I’m sensitive to sound after a short career in the military.
Hearing artillery strikes and IUDs going off with the implied threat of existential harm was too much for my mind.
I don’t like loud noises, especially ones that are unexpected or frightening. Machine noises are even worse for some reason. It’s the uncanny association with past memories that stirs my sense of dread faster than other sounds of the same decibel level. For instance, I’m not bothered so much by the sounds of crowds, crying babies, or noisy pets, as none of these serve as triggers for my PTSD symptoms. Sadly, it can be something as trivial as a rattling in my microwave while the dish is spinning and I can go from feeling good to having an anxiety attack in a matter of seconds. It’s nearly as instantaneous as flipping on a light switch. Recently it has been my window air conditioner that has been giving me troubles. It makes a loud metallic oscillation noise whenever the machine is cycling, regardless of how hard I’m running it throughout the day. The sound comes and goes as well, making it impossible to ignore. I think if it was constant, my brain would eventually lose the ability to register it altogether; but its constant exit and re-entrance into my train of thought is what gives it an unmistakably eerie quality. I realized that the only solution to this problem would be getting the machine repaired, but the HVAC company I called told me it would be cheaper to buy a brand new window air conditioner rather than taking it apart and trying to fix the noise problem as it could result from a number of different causes.