Independence Day: A Day of Freedom for Americans, A Day of Torture for a Misophone
That time of year is rapidly approaching… Independence Day, a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. A holiday associated with picnics, friends and family, and celebration. As a child I looked forward to Independence Day… the fireworks, the watermelon and the fun. Fortunately, as a child the loud noises did not bother me. The day would drag on as I waited in anticipation for the darkness to set and the festivities to begin. Bang! Bang! Explosions of colors light up the sky. Wow! This is great!
Fast forward, with each passing year I found these activities less enjoyable, in fact I actually started to dread them. I assumed it was because I was growing up and “fireworks are for children.” However, upon further reflection I realized that wasn’t the case. I hated this day. Sudden loud sounds of the firecrackers blowing off felt like cannons exploding in my head. The anger, the agitation… STOP! Why? What is fun about noise? Why do people enjoy this? It is so loud; it does not stop. The sounds echo in your mind long after the initial BANG. My fur babies are absolutely terrified; shaking in fear I feel for them. They do not understand what is happening. I try to comfort them; it will be okay. At least comforting them is helping me try to relax. I always justified my lack of participation in the celebrations as being a good “mommy” to our dogs. They should not be left alone, they need comfort and to feel safe; I needed to feel comfortable and safe.
My terror begins early to mid- June… billboards align the expressways advertising businesses of fireworks for sale “Buy 1 get 10 free”… Cringe. Of course the consumers need to “practice” setting them off, as if blowing off firecrackers is some sort of art to be mastered. I never really understood the thrill of making things explode. Naturally they have to blow them off by the brick, and then do it in a metal garbage can so it will echo. How is this fun? I just do not understand. As the day approaches, the use of fireworks escalates along with my anxiety.
Final, July 4th is here. Independence Day? Not for me. While everyone else is having a wonderful time celebrating “freedom,” I am held hostage by my Misophonia! I have nowhere to run or hide, there is no escape from the constant CRASH! BANG! BOOM! Captive to the sounds that rip my head apart. Earplugs do not mute the earsplitting sounds pounding through the air. Being a misophone has interesting challenges.
I suppose I can look at the bright side, at least staying in I can avoid everyone eating corn on the cob.