Socially Unacceptable Post 13: Headphones

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. – Maya Angelou

Sometimes the noise becomes too much. The voices scream into my ears and I bury my head in my pillow. I cry.

I pull out my headphones.

Fumble with the buttons. They take a precious few seconds to sync with my computer.


When people hear that I listen to music to deal with symptoms, they seem to think it has a calming effect. It does not.

I use it to force my brain to become so overwhelmed that it shuts down.

I turn the volume to 50%. Not enough. I need more.

60%. 75%. 90%. My ears hurt now. I get dizzy from the overwhelming voices shrieking over the music. 100%.

Not enough. There are two volume bars. I turn the other one up. 15%. 20%. My family can hear my music downstairs. They don’t even realize these are in my sound canceling $100 headphones.


I text my girlfriend.


She finds out I am struggling.


She calls me, but I can’t hear the ring, just see the notification.


I stare at the call and pick up. I take the headphones off. I put the music on low.

Marie says I need new headphones, ones that will stop at a healthy volume. She’s not wrong. I will destroy my own hearing at this rate, trying to drown the voices that abuse me.

Post 13 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.

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