The introduction of our Sound Champion e-course has been posted as 5 blogs to give you an impression on what the e-course is about. You can purchase the e-course in our SHOP. Buy it once, it’s forever yours!
This is part 1 out of 5. Introduction of our Sound Champion E-course.
First of all, we want to express our gratitude and thank you for being here. Before we begin the Sound Champion Course, we’d like to introduce Marianne, our driving force, to you and share her personal story with you:
Well. This is it: most of the ‘normal’ impulses and sounds in the world trigger me.
“My name is Marianne de Kuyper and in 2015 I went to see a therapist, since it seemed almost impossible for me to go to a café, eat in a restaurant, go see a film, follow a class, do a training of some sort, keep a job or even stay in a friendship. Let alone building a loving relationship with myself and or my partner. Even that seemed difficult at times. What was going on?
Impulses and sounds
The question I was asking myself was: “Why is it so difficult for me?”. Apparently, others seemed to function pretty normally and seemed to be doing fine. Apart from feeling numb, anxious and depressed, the ‘Why’ question was my main goal to start therapy. By talking to the therapist during weekly sessions for two whole years I learned that I often changed studies, jobs, friends and in the past partners too, because I was angry at the world. Now why was I so angry?
Run, hide, freeze
Well. This is it: most of the ‘normal’ impulses and sounds in the world trigger me. People are everywhere. Sounds are everywhere. And impulses and sounds that trigger me are thus everywhere. The worst part is; I can’t get away from it!
THAT, … I can tell you gives a lot of frustration and constant stress.
So, what do we people do when we can’t take ‘it’ any longer? We run. We hide. We freeze. Me too. I just wanted to get away from it. From the people. From the impulses. From the sounds.
My strategy thus became fight it.
If that didn’t work: run.
If that even failed: freeze.
Allergic to sounds
I was thus giving angry looks at people out on the street, I thought my boss was stupid, the neighbour an absolute idiot and at times I got upset with my partner too. Why? Because he knew what was ‘wrong’ with me. When even he couldn’t take into account that I’m allergic to certain sounds then what do I do? I thus realized in therapy that I was often very angry at the world. It felt like the world again and again didn’t take into account my need for silence and for that I was sometimes furious. And it made me dead tired. I just wanted and still want the sounds to stop!
Finding out that I suffer from Selective Sound Sensitivity (Misophonia) was a relief in the sense that it now had a name. It was now identified, so it also meant I could do something about it. And I did. On top of being allergic to certain sounds, I am also highly sensitive (HSP). I can tell you … this isn’t exactly a joyride in a world full of impulses and sounds.
And then we are only speaking about the softer human sounds that I am troubled by. I haven’t even started speaking about the extrovert focused society and all of the sound pollution that is everywhere. I do believe that ‘silence’ is going to be a luxury good in the near future, but that’s a whole other story.
My sound story
Back to ‘my’ sound story. I know that most people aren’t bothered by impulses and sounds as much as I am. I am so bothered by it that I now realize that it must have been impossible for me to function at all at primary- and secondary and even when I was doing my higher vocational studies. No wonder I don’t remember anything from what they were trying to teach me at school or at any job that I’ve had. I was busy fighting, running and hiding instead.
Just get over it!
It basically doesn’t matter where I am; impulses and sounds that trigger my automatic nervous system are everywhere. And for me these sounds feel like there is a lion in the room. I’m basically under stress the whole day, and even at night I sleep lightly and wake up easily by the smallest sounds. I’d like to emphasize ‘automatic’, because I can’t help the response my nervous system gives me; it is automatic! So, advice like “Just get over it!” doesn’t work for me. My brain is wired differently and the amygdala in my brain just fires when it hears, sees, smells and/or feels triggering impulses and sounds. Perhaps it got trained to do that, and it can be ‘untrained’, but we will look at that on the course!
What did I do? I stayed in therapy for 2 whole years. Added a group therapy to it for about 12 weeks. Only having my kind of brain, impulses and sounds will always be a challenge. And since there is no cure yet, I decided it is time to educate myself and others more about what Selective Sound Sensitivity (Misophonia) is and find ways to deal with them in the best possible way.
That’s is why I’d love to guide you on the topic of impulses and sounds to show what can possibly be done to feel less angry, less triggered and less tired and to be less allergic to certain triggers. And since the most recurring theme in my life is teaching, I figured it was time to write this Sound Champion course. This way I can share with you all that I’ve learned about living and dealing with sound allergy. And I am happy I did write it all down and I am eager to share it with you.
How can I support you?
What is my personal background and how can I support you? Teaching is the most consistent theme through my life. I have a background in Communication on Strategic Change Management, I have taught English to (young) adults, I have written English language course materials and I worked as a school guidance counsellor for several years. I also have been teaching Yoga since 2010 and I have (co-) founded several Yoga related online platforms.
On top of that I took the necessary steps to grow as a person, to reach a place of more acceptance and kindness towards my highly sensitive nature and my selective sound sensitivity; which often made me feel I didn’t quite fit in. Therapy, coaching, courses and self-help books definitely helped me cultivate more and more self-love, self-acceptance and courage to deal with my personal challenges. And are helping me up to this day and forward.
My personal process of coaching and personal development started when I was 20 years old. Twenty-two years later, I know what it feels like to be coached and to have therapy. I am also being coached at the moment and I see it as an ongoing and very important process to keep on growing as a person. I have followed cognitive therapy, psychotherapy, hapto-therapy (‘Haptonomie’ in Dutch) and speech therapy.
Regarding sounds, I believe I can help you based on my personal experiences and therapies that I have followed. Like I shared with you before, I attended Group Therapy at the Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC) for my Selective Sound Sensitivity (Misophonia) and I had individual weekly therapy sessions with a psychologist for two whole years to learn how to deal with it in day to day life.
Last, but not least. What makes my approach special? It is a unique approach simply because it is mine. We are all unique and we all have our own path to follow. The exercises that I will be sharing with you, were given to me by several therapists and I have been fine-tuning it over the last couple of years. I made it mine and turned it into my own unique method. It has worked for me and I hope it will work for you!”
We hope you will love and embrace the process of changing your view on impulses and sounds and that the Sound Champion Course will be very beneficial!
With love and care,
Marianne and the team
Important message from the team to you. We will help you the best way we can. If, however you feel that you need to stop with the exercises as even thinking about it is making you feel uncomfortable and stressed, please stop. Perhaps consider looking at your Sound Sensitivity with somebody who you trust and feel safe with, perhaps even a professional therapist. We would you like to feel supported and not challenged any further, so please do stop when looking at your Sound Sensitivity via this e-course doesn’t work for you. Do reach out to us here too in case we can be of any help!
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// I, Marianne (founder) am a Dutch girl going global. Even though (the team and) I reread everything multiple times, my apologies in case I’ve made a language mistake somewhere. Just e-mail me about it. I’ll be happy to adjust it if I can and learn from it! //