Written by Dr. Richard O. Williams‘ daughter Noi Williams
Throughout my life, I have always been hypersensitive to many different sounds around me, especially loud noises such as banging or crackling sounds. An example is the crunchy sound of foods like potato chips and toast because the sound resonates in my ears each time I chew. Another example is getting startled when I suddenly hear a bang in a room or even outside.
In the past, it was frequently difficult for me to work in the classroom at school because of all the noisy distractions such as other students making noises or yelling and whatever else was going on. I also used to be terrified of extremely loud sounds such as bangs of low flying fighter jets. I used to react by covering my ears and hiding in another room. Another difficulty with handling noises is that I often can’t tolerate loud music in any room or public venues. I don’t overly enjoy going to rock concerts because of the very loud speakers. I also can’t stand being in a car full of people turning the music up on high volume.
I work at 2 different restaurants where one work setting is much louder than the other is. I find that the restaurant where it’s nosier is at times more difficult for me to concentrate on what I’m doing because of all the chattering, banging of many dishes, loud distractions around me. It’s especially hard for me to work in the tiny kitchen because of the sounds of pots and pans and the cooks talking loudly when giving orders. I sometimes have to quickly go outside for a second to get some fresh air to get away from all the noise. I believe that the reason this restaurant is louder than the other restaurant is because this one has no carpeted flooring as does the other one. The louder restaurant is all wood floors and more crowded where all the tables are too close together. On some occasions, I even get distracted from hearing customers conversations and some asking me to do things for them. The other restaurant has all carpets that help absorb any loud sounds and has the tables spread out more. The kitchen there is also much quieter than the other one.
Now that I have lived in many places, I would never prefer to live in a city because of all the noise of the traffic and sirens such as New York City. I do enjoy visiting there but only for about a week. Luckily, I don’t have to live in a community where it is right next to a city hearing all the noise of traffic. Overall, I’m slowly getting used to loud sounds around me since I work in a noisy environment 3 days a week.
Noi’s Story – Sensitivity to Noises