S6E19 - Lisa Loeb
Lisa is a GRAMMY™ Award-winning American singer-songwriter & touring musician, SiriusXM radio host, actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who started her career with the platinum-selling hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the classic 1994 film Reality Bites. She is also well-known to parents and kids for her five children’s albums, and two illustrated children’s books with music. And on this episode we will talk a lot about how misophonia has affected her family life. We also talk about her misophonia origin story from childhood, how it affects her music-making, how hormones have an impact, Passover plans, the concept of misophonia grief, and a whole lot more.
If you want to learn more about what Lisa is up to you can head to Lisaloeb.com.
Disclaimer: These are machine-generated transcripts and so are not completely accurate. However they will be manually updated over time until they are.
[00:00:00] Adeel: Lisa welcome to the podcast. Very exciting to
[00:00:02] Lisa: have you. Thank you so much. It's great to be here. Yeah.
[00:00:06] Adeel: Do you want just get into it? Maybe like, when did you know misophonia had a name?
[00:00:10] Lisa: I don't think I knew misophonia had a name until.
probably within the last 10 years, maybe even later. It may have been when my kids it may have been when my, when I realized my kids had it, that I found out it had a name. And it's funny, there were two things that I didn't know about. One of them was when I was a kid, I, this is a long explanation, a long way to get there.
But when I was a kid, , gosh, as long as I can remember. At least when I was in elementary school, if not earlier. So you know, single digits, probably eight. 10 years old. And I remember this, I'm not gonna go into too much of my sister either because it's her story to tell, but I feel like my sister had the same thing.
My mother, my sweet mom would eat sweet rolls from Mrs. Baird's bread, which is she'd eat breakfast pastry sometimes for breakfast and sip her coffee. And that was her special moment in the morning. My mom, we have four. She had four kids and she would, be in charge of all of us and feeding us and getting.
School and she had a lot on her plate, but one of the things that she needed to do was sit and have her breakfast and drink her coffee and the sound of her eating that sweet roll and the sound that, that, let's see if I can make it happen. That, I dunno if you can hear that, but yeah, which my sister later coined the term ying, which meant like the sound of people eating bananas with that, that just, that creamy, terrible sound.
Oh yeah. Understood. Yeah. Anyway, that's called Yammy. And so at an early age, especially when my mom would eat breakfast, that sound would drive me nuts. And I like to say I used to scream and run out of the room, and my sister, I think did too. And there were a lot of arguments about that and. Sometimes we were, we would say, I'm not eating in here, and we'd run out, and in retrospect, that was the misophonia, like I just thought I hated certain sounds, but I was so angry and so I took it so personally, and it wasn't until years later after I had experienced. Being, I travel a lot through my work as a musician. Being on airplanes with people, opening those little bags of snacks. Yeah. People eating loudly. Being in a movie theater where I love being in a movie theater, but hearing other people eat that popcorn or ri rifle their fingers through those bags.
Or being on a subway in New York where I used to live and people with long fingernails eating. Hot Cheetos. I don't know if, I don't know if Hot Cheetos were round at the time, but eating Cheetos out of Mylar bags, which became more and more populars, through the nineties. I was just so angry and so distracted and so outta sorts, and it wasn't until later I may have read a newspaper article about it in the New York Times or something. I found that there was a name for it and I talked to my sister and we were like, oh my gosh, there's a name for it. And I, so anyway, I did, it took me a long time and it was funny too. Sorry, I'm going on and on and not giving you space to gimme more Questions.
But the other thing I found out around the same time was I as a musician, I'd all, I like to joke around and I like to tell stories on stage and talk a lot. One of the things I would talk about is another experience I had with sound, which is I had asked the audience, they'd say, Hey, does anyone get in a trance?
And people would laugh and titter as they do. And I said, sometimes when I'm on an airplane and I. , a flight attendant's voice, especially for some reason when it's a man who's got a really gentle, wonderful, feminine voice, and they're telling the directions on what to do of, the safety directions.
If to put your seatbelt on, put your, put the metal in the clasp or whatever, all those like emergency things that people say at the beginning of the flight. , if I heard that. If I was in an office, especially the DMV sort of government offices, hearing people type on a typewriter there were certain situations where certain voices would put me in a trance.
I said, and certain sounds would put me in a trance. Even once I was in Spain and we got a secret tour of a of a morak. Y like they, they would have these beautiful Moroccan designs and these buildings, I forgot what it's called and this man in Spanish gave our group a tour in Spanish, and I could speak Spanish well enough, but his voice put me in a trance to the point where my arms.
I don't know if you ever did that thing where you stood in a doorway and pushed out with your arms against the door frame. And then when you stood into the room, your arms floated up sideways up into the air. I don't know if you ever did that, but that was the thing we used to do when we were kids.
But I was so relaxed when that man gave us the tour of that space in his Spanish accent in Spain. My arms floated up to the side and all of these things are now what people call like a smr. It's those as SMR sounds right. And it was a similar. Relationship with sounds, but the positive side of it where it relaxed me to the point where my arms might float up to the side where I feel like I'm almost in a trance.
And I feel like that's the other side of the meson that my my awareness and my attach my, my physical reaction to sounds can be so drastic and violent on one end. And on the other side, they can be, , I could be so sucked into it that it can put me in a trance in a positive way. So it's really interesting and that's this whole ASMR craze that's going on where people do these, sounds on video.
And what's funny is some of the ones that they call ASMR can give me that misa phony reaction where I am so angry, the sounds make me so mad, and they can set me off in the opposite direction. So it's just, I don't know, it's just an interesting world to.
[00:05:25] Adeel: Yeah, that's interesting. It's come up a couple times.
ASMR has come up quite, quite a bit and it's usually panned because people usually find the negative ones. But what's come up a couple times is the positive side. And there I know that there actually is some research going into, can we come up with some algorithm where your noise canceling headphones tries to cancel out maybe negative sand with something that gives you positive.
[00:05:48] Lisa: That would be nice. I did meet with a audiologist to talk to them about my kids because with me, I'm of the generation from the 1970s where you just suck it up. If you have a problem, you just deal with it. Yeah. You scream and run to the other room. You but as a grownup, I know how to, it turns out some of the things that I do.
Okay, now I'm going on way too many tangents. But anyway, I ended up going to an audiologist because my kids were having problems and we wanted to figure out if, we were trying to figure out are there specialists who can help us? And so we, and we went to audiologists, was one of the people we went to, to help us.
Yeah. And he had some ideas. And one of those was sounds that you listened to, not white noise. I forgot what color the noise is. It's brown. Noise is brown is what I, yeah, it's a good one. To cancel out the negative sounds and also more, more than anything, just retrain your brain to focus on other things.
[00:06:39] Adeel: no, that's that's a common thing. There's there's like kind of hearing aids that you can get that Yes like by white X and other c. Did you, other than audiologists, did you see any other modalities like
[00:06:50] Lisa: therapies? For my kid, kids were working on it now.
That's how I found this. Yeah. That's how we got connected. Cause I didn't realize there was a whole community, . The main things we did was first find an audiologist and they actually they gave me the they checked my hearing and stuff as well because I said, yeah, I have meso funny too.
but they also found that I had hyperacusis , which my daughter has. , my son does not have. So that means, sounds sound louder to us. So there's a whole process that we are supposed to go through to help calm the hyperacusis first so that the channels into our brain are not so wide open and then go into the misophonia.
But it was such a big process and my kids were a little bit young for the process at the. and it seemed really involved for me, it was gonna be the actual hearing aids, thousands of dollars hearing aids that may or may not work. And and for my kids, we were not carrying, we, they did not have cell phones and iPads.
Eventually they did with Covid Times, but I, we were having such issues with the kids being on the computers too much. We didn't, I didn't want them walking around holding a device that was providing the sound for these things that they were supposed to be listening to up to six hours a day while they're doing other things, which meant I needed to be right next to them to make sure they were just having those sound generators happening to teach their brains to be distracted from, to not distracted, but just to redirect.
their mind in a different direction. It, it wasn't a practical solution for us. So then we also tried seeing a specific therapist who's one of the therapists here in town who deals with misophonia. And she was giving us a lot of suggestions of things to do in the world to help both physically.
y i, I don't know the exact words. Things like, like tapping on your head, pressing your fingers yeah. Things that you're supposed to do that train your body to not focus on those things as well as literally distract you from the sounds. Some things that I already do I make a sound in my own ear if I'm in a situation that I really can't control.
Like yesterday I was at my son's musical and they had sold those little bags, Mylar bags of snacks in advance. So the little girl we had to move seats because there was a guy in front of us chewing gum. Yeah. So my daughter and I needed to move seats, but then we moved to a place that was even more difficult for me.
, behind us was a little girl eating three different bags of snacks, one m and m at a time. And I just, I was having such a reaction, but I just stuck my finger in my ear and moved it around to make a, yeah. A sound that's a little bit louder that no one else can hear, but the sound of my, my, my finger on my own ear skin was loud enough to, it almost creates that.
Shushing noise that you can get from those noise generators to distract me while I got through her eating. Otherwise, I would've gotten up and moved. But we had already gotten up and moved once, and I didn't wanna do that. And my daughter was actually more okay with the wrinkling bag sounds than the gum chewing sound
But anyway, so we've, we're working through our way.
[00:09:40] Adeel: And then your kids. So this has all happened, so you've known about it, for 10 years since. Around the New York Times
[00:09:46] Lisa: article? Yeah, I've experienced it for. For close to 50 years. And it's a struggle.
And once I've had it, I've started discussing it with others. One of the therapists suggested that we, that I go online and join groups online of misophonia groups. And on one hand, yes, it's been a little bit helpful because I see that it's not a unique problem and that gives and the issues we've been through with my kids and the frustration and the arguments and all kinds of things we've been going through with my kids, I've realized, wow, I am not. On the other hand it hasn't really provided me with a lot of solutions. Every once in a while things come up about things that we should try that I have not tried yet because it's also hard to get buy-in from kids sometimes.
And you need in order for these solutions
[00:10:27] Adeel: to work. Yeah, it's double sword and on there are a lot of people as you can probably tell, there are a lot, there's a big community online, but it seems like a lot of the times when. Get in front of the computer, they're just ready to rant.
[00:10:38] Lisa: there's not a lot of Yeah, there's a lot of sadness, honestly. Yeah. And and wow, there's just and I think of my own experience, when my daughters can get pretty frustrated. I'm, and again, I'm not telling you the full , I'm not gonna tell you the full experience cuz that's for story to tell.
But it, it does definitely affect the family in a very huge way. And y you really have to have buy-in. And and I know for myself, when I say to her, look, I know what you're going through. She says, no, you're, you don't know what I'm going through. I really do know what she's going through. But yeah, and because of my awareness, we do allow things like, Hey, I, I can see it's hard for you right now.
Why don't you eat in the other room? , which is huge.
[00:11:15] Adeel: There
[00:11:15] Lisa: have a lot of people who come on and don't have that. And again, that's not always the reaction from all the parents in the room. We have, see, yeah, we, we just learned this phrase from a parenting coach that I wanted to go to because as parents of people with misophonia, you, there's a constant struggle.
And this is, this happens with all kinds of behavior, whether it's related to neurodiverse issues and facts or. Kids' behavior. You don't know if it's a can't or I won't. And that's a huge issue. And sometimes you just don't know if a kid can't eat at the table or if they just don't want to eat at the table.
. And they're using it as an excuse. And this is like a huge issue for us right now that we're, we are trying to figure out, it sounds like from the books and what the parenting coaches say that the best thing to do is to err on the side of cant. and go from there. The kid can't eat at the table right now.
And yes, like you said, often with a lot of us our big triggers can be our parents or people closest to us and we question, we're like how can they get through the day? And they're fine at school but often with a lot of different issues, they're holding it together at school and maybe also communicating to certain good friends or teachers issues.
Like I've seen my daughter advocate for herself and ask the teacher not to hand out chewing gum to the. Which wasn't even an issue when I was a kid, cuz chewing gum wasn't allowed at school. Yeah. Or, when they had often would be at school with seats that they had to have every day because of covid, they weren't allowed to change seats. They needed to stick with the same kids so they could do contact tracing, which I really appreciate. And yet they may be paired with a kid whose eating style is not ideal for my kid. But luckily the kids were able to either, . Tell the teacher or tell the other kid, Hey, do you mind not eating with your mouth open?
Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn't. But I love that they could try to advocate for themselves in a respectful way.
[00:13:00] Adeel: Did you have you at any time talked to the school by chance during Oh yeah.
[00:13:03] Lisa: We talked to the school. Very respectful. Okay. Yeah. Schools have been very respectful about that.
That being said, sometimes the sound of a teacher's voice or worse the sound, or easier if it's the sound of their voice on. Because you can say, Hey, I'm having trouble with this. But sometimes you can't, sometimes you can't control it. Luckily we haven't had main teachers that have been an issue with their voices.
But it's, it's a push and a pull because sometimes, once the kids know, oh, I can say that this teacher's voice is a problem for me, again, you get into the camp versus the won't. I know my misophonia has gotten worse in a way since the kids, since I've had the kids, because now I'm always on the lookout for, oh gosh, does this sound gonna be a problem for them?
Are we gonna be able to do this? There's movies we watch, we watched recently during one of the holiday breaks. I was like, oh, let's watch, you've got mail, like a, an old school. Romantic comedy, not realizing that it takes place in New York. So these like lovely scenes that everybody loves, where people are eating street food or an apple or having a love, having a, like a family meal that everybody's getting together and eating like a subway sandwich.
Oh my god. Those are huge triggers. Kids can't watch people with that sound that everyone associates with just loving their hoggy, butting into a hokey is some of us are like, oh my God, I lived in New York and ate those sandwiches. And that was so fun for some of us. They're like, oh my God, if I see somebody eating Chinese food out of a carton at a police station, I'm gonna kill somebody.
You know what I'm saying it in a lovingly funny way, but when you're actually in that moment start all of a sudden my antennas are up way higher than they were for my, even for. and a sound that might be a little bit annoying to me. Like I've always hated watching people eat Chinese food out of cartons in cop dramas.
And now with my kids, I'm like, oh my God. It makes it funny. That's right. It's really annoying. And people are like, oh, I'm enjoying my food, it's oh my God.
[00:14:51] Adeel: And it's interesting what you said, where it's gotten worse when after you've had kids who have misophonia because a lot of the thinking about where it comes from is Potentially, the misophonia is this an activated lizard mind that is looking out for danger.
Exactly. So it's interesting that that, that would make, actually would make sense that you're obviously looking out for your kids, that your misophonia might be more sensitive or Right. Cause you're looking out for not just
[00:15:14] Lisa: yourself now. Yeah. And it's, and it so it activates mine a little bit.
And also I myself have not knowingly, but through the years figured out ways to. to deal with it. You were talking about what have we tried with the kids? And a lot of it is stuff I've learned to scaffold on my own. Like I can get up and move, granted I'm a grownup , I can get up and move and go to a different part of the subway.
I can listen to music. I can make a sound in my ear just by touching sort of the inside of my ear, that skin against skin, close proximity, sound, which can be louder than somebody dear to me, eating popcorn nearby. Or I love eating popcorn. , but the sound of someone else rifling through the popcorn, the eating the kernels.
I, I can I had cognitive behavioral therapy for different issues in my life through the years. And so if I'm sitting next to an older relative and they're loudly eating eggs and talking and making the sound that older people make when they touch their lips together before they say something, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Yes. Which can make me, yes, I know just wanna explode. I have to think to myself. They, that's what people do when they speak. That's what happens when you eat eggs and you're older. They're swallowing because their mouth is dry or that man is sucking his teeth over there on the airplane because that is a cultural thing that is common that businessmen might do.
Or that older person or that person who's got new teeth, they're gonna suck on their teeth before they talk. That person does that. It helps to a certain extent and sometimes it doesn't, and I'm just, and then I have to do the other side of cognitive behavioral therapy and say you feel this way or there's another name for this type of therapy where of course you would feel this way.
You've got a difference in your brain where these sounds are hard for you and this is a really hard sound and. And it's okay. You're gonna be okay. It's just a sound, but I know it feels bad. And I'm sorry you have to feel this way right now. Like all the different soothing techniques and all the different distracting techniques and all the different, trying to put it in trying to put it in you knowing like what and.
putting it in its place and then also even I hear my cat's eating cat food loudly, and I'm like, isn't that funny that sound doesn't bother you at all? Hearing the cats make that sound that if you know your mom was making that sound, you would be so angry right now, but it's a cute cat making that sound and that's what's happening, right?
[00:17:34] Adeel: I guess part of that could be, and yeah, there's no real, no one knows. Or
[00:17:39] Lisa: as a sound engineer, even like I, I'm not a sound engineer myself, but I'm very familiar with different sound frequencies and the names of them, and I'm like, wow. When you hear something that's around 4k in someone's voice and somebody's mixed, that sound louder in that movie, that sound bothers you.
Interesting. If you ever had a control of that, you could turn that down in their. With my kids, we may turn on we may turn on subtitles. Luckily, both my kids can read very well. And so every once in a while, like when we were watching that movie, we turn on the subtitles, we turn the sound off and turn on the subtitles.
And in some cases I'm more quick to be ready to do that because I personally wanna watch the movie without everyone having in a breakdown. Oh, let's watch the movie. Let's finish watching the movie. Let's not let's use our tools, yeah.
[00:18:23] Adeel: Yeah, no, that's interesting. CBT thing, trying to explain it.
I would think that yes, I could maybe work the first time, but the second and third time I'm wondering like, now that you've explained it, . I don't know how effective it would be long term, but I think there are other cb t approaches that could possibly work. It's a quite a wide field and there's a lot of exploration
[00:18:40] Lisa: happening there.
Yeah. When we get off the, when we stop talking for this podcast, we will get, I'm gonna pick your brain for some more tools because there are so many of them, and I see with Facebook, that's another good thing, good and bad with Facebook and all the. And, the different social media places and the different resources that parents talk about.
, a lot of people are working on Zoom, which is great. So I could work with someone in Ohio. There's a doctor that I actually there's somebody who makes my in-ear monitors in Chicago for, as a musician, and I called him because he's very he's in the field of sound and of ears and listening and everything.
And he. He connected me with an audiologist in a different city who had worked with him, who did deal with in the field of misophonia. They even gave me the name of some vitamins that people take that apparently have helped people a lot. I'm sensitive to vitamins, so I haven't tried it yet, but apparently they were using 'em with military to help them with hearing damage or something from being in the military, something like that.
. And it turned out that people with. Oh, that's what it was. It was tinnitus. Cause I also have tinnitus which I got from taking a certain medication and I didn't know that was a side effect and I quickly stopped that medication after about a month cuz I noticed my ears were ringing all the time.
But apparently this vitamin that has super levels of certain things can really had a side effect of helping get rid of. Which is so interesting. Oh. But anyway, the person who dealt with the tinnitus also dealt with misophonia. But again, like maybe there's some people who, we don't have a ton of people here in town, but maybe there are specialists that will work better in other places.
And some of the specialists we have in town, when we meet with them, mon zoom, their voices and their pictures aren't ideal with the misophonia, which has been a huge issue as. when you have people with misophonia in your family, but you can't get to the right people to work with them because their voices or their right movements and other things they do can really be triggers for the meson.
So we got this great feedback loop of not being able to handle the misophonia because you can't be in the room with the person who's trying to help you with mis.
[00:20:47] Adeel: Yeah like you said I am connected to quite a few therapists and doctors and researchers, so we, yeah, we could, we should definitely chat afterwards, whether it's here or on dms or email or whatever.
Very interesting. Okay. No, this is super interesting. I actually want to a, also maybe go back to your first triggers. I'm curious because I've had a lot of people come on the podcast and right around the time that they noticed their mis. , there was I dunno, maybe stuff going on at home like a walking on eggshells experience
[00:21:12] Lisa: where nope, there was nothing going on.
It was normal life. I just, yeah, I just know that certain sounds. I, I was a little girl with the little sister. With a little sister and a big brother. And a little brother and daddy went off to, to be a doctor, to be a work, go to work every day. And my mom would sit and have her breakfast.
She would wake up before us, make all of our breakfast, sit and eat her breakfast either with us. While we were around she's much more organized than I am. I rarely am able to get myself together to eat breakfast before my kids. But she would get everything in order and she would have her coffee and I just would freak out.
That's it. Nothing else. And did
[00:21:47] Adeel: and what, how did that affect your relationship with her? Are you, were you guys close?
[00:21:51] Lisa: Luckily my mom was easygoing and she didn't, it didn't it. It didn't, she didn't get mad at us. And if she did, it would, if she did say, cause when you scream at your parents, she probably maybe got mad.
I don't remember the getting mad part. Yeah. I just remember me getting mad. Okay. And I think with expos, it's what we would call exposure therapy , or just, again, like I call it sucking up, sucking it up. You just. Dealt with it. I just was constantly in situations where I would notice it and I just, it was my problem, and I just continued on.
I don't know who knows if it affected certain friendships that I decided not to have, cause I couldn't watch people eat. I don't remember that. I just remember the, that, that issue. And then as I got to be more of a grownup, especially with the snacks on the airplane and traveling as a musician it affected me.
But as a child, I didn't, it didn't I noticed sounds more than them bothering me. Like I knew that when my my third grade and second grade science and art teacher, who was the same person, when she would read aloud to us, she would read us stories and she would talk about paintings and the way she said paintings and the way she pronounced Trape the p and we were studying American.
It was an advanced class for young third graders, but we were doing a very deep dive into American painters and there was Copley and the pee, it was like slightly spitty. And was a little bit soothing, but I noticed it. I noticed it all the time. I noticed. People's accents. I noticed the sound of like my math teacher, Mrs.
Simes, in second grade and third grade, they had those kind of coffee cups in the seventies where it was like a plastic cup and inside of it was another throwaway plastic cup that was like a plasticy and the sound of your dry hand on that plastic cup, almost like a solo cup, but it was smaller so it had a higher.
brush, kind of powdery sound. I just, I knew these sounds, they were just important to me. I don't know. Yeah. The sound of a cup of a sequence that you might use to do arts and crafts. , the sound of glitter. I was, into my senses. This we had, when I was very little, we had, I took, I, I think I was in a Montessori preschool or something.
And so we would do activities around the different senses. There were little smell bottles. You could smell this, these different smells and figure out what they were. And I loved those. So I was like very in tune to and the feeling of a patent leather box and that the feeling of velvet, like I loved my senses and sometimes I wonder if I, I made my kids' misophonia happen because, when you raise kids, you wanna make them really aware of their senses and how things smell and sound and feel. And yet I think I'm like, oh geez, did I overstimulate their senses to make them too aware of their senses? But those are things I took joy from when I was a kid, mostly other than the sound of slurping coffee and sweet rolls. Yeah. So
[00:24:44] Adeel: The negative sense is like all those other senses were basically you just have positive memories.
Yeah. It's just. The misophonia happens to have the the Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde kind of situation where it's, there's like a negative side to
[00:24:58] Lisa: that sense. Yeah, and it's funny too because even now, not to jump back to the future, but I listened to NPR all the time. , and I didn't know this was a misophonia thing.
Certain voices. , certain voices make me angry and I actually have to change the channel. There's this one gal, I'm sure she's very nice, but she used to do the news on one of my NPRs channels here in LA and I'd have to literally change the channel. I just could not listen to her voice. The speediness the unusual speech that she had.
And a lot of people have that on npr. They have different speech patterns and some of them, like there was one. Who actually, he was on an AM station and he is got a New York accent and he talks about food and I thought it made it, it was like the positive side of unusual voices that made me want to eat that Chinese food.
But there were certain voices that I start mimicking and I didn't realize that was a meson thing. I start mimicking them in order to handle them. Yes, I'll actually try to talk like they're. when it's actually really, I realized, oh wow, it's actually really annoying me. But it's funny that one DJ, who I'm sure is very kind and nice, she moved to an AM station that I listened to and she was doing the, she moved on one station to another, I don't remember which direction.
But I noticed she was on like another station doing the traffic and I was like, oh God, here she is again. I had to change the channel. And there's one gal in particular who does like station IDs on the channel. I just, I cannot stand it. And I start mimicking her voice. I don't wanna call them affectations cause she's not pretending to have them.
It's just her voice. I have to mimic it. It's just it's a funny way to
[00:26:29] Adeel: handle it. Yeah. Mimicking is a yeah, that's odd. But a lot of us all independently developed that as a coping mechanism. And lately there has been some research as to why that might be. Apparently they found that, When we see when many mis phones see triggers there's a part of our brain that controls our jaw.
I guess that is lights up even though we're not moving. And so the idea might be that. Us moving in sync with that those neurons firing somehow puts our brain at ease again. Interesting. And it has to do with mirror neurons,
[00:27:00] Lisa: which are, I read about that and I was like, I don't think that's true.
I just wanna make, it's like a weird, making fun of and controlling it.
[00:27:07] Adeel: Yeah. I don't know.
[00:27:08] Lisa: But
[00:27:08] Adeel: I like ear early days. But there's, yeah, there's research happening. Oh, and, yeah. So you said I think you said that you may you're not sure if it affected I dunno, friendships and relationships, but as you were becoming an adult and moving outta the house and whatnot and traveling do did it affect your career, affect friendships, social life?
[00:27:25] Lisa: I don't think you're on stage knowledgeable. Not in a way that I. Let's see. I bet, I'm sure it was like a stone in a stream like it, there may have been situations or friendships or relationships that I didn't that, that weren't as close. I can't think of any in particular, but I'm sure there must have been some along the way that I just subconsciously avoided.
Because of sounds, . There's definitely situations, but I feel like it's more taking care of myself. Like I movie theaters, I won't sit next to people if I can help it. I'll get up and move. I'll and with my kids, like I was in Ireland with my daughter and like we couldn't go to this one particular experience the Leprechaun Museum because they found out it was a 45 minute thing and it was actually seated and someone was gonna tell us a story.
And once it started, you couldn't. and my daughter was having some particular problems with Irish accents with people. I don't know why. And you know nothing against anybody who's Irish. I think it was just certain frequencies were coming out of certain people's mouth, especially storytelling, pe people when they're doing storytelling often can, it can be an issue for my daughter that the sounds that they like to use, and we couldn't get up and leave. And I was like, we can't go. We just can't go in. Too risky. Yeah. It was too risky. I couldn't, I didn't wanna disrupt everything. But yeah it definitely affects our life now. I think it, it doesn't affect my life as much. I will again, , I was on an airplane just a couple days ago where I was like praying that person had a small size bag of check mix, not the large size, because if they had to take one more piece out individually, or the worst is gummy bears, cuz people take one or two out at a time of those like European bags that are very heavy and plasticy and they take one or two out and then they chew them with the chewing, which is really annoying. And then they have to wrinkle their hand to get back into the bag. A very slow process. They don't eat gummy bears as fast as other like puffy Cheetos. I literally can look at a bag and think, oh my gosh, I'm gonna, I'm gonna die.
I dunno what I'm gonna do. And sometimes I have to talk to myself. , I'm like a crazy person. I'm like, okay, I have to make my own noise so that they can't hear what they're saying and I'm gonna talk to myself. And not only is the sound gonna distract me, but what I'm saying they're just eating the gummy bears, so you're gonna be okay.
They're gonna eat the gummy bears and you're gonna be okay.
[00:29:33] Adeel: Ah, so that's one of your coping methods is to
[00:29:35] Lisa: self-talk, self talk out loud.
[00:29:37] Adeel: Not just to soThe yourself. Yeah, but just the actual sound and the
[00:29:40] Lisa: distraction. I almost turned around to the girl last night at the play to go back to the play.
I almost turned around to her and I was looking around to see if I could find a cup. to have her pour her food into the cup to throw at her. Okay. somebody else's kid to see if I could help them pour their food into a cup and eat it out of the cup. I was at a Broadway musical where the tickets cost a gajillion dollars and this one woman behind me after the intermission, after they made the announcement multiple times, please do not eat her drink in the theater.
It was a quiet, and she was just doing the gummy bear thing. And I just was like, I'm going. And it wasn't. The rules. It was, for me personally, I was going to freak out and I didn't wanna do this in front of my daughter cause I didn't want her to see that I wasn't able to handle it. But also, on the other hand, I was, I finally, and it was an older woman and I did not wanna be demeaning or rude or anything.
And I had to turn around during the show and say, Hey, thank I'm so sorry to bother you, but do you mind putting your snack away? And she was like, oh, I'm almost finished. And I was like, okay, thank you so much. And it was like, literally, , we couldn't move. We were in like, unbelievable seats. Were right in the middle of a huge theater with no aisles.
I was trapped and I was about to, yeah. I couldn't handle it. And I felt like my kids, were, all of a sudden they were gonna have a tear rolling down their cheek because they can't, they're trapped. You're trapped. You can't it, it was really devastating and it embarrassing as a grownup that I couldn't keep it together, but I didn't cry.
I just, had to use my resources and I was like, you know what's the worst thing that's gonna happen? She'll be annoyed and she'll keep eating her food, but at least I tried. Yeah. Sorry. It could've been a lot worse. Also, by the way, when I was traveling, I did notice with the misophonia, cause I did I'm sure talk to some therapist about it at a certain point, like, why am I taking it so personally?
But this is before we knew it really had a name. I noticed it was worse before that time of the month. It would get worse before that time of the month. And so I started noticing. And that actually having that knowledge. And I think Eckhart Tole talked about that a lot in the power of now to notice different behaviors and different things that bother you more or less with your hormones.
And I, once he said that and I was, listen, I listened to that and I thought, oh, it actually helped calm the misophonia. Cause I was like, oh, my hormones are making. more depressed five days early, or my meson is actually acting up. Sounds are bothering me more on airplanes and that really helped me a lot.
There have been
[00:32:04] Adeel: a few women who have come on and said that, yeah, they, they've definitely noticed a strong correlation between a hormonal changes like menopause other things. And their misophonia. There has been I'm sure zero research that's gone into that, but there should be more.
[00:32:18] Lisa: I do the positive reinforcement with myself too. Like I said earlier with the cats, I'm like, look, you were able to sit and what? Good job, Lisa, you were able to sit and let the cats eat behind you and you were just, that sound didn't bother you at all. Oh, you were able to listen to NPR and you didn't change your channel.
Wow. You were able to sit for 15 minutes with those people who were eating those eggs and you were.
[00:32:42] Adeel: And how do you feel after you do that? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment and inner and you're able to maybe handle the next, the near future?
[00:32:49] Lisa: No, but I'm trying it out something or Okay. I'm trying it out because, I just want something to work.
[00:32:54] Adeel: Yeah. There is a mode of of therapy where the idea is if this is I know this might not be in your case, but if this is a case of A child early in their life that had some needs not met or there was some chronic small T trauma that this child needs to be talked to as an adult from an adult point of view to comp, to reassure it, to give it some positive reinforcement.
And that seems to help some people.
[00:33:17] Lisa: That sounds really great. Like it would work for me. I don't have anything like that. So there's nothing that anyone could tell me. and like I have a few things that are not ideal but nothing of any note, it's not ideal like having to wait so long or my mom was running late, but nothing, luckily I didn't have anything like that would point to really affecting this.
I just think I have, it's my superpower too, and I recognize that. , I, my, my work is in sound and it's attention to detail and editing. I. Personally edit a lot of video. But when I work with editors, when I work with art directors, I am very keen on, on really specific details about what things look like, what they feel like, how they're made, whether it's wardrobe than I'm having made art direction videos.
, mixing records directing people and musicals and plays. And that attention to detail is what I. to me. And I've heard it from people I work with that it puts my work in a different category that people might be like, oh, you're such a control freak. And my friend calls it a quality control freak, but they say, wow, I wouldn't have noticed that detail.
And it actually made it so much better and I appreciate it. So sometimes, even though it can cause more work for people around me it pays off, I think. And that's, but I think that's the same sort of part of my brain that hears. in a certain way. Have you met other,
[00:34:43] Adeel: any other microphones like Oh
[00:34:45] Lisa: tons.
Oh tons. And in fact, in your career, when I have to tell people sometimes, cuz my kids will sometimes travel with headphones that either do help block out the sound or psycho somatically, make them think that they're blocking out the sound to a certain extent. Not actual like sound noise canceling like boze, but more like those airline air airport worker headphones.
That you're right. Sometimes I think actually those make it worse for me. I can hear. Higher pitch sounds than the lower pitch sounds more clearly the bows. With the bows. But anyway I have to explain like, Hey, my kids have this thing, it's called me Zon. Please. Don't take it personally, but the sound of eating can trigger them.
It's, we. Sometimes we like to explain it, if, are there any sounds that really bother you, like fingernails on a chalkboard? Or when you're driving in New York and somebody cuts you off and you're so angry, that's what it feels like. Road rage, but it's with sound. Yes. Yep. And so I explain it to people and sometimes somebody's oh my God, I never knew that had a name.
Oh my God, my, I hate when my husband blah, blah blahs. Oh my. , and it can be with movements as well. And that has a different name now. I know, but I forget what the name of it is. But so many people are like,
[00:35:49] Adeel: was misk is the the visual,
[00:35:51] Lisa: yeah. So my daughter has a bit of that as well but pe so many people, like one out of four people I talked to one out of five people are like, oh my gosh I didn't know that had a name.
I, I, oh my gosh, I didn't know that. And so for some people it's a very specific, like one or two. But other people, they generally they have a lot of triggers and it's really something that exists. And I send them that New York Times article because of course that sounds so official. The New York Times article about it that came out recently.
And people, even my mom, who made those sounds. She's you know what, I have that, and I think your grandmother had that too. So it's interesting. And other people really don't have it. Like my husband really doesn't. and
[00:36:29] Adeel: what does he think of his family all
[00:36:32] Lisa: having it's very frustrating, honestly, that, to put it mildly it's really hard.
And it's hard because unfortunately he is one of the big triggers. And with Covid, that's when it really came about with my kids when we were all together for so much. And we had a lot of people family meals and lots more family meals than normal. And it may have been my fault, I may have even said something here and there, like about certain.
I don't think I did, but maybe I did. My kids became very aware of sounds and of eating sounds and of talking sounds and of mouth opening sounds and of, yeah. Ah, yeah. And it seems just like misbehavior when it starts. It seems like kids who wanna go watch TV or play video games and not sit at the table, or not do their due diligence, talking to their relatives or things. Yeah. And he understands that, it's been explained to him by experts. Jaylene Jaffy, one of our favorite experts and others, and he's read articles about it and he's explained it to his parents who are very curious and concerned about it.
They wanted to know when is it gonna be fixed? And it's that's a good question, . So he understands it, but it still definitely personally affects us in a, a. a real way. It can be. It's, it can be really rough.
[00:37:37] Adeel: How are the holiday plans coming along? Are they you guys all get together
[00:37:40] Lisa: Exactly.
It's grew up and eat here. It's huge detail for everything. It's like for Passover? Yeah. It's okay, yes, we can all do it, but by the way, there's a good chance the kids this is how it's gonna go. The kids may or may not sit at the table with us. If they do, they may or may not get up at a certain point, including right when we sit down.
Please don't. I'm gonna put, even though it's not traditional for people to eat Passover food before the actual meal starts we have a tradition that, that the kid, that there will be carrot sticks and celery and pickles, and I don't want any of the grownups eating. The kids can eat, but none of the grownups are allowed to eat.
Please be patient with that and. At our Passover we, last year, my daughter was not ever able to even sit down with us. Cuz even just the idea, she's very in tune. She can see food and know what it's gonna sound like. She was not able to join us at all. , my son weirdly was there for the entire meal, but we had a table set up in the other room just in case and everybody's on board and I said, please don't get mad.
Nobody get mad. But luckily, so we. So there's certain things we cannot do because we're gonna be in two close quarters with other trigger people. , there's other situations that we can do because there will be extra rooms or more space where the kids can go and be away if they need to.
We're always explaining to the people involved, Hey, this may happen or may not happen. The kid may stay behind, a kid may break off into their own group. you. It's rough because it's not I would like to do a lot more things and it definitely limits what we can do. But we're trying to make the best of it, yeah, that's
[00:39:13] Adeel: interesting. There's a term called and it might be too strong a term, but Miss Grief, where it's it's
[00:39:16] Lisa: grieving that you can't do certain things because of something that's going on, and it may even be and I have, I personally have a lot of that, unfortunately more for my kids.
My kids and for my family because I say nobody's getting younger here and these are opportunities that we are missing because of this misophonia. But it's a very fine line because part of me wants the kids to really understand like, hey, time can't, is not standing still, and you're missing opportunities with the family because, You are not gonna be able to have that conversation possibly in 10 years.
, this is the time now that you're gonna be able to do these things. , one of my aunts passed away recently and, not to get drastic, but we didn't get to spend enough time with her and there's, she's not the only one that we don't get to spend enough time with.
And on one hand, I think maybe it'll snap the kids into. Like quick exposure, like exposure therapy does sometimes. I personally, when I eat with the kids, I'm not a big trigger for them. I can be with certain foods, but I'm really not, luckily I'm not a big trigger with the kids.
So I secretly do exposure therapy with them. Not in a harsh way, but , I see how long they can go and often they can get through a whole meal with me and it's fine. Or they can get through half of a meal without headphones and then they put their headphones on. In the back of my head I'm thinking, okay, good.
The more they can get used to eating with me, or if I sneakily start eating popcorn when I'm watching a show with one of them and they're able to do it and I say, Hey, we just watched a whole show and I ate popcorn and I want them to know they can do it, but it's the same sort of with that.
shock. It's a shock, shock them into saying, Hey, this is your opportunity. And maybe it's for a fun thing Hey, you're not gonna, let's go to Disneyland. You're gonna miss out if you don't go you're gonna miss out. And s and sometimes they grieve also because they're like, but I just can't, I just can't do it.
And. And it's very sad because sometimes you think, oh, wait a minute. If I trick them and tell them that their time is going away and they're not gonna get this great experience or that, or conversely, they're not gonna get this sweet life experience because it's going to go away. And they're sad about it too, because they just can't handle it,
[00:41:28] Adeel: Yeah. It's an interesting a approach and it's good that at least it's coming from you, from someone who has miss that hopefully. It usually tends to be better. We tend to, I think take that, that, those kinds of suggestions better from somebody who has misophonia, because I think a lot of us feel, I don't feel maybe safer around people with misophonia.
Maybe that's why they can eat around you a little bit more.
[00:41:47] Lisa: They also don't feel like they're being bla I understand. , like when you're a trigger. I don't, it's hard for me to, I was about to say, I don't know what it feels like to be a trigger, but I do, my son, especially with my little boy, my son, I'll, at night we used to do it more but he reads on his own.
But when we do, I still like, enjoy reading to him. There's some great books out there and I'm laying on my back and my mouth gets dry and I have to shut my mouth and open it again or, I'm trying to be really quiet and just swallow quietly instead of making a deal out of. Swallowing. Yeah. And all of a sudden my swallowing is making a smacking sound.
And he'll say, stop smacking. He'll say it in that kind of way that you feel like saying it when you're a grownup, but you often don't say it because you know that's rude. And you say, stop smacking. And instead of me saying I'm not smacking, I don't, sometimes part of me, and sometimes I have behaved this way, unfortunately, and I say, fine, I'm not reading.
Leaving the room. I take it personally and I'm like, fine, if you don't wanna deal with me, then I'm leaving the room. You don't get me to read to you and more. And then, and sometimes when I have my wits about me, which is more often now, I say, would you rather me sit across the room or I say, Hey bud, I'm smacking cause I gotta swallow when I read because my mouth got dry.
That's what it is. You're smacking. Yes, I am sorry. I'll do my, doing my best and a more loving tone that I actually feel. I say, Hey, I can tell this is really hard for. Why don't we stop now or I'll get a drink of water and see if we can make it better, or let me sit across the room and let's see if we can make it better.
And if he's still saying You're smacking, instead of going to his level of getting mad and getting angry at with him, I just say, okay, I love you so much. I'm gonna go out of the room now. Or, Hey, I'll just give you a hug right now. Yeah. And go out of the room. But people who are triggers don't always feel that way.
And as. I don't really know what it's like to have that from a peer. I only know a parent, a child having it really like I only know the issues really come up when it's a, the child is being triggered. I haven't seen me have a big issue with other people being my triggers cause I'm able to say something or move or change or,
But what happens? There's a really tough one, and this is what I mostly see, oh, I guess cuz I belong to parents with misophonia, parents with kids with misophonia. There's a trigger there. There's an issue where parents, again with kids who've got all different types of things going on and neurodiverse kids where you don't know if you're letting your, if you're just not parenting, and is a real fear that I'm letting my kid get away with this, or I'm letting my kid get worse with their misophonia by not shutting it down in some way. And that's when we're all reaching out for help. Because I think the studies keep coming back that it doesn't help if you get, if you make it even worse by getting mad.
Parents don't know if. If they're letting a kid get away with something, if they're letting it get worse, because with a lot of us of a different generation, we just sucked it up and we're living in this world. And it's basically fine, but for our kids we're appreciating that.
It's really hard,
[00:44:35] Adeel: yeah. Lisa. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for coming on. This has been great and yeah, maybe
[00:44:39] Lisa: we can, let's follow this. Let's follow up. I wanna hear more about it. Thank you,
[00:44:43] Adeel: Lisa. It's great to hear someone in the public eye being so open about. We had to end it a little abruptly there because Lisa was running late for another appointment and we got carried away with the interview As always happens.
If you like this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this show. You can hit me up by email@example.com or go to the firstname.lastname@example.org. It's easiest to send a message on Instagram at MIS podcast or on Twitter mis show. Support the show by visiting our patreon patreon.com/music.
Play your podcast, the music, as always by mobi, and until next week, wishing you peace
[00:45:29] Lisa: and quiet.