If My Mom Ate An Apple In The Forest, I Would Hear It

Mom called me at work on Friday all excited about something she’d seen on Regis and Kelly.

“I know what’s wrong with you,” she said.

You see, I’m extremely sensitive to noises, like those made by people eating (and breathing if we’re being honest here). We’ve spent years thinking I was just an intolerant bitch, but as it turns out, I have a disorder (Misophonia)!

And Kelly Ripa has it too! Maybe we could get together and bond over our common affliction. We could throw a big party, use her fabulous Electrolux kitchen appliances to cook up a feast, then be forced to leave in a huff when the guests insisted on actually eating the food. Damn people and their infernal chewing!

For those of you who don’t suffer from Misophonia, let me describe it for you. I already made reference to it in this post. But I wrote that before my diagnosis.

My Dad was always the worst offender. The sound he made while chewing, which I always referred to snottily as “chomping,” was absolutely unbearable to me. Once I made such a fuss about it at Elby’s Big Boy, he stormed out of the restaurant and walked home. If he thought my Mom and I would stop eating our meal to go after him, he didn’t know us very well. I was a little afraid of what he might do when we got home, but mostly I was relieved to eat in peace.

According to my Mom, Kelly Ripa has to leave the room when her husband eats a peach. Honey, join the club. When my Mom eats apples, I could cheerfully kill her. She likes to cut them in quarters and savor each piece to maximize my torture, because she’s sweet like that. The sound of the crunching and the smacking rattles a nerve inside my brain. If I can’t leave the room, I fixate completely on the noise and pray for it to stop.

Sometimes she calls me while sucking on hard candy. I think she does this just to irritate me. She’ll be talking and all I can focus on is the sound of the sucking. When it’s my turn to speak, instead of responding to what she said, my response is usually, “What the hell are you eating?” And she’ll say, “fuck you.” The love runs deep.

Even my beloved husband is not immune to my Misophonic venom. He is the youngest of five boys and learned early that you eat quickly or you might not get enough food. I cannot reason this imprint out of him. I say, “there are only two of us and you’ve made enough food for six people!” But he is an eating machine. He often puts a new bite in his mouth before finishing his previous one. This creates a sound I can only compare to what I imagine it would sound like to swallow a live rat. Sometimes I have to wait to eat until he’s done so I can enjoy my dinner.

Once I knew I had a disorder, I looked it up on the internet. I knew I’d found my peeps when I read Lucy’s comment “It makes me sooooooo angry like I could shoot people in the face!” and laughed out loud. OMG, like me too! I was glad and somewhat disturbed to find so many others with this affliction. I was also glad Lucy mentioned she’s receiving therapy. Not surprisingly, not everyone found Lucy’s comment amusing. “Rugbyman,” who has a stepson with this affliction, apparently doesn’t think getting shot in the face is funny at all. Oh, dude! Don’t be so prickly, when we say we want to shoot you in the face, we are just kidding…sort of.

Like Be the first one who likes this post!

, , , , , ,

34 Responses to “If My Mom Ate An Apple In The Forest, I Would Hear It”

  1. room34
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Unbelievable. The sounds of other people eating have disgusted and annoyed me for as long as I can remember. I’m relieved to know it’s a “thing” and not just me being intolerant.

    I haven’t clicked the link describing the condition yet, but I wonder if it’s related to an inability to filter out background noise in loud environments. When we’re in a noisy restaurant, someone will point out a song that’s playing, for instance. I can hear that there’s music, but I can’t tell what it is over all of the other noises. What do you think?

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

      Scott, I need to read more about it, so far all I really know is what I gleaned from a quick internet search and Kelly Ripa.

      I’m not sure what causes my hyper-sensitivity to annoying noises. I generally can pick out music, particularly music that I really like or music that I really hate, even in a loud place. I actually sort of like the new trend in restaurant design (lots of uncovered surfaces) that has yielded super loud dining rooms. Sure I can’t hear what my dinner companions are saying anymore, but I can’t hear them eating anymore either. Problem partially solved!

      I just seem to fixate on the annoying noises–rude chomping, snoring, a very loud talker at a nearby table, gum snapping. I’m annoying myself just typing those things.

      I’ve had some luck with a white noise app I downloaded for my iPod. My favorite sound is a rushing stream. Ironically cranking that up really loud was the only way I could sleep during the heavy rain last week, since it caused my bedroom ceiling to leak and the sound of the water drops falling into the buckets I placed around the room made me mental.

    • Rachel
      Monday, January 27, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      I am sitting at my desk in my office in Melbourne, Australia absolutely p*ssing myself laughing at all of the posts on here. Because you are ALL just like me!! OMG where would I begin – just now a girl (nice girl) in the office just walked past and did a little cough that she always does, along with a scrapy noise that she makes with the heel of her shoe on the carpet, and I wanted to tackle her football style and bash her head into the floor over and over again. And don’t get me started on the guy who sits nearby who is the LOUDEST huffer and puffer ever put on the earth – every couple of minutes or so it’s SIGH SIGH SIGH. I call him HR Huff n Puff. And when he eats an apple …… omg it’s all I can’t get my earplugs in fast enough. Sneezing … someone mentioned sneezing – this was the first noise I ever noticed that made me want to kill someone. Lets go through them all – tapping, sneezing, ANY noise at the movies, particularly the slurping from a straw that happens as the drink is almost finished – I have ripped a few of those out of my kids hands over the years (mum of the year) – someone saying the same thing over and over again ie. trying to get someone’s attention, chair scraping, dishes banging (my mum doing the dishes is the closest thing to torture I’ve ever experienced in my life, its like she gets a prize for making enough noise to wake the dead), loud swallowing, slurping, eating with mouth open, talking while eating, coughing, the list goes on and on. I apologise for the long post, but I feel like I’m losing my mind.

  2. Joanna Langada
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    This was a treat to read…sorry for your distress, but you surely wrote a fantastic and funny piece, and it made my morning! :-)

    My older son is very sensitive to certain sounds, like when his little brother would suck his thumb…in the next room! lol So, I’m going to look this up.

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

      Thanks Joanna, I’m glad you liked it!

      After getting off the phone with my Mom, it hit me this could be a funny thing to write about. All I could think of was how poor Kelly Ripa slaved in that Electrolux commercial to cook for her family and guests…and how the sound of them chewing her food must torture her!

      I need to read up on this more myself. I don’t know if there’s any treatment. Neither yelling at the offending noise makers nor trying to “suck it up” has worked for me. The white noise app I downloaded for my iPod has helped in certain situations (noisy hotels, etc…).

  3. Reading (and chickens)
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Heh, I think I have this too. My children with sniffly noses drive me nuts.
    And my husband once bought me a “silent” vacuum because I refused to use noisy ones. For my birthday. Nice, yes, a vacuum for a birthday present? My mom yelled at him for me.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 12:03 am #

      A dude near me today slurped his coffee in such a manner (he alternated slurps with snorting) that I hated him within a couple of minutes.

      My husband got me a Roomba for Christmas a couple of years ago. I teased him about the lameness of this mercilessly. It actually turned out to be pretty cool until it decided it didn’t want to vacuum anymore either, lazy robot!

  4. Michele Berman
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Thanks for linking to the Kelly Ripa story on my website, Celebrity Diagnosis! Personally, the sound of bathroom exhaust fans drive me crazy, but I don’t think I have misophonia. I had never heard of misophonia and this was a learning experience for me as well.

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

      You’re welcome! I was glad to find a link. I was starting to wonder if my Mom made this up!

  5. Abby
    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    I HAVE THIS TOO!!! I haven’t read the other comments yet, but I cannot stand listening to people eat, or worse, slurp. I share an office with someone who is a loud slurper and drinks coffee all day. Along with his nose-laughing, it’s a miracle I haven’t stapled his head to the desk yet (there’s are partition between us, so I can still use my voodoo doll.)

    My biggest food pet peeve? Listening to people eat corn on the cob. I can’t do it. My head explodes.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      I can’t even imagine the horror of being in close proxImity to these noises in a work context. Murder seems like a fire-able offense. You are a stronger woman than I am. Corn on the cob is bad too. Luckily it’s seasonal.

  6. Lisa
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    LOL, I used to get really pissed at my brother for chewing too loud. I eat in my office alone now because people eat grossly. I don’t know if you remember, but in college, the buzzing of the lights in the stacks was too loud and annoying for me to concentrate and study. I turn sounds OFF when I get home, not on. I don’t like or enjoy loud music and one day, you will likely find me in prison for killing the person who is listening to the damn bass in the car too loud. My friends laugh at me now when I can hear my cell phone vibrate literally rooms away. It even surpises me, but I can. I guess I can probably join the club…and I thought I might have Aspergers before this! Interesting blog, Tracy.

    • logyexpress
      Monday, September 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      I had forgotten about the lights in the library thing, but now that you mention it, I do remember a difference in our tolerance for background noise while working. Even with my noise issues, I do prefer having music on–it helps me block out the noises I find more annoying. I remember typing our French papers and you needing quiet (well, except for crunching our cheddar and sour cream potato chips).

  7. Erin
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Now I feel especially bad about the Cadbury Creme Egg incident.

    • logyexpress
      Monday, September 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      That which did not kill me made me stronger! At least this only happened once. One of our other friends’ (who shall remain nameless) gum snapping was constant and it made me crazy. I still thinking gum chewing should be banned except for plane take off and landing (only because I need to chew gum at those times!).

  8. May
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Oh, my gosh?!?!?! For real????? I can not tell you the guilt I feel when I go to stay at my mom’s to help care for her. I can barely stand to be in the room with her. Make any excuse to bolt!
    And my poor husband and his sneezes which cause me to visualize physically harming him.
    I can’t imagine that this knowledge will make me any nicer to them,but I don’t have to feel so badly about it now! That’s almost as good as a cure!

    • logyexpress
      Monday, September 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      May, yeah I guess this is for real…but I definitely wrote about this “diagnosis” tongue in cheek, probably because I spent so many years just thinking I was more intolerant than most–when Mom first mentioned Misophonia to me it sounded fake. But it does make me feel better to know I’m not the only one. I don’t know that there’s anything that will help my irritation–my white noise app helps for sleeping most of the time.

      I had forgotten about my husband’s sneezing–that drives me nuts too! And he makes himself do it!

  9. Catherine
    Monday, September 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    So apparently everyone commenting here needs to start a noice free community! Maybe that’s why we like the internet- I can’t hear you snuffling.
    For me it is cereal. I cannot be in the room (or even the house) when my husband is eating cereal. And I’m not talking Capn Crunch. Anything.
    It’s not just food for me it’s noise of any kind. I’m one of those people who jump or start at the smallest sound. The closest I ever came to a medical diagnosis was being called an “over-responder”. So glad I can update my terminolgy!

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      Yes! There are silent train cars, so why not noise-free communities!

      Liquid slurping is tough–my husband insists on drinking his hot beverages scaldingly hot, which requires him to slurp them in a most annoying manner!

      Many noises annoy me. I remember being shocked when I realized I find my dog’s snoring cute. Anyone else snoring makes me want to suffocate them.

  10. Reverend Dennis Teel
    Friday, December 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    the problem with this condition is that normal,every day ,common noises are annoying to the person that has the other words,(and btw,i also have this condition to a mild degree)we can’t expect people to change their situations or to alter environmental surroundings simply for our sakes /while i ,for example,can create an environment wherein i don”t hear certain noises that annoy me,i realise there’s plenty of circumstances that i’ll be in where i won’t be able to do much or anything at all./i have to sleep with ear plugs,as ANY noise at all will wake me dog walking across the carpet for example…a car passing by outside…a bird chirping outside(even just one time)…what i find most interesting is this:i have extremely good hearing and my family has even made mention of this even in the recent past.everyone i know says i have unusually good hearing//i’d almost bet money that most if not all people that have this condition also have unusually good hearing. to the posters that post here about having this got great hearing,right?

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 1:11 am #

      I hear at frequencies previously reserved for fleas and ticks.

  11. Pish Posh
    Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I am actually hearing the sounds of people eating peaches and sucking on hard candy in my head right now. I need more information about this!!

    I have to leave the room when Antonio eats apples, cereal, chips, peaches, SOUP, ahhh the list goes on. Its not just me though, he has been told by others that he slurps and smacks and munches and crunches louder than most people. He has a good sense of humor about it though and all I have to do is look at him and raise my eyebrows and he laughs and knows exactly why I am.

    I also don’t like bubblegum smackers. Or dry-mouthed swallowers… you know, the loud and slow gulp…

    You take amazing photos of your food by the way!!

  12. Natalie
    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    O.M.G !!!!! You have just described me!!!! Do you know my husband refuses to go to the movies with me…. I cannot… repeat CANNOT stand the popcorn eating that goes on there! What is it with the popcorn???? Either the stranger, who has the misfortune of sitting next to me, eats each kernel individually thus taking the whole movie to finish it or huge handfuls are shovelled in …. And dont get me going on the straw action with the drinks…. Im a nervous wreck by the time I come out and hubby is too…. And I also cannot be near my man when he eats – he also has multiple brothers and also shoves food in as fast as he can swallow it…. I have to leave the room…. often!!!!
    xx Nat

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 17, 2012 at 12:23 am #

      Natalie, you know I feel your pain!

  13. The Bearded Iris
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    OH MY GOD. I can see the light! I HAVE THIS TOO. I have left many a table, in tears, over the sound of people’s chewing, slurping, or worst of all…the sound made by their knives scraping the plate. Honest to God, just typing that phrase made every hair on my body point to Heaven. {SHUDDER}

    Sorry, didn’t mean to be such a comment whore. This post is TRULY funny! AND educational. I have a new respect for Kelly Ripa too! Thank you!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 17, 2012 at 12:24 am #

      I’ve never met another person in real life who seemed to have this condition. I guess we are all hiding on the internet!

  14. Karen D.
    Friday, February 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    I think I might have this, too. Wow. Never would have thought there’d be a name for how disgusted I can get when other people eat. Glad I’m not the only one.

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 17, 2012 at 12:28 am #

      I know, right!? This is information we all need to have!

  15. Anna
    Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    This totally cracked me up! And made me want to eat an apple – which is weird.

    Thanks for linking up to finding the funny!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, February 17, 2012 at 12:38 am #

      Thanks Anna! Go ahead and eat an apple…just not near me!

  16. Rebecca
    Friday, March 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    There is a Facebook group for this if anyone is interested.

  17. Jennifer
    Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    My daughter Lauren cannot stand the breathing that people do when they sleep. She can be watching a movie or a favorite TV show and if someone falls asleep she is out of there. She’ll just get up and walk out of the room. Her brother told me that she has gone into his room at night and told him that his breathing is bothering her. A week ago John fell asleep in the chair but before he did he asked Lauren to try and watch her movie. She stayed til the end but admitted to me later that it almost killed her to do it. I wonder if she will ever go to a slumber party.

  18. omgcarol
    Friday, April 5, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    yes, google misophonia and let’s spread the word so people CAN suffer in silence- wouldn’t that be a wonderful blessing?

Leave a Reply

Your Email address will be kept private.