The Sound Up The Stairs

I have always been allergic to certain sounds. I'm sound-sensitive. I never realized there was a name for this, until about a year ago - when someone mentioned it on a bipolar forum. It's called misophonia, and here's a website that describes it:  I know it seems like nowadays they have a name for everything, but I do know that this is real, and I react exactly as that website describes - with a mixture of rage and panic - to certain sounds (although it has seemed to dissipate as I've gotten older). Especially when I was younger, certain noises could bring on such rage, that I literally felt like I could hurt somebody if the person didn't stop.


My noise-triggers range from: a person smacking their lips while they're eating; the incessant high-pitched humming that my husband's laptop makes while it's charging; a certain way that some people say their "S's"; the thumping sound of neighbors playing loud music; the sound of someone flossing their teeth; the buzzing sound of a crowd of people; the sound of someone sucking on their teeth to remove leftover food, instead of picking it out with a toothpick, (but then again, I hate the sound of the toothpick on the teeth too - ha ha!). And, of course, there's the worst-of-the-worst sound, which I will talk about in a minute. I know there's many more that I'm forgetting, that I'll remember as soon as I hit the "Publish" button for this post.


One time, my husband and I had to stay in an apartment building for a couple of months, during a temporary job that my husband had in another state. The person above us, at night, sounded like an elephant stomping around. Each step this person made felt like it could loosen the earth's tectonic plates, and cause it's own earthquake. My bionic hearing heard every squeak of his bed as he rolled over. I would lay wide awake, just waiting for the 1,000 pound man upstairs to finally settle in, and quit squeaking the 500 year old bed he was sleeping on. It was infuriating! In my head he was only mocking me with his movement. I ended up getting angry enough that I threw something on the ceiling, to let him know to shut up! Childish, I know, because I'm sure he didn't even hear it. Plus I'm sure he had no clue about the psycho staying below him, and how maddening his movements were to me.


(*possible trigger warning* - for family, or anyone sensitive, this next paragraph might be hard to read)


I've gotten over most of my noise phobias - all except for one. And it's a biggie for me. It was the noise that my childhood abuser would use to call me upstairs. It's the noise that someone else would use to call their dog over to them - almost like a whistle that you make with your teeth, instead of your lips. Even describing that sound now, my heart is racing, my face is grimacing, and I can feel the panic starting to settle in my veins. It was the sound - the dreaded summons - of my young, innocent self being called to the room up the stairs - the room where the monster lived. That was the sound he would make when he wanted me to come up and play. It's the sound that, when someone makes it now, I have to consciously settle myself down, and convince myself "They are not him. You are safe.". It's the sound that will haunt me until the day that I die. And that's all I have to say about that.


Day 9 - NaBloPoMo - December '13

Written in reply to WP Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety :

Write about a noise — or even a silence — that won’t go away. (We’ll let you interpret this in different ways…)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ANXIETY.






© 2013 Lipstick and Lithium

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