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Before we knew what Misophonia was…

I wrote this a few years ago. Now that we understand Misophonia things are much better. We had a miserable couple of years trying to figure it all out, though. Don’t give up! What helped our family the most was home-schooling to minimize triggers, a set of common sense rules at home to help everyone be considerate of each other, and medication.


My child in tears – “Mom, please help me feel happier in school as soon as you possibly can, because I’m afraid I’ll have that nightmare again if you don’t. I dreamt that I was at school, and nobody else was there. There were no teachers anywhere, and you weren’t even there, mom. I was all alone, and there were warning signs everywhere, and it was so scary.”

“Mom, I’m afraid you won’t love me anymore.”

“I will always love you, no matter what.”

“Would you love me even if I poked your eye out?”

“Yes, I would love you if you poked my eye out. Please don’t poke my eye out, though, because that would really hurt me.”

“Would J still love me if I poked her eye out?”

“Yes. Are you saying this because you might accidentally poke someone’s eye out, or do you mean that sometimes you get so angry and upset that you want to hurt someone?”

“Sometimes I get so angry that I want to hurt someone.”

“And you can’t control it…”

“No, I can’t control it… and that makes me so sad.”

“When you get angry, is it because you’re scared?”

“Yes, really scared. And then I’m scared that I’m angry that I’m scared that I’m angry…”

“It’s okay, sweetie. I understand.”

“Mom, I’m afraid you won’t love me anymore.”

“I will always love you, Reed. Nothing you could do would ever change that. I’m going to try to help you so that you’re not so scared all the time. Do you think you’re more scared this year than you were last year?”


Field notes on pollination

Pollen is a fence crossed with impunity

Spicebush: pollinated by beetles. Amazonian water lilies: pollinated by beetles

Pollen’s in the bloom, the bee’s in the flower. Fruit’s in the bee. Fly’s in the skunk cabbage

Carrion or feces-like flowers: pollinated by flies

Pollen is a moat encircling the oak; its pools hang vernal at the hammock’s base; yellow presses white stars and bleeding hearts from the sap and rove beetle’s mess and soil bowers

Redolent flowers: pollinated by moths. Pale night bloomers: pollinated by moths. Sacred daturn: pollinated by moths

Male and female meadow rue keep separate houses. Dust gusts from the window of one across the floor of the other

Meadow rue: wind pollinated

Of sixty-four bumble bees observed on goldenrod, sixty-three visit goldenrod next, and one visits purple aster next. Of thirty bumble bees observed on aster, twenty four visit aster next, and six visit goldenrod next

Tubular flowers: pollinated by butterflies. Proboscis can reach into tube

Pollen does not have six fingers; it does not have six legs

Musky flowers: pollinated by bats

Self-pollination is avoided: a plant may form male and female apart in space or time; a plant may open but one flower a day; pollen may not grow on its source flower; pollen may grow on its source flower, but more slowly

Indonesian dipterocarp rainforest canopy trees: thrip pollinated

Six-thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight bees on four-hundred and sixty-two jewelweed plants become increasingly efficient at handling the flowers from the first to the one-hundred fiftieth flower

Figwort, milkweed: pollinated by wasps. Orchids impersonating female wasps: pollinated by wasps

In matters of pollination, the bee follows the hive’s opinions; the primrose follows her own

Orchids in Wisconsin peat bogs: pollinated by mosquitos

Foreign pollen may clog the plant’s stigma so that pollen from its own species can not germinate

Flowers with landing platforms: pollinated by bees. Flowers with guide marks: pollinated by bees. Blue, yellow, purple, pink flowers: pollinated by bees. Silverweed, beach pea, wrinkled rose: pollinated by bees. Loosestrife, lupine, bee balm, lobelia: pollinated by bees

The matted spurge: bees

Pollen avalanches down the slope and into the damp woods, obliterating rubble, stumps and duff with nodding, six-parted flowers

a Question Mark

a Question Mark at rest holds wings at an angle

eggs occur in a curved hanging chain

pupa hook on the page

black and lilac lines scribble across a costal margin

under wing’s silver semi-colon;

question marking center

A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf

Cypress swamps the root lagoon I serge across

rock moss-dressed, a stone in sheep’s clothing

pleated trunks taste salt flood in sedge selvage

dark water cuts a stark pattern

vines baste the sand gap

heaps of sequin shells gleam

a hem splash pressed through the spool tangled smilax

glossy in an edged pool, nap of half-opened clams ease like glass strangers

the tropic light threads pine needles

strange winds whip stitch a stone pillow tucked in the fallow sown oxbow

The world as seen from the world

I want to lie down in violets

I want the sum of sorrel twinge on tongue-tip

I want goldenseal and capsicum

Not pollination by deception, no

I want the wasp to mate at the wasp’s pace

Let yellow dust cover the bat’s face

What happens when black is subtracted?

What happens to the rodent’s cache?

I want sand to fracture ever smaller

I want a cloudless sulfur

I want bitterbrush

I want the thrush

Monarch Transformation

8x speed from caterpillar to chrysalis
— Read on

Misophonia Can Be Triggered by Specific Words

Me to drive-through server: “I’d like the lemon cloud, the sugar top muffin, and a decaf iced latte.”

From the back seat: “MAMA! Please don’t say that word, latte!”
Me: “OK, I’ll try not to say it again.”

Seconds later, server comes back: “Did you say LATTE, or MOCHA?”
Me: “Uh…the first one.”
Server: “Oh, sorry, I thought you said LATTE, then I wasn’t sure.”
Server: “OK, your LATTE will be ready in a minute!”

From the back seat: “MAMA! I just hate that word LATTE!”
Me: “Sorry! I tried really hard…”

Server comes back: “Here’s your LATTE!”

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