Tia - A mother's journey navigating misophonia at home.

S5 E4 - 10/20/2021
In Season 5, Episode 4, Adeel chats with Tia, a single mother from Ontario, Canada, living with misophonia, a condition her older son also endures. Tia reveals the challenges of managing her own misophonia alongside her son's, especially against the backdrop of PTSD and sibling dynamics that sometimes intentionally trigger her son's condition. She discusses strategies for coping and helping her son, drawing on her experiences and insights gained from listening to the podcast. The conversation also touches on the broader implications of misophonia within family dynamics, the importance of awareness, and navigating sensitive situations without exacerbating the condition. Additionally, Tia talks about finding moments of peace in her job setting and the gradual progress in dealing with misophonia at home, highlighting the importance of tolerance, understanding, and creating coping mechanisms through lived experiences.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 4. My name is Adeel Amman, and I have Misophonia. This week I have another conversation with a Canadian who actually doesn't live that far away from last week's guest. Tia is a single mother of two boys. She has misophonia, and one of her sons has it too. Between Tia's misophonia, PTSD, and the brother who sometimes triggers the other boy on purpose, it can be quite a lively time at home. We get into how Tia deals with her own misophonia, how it informs how she tries to help her son, and especially in the context of multiple other parallel issues. Tia has been listening to the podcast and has found it really helpful in learning about her own experiences. If you've been enjoying the show, please give it a very quick rating on Apple Podcasts or wherever you're listening. It actually helps Apple's algorithm put it in front of more people. Don't forget, you can listen on the Misty Funny app on iOS or Android as well. There's also background relaxation sounds in there, a journal to record your experiences, as well as tons of news, links, research, and resources. Now, here's my conversation with Tia. Just a quick note that the audio in some places was a little unclear, I think just due to a phone being part of the connection. But most of it's great, and yeah, I hope you still enjoy. Well, I'll say, Tia, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Tia [1:31]: Thank you very much. I'm happy to be here.

Adeel [1:35]: Yeah. So I guess, well, yeah, we were kind of talking a little bit about where you're located. Do you want to tell folks kind of roughly where in the world you are?

Tia [1:46]: Yeah, I'm in Ontario, Canada. Just in a little farm town. A lot of dairy farmers and fields around where I am.

Adeel [1:57]: Yeah, it's funny. I mean, just earlier today, I was talking to somebody in London, Ontario, and I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, and I went to Waterloo. So it looks like an Ontario-themed day.

Tia [2:07]: Well, that's just under an hour from Ottawa, so pretty close.

Adeel [2:11]: Okay.

Tia [2:12]: Oh, wow.

Adeel [2:12]: Okay. Yeah, nice. So I guess... And when you had to contact me earlier, again, we were just talking.

Tia [2:21]: it's it's actually your your son who's got misophonia is that is that correct is it's um yeah well i i do no i do for sure big time and i have from from early on um but um it i came across your podcast so i listen to a lot of podcasts with my work and stuff um and i just i with thank you help my son that he also has the same the same thing and i felt bad and i was trying to look through some research into you know um figuring you know how i can help them especially at a young age kind of try to you know get on sooner than later and i came across your podcast and started listening and related to a lot of it so um yeah it basically started with just trying to get more info to help him. Because I sympathize. He's nine, well, nine and a half. So he's an older brother and doesn't seem to have those problems at all. So it's always interesting to see how and where that kind of where it comes out.

Adeel [3:32]: Yeah, that's interesting. Yeah, on many levels, because it's like, you know, especially for your son who sibling who doesn't have it because you've got like two generations that have it somehow he does not that's you would think that it would somehow well i don't know we know nobody knows how exactly this stuff works but you would think that it would somehow percolate into his mind So, yeah, this is really interesting because I get, you know, I get every so often I get parents asking about misophonia. So I'm really interested to hear. I want to hear your story as well, as well.

Tia [4:06]: Yeah, of course.

Adeel [4:08]: Yeah, I'd love to hear kind of how, yeah, your son's experiences and how you as a mom have kind of dealt with that. I think that would be really interesting for people.

Tia [4:16]: Yeah.

Adeel [4:17]: Maybe let's start there. Like, when did he start exhibiting things?

Tia [4:21]: Yeah, so it was, I would say, like, four years probably. I have certain little timelines where I do try to like figure out where things maybe started kicking in and I started noticing again because I have it as well. I did pick up pretty quick on it and I did worry that like maybe it was certain things that like my reactions to certain things and sounds and maybe he picked up on you know like one of a quick thing that i thought of was uh when my kids were younger probably when my son who has it was maybe three and my older son was five or six there was a um a commercial that would play on the kids channel like constantly And on the commercial was extremely triggering for me. It was the sound of somebody chewing. Like it was a very quiet commercial other than that sound. And I'd have such bad reactions to it. It kind of became a joke for my kids where they'd see the commercial come on and they would run to me and they'd block my ears for me because I would usually block my ears myself and just like hum a song. And they're like, oh, the commercial's on. Let's run to mom and block her ears for her. Like it was funny. But then I couldn't help but worry that like, because of my reaction maybe my younger one picking up on it or if you know i was worried that i kind of like helped develop that ear which i you know would feel terrible i'm not sure how all that works but um it was kind of little things like that that made me start seeing that he has like a similar ear i guess

Adeel [6:06]: Yeah, I don't think anyone knows how that works, but I can understand. I think every parent who's got misophonia is worried that there's at the conventions I go to, there's always a discussion of like, you know, how much do you want to shine a spotlight on it? Like, as you know, as parents who have it, we kind of want to like, how much do we want to talk about it? And it just seems to be like not to try to not to put a spotlight on it. But if it comes up. talk about it but we don't we don't really know but yeah so okay so he so he noticed you well we don't know if there's any cause and effect there but I don't know I mean that was just my own yeah my own thoughts I looking back later really is when I was like I wonder if that was like again

Tia [6:54]: I was training his ears or something. I don't know. But again, it was a little later on after that, actually. As the kids got a little bit older, it's two boys. They're about two and a half years apart. And as siblings do, they fight a lot. And what really started to get me in, which is when I started looking into trying to find some resources to help him, was his older brother would... purposely sound that he knew would trigger my youngest. And it was just awful. I was walking on eggshells all the time because I knew that if they were going to get into a fight, and especially with COVID and lockdown, we were all home together 24-7 and irritating each other. They were just... um and so it was there was a phase it's kind of gotten a bit better but um like over let's say lockdown and stuff like that it was really bad where he was just constantly either when they would get mad at each other he'd make the sound or he just to instigate it would make certain sounds that he knew would set him off and you know being a nine-year-old boy who's not really in tune with his emotions his reactions were very well you know like you you explosive yeah um which was uh it was kind of a vicious circle because i i suffer from pcsd and it gets triggered with really loud like abrupt especially yelling sounds so it was just like a bad situation where even to the point where my if my older son's was doing, even if it was just eating or breathing or not even on purpose sounds, uh, but I knew my youngest one was going to get upset. My body would automatically start going into that fight or flight response. Cause I knew that he was about to yell because, and it was like a whole, so all three of us.

Adeel [8:43]: Yeah. Anticipation.

Tia [8:44]: Oh my gosh. Yeah. So, um, I'm still working on, yeah. Um, like I, I actually think. like having, seeing him suffer from it has kind of made me, uh, like want to, um, I'm not sure how to word it really, but like better myself in handling those situations so that hopefully it'll, kind of rub off on him a little bit like if he sees me not reacting too badly then you know I'm just trying to figure out like I'm training my own brain and at the same time hopefully it'll help him a little bit that makes total sense yeah I mean first of all I mean I just want to say like yeah I mean

Adeel [9:27]: I'm glad things are, you mentioned things are starting to get better. So I'm super, super glad that that's happening because that sounded, yeah, I'm glad that's, well, so much temporary. But also it is, I think post lockdown, it is kind of around that time when people are trying to reevaluate a lot of things. So I'm glad you're getting some space to think about like how, you know, you could, well, I'm glad that you guys come out of this where you're actually thinking about, you know, how can I make things better? Some people are. risk going into further into a cycle into a downward cycle so that's yes that's exactly things are looking up a bit and you're you're able to think rationally about it that's that's positive for everybody for sure uh it also helped also with my older son to try and like it took months and you know with kids you have to repeat repeat but you know to explain to him

Tia [10:18]: that that is just not the way to go, like I understand that you guys fight but it's... so I would have to like kind of pick up little situations like my oldest son does have some anxiety so when there was something that would trigger his anxiety I would explain like so the way you're feeling right now although it might sound weird to you that's how your brother feels when you do this or do that like to try and help it like maybe sympathize on... you know, how upset it makes him because it sticks sometimes, you know, even then I can relate because all the same sounds and even visual things, whatever, that trigger my youngest son. I have the exact same ones, only I'm better at handling it than he is, obviously. And so, yeah, just trying to get... my older son to understand the feeling because sometimes it's like you know it sticks with you for a little bit like with so his because he's like walking his ears or his eyes because he's just like he just keeps thinking about the sound like it just doesn't leave your brain even though the sound is gone it's he's still thinking about it so he's still in that same reaction mode and it's so getting my older one to understand a little bit that it's you know not as it's not just being like a bratty big brother it's really like causing some anxiety for all of us uh that's right him kind of changes his approach to you know fighting with his brother yeah this is not like after school movie sitcom fighting this is there's something deeper happening yeah no i mean i'd rather i'd rather them like start wrestling and going at it that way than doing these like mind games with sounds and and it's

Adeel [12:03]: Yeah. I mean, the one positive thing is you each have a reference point that you can talk about. Each of you have something that's causing... that you could think about and relate to. Have they tried therapy at all? Any kind of, like, talking to a psychologist?

Tia [12:27]: No, we haven't really gotten into any of that yet. I mean, in the last couple years, well, with COVID and everything, that was all just really made everything really hard. And before, it was still, like, still trying to figure things out, but it was also just a bit complicated because we... Well, like four years ago, I separated from their dad and it was a really not a healthy relationship. So it was a lot of like changing and things like that. And I had wanted to get into some kind of counseling, things like that. But it's just tricky where I am wasn't always the easiest, like not a ton of access to that. And also when with kids, you have to usually have both parents consent. Yeah. and things like that. Unfortunately, their dad is not really like, blur and all that kind of stuff crazy as it sounds so i i uh kind of been spending it on my own right now just trying to help them understand best i can for them yeah um was that where some of the ptsd came from yeah that's where that's okay i don't want to pry but i don't know well it kind of all comes together for sure no well that's why i was asking you because they they must have like like they must have witnessed or experienced or you know yeah yeah so there was volume and things like that yeah definitely yeah there was um you know some situations you know uh that I think we're, you know, pretty, I don't know the word, damaging or unhealthy for kids to be around. Yeah, exactly. You know, so I do think that maybe, you know, that's where there's some anxiety and things like that from both kids come from and myself as well. But I'm trying, you know, over, like I said, to figure it out on my end and hopefully that'll help. them you know like if i'm in a better place then they'll become in a better place and things like that but um Yeah, for sure, the PTSD, the triggers and stuff like that makes it tricky, especially with two loud boys in the house. I have gotten better, but it tends, you know, it wasn't, I didn't get much, there wasn't really any space in between when I left that relationship. And then, you know, having my kids, for myself to, you know, I had to kind of heal in the chaos.

Adeel [14:56]: Yeah. And with COVID, that's just without external therapists. This is, yeah, this is phenomenal. I mean, I mean, you guys are, yeah, it seems like you guys are doing great under the circumstances.

Tia [15:09]: Yeah, for sure. It's, you know, it's getting better as time goes on. It's been four years since, you know, we split up and I mean, they spend half their time there and half their time with me. So it's, it's, you know, or it's, it's getting better, but it's taking time years really. It's, it's, um, and especially at the age that my kids are, it's, they're kind of, you know, they're not young enough to kind of just not know and they're not old enough to really understand.

Adeel [15:34]: So it's, right. I mean, yeah, it's around that puberty age, Jared. There's all kinds of hormones and stuff. So switching gears a bit. So at home, this is the situation at home. So it's been the cycle during COVID. Well, I guess they weren't at school in person for a while, but how is it with other friends? Are they getting triggered outside of the house? How are they handling life in general?

Tia [16:05]: Yeah, so they're pretty good.

Adeel [16:07]: I mean, maybe specifically you're misophonic.

Tia [16:12]: Yeah, no, of course. I mean, again, I think a lot of it is, you know, specific towards like, like his brother is a real trigger. Right. Um, and like, I haven't really had any situations where his, he's like come back and friends have set him off or anything like that. Um, I had one moment the other day, which was kind of funny because he, uh, was at my, my parents' house and my stepdad and all of a sudden my son comes running out cause I was in the driveway. He's like, I can't stand, I can't be in there. Um, because you know the way grandpa's eating which was my first trigger as a child was him which is funny that he kind of i was like full circle it's still kind of happening right there um So there depends on, you know, if there's some, it's a very obvious thing sitting beside someone and the eating thing is sort of meltdowns. I don't know how you want to describe it, but, um, otherwise it's really more just in the, in the house. Like I guess his brother, his dad sometimes will trigger him. Um, I pretty good with...

Adeel [17:24]: What does he do at his dad's if he's being triggered and his dad is not very understanding? Let's put it that way.

Tia [17:34]: Yeah. That's a hard one for me because I'm not there. He does tend to, he does tell me something like with certain things stand out by the time, like when they come back to my house, you know, that his brother or dad kind of were just making sounds. And at this point it's like, you know, they, they think maybe like, or his dad would be like oh I'm gonna make this sound until it doesn't bother you anymore which is just like torture for him you know and he doesn't understand so like he can't he's not there to like you know there yet in the way of like just trying to ignore it as best that you can I mean depending on the situation I guess um

Adeel [18:13]: Is he allowed to text you or anything during those visits? Not really.

Tia [18:19]: Sadly, my older son does have a phone, but their dad isn't really big on... that kind of stuff. He also checks their phones and it would just probably be an issue. Yeah.

Adeel [18:31]: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. What about, uh, how, how is, how is he in, um, how is he for distance learning? Like versus being in a classroom? Like I'm just curious how it hasn't affected his schooling at all.

Tia [18:44]: So he was pretty good with doing the online. Some moments, because you have a teacher on a Zoom meeting with 20 other kids, and there's a lot of talking and interrupting and different things going on. But there wasn't any standout moments that were... hard for him or anything like that. Even in school, like he really loves school, so that's good. And I haven't, again, like there's, I haven't really heard too many, like he doesn't come home saying anything like, you know. that's been bothering him again though with because they have started back in class yeah just in september last week they started with the way they have their classrooms set up and everything like for example like at lunch like their desks are all very far apart from each other at this time so there hasn't really been too many like at school um triggers or anything for him um yeah

Adeel [19:44]: Well, yeah, I was wondering, now that everyone's had a taste of distance learning, there's people talking about like, maybe it should just be a more prevalent, like a more available option for people who have like sensory processing disorders and things like that, because maybe you're not there all the time at school and you can have like a couple of days maybe to do distance, but there might be opportunities for some kind of a... kind of a hybrid experience for people like your son and others who have misophonia or something else that can cause a problem being in school all the time. Because something like misophonia can like, you know, if you can't handle school, it could ruin your life. And that'd be such a sad thing.

Tia [20:24]: yes for sure i mean he's young so it's really like it's kind of just a you know i'm kind of just got to see how it goes he managed to maybe grow out of it or if i can get in some good like coping mechanisms for him early where it doesn't you know but um yeah for sure that would be a concern if like you know being around people and in in schools if that's is setting him off it would be uh it would definitely be tricky he already is has a hard time with like he's like dyslexic and reading and like so academically it's a bit of a struggle right now so if this were to also on top of that would be a nightmare for him hopefully that's something we can uh stay on early but i mean so far he hasn't like school has doesn't seem to be too much of an issue it really right now it seems to be pretty like specific to i mean again yeah yeah yeah yeah like just where like anxiety or anger like is like you know things like that kind of kick in and that makes it worse i guess i don't know if it's like an anxiety based type of thing i'm not sure again i've had awful my entire life from an even like an early child so i'm not sure where it's uh you know what makes what makes it worse

Adeel [21:45]: There's a lot of questions, trust me. Yeah, it's early, very early in its research. But yeah, let's go back to your early days. Sounds like it was that grandfather. Like it is for a lot of us, it's some older generation.

Tia [21:58]: I know, it's funny. I know a lot of the ones I've listened to, it's always the start back, it's the parents. dad or so it was my stepdad who's been in my life for my you know most of my most of my life and um but it yeah um you know meal time was awful i just remember sitting there like my elbow on it with like my finger in my ear just trying to like discreetly block my ears so that I could stay at the table. And it was very like, as a young kid was just, I didn't know how to, that's why I can sympathize with my son because I remember being that age and not knowing like how to handle these, the response you, when you have, you know, miso and it's yeah. Yeah.

Adeel [22:43]: That's very, very, very typical. That's kind of a good, maybe a good and bad thing, but yeah. What was other people's reaction to when they saw you get triggered?

Tia [23:01]: Yeah, I don't actually have a lot of memory of that. I don't know how aware everyone else was. I'm the oldest of five and it was just a bit of a busy household. And I was a pretty shy, quiet kid. So maybe I hid pretty well, I guess I would say.

Adeel [23:20]: Um, a lot of us bottled it up for a long time. So yeah.

Tia [23:24]: Yeah.

Adeel [23:24]: Whether we're only children or multiple siblings.

Tia [23:28]: Yeah. So I, it's funny. And, and really like, that's honestly my only, like, I was trying to think back, like of other situations or, or triggers as a kid. And that's like the most standout one I can think of. Um, until like later in life, like, and it was. you know, that was like when I was living at home and then from like 18 to 28, almost there was like a 10 year period of like, in trying to think about this, doing this podcast today, I was like, and I couldn't think of anything in that like 10 year period that, um, yeah, you know, that's, that's similar to me.

Adeel [24:04]: Actually. I, I remember, um, not to bring this about me, but you never seem to can't seem to, uh, um, i tend to bring it back to me sometimes but i'll just say quickly yeah it was it was like you know it was definitely growing up so uh at home parents uh until going away to college so you know went to waterloo so around 18 to sometime in the early 2000 uh mid 2000 yeah i guess it was mid 2000s when i uh i got a job in an open office plan with a boss who just kept slurping his diet coke and so i was around yeah late late 20s Okay. But there was about a decade where I probably had it, I'm sure. But it was kind of, well, you know, when you first get out in the world and you're free and get to make more decisions and you're living on your own, I think those things all kind of help because, you know, you're able to finally make your own decisions and kind of get your own place and whatnot. So I feel like maybe that's what kind of affected the, or kind of made it less noticeable. Yes. But then when you hit the workforce and then now you're forced again to be around other people. So you have like a new family everywhere you work.

Tia [25:19]: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting how that works. There's like a distracting 10 years or something like that. I don't know. I was like I met my my ex the same year I moved out of my parents house. I was 18 and I had my kids that, you know, 23 and 26 or whatever. And Again, trying to think of when it started to kick back in, my first memory was that commercial I was talking about on the kids' channel that started driving me crazy. I would hear it all day long. I kind of just tended to stick after that. It's like it came back around. Or I just became more aware of it. I'm not quite sure what...

Adeel [26:09]: what happened but it wasn't it wasn't your ex that was causing any because sometimes this relationship or like people you're living with or whatever right that seems like you had at least several years where you had no kids it was just you two but it wasn't like no yeah no no triggers with him actually at the beginning towards the end in the last the last like few years they're definitely they did

Tia [26:31]: become triggers um well stress is an exacerbator and it sounds like there was stress yeah stress really kicked in um and especially at the end and honestly like once i left um everything it's almost like everything kind of got it was a little bit um um like a I'm not sure how to describe it really, but kind of all hit me at once. And, uh, like my nerves were shot, my stress levels were really high. And so everything, I was like very sensitive to like any kind of just noises. And like, you know, the list could go on with what it is. Even visual things started to go.

Adeel [27:11]: Yeah. Right.

Tia [27:12]: Yeah.

Adeel [27:13]: So, um, and, um, you know, it was kicking in and, um, yeah.

Tia [27:20]: Yeah, so it was a bit of a mess there, but it got better. And I also, I mean, it helps just, I don't know, it's just there's so much info easily accessed out there now. I was really able to try and, like, you know, research and learn and try to understand my situation and what I had gone through and, you know, understanding my anxiety and depression and PTSD and everything like that. It actually has helped me. with especially even with miso and everything like it's helped me kind of deal with it i guess a bit better and like i'm kind of you know training my body and my brain and my mind to not go in that fight or flight response for every little every little thing um but it's taken years and um um but it you know it's it has gotten better and i'm hoping it kind of maybe will rub off on my my kids a little bit seeing that you know, every, all the work I'm trying to do to make it better.

Adeel [28:22]: Yeah. What are some of the, uh, I mean, are you talking about like coping mechanisms? Um, but it sounds like it's deeper than just kind of headphones and whatnot. You're, um, what are some of the ways that you're, that you're, uh, trying to, trying to make it better? How are you working on your, your, your miso?

Tia [28:38]: Um, yeah, so it's, um, I, I honestly recognize it was a big one when I kind of figured out that the, this was a faction, you know, um, you know, that there was a name for it. Um, you know, kind of like my ID recognizing, um, and in the moment kind of like, okay, this is setting me off or, um, recognizing it was big with me. I don't know. I don't know if that would work with, uh, with everybody, but it's, um, and then just kind of, kind of trying to, you know, retrain my brain or being able to, um, know distract myself um so that you know whatever triggered me doesn't sit in my head for longer than it would normally you know like even after the sound or the visual is gone sometimes the feelings would still stay for you know oh yeah you're judging and lingering and yes for you know so but i've gotten better with um like shortening that reaction um and again i don't know it could be different things like i i've been practicing like like yoga breathing mindfulness stuff has helped me um breathing was actually quite big like um which i learned through yoga like breathing techniques kind of calm my mind or calm my brain my heart um Again, I'm big on my, I always have my earphones on standby and put in some podcast or audible or thing like that. You know, a bit of a distraction is helpful. Um, but again, that's also another tricky one sometimes because there are certain podcasts or if I'm listening to, like, I sometimes have to take a second to see if I can, sometimes people's voices, there's like little sounds in their voice that I can't have in my ears. So I'll have to find something else. But, um,

Adeel [30:35]: Yeah, I'm the same way. I try to, I mean, as some people know, I don't, not everyone knows, but I mean, I take out as many triggers as I can out of this podcast before I publish it live. So hopefully it's fairly clean. But yeah, I know what you mean. It's like, you know, one thing that helps, I think, is I always listen to everything on like not quite double speed, but, you know, faster than normal. So I think it makes probably. triggers that I would have heard just kind of go by faster. Oh, that's interesting.

Tia [31:05]: I never thought of doing that.

Adeel [31:06]: Yeah. I mean, then it's kind of a double bonus of like, kind of like the triggers go by faster, but then also, you know, listen to the thing in a quarter and like 75% of the time or whatever. Yes.

Tia [31:18]: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. I'll have to try that out.

Adeel [31:22]: Those are great. Yeah. I mean, mindful breathing, yoga and, you know, worst case, headphones. I mean, that's kind of classic because there's really nothing much else revolutionary out there that we can that we can count on. And you said so. So when did you find out that it did have a name? Was it like after that commercial, you're like Googling? Why do I hate this commercial kind of thing or?

Tia [31:49]: I think I want to say I was listening to like a morning talk show or watching one on TV and I think the host mentioned it. Oh, there's a word or like, you know, reading little daily articles like for this, you know, people that can't stand the sound of chewing. And I was like, oh, interesting. I'm like, okay. And then, you know, that just kind of stuck in the back of my brain. Like, okay, it does exist. um and then uh again it just really picked up more over the last couple of years in in um just doing my research and and on myself and also trying to help my kid a little bit on how to approach that with him that i learned you know quite a bit more so

Adeel [32:33]: Right. And you've told him like the, the term is a phony and everything. And, uh, do you share with him all that, all the stuff that you've, that you find when you're Googling around? Oh yeah.

Tia [32:45]: Yeah. Well, I try to explain it to him, you know, and I try to be like, you know, like try to help like him understand or know that I am. And, and, you know, I want to be able to relate. Like, I know that this sounds, you know, bothers you, or I try to help him through that moment. Um, um you know it's a very you know it's something that people do struggle with like it's not your fault it's not your you know that you're that you want to raise you know your father does some or something like that you know so you know because it is you know it is confusing i mean for some you know especially at a young age i would imagine to have such a fast and strong reaction like come on and such a you know sometimes we're all just sitting here watching tv and yeah whether it's on purpose or not. Cause sometimes, I mean like my older son eating popcorn or something is just, and then all of a sudden my youngest is, is freaking out and yelling. And you know, like I mentioned earlier, it's just like that cycle of, I don't do well with the loud noises. And then it's just, so yeah, it's, um, but I just, I try to talk about it with him in the moment, you know? So again, being just aware kind of helps. And, uh, again also trying to help maybe like outside triggers you know because sometimes there's things on tv especially kids now like they're on like tick tock and stuff so they're like scrolling through videos so quickly but then some of them come on and it's like that asmr whispering thing and like it's all so fast and he doesn't know what the next video is or it's a visual something that he his eyes don't like um So, you know, I'm trying to like eliminate like things like that that will trigger him. And yeah, you know.

Adeel [34:39]: Yeah. Yeah. There's different set of challenges for kids. They're just bombarded with media now. And so it's hard to kind of, uh, you never know when something's going to, I have my, I mean, I have vibrate on my phone turned off. I just have it on silent. Um, just cause I can't, you know, I can't take that. The feeling, it's not a feeling that you can hear. It's not really silent. You're hearing the vibration.

Tia [35:00]: Yeah.

Adeel [35:00]: So anyways, um, well, so what about you when you're out in the world? Like, do you tell your friends, um,

Tia [35:07]: you know that you have misophonia i'm curious how you kind of handle it when you're out outside of the house uh not i i wouldn't i can't really think of a time when i uh have have said it um and no i mean i kind of just go with you know if i can avoid certain things i can i mean i just you know thinking quickly like if i have you know when we were allowed to hang out. I do have like a close group of friends that I've grown up with. And we usually like without COVID issues, we would see each other, you know, multiple times a year and have dinners and stuff. And there's one of my oldest friends, her and her husband, the food thing, the eating is really bad. And like, I think about it the whole day before I know I'm going to see them. I think about it at random times. If I even haven't seen them in a month, it'll be like a thought that pops into my head about the way that they eat. Even though I'm not even near them, it triggers me as if I'm standing right beside them. But I've never said anything. I don't know. I'm not really sure how I would go about that. And also, I mean, they're not doing it on purpose. And I think it's just my own internal thing. So if I could just not sit beside them at the meal or, you know, just, again, acknowledge that it's just my brain doing its thing and I'm going to be okay. I'm not in a bad situation here. It's just unfortunate. I'll get over it.

Adeel [36:47]: Yeah, that's what I do mention on the podcast sometimes. I don't always even remember I do it, but just telling yourself that, okay, you know, you're having dinner. You're going to have dinner. It's going to last for a certain amount of time. Then it's over. And then you come back with your kids to a familiar environment. That's the other thing. Anything you're doing outside of the house is temporary. It's really just... Your main life is with your kids or just at home. So I think if your brain can kind of understand that it's not under constant threat, then maybe you don't have to tell everybody about it.

Tia [37:21]: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Adeel [37:23]: So what about, what about, do you, I guess I didn't ask, do you, what do you do for work? Are you working somewhere?

Tia [37:32]: Oh yeah. Yeah. So I'm a gardener, landscaper.

Adeel [37:37]: Oh, so you get to be outside.

Tia [37:38]: I'm outside and I'm with plants and flowers and the dirt. So I'm really lucky with that. I did have an office job before the kids in like a cubicle. Again, that was during those 10 years when I was distracted, I guess. I'm not quite sure. So I don't really have many office memories of triggers. But thankfully, my job now is very peaceful and quiet. I usually just have my earphones in and I'm listening to like... true crime or psychology or something like that all day long. Um, so I'm, I'm, I'm pretty lucky with, uh, with my, my job.

Adeel [38:13]: Yeah. That's great.

Tia [38:15]: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. There's no, um,

Adeel [38:18]: There's no going back to a cubicle for you.

Tia [38:19]: Oh my goodness, no.

Adeel [38:23]: Then you might have to tell people if you had to be stuck in a building.

Tia [38:31]: Yes, there would be a lot more work on my end trying to make myself...

Adeel [38:36]: You've got enough to deal with. So that's awesome that you're really going to work. It must be like a sanctuary, like a therapy session. Oh, definitely.

Tia [38:48]: For sure. And when I first started this job, because before I started working, I stayed home with my kids for the first eight years, which I was very lucky to be able to do. But I, you know, I'm just... and then my first job after i split up with my ex was this gardening job and it felt very therapeutic um it was like a big life changer for me and uh it's been it's been great ever since actually so it's a really good one for me i'm pretty lucky that i don't have to worry about that during the day i know that i'm like all my damn podcasts pre-downloaded and i get to go and And my where I work is in a really beautiful little town. And all the houses that we have are like gorgeous and some of them are on the water. So it's actually a very peaceful, nice, nice job. Yeah. So that's great during the day. And thankfully, the kids are back in school so I can actually get to work.

Adeel [39:49]: Right.

Tia [39:50]: So a little while I wasn't able to.

Adeel [39:52]: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, that sounds I mean, that sounds yeah, that sounds pretty positive kind of positive kind of going forward because you've you know you kind of probably had the worst situation having everyone at home in lockdown all triggering each other and now you're able to kind of work on that together somewhat and now you're able to kind of like take those lessons and kind of build on that going forward and yes with everyone getting their own personal space now yeah so yes exactly

Tia [40:24]: exactly it was as rough as it was during that i mean i feel like yeah now that we're kind of coming out of it it is we're coming out of it with a little bit of lessons learned and hopefully and little coping mechanisms and stuff like that so although if i remember my canadian holidays well thanksgiving is in a few weeks i believe so uh how do you guys do around the holidays then I think it's fine. And just picturing sitting at a big table and stuff with family, there is a bit of a distraction, I think, there when there's multiple people and people are talking and doing different things. I don't have any really strong moments of anxiety thinking that I'm going to be listening to all of this. I think it's more when it's that one-on-one or... When there's like distractions around, it doesn't seem so bad. My son as well, I haven't really, that doesn't seem to be a trigger for either of us. In the miso way, you know, social anxiety, things like group settings aren't always my, but that's a different, you know, that's different.

Adeel [41:38]: So I take it you haven't brought it up with your family either, right?

Tia [41:42]: no yeah no not not to the point where well so i i actually have i have with my mom a little bit because um there were some days um over the winter when before the kids school was closed that i had to go to work so my mom would come and watch the kids and she would you know see you know them fighting and and my older son doing like all the sounds to trigger the younger ones so we did have like the only you know my son had like he i would tell my mom like yeah like he he gets really bad reactions to this like what to do you know so she knew she knows that he has this um you know um but i don't know to what extent i don't know where exactly where she stands if she just thinks it's like oh they're just kids and annoying each other or you know that's just siblings or whatever but um

Adeel [42:37]: You just told her that, hey, this is, you know, this is what happens and he's got this thing. But you just kind of let her interpret it however she seemed fit.

Tia [42:46]: Yeah, well, you know, and I say, you know, like, try and remind, like, my son, like, or if they do get into an argument or something, tell him not, like, because I do remind him sometimes not make... sounds that are gonna set him off like that's just a low blow like you can't you can't do that like there's you know i know you can get upset but there's other ways to like that's just the lowest of the low you know it's a cheap shot exactly um so i would remind my mom you know to remind him or or if you see it happening in the moment to talk to them about it or whatever because i mean he would have really strong reactions to to it and I just felt bad you know and it really stuck with him and it would sometimes 10 minutes later he'd be like oh I can still hear it and you know poor guy so my mom does know a little bit but I mean I don't know how much she knows about like the realness of it all.

Adeel [43:43]: But she doesn't know that you have it. You just did it in the context of your son.

Tia [43:46]: Well, I understand because I have the same, like the same sounds bother me, but like, it's just, I don't think she realizes that.

Adeel [43:53]: Her expression was just blank, probably.

Tia [43:55]: Yeah, pretty much. Pretty much. It was like, okay, well, just, you know, a little bit more like get over it, like just ignore it. You know, I'm like, it was that easy.

Adeel [44:04]: I'm doing my sad laugh, you know, you know how it is.

Tia [44:09]: we all understand yeah yes so um but other than other than her no we're kind of just if it was something more like if it was being like affecting him at school more if i you know if that happens i will you know open up you know do my best to get that out there but right now we're just it's more at home and yeah yeah

Adeel [44:35]: Gotcha. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. So this is probably the first time you've kind of talked about it publicly, I guess. Oh, God. Yeah, for sure. Wow. Okay. Yeah.

Tia [44:45]: Yeah. Not the first time.

Adeel [44:46]: A lot of people come on and they're like, I have never like, you know, apart from, you know, maybe typing into a search box, I have never like expressed it at all. Then they come on the show. So it's... it's yeah we need to get more stories out there and uh and your your stories it's particularly interesting because uh yeah there's a lot of a lot of parents are asking questions about it who have kids who have misophonia so it thinks it's super insightful um you know yeah you know i always want to leave some time towards the end if you know people have a lot of things they want to share or tell people um you know you have A lot of different perspectives. Is there are there things that you want to tell people as, I don't know, tips or just kind of advice in dealing with it as a parent and as a sufferer yourself?

Tia [45:35]: Yeah. Well, you know, some days are easier than others. But, you know, like I kind of mentioned earlier, where I'm at right now is kind of just, you know. becoming aware of it, again, it has helped. Kind of knowing what the triggers are. If it's things like in your home, it's easier to fix or avoid them. With the kids, I mean, it's so hard. Again, trying to help him understand. I'm hoping it might help train his brain in the way to not... panic in those moments you know if he's like aware of that you know yeah that's a tricky it's tricky to know exactly you know what the best advice is there isn't yeah there isn't a playbook i'm doing it on the fly and it's really in those moments that um i'm just trying to help him understand because it's you know myself understanding his help so um and um if you know i'll keep doing my research and if there is you know something that comes up that i think might work with him um whether it's some little workshop or you know counseling of some sort um that you know um help help his his mind a little bit with things like that um yeah

Adeel [47:09]: Yeah, I want to say thank you for coming on and just, you know, sharing your story and your son's story. I'm glad things are looking up and I hope that continues to happen. And I really admire, you know, how you've been through all this adversity. I'm sure, you know, this is kind of a cheesy thing to say, but, you know, through your adversity, you've been able to really kind of keep your head on straight and try to look for the good and try to help your son and yourself. So that's very admirable.

Tia [47:39]: Yes, thank you. It's very, very nice to hear. Yeah, I've gone through some darker times and I see the importance of trying to you know, get better and do better for, for my sons and, and try to make it, you know, less, you know, a better, a better life for sure. But I mean, thank you for having me. I really liked your podcast. Again, it made a world of a difference to just hear other people's stories and to, you know, learn about it. I just, yeah, it's, it's, it's great. So I'm, I'm really happy that I was able to do this today. I was looking forward to it.

Adeel [48:17]: Thank you, Tia. Always great to talk to another Canadian, and I wish you and your boys the best up there. 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. To contact me, you can hit me up anytime at hello at missafoniapodcast.com, or go to the website, missafoniapodcast.com. You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Hit me up anytime. Music as always is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.