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intense sensitivity to sound

Last night I was around music that was so overwhelming it made us all jump right out of our seats at one point. It was part of a two hour performance. The sounds were necessarily overwhelming for what they were trying to achieve and largely dissonant and disorienting. It very effectively gave me a glimpse into what it might be to have intense sensitivity to sound that some with ASD have – the whole point. ¬†After the show I needed to go sit in a dark place alone for a while. I didn’t understand how others could mingle around and chat and drink their wine.

The way to make me instantly crazy? Turn the TV on, loud, and then try to have a conversation with me. Poor Nonna. I always shut off her Italian soaps at dinner.

Photo on 2010-06-12 at 20.42 #3

Today my ears are still sore. Isn’t that funny? They ring. They hurt. I’ve craved quiet all day and have turned off any sound that is unnecessary.

I’ve always been sensitive to sounds. Have you? I remember as a kid just loving it when friends or cousins would come over but invariably after a couple of hours I’d find an excuse to hide away downstairs, outside, or sit in a dark closet for half an hour. Sometimes I would walk away from a loud board game just so I could stop the noise. Stop STOP STOP it. My poor playmates didn’t understand. They figured I was being pissy. And sure, I was. I was the oldest after all. But it was also the noise.

The most frightening moments of my life were all things I could hear but could not see.

And beautiful soothing sounds? Heaven. Almost as good as silence.

I’ve dated a wide variety of people, but one consistent trait is – they all have blue ribbon vocal cords. I have excellent taste when it comes to voices. A nasally snorter doesn’t have a chance with me. Sorry!

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2 comments

  1. Alison Matthews

    Yes indeedy, Lucia!

    I am commenting here in particular because I share your sound sensitivity (and you’re so right, it’s physical, emotional…everything), but watch out ’cause I could easily comment after almost every story.

    Don’t mean to presume, and expect you’ve heard this a hundred times, but why couldn’t these be gathered into a collection and published? Have you read Pam Houston’s ‘Contents May Have Shifted’? Like that. If you did, I would buy many copies and give them to all my friends and relatives.

    Yeah, I know, there’s no money in being an author. But there is infamy, which can have its uses. And you are very, very good.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      Alison! Thank you so much! I do hope to collect and publish one day…absolutely. This site is a great spiritual exercise for me but also good practice writing fiction. I really appreciate your encouragement and thank you for reading, I’m tickled! xo

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