Carson - Journey from childhood to college with accommodations.

S1 E22 - 4/8/2020
This episode features Carson, a sophomore architecture student in New York City, discussing his journey with misophonia starting from childhood in Nebraska to navigating academic settings with the condition. Adeel and Carson explore the early symptoms Carson experienced, familial reactions, and the pivotal moments of understanding and accepting misophonia. Emphasizing the importance of accommodations in school under the ADA, Carson illustrates how obtaining an accommodation report has been crucial for his educational success. The conversation also delves into coping mechanisms for dealing with triggers in various settings, Carson's self-research leading to self-diagnosis, the family's eventual acceptance, and how holidays are navigated. Carson shares his ambitions in architecture, considering work environments that would be more suitable for someone with misophonia. He ends by offering advice on seeking accommodations and not fearing judgment for one's needs.


Adeel [0:02]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. This is episode 22. My name is Adeel Ma and I have Misophonia. This week I'm bringing a conversation with Carson, a sophomore studying architecture in New York City. We talk about growing up in Nebraska and how his family members reacted to his misophonia, something he remembers from the age of five. There were some dramatic moments along the way before the family started to learn that misophonia is real, and we talk about if and how people started to react differently. I think Carson also uses the ADA, the American Disabilities Act, really effectively for getting accommodations at his school. And I think this will be a really interesting chat for people who have been asking about disability accommodations at school and at work. Lately, it feels kind of like, you know, we've all got some kind of disability. We're stuck at home, which is sometimes a blessing, but also can be a claustrophobic, misophonic nightmare. I'm curious how you're all coping with things. I'm fortunate to be familiar with working from home, so I have the routine and the space and the gear to make this a relatively easy transition. And spending less time in restaurants and grocery stores and tedious conversations with strangers at social events is all not a bad thing. But if you have experiences you want to share, please hit me up on our social channels. That's at Missiphonia Podcast on Instagram or Facebook. Also at Missiphonia Show on Twitter. Anyways, for now, find a quiet spot in your shelter and listen to this chat with Carson. Well, Carson, welcome, uh, welcome to the, uh, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here. Yeah. Thanks for having me. So, um, yeah, as a kind of become traditional, like to kind of ask where, where people are from, um, whereabouts are you? Um, I'm from New York. I'm in New York city, but I'm from Nebraska. Oh, gotcha. Okay, cool. And, um, in you, what are you doing in New York? You're a school working. Yeah. Right now I'm studying to be an architectural designer. So I'm in my undergrad at the moment. Oh, gotcha. Okay. How long have you been in New York then? You just kind of, you're a freshman there? No, I'm a sophomore at the moment, but I've been in and out, you know, for the past 10 years. So I'm kind of comfortable with the city. Oh, got it. In and out for the past 10 years. Okay, cool. And how do you, did you, do you like it kind of on a, you know, New York's a big city. I'm assuming you know that obviously a lot of it's pretty loud. Have you kind of dealt with it or you kind of like that environment? Yeah, I'm constantly wearing earbuds. Really? Like on the subway, you know, going around the city and stuff. I try to, you know, when I'm walking, I try to not have earbuds in. But there's always that occasional dude who's just walking behind me and he's like constantly sniffing, especially like during the wintertime. It kind of gets annoying. I mean, outside you can obviously, you know, run away as fast as you can. But in school and in a lecture class environment, it's got to be kind of rough sometimes. Yeah. So for my school, the architectural design, the kind of curriculum is a little different than like a traditional college in that sense of like everything's lectures. I do have one class that is a lecture and that would be like a history class. That one is just unbearable. I've kind of barely been able to like you know, get information from it. But more of my important classes are like studio classes. I'm with like a smaller group of people that kind of like limits sound to a degree. And I'm also able to focus because it's more work time than actual teaching time. So that's the good thing about the school I'm in. There's also accommodation. I'm able to get like an accommodation report that's sent out to the teachers and stuff so that they understand I'm wearing earbuds for a reason, not just jamming out the music. Yeah, so normally they wouldn't allow you to wear anything or was it just kind of like to kind of preemptively address that? I think some teachers are more strict than others. If I didn't have the report, I think some would be okay. They don't really care. But it's just a good thing to have for those strict teachers who just are so adamant about you listening to every second of it. Yeah. Are people eating and stuff? Yeah, most definitely people are eating. I just put my earbuds in every time that happens. But it also helps me to focus during class because my group is like a huge chatterbox and it kind of distracts people so much. I kind of want to put earbuds in so I can focus on my work and not spend so much time talking with them. And where did you get the report from? From a doctor? uh yes so well i have a history of like within the schooling system of always having a um accommodations for that um so lincoln high school i always had i had accommodations for the teachers so you're able to have that on your record also with the therapists are able to confirm certain aspects about the disorder and then kind of combine that as like an overall history that can be sent to the college for them to confirm it for you Got it. So since high school, it's specifically been about misophonia or was it initially something more popular, quote unquote? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was always about misophonia. Yeah. Like I've yeah, I've been pretty aware of it even since I was pretty young, like before I even knew what it was. I had an idea.

Carson [5:39]: Yeah.

Adeel [5:40]: Even my my mom did. Like we all had an idea that something wasn't necessarily normal. So how long ago was that then that problems were happening? Probably when I was like five years old. I've always been like a sensitive child, according to my mom, where certain things like textures to sounds were always bothering me. When I was younger, I would always... not wear socks because I didn't like the feeling of the socks suffocating my feet, kind of like that. I was sensitive to my senses in general. Oh, got it. And did the doctors or therapists put a name to any, like the others? Like it sounds like a more, did they give you like a, I don't know, I actually don't know all the terminology, but for a sensory, any other sensory processing disorders that they brought up or was it specific, mainly about misophilia? Not until recently. There's like not like an official diagnosis for misophonia. I'm kind of like categorized within the OCD category. Also with anxiety. Yeah. Yeah. Gotcha. Okay. And then, yeah. So, so, wow. Since, so since five, was it, was it just you and your parents are kind of like sense something since sensed something on your own since five years old or, and it kind of, what did you, what did you do until you went to school? went to i guess mentioned to a doctor yeah well at the beginning it was kind of not as intense as it is today i would say like during uh puberty is when it like really got intense uh but there was always like those uh that one person that always uh kind of triggered a response yeah that was usually like my younger sister um she was uh like my earliest memory was like being in a car through and she was like chewing gum and i did not like that um but that was your younger sister yeah yeah okay but going forward it's um we had like a different kind of people have had different types of responses uh regarding uh what i had they they usually thought oh you're going to grow out of it it's a phase you're being overly sensitive or you're making up in general for attention um that that definitely happened within my family where you had my like two spheres like one sphere is my mom who's like kind of somewhat, you know, supportive, but also kind of annoyed by it as well, because it is kind of frustrating to deal with a child who is constantly, you know, yelling at why you're making a certain sounds like that makes no sense. And then, which I understand while the other spheres, like my dad, my grandma and other family members who kind of thought I was making it up at the first, um, at the, when I was younger, like around five till 10, Once I got an official description of what it was with a word, it convinced my dad a bit more. Nowadays, he's a lot more understanding. We have very in-depth talks about the psychology behind dealing with misophonia. Sometimes he even leads the fights, as parents do. Oh, between your parents? No, just me and my dad. Oh, okay, okay, okay. But I thought he was supportive. Is it just kind of you guys are kind of... He's trying to offer maybe... Is he trying to offer ways to cope and you're like, eh, dude, it doesn't work that way? Yeah, it's kind of like that. It's also like basically he doesn't want me to deal with such a burden. So he's kind of like... There has to be a way for you to not deal with this or for you to be able to overcome it. That's kind of what he was saying. For me, it's like impossible to think of a world where I don't have misophonia. So it's kind of hard to deal with those arguments and I kind of get a little annoyed with them. Yeah, I mean, it's a whole filter on our lives and it's hard to see the world without it, which is not what the other side, I guess, thinks. But I guess, you know, parents kind of want to see you succeed, I would imagine. And they wish, yeah, they want to remove as many burns as possible, but it's not that easy. Right. So between 5 and 10, okay, yeah, you were noticing, obviously, annoyances, puberty hit, body's changing like crazy. Very common, as I'm sure you know, that misophonia kicks in. Was it affecting your school at that point, or was it like, okay, I'm noticing some of these issues? Yeah. For me, the last three years of high school was probably the roughest time I've had in my life. Um, but like starting in junior high, I would say it was starting to get a little more rougher. Uh, like the first year of junior high, I was around like seventh grade. Um, there, there was like sounds, but it was more isolated to family. Like the, the sphere of who was triggering me was enlarging within my family. So it wasn't just my sister anymore. It was my sister, my mom and my dad, um, while also my grandma, cause she lives with us. Um, And but going on into more like the end of junior high, it started to be people within the school, which was kind of alarming for me because I the main thing that came up was like a friendships and be, you know, just dealing with class in general.

Carson [11:13]: Yeah. Yeah.

Adeel [11:14]: So there's like this people who are loud at breathing or for. The most impactful experience was when we did like a school trip to go to DC and New York. And there's this one person, I didn't have earbuds back then. I didn't have the accommodation quite yet. And I also didn't know that was kind of an effective coping mechanism. So I was in the airplane and this person who's like, I don't know, a habitual sniffer. Their nose wasn't stuffy, but they still sniffed. They just did out of habit, I assume. Yeah. And they just kept doing it over and over again to the point where I was just going insane. I was just like plugging my ears and, you know, kind of like on a verge of, you know, breaking down while like the poor person sitting next to me was like, what the heck's happening to this guy? Yeah. Yeah. That was in junior high that you took that trip? Yeah. It was at the end of junior high. Okay. And then after that, that's when it like freshman year, I don't remember freshman year being that bad. I think it was just the luck with the classes I had. yeah but i do you know recognize that i was like certain sounds are making me annoyed but it was really sophomore year that i kind of just so far of high school yeah sophomore high school year just kind of got got really bad um compared to the previous experiences i had in my life so it was affecting so it was affecting grades um see I would have to be really resourceful with how I get the information. So I would, if there was a book or going after class to talk with the teacher, I do really well. I got really good at lip reading, stuff like that. So you'd have like, you'd blast music in your ears and be lip reading? yeah yeah that's amazing yeah yeah some some sometimes i can't get the teachers sometimes i like take a break like all right all right now it's my three minute window i can you know kind of deal with this before i go insane and then i can listen to what the teacher's saying so it's kind of like snippets ah yes yes yes but like certain speed reading yeah yeah but like certain classes that i wasn't so like um strong yeah interested in what to say um like like physics and uh psychology class like those were like they're intense um information that you would have to understand especially when it came to physics class because i was always in the back of the classroom because i was allowed with my accommodation to move my seating and i always have the earbuds in but it didn't matter because you know there's so much people just making sounds it's just overwhelming to a point where i couldn't even listen there's this funny story actually is um of a coping mechanism out of all this sniffing and all these sounds like that I would mock them and I know people do it maybe talking about that yeah I'd mock them to a degree where I'm so overdramatic that they understand that the sound is present so they get annoyed with it too and the teacher is walked out of the room and called me on the intercom to come into the principal's office. And he talked about me to stop sniffing. I was like, well, there's also other people, but I get it. It was just funny because I was a person who was always annoyed with sniffing. So you were, so you were, uh, you, you were like, uh, you weren't trying to make a big deal about it, but you were, you were mimicking to yourself kind of, uh, and then other people noticed that and then, okay, gotcha. Yeah. Yeah. That's hilarious. In a way that only a misophone could understand, probably. Yeah. Okay, so what were you listening to, by the way, while you were lip reading? I'm just curious. Was it white noise? Was it heavy metal? Kenny G? For me, white noise isn't really... you know work to a degree like it works when there's um not a lot of people sniffing because that that one's just such an intense i don't know frequency i guess yeah it just like goes through the barrier of white noise um for me it was mostly just metal because that was the loudest thing i could think of and now i'm kind of a metalhead because of that Cool, cool. Okay. So you, interesting, you had, so you had some creative ways of getting around, of getting through academically, whether it's lip reading, mimicking until you got sent to principal ops and various things like that. How did it affect friendships? Yeah. So I don't really have like a intense history of having friends, especially when I was younger, I only had like one and that one was like toxic to a degree. where you know we're off and on and i didn't really have a friend group until i was in like junior high um and i don't most of them don't know i have misophonia except for one person because they had to go they went on a trip with me and my family and they saw me acting weird around my family especially when it came to restaurants i had to tell them in that instance The thing is about friendship is like once you kind of tell someone, there's like this weird thing that happens when they look at you. It's kind of like they're always walking on eggshells. Eggshells, yeah. Yeah, I just don't, it becomes awkward. It's kind of like a glass wall where you can speak to them, talk to them, but you can't really like bond to them to an emotional degree that you can with someone else with misophonia. And they're always like, oh, did I make that sound? It's awkward for me because I was like, yeah, you made that sound, but I don't want you to make a big deal out of it to where it makes me feel weird because I feel it's not normal. Right, we just want to move on. We just don't want to hear it again. Yeah. We don't really want to shine a spotlight on it. Yeah, but some people who did find out... started to know about misophonia especially uh with me is they would like kind of jokingly kind of understand it like oh are you making something up or They would kind of like make the sound. Yeah. Like they didn't understand the full weight of what the disorder was. Right. Yeah. That's a common unfortunate reaction upon hearing about it. So you OK, so you sort of it became a barrier to kind of getting a lot of friends because you were probably you just don't have to deal with that. yeah especially when it comes to like social skills yeah like always having earbuds in kind of like limits you from people approaching you and also from you hearing social experiences gotcha so like i don't have like a really good mental catalog of social things to do so it's kind of hard for me to make friends or for friends to find me because I'm always isolating myself unintentionally because of the disorder. Right, right, right, right. And so now you're in New York. Have you been able to make more friends now that you're in university, well, college or whatever, and you're in the biggest city in the world, or at least in the United States? Has that kind of helped socially? Maybe have you, maybe actually have you met other misophones now that, you know, we're trying to get out there more. I don't think I've ever really met someone who has misophonia. Gotcha. But in New York, I've had good encounters, you know, with people. I do have people I talk with. New Yorkers have seen everything, so I would imagine that there's a lot of them who would not be too, you know, wouldn't be fazed by this. Yeah. It's different from Nebraska, I would imagine. Yeah, most definitely. Especially the culture of, like... Yeah. The culture of Nebraska is more like, oh, you're making it up for attention while in New York. It's probably more like... There's probably more to it than that. Or it's probably a macho thing in the Midwest. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Gotcha. Okay, so has New York been a little bit better for you? Is that one of the reasons why maybe you were attracted to living in New York? There's two reasons. B is... Or A is because... I wanted to kind of go into an architectural kind of sphere and then B because my sister lives up there. So it's kind of nice to my older sister, not my younger, but. Gotcha. Okay. Okay. Is your younger one still smacking gum and annoying you? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. She also has that plus like a visual trigger. Oh, gotcha. Okay, okay. But is that, I was kind of kidding, but in all seriousness, is that, is it still something that you kind of like think about when you're meeting with her and kind of affects your, how often you see her? I think she's gotten to a point where she's so good at not... triggering me using sounds um that it's not really a thing because i don't eat with them she her main thing with me is just eating um so that that she hasn't really been a problem for me actually it wasn't intentional on her part like she intentionally um makes an effort yeah like our our whole family is very aware of it now yeah especially uh out of the conflict the past six years you know there's been a lot of fights about about it a lot of you know outbreaks like there's like for example when i was like i think it was when my older sister was starting to go to um go to college and they did this like dinner thing um in like an italian restaurant somewhere in the main city in omaha um and I think they wanted me to eat with everyone because it's my sister's last meal with us. And, you know, we kind of want to socialize and say goodbye in a formal way. And, you know, that wasn't good for me. I like outbursted to a degree where I started, I spilt something on the table and I kind of drove a whole fiasco. And like, I would go and hide in the bathroom. And I still do that to this day, depending on how intense the, the room is and i would hide in that bathroom and my family didn't know where i was at i told them i'm going to the bathroom because i need to go to the bathroom but in reality i was just trying to hide um and then like i think my sister my she my older one went to the bathroom and she found me hiding like outside in the hallway and we just got into this like miniature fight to the point where she like she ended up like crying to my face because she didn't understand it um which is a kind of a a phenomenon within my family where people would cry to my face because it's so intense for them. I always ask, why are you crying? I should be crying because it's such an intense experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's, that's amazing. It does. Yeah. It's, it's, it's a tough thing. Yeah. I mean, it's a tough thing on both sides. How did you guys, how did you guys end that? Is it, is it, I mean, it seems like you're at least still seeing your, your sisters and stuff.

Carson [22:36]: Yeah.

Adeel [22:37]: And there seems to be a lot. What changed basically? So did something change in terms of their, their kind of effort level to accommodate with you or was that, was that maybe a watershed moment? I think it's recognizing as an actual thing. Yeah. There's science behind it, and that kind of enforces it. Also, they've dealt with it with so much that they know it's me and not something that they should be shaming me on. So that dinner was kind of earlier on in your... Okay, gotcha. I would say like mid-early, you know. It changed a lot more and more in the high school, especially we had more visits with therapists and, you know, officials and stuff like that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, that's great. I'm glad that, uh, yeah, I'm glad. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, some people, uh, lived with it for decades as, uh, you'll hear in some episodes. So it's, that's great that, uh, you, despite it, I don't know. Yeah. Years is a long time, but at least it seems to be people are, uh, at least your loved ones are, uh, becoming more accommodating and it's been uh easier to hang out with them going back to your school here are you did you say you were getting accommodations at uh at the at the college you're at now yeah so i i go through like the right the earpl uh you can wear earbuds or whatever yeah it's mostly with earbuds and being able to take breaks during class um so i go through like the disability um kind of, I don't know, administration.

Carson [24:10]: ADA?

Adeel [24:10]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Carson [24:11]: Okay.

Adeel [24:12]: And then basically I kind of reconfirm it each semester and then I send out a mass email to my professors to kind of let them know that I'm doing this and this is an actual thing and I'm not just, you know, making it up. So what do you mean you go through ADA? Is it through a therapist or is there an ADA like website you need to get, claim, I don't know, claim something, a report or whatever? At first, it was like the dude who ran it. And we had like a phone interview where we then faxed over all the actual information and history. And from there, each semester, I just go to their website and reconfirm it since I'm already on their record. Okay, so you, so just to kind of back, because I think a lot of people would be very interested in this, you being your, you and your family kind of uploaded your personal history to where, to your, somewhere at school or at the federal government? I think to the ADA office. Ah, okay. So we faxed it to them. The official, like, federal government ADA office? I think it was with the school one. With the school. Okay, I got it. The EDF school. Yeah, the specific school one. Gotcha. It really helps to have like a therapist who kind of like also has their own thoughts on it and their own diagnosis. So you can kind of combine those. It kind of like allows you to have the accommodation. Oh, right. Because you can't do it without, it is possible to do it without a therapist, I've heard. Yeah, I just didn't want to take any chances. I got declined. So this amazing therapist, is it something that you sought out because you knew that they were kind of on the forefront of misophonia research and accommodation or was it kind of coincidence? So my mom found them. It was the last two years of high school. She was looking for some people to kind of like help mediate the experience I have. So first she started with like an audiologist. to where they had kind of like an ear thing where that constantly plays white noise into you. That never really worked for me. So we kind of like moved on from that. And he recommended a therapist, which is a really good therapist within the OCD community in Omaha. So he kind of deals with people who, younger kids who have autism or OCD and anxiety disorders. And so he's more of a behavioral therapist, kind of like help you deal with that behavior and talk through certain intense emotional moments. That makes sense that, yeah, I mean, in the absence of any official recognition, that that would be kind of the closest thing. So have you been working with that same doctor or therapist since then? Yeah. Recently, I stopped going because I'm in New York now. Yeah, you're in New York now, yeah. Right. The last time I was with him was this summer because I was going back to Nebraska just for the summer. I won't be going back anymore, but he did give us a recommendation of someone who's within his same field in New York, but we've had some struggles with that because of insurance and stuff like that. Yeah. Yeah, I would imagine New York shouldn't be that hard to find somebody like that. So, yeah, what are your kind of, like, other mechanisms these days? Is it mainly the stuff in school, like putting earbuds on? And then, well, obviously, when you're walking around New York, are there any other, like, how about your living conditions, like at home? So I... Right now I live with like two roommates. So they're super quiet and really chill. So I lucked out because it was random. It was a random assignment based off a website. Dangerous. Dangerous. It is a little dangerous. But they're like super cool people where they're actually kind of very sensitive to their surroundings as well. So we kind of relate in that sense. But my other coping mechanisms is just basically earbuds, bathroom breaks, mocking, and then this weird one, which is basically just ones I had for my family because there's so much history regarding of how many times they've kind of triggered me. So I would have a flicking mechanism to... you know, I would flick their, their shoulder, for example. I was like, so for me it was like, I need revenge because they're making me feel bad. So I'm going to flick them in that kind of associated something within my brain to feel, okay, it has become equal. I'm, I don't have to freak out anymore. Yeah, so basically instead of punching them in the face kind of thing, it's like a flick where it's, and as long as they understand what the heck you're doing, or maybe they don't, but it's a more gentle way of your, yeah, signaling to your brain that you have control maybe of this situation or you have kind of pushed it away. Interesting. I've never heard that. And that kind of works. How did you discover that? You almost punched them in the face once and they moved and it turned into a flick and then you're like, oh, okay. No, no, no, no. Basically, there's this class in junior high that was talking about conditioning, classical conditioning, where I would use negative reinforcement to have someone stop a behavior. So I went to my grandma and I would flick her every time she sniffed. And I was trying to have like a negative reinforcement. All right, they don't like the flick. So that means over time they would stop doing it because they associate the flick with, you know, stuff like that. Overall, over time, it kind of like changed to more of like something that just released the stress within me because of the reasoning. It makes no sense. It's not supposed to make sense. It's completely abnormal in that sense. Well, something will make sense eventually. All we've got is a bunch of stuff that doesn't really make a lot of sense. And so maybe a little bit more about visual triggers. Is that something that also, I mean, I've heard that kind of creep up post-puberty with a lot of people. How is that evolution? So I think the first visual trigger can't really be relating to synesthesia, as that was called. Mico Kinesia, I believe. Mico Kinesia. Yeah, it's like movement, so movement, visual, yeah. Yeah, it's more of the appearance of bare feet for me was just like, I can't look at that. I think that's more of like an OCD thing than actual misophonia. But because I've kind of associated so much of... certain kind of moving of the jaw or the sniffing of the nose. Even if I have earbuds in, I just can't look at them doing those things because I've associated with that. It becomes unbearable to look at. So like in the subway, I'll see someone eating, I'll just close my eyes the entire subway ride. And that's kind of what I do to kind of cope with those types of visual triggers. Do we talk about when exactly and how you found out that there was a name? Was it that therapist that showed it to you or it was an internet search like a lot of people? I think what happened is my mom did a little search for herself, but she never told me. Crazy son. Yeah, crazy son who yells at you for eating. Keeps flicking my shoulder. But I think we both did our own search. I did my own search when I was like, I think it was the beginning of high school. It wasn't too long ago because you're, I mean, you're a sophomore in college. So, yeah, I mean, it's right around that time when everyone was finding all these articles written by the New York Times or Reader's Digest. I've heard everything. Yeah. I found the Misophonia website. Oh, there's been a few. Which one? Do you remember which one? I don't at the moment. I haven't been to it for a while. It was a misophonia website that kind of like had all the details around it. And I asked my mom, I think I have, you know, misophonia. And she was like, yeah, I know. I think you do too. I was like, oh, you know about it. She was like, yeah. She just never told me about it. We kind of came to a consensus based off of most of our research. So was that post the that around when was that like early, early high school? Yeah, I would say late, late junior high, early high school. Was it after that that dinner? Yeah, way after. Yeah. way after that dinner yeah i was like four or five years after okay wow so there was that four or five period where and it was just like you don't know what it was and yeah and it was clearly you know i'm sure there were other incidents maybe not quite that dramatic but uh or maybe so it's interesting it was more of like within my family's like carson needs to do his own thing have like for thanksgiving have him get make his plate and he can go upstairs and stuff like that And did you feel like, did you feel kind of good about that? Or was it, did you feel like there was, did you feel like it was, I'm sure they were not meaning to isolate you, but did you feel kind of isolated? It was more of my decision. Or was it kind of a relief? It was more of my decision to kind of leave. But, you know, on the other side, I kind of, you know, I wish I could socialize with family in those situations. I really don't know what, like, my extended family really thinks about it. The people, my cousins, my uncles, you know, people who see me kind of act out weird. Like to them, it seems completely foreign and kind of rude to act out the way I do, especially when it comes to dinners, especially with Thanksgiving. Like sometimes my grandpa would kind of get in an argument with my mom. About it? Yeah, about me not being downstairs and stuff. Oh, okay. So it's kind of been a whole... Recently, we just got into a consensus that this is what it is. This is what Carson needs to do, and we're okay with it. Yeah, let's not dwell on one person who's there kind of thing, especially if it's going to cause pain. And are you, Christmas is, well, I don't know when this is going to, this is probably not going to post for a while, but how are holidays this year? Let's talk about in general. And are you kind of like, is it getting better every year or people just kind of got used to it? I mean, it's kind of been the same the past three years. I just have my earbuds in when I'm with the larger family. But when it comes to smaller stuff, my family's gotten so good at not creating triggers that I'm able to kind of just chill out with them in certain instances. That's got to feel pretty good, right? Yeah. Also, I just don't want to force them to do that. Yes. But it's so normal for them now, so it's kind of too late. Well, that sounds very promising. Wow, that's probably going to be inspiring to a bunch of people. Yeah, it's been a real journey. Yeah, sounds like it. Tell me about what you're doing for school and what you want to do. I mean, you're still young. You probably have a sense of what kind of work environments are going to be better than others. Have you thought about what you want to do with the rest of your life? Yeah. I mean, I know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life since I was seven. So I've kind of been dedicated to that. that direction ever since. Like ever since I was seven years old, six, seven, I would play with the straws to build skyscrapers or take paper and build structural systems and just do that constantly. Also draw on the side and stuff like that. So I for sure want to be an architect. Right now, I'm just in my undergrad. I'm going to do my master's after that. But other than that, I also like I do illustration and just music as well. But the work environment I want to be in is kind of like a small firm. Yep. So we're not like the big corporations where you have like 30 people working on a project. I kind of want to do more. I think it's more special work when it's with someone. This is a small firm. They kind of do these kind of dedicated projects. meaningful projects other than the big budget ones that you see in corporations. Yeah, yeah. Have a smaller shop. That sounds great. And it's something that you can probably do. Yeah, just kind of concentrate quietly. It's very creative. You can go out and do photographs and sketches, I would imagine. You don't have to be in a giant open office. Yeah, and I can also logger down my career journey i could also create my own firm where it's just me yes like yeah that's an ideal you know situation for anyone with misophonia to just work by themselves That's what I do. I work from home and I'm recording this in the third floor attic of my house where I have my little home office. Do you have any parting words? Do you have any advice that you'd want to tell people who maybe had a similar situation as you, maybe don't have all these resources on how to cope, how to get to where you are, where it's like, I feel like, you know, very promising future. You've been through a lot and, um, probably a lot of people would don't want to go through some of the stuff you've gone through. Um, don't be afraid to make mistakes, especially when, you know, when you're trying to be courageous in the sense of, uh, trying to get the accommodation that you need. Don't be afraid to just, you know, do it. Don't be afraid that someone might feel bad for it or, They might judge you for it. Because it's very helpful to just get it. Because if I could get certain accommodations when I was younger, it would be a lot more helpful for my learning experience. Yeah, that's great advice. It doesn't hurt to ask other than you might feel a bit shy up front or... they might seem a little judgy. When you say mistakes, do you mean like I hear no when you ask for something? Yeah, it's like when it comes to the stakes of dealing with relationships, you might make tons of mistakes, especially when you have misophonia. Those mistakes can be amplified. Right. Like when... it's very weird or odd to someone who has no idea what misophonia is and you tell them that you cannot deal with their sniffing or their eating and that has like a way that can go is like they kind of think you're weird and they go off you know they move away from you or just the relationship never goes far from there so like you need to what i'm saying is like don't be afraid to risk a relationship just because you don't want to make someone feel bad. Yeah. No, that's important to hear. Cause yeah, there was a lot of shame and guilt that gets associated in that cause people to just kind of like stay quiet. So a lot of shame. Well, um, that's great advice. Uh, and on that note, Carson, uh, yeah, I want to thank you. Uh, this is great to hear your, great to hear your story. Yeah. And, uh, I wish you luck. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, Carson. Some really great advice there. I'm excited to start a new batch of interview recordings in May. So if you've signed up, I can't wait to talk to you. And I'll be seeing if I can open up more slots since they were all booked last time I checked. Theme music this week is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you good health, peace, and quiet.

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