me. I thought to myself, “Why is she staring,” When I remembered that I was wearing my over the ear headphones. I started wearing them when I go to Mass because I get triggered by the noises there, especially when people talk into the microphone. I thought, “Is she wondering why I’m wearing headphones? Must be odd seeing me wear them I guess.”
So, mass has started and I’m singing along. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as triggered as I thought I would be. Perhaps it was all the kids there and my concentration on making sure they were singing. Then, when the song is over and while the priest is talking, I glance at the older lady and find that she’s still staring, and says something to the lady next to her, and then she starts to look at me. I looked away and tried not to turn red. I wasn’t even sure if they were finding it weird that I had headphones on, but I still got anxious about it and tried not to look their way anymore.
When mass ended and I was heading to the car, I was thinking about something my aunt told me awhile ago. She had asked about my headphones and if I wore them during mass, and I said that I did. She said she read my article “How it Feels to Be a Catholic With Misophonia” (which you can find on my blog), and said I shouldn’t worry about people judging me, if there are any. And if there are, it’s none of their business and that I don’t owe them an explanation. I don’t owe anyone an an explanation. If someone asks, sure, I can tell them about why I wear headphones and about misophonia, but that I don’t need to make any announcements about it.
And she’s absolutely right. This applies to everyone, not just those with misophonia. Don’t think you owe anyone who might be judging you an explanation. Even if you know someone or a group of people is judging you, they don’t have a right to know the struggles you deal with. The way I see it, is that judgmental people won’t last a day in your shoes. If they had to go through what you’re going through for a day, they’d wish they were back to their life in a heartbeat. I’m certain that if people who didn’t have misophonia experienced mine or anyone else’s life as a sufferer, they’d understand, feel terrible, and probably never wish it on anyone.
I know that this is easier said than done, believe me. Not allowing yourself to think about who might be judging you is extremely challenging. But it can be done. You just have to be strong, and never ever give up. I’m also not trying to paint myself as someone who has never judged anyone a day in her life. Because I have. But through my experiences, I’m doing my best not to judge others as much. One, I don’t have the authority to judge anyone, and two, it makes no difference in your life to judge. Just be kind; your heart feels warm and you can’t help but smile.
So, my point? You do you, and judge less. You’re not less of a person for doing what you need to do in order to cope and be comfortable. The only thing I ask is that you don’t hurt yourself. <3
See you next week.