Eric - Finding solace through control and therapy

S6 E14 - 11/25/2022
In this episode, Eric discusses his life-long struggle with misophonia, highlighting how it intersects with his traumatic childhood experiences. He shares how the disorder has shaped his life, including the challenges of working in a noisy environment as a machinist, yet finding solace in the noises he controls. Eric details his journey of discovering misophonia, finding language to describe his experiences, and the lack of understanding from others. He speaks about therapy, including body-based techniques that have provided some relief, and his active role in managing the condition through personal adjustments, such as modifying his living environment to reduce triggers. Eric emphasizes the importance of therapy, community, and self-help strategies in coping with misophonia, advocating for openness and exploration in finding what works for each individual.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 6, Episode 14. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. Hope everyone has had a manageable Thanksgiving this week here in America. In terms of triggers, I know it's a tough holiday here for many of us. Maybe this week's episode can provide some escape. It's another long one following the previous episode, and similarly intense. There's a lot of ground we cover. And I don't want to give too much away, but suffice to say Eric had a pretty unique and difficult childhood growing up. As you'll hear, he was always taken care of by his parents, but as days progressed to evening, there was often alcohol abuse and some pretty disturbing mental illness in his parents that would slowly reveal themselves. This was naturally very confusing for a child and led to many of the issues that Eric has experienced since then. And he's actually only recently, relatively recently, seeked out therapy. We get into all that. We talk about chronic versus singular trauma, going from a therapy novice to now being very proactive, and some uplifting messages about connecting with others and making yourself heard. Eric reached out sometime after the interview as well, wanting to talk more about specific therapies he's worked on. So expect a part two episode in the new year. As always, let me know what you think. You can reach out by email at hello at misophonia or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at misophonia podcast. And as a reminder, do leave a quick rating or review wherever you listen to this show. It really helps move us up in the algorithms and reach more misophones. Thank you for your incredible ongoing support, Patreon supporters. If you feel like contributing there, you can read all about it at slash misophonia podcast. All right, now here's my conversation with Eric. All right. So, yeah, Eric, welcome to the podcast. I've been looking forward to this a lot. Yeah, good to have you here. Just to kind of start off simple, like, you know, where are you located? Kind of, you know, maybe a little bit about what you do, but I'm sure we'll get into that in relation to this.

Eric [2:22]: Yeah, sure. Well, ironically enough, I work at a very noisy job. I'm a machinist. It could be a good noise, yeah. So I work around loud noises constantly, and I'm wearing headphones constantly, which a lot of your listeners can probably relate to. But yeah, the funny thing about the MISO that I've learned is it's an environment where it doesn't bother me at all. I'm making the noise. Right, you're in control. I'm in control, and of course a lot of... A lot of us with this strange thing know that it kind of screws with your control issues. And I know that that's kind of at the heart of a lot of my issues is feeling out of control. And there's some kind of fear wrapped up in it. But yeah, I work as a machinist and I make things all day.

Adeel [3:23]: And are you working by yourself in that environment? Or are there other people around also making noise?

Eric [3:28]: Well, fortunately, I have my own kind of insular compartment, my own little workspace, which helps that a lot. Yeah. So I can kind of, I can select the music. I can, you know, any noise, loud noise I make in there is me. Yeah, but like what I wrote in my notes to you, Like, my specific triggers really come from kind of thuds and banging and... Doors. Doors is a huge, huge one. And, yeah, my... Sorry, I'm kind of rambling, but... No, I love rambling. I know, I've listened to enough where I should not put pressure on myself, but... Yeah, so really, I... I learned the word miso for the first time, misophonia, only a couple years ago. And I know that a lot of the listeners can kind of empathize where once they kind of tracked down a name for whatever this is, kind of this amorphous, weird, terrible condition, and actually found the name and... found your, your awesome podcast and found some fellowship and some, you know, because a lot of it is really feeling utterly alone and misunderstood. Um, and I was trying to make some, in addition to my type notes, I was making shorthand notes for myself, but a lot of my issues have, have always come with kind of measuring what I'm going through with sound triggers versus what quote unquote normal people experience. Um, And you get into some weird gray areas there where, you know, and I'll use just air quote normal whenever I say it, because really there isn't any normal in this world that I'm really aware of. But people who have kind of traditional triggers that aren't, you know, so traumatic, they'll hear like a door slam and, well, that's annoying. Or, you know, a neighbor will play loud music and, you know, that's a little bit annoying. You know, and that's kind of where my wife is at with a lot of this stuff where, yes, that's annoying. And then if you ask her about it in an hour, she forgot all about it. You know, it's in the moment. It's regulated. It's kind of processed properly. you know, or, you know, in a more healthy way. Whereas if I hear it a month later, I'm ruminating on it and gnawing on it. And that's kind of the difference where, you know, and from the outside, particularly with my childhood where I learned to suppress a lot of trauma and kind of mask it. use the freeze-fane response in the wonderful flight fight freeze-fane often uh when you're a a little kid and you're faced with trauma you don't know how to fight back or um contend with things so you either try to make peace or you just kind of shut down and i came up with kind of a combination of those two things due to kind of my family situation and the drinking and the fighting and all that kind of stuff. And it was kind of chronic, which is another kind of really tragic thing. And it's harder to get over when things are chronic because, you know, if you're in a car crash, obviously that's awful and terrible. Right, right, right, right. But you have the one singular event to kind of go back to, contend with, and maybe... build some context around get some distance from to yeah yeah whereas if you have a lot of trauma kind of dosed out particularly when you're young and your brain's developing that gets into some weird territory where that's all you have as context it's just weirdness and that kind of stuff so i think my meat my miso triggers fall under that where for the longest time i didn't even think about it as something that was troubling even though it was, but I didn't tag it as such. If that.

Adeel [7:59]: Yeah. No, I was going to ask you before we then dive into your past, like before you knew. Yeah, we're going right in. Yeah. No, before, before, before we knew, before you knew it had a name, like obviously, and I think the listeners will understand when we get into your background, like obviously it was a big deal for you. How did you describe it to yourself? Like, what did you think of yourself?

Eric [8:23]: So I really, I wouldn't even, it was hard to even kind of conceptualize. It was all through my nervous system. So when I would hear these traumatic sounds, the slamming doors, the music in another room is a huge trigger. Right. real abrupt banging, slamming, argument-based type of stuff, I would experience it. If that makes sense, I wouldn't really think, God, something's wrong. I'm overreacting to this, that type of thing, because I never had the outside context. Later I did when I was more in middle school, high school, and I started socializing more, staying at friends' houses. where their parents weren't drinking and arguing all the time. You know, I could sleep through the night without, you know, at two or three in the morning suddenly some craziness starting up. And so that's when I started to kind of piece together that, you know, maybe something is really wrong. Everything was so gradual and so chronic that it kind of occurred to me, but... By then I was so kind of ashamed of it all. You know, when you're middle school, high school, you want to fit in. You don't want to talk to people about, well, my home life is just crazy. And so I just wouldn't really bring it up. And so it was kind of a denial that kind of became an inner denial as well. Like my nervous system knew something was wrong, but I didn't have a language to describe it. I didn't have a context.

Adeel [10:14]: How did you, did you, cause you know, I've been reading about the nervous system also actually relatively recently too long after she even know what misophonia was. Did you know about the nervous system and how were you talking to somebody like who told you about, was that also a recent thing for you or?

Eric [10:31]: This is all real reason. Okay. This was, this was, I'm 50 now and I only became aware of all this stuff in my forties. which is a bit late. It's, it's me. I mean, it's my life, you know, and that's how it, it worked out. But, you know, at least I learned about it. Period. Yeah.

Adeel [10:52]: Yeah.

Eric [10:52]: Cause a lot of folks don't, you have to have a language, you have to have a context and it, and it just, you know, part of it was my, uh, my family had, you know, mental illness in the family. And we also had a very I'll just call it old school, a code of silence about it. And it was kind of non-verbally, sometimes verbally, kind of enforced that you don't talk about this stuff ever. So that's why my parents were both heavy drinkers and both had mental illness. Neither of them got help for it. and part of that was probably had to do with the substance abuse part of it probably had to do with you know a lot of this traumatic stuff i was experiencing was in the 70s and the 80s which is which is a different universe right you know especially in terms of awareness of mental health you know we didn't have podcasts and we sure didn't have a specific misophonia podcast with five or six seasons worth of people right testifying about it so right yes so back social media or just kind of social media sharing articles which is how a lot of us learned about the new york times article

Adeel [12:19]: back in the day or, or how it is now. Kelly Ripa wasn't around. I've talked to people from who are, you know, in the seventies and eighties and talking about, you know, just, it was brutal back in the fifties and sixties. Cause yeah, none of this is like, at least, at least after the sixties, you had some, you know, trying to think about some social, social issues, but yeah, the eighties and before it was really like, you had to suck it up or suck it up.

Eric [12:46]: Yeah, it's really interesting now that I've hit this 50-year-old mark. And at work, I interact with younger folks and millennials. just talking about this world, this alien planet I come from called 1971 when I was born. You know, you had your immediate circle of friends. You had three stations, three TV stations, you know, and public access. And you had the radio. And you had magazines and books. And I never, you know... this is kind of the tragic part of it i never had an outside kind of adult presence to provide the context that this is you know this this is wrong

Adeel [13:42]: family situation is wrong or no mentor no uh yeah family friend or something that could give you that context yeah that smart cool uncle kind of thing or whatever yeah so i just kind of you know

Eric [14:01]: And once I got out of the house, I started, you know, living my life and kind of burying any of those, you know, I had kind of denied or just kind of diluted them to myself to the point where I just lived with them. I mean, it's really strange to think about now and how I made it this far and, you know, put myself through school and, you know, I've always had a job and above, but I've been hauling around these issues, you know, this invisible, you know, bag of misophonia and trauma and stuff, just, just carrying it around. So really, but, but to go back to your, your question, I only started learning about like you know, my nervous system as it pertains to my emotions and traumatic memories and that type of stuff, I don't know, about five or six years ago when I started seeing a therapist.

Adeel [15:00]: Oh, that's when you started just like five or six years ago, just in, for any reason. Yeah. Okay.

Eric [15:06]: Yeah. I started, I started really having like kind of nervous breakdowns really for a variety of reasons. Like my parents died and just interpersonal stuff and it had all kind of like, you can only get away with ignoring your mental health for so long. Yeah.

Adeel [15:25]: It catches up with you. It does? Because I think it weakens your nervous system or whatever to a point where it's easier for you to maybe go over the edge.

Eric [15:37]: Absolutely. It softens you up. In my case, I started getting your physical constitution, your mental constitution. You can't take as much. I feel like I devoted a lot of mental strength to suppressing trauma or just holding it or living with it and that kind of stuff and you get older and you just start i can't do it and and stuff starts to break in and so finally i just i started cracking up honestly and for the first time in my life i was just i just came to a came to a point where, like, I've got to do something. I need, you know, those magic words, I need help, which I'd never used ever.

Adeel [16:27]: Well, I think people, yeah, started going to see a therapist and trying to talk. And so was it, oh, and what type of therapy was it? Was it like CBT? Was it talk therapy? talk therapy or anything else more exotic?

Eric [16:41]: Yeah, so I started just going to a talk therapist. And I really didn't even know what I was doing. Yeah, I was a complete absolute beginner with this stuff. Just getting to the point where I could finally say I need help was... okay that's huge but now what who do i i again the word context keeps coming back up but i had no context so i just i would get on my my insurance through my work i would go to the go to the list of well who's on the list that i can go see and well she looks like she has a nice kind face i'll go see her you know that was my criteria

Adeel [17:24]: And you didn't look for anything particular, like, because you're a beginner, you didn't look for anything particular, like, I don't know, well, certainly not misophonia, but any particular experience that they were, or specialty?

Eric [17:36]: Well, I kind of looked for anxiety. And I just knew that I have anxiety mixed with some really heavy depression. And that was kind of the, those were the two key words. And I would just scroll through faces and see those two words highlighted. you know, well, she's in my neighborhood, and I can, you know, so I started very practically, and so I went to one therapist who was strictly top therapy, and we did a few sessions, and even after those few sessions, I could tell that it wasn't quite what I needed, and I wasn't sure why, but we just kept talking and talking, and you know i started uncovering some really bad memories that you had forgotten about or that that i that i had that were so gauzy and so kind of detached from the impact that they actually had on my nervous system that it was really a kind of a form of detachment But the talk therapy started to help me contextualize, you know, and I think this first therapist I went to was actually a pretty skilled therapist because she started to kind of dial in on a few things. And of course, I was very evasive about those things. And, you know, this took me a long time. So I've been doing therapy for six years, five or six years now. Right, right. And I've learned that it's kind of a skill in itself to go to therapy and to allow it to work because at first I was just really proud of myself that I went okay I went to a therapist I guess I'm better you know if that makes sense like well I'm going to therapy so I've got to be checked but you have to it's really only as good as you're able to give and do the work as someone told me in a recent interview yeah exactly and so i really had to learn a lot of really difficult lessons and one was to stop pushing back so much um but i went to several therapists and then i kind of learned kind of more what i needed and I knew that I had certain memories and certain triggers. And a lot of them, you know, which is why I'm here, were sound related.

Adeel [20:25]: Yeah.

Eric [20:26]: And then I started to kind of refine my search. And then I found this SensioMotor therapist. And I'd never heard this word before in my life. I don't know. But I read her blurb, you know, where it's kind of... It's somatic triggers and it's kind of talk and body based, which sounded very intriguing to me. And I knew I needed more than talk. Something inside of me was telling me, well, talk is not enough. And so I started seeing the woman who I currently see. And she is a super skilled talk therapist. So I kind of rehashed that. my childhood and my adolescence and all this kind of stuff. And she would just sit there and then fish for words. And she was very, almost creepily observant where she would just sit and then she'd look at my feet and look at my hands. And I'd be in the middle of the story and she would, And this was different than the other therapists where they were strictly up in the mind. It's a dialogue, which is good. And that's great for some people. But this particular therapist would look at my feet like, what's going on with your feet? Or what's going on with your hand? And I would say, what does that have to do with anything? It's like, well, let's focus on your hand. What's it doing there? Every time you say the word you know door or something like that your hand seems to start doing something interesting and so she would she started collecting like clues and hooks and kind of these body cues that i was giving off that i had zero awareness of none really and again it's very strange to think about but and then over time and over the various sessions we would start really focusing on okay what's going on with your leg it's really bouncing and then it it got into this really hyper aware uh memory stuff and so i would say well i'm thinking about my childhood and then she would say well yeah everything would start uh macro and then work micro well childhood well about what age well I don't know, 10 years old. Well, where were you living? Blah, blah, blah. And just winnowing it down until we would get to the specific events. So she was kind of slowly picking her way through the chronic stuff, since I couldn't point to one particular event. Like, well, the car crashed. Or, well, a stranger attacked me. Mine was just, well, you know, a few times a month the family would completely disintegrate for my entire life. So, you know, it's the wallpaper of life. So she had to kind of pick her way through that and pick through my defenses because, obviously, I don't want to talk about this stuff. Right, right, right. And I've been, you know, I'm a macho guy and I don't need help and all that kind of crap. She just very patiently waited through all that stuff until eventually we would get to, you know, like a memory, for example, it's like, well, you know, it's 2 a.m. in the morning and I hear a door slamming. And then as we really winnowed it down, I would, my nervous system, my reactions would become more isolated. and more extreme. Okay. Because she was able to really kind of put me in a bit of a time machine and not just have it be this amorphous, well, I hate the sound of slamming doors. And this took months and months of work. Yeah. But we would then focus on a particular point in time. Well, how does that make you feel? Well, it makes me feel terrified and surprised. Well, what does that mean in your body? Is it your heart? Is it your breathing? Is it your leg bouncing up and down uncontrollably? You know what I mean? And then it became very isolated. And this was all very unpleasant, by the way, because who wants to relive their misogronia when they're not... I mean, you kind of do anyway when you're anticipating the next... Anticipatory anxiety, yeah. Which is just awful. Awful. And a lot of my childhood was anticipating and becoming very hypervigilant and waiting and...

Adeel [25:33]: When it's chronic, yeah, I mean, you don't know when it's going to... You know it's going to happen again. It's just a matter of looking for when. Or your nervous system has learned that it's going to happen again and it needs to protect you.

Eric [25:47]: Yeah, and it's... What do you call it when something is confirmed? Not self-fulfilling prophecy, but it's... Basically, I would kind of reject... any any positive evidence i would only gravitate to see it happened to get confirmation bias or something like that or yeah confirmation bias so i i got into that really insidious loop of you know see uh every time you know and then it becomes that

Adeel [26:20]: I think a lot of us listening are probably very familiar with that. It's like if we can, you know, we see somebody maybe eat something and then we're like, or just they're ordering some food and then you're already like, oh yeah, it's going to sound terrible. And then when you hear it, yeah, you know, you tell yourself, yes, 100% of the time I'm right.

Eric [26:42]: You're primed for it at all times. Because I can remember particularly with, with, with chewing, chewing and voices are also some of my triggers. And yeah, a lot of the stuff, yeah, I kind of just lived with, and then it would, I think I wrote you in my, in my notes that this stuff really hit ahead a couple of years ago. And again, it was, it was another set of, trauma-related triggers that had kind of not exactly laid dormant but they were ready to explode and it's i was i was already so stressed out about other stuff that my bandwidth could not handle anymore and so when i would hear my neighbors which was which always bothered me But it always bothered me. But then it went to this different place of just absolute murderous rage when I would hear it. And then again, we get into what's normal because a slamming door is something a lot of people live with. A lot of people live in apartments or they have roommates or whatever. It's something you put up with. But for me, if I heard a door slamming way down the hall, it would drive me absolutely bananas. To the point where I spent a couple hundred dollars buying acoustic panels and just taping them to our front door to absorb this sound from the hall. It was getting to the point where I would get home from work and just immediately put on headphones and just tell my wife, like, I'm sorry, but I can't, like, Either this or we got to get out of here. So it would become flight stuff where often I would just say, like, I got to go. I got to go see a movie. Like, can we go to the park? I don't care. Or it would be kind of internalized fight stuff where I just become so angry. How could these people be so thoughtless and so rude? And this is something that I hear practically in every podcast episode. It's the outrage and the rage. And that's something that is hard to people who don't deal with sound triggers. It's hard to understand.

Adeel [29:25]: It's hard to understand the level. The level. It's hard to understand what they consider something that they experience. It's hard for them to consider that being amplified to the point that we feel it. And so that's why you get the, well, you know, get over it or just, you know, snap out of it. Snap out of it.

Eric [29:48]: Get over it. Toughen up.

Adeel [29:51]: I've been there. You haven't quite been there. It's a very different movie in my head.

Eric [29:58]: It's really, yeah, it's such, there's such a gulf in experience there. And that's where you start feeling really alone. Like, am I crazy? Because I, you know, and I would just hear like a neighbor, you know, sometimes I would play legitimately loud music. Sometimes I would just barely hear it. But that would be enough. Like, it all became the same to me. And that's something I had kind of an early childhood as well. And I get into kind of these chicken and egg thoughts where, did I have misophonia when I was a kid? And then it dovetailed perfectly with an upbringing that contained a lot of the triggers. Because that's often what I feel like, oh, did they create the triggers?

Adeel [30:49]: Unknown.

Eric [30:50]: Yeah, unknown. And there's so many unknowns with this stuff.

Adeel [30:54]: It seems like, yeah, it seems like, I'm not a doctor, but it seems something epigenetic where we're probably, some of us are predisposed, and then this kind of just activates something that, you know, if we had a different life, maybe we wouldn't have even, nothing would have happened, but we just happened to be predisposed. Whereas maybe if you had a sibling who was not somehow predisposed, they might not be affected as much, or... and I'm starting to go on a tangent but like maybe they you know other people like we we can experience things and the outcome is maybe in direction of misophonia with somebody else it can be something completely different like bipolar there's some other mental health condition right yeah right it's it's it's not like there's no straight line necessarily here yeah we just happen to be stuck with this definitely and maybe some other things too but but you know yeah it's it's kind of a cloud of possible outcomes because we're you know we're messy wet brains so messy wet brains i like that a lot i think i think people probably kind of intrigued i don't know how much you want to like describe like the past but i'm sure people by now are pretty intrigued as to like what was that speaking of context like what what kind of in this in summary like what were some of the things that were going on

Eric [32:15]: back then I know you talked about like alcoholic parents and whatnot but there is you know there's some other things that maybe I don't know how much you want to get into or but you know yeah well there was definitely a yeah sure there's definitely a and none of this was ever diagnosed you know none of this was ever you know officially taken care of but it's entirely possible that my mom had a a separate personality and after she passed away and this was years and years ago now um found some journals kind of written in the voice of another personality and were descriptions of blackouts and headaches and uh yeah really some crazy really difficult stuff and you're talking about if this is true i mean i can never i can't say for sure but her behaviors would change because my mom during the day was the sweetest woman you ever knew And as a sidebar, this is what made my childhood so strange because a lot of it was so positive and so loving.

Adeel [33:34]: Yeah.

Eric [33:34]: But there was this dark flip side where this other personality, entity, not to get supernatural, but that's what it felt like, particularly to a small kid. Because this goes back, as far as I can remember, you can imagine the... confusion and the you know the lack of trust i had in the universe i mean when you're you know five six seven and one of your folks turns into someone else and this was like really different distinct it's very hard to describe it's very spooky but distinct way of talking and very aggressive and really Thankfully, not physically abusive, but verbal abuse and just emotional abuse can be equally as scarring. And so, and this was never really talked about. And my dad kind of, you know, and they both drank to, you know, later he was bipolar. And I think he had a lot of stuff that also went undiagnosed. lot of this is a big mystery to me like i'll never know the full story so both of them are not with us anyway yeah yeah they both passed on which which was just awful obviously when you lose both your parents and you know i wanted to make sure to say to say like they whatever they were dealing with they they managed to bring me up You always had a roof over my head, always had something to eat.

Adeel [35:23]: So you're right. It sounds like a lot of this was, you know, not in their control, which is even more tragic because they were suffering just as much, I mean, in their own way.

Eric [35:35]: And it's interesting because the older I get and the more I learned how I've struggled with miso, with depression, with anxiety, and kind of whatever I deal with when those things meet. it, I also feel like I don't have a lot of control. And, and if I grew up when they grew up, you know, in the fifties and sixties, you know, I think the seventies were weird. I mean, you were saying earlier, like they, and they're, they were from the Midwest and they came from a different universe from when I grew up.

Adeel [36:09]: So they, I'm in the Midwest and people are still talking about step out of it. So it's, yeah, I can't imagine what it would have been like back then.

Eric [36:18]: Yeah, I mean, my mom, you know, she grew up with the Minnesota Nice. Yeah, I see that all the time. Dressing crazy. And so, not really conducive to you saying, you know, I'm really struggling with something. I need help. You know, they didn't know how to deal with it. And so I always keep that in mind, you know, like, you know, it gets into a very strange area where... they did the best they could i still have issues with health you know yeah but with the the substance abuse as well the drinking like i don't know how much how much control does a person have over that like i i don't know so were they both um so it sounds like a lot of the late night door slamming and just the craziness it would it be like your mom would just kind of like in the

Adeel [37:11]: daytime be normal and then as the sun lies you know as the sun the hours got later it'd be kind of like a i don't want to make fun of it like a kind of a werewolf werewolf kind of just kind of it's like it would just be it's true just go down and then she'd be like making all these throwing stuff it sounds like like yeah so yeah so it would be where you know and i would see this

Eric [37:36]: I would see her attitude start to change. And this wasn't every night, but it was multiple times a month for as long as I can remember. And so it had this, it had regularity, but also it was a matter of, well, which night... this month was going to be.

Adeel [37:55]: So it had frequency, but it wasn't the clockwork. Exactly.

Eric [38:00]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just to make it even more crazy and more surreal. But essentially, that's it. 80 to 90% of the time, it would happen at night, and we would have dinner, and I kind of would dread dinner. because often there would be wine out, and my triggers would happen during meals, and just listening to her talk, and there was a... The voice. The voice. There was a quality to the voice, and I tried to describe it in my notes to you, kind of a patronizing, with these hard consonants, like long S's and T's, like... Sorry, I don't want to trigger anyone. There were qualities of the voice that would just drive me completely, just make my skin crawl.

Adeel [39:00]: And would that be part of the change into this other person or was it just around, around eating? She would always do that, but it was there. You could detect that something was bad. Things were coming. If, if, if that constant started to. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

Eric [39:16]: And then, and this often kind of centered around the dinner table, you know, the sun is starting to go down with the meal is on the table. Wow. Things are starting to kind of simmer a little bit. And the voice is kind of changing. It's getting a little more aggressive. The consonants are getting a little sharper. The S's are extending. The inflection has changed. And I would just... Just skin crawling.

Adeel [39:45]: Wow.

Eric [39:45]: Just horrid. Horrid stuff. And then... And then... Often mom and dad would start fighting, you know, over nothing. But I think that, I don't think my dad liked this other personality and didn't know how to deal with it. And they were very combative. And occasionally there was some physical stuff, not to downplay it, but mostly it was yelling and the voice. And then often my mom would go, up to her bedroom, and my dad would kind of either leave or sleep somewhere else in the house. Yeah, yeah. And I think things are okay, but then I kind of learned to know that 2, 3 in the morning, I'm going to hear a chair hit a wall. Or I'm going to hear a door slam. Or I'm just going to hear screaming. Like out of utter silence in the night, suddenly just like screaming and cursing.

Adeel [40:52]: Between the two or just her screaming?

Eric [40:57]: You know, that's an interesting... Well, it would typically be just my mom. Now, occasionally it would be fighting between mom and dad, but often it was just her. behind a closed door, remote from my room, you know, behind multiple walls. But I could just hear this stuff going on and stuff hitting the wall or the door. I'd hear like the steps, boom, boom, you know, and then the door slammed out of the night just very suddenly. And she would always play music. She always had a record player. She would always put a record on. So I knew as soon as I heard music starting, I knew what was coming after that. So she, in her whatever was going on, thought, well, I'll put this record on and that'll kind of cover everything up. And so I think a lot of the math here for me is really easy to do where you've got these components. you've got the music, you've got the slamming, you've got the voice and like, even the way she would chew, it just be terrible. So kind of all the ingredients were there. Um, and, and I've always tried to kind of play detective. Like, was I, because I remember reacting to that stuff and reacting to her behavior, you know, in tandem, um, So it gets into that chicken and egg thing. But I also remember, especially during my youth, being extremely annoyed by certain friends who would chew their food a certain way. And with the nasal thing going, would just, you know, to other people, it would...

Adeel [42:54]: know yeah he eats annoying but to me it would just i would fixate on it so i was gonna ask like how you know with all this stuff going on at night then how did um how did things transpire at school and then with your friends uh it sounds like yeah it started to um proliferate into your into your social life

Eric [43:16]: Well, I definitely kind of lived, I don't know, weirdly a double life because I was often a withdrawn kid. But at the same time, I always had a lot of friends. I kind of learned to, I don't know, learn to live with all this weirdness going on without really talking about it.

Adeel [43:42]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric [43:43]: And... you know i remember some real depressive episodes you know in middle school and high school but also i i've always had close friends a few of my friends i've had for you know since 1986 you know and had I was always one of these people who had, well, I have one friend, and this will sound like the breakfast club, but this is the world I grew up in where I had a friend in the jocks. I had a friend in the artsy weirdos, and I was kind of the artsy weirdo, but also I ran with kind of the preppies.

Adeel [44:24]: and that's interesting because i also had i was also one of those i yeah i wasn't i don't i can't say i was super withdrawn i was introverted but yeah i i seem to be the bridge between a bunch of different groups that wouldn't normally like i had you know i was in this you know the smarter kids group then i'd also hang out with you know people of all kinds who are in you know remedial or uh special ed or you know it's yeah all over the place or the jocks too yeah i mean yeah I don't know if that has anything to do with what we're maybe, I don't know, ability to be observant and maybe like you said, it kind of like, oh, it's interesting. Maybe like the fact that we are able to, we are kind of hiding something or we have this weird thing that we're, that we've got under the covers that we're able to kind of like, you know, shape shift. It's kind of like a trait that we have.

Eric [45:19]: Yeah. And it, it,

Adeel [45:22]: know for me it may kind of come with some of the fame response they keep coming back to this freeze fame you know i learned this in therapies now i have to talk about it all the time because i was like i know fight or flight and then i recently added freeze and now the fame thing is is another new thing i gotta well can you uh maybe define that

Eric [45:45]: yeah well i'm definitely not no expert at any of this but but my understanding of it for this hour you are yeah my my understanding of it is you kind of it has to do peacekeeping and kind of pleasing other people but when i really reflect on that that wasn't how i was either i wasn't this like really obsequious i gotta please everyone if anything it was kind of the opposite but i liked i liked making friends with a lot of different people i liked yeah i think this is really interesting and there's something about what you said like the shape-shifting the and there's something being concealed or misunderstood that i know that i i really loved hanging out with and we get back to this this word again with kind of normal people who i perceived as well these are very normal people so i had friends who were you know quote unquote normal but then i was also very much attracted to the you know in the 80s you'd call them the stoners or the shop kids or that kind of stuff you know the kind of the the you know the richmond high kind of uh uh fast times richmond high kind of uh stoners and yeah but they were you know always kind of drawing in their notebooks or writing poetry in their notebooks oh okay we're a little artsy yeah yeah yeah and we're maybe smoking some pot under the bleachers and or they were they were a bit gothy and they dressed in you know in a misfits t-shirt on or you know right right So I really resonated with them at the same time. And maybe it had something to do with identifying with one group and kind of, but I want to be normal. And there's something so, I want to be in a normal world. And there would be these longings, I think, that I was trying to, you know, bring together in some way.

Adeel [47:52]: And you were an only child, right? No, I have a sister. Oh, let's get into that.

Eric [47:58]: What's going on there? Well, she was older. She's older than me. And it's interesting because we were really close when I was really little. And kind of when things got really bad in the family, we... we couldn't really help each other. And she was old, she was old enough where she, and she was more rebellious. And so she would just leave.

Adeel [48:27]: Leave the house?

Eric [48:28]: Like leave the house or run away. And she, and she was more capable of, since she was considerably older, she was able to leave the home sooner than I was. And she was more combative with the parents, whereas I just kind of sunk into it and learned osmosis and that kind of stuff. And yeah, for a long time we had a... And then later in life when our parents kind of became more of a... Their health started really to decline and things got bad. That put a lot of strain on things and... but we really kind of came together, um, ultimately. And we now kind of take pride in being the healthy family that we always want, that we always wanted to be. Uh, like we, we communicate constantly. We're very positive to each other. If we need help, we ask for it.

Adeel [49:36]: We, she knows about your misophonia and all this stuff.

Eric [49:39]: We've, we've, I, I have, probably over shared with my adventures in therapy and, and, and that kind of stuff. Um, and we, we have, well together we have kind of, we, we talk about all this stuff now. We've, we've kind of cracked it all open and we share all of it. And I've told her about the therapy and, you know, my endless expertise on the nervous system now, but I, you know, but, but I've just, partially because I'm really excited about, um, some of the stuff I've been able to do because of the therapy and, you know, I want to share it with her and I can't really be a, a crusader for therapy for anyone because it,

Adeel [50:30]: don't know what other people need you know work for me pretty well and i'm not saying i'm over anything but it's right i don't mean right isn't yeah you're not over anything but but yes it's it's yeah but i mean it helps just knowing that some that there's a path to understanding there's a path there's a explanation to things a possible explanation

Eric [50:57]: That's at least good enough that can make you put your nervous system and hopefully at ease a little bit Yeah, it's tools and the toolkit and and it is Helped demystify things a little bit because I think People often deal with trauma they feel really I mean, bewildered and rightfully bewildered and frightened by what's happening in their body and they want to get away from it. And so they kind of want to get separate from yourself. Like this is so unpleasant. I don't want to, I don't want to think about this or deal with this. And there's a bit of black magic involved where like, okay, I'm hearing, I'm hearing someone chew or I'm hearing a door slam 10 doors down. And for the next three weeks, I'm going to be a mess because I'm, I mean, that sounds utterly. Yeah. I know.

Adeel [51:54]: It's hard to explain. And I think at our, especially at our age, it's like, we kind of probably just give up explaining to most people because we just know we're going to get the blank stare or the end of the conference, the conversation will end immediately. Yeah.

Eric [52:10]: Yeah, it's like, so what else are you up to? Let's get off of this.

Adeel [52:15]: Oh, okay. Back away.

Eric [52:17]: All right.

Adeel [52:18]: Yeah. I mean, we're like fascinated.

Eric [52:21]: Oh, my God.

Adeel [52:22]: You know.

Eric [52:24]: I swear, when I found your podcast and started diving into it, I was just. I mean, one, it was great to feel some fellowship like, OK, this is this is something that I really can respond to. And I need it right now. And it's providing me with a feeling of fellowship and and not being so alone, but also just endlessly fascinated by the particular triggers and how it makes people feel and how long. a episode will last if you get a flare up. I mean, it sounds like a foot fungus or something like I'm having a flare up, but it's true. Like I would have these flare ups and it's so extreme, you know, and you, you, you probably wouldn't be able to know it from the outside.

Adeel [53:16]: Right.

Eric [53:17]: Yeah.

Adeel [53:18]: Because what can you do?

Eric [53:21]: And, and I remember, yeah, like, confronting my neighbors a couple times and trying to appear normal and talk about a laugh riot talk about a comedy i wish i would have had some footage of this where i was trying to appear like you know excuse me i live next door and could you please you know or you know in real life i'm like could you please turn your music you know and just like The Hulk was right there, not being successfully concealed. I don't know. I found that hilarious the couple times I tried that. You know, you try to be so, you know, and it breaks my heart listening to people who would, you know, well, I had it with my dad, and it was so terrible that, you know, we were...

Adeel [54:17]: we were estranged because of this this craziness and like i i get it though so what are your so what are your maybe some of your coping mechanisms is is has the therapy helped in any kind of like a tangible way for you or is it still relatively new like how do you i mean how does eric you know live day to day yeah so well the the

Eric [54:45]: The acoustic panels helped a lot. So it's funny.

Adeel [54:51]: You said in your note that you were living in downtown somewhere and then you moved. So moving somewhere helped as well, right?

Eric [54:59]: Absolutely.

Adeel [55:00]: Is acoustic panels on top of that or was that back in the city days?

Eric [55:04]: Those were back in the city days. So we lived in Portland. And it's interesting to think about how my misophonia really spiked. around the time that life in Portland became really difficult.

Adeel [55:18]: Yeah. So it's like 2020 when there's kind of unrest and riots, whatever you want to call them everywhere. Yeah.

Eric [55:25]: A lot of things kind of dovetailed and obviously the pandemic where you were, a lot of people were trapped inside. Now I worked through most of that. I was one of the essential people. So, but still that obviously had an effect on people. And if you're if you don't think your home is safe because of sound triggers and you're trapped there all day to stew in those triggers, that's not good. And plus just the general street life of Portland, the homeless stuff and the drug addiction. So I had these additional triggers going on where I would often leave the house to feel safe. But then, you know, and I would go for a long walk. I would walk downtown or I would walk here, walk there. The streets started not feeling safe. I had so many encounters. I lost count of how many unpleasant to real scary encounters I had. So I think what happened is I felt completely boxed in. And we're talking about people with real mental health issues on the streets, screaming, sudden pivots of personalities, throwing stuff. Sounds familiar. It sounds familiar. And so I was dealing with it in the apartment, out on the street. And that kind of magnified everything. So I started learning about this. my window of tolerance, which is your area in your nervous system where you can kind of, where you can handle things and not feel out of balance. And I think you can correlate it to a bandwidth or I started thinking of it as a stress tank. My stress tank was so full that there was no, you know, one drop would cause the overflow.

Adeel [57:30]: Right. Right.

Eric [57:33]: disproportionate kind of effect yeah and that's that it was this incredible confluence of stressors you know not to make it all about me but that's kind of what I what happened to me where okay I've got these triggers that are bad now I go out in the street and the street feels absolutely crazy so I can't escape there I gotta go back inside the neighbors slamming their door again it scrambled my brain And so what was interesting, that was around the time that I became so desperate that eventually I found your podcast. And then I was like, okay, here's a word. Here's a resource. And then I took that to my therapist and I was like, I've got all these sound triggers going absolutely crazy. I think I share a lot of misophonia. like I'm resonating every time I listen to one of these podcasts, I'm feeling like they're speaking directly to me. And so we started working on sound triggers and, and then we, then we started going back to some of those older memories that we had been working on. Yeah. And like I said, it didn't, you know, this is not a magic bullet for me or for anyone. Like this is like trimming your toenails or getting a haircut. You just have to keep after it forever. But part of my deal was, again, to get back to that freeze-fame, where I would experience these, particularly these anger triggers, which would then immediately nosedive into hopelessness. So I would be charged with this fight or flight response, but then I would feel like, well, those aren't an option. So I'm going to crash into some depressive stuff and I can't do anything. I can't do anything about any of this. And so that would be the internal monologue of I'm helpless. I can't do anything. And then this sounds like such basic stuff, but I had to learn like, well, what can I do about this? But when you're talking about like depressive things, dips like it stops your will to act or to live or at least it did for me and i was convinced like well it doesn't matter what i do i'm always going to be a slave to these triggers it doesn't matter i i want to go to sleep i'll sleep for 12 hours you know real depressive stuff but then but then i eventually i came to this point where like well i can take action what can i what can i do and just, I would start writing down options and making them real. Like I could put up, you know, this is not going to take the trigger away, but it will help me live life. If I, I have a little bit of money I can spend on these, I'm going to get on Amazon. I'm going to order these panels and I'm going to panel the wall and it helped. It made the trigger less. So I think for me, it's a, it's a combination of, knowing you know and eventually this this impulse of what can you do well i can also leave portland i can not you know it's clear i don't like living at this apartment living and i was me and my wife were actually getting around this time actually getting ready to buy a house in portland and then it became clear that i don't want to live in portland i don't want to buy a house here i got to get out of here and so i had to overcome my feeling of i can't do anything And we just had to decide, we're going to move. We're going to move somewhere. We're going to find a place that feels safer, that's quieter. And lo and behold, we moved out of Portland. We still work in Portland, but we moved kind of out to the burbs. And we found a place where we have one neighbor who's below us. And we have no surrounding neighbors and we live in this. And we just had to, I hate to use words like this, but it had to manifest, you know, what do I need to do to make this better? Because before I was convinced that I had to fix myself no matter what. And that comes from the freeze fame where you have to sit here and learn to take anything. And that was kind of a core belief for me. It was just, you've got to learn to live with it. But at the ripe old age of 50, I'm like, well, I don't have to live with anything. I can get the F out of here. I don't care what it looks like, what it takes. I'm out.

Adeel [62:31]: yeah yeah we've we've got an expiration date on our honors on us on us so it's like we yeah we we just gotta make the most of it and it's it's um but getting you know getting um i mean more realistic it's it's because it's a combination of things like it's yeah you can you're gonna you're working obviously you're working on yourself and working hard on yourself But it can't just all come from us, especially when I think there is such a deep well of history with you and a lot of stuff to get over. I mean, you're not going to get over it overnight. And so it makes sense. You got to take practical actions like moving. Who cares? Just move. Quit your job. Just move. Make those decisions. And in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal.

Eric [63:22]: Yeah. No, it's really not. Especially when you're already going to move. Yeah. But in that depressive mind or that anxious mind, you just kind of... Blame yourself. Yeah, like my everyday self knows, like, yeah, I can just move. I can change. But there's this other emotional thing going on where it's telling you, no, you can't do anything. You're a slave to this.

Adeel [63:52]: Well, kind of swinging to another aspect of the emotional side, when your parents passed away, you know, all the guilt and shame that we deal with. Oh, sure. Did any of that, was there any kind of, you know, thinking about like... that around the time like did they know about misophony did they care you know before they died did you bring it up did you I don't know like did you ever think about oh maybe I made their lives worse by I don't know you know how you know sometimes we kind of blame ourselves for reacting wrongly and maybe that sure amplifying their own issues did you know was that part of your thought process at all I I kind of went down

Eric [64:37]: a lot of those roads, you know, what, what, what could have I, what could I have done?

Adeel [64:42]: What could I have done differently? If I had just not had dismissed a phony, I mean, I could have helped them and stuff like that. Yeah. Nonsense like that.

Eric [64:51]: I mean, it's obviously not your fault, but yeah, no, I, I definitely felt all those things. Um, and eventually I, came to a pretty decent place where I, and just a real practical place. Like I, I did the best I could. Like they, like they did, you know, all things considered. And I really became one of those people who, I got to focus on the positive. I, you know, I definitely had, I was gifted certain things through my childhood that I didn't have any control over. And, but also they were, raised someone who can take care of themselves and always had a roof over my head always had food they exposed me to the arts that's why i'm an artist now like they were there talk about that too but yeah yeah yeah they i mean they were they were both artists and my dad was an art teacher and i had this real kind of incredible upbringing exposed to the arts and you know so I can't just go down this black hole of, well, my parents are to blame for everything. You know, I'm 50 years old. I'm in charge of all this now.

Adeel [66:11]: The statute of limitations is starting to pass on this. It's passed.

Eric [66:17]: This is what I have. This is what I've been given, and do I make something of it, or do I just dig myself a hole and curl up? And I want to make something of it. Part of that was reaching out to you. I don't know what people might get out of this, but just collectively listening to a lot of the episodes that I listen to, I feel like it gave me something. It gave me the ability to take control of things a little bit. To feel like I'm not alone. To not feel like such a weirdo. Which is important if you're trying to grind through something and make progress. You've got to feel like there's other people out there who can hear you or get something. Even a little bit of boost to inspiration. Because I get it from people and stories, and I look for it. Or through the arts, or a book, a movie. You get little pieces of...

Adeel [67:25]: good stuff and and inspiration and I don't know yep where a lot of us are creative how are you do you use misophonia in I don't know as um uh an inspiration in any of your artwork um like how are you using art I guess is it I mean are you using it to kind of like as part of your coping overall with your mental health is it uh or is it

Eric [67:55]: just whatever comes out i definitely look at the work i i was real i was a real active artist in the kind of early to mid 2000s and then being an artist is hard no matter what level you're at but i but i showed in some galleries and had with art fairs and stuff like that and was real active and then i kind of gave it up and and now i've been getting back into it the last couple years which which has been humbling, but it's what I need to do. But I look at the work I've done and it, a lot of it is kind of, I don't know, this dark, dark, weird artwork. And I can see, you know, the stuff we've been talking about in the work in some way. I see it, um, where it's kind of dealing with mortality and, and destabilized, uh, I mean, I do a lot of portraits that these people look like they're simultaneously alive or dead or very ordered and very chaotic at the same time, if that makes sense, and kind of positive and negative at the same time. So I can see these impulses going into the work real obviously for me. And I was always kind of a... kid who was fascinated with I used to go to this video store called flicks and picks back in the VHS days and I would rent all these dark art movies and David Lynch movies or Ken Russell movies and I would just feed on that stuff you know that did the darker the better and and something final copy of the the Elephant Man soundtrack so oh are you serious And I have Eraserhead, apparently.

Adeel [69:47]: I mean, Eraserhead has got all kinds of odd noises. Just the audio of that film is really bizarre.

Eric [69:57]: That's interesting because most of his films, the sound design is very particular and often very ominous and strange. Yeah.

Adeel [70:10]: So there's a, interesting, there's a, I love going on tense, but there is a, I found a PhD that someone wrote and actually the author I recently found out, I started following her on Twitter, but she also has this, but she wrote, her PhD was on the sound of, the noise and sound design of Eraserhead in particular. Or was it an article she wrote? I'll cut this out. It was something she wrote about it. But yeah, it's fascinating. I'm fascinated by... you know sound and noise in art and music um you know not just the you know the usual like ambient kind of stuff but kind of purposeful um yeah and the idea of maybe uh actually somebody who um uh actually somebody i recorded who i think is going to be going live this week but he is a composer who actually has incorporated um his triggers into some of his music oh my god so fascinating yeah that's that's kind of heavy but anyways uh we were going on a tangent but let's talk about your art uh but yeah um yeah well so you've gone back into it and

Eric [71:21]: I've gone back into it, and I've kind of picked up where I left off, where I just do these figures that are, and I do a lot of kind of businessmen or very official-looking people who are being distorted or kind of almost melted by their environments. Yeah, I love it, yeah. and are kind of interacting i don't know they're they're very dark but they're also kind of funny and optimistic i i'm fascinated by the the idea of the memento mori the the reminder of death where you know kind of old school artists would incorporate a kind of a skull into a painting or a distorted skull that you could see in a mirror or from a certain perspective or something and there was a of a tradition called the memento mori where it's it's reminding you that you're gonna die now but in a way that so that you can enjoy what's going on now but kind of have this have this synthesis and this this knowledge that this is all finite and so you should probably start enjoying your life now because it's all gonna end it sounds so dark but i but i find it really and it's like kind of starting to make peace with that idea for myself i don't know i don't know about you but when i was younger i just i thought it was immortal i mean yeah we all do yeah you don't think about your health going or or you know having to none of that stuff but you know i've bumped up you know finally in my life with with health issues you know beyond beyond mental health challenges just you know my back my just you know my knees hurt you know I have to get a colonoscopy you know just this mundane physical stuff and it kind of was piled up enough to you know Tell me, let me know that I am actually going to die. And I've went, both of my parents have died. I have spread their ashes. They used to be people and now they're just ashes. And you get old enough, you start really just, it becomes this real everyday fact.

Adeel [73:56]: Do you ever, when you're thinking about that stuff, do you ever then suddenly get triggered and think about... Wait a minute. That's just a sound. I should not be getting triggered about that one. I should be thinking about death. But we always do. We always do. Yeah.

Eric [74:12]: I've definitely tried to contextualize all the sound triggers. It's hard. But in the moment, it's so convincing. It's so powerful. What can you do? You can do your best when it happens. And Yeah, but artwork is kind of a way to talk about these issues and to think about death and impermanence and just chaos. My work deals with chaos, too, which is something I kind of grew up with and weirdly got comfortable with. sounds like you're peeling those layers back though at least and hopefully yeah I mean it sounds like you're getting a better and better understanding of what's going on yeah well it's and I know a lot of sorry I stepped on you there but it's like people with me so like it's hard not to be hard on yourself right and or to think something's wrong with you and to be really hard on yourself and to be critical of yourself. I'm trying to relax more and more with that kind of stuff. I'll wake up tomorrow and do the best I can with it and I'll chip away at it. Because I used to just hope that I could conquer these triggers, all right, I'm going to put these acoustic panels up and that'll be it. And I'll be over my music, you know, and I would apply this weird pressure because the symptoms are so desperate. But now I just kind of age kind of relaxes things like, well, I'll give it another go tomorrow. It gets a little bit better every time. And sometimes a new trigger comes up that I didn't know about, but I'll deal with that one too. I'll, I'll figure it out.

Adeel [76:04]: Do you have the visual triggers as well too? I would imagine.

Eric [76:09]: like misokinesia kind of stuff like watching people eat and um thankfully seeing somebody close the door maybe not thankfully no no okay no i it's all it's audio it's acoustic and yeah and the thing with the headphones i i thought i should bring that up when you know back in the back in the day when i would hear these family patterns emerging I started, you know, and this was back in the Walkman days where you had the cassette Walkman.

Adeel [76:44]: So yeah, kids, those were when you had a cassette that you'd shove into your phone. Imagine shoving a cassette into your phone and then the phone didn't do anything else.

Eric [76:55]: Picture it if you can.

Adeel [76:56]: You might have a radio.

Eric [76:58]: And these gigantic fat buttons that would click when you push them. And you had these headphones that had bright orange foam.

Adeel [77:07]: If your iPhone was made out of Lego, that's what a Walkman looked like. And didn't have much more technology in it.

Eric [77:14]: Yeah, incredible. But I started wearing Walkmans every night. And I was one of those people who would join the Columbia House Record Club.

Adeel [77:25]: Oh yeah, BMG and Columbia House.

Eric [77:28]: Yeah, all of that. And get 24 cassettes. for one penny and then pay later. So I would lay there in bed in 1985, you know, with a Lionel Richie or a... Can't slow down or dance on the ceiling, yeah. Dance on the ceiling, a little Phil Collins, no jacket required. Studio, yeah.

Adeel [77:53]: I have all that stuff on vinyl, yeah.

Eric [77:58]: Yeah, sports. Whitney Houston, one and two, on and on. But yeah, that that became one of my that was my first coping mechanism was a Walkman. And I would wear them every night. And I still wear I wear earbuds every night to sleep. And that kind of became the way for me to go to sleep. And now, It's funny, particularly when we live in this new place where I have minimal triggers. And it's taken me a few months to decompress and to get rid of the anticipatory stuff that I had going on. But I still put earbuds in, no matter what. And I put a podcast in or some ambient... you know, Vangelis or whatever.

Adeel [78:49]: Oh yeah. Which I also have a vinyl too.

Eric [78:51]: Oh, excellent. Perfect.

Adeel [78:53]: Yeah. There's some great Spotify playlists where it really just kind of, you can just leave it on and it's great to go to sleep or just have while you're reading or.

Eric [79:04]: Yeah. Oh, just, you know, synth washes or, you know, some tink, gently tinkling chimes, you know, we'll do, we'll do the, we'll do the trick.

Adeel [79:16]: What about your people around you, like your wife, like your other close friends? What do they think? Have they gotten used to it?

Eric [79:25]: So my friends, they understand it, but they don't understand it. They realize that... We all understand that. Yeah. It's, you know, they kind of, you know, okay, they can conceptualize it. My wife has witnessed... me enough to know to really kind of digest and she's very um empathic what do you call it and you know hsp and she's highly sensitive she really feel what i'm feeling and if she sees me you know suffering or ruminating on something she'll she'll very much you know absorb it and want to try to help with it which makes me so really frustrating because you really feel helpless like like you can't I'm sorry you can't help me there's you know and so and often the help is I'm sorry dear but I'm going to put these headphones on and block everything out and be a stranger in the home you know that's not always great right but she's you know experienced the stuff enough and it's helped me like when we put those acoustic pads up she made we went and got some little art stamps and just did like decorative stamps and that, and that was her idea to like, well, we let's make something positive out of this. Um, but, but I still, you know, And I give myself misophonia. I'm also concerned when I slam a door too loud.

Adeel [81:03]: Oh, okay, okay.

Eric [81:05]: We have one of those really loud Vitamix blenders that just sounds like an engine taking off. And I just cringe when I use it because I don't want to disturb anyone. Right, right. Or trigger it. So I kind of project my triggers out.

Adeel [81:22]: Um, well, one of those two, it's, uh, but it's, I feel like it's enough of a white noise that it kind of, but I see, I know what you're saying when it, when it has to rev up, I'm like, uh, I don't remember how loud it's going to get.

Eric [81:37]: And I start getting, you know, we moved into this, this new place and we met our neighbor. It's this really cool guy. And I, and I was just effusive with like, if we ever make any noise, please let me know. And just overly, you know, overly explaining myself without really getting into it but right right and and but but my wife will definitely trigger me when she's using the blender or like we moved into this new place and like the cabinet doors are really loud when they close so of course what did i have to do i got the soft clothes i went to every cupboard in this place and softened them all up because i was cringing in again like she doesn't even notice it yeah yeah and I'll be in the other room just cringing like as if I'm being hit or something it's really strange yeah or it's kind of like you're that little boy again yeah it really is as cheesy as that where it's I mean it would make kind of a bad movie but it's true like the past does yeah stay with you and trigger you and right

Adeel [82:52]: Well, Eric, we kind of pleasantly lost track of time.

Eric [82:58]: We ripped off an hour and a half, I think.

Adeel [83:01]: This has been great. But I still want to give you a chance to, like, you had all these notes and you have some shorthand. Anything else you want to share with people now? And, you know, you can always come back again in the future. Yeah. Anything else you want to get off your chest and share with people and see what people think about?

Eric [83:22]: I think amazingly I kind of got most of this stuff out. It feels like so much, but just, yeah, I, you know, I wanted to make sure to say that, you know, or be one of these people where you got to go to therapy, you got to go to therapy. I don't want to be one of those people, but it definitely helped me at least mediate some of the effects of misophonia and that, and you know, Like everyone, my triggers are tailored to me and my history and all that kind of stuff. But it seems like there is help out there. And it took me a while to find it. And I don't know if it would work for anyone else. But I really liked it. It was a miserable experience getting into these triggers and kind of hacking into them. And they're not solved, but I did find some solace with kind of body-based hacking into the nervous system to at least soften some of the distress of sound triggers.

Adeel [84:33]: Desensimotor stuff that you're talking about?

Eric [84:35]: Yeah. And that might not be for everyone, and talk therapy is really difficult, especially if you've got heavy trauma and stuff. Everyone can find different types of help, but I didn't solve it, but I got some wiggle room now.

Adeel [84:55]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric [84:56]: And some abilities I didn't have before. And go to, and they've got these panels that they make for musicians, and you can plaster your whole house with them.

Adeel [85:13]: Did you get the Auralex, or did you get another one?

Eric [85:16]: I don't even remember. They were just kind of these... Yeah, I'm sorry. I don't remember the name of the actual manufacturer. No, no, that's fine.

Adeel [85:24]: But yeah, I mean, you're right. I mean, there's all kinds of companies that make foam for musicians. Everyone kind of recognizes what they look like, those triangular kind of foam thingies. So... Or just put, you know, you could also start by putting blankets up in, you know, strategically placed blankets or, you know, other kind of material, rugs maybe. Yeah. If you want to go really cheap. But yeah, these, yeah, these foam panels are specifically made for musicians.

Eric [85:59]: Yeah. I mean, sorry, I'm laughing. I'm sounding... making a joke out of it but it did help me and the answer is not to insulate yourself from the world but also you gotta give yourself as much breathing room as you can and if you're trying to get over some of this stuff you need to give your nervous system a break so you can get strong and not feel constantly under attack so you can pool your resources a little bit and you gotta put up some

Adeel [86:34]: blankets and hopefully have a partner or a family or whoever you live with who understands yeah and I would say yeah just try stuff don't feel like just try stuff you don't feel like you're not going in the right direction because what I tell people is like Misfunny is so little understood and so made fun of that we just got to help each other out.

Eric [87:01]: We got to crowdsource this stuff. Just try stuff. Tinker with it. If it seems ridiculous and maybe something doesn't work, try something else. Just chip away at it. There's ways.

Adeel [87:16]: And then come on the podcast and let us know what's worked and what hasn't. Because not a lot of people are researching. Not a lot of people are researching.

Eric [87:22]: Yeah. So, yeah. Just come on and testify.

Adeel [87:28]: Well, Eric, yeah. I mean, this is as amazing as I thought it would be. And, yeah, I want to thank you for coming and just sharing, like, some heavy stuff. And I'm glad that you are now... have a name for it and are going to therapy and starting to pick at it. I know you're going to keep working on it. I would love to keep in touch with you. Obviously, we're not connected on social. Same here. I think this is just the beginning. Let's share things with each other as much as we can.

Eric [88:01]: Good luck to you. I know other people have told you this, but what you do is a big deal. I've kind of stumbled my way into becoming a mental health advocate and advocating for just being open about it yeah it's painful stuff but just get it out there demystify it you're not a weirdo you're not insane just it's a practical thing in your life and just deal with it share it so thank you for having something out there for people to do that with because that's a big deal so That's cool.

Adeel [88:42]: Thank you, Eric. And I really look forward to doing that follow-up interview with you later this season. 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 or go to the website, It's even easier just to send a message through Instagram at misaffointedpodcast. Follow there or on Facebook at misaffointedpodcast. And we're even on Twitter at Misophonia Show. Support the show by visiting Patreon at slash Misophonia Podcast. Theme music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [89:51]: Thank you for watching. Thank you.