Allison - Navigating life and connections with misophonia

S5 E26 - 5/25/2022
In this episode, Adeel interviews Allison, who shares her journey with misophonia, starting from her childhood. Allison first noticed her sensitivity to mouth noises at around eight or nine years old, after her family underwent several relocations. The condition has significantly affected her life, including her social interactions, workplace accommodations, and relationships with family and friends. She recounts efforts to seek accommodations at work, which were largely unsuccessful and even led to mockery. Family gatherings, however, offer a supportive environment, especially since misophonia appears to run in her family. Allison also discusses coping strategies, including noise-canceling headphones and white noise, and her hopes for better understanding and treatment of misophonia in the future. Despite the challenges, she finds solace in sharing experiences with others who have misophonia, highlighting the importance of community support and understanding.


Adeel [0:00]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 26. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. Today I'm talking to Allison, a longtime listener of the podcast who lives in Tacoma, Washington. and works as a biologist for a science agency there. Allison actually of course has misophonia, but also a remarkable number of her family members have it as well. Some in denial, but it is definitely all over her family. We talk about the dynamics there, what family events are like, what it was like growing up before any of them knew this was a thing. And then we also talk about things like her workplace and being nudged back into the office post-COVID. Really interesting episode. Allison is also an artist and I'll link to her Instagram in the show notes and on social media. Quick reminder, you can reach me on Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast or shoot me an email at hello at You can help the podcast by sharing or leaving a quick review or rating wherever you listen to the show. And if you feel like contributing a little bit financially, we also have a Patreon page where I'm giving away swag and you can learn more there at slash misophonia podcast. All right, here's my conversation with Allison. Allison, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Allison [1:28]: Thank you. It's great to be here.

Adeel [1:30]: So, yeah, you want to tell us kind of whereabouts are you?

Allison [1:34]: I'm in Tacoma, Washington, the great Pacific Northwest.

Adeel [1:39]: Yeah.

Allison [1:39]: I've been here for about a year, but I have never left Washington since I went to college up here. I'm originally from Oregon.

Adeel [1:49]: Oh, nice. Yeah, my first job out of college was in Seattle, and I kind of definitely kind of miss that whole area. I feel like I'll have to come back at some point.

Allison [2:01]: Yeah, this last year, well, 18 months during COVID has been interesting for me because I'm getting to work from home instead of being at a big cubicle and office. Things have been a little different for me trigger-wise, working from home and working at an office every day.

Adeel [2:22]: Right. And other than probably neighbors and whatnot, do you have any like a human or, you know, other people you're living with or it's pretty independent?

Allison [2:34]: I live alone. I just have, I have a corgi puppy and she's six months old. Hopefully you can't hear her in the background. I tried to give her treats and distract her while I was on the call.

Adeel [2:47]: That was totally fine.

Allison [2:49]: Yeah.

Adeel [2:50]: Cool. Yeah.

Allison [2:50]: So mostly just some neighbor stuff.

Adeel [2:54]: Yeah. So then, yeah. So then are you going to be, do you think you'll be transitioning back into an office environment or are you going to be able to kind of keep a lot of this?

Allison [3:06]: Well, my agency is, you know, kind of nudging people to start coming back. And the office I work at, we call it the Death Star because it's just this huge concrete building in Olympia in our capital. And it's just cubicles on top of cubicles. And you have to pay for parking to work there and no other office. Yeah, no other employees in our agency have to pay for parking, but we do. And so... It's kind of like, well, why would we come back and have to pay for parking? So that's an interesting place to be with the agency.

Adeel [3:55]: okay gotcha um all right so yeah that'll be they'll be interesting to see how that plays out but overall the uh the last 18 months for you have been pretty must be pretty all right if you're able to really you know a lot for a lot of us it's about control of our environment and you're probably able to control it uh as you know as much as you're able to control your uh your uh puppy yeah so i might not be a trigger

Allison [4:25]: No, she's not, unless she does certain things. Like, I don't know why I did this, but I bought her, like, a sensory licking mat. And you, like, put peanut butter on it. And sometimes I'm like, okay, Penelope, that's enough of that. Like, you got it all. But mostly she doesn't annoy me, which is interesting because other people's dogs annoy me sometimes. Like if they're constantly licking or something. So I'm kind of seeing that pattern. It's like, okay, if it's like my own thing, it doesn't annoy me. But if it's someone else's thing, it annoys me.

Adeel [5:09]: Mhm. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, and then, and then, yeah. And then I guess, and then before, like when you were in the office, like what was going on before it was, it was a lot of, it's been a lot of office, office triggers, uh, maybe even like social triggers with friends, like before all this started happening, uh, COVID wise.

Allison [5:29]: Yeah. So our office is like open floor plan, cubicles and, um, Everyone, it's weird. It's like, I don't think it's very professional, but people eat at their desk. And so there's someone you're like back to back with that's eating at their desk.

Adeel [5:51]: You know, they probably think it's more professional because they feel like they're getting more done, which is the irony of it.

Allison [5:57]: I know, I know. But like, I had a coworker that would eat popcorn all day long. Like, that was his thing that got him through the day. Yeah. Or there's someone unidentified, like, three rows over that would clip their nails all the time in the office. And luckily, that one was, like, people would look at me and also be like, what the hell is going on? Like, that's so weird. But that really got me. There was another guy. that would brush his teeth out of his cubicle. Oh, God. And, like, spit the water into his garbage can. Oh, my God. So I don't know if it's just, like, scientists, biologists, and, like, they're just on a freer level at the office, but just some really appalling things going on on our floor.

Adeel [7:01]: Right.

Allison [7:01]: That makes it really hard to concentrate.

Adeel [7:04]: Everything's a petri dish. It seems that you're a scientific agency. Yeah.

Allison [7:12]: Yeah. Like I had to ask my supervisor at one point, can we please not do lunch meetings anymore? Like it was like the only time we would have, like we have a five person group and he always wanted to make it a lunch meeting. And I finally had to tell him, like, look, I have these triggers, and I really can't concentrate during the meeting if it's a lunch meeting. And I think he tried to accommodate it a little bit, but people would bring their snacks to any time of day we were meeting, so it kind of didn't matter.

Adeel [7:52]: Yeah, I mean, the way you cut, you either accommodate or you don't. You basically say no food or let food in. It's kind of interesting. Okay. Was that your kind of your only attempt? That's me. I know, I know.

Allison [8:10]: Sorry, my puppy is barking at me.

Adeel [8:13]: Is that kind of the only time you've tried to kind of ask for accommodation? Have there been other times that you used to try to make something happen?

Allison [8:25]: I was at a point before COVID happened where I was thinking about, like, this really is... you know, a disorder and an issue that I should be able to ask for accommodations.

Adeel [8:46]: Yeah, yeah, under ADA, for sure.

Allison [8:49]: Yeah, I was starting to think about that and, you know, what my next step would be because I just hated being at the office and I just couldn't concentrate. But then we got sent home and the only other real attempt... yeah the only other real attempts at the office were like i told some of my co-workers that are um you know they're co-workers but they're close friends of mine too and that was kind of that always kind of kind of backfires you know it's like oh people think it's a joke right they're like really no oh you know they start to mock you and stuff yeah oh yeah then comes the teasing and um it's not just it's just not taken seriously and not just the first time it's like okay i mean i can almost well

Adeel [9:54]: almost expect the joking and teasing the first time but if they're um you would think that adults would kind of um you know act like adults after that did that not happen yeah okay well and it's also just kind of isolating and makes you feel like people think you don't like them like right my work groups

Allison [10:24]: We would have to go to meetings and they would all want to carpool in one Explorer with like five people. And I knew that that was going to be like way too much for me. And so I would always like, yeah, I was always like, well, I'll try to find a reason to drive my own truck there. Maybe I'll take one other person with me. But I always avoided like the groups. carpool which I'm sure made people think like oh she doesn't like us and so it's like this weird social thing that comes from the misophonia when it's really it's just like I don't know how to explain that it's like self preservation that I cannot sit in this car and like listen to you guys snack the whole time or Or not have my own control if I'm not driving.

Adeel [11:28]: Right, right.

Allison [11:30]: Yeah.

Adeel [11:31]: Well, okay. Maybe just put your work on the back burner for a little bit here. Yeah, it sounds like not the most accommodative at the moment. But let's rewind back. And then I think we're going to rewind even further back than you. But yeah, curious, kind of like early days, early days of misophonia for you. What was it like?

Allison [12:00]: I really noticed that like mouth noises and stuff like that were really bugging me around like the age of eight or nine. My mom and dad split when i was two and my mom remarried and we quickly like moved to um north washington and then we moved to alaska and then we moved to new mexico and then we moved back home to albany oregon and um that was just like a lot of change for a kid before eight or nine and so yeah I don't remember being triggered before that age. Maybe I was. But my first memories of it were, like, sitting around the dinner table with my sisters and my three cousins because my aunt and her kids lived in the same hometown. And I would just get so irrationally mad about them, like, chewing with their mouth open. our family didn't do that. And so I was like, why does your family do that? And like, I would just get so mad at my cousins. And then of course it was like, of course you're going to tease your cousin. So then they, if I ever said anything, it was like, they would do it 10 times worse, you know? So those are like the first memories of it. Really?

Adeel [13:36]: Yeah. Did that spread then to, um, you know, back at you back at home?

Allison [13:43]: um i think so um i was asking my mom if she ever noticed that things bugged me and um she's like oh i don't like i obviously didn't know you had mesophonia because like no one knew what it was back then but um i just figured it was genetic because your dad was kind of like that like biological dad yeah like he didn't like utensils creeping against bowls and like chewing noises and stuff like that. So, cause I just kind of figured it was something genetic.

Adeel [14:23]: Gotcha. Okay. Um, and maybe about your dad, I guess the dad, do you know if that had anything to do with the, um, with what happened with him and your mom?

Allison [14:40]: um i don't think so they they kind of separated because my dad um he worked really hard and he had to travel a lot and you know my mom didn't like that but he was a you know a true traditional provider and so he just He couldn't get out of that mindset of, like, I have to provide for my family, even though, you know, we didn't get to see him that much. You know, and I'm not, like, completely aware of all the dynamics because I was two. But, yeah.

Adeel [15:24]: So, yeah, that sounds like, yeah, it wasn't because of purely because of the anger. It wasn't directly related to that. And may, right, may be kind of the, may have, the traveling may have, maybe it may have actually helped the misophone. I'm not going to get into analyzing that, but, you know, not being around maybe. kind of this was maybe better anyways um uh in just a miss okay i'm gonna shut up now but you know what i mean uh but let's maybe have you talked to your um have you talked to your dad where did you get a chance to talk to your dad about misophonia since you knew kind of what it was since you've known it has a name oh yeah so my older sister has it really bad even though she's like weirdly in denial about it

Allison [16:17]: but i can talk more about that so my sister has it my older sister has it really bad and my dad and then my aunt on my dad's side um and i'm pretty sure my grandpa probably had it um and then i have a cousin on my dad's side who definitely has it and Maybe one of his daughters has it. But coming back around, it was the infamous New York Times article. My sister somehow found it back in like 2015 and forwarded it to me and my dad and said something like, it's about the um disorder whatever you two have and i just like thought it was so funny it's like you have it too hon like don't don't fool yourself and so then we sent it to my aunt and like it's kind of the the four of us like at family get-togethers we'll talk shop like talk about our triggers and you know, what really annoys us. And it's like a little like therapy session where we just talk about all those things together. And yeah. So, you know, I had to identify that it's like in our family.

Adeel [17:50]: Yeah. You know how it's going on, on the podcast that the author, I had the author of that article on the podcast a little earlier this year. The audio wasn't that great, but, but yeah, I got to talk to her about that, you know, how that article came about and whatnot. And, how she actually picked the word misophonia versus some some other things and so yeah it's kind of interesting to hear her talk about it um but anyways yeah i mean i think she changed a lot of people's lives heck yeah it's like you can finally identify what is going on you know Well, you can say it's in the New York Times. I mean, that's for some reason. For some people, that's all it takes. It's real. Yeah, yeah. And so, okay, so it's spread from your sister in denial. Wow, a lot of people. That's great that you can all kind of get together. And it's probably... So your big family gatherings are probably, well, yeah. I mean, so these are all on your dad's side, right? All these people that you mentioned, pretty much?

Allison [18:57]: Yeah, it's all on my dad's side. So the cooks have some long line of miscellaneous issues.

Adeel [19:06]: Yeah, okay.

Allison [19:07]: Yeah, it's interesting.

Adeel [19:09]: So Thanksgiving must be pretty... I mean, a lot of people dread it, but then for you guys, it must be pretty... Like, everyone knows what's up. So, you know, you can... I know. You can leave when you need to. People are probably more sensitive. That sounds pretty good.

Allison [19:30]: Yeah, and for me, it's, like, not as bad if I'm, like, eating at the same time. You know, if we all sit down together and... You're kind of distracted by discussion and everything. But yeah, in other situations, I'm like, I have to leave the room.

Adeel [19:50]: Yeah, yeah. So then, yeah, specifically for you, I guess, as you were getting older after eight and nine, how did how did this funny evolve for you and kind of getting through getting into high school and college and whatnot?

Allison [20:05]: I think it really contributed to like some test anxiety because I just remember having so much anxiety about going into a testing room and feeling like, what if I can't focus? What if I can't focus? And, you know, that was before we knew what this was, but anything could distract me, you know, like the sniffing or someone tapping a shoe or, you know, tapping their pencil. So I think it caused a lot of anxiety during school and especially during college. I just remember being in huge lecture halls and almost just, like, having... I feel like I did leave a couple times when I just could not handle it. But, like, you have to take the test. So you could avoid a lecture and, you know, maybe if they recorded it, listen to it later. But you can't avoid the test. And I just remember being so distracted during testing times.

Adeel [21:21]: And did you try to tell anybody, like your teachers?

Allison [21:26]: No. No. I just, like, I felt so like it was my... issue you know I wish I had reached out but I don't think I was like yeah I don't think so I don't think I told people because I bottled it up like a lot of us do you know you don't really know what it is and you just I could control it more with family because I could tell someone if they were annoying me or something But I would really avoid trying to do that during early school and then college because I wanted to have friends and not have people think I was mean or judgy, you know?

Adeel [22:18]: How did your family, all these people who had misophonia, express yourselves before you knew it had a name? Were you all just kind of glaring at each other? Well...

Allison [22:33]: So one of my biggest things is I hate gum. Like with a passion, I think it's the worst invention of all time.

Adeel [22:42]: I've been hearing about gum a lot, more than usual lately.

Allison [22:46]: And gum is like, I feel like it's the catalyst for my auditory triggers.

Adeel [22:52]: Some asshole made a lot of money off gum like a hundred years ago.

Allison [22:54]: Yeah. I feel like it's turning into a visual trigger. It's a smell trigger.

Adeel [22:59]: Oh, of course it will.

Allison [23:00]: If I know someone... you know I can smell it and I'm like oh god um but my my dad and my sister will like purposely chew gum in the car and I will just have a fit I'm like you guys you have this too you understand how bad this is for me and they're just like whatever hun like we're gonna chew our gum you'll be fine and they'll just like do it anyway okay that's an interesting reaction from misophones It really is. And then on the other hand, like, that's the only situation I can think of where they're, like, really trying to taunt me with it. Because gum doesn't bother them. But, like, more than not, they're supportive. And I try to be supportive. Like, my sister, who's in denial, like, for years at one of her jobs that she could, you know, break away and call me from. she would call me or text me and say, oh my gosh, my cubing is eating an apple again. I just can't handle this. And I'm like, yeah, you definitely have it. Maybe even worse with me because you have to call someone to get through it.

Adeel [24:24]: And so how is she still in denial then? She just won't admit that it's...

Allison [24:32]: you shouldn't denial about it being a real thing or yeah i'm just curious yeah no but i think she oh she's gonna kill me for this but i think she's a little bit of a perfectionist and she doesn't want to have something wrong

Adeel [24:52]: Yeah, she sounds like a perfectionist.

Allison [24:54]: I don't want to try to stir something up here between the sisters. Oh, yeah. She's going to be stirred up because she thinks it's ridiculous that I've like, you know, since finding your podcast and like other social media resources, like I got really excited about possibly going to the convention. And like, I was serious about going to it. And I like looked into it. where it was going to be, and then COVID kind of hit. But I was really excited when I told my sister about it. And she's like, hon, you are really getting into this too deep. You need to stop.

Adeel [25:36]: It's almost like you're going to start a podcast and be one of those weirdos talking about misophonia every week.

Allison [25:43]: But I'm like, it's like therapy for me, hon. Like, this is a huge thing in my life. And I think it is in yours, too. But like, this is how you find coping mechanisms, you know?

Adeel [25:58]: yeah well it's yeah even even before the coping mechanisms it's just uh when you go and you just meet other people it's a surreal experience where you kind of feel super connected you feel like you've kind of you kind of understand like half of their psyche growing up you know it's just uh this is this weird thing so um and this is that's just it's just kind of comforting to think about sometimes uh maybe after you've come down or something

Allison [26:27]: It's like I've met a couple people in person where they've been like describing their feelings towards a sound or something. And I'll be like, do you have misophonia? Like kind of say it like just. to feel them out and they're like oh yeah 100 it's like finding someone in like a secret society yeah but no one knows about and you're like oh yeah okay like what are your triggers and blah blah blah and it just feels like so familiar and um comforting you know

Adeel [27:06]: We need some kind of a silent handshake or some secret society, maybe a gang sign. Okay, I'm going to work on that before the convention in a couple weeks. Throwing them up. Yeah. No, but you're right.

Allison [27:21]: Where's the convention?

Adeel [27:23]: Yeah. It's only, it's online. It was online last year. It was going to be in Philly last year. And then with COVID it, it went online and it's, um, it's online again this year and then hopefully it'll be in person, you know, again next year. But, um, Oh, okay. Yeah. Um, but yeah, if you're going to be, so it'll, it'll be all the same people presenting. I'm presenting a little bit about, uh, you know, the 100 episodes and, um, yeah so it'll it'll be cool um it'll be it'll be interesting and this will air long after it but um hopefully i'm sure it's a good event um but yeah well hopefully i'll see you at future ones i mean like like i said it's a good time and then uh i mean obviously you can you can uh get away if uh if if anything's triggering but they they you know for the like the foods that they order are like super soft and not kind of you know peanut butter kind of stuff it's like uh you know, soft muffins and whatnot. Yeah. And the other cool thing is they get, they only get venues where the, it's like a, I forget which hotel type it is, but it's always like double, like double sets of doors to the bedroom. So it's like, you know there's the door and then there's like a living space and then there's another door to the to the bedroom area so that everyone's like shielded extra from sound uh now walls are another thing but still you know it's um yeah it's it's the oh yeah embassy suites always have that uh double door apparently anyways this is not an advertisement for embassy suites but uh um that's kind of how they the the association uh i guess picks their venues um yeah But anyways, yeah, getting back to... Actually, I'm curious, like, how did... You know, where did you meet some of these people in person that had misophonia? Just kind of maybe randomly at work or around town?

Allison [29:21]: Yeah, just through, like, friends of friends. I go to a lot of, you know, events and getaways with my friends. And maybe something hasn't happened, like, so recently because I can't remember exactly.

Adeel [29:38]: the last encountering yeah nobody can yeah well speaking of friends you know you're yeah you're quote unquote friends at work I say quote unquote for because of the behavior the aforementioned behavior but how are your do we talk about like how are your other friends like your you know out of work friends yeah I mean people are aware of it it almost turns into like

Allison [30:07]: Well, no, like I have really sweet friends that, um, you know, maybe I'd mentioned to them once, like try to make it into a joke, but it's not a joke. Like, Oh my God, like you're doing this really loud or like, why are you breathing so hard or something like that? And, you know, I'm, I'm pretty good at opening up to people. So I've told my closest friends about it and, um, my friend in Tacoma here um we've like traveled together we have lived together and she's seriously like one of the best people I've ever traveled and lived with um but she does this like little half cough thing and I must have said something to her one time because Now she'll like tell me like, I'm really trying not to do it around you. I know it really bugs you, but I just can't help it. And so it's like kind of, you know, not a joke, but it's like a known thing between us. And I know she tries not to do it, but it's like, okay, I have a really good friend and there's only one thing that triggers me. I call that a win.

Adeel [31:26]: Yeah, yeah. Take whatever we can get. Right. Yeah, it's interesting how you can... It'd be interesting how you can turn breathing sensitives into a joke. That would be... of funny to hear but um you're then you're uh you're curious about your granddad what made you think that he's um misophonic were there kind of uh legendary family moments from from your history he was just a really like irritable guy and um you know like

Allison [32:11]: Little things would bug him. Like, I went to his retirement home once, and I was like, oh, Grandpa, is that the boat you were on? Because he was in the Navy, and he just looks at me, and he's like, it's a ship. And I'm like 10 or something. Like, I have no idea. And that was, you know, he had a hard side, but looking back, like, I could tell that he also had... a really soft and tender side. And I don't know if a lot of mesophones struggle with that like I do, but it's like you feel like you come off mean and judgy, but maybe you are really soft. on the other side.

Adeel [33:02]: Yeah, I hear it all the time. I mean, it seems like we're highly sensitive, highly self-hypersensitive, highly aware and highly able to kind of like maybe overly read the room and get anxious about how we're being perceived or yeah, I mean, and everything related to that. Is that kind of what you're maybe seeing?

Allison [33:27]: Yeah. And it's hard to have like a I just call it really a disorder now. Um, since you, yeah. Um, I think it was the last, um, Oh my gosh, I'm blanking on her name. You had a, a scholar that was studying in England. I think she was a PhD, but she said, you know, we've identified as a, as a disorder now. Um, and I was really excited about that. Um, It's like it's hard to have your personality kind of defined by a disorder a little bit, you know, because maybe your personality is that you are like super friendly and outgoing and then you have this thing that just crops up and it's like the opposite of being outgoing and want to go do every event because there's also anxiety with it.

Adeel [34:30]: yeah yeah you're right disorder is a bit of a right it's a bit of a loaded term i think um you know simple minds think it's just like you're messed up in general when it's when it's more like but i'm okay with that i'm like well obviously something is happening on you know a chemical um

Allison [34:55]: whatever they want to call it type thing and I don't feel like it's something that should be stigmatized like if someone told me tomorrow like okay there's a medication for it or you have to do this specific therapy I wouldn't care what it was I would do it and like I wouldn't care if it was called a mental health issue or something like that I would just want to pursue taking care of it and, you know, living a better quality life.

Adeel [35:29]: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I was saying that you having, yeah, I'm probably calling whatever and whatever, whatever's going to be the treatment. But for other people, like just calling something a disorder, like you said, doesn't fully describe how it's, what kind of like almost like two minds in one, like a Jekyll and Hyde situation or, Incredible Hulk and Bruce Banner kind of situation where it's, you know, we're normal and maybe actually extra funny, extra nice because we're hyper aware, like very hyper observant. And then this other side when we, you know, when you cross the line, this is kind of game over.

Allison [36:09]: Right. Yeah.

Adeel [36:13]: And so what are your day-to-day coping mechanisms in terms of headphones and stuff? But when you go out in the world or when you're sitting at your desk, how do you keep sane? Well, I guess you're now sitting at your home desk, but what are some of the things you do?

Allison [36:34]: Yeah, I have a fan on at night, every night, as my little white noise protector and i i don't think i necessarily need it where i live now but i've done it for so many years that it's like kind of a sleep crutch like i don't feel right if i don't have the white noise um i definitely just fell in love with noise canceling headphones like a couple years ago i like finally you know had the finances to like buy a really good pair and I take that on any plane ride I'm going on or if I'm going to be staying in a hotel or something like that where I know I'm not going to be able to control what's going on. I've tried earplugs before, but they kind of just make me feel stuffy. You know, like you kind of wake up and you're like, oh, like my ears didn't get to breathe all night. So I mostly just depend on white noise sometimes like if it's if i'm just having a triggered day or whatever i'll like go on my bathroom and turn on all the fans and like take a bath and so you're kind of like in your own little white noise you know situation white noise spa yeah that's usually really relaxing for me yeah um And then a lot of avoidance measures, you know, just like not going to things that you know you're going to be triggered at. Like, I love going to the movies, but I know like 100% of the time someone will be doing something that annoys me. You gotta hit those 10 a.m.

Adeel [38:37]: matinees.

Allison [38:39]: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. An empty theater to yourself. That's the best. It has been better with COVID, though. I mean, they can't fill a full theater. Right. So, you know, you have a space in between you. So that's been a little bit better. Do you avoid movies at all costs?

Adeel [39:02]: Yeah. Oh yeah. Movie theaters. Yeah. I went to see Mary Poppins with, uh, cause you know, my, uh, we just took my daughter, uh, to that, but it was, uh, um, you know, it was one of those theaters with like giant lazy boy seats that you had to reserve in advance. And then there was a, uh, um uh you know a bar outside where that in the theater where you can uh order a beverage and that just knocked out all the adults i wasn't even awake so that that helps but uh but yeah before that i don't remember the last movie i saw and i don't have any plans to i mean i just like to to watch the movie at home again you know nice set of speakers um and uh yeah that's all that's all that's all I kind of need and whatever snacks and drinks I want um what about um I don't know like uh you know I don't want to pry into like maybe significant other situations um for you have has this ever how's this kind of played out um my last serious relationship ended in like 2016 um and I've

Allison [40:15]: that was like, like I found my family found that article in the New York times in like 2015. So like all of my big relationships, I wasn't able to really like tell them what was wrong, but I was, there were things where I'd be like, okay, please like don't do that. Or I'm going insane right now. Like, please don't chew gum in the car or maybe, like, ever around me. But, like, since I've been dating since then, like, I don't really tell significant others. I weirdly have been lucky in, like, not getting... hit with people that are like super annoying in triggering ways like the guy i'm seeing now he has no idea that like i have this issue or that i was doing this um interview tonight but like he doesn't do anything that really annoys me so right that's i don't know that's cute hopefully it stays that way interesting okay like he ignores which can be annoying but I don't know. It hasn't triggered me that much. I feel like it's because I, I'm getting a break with working from home. I'm like, I'm really not having to deal with triggers that often.

Adeel [41:54]: So maybe that's how you can always return home. And, uh, yeah. Um, Yeah, we'd be curious to, I'm sure everyone listening will be curious to see how this plays out, whether Allison finds sonic peace with this. gentlemen. I know. Well, yeah, well, we're all rooting for you. Everyone listens to the podcast, but no pressure.

Allison [42:23]: Yeah, we'll be.

Adeel [42:24]: But that's good. But before, I mean, before you knew it had a name and whatnot, was it kind of an issue then with some people? And did it turn into like something that's difficult to explain and potentially a conflict?

Allison [42:39]: Yeah, I mean, I... So I'm a biologist, and I had a lot of, like, seasonal positions before I got into, like, a career-level permanent position. And so, like, I just remember situations. Like, I had this one job where I was out on this project where we had to count amphibians in streams, and we were camping out in the field four days a week. And so we were all camping together, and... everyone would like group their chairs up into this little circle, um, you know, at night for like hang out and, or like in the morning for breakfast and people would like, you know, while you're eating breakfast, come sit down and like brush their teeth in front of you. And it's just like, it's so gross out and be like, I finally, you know, have to say something like, can you like go do that somewhere else? You know, like a little side forest bathroom area. I don't know. And people just thought I was so insane over it. If it didn't bother anybody else. But for me, it was just like, Oh, not again. And you know, that's like isolating when everyone else was like, No, it's just you. Like, we don't all have to change because of you. Yeah, right.

Adeel [44:16]: I talked to, I did recently, I think maybe last season, I interviewed a marine biologist up in the islands west of Seattle. So again, another connection, not just a Pacific Northwest connection, maybe this could be a little marine biology or biologist meetup. Oh yeah, that would be great. Or maybe I'll ask I'll connect you guys maybe after. Anyways, interesting. Okay. Did you ever go to see any professionals about this? I mean, especially if you're around there, you're probably not too far from Dr. Marcia Johnson. I'm curious in general if you've talked about this, if you've gone to any professional for mental health kind of stuff or audiology and talked about misophonia.

Allison [45:09]: I haven't, and... I think I've found ways to like self, like not self-medicate, but like I went on, um, anti-anxiety and depression medication in 2016. Um, and although I do think I have like, you know, some depression issues, a lot of my anxiety comes from misophonia issues. So, I like to think that that takes a little bit of the edge off. I don't know. I don't, you know, I'm not 100% sure. But, you know, my doctors never knew what misophonia was if I brought it up. And I just found a new primary care provider here in Tacoma. And I felt really comfortable with her. she spent a lot of time with me, like trying to figure out my medical history. And, um, I told her like, yeah, I have misophonia. And, um, she didn't like do anything judgy, but she had no idea what it was. She had never heard of it. And I guess I had told her because I thought that it was getting more mainstream and maybe she would know, but it was still like, zero recognition of it and I've like looked into therapy or counseling resources of people who know what it is but there's just nothing in my area that I've found yet I would love to go but I just haven't found that as a resource and I don't really the thing is like I don't really want to go to someone who doesn't know what it is

Adeel [47:09]: to work on it right right yeah like i only think it would be beneficial if they actually know yeah a lot of time has been wasted and you end up educating them and i haven't really heard of those situations going longer than maybe a couple sessions before you just like give up um yeah maybe there must be a way to like do some research in advance and see if they they know what i know what's going on but um Interesting. Okay. Okay. Yeah. So, I mean, yeah, we're heading up close to an hour. Yeah. I'm curious. Anything else you want to, yeah. You want to share with people about, about this funny thing you want to tell people?

Allison [47:57]: I don't know. I guess I just want to say again, how much I appreciate your podcast and everyone's story is a little bit of therapy for me. And yeah, um it's like it takes a village you know i mean i would love to talk to people one-on-one um you know i found some like certain instagram accounts or whatever and i'll follow them but i think one-on-one interaction is definitely better and i i know that because you know my family members who have it i cannot imagine being the only person in your family that has it and not at least having some kind of confidence in your family i was gonna say it's good to have like a buddy like your your sister who's yeah it comes to you i mean if she needs it yeah yeah yeah

Adeel [49:03]: Cool. Well, yeah, Allison, thanks. Thanks for coming on. Yeah, so super interesting, especially hearing about that. Well, a lot of things, but especially hearing about the family perspective. Yeah, a lot of people have been talking about the... you know how it seems to kind of like extend beyond yourself and in through your family for for some people for some people it's a couple of isolating but uh interesting to see how it's been a few generations for you and um yeah yeah and like i said we wish and i hope if i have kids i don't pass it on yeah right of course of course that's yeah yet another thing that we all yeah we just don't know enough and so we're all kind of anxious about that as if we need any more anxiety. Cool. Well, yeah. Thanks again for coming on.

Allison [49:51]: Thank you so much, Adeel. It was great to talk to you.

Adeel [49:54]: Thank you, Alison. Great talking to you. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this show. You can hit me up by email at or go to the website, And the easiest way to reach me might be actually on Instagram at missiphoniapodcast, also on Facebook and Twitter at If you want to support the show financially, you can visit slash mrponypodcast. Theme music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [50:48]: Thank you.