Sound-emotion synesthesia (?)

I’ve had misophonia for a long time. Some of my earliest memories involve being unable to regulate my rage at eating noises.

I’ve also been incredibly overwhelmed – emotionally – by certain types of music for as long as I can remember. There have always been certain songs that would quickly and unfailingly drive me to tears. Body-wracking sobs. They trigger thoughts about life and death and what I might be be thinking about in my last moments – all tinted by a feeling of melancholy and nostalgia for a future I haven’t seen yet. And I can’t control it. I’ve had to ask people to skip a song and then watch their confusion as I try to explain why I can’t listen to it. I’ve had to sprint out of public spaces to stop myself from bursting into tears.

A couple of days ago, Jesse put on Explosions In The Sky, and within seconds I was curled up in a ball sobbing. Post-rock seems to always get me. Sigur Ros always, always, always gets me. A lot of classical music does, too. Radiohead occasionally nails me to the wall.

Recently, Jesse has suggested that the misophonia and my uncontrollable emotional volatility when it comes to music might be linked, and might be a kind of sound-emotion synesthesia. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. It’s not just negative, either: there are also songs that can change my day from a bad one into a great one, just by – somehow – resetting something in my brain. It’s not just a gentle mood change, either. These songs completely alter something inside my head. (To be clear, most music is neutral. Not every song gives me an emotional reaction.)

Like I said, I have no control over it, but I’ve had to stop listening to certain genres or artists because I just can’t be the person that starts bawling at random intervals during the day, regardless of how much I love that particular song. Which is kind of sad in itself, because the stuff that makes me cry is often the most beautiful.