Courtney - Coping with Misophonia as a New Mom

S6 E2 - 7/18/2022
The episode features Courtney, who shares her experiences living with misophonia as a new mother. She discusses not being triggered by her son's noises but expresses concern for the future, considering the possibility of misophonia being hereditary. Courtney talks about how working remotely has helped her manage some triggers, specifically those arising from office environments. However, she also notes new challenges brought on by COVID-19, such as increased stress from being home more often and being exposed to more triggering sounds, like those from TV commercials. Importantly, she mentions her coping strategies, including sleeping in separate rooms from her husband due to his snoring, and her efforts to manage annoyance from everyday noises, such as her child's toys.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 6, Episode 2. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. She talks about being a new mom and not being triggered by her child, but yet wondering what the future holds. We talk about various forms of mimicry and humming over sounds as a coping method. And we delve into her past, of course, growing up, going to Catholic schools, and her penchant for being clean and orderly, and always hearing the voice of guilt, where all that came from, and what, if anything, these might have to do with misophonia. Remember, you can reach out to me by email at or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Missiphonia Podcast. I also sometimes check out the Twitter at Missiphonia Show. Thanks for the, again, the support of our Patreon sponsors. You can check out the various levels at slash misophonia podcast. And of course, one of the best ways to get the word out is leave a quick review or rating. It helps us rise higher in the algorithms and reach more misophones. All right, let's get to my conversation with Courtney. Courtney, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here. Thank you. So, yeah, I'm sure you've heard episodes. I'd love to hear kind of, yeah, where you are. I know you just said you're outdoors. Kind of, you know, where in the world are you? And maybe then kind of what you do.

Courtney [1:31]: Okay. I'm in the Baltimore, Maryland area, kind of the way suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. And I had a baby in 2019, so I've been kind of on work hiatus, if you will, since he's been born. But I have dabbled back into the working world since he was born. I do a lot of administrative stuff for the most part.

Adeel [1:57]: yeah and you can probably do a lot of that remotely i would imagine or are you being yes okay

Courtney [2:04]: Before I left, they were nudging to go back, but I was not into going back.

Adeel [2:10]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're not alone, I'm sure. Cool. Okay. And yeah, so I guess what's, you know, maybe how should we, yeah, maybe we should talk about the birth. I mean, obviously a lot of changes happened around then. How has kind of motherhood been and has that been a major factor for you, Ms. Coney?

Courtney [2:35]: Um, surprisingly, no, I was nervous that it was going to be that like the sound of my son's noises because they make a ton of noises, especially early on. Um, I was nervous that that was going to be problematic and I was going to want to rip my ears off and all that, but I really didn't. And at three, he still, you know, he eats kind of like a cow, but he's three and it doesn't bother me yet. I'm anticipating the day that it starts to, make my skin crawl. And he's not there yet. So, hooray.

Adeel [3:10]: Yeah, no, I mean, I've heard that also from personal experience that, yeah, it seems like young kids, or at least your own kids, at least, don't bother you so much. Maybe your brain is somehow... realize that it's not a threat although the same sounds obviously within belt would would make you want to do nasty things but uh but yeah hopefully that will um hopefully that will stay these you know stay subdued for you um did you ever think about did you ever think ahead to not just um him causing issues with you but like you know well we all aren't unsure kind of maybe how hereditary it is have you ever thought about uh his future

Courtney [3:48]: Yeah, I try not to because I can't do anything about it now, so I try not to dwell on that. There's so much to dwell on in general with a three-year-old that I'm kind of willfully ignoring it for right now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. His toys can really get to me. A lot of the clicking and the ticking and the repetitive, which I know is good for his development, but oh, my God. You're right.

Adeel [4:17]: No, and there's some of them where, yeah, there's some of them I know where they, you know, they're like on some kind of a timer that if you don't, you know, interact with them after a while, they remind you that they're there. And so sometimes I've noticed in recent years, there's some companies that have, you know, gotten a little bit aggressive on that. Maybe. And so try to draw the kid back. Anyways, we digress. But yeah, it's great that you're trying to stop bothering too much. Maybe. Yeah. But outside of that, like, how has life been? Was it kind of what are your, I guess, major issues these days coming from?

Courtney [4:53]: Um, more recently, probably because of COVID and being home and how much TV we're watching. We've always kind of watched TV, but like one of the things that really drives me nuts is when you're watching a commercial or a movie and they type in the sound of somebody eating or swallowing or chewing. And I'm like, why? That is not necessary. And I will very quickly change the channel, mute it, do whatever I can because I'm like, why would you do that? Um, but for the most part that's kind of because we're home that's kind of been it um i sleep in a separate room from my husband because he snores and i don't want to smother him so i sleep in a different room um and that has worked out well um

Adeel [5:48]: Yeah, Maisie. I think I remember Maisie earlier on, like maybe first, second season. So some of them, they have separate bedrooms. Yeah, completely separate bedrooms. I mean, even I often don't end up... I often sleep... I'm usually working on something at night, so I end up sleeping wherever I'm doing the project that I'm working on. But yes, I definitely have similar snoring issues. So I understand that.

Courtney [6:14]: Yeah. And he also... My husband does this... It's not my husband, it's the kid... He drops cups all the time or like his silverware or his plate or whatever. And I know he's not doing it to be mean, but like my head explodes when he, especially when he drops a cup. I can be in another room and he drops that cup and I'm immediately like ready to yell at him. I don't. I try really hard not to snap and snark. Not only at him, but at kind of everybody. I have always been very hypersensitive to that. I know that the sounds that people are making are second nature and they're not thinking about it. So I try not to give a glare. I'm not good at not doing it, but I try not to. And I try to remind myself that they're not doing it to make me want to do bad things. It's just they're breathing. And they happen to have a whistle in their nose or they're snapping gum because they're bored.

Adeel [7:20]: And you said, yeah, it sounds like it's kind of worse around COVID. And I know a lot of people have talked about the whole kind of claustrophobic nature of COVID and you're suddenly now... feeling trapped, you're hearing more sounds more often that maybe have triggered you in the past. It sounds like it's kind of your experience as well, right? That kind of everyone's closed in or everyone was closed in and we're still, those of us working from home, we're still, you know, we are fundamentally basically locked down. I mean, we happen to be able to do stuff and leave, but we're basically all now voluntarily at home in a way.

Courtney [8:00]: And I've kind of liked not having to deal with some of the office stuff. I worked in an office and it was me and three other women in this one fairly sizable room. But one woman had acrylic nails and the clicking of her fingernails on the keyboard. I couldn't do it. One of the other women cleared her throat every five, 10 seconds.

Adeel [8:23]: Yes.

Courtney [8:23]: And one of them wore shoes that would flop on her feet and she dragged her feet. I was just like, oh, I'm going to lose it. And so I started wearing headphones and I had to wear a sign or there was a sign on my desk that said you had to knock because I couldn't hear you because I couldn't work and I couldn't focus with just those four sounds going on at all times.

Adeel [8:45]: And how was that? Were they cool with you wearing headphones?

Courtney [8:51]: Nobody said anything otherwise.

Adeel [8:53]: Okay.

Courtney [8:54]: I kind of, I would do things. Right. And it would be like, okay, well, I'll ask forgiveness later. Because I don't really tell a lot of people about it. The few times I have, for the most part, I've had a few friends that are like, oh, that drives me crazy too. And so I was like, oh, good. But the other people just kind of look at you like, what? I'm like, never mind. I'm just going to go back to being antisocial.

Adeel [9:21]: Right, right. Yeah, that's, yeah, that's, you kind of never know. And then, yeah, the deer in the headlights reaction is like, it's almost like... I don't know. Sometimes it's the worst because now you don't know how to react.

Courtney [9:36]: Right, and I really don't like it when I tell someone and then they're constantly like, oh, does this drive you crazy? I'm like, well, not until you said it. Like, now it is. Because I can sometimes distract myself. I hum a lot. And people always thought that I was just like happy-go-lucky humming. I'm like, no, it's so that I don't commit homicide and kill all of you.

Adeel [10:02]: And is the humming to mask the sound or is it to distract yourself? I'm curious.

Courtney [10:10]: I think it's both. If I'm humming, most of the time I just hear my own humming.

Adeel [10:16]: I don't hear it. Oh, it's interesting. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because, yeah, some people, you know, some people stick their fingers kind of around their ears and kind of move their fingers around to kind of like generate some white noise. But with humming, you're kind of, you're not necessarily trying to mask it, but you are, in a way, maybe just covering up the sound.

Courtney [10:36]: Yeah, and I'm not humming really loud, but if you're standing next to me, you'll hear that I'm kind of humming.

Adeel [10:41]: Interesting, and that's enough for you. Yeah, that's cool. I've heard that as a coping mechanism. Do you do mimicry as well, where you try to copy the sound? I know that there's even some research that is kind of pointed to some explanations for that. I'm just curious if that's part of your toolbox.

Courtney [11:02]: No, I think mostly because the idea of making the sound that's making me crazy is terrifying. I'm like, no, thank you.

Adeel [11:09]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, cool. And your husband, obviously you have one child who's too young to know what it is, but obviously if you told your husband, obviously if you're sleeping in separate rooms, he's somewhat aware that you're sensitive to sound.

Courtney [11:27]: Yeah. Yeah, he drinks. So I was trying to think about it last week. I can't remember when I told him. And I feel like he drinks a lot of water with ice in. And the sound of ice cubes clinking can start to make me twitchy. And we'd be sitting on the couch watching TV or doing whatever. And when he drinks, he does it in repetitions of three. which is another which just makes me go even crazier where i'm like oh my god does he know that you're doing it three times yeah um i haven't really pointed out the whole repetition part of it drives me nuts right but he definitely knows that like the drinking and the swallowing and like the slurping i'm like can you not slip that yeah um but i've been really big with kind of telling him not to tiptoe around me like And I just try to make it knowing that he's not doing it on purpose. And so I'm trying not to be that person. I'm a therapist.

Adeel [12:34]: Sorry, what were you saying?

Courtney [12:38]: Oh, my therapist is like, you're placated. And I'm like, I know. But I just don't want to be that person that's like, hey, can you shut the hell up?

Adeel [12:47]: Yeah, well, a lot of us, we don't even necessarily need it to be a big deal. We just need people. Oh, yeah, we don't need people to tiptoe or ask us constantly, is this okay or is that okay? It's more about just having some awareness. Just realizing that there is some acknowledgement and willingness to try is usually enough.

Courtney [13:10]: yeah like when i one of the offices i had gotten a different position in that job where i was in the office with the three and i got my own office with a door and i was like sweet baby jesus And I would more often than not go in and I always get in like 30 to 40 minutes before people because I'm not a morning person. And I'm like, don't talk to me. And if you say good morning, I'm like, oh, I could spill my coffee at you. Like you could say morning, but like. and so i would just walk in and close my door and people were like oh you're just anti-social and i'm like no the guy across the hall clicks and ticks and does all this other crap and so my bat ears can't focus on anything other than that so i just gotta close my door ah so you get in early so you don't have to do that that a walk of um

Adeel [14:04]: They'll walk down the office where you have to say morning to everybody. Yeah.

Courtney [14:10]: And I went through the side and I would just be really... People, I'm sure, thought I was very antisocial because I didn't like the forced lunches where we would all sit in our lunchroom. I'm like, oh, thank you.

Adeel [14:21]: I hate those. Yeah. It's not just for the sounds.

Courtney [14:24]: I just don't even know. Right. Like, I don't... Don't make me try to be your friend. Yeah.

Adeel [14:32]: It's funny because, I mean, but usually, you know, if, yeah, it's interesting. If for, yeah, even if I'm like really good friends with the people I work with, I just don't want to sit around and have lunch with them. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. So why don't we rewind way back to kind of like early days for you? When did you start noticing growing up that this was a thing?

Courtney [15:03]: I think the earliest that I really remember it is sitting at the kitchen table with my brother every morning when we would have breakfast and being like, oh my God, could you eat any milk? Or why are you slurping that milk? Like, what is happening? Why can't you just eat like a normal human being? And he's four years younger than I am. And my mom... would just kind of tell me to you know have more tolerance and everything was just that i needed to be more tolerant and i'm pretty sure that's where a lot of the anxiety that i have now is related to the you got to be more tolerant but i'm like no the sound of him smack in his lips is making me want to drown him in his milk and i can eat

Adeel [15:47]: yeah yeah i was gonna say around age what was that was there anything happening at home around that time or in the world around you and your environment that was different or changing other than obviously you know that you're getting to that that uh age when everything changes inside

Courtney [16:01]: Yeah. No, not that I can think of. I mean, life was pretty great. I lived, my father worked for Disneyland and my parents used it as a daycare when you could walk around Disneyland by yourself. And, you know, I had three out of the four grandparents and they were great. And I had summers at the beach and life was pretty great.

Adeel [16:25]: Interesting. Okay. Well, there goes the idea of trauma, early childhood trauma causing.

Courtney [16:32]: Yeah, the only kind of traumatic thing was that I hit my head on a coffee table when I was four and I needed to have like classic surgery. But I don't, I have no memory other than.

Adeel [16:47]: feeling they wrap me in a papoose to keep my arms down but that's the only thing that i can remember is the bright light and not being able to move my arms right right okay okay um interesting okay and then and then your after your brother started uh driving you crazy did that start to proliferate to other family members curious kind of how that path

Courtney [17:08]: went the journey yes my mother is scottish and so she drinks tea kind of 24 hours a day yes and right like between the slurping and the swallowing and the clinking of the the spoon and the cup i'm just like nope i gotta go and so i just leave at first it was leaving the room now i have to be like outside It's like my bat ears hone in on the fact that she's drinking, and I need to listen to that, even though it makes me want to rip my ears off.

Adeel [17:45]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, interesting. And then the reaction again, I'm assuming, was still like you're being too sensitive or tolerant.

Courtney [17:56]: Yeah.

Adeel [17:58]: Um, and was that, was your brother starting to tease you? Like, I'm curious, kind of like, were you being, starting to get kind of, um, I don't know, getting some kind of hostile reactions, or?

Courtney [18:11]: No, not really. Um, I think he was more kind of like, shut up and just turn the cereal box around so I could see the back of the cereal box.

Adeel [18:20]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Courtney [18:21]: He was less concerned with...

Adeel [18:24]: what my complaints were and more that he just wanted to look at it was his turn to look at the side at the back of the cereal box and he was like four so little and how were you dealing with it was it uh um what were kind of coping mechanisms or reactions obviously you said you needed to just get further and further away

Courtney [18:45]: I think that's kind of it.

Adeel [18:47]: Yeah, yeah. Not throwing points.

Courtney [18:51]: No, I never did any of the visceral kind of stuff. I don't know if some of that was fear of retribution. My parents weren't big into spanking or any of that stuff. But you got the look. And if you got the look, you didn't get any other warnings after that look. And so I would just kind of figure something else to do. And then once I got to like 11 or 12 and hormones started to take over, there was definitely more snapping and verbal kind of like freak out and then stomp off and slam my door.

Adeel [19:28]: Specifically related to misophonia or?

Courtney [19:32]: I don't know if it was just that or if it was just kind of everything.

Adeel [19:35]: Yeah. Gotcha. And were you experiencing anxiety around that time? I'm just curious where there's comorbid stuff happening at that age. Um,

Courtney [19:46]: I don't remember being a thing at school. I remember being more annoyed at if people were touching the stuff in my desk or if my desk wasn't the way I left it when I went home. We used to put our books behind our desk on this thing that you would have to make at the beginning of the school year and it would make me crazy if somebody touched my books or rearranged them. Or if theirs was messy. I couldn't stand it if their desk was messy or if their bag on the back of their desk was messy. I don't know if it's because there was so much sound happening that I couldn't... It wasn't one thing I could focus on, but visually I could focus on what I perceived as disorder.

Adeel [20:37]: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yeah, it all comes back to kind of, I don't want to say like needing control, because it's not like we're control freaks or anything, but there's some, yeah, I would call it characterizing more like something disturbing the order, an order that we expect or need, that our body needs. Okay. And were you then, there's a whole misokinesia, I don't know if you're familiar with that term, but the whole visual triggers, did that start to form around that time as well? Or has it been an issue with you as well, like watching people make sounds or something around that?

Courtney [21:17]: I didn't really notice that until I started, oddly enough, listening to your podcast.

Adeel [21:21]: And I'm like, oh, shit.

Courtney [21:23]: I was like, oh, shit, that's, yeah, damn it, that's a good point. Well, shit.

Adeel [21:29]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's a double-edged sword, this podcast has been. It's helped a lot of people, but it's also maybe caused as many new triggers.

Courtney [21:39]: I definitely can notice if someone, like I watch a lot of baseball, and I can tell I would go crazy in a dugout just from watching the sheer amount of chewing that's happening. And the spitting.

Adeel [21:51]: Gotcha. Okay. yeah um yeah that's something that obviously evolves so did you so other than the um right so the stuff being on a place how did um uh did outside of the house at school it didn't really uh obviously you don't know what it was did it start to affect your grades at all your social circles not that i'm not that i can remember um

Courtney [22:21]: My grade stuff kind of took a hit in high school, but that was because of my family dynamic changing. But I don't really, I think it was more that there was just so many sounds happening that I couldn't pick up on just the one.

Adeel [22:39]: Yeah.

Courtney [22:40]: Or the three things that were driving me nuts.

Adeel [22:43]: Okay, okay. So at school it wasn't, okay, yeah, it didn't seem to be as much of a factor at school. When things started to change at home and in high school, did your misophonia change as well?

Courtney [22:56]: I don't think so, but maybe. Because I didn't really know what it was. And, you know, I still, in the mid-90s, I still thought, I'm tired of aging myself. I still thought it was... think just that i had i just that i had bat ears and like i could just hear you know it was my superpower i think i did say one time in high school when the question was you know if you could have a super hero power what would it be and i was like i already have one yeah it's bat ears and i can hear stupid stuff that most people can't hear and they don't care if they hear it but yeah what do people think about that did you did you tell friends at all like in kind of um other than that one time not in high school um but i think some of that was i was quiet in high school and i went to a very small all-girl high school and girls are mean In high school, they're especially mean. And so you just kind of did what you could to not stand out. And I've always kind of had that. I don't want to stand out. I don't want to necessarily go to a party, but I want you to invite me to a party and be okay that I'm going to say no, that I'm not going to go. And that's hard to do in high school.

Adeel [24:21]: Yeah, yeah, gotcha. Okay. Okay, so I guess, yeah, so then as you're kind of like leaving high school, how did things, as you're becoming, you know, going out in the world, well, maybe college, did you go to college? How was it post high school?

Courtney [24:40]: I did kind of though. I went to a couple of junior colleges. I just wasn't, I don't know how much of it was that I wasn't. I'm not geared for school, but school at the time didn't entice me. So I went right to working. I worked in a hotel. For the most part, that was great. Because again, it's loud and there's always movement and there's always stuff going on. And a lot of the times, because I'm so organized and like... overly anal about stuff being organized a lot of time i was organizing stock closets by myself i was like great nobody's around me and i'm tearing apart a closet and putting it back together in an orderly fashion this is amazing

Adeel [25:32]: Were your parents... I'm just curious just to kind of dig into that. Were your parents at all kind of clean freaks or to use that term or kind of super concerned about order? Or I'm just curious where you got that from, if you know.

Courtney [25:48]: I'm pretty sure my mother is very... Orderly. I mean, I know. She's very orderly. Things have a place and they should be where they should be.

Adeel [26:00]: If you ever had anything out of place at home, I'm curious. Did you hear about it? Did you get the glare for things like that?

Courtney [26:08]: Oh, yeah. For being as incredibly anally organized and particular about stuff at school and work. Not my bedroom. My bedroom was just like a bomb went off all the time. All the time. And that didn't stop until I was 30. I didn't finally pull my head out of my ass and start making my room look not like a teenager's until I was 30.

Adeel [26:32]: Yeah, so you took those Johnny Depp posters down and teen beat.

Courtney [26:39]: It was more like Milli Vanilli.

Adeel [26:40]: Yeah, I was going to say, where am I getting these references? But yeah, Milli Vanilli, exactly. Okay, interesting. Yeah, just... Yeah, that's interesting. I'm wondering how these are, well, it's unknown yet how some of these things are related, but that could be one of the, I don't know, something that kind of cross-pollinated over from your mom kind of making, maybe you feel kind of, I don't know, i don't want to say guilty or just kind of feel pressured for keeping things clean and then that's somehow kind of like gravitating towards sound um yeah i think it's kind of a catholic school thing um oh you went to school is that catholic school

Courtney [27:22]: yeah and i went to catholic school from kindergarten all through 12th grade so you're familiar with guilt because yes and like the concept of not making a big deal about myself and like yeah you know sacrificing my own personal comfort or whatever i am not a practicing catholic nor have i been since high school um but yeah i think that's where a lot of the cleanliness and orderly came from is school because the same thing with being early i'm I had to fight not to log in to zoom 15 minutes early because that's what I do. I'm notoriously early.

Adeel [28:01]: Yeah. Yeah.

Courtney [28:01]: Because if not, you're late.

Adeel [28:03]: Yeah. Yeah. I'm, I'm notoriously early. And, uh, but yeah, I get, I think I'm, I know I get that from, uh, my parents always showing up at the parties early. Um, and, uh, yeah, just feeling that pressure to do that. Interesting. Um, okay. So yeah. So yeah, as you're, uh, yeah, as you've, as you're an adult, you're, you're, uh, At some point you started to take down the Million Vanilla posters. When did you realize that this was a thing and had a name and that there were other people with it?

Courtney [28:35]: I was trying to think about that because somebody was talking about a New York Times article.

Adeel [28:40]: Yeah, Joyce Cohen. I feel like somebody.

Courtney [28:44]: Yeah, and it had to have been before that that I remember hearing about it. But I have no strong memory of being like, oh. I mean, I remember reading something and somebody saying something to me and being like, oh, shit, that's me.

Adeel [29:02]: Yeah.

Courtney [29:03]: But I couldn't pinpoint exactly when that was.

Adeel [29:07]: Gotcha, gotcha. But whenever it was, did things change for you after then? Like, did you start to... you know, talk about it more openly or just kind of like, I don't know, bookmark it for later?

Courtney [29:24]: A little bit of both. I kind of mentioned it to my mom one time and it was kind of like a shrug off. I definitely got the shrug. And I was like, okay, well, you know, it's new. I'm not expecting anybody to know anything about it because I barely know anything. And then that Quiet Please documentary, it was when that Kickstarter was going for that. It was when I really dove into... well, man, this is the thing, and I might be part of this thing. And so I had taken part in, I had given money to the campaign, but I couldn't pull myself together enough to do an interview like I wanted to. I just couldn't, and so I didn't. One of my regrets.

Adeel [30:16]: Yeah, I know. I think, you know, as awareness, well, this is a big step. Coming on the podcast is going to help a lot of people like you. And I'm sure there'll be many opportunities in the future, too. But yeah, well, I'm sure you may have heard I had Jeffrey on the podcast a couple months ago, a few months ago. Yeah, it was a good conversation. But yeah.

Courtney [30:39]: And my therapist has never heard of it. And so I recommended that particular episode to her.

Adeel [30:46]: listen to cool okay and yeah so what yeah let's talk about that i i guess that um so i'm assuming you've you've you went to your therapist for non-missing point related stuff i'm curious if they obviously they had not um heard about it what have they what's their reaction been since then since they've you know learned a little bit about it

Courtney [31:08]: She's asked a couple times for, like, most recently she asked how to spell it. Okay.

Adeel [31:14]: That's one step. Baby steps.

Courtney [31:16]: Yeah. And then when I mentioned to her going on this, then she wanted kind of more info. So it kind of felt like that it was kind of secondary. But then when I was making strides to do stuff with it, she was kind of taking a step further on her end.

Adeel [31:37]: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's very good. And, you know, I've had several therapists and researchers come on the podcast. Those might be good episodes to listen to. And I have some actually coming up as well. Most of them having misophonia, but actually some of them not having misophonia, which might be an interesting perspective. So, okay. Cool. And then you said you mentioned to your mom she shrugged it off. Has that changed or has it just been a kind of constant shrug?

Courtney [32:14]: Pretty constant. I mentioned it again earlier in the week and it was kind of like, what's that? I'm like, I'll forget it. Right.

Adeel [32:21]: Yeah. I don't want to go through this again. Yeah.

Courtney [32:25]: So she's kind of got a lot going on too. So there's that Catholic guilt again with not wanting to be the problem. But I can't fix her. I can only fix kind of me at the time. So once I can get myself figured out and hopefully a spot where I'm not constantly a raw nerve, I might be quicker to kind of smack back with like, okay, we need to talk about this.

Adeel [32:55]: Right. And so I'm assuming like family events and holidays and whatnot, you just kind of, you know, do what we usually do is just not really bring it up and kind of escape when we need to.

Courtney [33:08]: Yeah, my mom is one of five. So there's a lot of people all the time, Christmas, Thanksgiving, all that. It's typically 40 plus people. There's a lot of noise. And so there's a lot of crowd white noise that I don't, there's never been a moment where we've been sitting at like thanksgiving dinner and i'm listening to clinking or yeah chewing because there's so much noise right there's always somebody talking so and they're usually talking loud

Adeel [33:39]: And if there's 40 people, the venue's probably not, like, some tiny studio apartment. At least you can kind of, like, go to another room or something or step outside. Actually, you can step outside and no one's going to notice, probably, for a while. Right.

Courtney [33:51]: There's always the adult table and then the kids' table, which the kids' table is the one to sit at because it's the loudest.

Adeel [33:58]: exactly yeah what's the good thing about having a kid you always have an excuse to go somewhere else so yeah once i became an adult and i sat at the adult table i said this is boring yeah yeah well one thing we also do is always offer to help with the dishes or or get drinks for people so we don't have to be trapped sitting somewhere and um what about other so you have a big family and uh you know i've talked to a lot of people who have had who have found other family members who haven't have you have you brought up with anybody else i brought it up with one of my aunts and she it was very early on so i don't think

Courtney [34:38]: She really kind of comprehended or understood it. She was being funny. And the response was, oh, man, sorry, your brain's broken. And I was like, yeah, me too. My family doesn't talk about their feelings. They've got this Scottish stiff upper lip thing going on. So even if they did, I don't think anyone would talk about it.

Adeel [35:01]: Right. yeah super frustrating yeah yeah yeah interesting okay um yeah and then and then i i guess yeah using you and then what about in the in the workplace um of yeah i guess we talked about how you just kind of i guess avoid um avoid people as much as you can um has that ever caused an issue like have you ever found anybody else maybe at work or um work adjacent clients or vendors or whatever who have had it as well or maybe be showing signs.

Courtney [35:38]: Yes. When I moved to Maryland and I started working at an association, a professional association with two women who I mentioned that the sound of X drove me nuts. And they both said, oh, me too. And one definitely is a little more intense than I am.

Adeel [36:01]: Yeah. Oh, okay.

Courtney [36:02]: And one is a little less intense than I am.

Adeel [36:06]: Mm-hmm.

Courtney [36:07]: So we kind of made a good trio because we didn't, we purposely, we were really well aware of each other's kind of sound stuff. So like we would eat together, but we would make sure it was somewhere loud. And nobody's chewing gum and nobody's crinkling bags of chips or eating popcorn.

Adeel [36:28]: Right, right, right. Yeah, well, it's good to have that.

Courtney [36:32]: Yeah, they were the only three of the, I think, 50-something people in the office that I was aware of or that I felt comfortable enough with being like, you know that song you make? It makes me hate you. It was just those two that I would tell that to.

Adeel [36:47]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And how did you see you found out that they, like, I'm just curious how that even came up.

Courtney [36:56]: I think we were either at lunch together or we were traveling to the conference because we used to do conferences a couple of times a year. And I feel like we were traveling together and we were on the plane and none of us were opening the bags of peanuts or whatever thing that they gave. And it was kind of like everyone looking at each other like, oh, and I was still really new into the association. So I'm still really kind of quiet. And I just kind of haphazardly said, oh, God, that's driving me crazy. And that turned into a whole conversation on the way to the place. I was like, oh, cool.

Adeel [37:36]: gotcha well then um okay and then yeah other than uh not not opening your bags of uh of peanuts like what are some of the other coping mechanisms like just kind of day-to-day uh you know outside of your office is it i mean i know there's not that many but um you you always have kind of earbuds or or even earplugs around or um i'm just curious kind of like how you get through yeah some of the things like i won't rip open a bag of chips i cut it

Courtney [38:03]: because it's quieter, so I'll cut it. I do wear earbuds quite a bit. I got AirPods recently. I don't know why I was fighting them for so long, but I did.

Adeel [38:13]: Well, they're not super cheap.

Courtney [38:15]: So I got those, and those are helpful, but I have to be able to hear the three-year-old. He's like, Mom, I need X. And so I'm like, well. So I have it in one ear, which can usually distract me enough.

Adeel [38:29]: The AirPods Pros have this transparency mode, which seems to kind of raise the volume of... Or it makes the voices a little bit clearer, like cut through the music or the sound or the noise, whatever you're listening to. So that can kind of help. But yeah, you're right. You just need to be aware of your surroundings in some situations.

Courtney [38:55]: get really zoney a lot and i think i i zone out in an attempt to go somewhere else so people will be like are you there and i'm like oh yeah i'm sorry what yeah yeah um i'm not sure how much of that is the coping or how much of that is the anxiety thing but

Adeel [39:13]: Gotcha. That's what I do. And do you, for this, or obviously not for this, but any like, I don't know, dabbled with any medications or have kind of, has anything that you've done, I don't have to say any specifics of anything you've done from other conditions, maybe helped at all in your, in your misophonia, do you think? Or sometimes anxiety tools can kind of help out or not. I'm just kind of curious. not that i couldn't think of or that i know of um mostly no short answer yeah yeah no i mean that's just another proof point that this is uh this is its own thing it's not should not be bucketed with um you know all the other more popular disorders that are out there interesting so um okay cool um yeah i guess we're yeah we're about uh heading to about 45 minutes um actually how did you find out about the podcast it seems like you're um uh you knew about the article um but you haven't really talked to too many people did you um google around for it or are you maybe in some of the online groups Obviously, you know about the documentary and Jeffrey and I have been going back and forth sometimes on the Facebook groups.

Courtney [40:41]: He'd be so upset to know that I still haven't watched it. I have the DVD, but I couldn't bring myself to watch it. And I know where it is. I know where it's sitting. I keep saying I need to watch it.

Adeel [40:53]: He would understand. I told him that I got it, but I couldn't watch it in one go because it's such an emotional thing to watch people intervene. So he actually, on the episode, he said that a lot of people tell me that they bought it, but they just have it sitting there. They can't bring themselves to...

Courtney [41:11]: to watch it so it's not uncommon i think part of why i didn't watch it too is i was in forums years ago i feel like it was yahoo or maybe it's a different one and it might have been facebook before i left facebook but I was starting to get kind of agitated slash disappointed slash kind of like, oh man, because a lot of it was people complaining about people making sounds and almost being proud of themselves for either the glares they were giving or the snappy, snarky responses they were saying to people. And I was like, well, that's just not fair. John sitting on the train sipping his coffee doesn't know that it's driving you crazy. And it's not fair to ruin his day because we hear that sound more than most. And so I think I dumped out of the forums because I was like, this doesn't feel helpful. This just feels like people being proud that they're being mean to people when they're making sounds that are just natural.

Adeel [42:22]: Yeah, I think a lot of us, we are excited to join those forums, but they quickly turn into these weird rants, which end up being like a lot of other Facebook groups, not very helpful. I don't think that's the majority. I think this happens to be the people that write the most, you know, that do the most posting. Yeah. but um but yeah but but then yeah then you know non-mesophones kind of like hear about that stuff or see that stuff and then they just assume that we're you know complaining we're just big complainers so we're just being assholes yeah which is another reason why i wanted this podcast is just kind of like you know let's give a let's talk like normal people and um and just kind of expose the fact that it's not just a bunch of whiners

Courtney [43:06]: Yeah, that's how I found the podcast was that it was starting. I'm starting to recognize that I think some of the anxiety and the constant level nine that I'm at is because I'm fighting off the sounds that drive me batty and I'm not telling anybody so now I'm just bottling everything and so then it was like well I gotta do something and I just recently started listening to podcasts because I can't most of the time I can't focus and I'm like oh look wind and I can't listen to people to talk there are some podcasts that I couldn't listen to because I couldn't stand the sound of their voice or the breathing pattern that they were doing when they were talking. Or the whistles or the mouth noise that they were making while they were talking. And I'm like, oh, this isn't going to work.

Adeel [43:54]: Yeah, it's interesting. I just had this conversation for, I was in a meeting related to a future top secret project that I'll share at some point. But yeah, I mentioned it because people have, I don't know if you've found this to be true, because I actually added out a lot of the... Definitely all the lip smacking and weird, if I breathe kind of weird or inhale too much, I take as much of that out as possible before publishing. I'm curious if you've noticed any difference listening to this podcast versus other ones.

Courtney [44:27]: Yes. I think with yours, for the most part, it's only been, and I'm sorry to the other people that called into the podcast, it's just the sound of their voice. I'm like, nope, can't take it. And I move on.

Adeel [44:38]: Yeah.

Courtney [44:40]: And I feel bad because I'm like, it's just how they talk. But I'm like, I can't until I don't.

Adeel [44:47]: Understandable. And sometimes there's sounds I can't get out that happen to me in the background. But it's also another reason for me to just get some quality transcripts out so that people can read those episodes on their own. Well, super cool. Yeah, Courtney, great to have you on the show. And yeah, thanks for coming on.

Courtney [45:08]: And thanks for doing this.

Adeel [45:10]: Thank you, Courtney. Very enlightening. And I know lots of people, new parents and many others can relate to your story. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or rating 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 leave a message on Instagram at Missiphoniapodcast. You can follow there on Facebook. Support the show financially maybe by visiting the Patreon at slash mystiphonypodcast. The music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.