S6 E21 - 1/19/2023

S6E21 - Linda

Linda is a professional puppeteer and a multidisciplinary visual and performing artist. She created the 9-minute short film called Misophonia which has been going around independent film festivals. I had a chance to see it and was struck by how it captured a lot of aspects of miso without actually saying any words. We get into a lot of different things in our conversation other than this film, such as using art to describe living with misophonia. We talk about her childhood with an abusive stepfather at home, her mom potentially having had it as well, marriage and misophonia, her fear of psychologists, and we also talk about her other job as a librarian and the role of libraries and quiet public spaces.

On Instagram @pollysonic 
Linda's Puppet Company 


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: Linda, welcome to the podcast. Good to finally have you

[00:00:02] Linda: here, . Thank I'm so happy to be.

[00:00:05] Adeel: Yeah. So yeah, I've been really looking forward to this and I'm glad you glad cuz we'll talk about what you do for a living and what you've done related to misophonia. But do you first kind of wanna share with folks rough about where you're located?

And you've heard me ask that question of people. I'm sure.

[00:00:19] Linda: I currently, I've only been here for five years, but I'm in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York. I, before that I had settled in Connecticut for about 20 years in New Haven. So I feel like I'm still a New Haven. but I grew up in Vermont, Maine, and New Jersey in backwards order. and I am an artist. I've been, I was born into a family of artists, so I've been in all different types of arts my whole life. So here I am specifically focusing on puppetry arts, and then I work part-time three nights a week in a library, which I'm happy to talk about libraries also. okay. so that's where I am and what I'm

[00:00:57] Adeel: doing.

Awesome. Yeah. Okay. yeah. Fascinating stuff. so I guess maybe, yeah, maybe, sometimes when I can go in many directions, I'd just like to go chronological. Do you wanna talk about, yeah. Back in the day for Linda, like when did you start to, to notice something was wrong?

[00:01:13] Linda: I think that it really hit hard and I noticed I was different probably in my late twenties but after listening to your podcast, that, first of all with misophonia, I'm 50, so I spent many years before I knew there was a name for it, just trying to deal with it and not knowing if I was different or not. So it's so integrated into my life that I don't really notice it too much until it becomes an issue.

So my late twenties is when I was living with someone where it became very apparent that there was a problem. and I tend to avoid things, so I never really looked into it, but then I found your podcast and listening to people, I had a memory, which I'd always remembered, but I never connected it to misophonia.

When I was about five years old, I was supposed to sing in the church choir, and I had been doing that apparently since I could. My mom put me in the church choir and my whole family had come to watch me during a service, and I refused to go on the stage and sing with everybody. And I do remember saying to the choir leader, I don't wanna do it.

I, I don't like hearing people singing close to me. And my mom made, it was a whole big joke in my family. They were very, they were irritated at a, and my family's great, but they were like, oh, Linda didn't wanna sing in the choir because she doesn't like, people singing close to her .

[00:02:35] Adeel: and nobody's hilarious.


[00:02:37] Linda: understand it. Yeah. It was hilarious. And nobody, this is the early or the mid seventies at that point, nobody really asked any questions. They just thought, and I was such a good kid. I never, this was my first act of rebellion that I can remember. So it must have been pretty bad where I was actually that brave to say to an adult, I'm not going on. and now I'm like, of course. That's what it was. And I, and it was only when I heard you or one of your guests talking about not liking people's voice close, was like, oh, that's obviously what it was. So I think I've had it at least in five years old, so that, that's a good 45 years that I've been dealing.

[00:03:16] Adeel: And after that, did it, in your childhood, did it, did you, do you notice, did you think back and start to notice that it has expanded or you just didn't notice anything till the twenties? Till you ?

[00:03:25] Linda: I'll say, so I'm gonna try to be as candid as possible because people Yeah. Have been so great on your show and it's helped me so much and these are all things I don't talk about much, I'm not hiding them, but it's just not something I talk about very often. So we'll see how it goes, but Sure. I have a pretty big block in the middle of my childhood because I had an abusive stepfather and it was pretty severe from age nine to 16. so I think that I've blocked, I have a lot of missing memories from that time, and I don't know, I, I definitely have memories of being irritated with him eating lobster.

This was a thing. . I can't even remember if it was sound or visual related. And it was also just him, he was a real monster of a person. so I'm these things that, there was a lot of sexual abuse as well as mental. So I don't know, like I, I think when it started becoming a problem in my twenties, I worried that it was something that was coming out of that abuse. there's so many quirky things about myself that I always worried like, isn't my personality because I have this terrible thing that happened. and so when I found This five year old memory, I was so relieved in a way. I was like, oh, it's something that was before that time. Yeah. And somehow for some reason, that was a real relief. but it's hard to un untangle this stuff and figure out what is, what comes from what. but I think that's why I'm missing a big chunk. I don't have memories, in college, which was a really good time for me. I don't have memories of anybody specifically bothering me because of sound. It really became when I lived with my first partner, and he is a very, fidgety person. He's the opposite of me. And he's a great guy. I still love him very much. But, misophonia was a big thing that, that caused a split in our relationship. And now, he's remarried and he called me the other day saying, have you ever heard of misophonia? Because I. I think my wife

Oh yeah. So he married a second .

[00:05:27] Adeel: Yeah. I can't get away. Once you go misophonia, you don't .

[00:05:31] Linda: That could be. So I think, he's just, the nature of him, he's an actor, he is very physical person. He's always visiting, fidgeting with paper and doing all sorts of things. So that's it. It became obvious there was something unusual

[00:05:46] Adeel: about me.

Yeah. . Wow. Okay. thanks. Yeah, no, thanks for being candid. I'm sorry that hor horrible horse stuff happened. Okay. But back in, I, so I guess you mentioned that, obviously this monster of a person was a stepfather, so back when you were around five was there anything with your, I don't know, I'm making assumptions, but, you probably with your biological father around that time, maybe, was there any tension around the house that, or anything happening around the time that you do, start to do your rebellious act.

[00:06:14] Linda: Yeah. my, my father died of cancer when I was four, and I get, I don't have much of a memory of that. Yeah. And I, he had been sick, I think, for a couple of years, and that it was, of course, my mom ended up being a single parent. so I'm sure there was, she tried, I, she made my life as she wanted to make my life so amazing.

So she, she did a lot for me. Yeah. so I had a, it was a really good life for me actually. other than that pressure, which as a kid, I don't have too much memory other than her being sad, like I remember his death. But, yeah, I don't know. I don't know. You know what, maybe there's some connection. probably I believe after listening to this podcast that it is wired in there, hard . But who knows if there's something that brings it out, like some sort of trauma like that. .

[00:07:02] Adeel: Yeah. There's just a, it's very often that there is some kind of, eh, trauma's a loaded term, but there a small t kind of trauma or things that you pick up from, maybe observing other people that that can I don't wanna say trigger, but just helps maybe how helps not good weather, but help disappointed develop, in, in, in you, you're just there's, there's a, the whole walking on eggshells, thing that happens to a lot of us early on that we, when we were young.

And whether it's, you don't want to set off maybe your, I don't, I'm making assumptions again. Maybe you don't wanna set off your mom who's already feeling sad or there's some tension in the house. I'm just saying, often there's this point that develops from situations like that, so But, so yeah. I'm just curious. we're all learning and, but yeah, this is something that, we know we've noticed a lot. So I guess then, did you have any siblings

[00:07:46] Linda: around that time? Nope. Nope. Okay. they had planned on them, but I was the first and the last. song.

[00:07:50] Adeel: And then in, then it maybe just talk about your twenties. so obviously with that partner just came back with a vengeance in many different ways. , . did you, did it happen right away or is that once you committed it started you start to notice stuff?

[00:08:05] Linda: Oh, you mean with my partner and or Yeah. I can't, I definitely have always been a loner. And I'm an artist. I like to be alone a lot. And we lived in a tiny space for the first four years of art when we were together. . and I remember just, I just was trying to be a, I was an children's book illustrator right out of college, and I was so motivated, and all I did was work towards that goal.

And he is an actor and he was, we weed a, a small theater company together. So I don't feel like in the beginning, I definitely know he always, there were always things he did that I asked him to stop. But I think as we got older and more, became more repetitive and he didn't stop, I think I, I started becoming more, I'll just say my in inside my head.

I'm a tremendous asshole .

[00:08:55] Adeel: Yeah. We all are.

[00:08:56] Linda: And I and I think. That just got as we were together longer and longer, and we worked, so we also worked together, with a theater company and he was technically my boss. So I think a lot of that, just, exaggerated and made worse the situation. and I also had anxiety in my twenties came up, I started having panic attacks, and that's in my family. That's a, and I think that the stress also us out more. So I feel this Miss Phon for sure. And I, and then I started going on meditation retreats later in my twenties, and that's when I started getting more demanding about having quiet time and things like this And he couldn't do it. And that's was the, that was the end. Yeah. but, yeah, and then I feel, and definitely as I'm getting older, it's getting worse. And As I've been in, we lived at Aen. I have a new husband now who's great. He's completely mindful. he's so careful. It's, I've never experienced anything like it before. and we have meditation retreats and now we live in this quiet place. I think I'm just becoming less tolerant and I'm becoming more isolated, sadly, because of that. But, so it's been a steady, I think a pretty steady, upward line on the graph.

[00:10:15] Adeel: Yeah. A lot of it. Yeah. It tends to get worse.

It's it gets, the condition gets worse as we get older for some, for one reason or another. And, but we also have more, little bit more agency. We can make, big decisions like splitting on our partner or going on, affording to go on meditation retreats or live in the right places.

So it's yeah, there's. . More demanding. More demanding. Yeah, exactly. oh, okay. Okay. Interesting. so in terms of things getting worse as like the types of triggers or just like your ability to your threshold is lower?

[00:10:46] Linda: Yeah, I think there's more things. I mean I definitely, I, it's funny, I went out, I haven't gone out much in the last two year, two or three, three years, obviously.

Yes. Same. but I went out with a couple of friends who visited, to a cafe and luckily, everybody has outdoor seating now, which is fantastic. and I love this, so I was telling my friends that I'm so happy to eat outside. It's my favorite thing. . I haven't talked to anybody about misophonia until I made this little film that we can talk about. and that's brought up the conversation. It's a side or, a byproduct I didn't expect is that, oh, I, now I'll probably have to explain what this movie is to friends. Yeah. And they said immediately, oh, do you like to eat outside because of the miso? and I was like, oh my gosh. I think you're right. I think that's a big part of it. So I tend to, I don't like restaurants inside too much, love outdoor restaurants, I think that, like the eating thing is pretty much gone. I just erased it. I've been lucky. I've been able to eradicate that out of my life.

And my current husband is so careful I don't have any issues unless he's eating by himself and I am trying to concentrate. Yeah. Yeah. And he's eating on near me. Then I will just turn . That's game over. Yeah. Yeah. Turn around and look at him and he knows immediately. usually he knows before I do actually.

He's so intuitive. So now it's become things like people's, speech patterns, repetitive words. It's going more into talking lately. And I'm finding that really disturbing. Cuz now I, does that mean I never talk to people or listen to The radio or, so it's so wor that's worrisome. and I had, I did have the experience of triggering myself after I made this movie, which I had to make the sounds that were in the movie. Yeah. after hearing myself recording them through a little zoom, handy recorder. I had to listen to myself. And then the next time I did the thing, which usually I don't hear myself, I heard it . Ah, yeah. There was a fear that I was gonna self trigger myself for the rest of my life, but luckily that's knock on wood, that's been fading. okay. But it's definitely, I feel like more, I don't know if they're making, they're getting worse or if it's just, I think it's, if there's just more of them. Yeah. And the, and I don't know how much worse they could get, actually

[00:13:08] Adeel: so yeah. Let's not think about that. Maybe did. when did you, and when did you find out that it had a name? Like it was a

[00:13:14] Linda: thing? I, yeah, it's definitely that same article that everybody else with the picture 2011 Apple or whatever. Is that when it came out? it, I don't, that

[00:13:24] Adeel: was the big one. There may have been more, but yeah, that was

[00:13:26] Linda: the one, I think it was, I think it was the title like, does the sound of eating.

Drive Ukraine, something like that. that's this

[00:13:33] Adeel: article, right? The article that didn't, the new Trump one from 2011 did not have the word mis funny in the title. It had it in the text, but yeah, the title was some kind of a question like that, yeah.

[00:13:43] Linda: yeah. and I can't remember if I found it or someone sent, I, it would have to be my partner who would've sent it to me. cuz he's the only one who really knew about it, I think, or my mom. But it, I, so I must have found it by myself. But yeah, it was that, and I was just I think that I'm still even all these years later, surprised that not everybody has the same reaction to these sounds. So I guess I was surprised it was a condition.

But yeah. I really do know it's not everybody has this, but it's still always really is this, it needs to be a condition. This just everybody should be quiet, quieter. Yeah. .

[00:14:19] Adeel: How, and how did you describe it before you knew it had a name? Like with your partner? How did you

[00:14:25] Linda: I don't know. it usually focused on his eating. his paper wrapper, that was a big thing with him. So I don't, I didn't, I put it more on him. these things that you do, Not so much myself. Because I just didn't have the skills Of being in a good relationship that way.

But, yeah, so I don't, I definitely knew it was only me, but I still didn't, I didn't identify with it. call it anything. And you

[00:14:53] Adeel: said your mom may have sent you the article. Was, was she aware that you had sound, sound seventies other than that moment when you were five years

[00:15:00] Linda: old? I don't know if we talked about it at all. I, we, I have a lot of quirks that we do that as I call them, that we do talk about. She, I wonder if she has something like it because she's the one who always yelled at me for sniffling. she can't stand sniffling, she can't stand, certain voice patterns.

I, I wouldn't, she doesn't have any issues that I know of with eating. things like that, that are typical. but she definitely has a strong reaction and gets angry at a few very

[00:15:31] Adeel: specific things. And that's going back even from like her memories. Yeah.

[00:15:35] Linda: Forever. Yeah. Interesting. But, so I don't know that she would've found it unusual that I didn't like a sound other than the close singing thing that, that's when she didn't.

But, but yeah, we, it was just her and me and then for a brief talk for seven years, the stepfather. so we're a tiny family. We don't have cousins or brothers or sisters, Okay. So maybe, that's part of it. I am, I'm not, practiced at tolerating people no. Giant that I live with dinners.

Yeah. no, nothing

[00:16:06] Adeel: like that. Gotcha. Okay. then, maybe I'm just like itching to get to your, the, the project, but maybe, yeah. Do you wanna talk about, but even leading up to that, I'm just curious, like what were you, what kind of projects do you typically work on? And, yeah, I'd love to hear about what, led you to come up with the idea of doing a film on dysphonia.

[00:16:24] Linda: yeah, I'm trying to figure that out too. . But, I, so I was trained as a children's book illustrator, which I did a long time. And I had I think seven books published, not writing, just illustrating part. so I did that full-time for 15 years or so. And so I worked alone also still like in my own studio as a freelancer. but my grandparents were puppeteers. They had a, they started in the 1950s, a little marionette company, so I grew up a lot with them after my father passed away. And so I grew up with puppet theater and I didn't really think too much about it. It seemed old fashioned and not something, I was way more into, the cutting edge children's book market, , and then I, bunch of different things happen.

I saw a puppet show, that was based in a, an Asian form of puppetry called , which is a direct manipulation puppetry. And it was so beautiful and I'd never seen anything like that before that I just fell in love with puppetry on my own. And this was, when I was in college, I think, so my grandparents had already passed away and I just, went all in. I just found out that puppetry is not just Muppets, not just, marionettes on strings. It's actually, it actually is a very cutting edge art form, especially in the US where it doesn't have too much of a tradition. And I just saw like a whole world. I'm, I am a visual artist as well as a performing artist.

I do some VOD bill, I do. Fire thinning. I do some go-go dancing. I, and I've been on a living statue. and I love that stuff. So this puppetry brings together the performing and the making into one art form. And so I've been, full out, dedicated to that for I think now probably another 15 years. and mostly that's been theater, live theater on a stage. Yeah. And then I, it's a long story. I won't get too much into it, but I started getting into shadow puppetry, because of just a bunch of things that happened right before the pandemic. And then the pandemic happened and it was the. Time to try to explore putting that on film because suddenly everybody needed content for their Zoom theater So I started making little vignettes of shadow puppets that could be on the screen during the pandemic. And then I just got, I'd never done film before and I got a commission from Heather Henson, who is one of the daughters of Jim Henson, to make a film. and part of that was going through a bit of a film school for six months, with film professionals.

And the project that I chose was misophonia, which was an idea it had, five years before. so I can tell you , how that happened. Yeah. I think that the idea started as most of my ideas as just a visual picture. , because I think mostly visually, and it was of, a mermaid on a bus.

I'm gonna spoil the end of the movie, but that's okay because I don't think, yeah, sure. Isophones don't wanna watch this movie anyway, , but we'll get to that. so I had this image of a mermaid, like commuting on a bus and slithering off a bus and going back into the ocean. And I thought I would try this for a conference that I go to where we workshop shows and then that didn't happen.

And it, over five years, it just started developing in my mind. and I love riding the bus and I love riding the train, but I can't stand the sound course. It's most unbearable. So all of a sudden this mermaid in my mind was, mis sophonic and was gonna be tortured by sound. and so when this project came up, I submitted it as an idea and they accepted it.

unbelievably , because I had already named it misophonia, which most people don't know. what that is. So I, it started with this image, and I, and the mermaid is, I had been a mermaid as a living statue, so I think she was me already. And as a living statue, I don't speak, I'm mute. I do mime. So I think that her silence of her character being this mermaid invited, a contradiction with the sounds that people would be making. I just, I didn't know if it would be a good movie. I don't know if it is, but I needed to make it, to explore, to explore it. art is my way of thinking and roughing or smoothing out the rough edges between my inner life and the outer world.

So for me it was just amazing to really dive into thinking about this and then giving it an ending. I gave a source of misophonia by saying she's a mermaid, so she's just different . So even though there's no cause that we know of, or, we don't know why there is misophonia, I satisfied myself by giving it, a reason.

I think. So I think that's the best thing about art is like you're able to create a world where something is resolved where it isn't in your life. so that's how it came about . Yeah.

[00:21:24] Adeel: It's a little magical realism

[00:21:25] Linda: kind of thing. Exactly. It is. Yep. That's exactly the category, I would say.

[00:21:30] Adeel: Interesting. Okay. And when you say you were, you're using it to explore, is exploring literally like misophonia, the feel? I haven't seen the film yet. I've been trying to, but I, think I missed when I was at that film festival, but,

[00:21:42] Linda: I haven't made the, I haven't made the subtitled version yet,

[00:21:45] Adeel: okay. I haven't, oh, yes. So you're saying you, you already think , you don't recommend it for Mr. Films, I'm assuming, because there's tons of trigger sounds. Yeah.

[00:21:53] Linda: I made recorded Yeah. And I made them as gentle as I could, so I could bear it. but it, yes, no. Anyway, continue.

I'm sorry, .

[00:22:00] Adeel: Yeah. So do you wanna maybe talk through, the plot? it's not like a two hour film, right? No, it's a short film, yeah.

[00:22:07] Linda: Yeah. No, it's pretty simple. it's nine minutes and you see a woman in a, in front of a library reading a book, which happens to be Moby Dick, and she's waiting for the bus, and the bus comes along and it's empty with a happy bus driver.

And she gets on the bus and she's happily reading. And the whole movie is the, this bus moving through the city and picking up more and more people. And every time there's a bus stop, , a new sound is introduced, so it starts with the crinkling paper. my, my ex's favorite . and then it goes through coffee slurping, a game boy. tapping like my mid-level. I didn't add any of my, my, I couldn't deal with eating things like that, so I lobster , no, there's no lobster in this movie. and it's a, it's paper puppets, so they don't intrinsically have a lot of facial expressions, so that was a challenge of trying to make her look like she's more and more distressed by these sounds and unable to concentrate on her book.

And then after the bus is completely full. And I had to build this soundscape of just, cacophony of sound and there is no dialogue. There's no words. the bus leaves the city and it goes to the sea where there's a bus stop that says sea. And she gets off the bus leaves, and all of this sound just disappears into the sound of waves. And then we see that she's actually a mermaid holding her library book, and then she disappears in, into the ocean. And that is it. .

[00:23:40] Adeel: Yeah. And is there any other, like a music, accompany or is it mainly the sound is the,

[00:23:45] Linda: Nope. All sound, all sounds. So it's all built from, I found some, sounds online. old bus vintage buses, so there's a lot of bus sounds, there's city sounds. and then it switches to the inside of the bus where you hear the people sounds. I, I. I had to build. Yeah. I really, I, and I've never done this before in my life, make soundscapes. So this was a learning thing for me, but I'd say like half of the movie really is sound.

It really relies on the sound

[00:24:14] Adeel: and you were building it Biologic Pro or Final Cut or something like that and just you looping stuff

[00:24:19] Linda: or premiere? yeah. Okay. Yeah. I just did it. I didn't even have time to learn. what is the other Adobe, there's the other Adobe, audition or something like that.

Yeah, something like that. Yeah. That's on my list of things to learn cuz it wasn't too easy doing it Yeah. in Premiere, but just, it's about 40 tracks, in Premiere. Yeah. And no, I would reuse the sounds definitely. so they're, and I, and my, because they're,

[00:24:42] Adeel: because so usually, the sounds are very like, spontaneous, like they're very instantaneous.

So I'm curious, like, how did you, And how'd you make the cacophony? Because it's you opposite, like either copy, paste or labor

[00:24:52] Linda: or something like that. Oh, it was so hard. I don't, very tedious. Yeah. It was, it took forever. And I actually built the soundtrack before I film. I made an animat.

So I put my storyboard into Premier and then built the soundtrack and I thought that it was gonna be just a placeholder and I would learn better how to grab sounds. And that ended up being the final soundtrack. And I, it could be a lot better. there's definitely many things that could be better, but it was really hard making the sounds, like you, you could hear the ind individual sound and relate it to a specific character without getting mushed together with all these other sounds that are there. And I am still. Looking to learn how to do that . but I, I would, up the volume on that particular moment and lower everything else. probably in a pretty clumsy way, but that was my idea. But very hard, especially, yes, there's that, especially if you hate the sound and you have to hear it


[00:25:54] Adeel: tricks you can do like that. You can, change the eq, can change the reverb, maybe reverb, oh gosh, on stuff that you wanna focus on,

[00:26:01] Linda: things like that. See that I should talk

[00:26:03] Adeel: to you beforehand, , I would love to work on, on your next project for sure. Anytime. and what was reaction you got?

[00:26:09] Linda: my, so we, it was, I was fantastic in a, in making it, we had a cohort, there were eight filmmakers who were mostly stage puppeteers moving into film for the first time, like me. And then we had three main advisors. and then we had guests who would come in and give us some advice.

And all the time I got, that the sounds were not irritating enough.

[00:26:35] Adeel: And I just said, these are from non

[00:26:37] Linda: Isophones. I'm sure. Yeah. And, and that was an issue. and then it became, I realized on my own that I didn't know who I'm making this movie for other than myself, because I would never ask someone with misophonia to watch this movie until I have, this, subtitle or closed caption. also if you don't have, some people could relate to a few things. They'd say, oh, this really irritates me, but it wasn't quite, quite the same. so I, I think people understood it. I asked for feedback from friends who had never seen it, and they did get the, they got the plot

Yeah. Yeah. but it's also, puppets are not the most popular art form and I'm pretty happy working in a weird medium that is, pretty niche. so it's only been shown so far online. it is being submitted to film festivals and it's gonna be in a DVD collection coming out from Henson in the future at some point. So it hasn't been seen too much, so I haven't gotten a ton of feedback yet, but hopefully Yeah, don't

[00:27:38] Adeel: soon. . Yeah, no, I, if that, yeah, I'll definitely buy that DVD and, yeah, let me know if it gets, in any film festivals. Yeah, definitely promote that. have you ever thought about, I don't know, doing a sequel or just maybe incorporating, other aspects of misophonia in so many other work?

[00:27:53] Linda: I haven't, this was Ralph, like having to listen , like having to listen to But, I did, there was, there is one character of this crowd that isn't on the bus who's a child. he has a fish. he was, there's these little clues that she's from the ocean planted throughout the movie.

So there's a fish store that people are waiting at the bus stop in front of, and he has a little bag, holding a goldfish. And in, in my mind, he's concerned that this goldfish is trapped. And I'm, I think you even maybe pointed out like she's trapped on this bus very similarly, as that fish, she's stuck in this glass, enclosure not able to get out.

Yeah. And she. . so I had this idea that this boy was really interesting because he's the only one who notices her when the bus leaves. He's looking back to look at her. it's like nobody else really notices that there's this person that is not even a person that's a mermaid, and she looks different even from the get-go, even before you see her tale.

So nobody notices her this distress, which is my general, experience except for this boy. So I had the feeling that this boy might have, some sort of sequel that might, maybe he is reunited with her in some way, and they meet. So I do have something in mind. I don't know what it would be yet, but that, yes, that, so there's a little spinoff that might happen.

Oh, I

[00:29:18] Adeel: love that device of having that, the parallel of the goldfish that's trapped and she's also trapped in the bus. Yeah, that's, I think I was referring to There's, there's, there's obviously so many aspects and secondary effects of having misophonia as you and your first partner have experienced.

And, there's, it's so many different dimensions that I think there's like a, very unexplored landscape of creative possibilities with misophonia, which, know non phones would listen to this and be like, what are you talking about ? Just that sounds

[00:29:45] Linda: yeah. But I think everyone could relate to the isolation.


[00:29:49] Adeel: Yeah.

[00:29:49] Linda: To some, sometime in everyone's life, at some point they must feel different and un not understood. Or not noticed or,

[00:30:00] Adeel: yeah. Different misunderstood. Have, feel like, oh, one thing. speaking of, niche art forms, like I've only very recently become obsessed with, musical theater, partly because I was like, I'm the connection between, musical theater being like, breaking out into these out outrageous song and dances related to, the thoughts that go on in our head when we're triggered. it's so outrageous. Oh, I was like, wow. Yeah. So I, that's why my initial thought has been to make a musical about Ms. Foia. Not necessarily like a big song in dance, like a, vaudeville style, but although that'd be ridiculous too. I'm very interested in . into like absurd, art forms and dadism and whatever.

So I feel like that this is the direction I want to explore, is to have musical theater as a metaphor parallel with the thoughts , the other, the parallel life that we have

[00:30:43] Linda: in our heads sometimes. That's amazing. That's the form that I was working in with my ex.

He was a musical theater person. And he would write a lot of. His own music, but also some reviews. I never thought of, I never made that connection before. That's very interesting. Yeah. Yeah. It's a inner

[00:30:59] Adeel: outburst. . Yeah. The inner amount we have is so crazy. it's,

[00:31:03] Linda: it's as crazy as

[00:31:04] Adeel: musical theater

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I never really, and I've never to the, to the theater kids when I was growing up, probably because it, growing up, in an East Asian, south Asian Indian, culture that's not, not only any kind of art form is not particularly recommended or encouraged. oh, theater just seemed really odd and out there and very much the white kids.

And so it's taken a while for me to look at stuff from a different perspective and, I don't know. Yeah. Ms. Funny was just oh, okay. Wow. I see a, some, somehow I can connect with musical theater because, at least from the, this potential outlet or way to express emotion, Something I can

[00:31:38] Linda: relate to.

What about Bollywood? Bollywood is

[00:31:43] Adeel: like very, yeah. It just seemed big A little. Yeah. It just seemed, yeah. yeah, I was, I was never into Bollywood culture because it's, it tended to, I was more, I was, indie movies and different kind, different kinds of plots and themes for, let's just say Bollywood just seemed a little too, cookie cutter and just everything seemed the same and, kind of cheesy . maybe, I think maybe, I originally thought musical theater was cheesy, but then I started to think a little bit more about what it could, then I was introduced to literally in the last couple years, people like Steven Sondheim and Oh, okay.

There's more of a, there's more of a psychological aspect, which I never realized before. I just thought it was, Just Vaudeville entertainment. which I don't mind anymore. I I, I don't know. I get it. I'm started, I just took my first tap dance lesson this week to speaking of no kidding.

Just just doing stuff I never thought I'd do.

[00:32:28] Linda: Oh, that's so interesting. Do you like, which you'll see how that works for MyPhone. Yeah. I was gonna say, do you like the sound of

[00:32:35] Adeel: we'll see. I don't mind it so much cuz if it's done, musically it's like playing drums with your feet, then I can see how you'll be.

Okay. But, that's

[00:32:43] Linda: true. did see, have you heard of this? I think it's Mr. Free's ears. I think that's his name.

[00:32:50] Adeel: So wait a minute. Okay. Wait. Are you the one who, wait, is this.

[00:32:55] Linda: I think I did, message you. it's a, it's, I think it's Nickelodeon or something

[00:33:00] Adeel: like this. yeah. I think it was you who sent it to me a while back.

I totally forgot about it, but I did watch it. Yeah. it's, I can't believe it exists. . Yeah. So listeners, what, yeah, what Linda's tell me about his, you can describe it as well, but it's, but now I remember it's this, it's from the nineties on Nickelodeon. I guess there was like a short, I think there were just five, 10 minute, little clips of, was it always somebody? not, I know one of them is somebody that the dude, it's like a guy who's going around. There's no words . but he goes to different situations and he just hears normal sounds, but in a rhythmic, almost like a beat. So I, I remember one where he's sitting in a Barbara's chair. Yeah. And then he hears the scissors and the comb and everything is played. a rhythmic performance kind of thing.

[00:33:42] Linda: he is irritated. He is irritating. Yeah. He always runs away, but he does hear it as if it's a percussive and it's, and I can listen to it that way, like you were saying, if it's musical, I can hear those sounds, but yet he has to, and it always starts with the camera zeroing in on his ear

So it's so interesting. And that was another person, a sound designer pointed me to that. he loved this piece. So

[00:34:12] Adeel: yeah, that's one interesting, cuz obviously there was no term from this funny back then, so you gotta wonder if whoever did that was trying to get the point across. But I think

[00:34:19] Linda: so. I think so.

I have to, I should investigate more about who did it and find them. Yeah. .

[00:34:26] Adeel: Yeah. We'll go to IMDB and find that out. sound designer. Yeah, that's super. that's also what I, yeah. So I'm, writing, as I'm writing songs, I'm thinking about, using triggers and, as like percussive elements, like maybe high hats or parts of a snare.

If you add enough reverb and manipulate sounds enough, you can, you can make them actually, and there was, Marcello a recent, you heard that one, right?

[00:34:48] Linda: It was great.

[00:34:49] Adeel: Yeah. yeah, so I think, I think this is amazing that people are starting to use, start to, incorporate misophonia and not just like that obvious stuff, I'm annoyed by sounds but, it's trying to use it more, I don't know, just trying to explore it creatively. it's an untapped landscape.

[00:35:03] Linda: I had, there's a few film festivals that are, will take a silent film and, orchestrate. Live to the film. I want to submit misophonia to a couple of those and see if anybody would be interested in making musical version of those sounds in a way. that I would be able watch.

[00:35:21] Adeel: Movie.

[00:35:22] Linda: yeah. So I'll we'll see if anybody, bites on that one. .

[00:35:26] Adeel: Yeah, that's the thing I was thinking about, would a musical make sense or honestly oh, the no Miss films would go see it . Not that I wanna put a lot of triggers into it, but I'm wondering if maybe, yeah.

Jessica, a film version, kinda like what you did. Yeah.

[00:35:39] Linda: I love it. I would go see it .

[00:35:42] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah. . yeah, anyways, no, I'd love to, yeah, brainstorm some ideas about that stuff later . and when you released, I guess you're still in the process of releasing it, but have you, has it introduced you to other Misa phones in any way?

It sounds like you haven't really talked about Ms. Funny in general. But yeah, no, I'm

[00:35:57] Linda: curious if you were able to Yeah, no. I think before I shared it with anybody, with me, snia, I definitely want take out, like I'm so worried about bothering people. I would wanna take out those sounds and make a little, this is, you can see the action being done with by paper puppets, but I wanted to leave the ambient soundtrack, but take out those particular sounds. but. Yeah, I don't have any that I know of Misa phones in my life, in any case. to talk to. So it's not come up and we're still trying to release this movie in different ways. So just, it's still in the ether.

[00:36:33] Adeel: Yeah. Gotcha. Okay. Okay, cool. And not, it's always gonna be recorded.

It's not like you're gonna, I would imagine it probably you would never wanna do a live version of it. .

[00:36:42] Linda: No. definitely. Yeah. I, you know what? Who knows? Yeah, it could be, there could be an interesting way, who would come to see it? Theaters is rough. this is great. I can make it and just send it out. you have to ask people. To, to a live theater show, so it's a lot harder. Yeah.

[00:36:59] Adeel: So what are maybe talk about like just coping methods. It seems it seems like, you said you've almost eradicated that the eating noises mainly because like you, you eat outside at restaurants and then your husband's very, attentive. are you doing the headphones when you go in public earplugs? things like that, or,

[00:37:14] Linda: yeah. My Sonys that I'm wearing right now, my Sony noise canceling, I can't live without them. I work in a studio space with 44 other artists and, it's called Artist Alley. I have my own space, but they're basically a giant cubicle with walls that are very tall, but then it's open up above and you can hear everything that everybody does.

And yeah, there's rules there, , but people right love to do things like play their music on their phone, make that. Tinny sound or talk to their friends through speakerphone and yeah, I couldn't survive. These headphones have saved my life there. they're just fantastic. and then other places, so I work in a library three nights a week, and that's, oh, yeah, that's actually the hardest part of my time, , because yeah, it's not quiet in a library. and if it is, you hear everything double. And also I think the expectation when you feel like you are, owed quietness, , and you don't get I have a worse reaction because I feel justified in my, in my terrible thoughts. . Yeah. so there, usually I'm a definite runaway. I don't confront, I'm, and I'm amazed Flight.

I'm a definite flight person, and I'm amazed hearing your other guests who have the ability to go up to somebody and ask them. I'm, I just can't even imagine. And I'm so impressed. Yeah. And when I get stuck, if I can't leave, I don't know what to do. I have I just go crazy and I The fight, flight,

[00:38:49] Adeel: or freeze and sounds like.

[00:38:51] Linda: Yeah. Yeah. I don't, I've had incidents where it's, so I've just become like a toddler or something where if I was stuck in a situation and someone is doing something, I will take something and slam it down on the ground and not even engage that person just to let my anger be known and they have no idea, I'm sure of what my problem is, and then I'll run away in any way I can.

So I have this weird fight, but not really. And then Flight . Yeah. and I, and it doesn't make any sense. I cannot, and no amount of preparing myself seems to be able to, I can't grab myself back at that moment. Now. I'm just lost in my, yeah. So I think there is some fight in there, but I'm so concerned, about my, how I'm perceived.

I don't wanna be a terrible person and, my inner thoughts are terrible that I do this weird sort of thing, which just makes me look far worse. I'm sure .

[00:39:53] Adeel: Yeah. It take a while to come back down

[00:39:55] Linda: from that. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I'd say hours, depending on Yeah. How bad it is. Yeah. And I think how can they, how could they not know? How could anybody do that? What is this terrible thing? .

[00:40:09] Adeel: Have you ever, have you ever gone, what have you ever has there ever been a time when you did lose it?

[00:40:14] Linda: I have lost it on a couple of people, not because of misophonia in general. I'm, I restrain myself in, I bury things until I can't stand it anymore.

But, and that comes, I'm sure a lot from my past, like just the inability to confront, problems. But I don't, I, I've never lost it, even though that's the worst reactions I probably have in inwardly. I've never really lost it on it. I've never burst out, other than the slamming something down on the desk and walking away, that's as far as it's ever gone so far.

who knows,

[00:40:50] Adeel: I don't. . And did you, have you ever brought it up with, professional, like at the therapist of any kind, psychologists or anything?

[00:40:59] Linda: I briefly, so I'm, I have a great fear of psychologists I respect, but, I'm fearful of going through my past. Like I'm always worried that this is gonna be brought up again.

But I did during covid when I had to work at the library at the front desk, we were having issues of what I felt was a lack of respect during that time. Before there were vaccines. Yeah. We were being treated poorly. Ugh. so I did end up seeing our, like a, I guess it's like a workplace, counselor through, through my job, and I saw her maybe 10 times. First time I've ever seen a therapist of any. pretty late in life. Yep. I've never, my family is very much you don't bring your problems to anybody. You just go on way. Yeah. so I've never seen anybody until then.

And that was, she, I did mention it to her. She goes, oh, is that thing where sounds irritate you? I'm like, yeah, . that's the thing. We never talked about it again. But I, we did talk about my, just in general of my, inability to, when people were doing things in the library that were, related to covid, like problematic. this thing about me slamming things down and running away came up and we, that was the first time I had ever noticed and connected it to my path. but no, we did, I've never. Talk to anybody in any form about miso. yeah. Until you really, and other than my poor ex and just people in my close to me

[00:42:26] Adeel: and our Instagram dms where you're sharing clips of Nickelodeon videos and whatnot.

[00:42:32] Linda: Yeah. That's it. . Yeah. It's amazing.

[00:42:36] Adeel: Amazing. What are some of the, and since listening to the podcast, listening to everybody, it seems like you've listened to a lot of episodes. What are some of the, I don't, are there things that you've learned that you're now incorporating in your life or just thinking about maybe that Yeah.

That are helping? Yeah, just

[00:42:49] Linda: the, it's just been this dark, cloud or like this closet I've never really looked into before. I knew it was there and I had to deal with it. and I'm lucky in that I have jobs often where I don't have to do anything about it, especially when I was working alone, but,

So listening to other people is just incredible because I, it's the first time where I was like, oh, they've thought so many people have thought about it so carefully. and then I, when they say these things, I just, and one of the, one of 'em that I remember was people talking about dog barking and then people talking about animals doing the same thing, not triggering you. And I was like, wow, I, the only time an animal has bothered me is the dog barking. And I think it's because I feel like a human should do something about it, I don't care when the coyotes, we have a lot of coyotes. We have cows. They don't bother me, but the dog barking. I feel like, humans should do something like maybe the dog is unhappy or, and then I get triggered.

But so it's so specific to. The human activity and that, I never even noticed that before. Never even occurred to me. So I think that listening, like things like that, I've gotten more curious about it rather than just, in despair, I'd say.

[00:44:09] Adeel: Yeah. so there's a lot of fascinating dimensions that, that you don't really think about necessarily when you first think of an annoyance to sound

[00:44:17] Linda: And so now I'm just, I just wanna know more about it, and I, rather than just hating it. So it's really fantastic. It's such a great service that you've done, I can't even begin to tell you. So it's wonderful, which is why I wanted to come on and, add my contribution for, oh, no, it's good to hear posterity,

[00:44:37] Adeel: Yeah. no, at least you're, I think you're making an ongoing con contribution, just, yeah. I love when it gets explored in art. It's out there in the world and people can, Think about it and hopefully get inspired to create their own works. as thank honestly that yours inspired me to think about it, is, I think it was one of the earlier versions of, earlier instances of, of, something just being about misophonia.

So yeah, I think, others will, will do something as

[00:44:59] Linda: well. Yeah, I hope so. And I hope, yeah, I hope everybody makes art. I think it's just good for everybody, but I hope some people maybe make puppet art and then let me know. .

[00:45:09] Adeel: No, I think that's a fascinating, I mean I'm sure, as probably cliche people mention that they love, being about John McLeish is one of my favorite movies,

[00:45:16] Linda: I'm sure.

Oh, it's great. No, that's a good one. usually people say Oh, the Muppets do you mean like the, which are great. Oh no, they're great. Yeah. But they're, there's so much more, and being John Malkovich is fantastic puppetry in that,

[00:45:27] Adeel: and speaking of, there's something, I don't know, I don't know if this is similar.

I, have you seen the movie Magic with Anthony Hopkins? No. Oh, okay. I'm writing it down . Yeah. Yeah. So it's not specifically, puppet, but it's, he's a ventriloquist and, but he's is, it's a, don't wanna say a horror movie, but it's, he is, Anthony Hopkins is, he's obviously got some kind of, there's some mental issues and it's, so I would highly recommend watching it.

It's from the seventies, so it's even cooler cuz you get to see life and, I think it's actually around your neck of the woods, so somewhere in the northeast . Oh. but, but, yeah, I mean it's the, I love old movies, but, yeah, it's super interesting because it's, he, Anthony Hopkins obviously has, clear mental issues and, and this, his ventral equi, the, his ventriloquist doll is, is part of.

Let's just say it's part of the goings on in, in some of the bad stuff that happens. usually there's a decline. There's a definitely a decline of mental state of Anthony Hopkins in the movie.

[00:46:21] Linda: I feel like if there's puppets in a movie, it's usually gonna be bad . There's definitely puppet fear in our culture, so Yeah. . Yeah. Yeah. But I enjoy it nonetheless. So it's actually,

[00:46:32] Adeel: I think it's, who's it is directed by some pretty big director. Oh, Richard Attenborough is actually, yeah, he went on into the direct Gandhi next, Oh, wow. Wow. anyways, but, yeah, Linda, yeah. this is, yes. This has been fascinating. any, yeah. about, about an hour into it. any kind of thing else you want to share with people who are. who are listening.

[00:46:50] Linda: Oh God. I feel like everybody knows more than I do. I have no advice except maybe don't, live the life.

I did for 45 years of trying to bury me, Sonia. I don't know. I think now with the internet and your podcast, like just people being able to connect and know that they're not, terrible people is fantastic. And to be young and grow up that way I think is really great. I would say, about libraries, which I think a lot of people have complained, libraries seem to be on a trend of becoming, like modern and upbeat, and therefore they think there needs to be a lot more noise and group activity in libraries.

[00:47:27] Adeel: Yeah. it's turning into maybe like the, a place to hang out and do different

[00:47:30] Linda: things. Yeah. and which is great. I think that's wonderful, but to stay, they are doing it to stay relevant. But I, as a, I work the front desk, there's tons of people who wish that there were still quiet spaces, but they don't get really heard by, library staff. So I would say if anyone wants to send a letter to your library asking to preserve quiet space, I think it could be helpful. it's definitely library administrators and I work in an academic library, so maybe it's different, but I would say, ask for quiet space again. And maybe if enough people make that voice heard, you can get our quiet libraries back because Yeah.

I've, they were so great. .

[00:48:09] Adeel: No, I was thinking about that. And, recently, honestly, I was thinking about almost recording this episode in our local library because my neighbor is about to get his roof replaced, hearing, banging constantly. But luckily it was raining today, so he's not getting it replaced.

But, but yeah, so I was thinking of going into one of those quiet rooms, which seemed to like slowly disappear. Being able to sign up. but even in those rooms, and I think, even if you don't have to, even if you don't, if the library doesn't create more, more quiet spaces, I think there's a lot of people libraries can do in the architecture and the interior design to soften Yes.

Like to put like soft, blanket or just carpet. Just think about those little details that can absorb sound, it think a big

[00:48:47] Linda: difference. And they're not doing, they're definitely not doing that now. Yeah.

[00:48:51] Adeel: no. And then some of these, to your point of the cubicles with the high walls, sometimes there's just too much space.

Like for. for somebody to confident it goes and reverberates, all over the place. so yeah, I think there's a lot that

[00:49:03] Linda: can be done there. I could be done if people know that it's needed. I think we just in general, quietness has been really left behind. it's not a, most people don't, most people I think who want that, don't speak it because they're quiet,

[00:49:20] Adeel: Although, and when you go to, a lot of theaters and art galleries around town here now have, the sensory hours or whatever. Some grocery stores have

[00:49:28] Linda: that too. Oh, I have

[00:49:29] Adeel: heard of that. That seems to, hopefully we've become more of a trend. I think. I think the autism community has been spearheading that, but I think we should jump on that train and support

[00:49:38] Linda: that

Oh yeah. That's great. Yeah, we don't have that around here that I know of, but that's, . Yes. I hope that becomes more popular. that's great.

[00:49:44] Adeel: Yeah. There might be some. Yeah. I don't know. it's like sometimes you see, yeah. Sometimes you see sensory-friendly hours pop up on Facebook, like for gallery putting on an event.

I think we should, Oh, that's fantastic. Maybe do a search. I bet there is something with so much art or so many artists around your area.

[00:50:00] Linda: Yeah, it could be. I will look. I, and what's the typical phrase

[00:50:03] Adeel: that's used? Sensory friendly.

[00:50:05] Linda: Sensory friendly. Okay. Sensory friendly. Great.

[00:50:08] Adeel: and it's not just sounds, and it happens, honestly, it happens at grocery stores too, where they'll be like an hour or two where they say they will turn down the lights, they will not collect the shopping carts.

They will, turn off the beeps or lower the beeps of the cash register.

[00:50:22] Linda: Oh really? No kidding. Yeah. That's amazing. Somebody's

[00:50:26] Adeel: put a lot of thought into this . Wow. And then, and then in, I'll go to a theater, like a children's theater, whatever. And then there's there's like a room at the back where you can. sit. And this is usually for kids who might be hyperactive or might have be, autistic, but, but yeah, there's, I don't know. It's becoming more of a thing hopefully. that's wonderful. It'll come back to libraries. .

[00:50:44] Linda: Yeah. Maybe I'll submit that in our,

[00:50:46] Adeel: you should get a promotion

[00:50:47] Linda: yeah,

[00:50:48] Adeel: be great.

Amazing ideas. Yeah. . cool. yeah, Linda, thanks again. I think, yeah, I would love to talk, yeah, keep talking at a later date as well. But this is good to finally have you on and hear your story after. I was so

[00:50:57] Linda: great. Ready to work from afar. Oh, likewise. Yeah. And I'm, I really look forward to all the art you're gonna make too.

It's gonna be, I'm just really glad to meet you. I'm so glad that I found this podcast. Thank you for everything.

[00:51:11] Adeel: Thank you, Linda. It was a real joy talking to you and about this film, which I wish the best as it makes it through the world. If you like this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast.

You can hit me up by email@hellomisophoniapodcast.com or go to the website misophonia podcast.com. It's easiest to just send a message on Instagram at misophonia podcast Facebook Miss podcast, Twitter at miss show. Support the show by visiting the patreon com slash miss podcast. The music is always,