By now we've all heard about misophonia, a strong, negative reaction to sounds. I am fairly certain I suffer from this, selectively. I cannot handle the sound of metal on metal (like knives being sharpened) teeth scraping on silverware, and one other sound. Unfortunately, this third sound is the absolute worst for me. Doubly unfortunately, it is a sound produced by my dear husband.
There are many wonderful things that I love about my husband. He is a fantastic father. He makes dinner. He loves to surprise the kids and me. He puts up with me and my idiosyncrasies. He will always beat me in a foot race. He is a rockstar when it comes to installing carseats. He never eats my yogurt. He makes friends with old ladies wherever he goes. He has many fabulous qualities.
There is, however, one sound that my husband makes that makes me physically ill.
My husband sneezes very loudly. And repetitively. Super loud. Like 96 times in a row. Loudly. I cannot explain why this bothers me so much. It is not actually a conscious reaction. It is a visceral, primal fear response. It’s like my ears hear an eardrum bursting noise, my body senses it is in danger, and my fight or flight reflex kicks in. My heart starts beating wildly, I start sweating, my hands get clammy. If I am able to leave the room I do. Often, however, we are stuck somewhere together, like in the car. The thought of opening my door, jumping out of the moving vehicle, and rolling to safety has crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
He is aware of the affect his sneezing marathons have on me. He, of course, cannot control his sneezes any more than I can control my reaction. In fact, I wouldn’t want him to try to hold those things in for fear that his head would explode or his intestines would fly out.
I saw a pin on Pinterest that was something to the effect of: "I will say God Bless You the first three times you sneeze. After that you gotta get your shit together.” So true.
We have managed to have a happy family and marriage for 16 years even with this one major issue. I guess I should be happy that my husband still makes my heart flutter every now and then. Even if it is because of a sneeze- induced panic attack.