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peachoid12

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Reply with quote  #251 
Other times though he'll try to make light of it and scoot closer and chew in my ear to get a reaction out of me.

Why would a man who loves you do this? I find such an action profoundly disturbing.
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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #252 
Welcome katzankatz! 

That's interesting that you find things like leg swinging relaxing!  I've not heard that before.   But I hear you on the gum thing... ugg.  I'm glad your husband was intrigued when you told him about this site.  Perhaps he won't think it's so funny now and will help you out a little more instead of deliberately trying to provoke you.  My husband used to tell me it was "all in my head" and "get over it" until he saw this website.  Now, he is supportive of me and would never deliberately try to provoke me by chewing near my ear.  However, he knows that if he did do that I'd punch him in the face.    He still doesn't fully understand it... those who don't have this could never fully understand.  But, he knows that my anger is real and it's something that is spontaneous and done without thought.  He knows I don't like being like this.  He has been very helpful since I've been working with CBT and often will help me talk through my anger to help me calm down.   Let your husband read a bit here so he understands that this is not just you and that what you are experiencing is a real condition that others have as well. 

Darlene

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DrJ

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Reply with quote  #253 
Let's face it, some of the nicest people in the world have yet a narrow mean streak....I have found this to be true over my life.

Sometimes when confronted, they cannot explain it themselves.

Often I think it goes back to childhood, when someone tortured or bullied them in some way. 

With 4S and misophonia, there are countless tales of this same thing happening often from the family members we are closest to and who really do love us the most. 

That is one of the aspects that make it so difficult to understand or even speak of....

Sometimes a note, in writing, sincere and not too wordy, does the trick better than words at the time.  There is too much emotion and defensiveness in the moment....i.e., oh come on!  It isn't really that bad!  Get over it!

Try it and let us know.

The other technique is to avoid reaction, learn to recognize the moments where it might happen and circumvent the whole sequence, i.e., quiet time and popcorn will be the snack and ah, here he comes.......never mind the television, turn on dance music, eat popcorn and jump around....distract the distractor BEFORE the moment strikes........when he eats and you are quiet or nearby, start vacuuming or run the treadmill or take the dog for a walk or sit on the back deck and something.

Mothers know how to do this exquisitely because we hear the timbre of the children's voices as they start to 'ramp up', something my husband never did 'hear'.  We step in with an appropriate intervention.

At the least, fill up your own popcorn bowl and crunch loudly too to offset other external sounds....

Hope this helps.  Apparently, this is an area where a gentle observation about how irritating this is, will not suffice.

Dr. J

MJ

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katzankatz

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Reply with quote  #254 
Thanks for the nice welcome messages.  I was a little concerned that I might misrepresent my husband.  You'd have to know him to understand that he truly does not intend to be hurtful.  He has told me countless times that he is just trying to help lighten the mood (and I've told him each time that his technique does not help, *sigh*).  He is really easy-going, light-hearted, and optimistic.  He simply cannot fathom how someone can be so sensitive about something so small, just the same way I cannot fathom how he can be so incredibly patient.  See, he's the kind of person that would cheer up at someone poking a little fun at him.  He probably thinks that's how everyone else thinks too.

So, anyway...

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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #255 
He sounds like a good guy, and I think that you just need to continue to be very honest with him about if what he does bothers you or not.  If you can think of something that he could do that would help you, maybe suggest it to him.   If he is easy-going and optimistic, he may can help you.   I once compared the irritation I feel to a certain sound (gum popping) to something that I know drives my husband insane (tickling his feet).   It sort of put it in perspective for him.  So, do you know of anything that drives him nuts? 
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Ronf227

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Reply with quote  #256 
I often feel hesitant to tell anyone how much all these things bother me because, I am afraid to empower them. It has been my experience that no matter how close you are to someone that they will use it against you at some point. Like I have mentioned here briefly, my coworker is this way and she continues to chew loudly, slurp and crack her gum all day. Now either she is being totally ignorant or spiteful because she is aware of how much it bothers me!!!  Just a few minutes ago she wanted to start a conversation but, I politely said that I could not until she removed the gum from her mouth. She got a bit of an attitude and sat down in a huff and is now cracking faster and louder than ever. 

Now how can there ever be peace in the world if we can't learn to have mutual respect first. I am convinced thats what it comes down to! We all want to be heard at anyones expense! I hate to go on a diatribe here but, I need to vent and you guy's are the only one's that an empathize. Ironically, I don't even know you but, you feel what I do so we are in a sense "Connected".

Someday, when they finally discover the Center of the Universe, allot of people I know are going to be terribly upset that they were not in it!!! lol
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Debbie

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Reply with quote  #257 
I know this might sound a little off base, but I think one thing that can often happen is people put on their 'defensive' cloaks.
To be vulnerable enough to have true compassion, first someone must feel important &, ironically, cared for.
That way, they know that demonstrating their own humility through compassionate consessions to another...will in turn be respected.
A relationship true respect/ humility (which really comes from strength & security) may need to be mindfully cultivated for everyone's aptitude for listening & compassion to come out of it's shell.
I'm running right now & may try to give more of an example later, because perhaps I am not developing this thought well.

For now I'll wrap up by saying.....compassion can often dishearteningly lack.
What loss of trust this can foster amongst us.
And the practical & painful consequences can saw further away at the desire to be compassionate.
My thought is maybe there is some fear of being open/listening & compassionate involved, not actually maliciousness as the goal.
In the meantime Ron, wishing you the best with this difficult situation.

Sincerely,
Debbie

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Debbie

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Reply with quote  #258 
Hi Ron,

I'm sorry that my thought above might have been unclear &/or preachy sounding.
Until more clarity hits me on what exactly I was trying to say,
Wishing you your sanity with the progresion of snacks your coworker is sure to be imbibing in at this very moment.

Sincerely,

Debbie

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Ronf227

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Reply with quote  #259 

Hi Debbie,

You don't have to be sorry about anything! I think I know what you were trying to say. You can preach all you want to me if that's what you think will work. I have no problem with any of that. My wife has been preaching to me for years so I am numb already! lol  

Much Appreciated,


Ron


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AnnePamela

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Reply with quote  #260 
I am so thankful I found this forum. There is actually a name for this situation that has truly plagued me back to when I was about 11 or 12 I think. I am now 39 and have been suffering with this situation for years. Well Educated, believe it or not a fun loving Special Educator and dying inside!  Sadly, I fell in love with a man who is a devout Christian and the whole family are avid chewers of gum! I can tolerate chewing sometimes unless it starts to look like the type I associate with gum cracking. I cannot think of anything else in this whole wide world I disdain more than gum cracking. Especially continous gum cracking........ like 40- 60 times a second. I mirror many of the sentiments I have read. It literally invokes serious feelings of resentment and rage. This is incredibly problematic and is not interfering with relationships and social get togethers with people I love. I have now sought pharmasuetical support. I am concerned about myself emotionally, because of how angry I feel with people crack gum around me. I have historically avoided situations or will give stink eye if I am at a conference and there is a rude socially deficit offender cracking away and interfering with my right of hearing the lecture. I hate sounds that have clicking noises and have been annoyed by high pitched sssss noises. Oh and Bubble wrap - why did this have to be invented? Ironically, people that like to crack gum love .............. bubble wrap. I need to have some direction. I am hoping Marsha Johnson has some information. I need help and treatment. Is this akin to an ocd disorder or some other disorder? Please chat with me......
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Debbie

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Reply with quote  #261 
Hi AnnePamela,

There are discussions on some of the points you bring up within the many 'misophonia' threads on the Hyperacusis Network.

Debbie

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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #262 
Hi Lauri and AnnePamela! Welcome to the board. 

I too have this condition and understand how difficult it is to live with.  Take a look over this thread http://danmalcore.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3136612&trail=50 about a possible study for Misophonia.  Also on that thread (about page 5) is an example of a type of therapy (CBT -Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) that Rob taught me to use to help myself learn to combat the anger I feel from this condition.   There's lots of reading here and hopefully you will find something that can help you out.

Darlene

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Ronf227

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Reply with quote  #263 

Hi All, Lots of great information out here and I have been able to at least put some of the pieces in place over the last couple of weeks after finding you guys? I really am getting a lot out of this and am finally able to work with this instead of just being on a loop!

I have a specific question for anyone that wishes to answer. It's a little hard to convey but, I will try. When it comes to annoying sounds, are there any exceptions in the degree of anger you feel? Egg. (environment) Picnic vs Working at the office? (place) In the Car vs. at Home? (emotion) Good mood vs. Bad mood, (time) night vs. Day? Someone you are attracted to vs. someone you loathe? lol

Also if there are any pet owners that can confirm if the same sounds bother them ( to the same degree) if its a dog chewing his rawhide or a cat crunching their hard food, etc?


Thanks,

Ron

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IanHasthorpe

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Reply with quote  #264 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnMcLaren
Author: Leslie
Date:   01-29-03 18:03

This is a reply to an old posting thrown up by a computer search - if this sounds like you get in touch - it sure sounds like me. I never realised I was not alone in this wierdness.

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Author: Just Curious H
Date:   01-29-03 18:33

Hi Leslie

Yes eating can affect hyperacusis too, i see you say your new to this board, so i can tell you that your get use to the sounds, it will of course take TIME which is like anything else isn't it.
The first specialist i went to see when i told him even eating affected my Hyperacusis he told me this "pull yourself together" like he would know what it felt like having Hyperacusis.
Learn to eat slower, dont eat crunchy food...lol i guess soup is boring if drank to often eh?

Helen x

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Author: Jo Frith
Date:   01-30-03 11:08

arrg! Crisps! who on earth invented them??

i hate noisy computer tv's and teachnical instroments!
lets have a moan!
xxx Jo



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Author: Laura
Date:   02-01-03 09:03

I agree chips and gum should be banned from the earth, I hate listening to people chew them. I have major anxiety attacks when eating in a quiet room with people crunching things, croutons, chips, nuts, crackers. I get major panic attacks and feel like i have to hit someone or run out of the room screaming. Luckily i can restrain these urges. Youre not alone Leslie.
Laura



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Author: Rose 
Date:   02-03-03 00:03

Hi everyone,

Michael (my son) has had a big problem with this since about 7 yrs old that was one of our first signs something was wrong. He could hear my husbands jaw popping when he eats he also could hear people eating or breathing hard trying to eat and he couldnt eat in the same room with us without louer noise to block out the noises.

He's now 14 yrs old and wont go to a quiet resturant but he will a loud one.

Rose


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Author: Glenys
Date:   02-03-03 19:22

Hello Rose

I have no problem with people eating, only with my husband, his jaws click when he eats but it doesn't bother me too much, although I point it out to him, and yes, some people are very noisy when they eat crisps but I can honestly say that it is no problem for me but for some I know it is a problem, I have a sister who has no problem with her hearing but she cannot stand anyone who eats an apple or eats crisps nearby, with her I think she has some kind of phobia, but as I don't know much about this subject I cannot comment but wish you well
Glenys



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Author: Luda
Date:   03-20-04 13:05

Hello,

I came upon this site because I was trying to figure out what my 12-year old daughter's problem is. She can't stand it when I pick my fingernails, when I swing my foot back and forth while sitting, when I talk on the phone, the ticking from the clock, it seems any motion I do repetitively. I think this is more than a noise problem. Can anyone point me in the right direction or have similar experiences? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Luda


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Author:Marsha Johnson , MS
Date:   03-22-04 21:38

This is an area that I actually do specialize in. I have about 13 cases where the primary noises that are bothersome or annoying are eating or mouth sounds. This is a particular type of hyperacusis, I am convinced.

I am always happy to talk about this with people if they want to contact me directly.


I hope to publish a study on these cases next year.


Marsha Johnson, MS


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Author: Cathy
Date:   03-23-04 16:26

Hello,

I too, like your daughter have the exact same intolerances - noises, visual, even certain scents.

I remember my mother tapping her fingers or walking upstairs, or chewing gum and I would ask her to stop making the noise or to quit moving her fingers in front of me because it bothered me. She kept saying I was being ridiculous.

I now have problems with neighbors who play music outside (loud) from 9am to 8pm which drives me nuts. Other neighbors seem to tolerate it or are able to ignore it. My husband also wiggles his feet near my line of vision and when I ask him to stop he starts laughing and doing it more.

I hope your daughter is able to successfully cope with this but please try to understand how difficult it is for her and not make her feel that she is being "crazy" or silly.

Being supportive and knowing how this is painful for your daughter and giving her someone that she can talk to about it will help her vent her feelings.

If you ever get some postive results for your daughter I would appreciate you notifying me back.

Thank you,

Cathy


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Author:Lynn McLaren
Date:   03-23-04 21:12

Hi Cathy,

About the loud music players. You say other neighbor's seem to tolerate it or it or are able to ignore it. Maybe you should ask them how they truely feel about it. It may bother lots more people then you realize. Plus some people don't want to deal with problem people and they just sufffer the thing hopeing some day they will move. Plus how close is it to your house ? That makes a difference.

We had a boomer in the neighborhood that could sit outside in his car and rock your house and I know that it bothered other neighbor's. I asked other neighbor's. They hated it. But some neighbors that are botherd with it don't complain. They have had bad expirences with thoses kinds of people before. Rude neighbors are rude neighbors. And people who don't want to confront them will say it doesn't bother them or they just ignore it. So thats normal what you feel.

But by being on this board I've learned lots of sounds bother different people in different ways. Some loud sounds. Some annoying sounds. Some grating. Some grinding. Some booming. Noise seems to have an emotional thing attached to it. We don't just hear sound. We feel sound. I've learned so much from this site .

You Take Care Cathy
Lynn



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Author: Cathy 
Date:   03-24-04 06:52

Lynn

I agree, noise does have a lot of emotion attached to it, the inability to stop the noise that is bothering you can bring out a lot of anxiety and stress. It has also caused me to end up staying inside where it is somewhat quieter.

It is not only music that bothers me though, I find that even the low drone when my furnace is running can irritate my ears as well as the sound of traffic - high pitch or low pitch sounds. Sudden loud sounds also actually hurt my ears and make me very uneasy.

Unfortuantely, all the noises have become very intolerable and often I feel I am going mad.

Has anyone out there had any success with musician's earplugs?


Thanks again for your reply Lynn.


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Author: Kate
Date:   03-25-04 09:04

my husband thinks i'm insane because i can't go to the movies with him anymore: he's one of those incessant, mechanical popcorn eaters? you know, hand into bucket, throw kernal into mouth, chew once, hand back into bucket? it's not only the sound, but the action in my peripheral vision? i can't watch the movie unless i put my hand up as a blinder!

i will be back to this board - i'm at work, but i was so excited finding you i had to post!!



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Author: Lynn McLaren
Date:   03-25-04 11:34

Hi Kate,

So its a distraction to you. The motion of his movement of hand to mouth. And plus all that munching can distract from the sounds of the movie itself. Plus all that butter is not good for his health. Hows his cholesterol doing ? Maybe he can tone it alittle and you can work on your focal disorder by trying hard to desensitize yourself and tune it out alittle before your problems get worse. Maybe you can both work on it. He can be a little more slower and quiter with his eatting habits and you can be alittle less distracted and more focused ?

Don't know what else to suggest. But its like the fingernails on the chalkboard syndrome. I know that stuff our spouse's did when we where first dateing we could overlook more. Remember that ? Don't know how we did it but after being together awhile , certain behaviors that we tolerated and did not really bother us before , bother us now. Who knows why but its a fact. Did he do this before you where married and its just bothering you more now. Or is this a new behavior ? Just wondering ?

Take Care Kate
Welcome to the board
Lynn



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Author: Kate
Date:   03-27-04 07:58

Eating noises drive me crazy! (Mainly from my husband) I am a fairly passive person but when the room is quiet and I can hear him chewing, I get angry and want to throw something. I have no idea why I am like this.

The Other Kate




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Author: Sandra Pickett
Date:   03-30-04 12:45

TWO SIBLINGS, PLUS MYSELF, OUT OF SEVEN SEEM TO EXPERIENCE THE UTMOST INTOLERANCE WHEN IT COMES TO EATING NOISES. WE ARE ALSO BOTHERED BY THE "FOOT SWINGING".

THERE ARE OTHER NOISES TOO..CLOCKS, CLICKING WHEN TRIMMING NAILS, FINGERNAIL CLICKING...

ONE OF US EXPERIENCES THE "LOUD" NOISES SYNDROME WHERE THE LOUD NOISES ARE JUST TOO MUCH FOR HER. SHE ALSO HAS DOWNS SYNDROME.

MY OLDER SISTER AND MYSELF, CANNOT SLEEP WITH OUR MATES BECAUSE OF SNORING, AND ALOT OF TIMES, MUST EAT SEPARATELY FROM THEM.
THIS CAUSES MUCH STRESS ON OUR RELATIONSHIPS.

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STUDY!!

SANDRA PICKETT




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Author:Sandra Pickett
Date:   03-30-04 12:53

WELCOME TO MY WORLD!!! lol MY OLDER SISTER AND I BOTH EXPERIENCE THE SAME THINGS. WE CAN'T SLEEP WITH OUR MATES BECAUSE OF SNORING..NOT EVEN LOUD SNORING...LIKE YOU SAID..
EVEN BREATHING BOTHERS US. MY BOYFRIEND WAS JOKING YESTERDAY WHEN WE WERE DISCUSSING ABOUT WHAT TO HAVE FOR DINNER...HE SAID HIS GIRLFRIEND (ME) WOULD ONLY LET HIM EAT APPLESAUCE AND SOUP!!! LOL

WE HAVE STARTING USING ONLY PLASTIC TYPE DISHES..PLATES, BOWLS, ETC. BECAUSE OF THE SCRAPING NOISE THAT METAL HAS AGAINST GLASS.
I CAN HARDLY TAKE IT.

ALSO IN THE PUB TYPE RESTAURANTS..WHEN THEY THROW THE BOTTLES AWAY ..OMG..JUST COMPLETELY RUINS DINNER FOR ME.

I UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH AND IT ISN'T JUST YOU.

SANDRA




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DrJ

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Reply with quote  #265 
I would like to call attention to an article I wrote for Advance for Audiologists that was finally published as a lead story on line Sept. 15, 2009 , and has a little survey included from 100 sufferers.

You can access the full story at http://audiology.advanceweb.com/Article/Selective-Sound-Sensitivity-Syndrome.aspx.

 

Marsha Johnson


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antichomp

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Reply with quote  #266 
I am beyond thrilled to have found this forum. This is the first time I’ve learned others feel actual rage and have the desire to hurt people and throw things because of The Noises. It is a revelation.
 
I discovered this forum a few days ago when someone who sits near me at work pulled out his hateful bag of rice-cracker snacks and started munching away. You know the drill: wrapper-crinkle, munch munch munch, cough-throat-clear, repeat. After stuffing in my trusty earplugs, I googled "co-workers' eating noises" and found you all. I almost feel like crying, reading all these accounts that I could have written word for word. I have never in my life talked about the rage the noises make me feel, or the sudden violent impulses. It's nearly impossible to deal with: you can't ask people not to eat because their noises make you want to bash their faces in. They would think I'm a freak--god knows, I feel like one. Family members are less than sympathetic. But freak or not, the feelings are REAL and OVERWHELMING. I fear that all these years of (barely, and not always successfully) hiding my rage and frustration will hurt my health and shorten my life. I'm 43 and have been dealing with this for about 33 years. It has only gotten worse, and it will never go away because I know that it is part of my brain. It is as much a part of me as my eye color.

 

I first noticed this problem at about age ten. The sounds my father made at the dinner table made me want to explode, they were so intolerable. I would hold up my unfolded napkin between me and him, because I couldn't stand the sight of him chewing away. Unfortunately, it didn't shield my hearing but DID infuriate him. Our relationship has always been strained, and my eating-noise thing didn't help. Oh god, it was a nightmare when we had chicken for dinner. He'd crack the bones with his teeth and suck out the marrow. It was worse than eating with an animal because he was a human being. And corn on the cob...don't even get me started.

 

I remember this one time when my brother, who's nine years my senior, was munching on a piece of celery. I was maybe eleven or twelve. There was a large pyrex dish of tuna salad on the kitchen table, and in my fury at the offending crunching sounds, I bellowed, picked the dish up, and smashed it on the floor. He told me I was crazy, completely out of line. I knew my reaction was irrational, but like I said, and as you all well know...real and overwhelming. And confusing. People don’t understand.

 

Our neighbor across the street was a therapist who specialized in hypnosis. I asked my parents if I could do some sessions with him. They said no. They didn't take it seriously. Just told me that I was out of line and to deal with it. Well hello, if a ten-year-old kid is ASKING for some form of therapy, don’t you think there may be a real problem that he WANTS to deal with? But no, they just thought it was all about my messed-up behavior and attitude.

The tuna salad incident was the only time I ever actually threw anything, though in my adult life I have been known to kick the seats of offenders seated in front of me on airplanes. They were crunching their ice, I was trapped in my seat, and it made me ballistic. I’ve kicked peoples' seats twice, once as a teenager and once in my late 20s. The people next to me, one a friend who never let me forget it, and the other a stranger, were shocked. So is it any surprise I’ve tried to keep my “thing” under wraps?? My reactions are bizarre and socially unacceptable. And the thing is, I’m a very nice and well-mannered guy. I have never been one to pick a fight; actually, I avoid conflict like the plague. (A confession here: I LOVE reading about those who physically act out their rage. Maybe that's messed up, but after so many years of having to suppress the same impulses, it delights me. I SO get it! )
 

Even before finding this forum, I knew I wasn’t the only one with this thing. My sister has it, too. We react to the usual: gum cracking/popping, ice crunching, open-mouthed chewing, lip/tongue smacking, people who talk with their mouths full, etc. Besides my sister, I have encountered two other people with this. One is the husband of my wife’s co-worker and the other, an online acquaintance I’ve never met. I feel a special affection for them because they get it. The guy even went “awww” when I said my wife’s cereal-eating had become gross. Without my explaining, he got it, how it’s worse with our loved ones!!! But until reading this forum, I had no idea there were potentially thousands of us.

 

Funnily, the rapid way my sister chews bugs the heck out of me. At least I see the humor in knowing that my co-sufferer is also an offender, as I know for a fact I am, too. When we were kids she became very irritated with me for clanking my spoon against my teeth while eating cereal. Ever since, I've been very careful not to allow forks or spoons to come in contact with my teeth. (And now I actually feel guilty when I eat apples or carrots in the workplace. I hate to admit that I do that here, of all places, but it’s the truth. ) Of course, the implement-tooth clanking started to bug me after she brought it to my attention. Now it's on the offense list.

 

I also HATE it when people have too much saliva in their mouths, giving their speech a "wet" sound that makes me want to throw up. It's also bad when someone who is talking needs a drink of water. It gives their speech a "sticky" sound. GROSS! Like, please, please, please take a sip of water. Please?! Oh, and the crinkly sounds of plastic packaging. Just as bad as the actual eating noises. I get upset when I see my co-workers bring a bag of carry-out to their desks because I know the crinkly sounds are coming, and you know what’s coming after THAT. Earplug time.

My wife is mostly fine, thank God—we can eat together with no problem—but when she decides to eat a bowl of cereal, which involves slurping, crunching, and spoon-tooth-clanking all at once, I must leave the room. It’s intolerable. I don’t want her to know I’m leaving because of her, so I just go to the bathroom and read a magazine for a few. Luckily, it doesn’t take long for her to get through the cereal. One thing she does that drives me bananas is walk around the house while brushing her teeth. I can't hide my emotions about that. I shoot her the Death Stare, which hurts her feelings. She says "You hate it when I do this!" all accusingly. Yes, I do! So why do you keep doing it???!!! Brush your teeth in the d*mn bathroom!
 
I almost never go to movies because of the popcorn munching, wrapper crinkling, and ice rattling. On those rare occasions when I do go, I bring earplugs—I can still hear some noises through them, though, so I have to change seats because inevitably, some fool will sit right behind me and eat their huge tub of popcorn one piece at a time. I would rather just wait for the DVD and watch at home. Restaurants are only a problem if I’m seated very close to someone and am thus exposed to their noises. When that happens, I am not a pleasant dining partner because I mutter angrily under my breath and shoot dirty looks at the offenders. And they, of course, ruin my meal.

 
The biggest problem is at work. When one guy at a past job slurped his coffee, I had to leave the room until I thought he might be done. I would leave my desk for fifteen or twenty minutes because he sure took his sweet time with that d*mn coffee. During the last few months of a contract job a few years ago, I had to share my cubicle with a woman who chewed gum in the most disgusting way. It was unbearable. (I really feel for poor Ron.) Earplugs weren’t a good enough solution because I could hear through them. Next, I bought a pair of noise-cancellation headphones, but they didn’t completely deafen me in the way I desired. I could still hear through them. So I started telecommuting five days a week because I literally could not bear to share my immediate personal space with that woman. There was no way I was going to endure her obnoxious sounds for several hours a day. I know loathing is a strong word, but that was what I came to feel for her in very short order. I could barely muster up a basic level of politeness in our interactions.

 

I began telecommuting full time on the sly, because I knew my manager wouldn't have been OK with it. But she worked on another floor, and we only saw each other occasionally. I should have asked permission, but how could I possibly explain what felt like an insane reaction to an entirely common, normal thing? Whatever; I’m not sorry. It was either that or have a nervous breakdown, or beat the woman senseless.

 

I’m a later adopter of technologies, but it’s clearly time for me to get an iPod and some white noise. Can’t believe I didn’t do that years ago. I would have lost my mind without earplugs, but it hurts to wear them for very long. I must have small ear-holes. :frown:


I hate being this way. It is just so wonderful to know that there are entire websites of sufferers like me. I am not a complete freak! This is an actual disorder!! I am going to send my father a link to this forum and to Dr. Johnson’s article. It will explain an important part of our difficult history. I know my sister will be thrilled to read this, too.

 

Forgive me for going on at such ridiculous length. It’s the first time I’ve ever told my entire story to people who actually GET IT. Thank you so much for “listening” and for being here. It’s a big deal.

 

OK, wait, one last thing. (Ha!) Why is it that the noises aren’t necessarily a problem with new people, but are so irritating with those we are closest to? I don’t get it. I knew my wife and I were past the courtship stage when her cereal-eating began to bother me. That has always been really troubling to me. What is that about???
 
Jay
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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #267 
Hi Jay,

Love the name 'antichomp' by the way.  ha ha. 

First of all welcome.  I completely get you.  Reading your post took me back to my childhood with my father at the table.  It started at age 12 for me and like you said, it was so confusing as a child to not understand why I was this way.   People don't understand unless they have this. 

I have been on this website for over a year now and am still amazed at the stories.   New people, strangers... but the story is the same.  It's certainly a relief to know you are not 'crazy'.  I was labeled that myself by many.  It doesn't help when you feel that you are crazy to begin with. 

I'm glad you've found us and hope that the article that Dr. Johnson wrote can help your family to understand that this is not just something that began as some childhood rebellion or acting out.  It's REAL, and something that is so difficult, frustrating, and annoying to deal with.  I'm interested to know that your sister has this as well.  There seems to be some possible genetic link.  My mother, sister, and one niece also have this though I am the most severe.   Turns out they think my grandmother may have had this too based on stories I've heard from my brother. 

I used earplugs myself until I realized that I was actually making myself worse.  My ears became more sensitive to sounds when I was blocking out all sound.  I then resorted to my iPod which was my savior.  I love music.  But I got tired of listening to my iPod to cover up the sounds and not because I wanted to actually listen to music.  I needed to face them.  I started to practice CBT (cognitive Behavior Therapy) which Rob helped me to learn here.  I will be honest in telling you that it did not 'cure' my problem.  It's still there.  But, it did teach me how to process my  thoughts and emotions so that I can stay a bit more calm in some situations.  I now go to movies again... something I LOVE.  I also have OCD so it helped me a great deal with that.  It may be something you want to look into.  Other than that, I have tried anti-anxiety meds which also help to calm me a little, but the sound sensitivity remains. 

  As for your last questions as to why it's worse with those we are closest to vs. strangers.  Honestly... I haven't a clue.  It's like that with a lot of us, but not all.  I get annoyed with anyone whether I've known them 10 years or 10 seconds.  One pop of their gum and I'm ready to yank their teeth out.    I'm sure you get that. 

I hope that you can find some things to help you out a bit and really hope your family will finally learn what you've been experiencing all these long years.  Best of luck.

Darlene

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antichomp

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Reply with quote  #268 
Hi Darlene,

I must say, it is really impressive that you have dealt with this to the extent that it's possible for you to enjoy movies in a movie theater. That's hopeful news. A few people here have mentioned CBT; it seems worth investigating further. Indeed, one person mentioned a therapy that I believe is similar: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. As it happens, a good friend of mine has done a lot of work with NLP and wants to become a practitioner. He is going to do a session with me this evening, and it occurs to me that my noise problem would be the PERFECT thing to work on!

Honestly, I don't see it ever going away. It is tightly woven into the fabric of my brain. But it should be possible to work on how I react to triggers...right?

As for the link between our reactions and how close we are to the offender, I have been thinking about that. Mind you now, not ALL strangers get off scot-free, not by any stretch.  If their noises are particularly obnoxious, I do indeed want to clock them. But noises that I might not find objectionable in a stranger are more likely to become so with someone I'm close to.

Earlier in this thread, someone pointed out that sometimes, when you become familiar with a person's chewing pattern, THEN it becomes annoying. With the pattern comes knowlege of what to expect, right? So you begin to anticipate the next slurp or chomp. For me, the anticipation can be as bad as the actual noises. Maybe our brains are telling us, "Here it comes. THERE, OW! Here it comes. THERE, OW! Here it comes. THERE, OW!" If does make sense.

A little sidebar here--as I was reading this thread, I was struck by the lack of bad language. Because when I'm assaulted by noises, I want to yell HOLY EFF! and can't imagine others don't, too. Then, when I posted for the first time yesterday, I noticed the Profanity Blocking feature at the top. That explained everything. Clearly, there's a need for it here.

Jay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antichomp

Honestly, I don't see it ever going away. It is tightly woven into the fabric of my brain. But it should be possible to work on how I react to triggers...right?


I know what you mean.  I feel like it's just part of me, permanently.  But it is possible to work on the reaction... that's what CBT does. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antichomp
Earlier in this thread, someone pointed out that sometimes, when you become familiar with a person's chewing pattern, THEN it becomes annoying. With the pattern comes knowlege of what to expect, right? So you begin to anticipate the next slurp or chomp. For me, the anticipation can be as bad as the actual noises. Maybe our brains are telling us, "Here it comes. THERE, OW! Here it comes. THERE, OW! Here it comes. THERE, OW!" If does make sense.


With me, it can get me angry the very first time I hear someone crunch something.  But it does get worse of course the more you hear it and you begin to anticipate it.  I agree that anticipation can sometimes be worse than the sound itself.  This is another thing that CBT can help with.  If you start to feel anxious about a sound that may occur, it teaches you to logically think through that anticipation and puts things into perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antichomp
A little sidebar here--as I was reading this thread, I was struck by the lack of bad language. Because when I'm assaulted by noises, I want to yell HOLY EFF! and can't imagine others don't, too. Then, when I posted for the first time yesterday, I noticed the Profanity Blocking feature at the top. That explained everything. Clearly, there's a need for it here.


Ha ha ha!  So true.  When I hear a sound I dislike, I feel as though I've literally been shocked inside.  Kinda like it feels when you've been startled.  My automatic reaction is to swear or run.  I really have to watch myself at work.  At home however, I usually let it rip. 

Darlene
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Reply with quote  #270 
One more thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by antichomp
I must say, it is really impressive that you have dealt with this to the extent that it's possible for you to enjoy movies in a movie theater. That's hopeful news.


I thought maybe I should explain this a little...  This has taken me lots of time, practice and patience.  I have been working on this for over a year now.  I love movies, especially in the theater.  But this condition got to the point where I just stopped going to the theater to avoid the sounds of popcorn.  One day I just decided that enough was enough, that I was NOT going to let this stupid condition run my life, or scare me away from something I really enjoy doing.  That's when I decided to take control (or try to). 

It wasn't easy, and still is hard at times.  However, how do you ever learn something unless you practice it, hard times and all.  The movie theater was the perfect place for me to practice my CBT.  I purposely go to the theater early and get my seat in the back.  For some reason if I'm in the back, it makes it easier to work with (I have heard others say this as well).  I watch everyone walk in with their big tubs of popcorn and that's when it begins.  I tell myself, "wow that's a huge tub of popcorn" and "they very well may sit by me and chomp their heads off".  I also tell myself that "even if they do chomp their heads off it's not going to kill me.  I may get mad but that's alright.  I can watch this movie and enjoy it anyhow, go home and SURVIVE".  I do this with every person that walks in. 

I then sit there and listen to them munch, crunch, and crackle before the movie starts.  In the beginning I would need to get up and leave for some air... just couldn't take it.  But the fact that I 'can' get up and leave makes it easier to challenge myself.  It gradually got easier to stay in the theater and just deal with it.  It's hard, but I survive it.  It took a long time to get here and I'm very proud that I did it.  I think it's because I'm working with something that I really hate (noises), in connection with something I really love (movies) that it works for me. 

For anyone wanting to try this in the theater, if you haven't seen 'Avatar' yet, it's a great movie to try this with.   Visually stunning, easy to get lost in, and often times very loud.  Plus, it's a good "popcorn movie" if you know what I mean.  Lots of things to practice with.  

Baby steps.  That's what it's all about.  Taking things one day at a time and learning through them as to what works, and what doesn't.  This has worked for me in the movie theater setting with my hatred of popcorn crunching.  I'm still working on it in other areas of my life (work) with gum popping.  Oh the horror. 

Darlene

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fiona

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Reply with quote  #271 
HELP,  yesterday i realised that my much loved son of 3 years has become a 'trigger' for this awful problem.  we all know how one of the strange aspects of this condition is that not all people and noises are 'triggers' and that often with new people in our lives there is a grace period.          i really want to tackle this here and now, there is nobody i love more than my son and do not want this getting out of control.  can anyone give me some advice?  thanks!
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Fiona,

What is it that your son is doing that is bothering you?  I think it's important for you to not worry about him becoming a trigger.  Often times if you focus on something you 'don't' want you will draw more attention to it.   Focus on the good.   Focus on the fact of how much he means to you.  Take control of those bad thoughts that are starting to creep in and think positive.
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antichomp

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Reply with quote  #273 

Darlene, it's so funny you should mention Avatar, because my wife asked whether we could see it this weekend. I'm willing to do almost anything she wants when it comes to recreation, but I just could not sign up for that. I've come to have a negative feeling about movie theaters, period, because what happens there is guaranteed to trigger me.

Do you bring earplugs when you go to the movies? On those rare occasions when I do go, they're really helpful. Essential, actually. Also, it seems as though the crunching, ice rattling, and wrapper crinkling are only problematic during the first 20 minutes or so, until people finish up their snacks. ("Only," ha! It's a looooooong 20 minutes, and that doesn't apply to painfully slow eaters, but at least you know it's going to end.) Sitting in the back row is a good idea because nobody can sit any distance behind you. Anyway--congratulations on figuring out modes of contention that make it possible for you to deal with this!

Fiona, I feel for you regarding your child. I felt so bad when some of my wife's sounds started to bug me. It goes beyond not wanting to deal with another trigger. It's just so disconcerting when you realize this problem is affecting the way you feel about someone you love, even though you know it's irrational, that it really has nothing to do with them personally, and that those feelings are only going to occur when the noises are happening--not all the time. When she is gulping a beverage, I just try to talk myself off the ledge: I know it's only going to happen for a few seconds, that it will be over shortly. I always tell myself that she's not doing anything wrong, that this is all about my "thing." It doesn't make the irritation go away, but it keeps me a little saner in the moment.

Having said that, I *do* have to leave the room when she eats cereal. I know you can't just up and leave when your son is eating, especially at his age. I don't know what to tell you there, but hope at least some of this has been helpful. You have my sincere compassion.

Jay

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Quote:
Originally Posted by antichomp
Do you bring earplugs when you go to the movies? On those rare occasions when I do go, they're really helpful. Essential, actually. Also, it seems as though the crunching, ice rattling, and wrapper crinkling are only problematic during the first 20 minutes or so, until people finish up their snacks.


I do carry some with me but never use them anymore.  When I first started going to the theater again, a place I'd avoided for so long, I felt I needed earplugs to protect me.  Like you said, it was a guarantee that the sounds would trigger me and I was scared to go because I knew how I would feel.  The problem with that mindset is that you already doom yourself before even going to the theater.  In the beginning, I would wear them and then take them out until I couldn't take it anymore and then put them back in.  Gradually I was able to leave them out a bit longer each time.  Earplugs do help a lot with covering up the sounds, but I got annoyed at needing to wear them.  That's why I really wanted to work on this so that I didn't need to wear them.  You mentioned that most of the crunching, etc... seems to occur in the first 20 minutes or so.   That is usually true.  I use that fact when I'm sitting there listening to the crunching.  I tell myself, "yes, that's annoying and I'm getting angry about it, but... it WILL end and I will be just fine".   Definitely worth going through for seeing 'Avatar' though.  That type of movie needs to be seen on the big screen.   All it takes is one good experience with working on this to get you really excited and motivated to keep working at it. 

Darlene

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