I have since my teens felt like a misfit in society. My growing intolerance of crowds, traffic, noises and children leaves me invariably pondering why I was put on this earth. I seem to lack that filter others possess which often results in me offending people. Humans do weird things I cannot comprehend like eating animal corpses, and taking delight in the hideous high pitched noises emanating from their offspring.
The misunderstood misery of misophonia!
When my brain gets overloaded and my ears need a break from my noise cancelling headphones I escape my suburban prison and seek refuge in the bush. Whether it be swimming in the Grose River or hiking to a waterfall in the Blue Mountains, I find solitude in nature. The farther away from people the better. My favourite place is my secret spot in the Wollemi, an abandoned Christian camp many km’s down a dirt track where I have never encountered another human being. I sleep in my car here for days with only a book for company. Going barefoot, getting filthy dirty and covered in insect bites makes it all the more primal.
People ask me “Aren’t you scared out there all alone?” No… I’m scared of the police, of losing my mind, of being scheduled – being alone in nature is not scary, it is exhilarating!
Recently I read Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career. It was an epiphany – Sybylla Melvyn is me! I am her! Sybylla’s abhorrence at the idea of marriage, feeling trapped, her love of the Australian bush and her passion for reading, it was as if Miles Franklin had written this character for me, as if she understood me. I wonder how Sybylla would cope in today’s mad world. I think like me she would go a little bit nuts.
120 years ago a 19 year old woman from Goulburn wrote a book that has enraptured me heart and soul. That is the power of literature.