Can you hear me now?

Hello! Today’s topic just kind of popped into my head for no real reason, which I guess — now that I think about it — is how I come up with most of my topics.

As you may already know, I have weird hearing issues. I have been told — not by doctors — that I probably have misophonia and auditory processing disorder. Now, I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s possible. Neither are related other than they involve sound and hearing — I mean, I’m assuming that they aren’t related. Who knows?

So, if you know me, you know I HATE noise. Certain noises can send me into a rage. When I was younger, it was pretty much any loud noise that would make me at least a little angry. Now, it’s just unnecessary or inconsiderate noise that bothers me.

This is me. I relate to the Grinch SO MUCH.

The one noise that bothers me more than anything else is loud bass. I do not understand why people decide that it’s totally fine to blast their music so loudly that everyone within a 5-mile radius can hear it. If you do this, stop. Just stop. No one thinks you’re cool. Congratulations, you blasted your music at 3 a.m. (or whenever) and woke up everyone in the neighborhood, including the baby that the parents just spent three hours try to get to sleep. Or the person with a migraine. Or the person with insomnia who finally fell asleep after a week of sleepless nights. Or you’re just annoying the person who is trying to watch a movie. Absolutely no one wants to hear your music. NO ONE. Grow up.

The other noise that drives me crazy is barking dogs. We have a neighbor who lets their dog bark for hours and hours and hours and hours. I just want to sit outside and enjoy the day. But I can’t because that dog won’t shut up. I feel really bad for their neighbors. They can’t even go in their own yard without having that dog bark at them. Why even have a dog if you’re not going to pay attention to it or train it to not bark or to only bark at trespassers? We have another neighbor with a dog that barks, but only at strangers, and then when the stranger is gone, it shuts up. That’s fine.

Photo by SplitShire on Pexels.com
I don’t hate dogs, by the way. I just hate terrible dog owners.

I had a neighbor at my house in Johnson City that would let their dogs bark all day and night. I lived in that house for five years, and I would go out in my own backyard and get barked at by five dogs. Every time. If you do this, you suck. Train your dogs. Pay attention to them. And don’t give me the “yeah, dogs bark” excuse. Sure, dogs bark. And I expect to hear them now and then. But to let your dog bark incessantly, that’s just being a crap neighbor and terrible pet owner.

Now, I don’t want people thinking I go into a murderous rage every time I hear a dog bark or bass music. I do feel the rage — oh man, believe me — but I can control myself. I just wanted to kind of explain to folks who know me why I can get irritable, moody and snappy sometimes because of noise. It’s weird, but so is my brain. I hate that I get that way.

Now, as for the auditory processing disorder, that also sucks. I can hear that someone is speaking to me, but if I am not concentrating on them, it all comes into my head garbled — not unlike the adults’ voices in the Peanuts comic strip. Then my brain takes a moment and sorts it out, then I understand what’s being said. So, if you’ve ever been talking to me, then I say “What?” followed by an immediate response to whatever you said, that’s just my brain delay.

I have a difficult time talking on phone because of this. When I’m in person, I actually watch people’s lips to figure out what they’re saying. (I can’t read lips; I still need to hear the person.) But on the phone, it’s so difficult to hear. I really hate having to say “What?” every three seconds. When I am on the phone, I close my eyes and just concentrate on the voice. That’s all I can really do. Doing that works probably 95 percent of the time, but it is frustrating that my hearing is like that.

If you’re talking to me on the phone, there is a 95 percent chance I look like this.

I also super prefer email or texting for communicating. The chances of miscommunication are greatly reduced. I can type up exactly what I want to say, I can read exactly what the other person says and I can store that communication for future reference. The main flaw with that, of course, is that things can be misinterpreted — as in, a joke may miss the mark and get taken seriously instead. But I least I know what the heck the other person is trying to tell me. (Not that I don’t enjoy a phone conversation. I do. I just always feel annoying having to say “What?” all the dang time.)

I also have closed captioning on my TV and turn it on for videos on YouTube, etc. I would not be able to watch anything without it. Honestly, though, I recommend it. Sometimes the closed captioning picks up things that are difficult to hear for anyone. And the descriptions for noises can be kind of hilarious sometimes. It works really well for movies with characters who have strong accents, too.

And man oh man, if there’s another noise going on when someone is talking, I 100 percent did not hear them. Talking to me with the TV on? Nope. Mute, please. Talking to me when someone else is talking to me? Now I can’t understand either of you. Talking to me in the car with the radio on? Nope. Try again. Ugh, it’s SO FRUSTRATING.

Anyway, so if you’re talking with me, and I say “What?” a lot, just know that I am listening. I just have weird hearing that makes it seem like I’m not. And apologies for being the way I am with noise. If I could turn off that switch, you better believe I would.

Until next time!

The Frazzled Daisy

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