Does the grass sound greener on the other side?
My son is my world… I have watched him grow into a wonderful young man. Graduation day came all too soon. As it started to approach the fear and anticipation started to build up about the graduation ceremony. The triggers- clapping, whistling, gum chewers- I knew they would all be there. Easily a few thousand people. I was dreading this event and I really did not want to go. I put on a brave face and went for my son. I would deal with the triggers- I had to- this was my baby – I will do anything for him.
We have all wished to be something else…. to be smarter, richer, more successful. At one point or another we have all envied someone. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? As I sat on the football field, waiting for the ceremony to begin- I observed people around me. Of course I had the loud cell phone talker behind me (I wanted to smack that phone out of her hand), the hard candy cruncher next to me, a gum chewer in front of me who also proceeded to play with his gum through his lips, as if he could not blow bubbles. Putz! I really wanted to smash that gum in his face! Then as I glanced to my right – there sat a woman with her back to the field facing the guests, she was signing to a parent. I watched in awe, I was jealous… I wanted to be that deaf woman. I thought to myself “how wonderful for this woman to not to feel the rage and hatred from hearing the sounds… sounds that you cannot avoid… sounds that in reality are just normal, but to someone with Misophonia, they are the ultimate torture.” She is able to enjoy this ceremony without fantasizing about punching someone in the face because they are smacking their gum, she is not hearing the high pitched sounds from the echo of the PA system. I wanted to be her, just to experience normality of being able to go wherever I want and not worry that someone will tap their nails on a table. This was not the first time I have wished for total loss of hearing. I have gone so far as to look into ways to damage my hearing. Life would be so much better for me without sound. I have not found any coping mechanism that can help me. Deafness seemed like the perfect solution. For a moment I wanted to be deaf.
Then I thought about it. I am just as sure that maybe she was watching others wishing she could hear the sounds around her… the music… maybe her child was in the band? The disappointment of not hearing your child perform may be her reality. She will miss the sound of her child’s name being called out as a graduate. She will miss the touching speech given by a student as she recollected her 4 years of high school. She could not hear the cracking in her voice as her emotions spilled out — the crackling that made tears roll down my face. Most importantly she will have missed the tiny little voice calling out “mommy”. Now I have to ask myself is the grass greener?
Misophonia is still in the early research phase. Misophonia suffers can hear everything. Maybe it’s time to get someone to HEAR us?
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By Vicki Sladowski