Every day at work is a bit of a struggle for me, but today was especially bad. In the area where I sit, my coworkers have decided to place a candy bowl, to boost morale in the office I suppose. They have no idea, but it has the absolute opposite effect on me. This has been going on for quite some time, and I usually just wear earplugs. But there were a couple situations today that caused me to feel a rush of panic.
Let me start off by saying that the candy in today’s bowl were caramel apple pops. I agree that they are delicious, but they are perhaps one of the noisiest, triggering foods I have ever encountered. The sucking sound associated with any lollipop has always been bad for me. To make matters worse, these apple pops are coated in caramel, meaning they are very sticking and lead to constant lip smacking.
The ear plugs were working fine, as usual, but then the time came to attend another training. That meant I couldn’t wear earplugs. Several of the people in my training noticed the candy. My instructor commented that she would surely have to try one, but that she wouldn’t at the moment because she would need to speak during the training. I felt some relief knowing she would refrain from eating for the moment. About half way through the class, a few of my coworkers approached the bowl with eager smiles. I felt disgusted with them and resented their happiness. My instructor caved and grabbed one as well. As she talked, the din of lip smacking and sucking magnified in my mind.
I decided to flee to the restroom to control my emotions because I was on the verge of tears. I came back to the training after a few minutes, obligated to return to the cloud of horrible noises once again. I put in earplugs and tried to stay alert to whether someone was trying to talk to me. I’ve been doing this more lately — gauging from a coworker’s body language when they might be addressing me, then quickly removing one ear plug. Once the ear plugs were in, the class went more smoothly and I was able to partly follow along.
At the end of the work day, a coworker decided to stick around and walk out of the building with me. She was eating some other candy she had. As I was trying to gather my things to leave, I wanted to tell her to just take off without me because my panic about the noises she was making was beginning to elevate. I told her I might be a while. Through a mouthful of crunching candy, she said she would wait for me. Instead of being happy to have a friend who wanted to walk me outside, I was wishing she would just disappear. I felt as though I was moving as fast as a Nascar pit crew while I grabbed my belongings to head out the door with her. I wanted the experience to be over as soon as humanly possible.
I hate how misophonia makes me panic, how it makes me feel hatred toward others, and how it makes me treat others.
I also would like to apologize for the delay in blog posts. I have been doing some traveling lately (an activity that comes with its own set of misophonia challenges), but I am back now and ready to write more. If there is a particular misophonia issue you would like me to cover, please let me know.