It was a long day for me.

I work two jobs. I am “okay” with my full time job. I get along with everyone there. I love the space I have with my desk. And to be quite frank, it’s the ambiance and the separation from other individuals that makes it such a comfy job.

But to pay off my new car, I am working in a call center environment 20 hours a week. The desk space is so small, that we are virtually working on top of each other and I have extreme empathy for sardines.

There are three women I like to call: Snap, Crackle, and Pop. They eat sunflower seeds ALL DAY LONG! There is another woman that lives on croutons and probably eats a bag a day. There is the older woman who picks up her mouse and puts it down, every time she moves or clicks on it. And finally, there is a young woman that really loves her gum. I mean REALLY LOVES her gum.

It has escalated in my mind to the point that I get sick to my stomach just thinking about going into that job and want to call in absent.

I have almost become aggressive with this, telling the sunflower seed eaters that their empty shells laying around smell like used tampons. I told the crouton eater she was getting fat. I asked the older mouse user if she had a grudge against the poor mice. And I told the young gum chewer that she looked like a cow chewing its cud.

I have a degree in psychology, and I would go home at night trying to diagnose a personality disorder, or mental illness. I would dream at night of slapping the gum out of the young woman’s mouth, and stealing the food away from the crunchy eaters. Let’s not talk about the mouse problem.

I was beginning to frighten myself with my angry thoughts. I knew they weren’t normal by any means what-so-ever.

I had pretty much settled on borderline Autism. It makes sense, right?

They are sound and touch sensitive (just a few of the characteristics that would immediately put me in that category… not.) And let’s face it, I am not really touch sensitive, and a lot of people with Autism don’t display these characteristics. Autism is just basically being overwhelmed with sensory perception.

I watched Pawn Sacrifice with Tobey McGuire, and the scene with him being blasted with all the noise during a tournament, had me rushing to turn the television off.

Bobby Fischer was psychotic, right? He had paranoid schizophrenic attributes.

And let’s not forget that he was sound sensitive.

It scared me to death that this is what I was becoming… Except for rationally, I don’t think the world is out to get me. I don’t hear voices. I don’t think I am being spied on by anyone in my life… Except for my mother who usually knows exactly what I am up to even when I don’t.

So the next idea would be physiological.

I have Meniere’s Syndrome/disease. It’s a constant ringing in the ears, that has slowly become tolerable. I know when the migraine is coming on and run to the freezer for an ice pack and grab a bucket for when I throw up. When the barometric changes occur, I am prepared for the balance issues.

I read through all of the symptoms for Meniere’s and found absolutely nothing for sound sensitivity.

My ultimate conclusion… I am an overly sensitive freak of nature who should be locked in a sound proof room.

Problem solved… right?

Or maybe not.

What would the world be without the internet?

We can find our perfect mate, order out for pizza, find a job, stave off world hunger, and Google our symptoms away all in a matter of five minutes, give or take a trip to the kitchen to feed the cat.

I was a freak complaining about things that should have no impact in my life but they felt so emotionally heavy. The Snap, Crackles, and Pops, while seemingly such a small part of this world, were overwhelming me to the point of costing me my part time job.

I talked with my boss this morning. I asked if I could sit separate from everyone else tomorrow night at work. I explained that I am not mentally ill. I am not physiologically dying. I am not paranoid or schizophrenic.

I am sensitive to sound.

I am nervously affected by popping and clicking sound that other people can easily ignore.

I become defensive and then sarcastic when exposed to said sounds and I am unable to function properly when they are constant in the environment.

I suffer from Misophonia of which there is really no cure, so I am just going to have to deal with it.

R. delRio is a guest writer.
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R. delRio