Jennifer A. - Navigating life changes due to Misophonia

S4 E11 - 5/12/2021
In this episode, Adeel speaks with guest Jennifer about her extensive struggle with Misophonia, which ultimately led her to leave the city, quit her job, and start homeschooling her daughter, who also shows signs of Misophonia. Jennifer shares her relationship challenges due to Misophonia, particularly with her husband, and reflects on her early days of growing up, being teased, and the lack of understanding from her family. She discusses the triggers she faces, how they've varied and intensified over time, and the coping mechanisms she has had to develop, including moving to a quieter area and adjusting her work and social life significantly. The conversation touches on Jennifer's self-management strategies, her thoughts on her daughter's Misophonia, and the importance of support and understanding from loved ones. Jennifer ends the conversation by offering advice to parents and caregivers of individuals with Misophonia, highlighting the significance of taking the condition seriously and providing support.


Adeel [0:00]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is episode 11 of season 4. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week, I'm talking to Jennifer. Jennifer recently left the city, quit her job, and started homeschooling her daughter, who is also showing signs of Misophonia. We talk about all that and her husband, with whom she has had many ups and downs due to misophonia. But she's making it work. Plus, of course, we go back to her early days growing up and being teased and what her family thinks of it all now. Great episode that covers a lot of things that people are dealing with, especially parents and relationships with misophonic people. Remember, please leave a review or just a rating in your podcast player. It helps the algorithms show this podcast to more people. I've been getting more and more messages from listeners, so please keep those coming too. Either emailing me, hello at, or from the website, Or you can hit me up on social media at Misophonia Podcast. Some of those messages have been about stickers, which I have been super bad about mailing out over the past year, just due to this year being overwhelmed by the world. I hope to send a big shipment out soon, so please hit me up for some freebies. But right now, let's get to my conversation with Jennifer. Jennifer, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

A [1:29]: Thank you. It's good to be here.

Adeel [1:31]: So, yeah, whereabouts are you? i am in kitsap county washington which is across the puget sound from seattle washington oh yeah beautiful okay i'm in the country yeah okay okay yeah you know i i yeah i recently talked to somebody who's uh also like pretty pretty northwest of seattle like on one of the very quiet islands uh i forget what the name is so yeah whitby island or san Something like that. Yeah, you'll hear it coming up in one of these episodes. But cool. And was that choice of those, you know, that side of the Puget Sound partly due to just kind of needing some isolation?

A [2:20]: Yeah, I moved to a suburb of Seattle called Bellevue when I was nine years old. So it was 10 years or 40 years ago and 41 years ago. And back then it was a very quiet suburb. I went to college in Western, which was up in Bellingham. College was very difficult living in a dorm room. I moved to Seattle and lived in the city for about 10 years in different parts of the city. And then I moved back to Bellevue. And my husband and I, he's from Brooklyn, so he thinks Seattle is paradise compared to Brooklyn. And he's also very hard of hearing. He's probably got about 80% hearing loss and he wears hearing aid. So for him, you know, he was quite content and we had a very good life, two incomes, one child in school. And I said, you know, I really need to get out of the city. I can't stand it. And I can't stay on work anymore. I'm stressed out. I was a manager working for the government and I had a lot of people under me who depended a lot on me. And they're sounds were starting to trigger me so I just really I needed to get out of the office I never wanted a career I wanted to go home and homeschool my daughter and and live in the country sell the house live in the country so it took two years to do that entirely we just sold the house but we moved out here about a year and a half ago

Adeel [3:48]: It's been very nice. Yeah, interesting. And do you still work for that same job?

A [3:54]: No, I quit my job. They graciously granted me FMLA for about a year so that I could assist my daughter with some issues she was having at school. She is also becoming misophonic. She's 12. And so I eventually just said, look, I really have no intent of returning. And so I left there. And I don't know if I'm going to go back to work. If people ask, I say I'm semi-retired. I'm 50 and I'm still raising my daughter and homeschooling her. And that's just fine with me. My husband is okay with that. And as long as he's okay with that, it took me a long time to get him to be okay with that.

Adeel [4:35]: He wanted her in school with other kids and everything and have a beautiful experience?

A [4:43]: No, he understood the value of homeschooling. She has special needs and the situation in her school was pretty bad. He just didn't want to leave the city. Being a Brooklyn boy, he thought, I need to be near sports and the arts and all that stuff. But he's also an avid golfer and we would come out here and play golf before kids. We live on a golf course. It's a country course. It's not very busy. There's only two other homes here and they're hundreds of yards away from us. I do, you know, there are some problems in summertime with some of the clientele around here when they get busy, but otherwise, yeah, it's very quiet. But yeah, so it's been a very good change. Very good change, yeah.

Adeel [5:30]: Gotcha. Okay. Um, yeah, I guess maybe, um, well, yeah, that's, that's a good little summary. Um, yeah, it'd be great to dive in to each of those, but maybe do you want to go all the way back to kind of where you started noticing this in for yourself and your own life?

A [5:45]: Yeah. Um, personally, I, I would have to say as almost as long as I can remember, but I'm going to say my around seven or eight, I started getting, um, I've always had, I always had a bad temper. and i was accused of um you know losing my temper in certain situations and i think the combination of having a bad temper and the misophonic the sound the noise triggers when the misophonia started and i would react to the those sounds people just thought it was more of my bad temper yeah So I also had, as a child, very bad anxiety. I still do, but it's managed now. And my parents, my mom, had recognized that I probably needed some help. But my dad was, you know, oh, she's fine. You know, this is the 70s. Ah, she's fine. She'll grow out of it kind of thing. So it wasn't the type of thing where I felt like I could speak up about this problem. I didn't speak up to my family about it until probably my middle school years when I started doing things like sneaking into my... two sisters' bedrooms, they like to sleep with their alarm clock radios on really low. And I would go in there and turn them off because I could hear them. And it would drive me nuts. So triggers like background music, bass, and chewing. Those were my first triggers. Gum chewing and some food chewing.

Adeel [7:23]: You mean your top triggers or the first triggers? Those were my first triggers, yeah. And were they basically your sister, your family members? Yeah. Like many of us, yeah.

A [7:33]: Yeah, each one kind of has their own thing that triggers me. And I also have some visual triggers associated with that, too. What's the word for that?

Adeel [7:45]: It's mesokinesia. K-I-N-E-S-I-A, yeah.

A [7:52]: Funny story. We had a sectional sofa. It was the 80s. We had this big ottoman in the middle, and our whole family would sit in it with our feet out on the ottoman. And I had one sister who would wiggle her feet frantically all the time while we were watching TV, which was just past the view of the feet. So I'd have to get really creative in shielding the view of her foot from my eyes while I could still watch the TV. So I still have that trigger when people bounce their knees or their feet. I can see it. But, yeah, as I got older, I definitely got more triggers. The one place I didn't have any triggers unless it was related to chewing, like gum or – Fortunately, in the 80s, cell phones weren't in school. There were no such things. People didn't bring music to school, especially in the classroom. So there weren't a lot of triggers for me in the classroom. There were no computers, unless it was gum chewing. But as I got older, college, dorm room situation, that was hard. Very hard.

Adeel [8:51]: You got put in with somebody in your actual room or...

A [8:56]: Yeah, I had a roommate in a dorm. He was a roommate. I tried to be social. I wanted to be social.

Adeel [9:04]: Yeah.

A [9:05]: And I had a hard enough time being social growing up between my temper and my anxiety and relationships with my sisters moving and things like that. So here I was in college with a fresh start to be social and make friends. And so I was in the storm room situation. And fortunately, it was, I don't know if other people are like this who have misophonia, but if it's really loud and temporary, I can handle it. Whatever it is, nothing triggers me. And I think it's because it masks everything. But I have to know that it's going to end. And parties eventually end, right? And I would go to the parties. If I didn't like hearing them through walls, I would just go to them. But I did only go for one year, living in the dorms. And then I finished school in Seattle, living off campus on my own. So it was a little easier.

Adeel [9:59]: Yeah. Did you ever mention to your roommate anything? You expressed it in any way other than maybe... I actually did.

A [10:05]: I switched roommates because I became friends with one of the neighbors and her roommate became friends with my roommate. And it seemed like we fit better together. So we switched. But my new roommate was the most disgusting gum chewer. And so I did all kinds of things to just mask it or...

Adeel [10:26]: get away from it or avoid it but i just did not want to say anything to her because i was like oh god i just moved into this dorm with her and you know so you became friends with her and and so you became friends with despite the the fact did you know that she was kind of nasty nasty nasty gum to her no not really no

A [10:46]: Yeah, I'd only really gotten to know her in kind of louder environments.

Adeel [10:51]: And so the year went on.

A [10:54]: As the year went on, yeah, we by the time the year ended, we did not get along very well at all. And that was just because I had to spend so much time being antisocial, just so I can manage. gotcha did it start to affect your grades and stuff at all uh too or was that mainly yeah i had terrible grades if i couldn't have quiet in my dorm to study and i had good grades in high school when i lived at home all through school but if i couldn't find a quiet place to study i just wouldn't study and sometimes i would skip classes because that's when the dorms were quiet I sleep or if there was something I had to do for that class or a leader a class later that day I could write a paper while it was quiet I could you know so I did my very best to manage same way I did in high school I mean I had a 4.0 my junior in high school and I think I graduated 3.85 top 10% of my class and but learning how to manage which I really didn't have to do in high school. It was pretty easy for me. It came easy. I just couldn't figure out how to manage that while living on campus. And we also live in an environment up here where, in Bellingham, they would get terrible north winds from Canada and it would just be freezing cold. And so to motivate myself to get up and walk almost a mile, it felt like, to a class.

Adeel [12:19]: hard to do so you were really and also living in washington you live inside for quite a few months out of the year so yeah so you mentioned earlier uh something about um the relationship with your with your sisters uh was that um was that kind of frayed or affected at all by by your misophonia growing up

A [12:42]: um growing up i mentioned the music the clock radios my i have a twin sister whose room was across from me in our teen years and we did we fought all the time and um she snored really bad so i do remember one day one morning when she was gone i went in and trashed her room It was revenge because I was just so sick of the snoring. So, you know, a lot of the things that I did as a kid that pissed off my sisters, you know, throwing fits and tantrums, was triggered by sounds. And it may have been delayed rage.

Adeel [13:23]: Yeah.

A [13:24]: But nonetheless, it was revenge of some sort.

Adeel [13:27]: It's interesting because a lot of people say that the triggers are very in the moment. And then once it's gone, they're able to kind of get back to equilibrium. But it seems like for you in some cases, whatever was stuck with you and you need to act out.

A [13:49]: Yeah, I think it was survival for me because I knew I was outnumbered. And they didn't care.

Adeel [13:55]: And you knew this was probably going to happen again. Right.

A [13:57]: And they didn't give a shit if I had whatever problem.

Adeel [13:59]: So, you know, in fact, my twin sister. So even like, so basically throughout your childhood, not just in the 70s, like it was kind of dismissed or not taken seriously at all? No.

A [14:15]: And there was no name for it. There was no recognition.

Adeel [14:20]: Were you seeing a professional maybe for anxiety or any other issue? No.

A [14:25]: Like I said, my dad just kind of waved it off, told my mom, she'll grow out of it kind of thing. And so it wasn't until I was 40 that I was diagnosed with anxiety. Ah, gotcha.

Adeel [14:36]: Gotcha. Okay. Okay.

A [14:39]: So I did all kinds of things to manage, you know, smoking, weed, some LSD every now and then in high school. But, you know, I think the more I effed up my brain, the more nothing bothered me, whether it was my anxiety, misophonia triggers, whatever, stress. And so it was fun to fuck up my brain. And I knew I was smart enough to do it without either going to jail, killing myself, or getting caught so to speak and so that's what I did in my later years in high school in fact in my senior year I almost got dropped kicked out because I skipped classes so much and I did get kicked out of a couple classes so there was a meeting mid-year to you know what are we gonna do to make Jennifer graduate kind of thing when I had gone from a 4.0 in my junior year So, I did graduate. I managed. Teachers pulled together and got me through it. College was a little different because then I was like, you know, fuck it. My parents aren't around anymore. They had just gotten divorced. So, I really didn't give a shit what they thought anymore because it was like, to me, they were, our whole family was a fake. It was just a fantasy that just, poof, went away when I, you know, my senior year in high school, graduated high school. So... going to college I was like you know I can do whatever I want so I think that was how I managed a lot and then when I got to be about 21 when things were legal I just said okay I'm done and this is boring and moved on with my life but I still use CBD and has that is that is that helping you Yeah, it does. It helps with anxiety quite a bit. Gotcha.

Adeel [16:18]: Okay.

A [16:18]: It helps with sleep.

Adeel [16:21]: And does it help in those trigger moments? Like maybe the amplitude of your trigger is not being as intense or being able to recover from a misophonic trigger?

A [16:32]: So I think a combination of that and medication has helped kind of buy my brain some time to say to my husband, who's my biggest trigger. And I, you know, even if he's talking in the middle of doing whatever he's doing, I'll interrupt him and say, you're doing this right now. I cannot I can't listen to that. I'm going to finish what you're doing and then come back, you know. And so it calms me down enough to have a more logical response. reasonable reaction rather than a just pure outrage yeah instant outrage and he's we've been married almost 18 years and we've had ups and downs we've almost divorced um as recently as in the last two years and a lot of that has been around misophonia i sent him the movie quiet please and i've invited him to follow some pages and read about it so he understands that it's that it's real And he will say, you know, I'm going to go eat in my room. He's got this little man cave so that I don't trigger you, you know, with certain things, you know, like portable food like pizza or burgers, things like that. But when we eat at the dinner table, we're probably a good 10 feet apart.

Adeel [17:44]: Yeah. Do you bring anything in? Do you bring earbuds in or anything?

A [17:50]: I have the TV on in the background during dinner. And that, for the most part, helps. But I usually have to throw out a couple of reminders through dinner. And try to do it. That's hard. When it's during dinner, that's really hard.

Adeel [18:08]: Yeah.

A [18:08]: Because I know I can't... throw my stuff down and get up and leave. You know, I have to be on my best behavior. So that's when it's the hardest. And I may, you know, be like, just give a hard stare or something like that. But I eat fast and I get up and I start cleaning up the kitchen and I leave.

Adeel [18:26]: Yep. Classic. And your daughter is probably there too. Do other people do that? Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. That's a common thing to eat quickly, maybe do the dishes, offer to get seconds, offer to drink. Yeah, those are classic things. And those things all come around. Or especially important around the holidays. So a lot of these tips come up around Thanksgiving and Christmas because Twice or three times as many people and then you got the you know, the older generation which is even more of a It's even you know more of a kind of a game over for me because they tend to well they're offended my mom is And she has a an old aunt of hers.

A [19:13]: I can't remember her aunt Louise or something like that And she says okay and Louise sit down, you know because I'm up and I'm putting the leftover away And I'm clearing people's dishes and she's on her second bottle of wine and they're chit-chatting and they'll talk for hours and And I just can't do that if there's still food on the table and plates and dishes and stuff. I just have to get away from that. I can come back when it's all done and sit there and talk and have a conversation. Another trigger of mine, which is specific to my husband, is breathing. His breathing in particular. When someone is deaf in general or near deaf, they don't know how much noise their body makes we have all learned with our hearing from being born with our hearing full hearing and we have we can tip you know we can walk quieter we can cross our legs quieter we can get dressed quite you know you can do everything quite you can do it loudly or you can do it quietly right everything dishes whatever it is and so he doesn't have that sense of I'm doing this quietly or this is making too much noise. He just does it. It's all quiet to him. So there are times when I have to come interrupt whatever he's doing to say, you are being so loud. And I'm like, oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Because he works from home also. So he's in his office across the hall from my daughter's in my classroom where we're homeschooling. And he's on Zoom calls and conference calls for most of the day. We're trying to manage. I'm trying to figure out how I can kind of buffer the noise between the two rooms.

Adeel [20:58]: Is he normally... Yeah, a lot of us are working from home now. And it's, you know, in some ways it's kind of a blessing because you get to avoid the rest of the world's noises. But in some ways it's kind of a... You know, kind of a... a panic room, like you're in a claustrophobic little environment and you can't get away. Has it been, I mean, I can imagine, like you just described, is he always working from home? Pretty much.

A [21:26]: He's been in like five days since the beginning of the year. His office is a good hour commute away. gotcha port towns and we live about five minutes from gig harbor so it's about an hour 15 minute commute with no traffic so yeah he's is he going to be going to an office after this is all over or probably no more than maybe once a week okay yeah and he'll probably be traveling more too like up to up to alaska and places like that

Adeel [21:56]: gotcha and did you um and do you feel like so he's your biggest trigger was it was that uh did you kind of know that um was he um also a big trigger from early on in the relationship or is this something that kind of evolved maybe as his hearing was uh deteriorating

A [22:12]: It evolved. His hearing is definitely deteriorating. And, you know, when people first get together, everyone's on their best manners and behaviors.

Adeel [22:20]: Honeymoon period. Yeah.

A [22:21]: The honeymoon period. Yeah. So it's obviously when that passes, then it's like, oh, my God, you're breathing. I think the first the first actually I do have a very good recollection that we were on a date at a movie theater. Which is kind of hell on earth to begin with. I remember it was one of the Lord of the Rings movies I think and he loves that stuff and I hate that stuff. So I thought okay tonight We'll do what you want to do. Let's go see the movie and he was eating popcorn Of course that movies like what three hours long or something. Yeah, it was pure pure pure pure hell pure hell and I almost I just severed the relationship right there. But I think we'd been together like five years at that point. We were living together and I think actually we were married and we weren't dating. It was just a date night. So that's when it really hit me that, oh my God, I cannot go to a movie with my husband and sit this close to him.

Adeel [23:19]: Right. without some kind of something in your own ears, like headphones or something.

A [23:24]: Yeah, but then I can't hear the movie because the commercials are so loud and the previews, and then the movie starts and it's so quiet. And I've asked the movie theater for the headphones.

Adeel [23:36]: I tried those once, yeah.

A [23:39]: And they look at me like, what are you talking about? So I have not had any success with that. I do like the movie theaters now with the recliners because you're spaced further apart. So that does help. um but now with kobe but it's like well why bother you know we've paid for every streaming service out there over the last year and you know we're getting along just fine without going to a theater and that's just fine with me so yeah no exactly that's i think one of the blessings is that i think there'll be more and more of these uh services will expand or um it'll yeah it'll just be more normal well yeah i mean i'm an introvert probably because of you know developing i'm just i'm an introvert by nature and then with misophonia i mean i'm just i this covet has been not covered but the quarantine has been a blessing yeah yeah i've enjoyed it and you were already homeschooling your child right yeah yeah it was just we had to give up some uh out outside of the home type activities like homeschool pe at the y and horseback riding lesson things like that but uh we just got creative and you know like i said we live on a big property we had one dog we got another dog dogs are also kind of my Coping mechanism, you know, okay.

Adeel [24:54]: I was gonna say for some people they also trigger even if they have a pet but you know, they certain sound that they make but Yeah, like but yeah, I had a dog that triggered me But she was old and deaf and I couldn't get her to stop and she would just go for hours

A [25:12]: I understand that totally. But for the most part, they just give me unconditional love. I don't have to be on my best behavior around them. Yeah, right. They sense my anxiety if I'm triggered.

Adeel [25:26]: Oh, so they sense your misophonic triggers?

A [25:31]: they sense my anxiety from it yeah okay okay oh yeah how do they respond one of them the bigger one will come up to me and just stare at me and push her body against me oh okay okay just to know just to let you know just to let me know that she's there yeah yeah yeah and look at me to make sure i'm okay oh wow okay like she will make dead eye contact and it's kind of scary and then the other one will just jump up if I'm on the bed she'll just jump in my lap or jump up near me and lick me she's a licker so she'll start licking me all over my face

Adeel [26:09]: interesting okay yeah yeah yeah that's interesting and your and your daughter you say she's um starting to exhibit um some signs when she's homeschooling like does she um did you have kind of play dates or are um outings with with friends and and other maybe homeschoolers

A [26:31]: We try. Yeah, we just had one yesterday, as a matter of fact. Right now, though, a lot of these homeschoolers are temporary homeschoolers. Right. They're going back to public schools as soon as they can. But she's a Girl Scout, and she loves Girl Scouts, and she's participating on Zoom for that. And she's got a big sister through the Big Brother Big Sister program that also hangs out about once a month with her. She's an interesting lady. She's a meteorologist in the Air Force.

Adeel [27:01]: Okay. Okay. Interesting.

A [27:03]: Yeah. So she's still got her friends back over on the Seattle side that we still visit and see. We're only about an hour away. And we've got some kids up the street of the two houses that are in our neighborhood. She's got some kid friends too. But yeah, she's starting to trigger. And I don't know if it's her copying me or if it's truly affecting or, you know, if my reactions to it. has triggered her reaction to it. I don't know. I don't know.

Adeel [27:35]: I'm really trying. Yeah. How did you approach talking to her about it, if you did, about your explaining your own misophonia? Or is she just kind of seeing it through your reactions?

A [27:49]: She's seen it through my reactions. And when I talk to her about it, my explanation is that just because I do it doesn't mean it's right. right okay just because this happens doesn't mean that i that that was that mom was that that was okay for mom to do and here's why it happened and that's not i wish that we could say that it's a problem with our brain or it's a problem with our neurological system or some mental health problem but know we don't know yet so hopefully someday we'll know and we'll have some real treatment for it but all i can do is acknowledge that it was um wrong of me to do and to help explain why i did it and that i'll try and do better next time that's all i can do yeah well what does she say to that um just nothing she's she's very um easy going very easy She's just like, okay, whatever. But I think it might be beyond that. I think it's just, you know, she's 12 now.

Adeel [28:51]: Right.

A [28:51]: And dad's a pretty bad chewer. I think it's a combination of being from New York, because all his friends from New York chew like that.

Adeel [28:59]: Yeah, loud cities breed loud people sometimes. When did you find out that it had a name? When did you realize this was a thing that other people had too?

A [29:11]: A coworker. she and i were talking about it because she was saying that she doesn't like some noise when we were at work and i was like that's nothing you know i have this thing where if you breathe i'll practically slash your throat you know and she's like oh yeah misophonia i quit and she sent me an article on it and she's like yeah i have that too and i'm like thinking no you don't and uh And I'm trying to think of how long ago that was. Probably about 10 years ago. Maybe not quite 10 years ago.

Adeel [29:44]: That's when a lot of people became aware of it, yeah.

A [29:48]: Yeah, but when I bring it up to any of my doctors or caregivers, whether it's on the psychological side or the physical side, they just go, oh, what's that? No, I never heard of it. You know.

Adeel [30:00]: Yeah.

A [30:02]: so i haven't bothered to really look outside for any um help and not real serious help i've contemplated some sort of hearing aids to do the reverse of what hearing aids do for my husband but frankly frankly i i have over the ear noise cancelling headphones bluetooth wireless headphones and i have in the ear those headphones that i've had for years and i just keep replacing the tips yep and cleaning them and you know between one or two or one or the other or both i can get through just about anything i like the bows wired ones because i can put them in my ear in the car like let's say my husband and i are driving for a while because if he's sitting next to me in the car that triggers me yeah so i'll put those in and i can still hear the conversation you know the road noise myself but i'm not hearing the triggers and i don't look ridiculous so that works yeah i gotcha and did you um did you go back and tell your family um like show them yes hey this is the real thing okay what was the reaction there i got no reaction i gotcha yeah i got no reaction and i i think as a kid you know the triggers would just my those sound triggers and my reactions to them would just trigger fighting among us as sisters because we all naturally fought anyway we're very close in age very competitive and um so yeah i don't my husband has been the most supportive and the most um empathetic with um how this is a real problem and while he may not know what it feels like, he at least knows that I'm not crazy and that I can't help it. That I really can't help it. Even though my reactions make him mad sometimes and he will let me know it. He'll just make a face or a grimace or something and walk away. Yeah. But he's much better now that he's seen the movie Quiet Please and that we've talked about it openly how this affects our relationship. I mean, it even affects our sex life because there's a lot of breathing involved in sex.

Adeel [32:37]: Right. We've done right. Yes.

A [32:39]: It's done right. So he's like, well, you can wear your headphones. I'm okay with that. So we had a joke for a while that if he came to bed and I had headphones on, that meant that was the night. But now I sleep with headphones on every night pretty much.

Adeel [32:58]: Okay.

A [32:59]: That is the one thing that bothers me is that I do feel it as I get older. It just gets worse.

Adeel [33:06]: yeah that's that's i've definitely heard that where uh yeah the number of triggers uh expands and um but the thing is well usually at least at least kind of early on in adulthood you you feel like you have more control over when you were a kid when you really had no control and so that gives some kind of solace but um doesn't doesn't change the power yeah i have the power to walk away i have the power to leave the house you know i'm an adult i can do what i want to do it's power to move houses yeah leave your job so yeah that too

A [33:42]: But I realize that that's not a luxury that everybody has.

Adeel [33:47]: Right.

A [33:48]: And that does require sacrifices, you know, being out here. We don't miss the art and culture because there is no art and culture right now. Everything's closed. But to be honest, my daughter and I, before closure, we would spend a lot of time going on field trips to museums and farms and things like that. we always found plenty to do and he's gotten used to it. He does actually like it out here and he enjoys working from home and being able to go out and play some golf and go back to work. And so, yeah.

Adeel [34:24]: yeah right well what about your um um i guess other kind of other friends outside your own friends outside of uh uh outside of family um do you tell do you have you told many people like close friends or is it something you just kind of like um keep bottled up and until maybe they trigger you i don't tell them and it's funny you mentioned that because about six months ago one of my good friends

A [34:52]: had texted me that she, her daughter was having a tough time with homeschooling because her husband was triggering, was annoying her. His breathing was annoying her. And I said, oh... I know what she's got, and her daughter is a friend of my daughter's, so they're the same age. And she said, yeah, but she said, other than that, she likes having school at home because there were so many things at school that annoyed her. So I said... You know, this is the word for it. Here's some Facebook groups. Here's a movie you should watch. I said, you're not crazy. You hear all the things that you need to know about. And hopefully she's been supportive right from the start because she knows that it is real thing and she also asked me to share some headphone recommendations with her so it's been it was interesting to hear that come out in my circle of friends because I have a pretty small group of friends and yeah other than that I don't mention it and I didn't even mention to my friend who my triggers are or what my triggers are. I just said, yes, I have the same thing.

Adeel [36:20]: Gotcha. Okay. Just left it at that and then focused on giving.

A [36:24]: Oh, it's his swallowing too. Swallowing and breathing. So yeah, that's it.

Adeel [36:32]: Totally uncommon things. It's not like people do them all the time.

A [36:35]: Right. How dare you?

Adeel [36:41]: Interesting. What did you think of Quiet, Please? I watched it. I had a hard time finishing it because it was so emotional. For me, I needed to watch it in a few different settings. Seeing people on screen talk about it was just mind-blowing, even though I only knew what it was.

A [36:58]: Yeah, right. Well, I've watched it twice. I watched it once by myself, and then I sat down with my husband and watched it. And then I've watched it again. And to be honest, there are certain stories I have to kind of skip. Yeah. Because it's too close to home, you know. And I think for him, it was powerful to see how other people in their lives were helping support these people. And how that support, how much that support meant to these people, to us, you know, to have to not be shunned or punished because of something that we just can't control right yeah so a lot of times just knowing that the other person is aware and trying can reduce the stress or at least make it less worse than it could be yeah it took a while it's i mean i showed him that movie probably when it when did i four or five years ago yeah and it took him a while to put it into practice. He's like that. He's book smart, but then turning around and flying it, you have to kind of kick him in the rear. So, yeah, it took him a while to turn around and practice it. And I did threaten divorce. And I did say that misophonia was a big part of it. And all of the consequences of that was a big part of it. And so that's, I think, that's when he took it more seriously. obviously he didn't want that to happen so but it's really hard being that is probably the hardest thing about this is having a relationship living with other people right yeah doing very i mean normal things like that yeah yeah and then you get out in the country and it's a catch-22 because the more quiet it is the more things you hear

Adeel [38:50]: Right. And the more you're with the same, the more you're kind of, quote unquote, stuck with this with the same people that potentially trigger you as well.

A [39:01]: Right. There was a story on the news the other day that someone, I think it was in Seattle, shot a crow in the morning. And I thought, well, I know why. It was probably out there con at like 5 a.m.

Unknown Speaker [39:12]: Right.

Adeel [39:13]: Right. Yeah. I guess nature sounds. Yeah. It just sounds right. They can be beautiful. But I guess that repetitive, if something triggers you in this repetitive, it's kind of game over for Mr. Crow.

A [39:25]: Yeah. Like I said, it's that repetitive, indefinite, like, is it going to go on forever or is it going to stop soon? If I know it's going to stop soon, I'm okay.

Adeel [39:37]: Right. Yeah, and I've mentioned, once again, I'll be the broken record and say that sometimes I tell people as you're sitting down to eat, sometimes try to tell your brain beforehand that, okay, eating a meal usually lasts, what, 20 minutes or so. Mm-hmm. nothing's going to kill you. Just try to take a second to breathe and relax can kind of remind yourself that it is going to be over and then you can get up and do other stuff can kind of help as opposed to just sitting down and just everything taking you off guard.

A [40:14]: Well, it is like, does it feel like pain? You have misophonia, I'm assuming.

Adeel [40:17]: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

A [40:18]: Does it feel like pain in your ear? I mean, is it painful? The feeling?

Adeel [40:24]: I don't feel pain in my ears. It's more of an anxiety. I do feel kind of like other muscles clenching up.

A [40:35]: Yeah. It's like you're being strangled.

Adeel [40:40]: Yeah. It's really hard. Or trapped in a suitcase or something like that. Yeah.

A [40:46]: And that's funny. I'm also claustrophobic. Are you?

Adeel [40:49]: I think it's kind of, but it's not nearly as bad as misophonia or fear of heights. Yeah, like I can do an elevator. Yeah, maybe for me it feels like kind of what I feel when I have my fear of heights going on, that kind of anxiety. I don't know. I'm trying to find similar feelings.

A [41:13]: yeah feeling trapped i don't know so you're claustrophobic and this is kind of a similar uh sensation okay yeah i i'm really claustrophobic and i remember that since childhood also i remember um my sisters and i when we were a little goofing off and as we got bigger one of the things that they loved to do was to sit on me and tickle me And they called it tickle torture. And it was. And I would just scream bloody murder. And it wasn't the tickling that bothered me. It was the being sat on and being trapped. Right, right. And what else? Yeah, I remember also about kindergarten age. This is off topic, sorry. Being trapped in a cardboard box with a neighbor boy that some older kids had put us in a box and taped us up. in like our neighbor's driveway i remember this and it took them it took them a while to find us and yeah i have that's a very um old memory yeah i must have been about four years old it was before kindergarten

Adeel [42:13]: That could definitely lead to claustrophobia, I think. I'm no therapist, but that's a vivid memory. It would be traumatic for a kindergartner, I think.

A [42:22]: Yeah, I am okay in elevators. Airplanes I'm starting to have a problem with. You know, you hear the stories about being trapped on airplanes on the tarmac with weather problems and things like that. I couldn't do it. And if an airplane is too hot, especially. I'll lose it and I usually do window seats and I'm getting to the point where I can't even do window seats anymore I just feel too trapped and also flying I get anxious about the thought of flying and taking a trip I love traveling but I do get anxious about nowadays everybody wears headphones and plays music and they don't care if you can hear it or not, through the other, you know, through outside the headphones. And they're traveling by themselves, so they're not talking to anybody. They don't care. But I'm traveling with my family, and I would like to talk and enjoy the flight.

Adeel [43:11]: Right, and not have to be isolated in headphones.

A [43:15]: Put headphones on and shut up. So it's kind of a combination. Sometimes I'll put them on if it's really bad.

Adeel [43:23]: Yeah, I'm going to probably try those a little bit. Probably Bose has a similar thing, but the AirPods have a transparent mode where you can kind of do noise canceling, but let voices come through. So maybe that can kind of block some stuff with some music in the background, but then I can still talk to family. Do you have those? Yeah, I'm wearing them right now.

A [43:49]: Oh, okay. And it works?

Adeel [43:51]: It kind of works. I mean, it hasn't been super tested in a lot of, I mean, I just got them like a few months ago in quarantine. So I haven't taken them out in a noisy environment or definitely not on a plane. Yeah.

A [44:02]: And you have to use them with Apple though, right?

Adeel [44:05]: No, you don't have to. Oh, I didn't know that. Okay. Yeah.

A [44:08]: Well, I might pick up a pair. Yeah.

Adeel [44:10]: Yeah. It works better with them, but you don't have to at all.

A [44:15]: Oh, I'm going to ask for a pair for Mother's Day. Thank you.

Adeel [44:17]: I mean, you might look at, there are other ones too, but these, yeah. Yeah.

A [44:23]: I've heard the new Bose wireless ones that came out a couple of years ago. I've heard they're okay, that the wired ones are better. And so I've just kept using my wired ones before spending $400 on new ones.

Adeel [44:34]: Yeah. right um have you tried those the bows wireless ones not the wireless ones no i've got an old pair of uh wired ones from yeah god must be like 10 years ago or something oh yeah i don't even really use them i just found them after like you know several different moves so i might like try some vintage ones yeah do you know if the screen inside is required you know that screen that you have to clean to get the wax off Oh. Behind the tips. I don't know.

A [45:05]: Because mine are shot from being cleaned so much. They're getting shredded.

Adeel [45:09]: Oh, that's green. Okay.

A [45:11]: Well, yeah, you need it to keep the wax out.

Adeel [45:13]: Right.

A [45:13]: I got to find something to replace those. But yeah, they just keep going.

Adeel [45:18]: Yep. Yep.

A [45:19]: I don't think they work as good as they were when they were brand new, but they work.

Adeel [45:24]: The other thing has worked for me in a pinch, and I just mentioned them because they're so much cheaper, but 3M has a pair of Bluetooth headphones, which are meant for kind of the construction site. So they're not noise cancelling, but they have like super like noise blocking properties and they play music by Bluetooth. now the sound isn't like you know bose quality but it's forty dollars and so um you're kidding in a pinch are they over the year or yeah they're over the year they're over the year are they wireless yeah you said bluetooth yeah they're wireless they're bluetooth yeah i'll send you they're called work tunes it's just for 40 bucks it's just like it's a no-brainer for at least a backup I think so.

A [46:06]: Yeah. I'll have to try them out. That's definitely worth trying. You know that flap of cartilage in your ear, the front of your ear, right where your vestibular nerve is? I'm really good at leaning and pressing that strategically on one side or the other. You know, that's how I've gotten through meetings at work and, you know. dinners and all kinds of things so um i use my body in all sorts of ways for coping skills too to look yeah do you use like long do you have i don't know if you i think yeah my hair is up i do have long hair yeah i have long hair and i would highly recommend long hair yeah it's a it's a natural filter it really is

Adeel [46:51]: And maybe I'll just grow really big sideburns. There you go. Big bushy sideburns. There you go.

A [46:58]: And then pin them to the back.

Adeel [46:59]: Yeah, exactly.

A [47:01]: Now there's a look.

Adeel [47:03]: Miso fashion.

A [47:04]: Miso fashion. Oh, that's great.

Adeel [47:07]: Right.

A [47:07]: would be awesome that'd be a good pinterest page yeah i'm happy to see that there's so much out there about misophonia now even even pinterest i have a misophonia pinterest board so oh yeah well i'd love to get a link and i'll i'll share that if it's if it's public yeah yeah cool it's a It's awesome. You can find just about anything on there. I have all these little quirky things. I'm trying to have kids. I ended up having an MTHFR gene mutation. The nurse actually called it the motherfucker gene. MTHFR. She said it's a weird clotting disorder. Anyway, I've got that. I've got ulcerative colitis. I've got anxiety. I've got psoriasis. I'm just at the list. I wish there was a vaccine for misophonia. I wish there was some treatment for misophonia.

Adeel [48:03]: Yeah, there's research starting to happen. Maybe it's starting to pick up. Yeah, I see that. Duke. Yeah, I'm hoping Duke. There's now a fund that just started last year. Yeah, looking for research opportunities. Exactly.

A [48:22]: I'm all for it. So, I mean, I'm 50 years old. I've made it this far.

Adeel [48:26]: Right.

A [48:27]: And, you know, my daughter's 12. Eventually, she's going to get older and maybe have a family of her own. And I'd like to enjoy that without having to walk away or stand in the kitchen and do dishes and, you know, things like that.

Adeel [48:41]: Right, right.

A [48:42]: It's very antisocial. I don't even know what to call it. Disease?

Adeel [48:50]: What do you call it? Disorder, I would say. Disorder? Maybe disorder, disease. Disease still feels more like a physical thing. Yeah. Yeah, I don't know.

A [49:00]: It's a very antisocial disorder on top of me being already a very anti, not very antisocial person, but just an awkward social person, a social anxiety type person. My mom tells a story of bringing me and my twin sister home from the hospital. and that I was so she'd lay me down I was fine when she'd hold me and she'd lay me down in the crib to go to bed and I would just start waving my arms and legs frantically and then she'd pick me up and I'd stop and she'd call me down so she having twins and then a toddler with a heart defect she didn't have time for that so she called her pediatrician and he put me on a sedative as a newborn wow So, yeah, I think about that, and she thinks it's a funny story, and I think it's really sad because I don't know how that affected me or if it affected me, and I'll never know. yeah yeah you never know yeah right especially the stuff they back in the 70s yeah my daughter is adopted and uh she was exposed to alcohol and drugs in the womb and so she's got fsd fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and um we don't know what her outcome is going to be but being here with us and homeschooled and being surrounded by a lot of positive influences that's the best we can do. And, you know, just like Miss Phonia, manage her symptoms and just be there for her. And someday, who knows? Yeah, we'll have a solution.

Adeel [50:30]: Right. Someday, yeah. Well, let's hope. And maybe on that note, we're about... Yeah, almost an hour in. Is there anything else you want to say to people who've got misophonia, maybe parents? There's a lot of parents who call in.

A [50:48]: Yeah, I would say if there are caregivers, family members out there listening, and your child, whether they're adult or still children, has misophonia and talks to you about it, Please take them seriously. Please do what you can to support whatever it is they need to do to manage that problem. And don't forget, ask them how they're doing. I think that's part of the problem is you talk and have that initial conversation with your family member and then it never comes up again. So keep talking about it and remind your relatives and your family your family members if you are the misophonic um just to um you know maybe a hand signal a clue that you know i need to walk away i need to i need to do something to manage this environment um and that support is really i can't honestly i can't imagine but i imagine it would be powerful and i have to imagine because i didn't have a lot of support until now until recently and it has really been powerful at least in my marriage so

Adeel [52:02]: Yeah, great, great, great advice. Great tips. Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Jen, for coming on. Really, really interesting conversation. Thank you for having me. Of course, of course. And yeah, hope things work out well for you and your daughter. And it sounds like things are improving in the country. So I'm hoping that continues.

A [52:26]: I'm sure I'm like everybody else out there. I'm just doing the best I can.

Adeel [52:30]: Thank you, Jennifer. Awesome conversation. If you liked this episode, please leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. Find us on social media at MrFunnyPodcast on Instagram and Facebook, and now on TikTok or MrFunnyShow on Twitter. You can find all the links on the website,, and even contact me there. Music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.