Elektra - Navigating motherhood and creativity with misophonia.

S5 E13 - 1/7/2022
The episode features Elektra, a clothing designer and mother, discussing her misophonia journey. Elektra talks about growing up with a dismissive parent, delaying motherhood due to her condition, and encountering challenges with her eating habits linked to her misophonia. She shares the complexities of managing misophonia within her relationships, especially with her son, and how sounds from adults trigger her more than those from children. Elektra mentions her attempts at using mimicking as a coping mechanism and the significance of partner support in dealing with misophonia. Additionally, she touches upon her work life in restaurants, her plans to seek cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) after moving, and how misophonia influences her daily life and dreams. The conversation closes with Elektra expressing her intention to create a misophonia-informed collection for her clothing brand, Unknown Apparel.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 13. My name is Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. A couple days late this week, but better late than never, this week I'm talking to Elektra, a clothing designer. and mother recently moved to LA, although at the time of this interview she was living in Philadelphia. She talks about being a child of divorced parents, with one of them being particularly dismissive of her misophonia. We talk about putting off having her own child for a while due to misophonia, working on anger, eating disorders, using mimicking, and the importance of being taken seriously. Really great episode, and I encourage everyone to also check out her online shop for her brand, Unknown Apparel, at unknownapparelshop.com. The links are definitely in the show notes, and I'll be tagging it on her Instagram. I'm a big advocate for supporting other misophones in their businesses and creative projects, so please check it out. Remember, you can find this show on Instagram at Misaffointed Podcast, also on Facebook and Twitter and sometimes TikTok. If you like this episode or any episode, please, you can help by leaving a quick rating or review wherever you listen to the show. Spotify now also lets you leave ratings, so it would really help us get up in their algorithms if you rate us there. All right, now here's my conversation with Elektra. Elektra, welcome to the podcast. It's good to have you here.

Elektra [1:35]: good to be here.

Adeel [1:36]: So yeah, maybe first we can start off with kind of like roughly kind of where in the world are you?

Elektra [1:43]: I'm currently living in Philadelphia, but I'm from California originally.

Adeel [1:49]: Oh, okay. Which part of Cali? Just out of curiosity.

Elektra [1:53]: San Francisco.

Adeel [1:54]: Okay. Yeah, I was there for like 16 years. Oh, wow. I know the area quite well. But yeah, very cool. So now you're in Philly. So what do you do out in Philly?

Elektra [2:06]: um i'm not doing much uh my husband and i moved out here to kind of try something new and he got a job that uh worked out for him so we've kind of just been staying here for that but um we just had our son four months ago four and a half months ago so we're planning on our moving back to california actually oh okay is that where maybe family is and

Adeel [2:31]: yeah exactly both of our families are back there yeah yeah that makes sense i guess maybe we can let's talk about uh misophonia wise like were you apprehensive at all about having a child and um there's a couple different angles there's like getting triggered by the child but then also you know worrying about um is him having it can be developed yeah exactly yeah i

Elektra [2:58]: uh yeah no all of the above i think it's really like my misophonia definitely stopped us from having a kid for a very long time because my triggers i have severe misophonia so um for as long i mean working on my anger has always been something that um i've been doing you know like um just kind of not yeah just working on not being angry so like you don't want to be like that around a child and so um i'm 34 i've been i've been having this since as long as i can remember um since i was a kid and um so it i sorry i'm trying to remember exactly what i was trying to say because obviously i heard something and i had to go and turn the fan on higher but um Yeah, so it's been a while that I've been getting myself together. And I do still get triggered. But my husband and I are definitely working on, look, this is serious. I need your help in these moments. If this happens, we've just got to go. So we're not fighting this. And then he has to feel this energy or anything like that. It's definitely even the energy, because even if I'm tense, I don't want that energy around my son. So it's been... difficult like you know he's four and a half months so the first three months he was colic and that was definitely like the hardest he's you know out of that now but he was just crying non-stop and like i hate to say it but the crying almost sometimes when he was getting really bad it sounded like crunching it was like it was very very very difficult and it was it's just me taking care of him most of the time while my husband's at work so um yeah it's been a lot better though he doesn't just spend all day crying if he's awake anymore right yeah i think they go through phases yeah and and just to be clear your husband does not have misophonia right it's just something you guys been working on together to to help accommodate you right yeah no he doesn't have it no he's actually i feel bad he loves to whistle he loves to move around and have a good time and stuff and i definitely hold that back a little bit

Adeel [5:18]: yeah um and so yeah you said you you know took you a while to decide to have a kid and you were uh working on things with your husband so it was just something uh things that you're working on between you two on your own or with a therapist or you know with your own therapist if you have one uh i'm just curious like um what kinds of things were you doing um is it just kind of like uh typical stuff like trying to make sure that yeah he's aware when you're about to get triggered and then try to you know um calm the situation down or was there anything that you were any help you were getting from the outside like advice or therapy um not really i mean it was mostly just me and him like

Elektra [6:01]: we've been together before we even knew what the word misophonia was. Like, you know, I just remember being in high school, my friends being like, Oh, her thing, her thing, you know? And so when I met, I met him like right after high school. And so it was still, I was still just saying, calling it my thing, you know? And then we kind of like found, I think he found out that it was had a name and other people have it. And so like, he really has been there for my whole like kind of journey and to make like, um, uh come I don't want to say like coming out about it but like being more honest with people because it used to be something that I would just keep to myself and only close close close people would know about um but now like but then I like kind of opened myself up to people and people have been really responsive and Um, it makes it easier. Like I still get embarrassed by it, you know, if I'm talking to people, but just being honest about it and like, even just, I hate the word educate, but sometimes it is that, you know, like I have two pairs of AirPods that I carry with me all the time. I get made for fun of it. And I always say like, I have misophonia. You never know what's going to happen.

Adeel [7:10]: Like, um, you do never know what's going to happen yourself and also the other person.

Elektra [7:17]: Oh yeah, no, exactly. So, um, You know, I have searched for therapists that could help me, but I do feel like, even with the best ones that I've ever had, unfortunately they don't really view it as something serious so they don't understand that like my anger issues are tied with my misophonia i don't feel like my any of my therapists have ever looked more into it or you know even i had a a therapist that was slightly deaf actually and she never i was like how could you it's linked to these you know other issues like But okay, fine. It's just me in my head, you know, kind of thing.

Adeel [8:02]: So are they treating you, and you don't have to get into the other comorbidities too much if you don't want to, but I'm curious, are they treating, so are your therapists treating your anger? Like basically all these things that are honestly related to misophonia, but are just not able to make the connection to, or not wanting to make the connection to misophonia?

Elektra [8:21]: I feel like it's kind of just not wanting to make that connection and saying, okay, well... But also, it could just be my feelings in that everybody telling me, like, get over it from a very early age. Like, people are going to eat. Just get over it. You know, okay, I guess. I just don't expect me to Thanksgiving then. Right, right. But, yeah, I don't know if it's just my own personal vibes that I was getting from them, but... I just kind of got the feeling that it was like, okay, well, we'll talk about that later. Let's talk more about these traumas with your mother. Yeah. Right.

Adeel [9:01]: Well, yeah, maybe let's quickly rewind back to then, yeah, early days for you, as you probably have read a lot of the starts at that kind of late elementary, middle school age with parents and sounds like that was kind of similar to your story.

Elektra [9:20]: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I remember it all, like, mostly happening when I was with my mom, like, but I didn't ever knew if it was just my like, I guess maybe my therapist were right. I don't know if it's a trauma related thing, or if it's just that's when it all started. you know, she was kind of like the first person that I would ask like, Hey, could you not do that? Or that makes, or I would get physically angry. But as like a seven year old, you might want to pay attention to those kinds of like reactions, you know? But instead, I mean, she was also very young. Like now that I'm a mom, I'm like looking back and like, wow, I don't know if I would have actually like reacted the way that I wish that she did either. You know, like she probably just didn't know any better and was just like, no, you have to get over this. This is real life, you know? So, yeah, it's kind of a complicated thing that I'm definitely still working out.

Adeel [10:19]: Was there kind of like stuff happening at home that was around that time where you started to like tension or any other kind of trauma that was happening around the time that you, around, I guess, that age? Because it's definitely something that I've heard. It's not necessarily... a prerequisite, but there often is like some kind of maybe a death in the family or just a parent that also has anger issues around the house or alcoholic around the time that kids maybe start to notice sensitivities.

Elektra [10:55]: um nothing nothing that was like a one-time event or anything like that like since i was a kid or like since i can remember again my parents like were separated so i would switch off households uh weekly and i think that that definitely juxtaposition with being with my dad who was it was just him um he's relatively quiet like i mean it takes a crowbar to get him to talk sometimes like so He's very subtle. And then like then going to my mom's house where she is just very vibrant. She loves to sing. She loves to whistle. She loves to just like burst out and to, you know, like and it was very jarring for me as a child. I remember just being like, shut up, you know, and that being not not flying, you know what I mean? So like, I think that that's why I kind of started to, you know, remember things like like just you know i remember just being on the bay bridge one time on the underneath going to the east bay yeah from san francisco and she was just whistling and i was just in the back seat like crying because i felt so trapped you know by those bars it was like and i was just we were getting on into traffic you know and just like I can't tell her to stop because she's my mom. I can't tell her what to do. You know, and I remember that's like the first time I remember being physically hurt, you know?

Adeel [12:23]: Yeah. Yeah. And did she notice that what was going on in the back or was she whistling away?

Elektra [12:31]: She did notice and she did it even harder. It was kind of like antagonizing. It was like it was it was pretty difficult. And like, honestly, we go through a lot. And I think that she doesn't even know.

Adeel [12:42]: how much pain i was in uh because she was just living her life you know what i mean right right um yeah that's rough um and and after that sounds like the dismissiveness just kind of continued yeah definitely yeah And how were some of the ways that you were acting out at that age? Like I've heard everything.

Elektra [13:08]: Just the things that I'm trying to calm nowadays, screaming, crying. I remember just saying, I want my daddy. Now that I'm saying it out loud, I'm like, oh yeah, okay. His house was very quiet. And in comparison, and all we did was very like... we would go to baseball games i think those were the loudest things that we would do like listen to a baseball game on the radio but um i just remember like yeah just screaming crying slamming doors punching things i was a yeah very very very angry yeah right right right um and did there was no talk about going to therapy at that point or any anything like that It was definitely not therapist, like, warranted, I think, especially at the time, you know.

Adeel [14:02]: Okay, okay. What about at school then? Were you taking a lot of this anger at school too? Either maybe being triggered or just kind of acting out?

Elektra [14:12]: Yes, I definitely was known for the person for telling on anybody who had gum or food in their desk. I did not care. I would definitely tell on them.

Adeel [14:23]: You are many people's heroes, even though you probably didn't get treated the way you well, we hope.

Elektra [14:29]: Oh, no, I did not get treated. And people love sitting behind me, popping their gum like the popping gum. I remember it was like so popular at the time, you know, like. i don't know what it was just about being a cool kid and having your gum and popping it like the when you suck in and it's like that extra like pop unfortunately there were a lot of 80s movies and 90s movies with that yeah i think yeah yeah exactly and then just the very very uh juicy you know all of that was very very popular you know and uh uh it was difficult i actually dropped out of school i I mean, speaking of school, like I switched schools so many times, mostly because my parents were in different parts of the Bay Area. My dad was in the city. My mom was always in the East Bay. And so I would switch off pretty much by semester or year where I was going to school. And also it really helped me because every time I would reset and I'd be like, OK, a whole new set of kids to get to know. and like see who is going to be doing what around me you know what i mean i don't know why it was just like get that list in your head you got to start that list again yes who can i go near who's who should i be worried about yeah oh yeah and then i started learning like okay i my parents were letting me go to school on my own which i was like okay great then i get to miss first or second period i don't even need to go to those classes where everybody's shaking their legs because in addition to misophonia i have misokensia which i didn't even realize uh but yeah people shaking their legs in the morning time to try to stay awake in homeroom skipped that skipped all of it i would come in late um pretty much high like from weed because i was just i was trying to self-medicate you know like yeah uh getting an edge off and then um yeah by the time i was in i think my 10th grade, 11th grade, 11th grade, I got sent to a continuation school. And then after that, I was just like, I'm not even, I'm not even showing up anymore.

Adeel [16:32]: So you didn't graduate from high school or anything?

Elektra [16:34]: I got my GED later, which was also pretty difficult because I had to go to all these different morning classes and stuff, which I was like, oh my God, I just, I walked out on my math test. I got as far as I could. And I was like, hopefully this passes.

Adeel [16:47]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. um i'm curious so when you were doing um uh you know cbd and we'd come up and and and that's the kind of thing that you know the few times i've tried to make things super paranoid and i've heard that from other guests as well did that help or did it relax or did it make you more paranoid i'm curious sounds like it um it definitely helped it definitely relaxed um

Elektra [17:13]: I was very scared of it for a very long time. But my friend was like, you know, you should really because I also in addition, like, I just sound so sensitive right now and saying in addition to all this, but also in high school, I was struggling with the way that I was just going through a lot with my home life. In addition, like, in my There was a lot going on at one time, you know, when I was in high school and I basically became bulimic without me knowing it. It was just kind of more of like my nerves, my chaotic atmosphere. I just kind of forgot to eat. And so when I would eat, it would make my stomach hurt and I would throw up or like I'd get upset super easily. My stomach would hurt. I'd throw up to try to make it feel better. I didn't really have a lot of people around me who were like taking care of me. So nobody was like. pretty much there to help. So I was kind of just figuring things out for myself. And then a friend was like, you should smoke weed and then you'll probably eat. Thank God, because I gained like 20 pounds, like which I really needed. I was just like, I look at photos and like, wow, I was very sick then. And yeah, it helped. It helped. It helped a lot.

Adeel [18:26]: And would you think the misophonia, I know you had other stuff going on. Do you think the misophonia affected your eating disorder as well? I have heard people, some people equate or relate the two in the context of like they try to eat really quickly to get away from the table. This might be totally different from what you were going through, but you know. I don't know. I'm just trying to say that sometimes they are related, so I'm just curious.

Elektra [18:53]: No, no. I mean, it definitely is related. I still think it's related today. I have really bad eating habits. It definitely has a lot to do with my misophonia. I think something, again, going back to my son, I want him to have healthy eating habits, sit at the table with us, eat three times a day. A lot of family values, I feel like I missed out on because I was hiding from everybody. And also because I felt like I wasn't being listened to, respected or cared about. So that also, and so I kind of just, I still am struggling with my eating habits and keeping up with it. I feel like just because it correlates with all of my fears.

Adeel [19:43]: yeah well i mean you're yeah those are i mean you missed that well yeah you had a distorted i guess um introduction to those basic habits so it's understandable that it probably takes a while but it's uh it's good that you're being aware of that for your for your son so that's that's great uh did you have siblings when you were at home there

Elektra [20:04]: uh yeah uh no my mom um at my mom's house i had my brother and then my sister was later born like right before my mom moved out of state at my dad's house um i now have a brother and a sister but um that kind of happened after i left the house Yeah.

Adeel [20:26]: Okay. Okay. Gotcha. Okay. And, uh, so then, okay, so let's say, yeah, you, you got out, you got your GED, I forget what it's called around here, but, uh, um, then, then, then you're, I guess, out in the world. Um, how did, uh, a lot of us, you know, our triggers start to multiply. Is that kind of what happened to you? But for a lot of people though, uh, also they're, kind of when they become first independents, they kind of forget about some of their misophonia and tends to be kind of like a chill period. I'm curious kind of what happened post kind of like high school.

Elektra [21:04]: No chill period. No chill period. I wish. That sounds delightful. I would have loved that. I remember friends wanting to like... I got my GED and I started going to, like, taking college classes at CCSF with some of my roommates or, like, my friends. And they were like, hey, we should go to school together. And I'd go, all right. As soon as we got on uni, I'd be like, I'm sorry. I'm putting down my headphones. They, I mean, I know that we're... And then, you know, being in classes with I started to realize I was like, I can't take classes with my friends because I want to sit in a weird seat. They don't want to sit in a weird seat with me. And I'm just going to seem like the weirdo like that needs to show up 30 minutes early so that I can change seats about five times.

Adeel [21:49]: um was it mainly people that were triggering you because when you said munia and instantly remember the uh the screeching and the you know through the tunnels and whatnot i'm curious like what you know what was the extent of your your triggers back then um

Elektra [22:06]: I guess you would call those unnatural sounds, but those are more of like what I categorize as natural sounds. And those don't bother me as much ones that happen. Like, um, I get atmospherically the ones that really trigger me are people, uh, sounds. And I think that maybe I attribute that to a little bit of like, kind of just, uh, an attack, but also like, I have a little bit of OCD too, where I'm just like, I need you to, just stop you know just stay calm sit there like i hear about japanese uh trains where they are like oh they don't want you to be it's like culture that you to be quiet and sit where you are and just wait for your bus stop and i'm kind of like that where i'm like why did you bring chips here this is not a buffet why did you do this you know so it's a little bit of like that I need everything ironed out. But also, I mean, it's definitely at the forefront is my misophonia, but I can't stand listening to those things. But also it's kind of like, I don't understand where you're coming from right now by doing that. And like, again, with children, I've noticed as I was growing up, like this has always been the case that children don't trigger me. And I think it's because they have a sense of innocence. you know when they're eating their chips and they're just like chomping and staring at me and drools dribbling down their face it does not bother me for some reason but if an adult were doing that i would want i would be imagining really bad things happening to them you know what i mean

Adeel [23:38]: I know exactly what you mean. I've talked about this on the podcast a little bit. Other people have said similar things because I feel like your brain, when it's an adult, your brain feels like this person has the free will to do this and they're doing this to attack me. But a child, I feel like especially with my own child like there's no threat you know and so right at least that's what my brain how my brain is interpreting it they're not seeing it's not seeing a threat from a child whereas exactly yeah an adult you're doing this for some reason and i can't get you to stop you're obviously doing it on purpose to hurt me so oh definitely i definitely um can relate to the you're doing you're doing this to hurt me feeling yeah so what were some of your um coping mechanisms um healthy or otherwise uh you know around then and and then and now like you said you obviously you're you know you you try to avoid um uh you know going to class you avoid classes um um were there other things like headphones earbuds uh you know you you said you were yeah you could try to read at some point but um yeah what are some other you know some some of the things you were doing um back then there's there's not a lot i mean there's no cure as you know um no yeah

Elektra [24:59]: uh well now i have my two noise cancelling air pods that i bring with me everywhere but when i was a kid it was like walkmans right and i actually had like different degrees of headphones that worked and did not work well and i would go through them often i always had a pouch of batteries in my bag just in case anything were to happen brilliant yep yeah and oh i always had my degree of cds that were like okay this is the loudest so this will you know like if i can hear somebody eating on bart from the other side of the car that's what this cd is for you know what i mean and um So definitely music. Music has always helped me. Now that I have noise-canceling headphones, I love that because I don't always have to listen to something, which has always been something I've always struggled with. It's like, why don't you just listen to music? Well, I don't want to listen to anything, actually. The problem is that I just want it to be quiet for just a little bit, please. And so the noise-canceling does not help everything, but I do live in Philadelphia. I live in a row house, so my bedroom... is right on the street with a busy stoplight so i have them in constantly i have a roommate or a housemate she lives above and i can hear her music all the time i've complained a million times she doesn't care so i wear my headphones pretty much constantly i've had ear infections five times since she's lived here and that's probably what I'm like really where my anchor if you can hear is coming from right now but it's because it's something I'm like still majorly struggling with and all I'm so headphones definitely definitely definitely the marijuana did help but I mean it's not like going to be a huge cure when you're already kind of struggling with depression that doesn't really help that aspect of it and um i think mimicking has always helped me uh which does not sound great to other people when you're talking to them like it's not a nice thing to do like but seriously when i'm really really like all the triggers are hitting me my husband and i are having a great day walking down the street but then it's just too many cars are going by playing loud loud music that's kind of taking over all of my senses plenty of them are going by because it's rush hour and then this is happening that's happening somebody walks by me eating and then i just flip out and i start mimicking everybody who's around me you know and that's when i that's when i look crazy isn't this crazy i can't think of any other disorder or any other medical condition where making copying it actually makes you feel better yes it does and my husband hates that and i feel really bad but the mimicking because he he thinks it's an attack on him that i'm like when i have to and but i'm like seriously honestly if you I'm not trying to hurt your feelings. So that's something I'm trying to not do as much because I know it hurts his feelings, but also at the same time, it's so relieving to just do, it's almost like you're showing them like this is how stupid you sound, you know, but also at the same time, like I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm just trying to get out of my head. Otherwise it's just going to ring in my ears and into my eyes and it's just never going to leave.

Adeel [28:29]: right have you read the are you aware of the research this year from uh from england about about uh about the mirroring um i'm not sure if i read the specific article that you're talking about yeah there was so uh just briefly uh dr kamara has been like one of the leading researchers we're all hoping to cross our fingers that he cracks this uh soon but the latest research uh is that about misophonia is that uh or at least one thing they found with mris is uh that for people with misophonia, when they're experiencing that rage, watching somebody who is chewing, the part of our brain that's going to control our motor neurons, so the neurons that will actually move our mouth and jaw, they're going crazy, even though our mouth is not moving. And so one of the suggestions is that they shouldn't be moving like that. But that imbalance between not actually moving and then our neurons going crazy is causing discomfort. And then our mimicking is satisfying those neurons. And that's why we feel better.

Elektra [29:39]: That's interesting.

Adeel [29:43]: Anyways. It's really interesting.

Elektra [29:45]: I'll have to look into that.

Adeel [29:48]: um and i had to actually one of the uh lead the lead researchers on that paper uh dr fine you know on a previous episode back in june or something so that that would she's really good at explaining it um and they have got more research planned and hopefully this all kind of like uh goes in the right direction but um so that's awesome yeah

Elektra [30:11]: I was just going to say, I do look at on, I don't know who runs the Instagram, but I do look at like some of the articles that you guys post on there.

Adeel [30:19]: Oh, yeah. Well, that's all me.

Elektra [30:21]: Oh, okay.

Adeel [30:23]: Oh, nice. Yeah, I try to be up. I've got a Google alert, you know, if there's anything good. Usually it's a lot of, you know, weird UK talk shows and then some, you know, some morning show person making fun of Miss Funny or something. But sometimes there's some good research out there, so I try to post it.

Elektra [30:41]: Oh, that's good.

Adeel [30:43]: so um yeah so then i guess with your uh yeah with your husband you said that um um you you guys found out i had a name after you were you were together i'm curious how was that um um how did that how did start kind of the relationship go like in the early days did you have to tell him right away or was it something that you kind of he witnessed and he's

Elektra [31:08]: It's funny because I've worked in restaurants for 15 years, which I don't know how I got away with that. But we worked at like a creperie on Haight Street together and that's how we met. And I'm sure, I'm sure, I'm sure because it's something that I do often. Like if I get a table that already comes in chewing their gum, I'll give that table to somebody else because I'm like, obviously they can't eat. properly now how are they going to eat properly while serving their table so i'll i'm sure that i probably just brought it up and was like i can't handle this customer right now could you take care of them for me or something to that effect and um something i mean i love my husband obviously but something i love about him is that he's so like open and understanding to so many different and he doesn't really place a lot of judgment. He understands that people have things that make them unique. And I've always felt comfortable being able to tell him things. He's seen me at my absolute, absolute, absolute worst that I will never tell anybody about. And he still loves me unconditionally. And so it's really nice to have a partner who, cares about it you know what i mean like even when it didn't have a name um he still took it seriously i remember one time we were at golden gate park and we were trying we just kept on going everywhere trying to have lunch outside and there was just nowhere comfortable because all these sounds were happening and he actually went up to a guy and asked some guy to stop whistling for me and i was like that is so weird And so like out of place, but I appreciate you doing that for me. Like, and I'll always remember that. That was like in the beginning of our relationship. You know what I mean? And he himself is a wisp. And he's like, dude, I understand. It's so fun, but she's got this thing. And the guy was a total dick about it, obviously. But it was just, it was, I mean, this was over 10 years. This was like 15 years ago.

Adeel [33:10]: You know what I mean? I mean, that's, that's bold going to talk to somebody about whistling. So that's that. Definitely. Oh, yeah. That's a keeper.

Elektra [33:20]: Yeah, no, definitely. He is. And he totally understands everything. Sorry, not to interrupt. Sorry. Just when we go to a restaurant or anything, he's always very, very...

Adeel [33:31]: nice about it yeah and uh what about other friends like uh now like uh you know you know in adulthood and stuff like you said you you're um you try to be more uh open about it uh and i've heard you know i've heard the phrase from uh people referring to it as you know coming out like they like when they came out um to you know to the world about their about their sexuality. It's a weird thing to say for misophonia, but I've heard it before said that way. But now are you just more open about it? Do you tell all your friends, try to advocate maybe? Or is it just something that is kind of a need to know, but you make sure people know?

Elektra [34:16]: um it kind of really depends on the situation like friends that i've had for a really long time i'll be like so you know that thing that i had you know it's an actual thing you know like there's that and then there's like with my family especially i love my family sometimes they do things that make a lot of noise sometimes there's lots of snacks involved um but i love my family therefore i want to be around them and that's just kind of how i'm figuring it now like if i didn't care about you i just leave and that's easy for me to do now you know what i mean i've done i've been doing it my entire life but i love you i want to be around you would you please just help me with this um Because I want to be here. So that's how I'm approaching that with my family. With friends, it's kind of just like, I'll handle it for like a minute, but not too long. I will say, okay, you know what? Now's my time to exit. Or like with Instagram, for instance, you know, you can be a little bit more anonymous there. I do post all the time about like my misophonia on my stories and stuff like that. And almost... every time i do somebody says thank you so much i have this too and i'm like wow i didn't know my aunt has it a friend of mine wrote me yeah and then another it's almost every time somebody says thank you so much for uh like telling people about this oh okay like i have um i have friends just because we have misophonia you know what i mean like yeah i always ask about that right like have you met anyone with this phony and how how did that go Oh, yeah. I actually had a friend that I worked with, too. He was a cook, so I feel like he didn't have to deal with a lot of the triggers that I did, but I would talk to him about it, and he said that he didn't have it that extreme, and I was like... your parents must like listen to you and he's like yeah they've always been super nice about it and you know like that sounds nice because you don't seem like you get that upset but i have like broken teeth because of this yeah okay was that the low point that you were you were talking about or did it go lower i i'm sure it's been a little bit lower i've been i i'm not proud of like I'm very proud of my journey upwards. Let's just say that.

Adeel [36:34]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's great. What's your, what's your Instagram account? Is that, is it public or is it just private amongst family and friends?

Elektra [36:42]: Um, it's public. I, I most, I used to post my photography and stuff like that, but now it's all just my son. Um, it's just my name, Electra Oliveira, but I do, um, make clothes and design them. And I have another Instagram for that, which is unknown apparel.

Adeel [37:00]: Okay, yeah. I'll definitely, I mean, if it's okay, I'll link those in the show notes and share those. Please, yeah. I put them in the Missiphonia, the new Missiphonia app that I have. I have a whole section on businesses and businesses by Missiphons because I just want us to spend money on each other.

Elektra [37:19]: Yes, please.

Adeel [37:20]: Yes.

Elektra [37:20]: It's unknown at unknown two underscores apparel.

Adeel [37:24]: I didn't know I was going to be able to plug that, but yeah, I'm going to, Oh yeah, no, this is a, I'm trying to turn this into as much plugging as possible.

Elektra [37:32]: So, yeah, thank you. I, I do try to talk about it on my, um, I'm like, I haven't really discussed it on my, uh, business profile that much, but it is something that I kind of want to introduce because it's so fricking difficult. Like I, can't even imagine sometimes getting somebody to even help me with something because of misophonia so like it's a very solitude project for me and i'm sure a lot of other misophonia people would understand that right so you're so do you are you actively uh you're designing apparel and right now like how's that um how's that uh i guess what's your what's your workflow there um well it used to be i used to work pretty much every day um even if i had like a day job i would try to get at least something done i work from home but right now after having uh my son it's been a little bit harder to find time so when my husband works from home he helps me out and uh we're still working on my schedule but i'm trying my trying my very very best because it is like uh it's a blessing to be able to work from home and be around my son all the time. And also like have him experience something so vastly different than, um, what people are used to, you know, mom and dad going to work and then him going to daycare. Like it, it would just be very special for me to just have him sit on my lap while I sew, which happens sometimes.

Adeel [39:02]: Yeah. So, uh, are you creating a one-off pieces or I should probably do my research before? Oh no, it's okay. Yeah.

Elektra [39:11]: um some are one-off pieces but i have staple kind of collections because i it's more one collection is geared towards like workwear so lots of pockets jumpsuits um and then these like really bold screen printed stripes that i do i screen print the fabric myself uh designed so construct or cut, construct everything. So it's kind of like geared towards servers or people with like really messy industry jobs, you know, florists. I get tattoo artists, a lot of people who need like accoutrements all the time because there's tons of pockets. But I'm working on another collection now that's kind of more of the vagabond, the on the run traveling. aspect instead of you know being in the workplace there's a little bit more of a dreamy aspect to this new collection i'm working on

Adeel [40:06]: Interesting, but being a vagabond, maybe you're running away from sounds or having a lot of time to store your earbuds and batteries.

Elektra [40:14]: All of the above.

Adeel [40:15]: I mean, joking aside, but I'm curious if like, you know, a lot of, as you may or may not know, a lot of misophones have creative outlets. I'm curious if, you know, is this is one of those things that developed as a kind of an art therapy for you as you were living life as a misophone?

Elektra [40:37]: I wouldn't be surprised. I do remember like I've always been creatively inclined, but I do think that like it wasn't kind of just like a natural occurrence. I definitely think it kind of came out of my solitude and needing to do something with my hands.

Adeel [40:58]: Right, right. Yeah, a lot of, I don't know if it's chicken or egg, but we end up being a little bit more introverted maybe than most people.

Elektra [41:07]: yeah exactly i've actually my husband um there's like a comic book artist that he really enjoys and he just recently learned that he has misophonia and he was making a superhero that has misophonia in his comic book and all these things and it's always nice to he i mean the guy was talking about like yeah art is like a work of solitude and why it works so well with for him with his misophonia i forget the guy's name because it wasn't something that I looked into, but it was really interesting.

Adeel [41:37]: Are you talking about, uh, Jono Diner in, uh, Flint, Michigan, maybe?

Elektra [41:44]: Uh, maybe.

Adeel [41:45]: Okay. I've had him on the podcast. He's a, yeah, he's also, he's got comics and he's also a musician.

Elektra [41:51]: Jono.

Adeel [41:52]: Yeah. Maybe. I'm curious.

Elektra [41:55]: Yeah. Yeah. Please do. Yeah.

Adeel [41:58]: But if there's somebody else, yeah, I'd love to, uh,

Elektra [42:01]: know who that is and uh maybe reach out that's yeah i'll ask my husband after this and um see if he remembers um like maybe i could just text him really quick oh that's cool um yeah very good okay

Adeel [42:21]: Yeah, I'll definitely have links to your stuff because I definitely think we should all be kind of promoting or supporting each other financially.

Elektra [42:30]: Yeah, that's awesome.

Adeel [42:32]: So, well, cool.

Elektra [42:34]: My husband just wrote me back. He said the name is Kankor.

Adeel [42:38]: Kankor. Okay, that was somebody else.

Elektra [42:40]: C-A-N-K-O-R.

Adeel [42:43]: C-A-N-K-O-R. Okay.

Elektra [42:45]: Yeah.

Adeel [42:45]: We'll have to see what that's about.

Elektra [42:47]: Yeah, one more to the list.

Adeel [42:49]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. um cool okay um yeah so i guess uh yeah i guess um yeah we're kind of hitting about uh yeah 45 minutes or so um yeah i'm curious is there anything else you kind of want to share tell people who are listening um a lot a lot of people have bottled things up but a lot of people had kind of yeah a lot of people had kind of uh um challenging childhoods growing up uh anything else you want to kind of share with people tell people or maybe anything that you want to tell people about your story um you know it's like it's so thick and dense with um stories my i feel like my experience because it it encapsulates

Elektra [43:38]: encapsules my entire life it takes over my entire life from morning to night um even sometimes while i'm sleeping and um i think the one thing that really when i like tapped into that is really do you trigger yourself maybe when you're trying to sleep i've heard that from from something or is it maybe snoring from your partner No, probably just dream stuff, to be honest. People in my dream really bothering me. I've woken up from people in my dreams doing things to trigger me.

Adeel [44:10]: Fascinating.

Elektra [44:12]: That's really awful. I have a lot of nightmares a lot. There's a lot we're working on here. Yeah. But the thing that I think, having lived kind of this life, lost a lot of people in my life kind of, maybe due to this maybe due to things that ways i've reacted to things because of this um i think i do want to just like tell people without misophonia that um the people around you with it they love you and the reason why they're telling you about this is not to be difficult it's not to be extra sensitive it's not to be The center of attention, it's because they love you and they want to be around you. So if you just want to take a second to listen.

Adeel [45:06]: and um try it's gonna make a huge difference and yeah we don't want to burn bridges even though i mean we're we're there because we want to be there it's not because yeah we're not we're not sure you know we didn't come here to to burn a bridge it's just something we can't control um especially if you're dreaming about it i mean it's definitely in your subconscious if that doesn't you know if that doesn't explain it or i don't know what does um yeah exactly

Elektra [45:35]: uh have you have you talked to is there any dream therapist or anything to kind of like help with sleeping because you know you don't want to be even more sleep deprived uh four months yeah um i'm not sure but we are moving like very very soon and um i'm gonna be looking into getting a uh what's the third uh not behavioral but cbt or yeah there's cognitive yeah i think yeah i'd like yes yes yes there we go that's what the word is um that's i'd really like to look into that kind of therapist when once we move we're just there's a lot of uh cogs that are kind of moving right now and i feel like throwing that in there would kind of just mess things up a little bit so one thing at a time but that's definitely like something i'm looking into with my new fresh life yeah that seems to be um cbt seems to be the the leading candidate at least right now in terms of uh doing something about it one of the people that when i was telling you about the instagram and people always respond actually one person wrote me and that's when i was sold because she told me i used to have misophonia really badly until i started going to see it uh cbt and um i'm she said i'm not cured but i can do things and i was like i see you going out all the freaking time i see you going to drag shows this and that like okay yeah i'll try that i'll definitely try that then

Adeel [47:10]: yeah i think i think i've heard that yeah obviously it's not going to cure it but i think it helps your brain kind of come back to normal you know like right uh revert back faster than what happens to us is we're kind of like we're done for the day in many cases so oh yeah at the beginning of the day i'm already done Yeah, I mean, isn't that, yeah, doesn't that suck when you wake up? I usually wake up pretty optimistically and then, yeah, if I hear something, it could be a while before. And then if it happens to snowball, then there's this point of no return at some point.

Elektra [47:45]: Oh yeah, a whole day is wasted after at that point. If you can't get it, if you can't get it fixed by like noon, one, then the whole day is pretty much ruined.

Adeel [47:53]: Do you do anything like, are you able to, can you go for a walk or something? I know your housemates kind of like a nightmare, but how do you kind of try to get back to normal? I guess, is it just earbuds and listening to stuff?

Elektra [48:07]: In San Francisco, I felt like very free because if anything were to really bother me, I'd go to the least touristy place at Land's End, go to Sutro Baths, listen to the water, listen to no one around me, play in a cave. just be by myself, you know, with a lot of fresh air around me to breathe, like actually breathe. But right now, living in Philadelphia, it's very condensed. And if I leave, somebody is walking past me as soon as I leave my house. Anywhere I go in the neighborhood, there's always going to be somebody around me. I cannot walk far enough for somebody to just not be next to me. And that's been so difficult for me because, like,

Adeel [48:51]: i just i i need to be able to just not be around you be around anybody please thank you that's temporary it's not like yeah it's not doesn't happen exactly yeah we're not trying to burn a bridge uh as far as yeah my my favorite place is to walk we're like right yeah right around sutra baths and lands and that little corner um i know exactly which cave i think you're talking about so or that little tunnel that's down there um

Elektra [49:16]: yeah you can walk you walk all the way down because nobody walks down because they don't want to walk all the way up so then you get to go all the way out it's like none of the tourists ever go there they kind of just stay central or you can't but lands in there oh muni i don't even know which muni goes there i'm not going to go there so it's kind of sacred right exactly exactly

Adeel [49:41]: Well, cool. Well, yeah, Electra, thanks for coming on and sharing your story.

Elektra [49:47]: Of course. Thank you for doing this.

Adeel [49:50]: Oh, yeah. No, of course. It's great to hear all the experiences you've had. I know a lot of people are going to relate. And I wish you the best of luck in your new life back on the West Coast.

Elektra [50:01]: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Adeel [50:04]: Thank you, Electra. Everyone, remember to check out Unknown Apparel. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. You can hit me up by email at hello at misophoniapodcast.com or go to the website, misophoniapodcast.com. Easiest way actually to send us a message is on Instagram at Misophonia Podcast. Follow there or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast. And Twitter, it's actually Misophonia Show. You can support the show by visiting our Patreon page, patreon.com slash Misophonia Podcast. Theme music this week is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [50:57]: Bye.