Misophonia

Some people believe I have OCD, I always joke that I'm still two steps away. It's been years since I started using this line, I don't know if I've surpassed those two steps yet, does aligning my monitors at the office (and sometimes others, if I like them) using a ruler qualify for OCD? Does keeping the pens in a pencil case pointing in the same direction put me in the OCD group? An ex-colleague once told me that he thinks that I like to think that I have OCD, which I know is true. Not because I pretend, it's because I think it's part of who I am. I am (almost) obsessive compulsive and I really don't care what he or others think.

Misophonia is a different story. If you don't know what 'Misophonia' is, simply put it is the hatred of hearing certain sounds, especially produced by certain people or sources. A lot of people would hate to hear nail scratching on a board, that's not Misophonia, that's the visualisation of pain associated by imagining the nails ripped off by the friction. A misophoniac would hate to hear, as an example, the specific sound of feet tapping on the floor in a nervous tick, or the sound of chewing gum, my friend once failed an exam because the girl behind her was chewing gum and she could not ignore the existence of that sound, and she chose not to endure it by leaving an exam she was perfectly capable of passing.

I have noticed that my hatred of sounds has increased a lot over the years, the first sound I ever hated was the sound my roommate made when he ate, neighbours could hear him to say the least and I hated sitting for a meal with him, and I did hate meals in general for a while because that's all I could think of even if he wasn't around, I would anticipate others slurping or smacking away. I didn't mind him, I minded the sound, so much.

It grew from a sound many people hated to very specific sounds that I could pinpoint, and the list is growing by the day. I remember I was once sitting at a desk for few weeks in the office and the water cooler was nearby, and I would watch colleagues approach carrying their glasses and empty bottles to fill them from the damn cooler, and I would anticipate the fragile sound, the rise in pitch, the sound of drops hitting drops producing a sound that annoyed me to a point that I started hating that water cooler and its place in the office.

It could be that some of these sounds are linked in my brain with the person that originated them, although I doubt in the case of the water cooler because I didn't know who was filling their glass, i just knew somebody was causing me grief. However, in some cases I know it is the person who makes the noises that "triggers" my hatred of that sound.

The sounds of delicious keyboard clicks is a very happy sound for me. I grew up in the culture of the turning point to being familiar with "PC"s in homes, and the first machine we had was an ugly looking piece of shit that ran on DOS, I still remember wanting a Macintosh and wanting to go in that shop that had the glowing "rainbow" Apple logo the night we went to buy the computer, that was end of 1980s or 1990. The sounds of some quality keyboards of that era are still amazing, the thickness of plastic that muffles the mechanisms underneath every key, the kind of plastic, the mechanisms, I don't know what it is, I just know I would love to have a vintage keyboard with delicious clicks with the command button, or a keyboard from the future that produces zero clicks. For some time in that office, I endured a colleague who came in early like me and unleashed her email replies early in the morning, to my misfortune, her keyboard was a cheap specimen that had horrible nasty loud clicks, and she wasn't delicate at all when she typed, I hated her in the morning although she was a very nice person.

The letter "S" is a very sensitive letter to pronounce, some people pronounce it with a delicious lisp that takes away the edge of it, or the "icepick", some don't have the lisp but it comes out so naturally that you would want to hear them talk because of the clarity with which they say the word "superfluous" or "myself" or "sky". Few have what in my head sounds like the chirping of an insect or the sound of high pitch bird chick, and I imagine them marvelling at how well they can make their "S"s whistle and I hate them and the letter S even more. One of those engaged in a phone conversation is enough to drive me out of a building mid-day in July, in Dubai. Can't they just say S without the high pitch dog whistle?