Although I was born the third of a three children, I grew up as an only child by adoption. Also being socially awkward, I didn’t have a huge number of friends as a child or an adult, and as a result, spent my share of time relatively alone. The only time I like loud noise is in the truck on a sunny day with “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring blaring, or Saturday nights at the dirt track in Lebanon. Chaos can get overwhelming quickly.
I value times of quiet and peace. Unfortunately, for me, silence does not exist. I suffer from tinnitus, commonly known as ringing in the ears, largely due to those Saturday nights at the dirt track without ear plugs and the aforementioned 80’s music. If I list closely, I can hear three distinctly different tones; high, middle, and one in between. If I could get a bass tone going, I could have a quartet.
I can generally ignore it, but it’s never not there. If I think about it, I can hear it even above normal conversation. It’s not so bad that it interferes with life, usually, but I’ve already noticed a marked drop off in my hearing. It makes it difficult to pick up conversation if there’s a lot of background noise. I find myself looking right at someone, watching their mouth move but having no idea what they’re saying.
The worst part is, despite the advertised “miracle cures,” there’s really nothing that can be done about it. If you concentrate on hearing it, it’ll drive you insane. The only consistent relief to be found is to drown it out with background noise. My preference is rainfall rather than pure white noise. A fan works pretty good, too. But for the most part, you just have to live with it and try not to think about it.