Jennifer C. - Rediscovering Joy Beyond Misophonia's Impact

S6 E5 - 8/8/2022
This episode features a conversation with Jennifer, a woman who has been living with misophonia since she was 10 years old. Jennifer shares a poignant life story about how misophonia affected her relationships, especially with her parents, and has shaped her life decisions, including her recent venture into pet care as a profession to avoid misophonia triggers. She recalls discovering the term 'misophonia' about five years ago and describes it as a rebirth, despite realizing that there isn't a simple solution for the condition. Jennifer reflects on her changed perspective on life and self-perception, transitioning from viewing herself as 'trouble' to reconnecting with the joyful child she once was. The conversation explores the complexities of misophania on personal relationships, work, and self-identity, and highlights the importance of sharing experiences to legitimize and understand the condition better.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 6, Episode 5. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This is an interview I've been really looking forward to sharing. It's one that really hit me hard as we were talking. And for several weeks since, Jennifer has been reflecting on her life and the effect misophonia has had on her own life and her relationships with others going back decades to when she was a little girl who was best friends with her parents. But that changed suddenly and never recovered. You know, this story was just really surreal and emotional for me to listen to because, as I know many of you know and understand and can relate, I've gone through a lot of the same situations. Feelings, what-ifs, growing up, and especially now looking back in my 40s. I'd love to hear what you think. You can reach out to me always by email at hello at or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast. And sometimes I'm on Twitter too at Misophonia Show. I just want to, before we get started, thank my Patreon supporters. And if you feel like contributing, you can read all about the different levels at slash misophoniapodcast. please share any episode too. This helps get the word out, leave quick review. This would be a great one to share. Here's my conversation with Jennifer. Jennifer, great to have you on the podcast. Welcome.

Chaky [1:30]: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Adeel [1:32]: So, yeah, you said you have not heard too many, but I usually like to just kind of ask around kind of where people are and what they do to kind of set the baseline.

Chaky [1:42]: Yeah, so I go in, like, spurts of, like, delving into the misophonia world, and then I kind of take a break. And so I guess I came across you on one of those, like, deep dive moments. Yeah, and I listened to an episode, and, you know, I heard how it was, you know, very casual and, you know, how... It's just an opportunity to tell the story, everybody's story, which I think has a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. So I just thought it would be interesting to share my experience and possibly help others that may have had a similar experience.

Adeel [2:25]: Yeah, no, you're right. We share a lot of common experiences. Yeah, every time somebody comes on, people, new people relate. So yeah, it's definitely going to help a lot of people. Yeah, so maybe tell us about like, so you, sounds like you kind of went through a recent deep dive. Did anything kind of instigate that?

Chaky [2:43]: So I think like many people's stories, because of the internet, you know, they, they, discovered this term that applied to them and they had no idea there was such a term and that that's been unfolding for me for maybe like five years um and i'm 48 years old now and uh this started when i was 10. so you could say the last five years have definitely been like a rebirth because um i never i never knew this term and when i first found out about it you know i think you know the normal reaction is like oh my god this is amazing and then you quickly find that nothing is really going to change much just because you learned the term yeah and so that's where i've been in the last five years like oh wow this is really great and breakthroughs and then like oh well you know there's there's still really nothing to be done about it yeah we're all still talking about the same stuff pretty much yeah yeah but as far as um what's happened as far as um like my perspective on my whole life has changed like dramatically and so i think you know i'm also i'm like probably like going through a midlife crisis. So it's all like very timely that I'm just kind of taking stock of a lot of things in my life. And I have a grown daughter. She's she's twenty three now. And so I think a lot of my. My this new chapter of my life has it just it coincided with all this misophonia research and So I think it's a very timely thing that I've been going through this major life change at the same time of discovering all these things. And so I've been having just a lot of epiphanies, basically.

Adeel [4:42]: Yeah, without getting into, I mean, I'm sure I'll tell my story at some point on the show, but yeah, I'm about your age. And yeah, you're right. In the past couple of years, maybe because of the pandemic, I've been kind of, and because of things that have happened with people passing away, just been kind of thinking back to, all the way back to like early years and kind of how a lot of things have kind of, where maybe misophonia has weaved in and out and how it's affected. It's repercussions going back, maybe even, obviously my childhood but also uh maybe even you know other people's pasts and how this this thing kind of tends to reverberate um anyway so it's kind of vague but yeah that's it's uh let a lot of people to yeah to kind of look back and kind of rethink things and and interesting that some of the therapies i hear about these days uh have to do with um connecting with your inner like your your child the child that was maybe whether it's trauma or something that may have happened around the time when you were growing up. One of the therapies is kind of trying to reconnect with that and kind of maybe bridge the gap or close a loop that was never closed. Anyways, I digress, but... But yeah, this is going to, yeah, a lot of people are going to relate. So let's maybe, do you want to go back to kind of around age 10, Jennifer, and paint a picture there a little bit about what was maybe going on?

Chaky [6:11]: Yeah, so...

Adeel [6:16]: Start anywhere. You don't need to sum it up in 10 seconds.

Chaky [6:19]: Yeah, yeah. Like I said, my perspective has changed a lot in the last five years. But one thing that I've always known and that I never, ever could talk about before I learned about Misophonia was I remember the day, the moment that it really got switched on. And I... the incredible thing is i have a photograph of the day wow yeah and it was because it was i was 10 years old and it was my mother's birthday and my parents used to fight a lot they got married very young they were like 19 and 20 years old and so i was um 10 years old you know they used to fight a lot and in my memory they were in a fight and my father took us to the local carvel it's uh in here in new jersey it's a ice cream place old school ice cream place get ice cream cakes and he took us to get an ice cream cake for her birthday and i remember like wanting to jump out of my skin in the car uh being in the car with my father his mouth noises his you know just putting his fingers in his mouth and couldn't look at his hands on the steering wheel and I remember our house was very tense that night because my parents were fighting. And when he came back, when we came back, I was covering my ears. And that's when it became a big deal in my family. Like, why are you covering your ears? What's going on? And we took a picture with my mother around the cave. And I had my two fingers in my ears, like not even like I was a little kid. I wasn't even trying to hide it or anything. I was just like, there's something irritating me. So my reaction was to plug my ears. And every photograph after then was that, you know, we had to take as a family with my father nearby. I would just plug my ears. And there's... Those were pretty much, like, the only times we took pictures was, like, you know, the family birthdays and everything. And from that moment forward, like, up until I was a teenager, you just see me looking absolutely miserable. And then, like, I developed a more, like, a more subtle way of covering my ears. Like, I would, like, you know... rest my hand on like my elbow on the table and like lean into my hand so I could cover my ear like all these like like when I was a little kid I didn't know to do that I just would just stick two fingers in my ears and like right and I remember that my entire life was Jennifer get your fingers out of your ears like why are you covering your ears and it was just like a constant scolding wow yeah yeah i was gonna ask what the reaction was it seems like yeah there was no empathy about that it was did they ever ask like oh yeah did you try to explain it or you just deal no like i had no idea what was going on so you know like i said like looking back and having this different perspective i mean i was i think you know before hearing about this i pretty much I always felt like something was wrong with me. Like, I'm a weirdo. I don't know what, you know, why I'm acting like this. And... I'm like, I'm a seeker. So when I became a teenager and into my adult life, I had done so much searching as to why I acted like this specifically around my father. And I mean, I went to so many psychologists and therapists and different kinds of healers, all kinds of alternative therapies. And I always talked about issues with my father in like a psychological way. Mm hmm. Like like you talk about if you know, I know the jury's out if misophonia is from trauma or not. But and before I knew that it was misophonia why I was acting this way, you know, I guess I kind of delved into that. My reaction to my father was because of trauma. And I so I always was trying to uncover that. And I mean, I did so much work around that and in a logical like you know psychological way i can see like my father was traumatized traumatizing but he was also like very nurturing and very loving and very giving. And like, I knew these two things, these two sides of my father existed. And I couldn't.

Adeel [11:04]: It could be hard for, it could be harder for, I'm sorry to cut in. Yeah. I'm just brainstorming. Cause yeah, to me, this, the whole trauma aspect of this point is actually relatively new. It's interesting that you, that you were seeking that at kind of such a young age, but maybe it's just a child not being able to reconcile those two sides and seeing that contrast. Yeah.

Chaky [11:24]: Don't know so what happened when I was in a when I became an adult and like I said like going through all this like Reconciling of late I had forgotten that Previous before I was 10 years old. My father was my absolute favorite person and I had made him my enemy my entire life so much so that I had completely forgotten that and I Like anybody that any my aunts and uncles, anybody that knew us then would have said the same thing. Like I had just forgotten. But my father and I were like. Like two peas in a pod, like we did everything together. It was my mother and my brother and me and my father. And it's like we went anywhere as a family and we had to split up. It was like, I'm going with that, you know, like he was my absolute favorite person. And. know when this all started i mean he became toxic to me it was just like i had to leave the room and so um like i know that had had the hugest impact on him like devastating life-changing and yeah um yeah and but like i i put that out of my mind for so many decades that how close we were you know i just like i couldn't even go there and learning about the misophonia and, you know, like I said, taking stock of my life, I've remembered it and, you know, really just kind of hitting me like the loss, how much of a loss it was.

Adeel [13:02]: Yeah. No, I think a lot of us can relate. I mean, I personally can't relate with something very similar to that, too. So that's, yeah, that's very, it's very interesting to have that hit in recent years. I can kind of understand that. Is your dad still with us? Yeah, yeah.

Chaky [13:20]: And, you know, so it's like, and they live close. And I've never, you know, you can't say I've had a relationship with, my family at all. We're always in contact, but it's very minimal. My dad, he's always, you know, helps around the house. You know, something breaks, he comes to fix it, that kind of thing.

Adeel [13:46]: Yeah, yeah. But it's a stark contrast to the first 10 years, right?

Chaky [13:50]: Right. Like, I wonder, like, I mean, trust me, my family has other issues. It's not just that this is definitely the biggest, but... like i can't even i don't even know what our relationship would have been like if it weren't for this and because you know i i do know that we definitely you know like have our issues but um outside of this but um Like when I just hear, like, you know, you see on social media, like somebody, like a picture with their dad or like, oh, my one friend, she goes to a brewery all the time with her dad and has a drink. And I'm like, my dad would kill for an experience like that. And like, it seems like such a normal thing that people can do. And I've never been able to.

Adeel [14:37]: So you know that he would, so he is, do you feel like he's still thinking about that little girl? Like he's, yeah, okay.

Chaky [14:46]: yeah sorry i'm kidding yeah it my dad is very um you know he's he's forgiving and he's he's not a machine like emotional person so yeah you know he he hides it all but um yeah yeah oh yeah it's and it's definitely come up so when i okay yeah when i found out about this years ago because i don't have this like normal you know even like ability to like communicate with my parents or even be in the same room with them um yeah yeah uh the first person i told was my daughter who I guess she was only like 18 at the time, if I'm saying five years ago. But my daughter's applying to med school right now. She's very intelligent. She's always been very mature. And she also studied. neuroscience as an undergrad and so yeah so she she she can understand all this stuff so when i i told her about it and uh she was like wow like everything makes so much sense um and we even had to go and uh have a conversation about like how she was raised because of it um yeah that's gonna be my next kind of well yeah there's enough with your there's enough i want to talk about with your dad but uh but yeah very curious kind of how her experience was So luckily she did not trigger me the way they did. I probably had irritating moments that were because of it, but it was nothing as profound as with them. But because of how I am with them, it was very awkward with her as a child. how you know my parents watched her yeah like i would bring her to their house and i would have to like stand outside and like kind of like put the baby inside and like step back and like all kinds of weird behaviors that she did not understand and then at 18 years old when i could tell her she was like oh my god that makes so much sense know she was she was very understanding and you know she didn't think it was weird at all because you know she's she's just very accepting of these things and but she she did say that like because of the tension um you know and how much she loves her grandparents and know the tension wasn't just tension it was you know me having me being triggered constantly and then being mad at me you know basically and so it would just seem like you know for a kid not knowing for anybody not knowing what's going on it just looks like two people that like are like explosive around each other and like nobody can see why

Adeel [17:43]: Right. How did you how did you react? So I'm going to probably go into all different directions jumping around because but how did you how did you react as an adult when you're being triggered versus, you know, as the girl? I'm just curious.

Chaky [17:58]: I think I learned very early on.

Adeel [18:00]: Because you probably knew what the name was at this point. I'm curious if you reacted differently.

Chaky [18:05]: Oh, no. Not most of my adult years. No, I was in my 40s when I learned.

Adeel [18:09]: Oh, okay. Yeah.

Chaky [18:10]: Yeah. So raising my daughter, I had my daughter when I was 24. And raising her, I was basically still, I still acted like the teenager with me.

Adeel [18:19]: Yeah, yeah.

Chaky [18:21]: Like, you know, just, I didn't even think about earplugs and things like that. until i you know joined me plenty of groups on facebook and um the last couple of days well you know it's been weird since the pandemic so there's not really been uh the same kind of thing yeah um the things that we have done i've i have my arsenal of earplugs and I mean those are awful because you can't hear any you know, I go and I definitely I'm not getting triggered I'm much more comfortable in that way, but I sit there like basically in like a cloud of my own and zombie Yeah, my daughter has like she knows I have the earplugs in and like she'll like kick me under the table if somebody's talking Yeah, so You know, she's my ally and all that.

Adeel [19:15]: Okay, well, that's great that you have someone so close who's your ally and is going to be doing neuroscience and will discover the cure for us.

Chaky [19:22]: That's what we all say, yeah.

Adeel [19:24]: I mean, slight tangent, I'll cut this part out, but the last two people I interviewed this past week were both college, young women who are in college to do neuroscience, specifically for misophonia. Wow. So there's some things in the air where people are smart. Smart women are, you know, getting together and I don't know. Anyways, back to you though. Okay. So, okay. Yes. So your daughter has been kind of your ally. And so, so I guess, yeah, how did you, was it really just through Googling in the last five years that you discovered that it had a name? Were you, was there a moment that you kind of hit a tipping point? And do you remember the Google search that you, that you entered?

Chaky [20:09]: it's it came upon slowly um maybe even more than five years ago i heard on like npr um an interview with the the woman who's a doctor in oregon that was like oh yeah marcia johnston yeah i interviewed her she's great i've met her yeah yeah i mean i heard that in passing on npr and like my jaw dropped and i guess i'm i don't know i'm the kind of person like um you know groundbreaking things can happen and then I'm just like, I don't know, maybe I'm a realist and I was just like, you know, I was like, I'm not going to put too much stock into that. I'm like, I'm going to go to Oregon and see this woman and then be realistic. I went back and forth. So I kind of let it sit for a while and then I don't know what made me... think of this, but the big breakthrough five years ago was thinking, oh my gosh, I wonder if there's anything on Facebook. Because up until then, I just... Well, there's definitely stuff on Facebook. Right. No, huge. I know. But the difference is before that... Almost too much, but yeah. Totally. The difference is before then, I was reading articles and it was like one-sided. And then when I was like, let me see if anything's on Facebook and I found these groups, that's when it was like... really more integrated into my life because um yeah before then it was just experts saying what it was like and now it was like oh my gosh there's these like you know everyday people living the same way and i introduced myself on the facebook group by showing the pictures and i didn't know you know i didn't know i didn't look too much into like what the group was about or anything i just posted these pictures and introduced myself and the response was overwhelming And then I was like, okay, wow, this is like, this is my world. Yeah.

Adeel [22:08]: Yeah, it's amazing how probably a lot of people have similar pictures or memories of, you know, that were not captured quite like that.

Chaky [22:19]: That's what they were saying was it was like, just so if theirs could have been captured, that's what it would have looked like. Yeah.

Adeel [22:26]: I'm sure at least 20% of my interviews have to do with somebody trapped in a car and wanting to get out.

Chaky [22:31]: So do you want to hear the car story?

Adeel [22:34]: Oh, yeah, please.

Chaky [22:36]: Um, we had like I was a kid of the 70s and we had the the old station wagon with like wood paneling on the side Yeah, we'd always go on road trips and go down the shore and um my uh, so yeah being trapped in the car was brutal and Without even knowing you know why I was doing it. I started just sinking my teeth into the the car door like the leather underneath the the window like Oh, yeah, and I would just just put all my rage into just fighting that I like I didn't know what else do I didn't know what was going on with me and you know, my brother would be in the backseat with me like like what the hell is she doing and Before long I had completely destroyed the car door and You know, my family is very good with denial. They're just like, you know, why did you do that and Who know? I don't know what I had said to it, but it was just ignored and And I remember all the kids on the block, my dad would take us to 7-Eleven for Slurpees. Oh, God. Yeah. All the kids piled into the car, and they're like, what the hell happened to the car door? And my brother, without missing a beat, was like, the dog chewed it up. And, like... I, that's another thing that I had just completely forgotten ever happened, but that came back to me five years. Yeah. And I re I was like, wow, like I, now that I've been a parent, I'm like, how would I react if my daughter was doing something so disruptive and like, you know, I can't blame my parents. They're like parents of their time. They, you know, they didn't have the internet. They didn't have, you know, resources. They didn't, but, um, know since uh since finding out about this and i had my daughter tell them that i discovered the uh okay so she was the messenger to your parents messenger and it was yeah it was because um They were it was on my birthday and they were asking to go out to dinner. And I have, you know, many, many, many times in the in the past decades suffered through meals, you know, just. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So this birthday, I was like, you know what? I can't do it. And I just I want to just come clean and say why. So I had my daughter tell them and my daughter told me my mother cried and Um, and my dad said, he always figured my, my dad, this is, I hope this isn't, my dad's not the most politically correct. And I don't know if he's right or wrong, but, uh, he said, yeah, I always figured she was autistic or something. Um, and neither of them ever said anything to me. Um, I think I got a text from my mom that said, if you want us to buy ear plugs or anything, let me know.

Adeel [25:38]: Yeah. They're not for the dinner or just as a, as a medical gesture or something.

Chaky [25:45]: That's all they know how to do is like, do you need money for something? Like, yeah. So, um, there was never any, you know, conversation about it. And I, I still wonder like if they are feeling guilt for like screaming at me my whole life, instead of saying, Hey, maybe you don't want to be acting this way.

Adeel [26:07]: So this is the only interaction that you know that this came in discussion, like that on that birthday your daughter went to them?

Chaky [26:17]: Yeah, that was the only conversation. And then since then, every time I came, or in the months following that, every time I came upon a really fitting article that I felt really explained... know someone else's story that was so much like mine so that i my goal was my parents seeing that like this is the condition it's not me you know um i kept sending her articles like that i wouldn't really get much of a response back or you know she'd say something like yeah i know i've read some things like great right nothing and like and then i i realized that as an adult too like my mother is not going to you know give me what i need ever so uh

Adeel [27:01]: yeah that's interesting yeah yeah um yeah i mean maybe that yeah i mean i'm not a therapist but maybe yeah that's it goes back to some of the things i've been hearing uh therapies i've been hearing about recently about one needing to kind of like you talking to your your your child's self as a way to kind of like give it the comfort that it didn't have um maybe from the people who are around you back then um what about your what about your brother where is he in all this uh so

Chaky [27:30]: My brother and I never had a close relationship. I don't even think before this. I think I think it was one of those cases. He's two years older than me. Probably one of those cases where, you know, he was traumatized by my birth.

Adeel [27:46]: Oh, gotcha. Okay.

Chaky [27:47]: I don't know. Like, that's, that's very much our family dynamics are like, like I said, before this, it was him and my mom and me and my father. And yeah, and so he's, he's mama's boy. And the fact that I cause these problems in the family. I think, you know, made my brother hate me even more. He's not a protective brother, yeah.

Adeel [28:12]: You don't really talk to him that much more, just family events?

Chaky [28:17]: No, and I don't even know if my mother would have told him, like, hey, this is his discovery, you know?

Adeel [28:24]: Oh, hey, this major thing to your right that potentially explains your sibling's entire life. Right.

Chaky [28:30]: And I think, like, Like in many families, you know, there's the black sheep or like the scapegoat. And like I said, there's a lot of dysfunction anyway. And I think my problems made it like everybody can just blame me. You know, they don't have to look at anything that's wrong with them or anything else that's wrong. So I don't think my mother wants like... I don't think she could possibly face the fact that there's something that's not my fault. She's been so used to blaming me for everything that I don't think she could switch that narrative.

Adeel [29:11]: Right. Yeah. It's kind of a sunk cost. Like it's like, if you, if you, if you try to question, it's like, it's like, as if you're accepting that you were wrong for like 40 years. And so that's, that's almost like you have to double down if you're that kind of person. Exactly.

Chaky [29:30]: my mother and my brother are definitely like that and and my father is probably like you know the impact is huge like so i don't blame anybody for that either it's it's incredibly sad so yeah that yes can't go there yeah oh man that's uh what about uh other like uh other family members like uh uncles and cousins just does anyone know what's going on do you talk to them not to be too depressing but um now bring it on we're already there yeah um my one family member that i was closest with was my aunt my father's sister and she yeah you can see where this is going she's no longer with us but she she also had a lot of problems um and she was also very um she was a seeker and she was very self-sufficient and smart and she she researched her own conditions and she I don't know exactly what her diagnosis was but she had been on medication her whole life and she did end up committing suicide and the way everybody in the family reacted to her death also was very telling because I always saw her as someone that was very brave and very smart and caring and she was the best family member as far as being caring about everybody else. And when she died, they were basically like, well, she was always messed up.

Adeel [31:07]: Yeah, it's very old school. Yeah, just calling somebody messed up, right? I mean, that's something I've probably even said back in the day.

Chaky [31:16]: Right, before we knew better and everything. So like, yeah. Like, wow. Like, I see them all as assholes. And she was like the best. Like she she when we did get together, it was because of her. Like nobody gets together anymore. You know, so. i would i i so i wish to god um if she were here like oh god i she's the only person i would be able to share this with and and be able to have any kind of she could probably be extremely helpful to me um yeah but yeah so the other ones basically are not worth explaining it to no yeah yeah yeah i understand yeah it sounds like it's funny how yes people like that can kind of really really stand out to people like

Adeel [32:02]: you know us maybe yeah they really stand out and uh yeah that's it's really sad when things turn um was she i don't know why the the term hsp came to my mind because a lot of people have um uh come on saying that they're hsp mean highly sensitive person like are extra able to kind of like um read the room or get a feel what other people are kind of feeling. She sounds like maybe she's had that kind of like, I don't know, gift or maybe just seemed like that in the face of complete, you know, the rest of your family being so numb.

Chaky [32:39]: She's definitely... She was very intuitive and very smart, yes.

Adeel [32:46]: She didn't have misophonia, or do you know if she had anything?

Chaky [32:49]: Well, that's what I would have loved to talk to her about because she had OCD very bad. And I had episodes with it myself. And when I did, it was the same reaction. It was like, you know, you better get help. What's wrong with you? You're making everybody miserable. And... she would give me books on it um she gave me a book i'll never forget she gave me a book and she put a different cover on it like a she just put like a generic like novel like cover on it because she she was like you know this is your journey like nobody has to know Yeah. So she covered the book and, but it was a book about, yeah, she's like, so cause she knew like the flack that she got, you know? And she, um, and it was a book about retraining your brain and like as hard as that is to do, I've always, that stayed with me. Um, that like, you know, my, like you can like mind over matter certain things yeah um you know definitely i understand that that obviously i still have mesophonia and i still have ocd to a certain point but i i did see how you know your brain could um dig these very deep trenches if and you could um you can kind of smooth over those trenches by like breaking patterns and

Adeel [34:08]: Your brain is plastic. That's hard neuroscience right there. There are ways to do that if you can find it. Misophonia is very understudied, so I think we're starting to get there.

Chaky [34:22]: I would say I've only ever attempted anything with OCD, and it has helped. I still kind of always have it, but I think I could definitely go really off the deep end if I didn't always have these practices of not letting myself you know, get too carried away with it. And misophonia, I don't think that's possible, or I don't know those tools for it.

Adeel [34:46]: Yeah, interesting. What are some of the things that a couple of, maybe some of the exercises that you do for OCD, are they kind of talk therapy, like talking to yourself kind of therapy?

Chaky [34:57]: Yeah, like breathing exercises, which I know people say for misophonia, but also like, I think everybody's different, what they have to do, and I don't want to, you know, trigger anybody or um but like for instance with me if i feel like i have to wash my hands like maybe i don't have to wash my hands with boiling hot water and antibacterial soap maybe just regular soap and like regular water is fine and that way i don't because if i do the hot water and the antibacterial soap then i'll like need to do something else after it or you know like yeah so i tell myself okay that's good enough like gotcha gotcha yeah

Adeel [35:37]: And you said, like, that kind of talk doesn't really work for Misophonia. Or maybe you haven't tried anything.

Chaky [35:45]: Yeah. It's too... Maybe the fact that Misophonia is in response to people and you don't have that, like, private space to, like, to work things out. Like, with OCD, if I'm alone, you know.

Adeel [36:02]: Oh, yeah. That's a good point. yeah like you're the anxiety level because you're there in front of somebody in front of somebody yeah yeah and you don't have much time to react yeah because yeah interesting okay yeah you don't need probably needs a whole new set of tools or you need to go into a situation already kind of prepped is what i kind of um I never remember because things happen all of a sudden. I think we try to block out our triggers until they happen. But I try to tell people that... you maybe before a meal like tell yourself that it's only you know 20 30 minutes then you can go take a walk or something afterwards so just sometimes being able to tell you tell your body that um can kind of like dull it down a little bit just knowing that you have an escape but uh i don't know like i said i rarely remember to do that because it's uh you get caught up because when you're around people you're you know yeah you get caught up in whatever's happening and um If you're even there in the first place, you could be standing outside like you were at your... Yeah.

Chaky [37:08]: Well, I remember even before I knew that this was misophonia, I would give myself that talk before I would go into my parents' house, for example. Like, I would say, like, when I used to think it was because of trauma and psychological reasons, I would tell myself, like, my dad's not hurting me. Nothing bad. Like, he's a good person. Yeah. And then I would go in and get triggered in a second. And I'd be like, damn.

Adeel [37:38]: It's funny because it's true. Sorry. But yeah, I think we've, yeah. We've all, we've all tried, we've all tried stuff like that. Um, how did you, I'm curious, like, uh, you said you were, you're a seeker and, and it seems like you've, you've made some epiphanies like long before, like, I mean, I feel like I've been in the community for a while and I've just thought of some, like realized some of these things, like the potential, you know, potential trauma influence, um, you know, what were some of the, um, like, how did you find out about some of that stuff? Um, I'm assuming some of that may be thinking had come from before you knew it had a name or.

Chaky [38:12]: Um, well, I guess the Facebook.

Adeel [38:14]: Trying to figure yourself out. Okay. It's from the, so it is from the Facebook group. Okay. Maybe I just, maybe I just missed those posts back in the day. Okay.

Chaky [38:21]: Gotcha. Yeah. Like, um, and there was like one, I guess the, the. thing that got me up to speed the most is that I think there's a Facebook page called like misophonia treatment tracker treatment and symptoms tracker or something and a lot of people listening will probably know this person I'm sorry I don't remember his name I think his first name's Michael he posts on there very openly he's probably done like every therapy out there and he documents it all like he And I remember spending days reading all of his stuff. And he's worked with so many people and the big names that are out there that say that they're using all these different approaches. I just basically read like his whole experience and I was like, okay, that's, I believe all that. And I believe that would have been my same experience. Like I would have like worked really, really, really hard and maybe had a little bit of progress and then like really no, no major like breakthrough. So I feel like I got. I got it all in a nutshell.

Adeel [39:38]: Some of those treatments I've heard of are very expensive too. It's good to have somebody maybe sum that up for us. Yeah, you're right. There isn't really a silver bullet. Although I will say what has been interesting to me

Chaky [40:00]: I'm awful with names. And I know, like I said, a lot of people listening probably know who I'm talking about. There's the chiropractor, but I guess he calls himself like a neurological chiropractor out in like Utah, I think. yeah i think i've seen him speak at a convention but uh yeah i also don't remember his name yeah um but i've been i read a lot of there was this one woman that was documented her daughter's story and um i believe that something like that could work for young kids if it like is nipped in the bud like how um uh you know, if if when I was like 10 or 12 years old, and this was just developing, if I got put into a therapy like that, I think that could have been effective, where, like you said, their brains are plastic, and you know, that plastic gets hardened, the older you get. And so

Adeel [40:51]: Yeah, mine's a rock hard.

Chaky [40:52]: Yes. Yes. Decades of being like this, I think would be much harder, but I do think it's hopeful for little kids. And for that reason, I was like, you know, going, going through all this and the despair and everything. I, um, I would talk to some people's parents, um, who I saw posting, um, where they're just like trying to understand what their kids going through. And so, um, I would take time to maybe respond to those people or message those people to be like, your kid doesn't actually hate you. Yeah. Because I know what my father could have been helped by hearing. And so, yeah, I think those kids might have the best chance of...

Adeel [41:39]: treatment that's different treatment like that yeah um yeah you said um uh oh yeah i want to talk about like how it's like like social life and whatnot but i do want to um um yeah maybe talk about a little bit about uh or see if wait i think you said that um when you thought it had more to do with trauma does that mean your thinking has kind of changed maybe as you've done some of this uh thinking back is it do you feel like it's kind of

Chaky [42:05]: you maybe no longer think it's as much about trauma and it's maybe more biological i'm just curious kind of where what your state of mind is now i my the jury's out with me on the trauma i i could completely uh see how it could be in my case and then i could also see like i i think i had a very like an extreme childhood it was like extremely normal and then extremely dysfunctional like it wasn't like the worst you know it was episodes you know of of violence and craziness and then like oh hunky-dory everything's fine nuclear family like so I and I You know, by seeing different people comment about it in the groups, I think it's, you know, some people are like, I had trauma and some people are like, I didn't. So even based on that, I would say, like, I'm not sure. That makes me, like, really unsure. Yeah. But I also have heard, like, it could have been viral. Oh, okay.

Adeel [43:13]: I hadn't heard about that.

Chaky [43:16]: that's very interesting to me because um when my ocd flared up it was after i had anesthesia for a surgery and i came out of that like totally so intense, like and that I had a massive episode where I didn't want to touch the floor. I felt like if one piece of clothes in the closet was dirty, all the clothes were and I was taking them out and throwing them in the washing machine, like going berserk. And that was like that was like a flare up that was very much tied to the anesthesia. And decades later, I had to have anesthesia again in 2017 for a surgery. And I was petrified and I said to the doctor, I thought this sounded crazy. I was like, I'm petrified of anesthesia because it made me have like, you know, psychological or neurological event after. And he said, Oh, that totally happens with young women that age. I was around, I think like 19 years old. Yeah. And I was like, are you serious? Like I, that was just a theory of mine. And he's like, no, totally. And now my daughter, she's a medical assistant, uh, went for an orthopedic surgeon and she said, oh yeah, totally. That it's very dangerous anesthesia at that age. Um, and maybe anesthesia is safer now. Yeah. So because of that, like just like loosely, like tying it to misophonia where it felt the same, the way it was so abruptly triggered and the way that misophonia typically does show up in people at this age, like Is it like the combination of if you have this certain gene and if you've had this certain virus, is that the combination for when you turn this age, when your brain is developing at this stage, that this will happen? So it does, I don't know, it does feel like it would make sense that it has some kind of like mechanical, you know, history like that.

Adeel [45:26]: Yeah, a couple of quick things about that is I hadn't heard maybe a viral or a connection to anesthesia, but I had someone come on recently. I feel like I posted it, but she said it's been connected to her. She's around our age, too, but it's been connected to her hormones her whole life. And that was interesting because of obviously around 10 to 12, like there's a lot of hormone stuff going on. But she said. approaching like around menopause it gets it's wreaked havoc on her mr funny as well so she kind of keeps the she kind of made that link and made that link there i haven't heard really a lot of other people talk about that but but that kind of came to mind as you were talking about um well what is that yeah there's the other thing sorry before because i know i'm going to forget but the other thing i was uh i was talking about i was going to mention is yeah i mean the way you were describing like um so the term epigenetics i think and i'm going to butcher this but it's about like uh yeah maybe um a kind of genetic component, which then gets, um, um, it doesn't mean that a hundred percent, uh, something will happen to you, but it could just basically mean that you're a little bit more susceptible as that, as that the matter, the, the machinations of that gene turning into yourself, uh, happen as you're developing certain things in your environment could, um, maybe accentuate, um, uh, something that, that can actually make it, uh, uh make it a reality versus just staying dormant um so maybe maybe there is something there where that's kind of it's a combination of like nurture and nature um that could be you know the stars aligned in an unfortunate way and and um it kind of developed because you were kind of there was a marker maybe in your genetics or our genetics yeah yeah because and especially seeing some of the families say like who knows what you know goes on trauma could be different for anybody it could be you know

Chaky [47:22]: something that might seem benign, but the kid's traumatized. You don't know.

Adeel [47:26]: Yeah. Well, that's that small T trauma that I've recently heard about. You know, it doesn't, yeah, it doesn't have to be something like, you know, even if it's just like a lot of walking on eggshells, which when you were talking about how things would be, you know, crazy and then back to normal, like, you know, I don't know, I would be walking on eggshells in a situation like that, not wanting to switch, flip back and forth, you know? Yeah.

Chaky [47:51]: Yeah. I mean, yeah. And but since I did spend so much time delving into all that, like I'm like, OK, I feel like I made peace with it all. So why is this still here? Like, you know, that's why I am also like leaning away from the trauma because. the trauma reaction feels different than the misophonia, you know?

Adeel [48:14]: Yeah, no, that's great. Yeah, I haven't talked to many people who are not therapists who have not, like you, kind of really thought about that aspect of it. So it's really interesting to get your take. And so, yeah, maybe talking about, we didn't, I usually kind of, sometimes I hit upon, like, how things like in school and friends growing up like social life uh did it seep into any of that um yes and no like i do remember in elementary school um

Chaky [48:50]: having issues with certain kids and not understanding why and this actually is um before i was 10 before that like switch really got turned on i do remember two kids in class that i couldn't sit near especially when it was like quiet and we were taking a test and i would like cry to the teacher i remember crying to her and be like jody's doing that thing again And the teacher being like, she's not doing anything. And I'm like, that's another thing that I had completely forgotten. And that came back in the last five years. And I was like, oh my God, that was misophonia. So I do remember that. And then definitely in college, not realizing it was misophonia. Yeah, taking exams and like, you can't take the exam because you were fixated on this chick across the room that's chewing gum. And I definitely... Yeah. And I totally remember giving this girl the evil eye and like through this exam the whole time. I was just like going nuts. And then after the exam, she came up to me and she said, is there something wrong? She was like this punk girl. She looked like really scary, but she was actually very sweet. And she was like, she's like, do you have a problem with me? She wasn't even saying it like threatening. And I was like, and I just told her, I go, you know what? You were chewing gum really loud the whole exam. And it was really distracting to me. And she said, oh, my God, you should have said something. And I'll never forget that. I was like, oh, I didn't know you could be like a normal person and just like ask people.

Adeel [50:20]: Yeah, we definitely internalize a lot and go through scenarios that sometimes don't happen.

Chaky [50:30]: Yeah, like, oh my God, do people just, I don't know. But as far as... uh again taking stock of my life um i've never i'm single i've raised my daughter as a single mother and i i i've never been able to have like roommates back in my 20s like i i knew immediately when i started college i need to live alone i got my own dorm room like things that were not normal like i see my daughter she lived with eight people and she had a blast and now she's like moving in with another friend and like those are normal yeah ways to be at that age and i i definitely made my life so i could have my comfort zone you know as much as possible and i've been you know lucky enough that i've been able to do that i've been able to live alone and um i just never knew like why i needed to

Adeel [51:27]: Did it cross your mind that it was because of the sounds on the end or it was just so maybe deep in your personality to kind of always want to be alone that that's kind of what you were seeing?

Chaky [51:37]: Yeah, I figured I was just a loner. And like, yeah. And that's definitely now like part of the taking stock of like, you know, like I don't have a partner and I like how much of it is this condition and how much of it is like what I really want. Like, I don't know. I can't separate it. Yeah. And so there are days where it's like, you know, it's hard being alone. And it's like, so you see the cost. Whereas, and then I can like, you know, just convince myself, no, no, no. It's like, it's how I really like to be.

Adeel [52:10]: Did it ever cause a conflict between you and like a non-family member or?

Chaky [52:16]: I never got that far.

Adeel [52:18]: The wall was up. Okay.

Chaky [52:20]: Because, you know, when I've dated people, you know, it's funny. one thing even though i didn't know i had that this was a thing i did just think i got irritated with people when i got close to them oh okay like emotionally close to them yes okay and so i think that definitely you know was like an automatic like wall without even really thinking much about it even saying it now i'm like oh wow that yeah like i do remember always being afraid of

Adeel [52:55]: living with somebody because yeah that's I mean that's a thing like it's like afraid of commitment or that there's other labels that are kind of adjacent but are not you know right you know not wanting to hear that person eat kind of thing so I can see how you can kind of or anyone can kind of uh

Chaky [53:11]: associated to something that's more quote-unquote popular in terms of yeah like and when I like I remember being like okay you know everyone grows up and gets married and has kids and live with somebody and I remember never being able to picture that life like and and in the back of that was like I end up hating everybody I don't want to hate like the person I have to live with yeah yeah yeah and thinking it was you know it's not hate it's it's this condition

Adeel [53:42]: Do you, I mean, speaking, do you, I don't know, I was almost going to ask you, do you hate people in general? But like, do you, I don't know, do you look at people with that kind of like, well, you know, obviously, kind of jokingly, I hate that person or whatever. But, you know, I know, and, you know, we have these weird thoughts in our head, obviously, when we're getting triggered. But do you walk around kind of thinking, just kind of generally don't like people, I don't like that person, but I'll, you know, pretend to.

Chaky [54:09]: Well, I would say,

Adeel [54:11]: Because obviously you're not a hateful person, I can tell. Right, exactly.

Chaky [54:15]: I was going to say, I think that's the cruelty of this condition. Because I think I am a very social person. I think I would definitely be more of an extrovert and a people person, yeah, if I also didn't have this intolerance.

Adeel [54:30]: Sorry, go on.

Chaky [54:35]: Maybe I shouldn't even say this, but I do see that there does seem to be two different types of misophonia where some people are just like, screw everybody and they have to deal with us. And then there's the people that are like, this is our problem. And it's understandable that people don't understand.

Adeel [54:58]: and i think i'm in the latter like yeah yeah i think i thought most people are i mean the the former it's not it's not sustainable i can understand where i think we've all been there but uh for very brief periods but it's it's not a sustainable approach and it's not probably not going to be a solution you know we're not going to expect everyone to be quiet uh all the time um what about for for work stuff i don't know if you talked about kind of like how you've navigated working

Chaky [55:28]: yeah that's i have my own business i take care of people's pets um it's something i started about 10 years ago i never thought it would be my career but it actually works for me so well um and i realized there again i like I subconsciously like made my life where I don't have to be around people. I don't have to be indoors. I don't have to, I have worked in offices that has been very difficult. Um, before that I, I, I worked for an airline when I was in my early twenties and that, that kind of environment is like, okay. Cause you know, when you're in a big space, yeah. Uh, but the sitting in a quiet office that was like, that was as bad as the exams in college. And, Um, I, I didn't realize it at the time. I was like, I hate this environment for many reasons, but, um, I thought maybe my reactions were because I hate, I was so miserable in the job, you know, like that it made me also like sensitive to everybody's noises and stuff. And can I say, I, I, you know, this is like, I'm sure, you know, you encounter this all the time. It's a very interesting thing. having like an audio recording about misophonia to misophoniacs and like, that are like, you know, I realize my voice can be triggering to people and noises I'm making can be triggering. So, uh, that's like an, an unusual thing about, you know, misophonia is that, uh, you know, you, you, you, you might be a trigger yourself and you can be aware of that. Right.

Adeel [57:12]: Right. But I find that, I find that, I mean, so I've been to in-person, misophonic conventions, and I find that in most cases, just the fact that you're talking to another person who understands kind of takes that, that your brain's threat radar away. Yeah, maybe.

Chaky [57:32]: Yeah. Because I realized, a couple times, like, my voice went down at the end that... I call it mumblecore, but they call it like that vocal fry. And I'm like, oh, my God, why am I doing that? And I can't tolerate it for a second if I hear it on TikTok or something. And so I'm like, I apologize in advance.

Adeel [57:51]: Oh, yeah. No, no worries. I mean, some people have right on Reddit. They don't they don't like my voice, but it's it's it's but it's like I don't get offended at all. Yeah. Great. Wait till you wait till the transcripts come out. And then.

Chaky [58:05]: Yeah, I guess if somebody needs to do that, they can do that.

Adeel [58:10]: Well, I think I can go on for a while, but I do have to get back to my day job. But yeah, I don't know. This is amazing. Any kind of last kind of things you want to share with people? And we'll have another opportunity maybe before I post this, if you want to, I can convey a message or whatever. But I think any kind of last things you kind of want to share with the community?

Chaky [58:38]: Gosh. Yeah.

Adeel [58:41]: Not to put you on the spot.

Chaky [58:44]: I mean, I guess just hang in and keep sharing the story because it's legitimizing it, which is, I think, huge for a lot of people.

Adeel [58:56]: Yeah, a lot of people suffer in silence. They don't have a support next to them. Or even have a daughter like you do who's an ally. So I think sometimes there's an expect thing. Or at least can maybe start a conversation. Because some people actually have sent these episodes to somebody in their life. And it can kind of... Well, I've actually heard both sides. I've heard it work out well, but I've also heard it not work out well. Not to put a ton on it, but that's on the other person, I think.

Chaky [59:27]: No, I definitely tried to do the same thing. And I know when I was doing that, I was trying to show my parents that I'm not the difficult, miserable person they think I am. And so even if they can't hear it, you know, I have to remind myself. That I think to me has been the biggest perception change that I always looked at myself as trouble, basically. Like my mother's nickname for me was trouble. And now I think like, oh, wow, like that's not who I really am. And I'm kind of like remembering this joyful kid I was. And, you know, that's the real me.

Adeel [60:14]: Yeah. Well, let's end on that memory because, yeah, that's a beautiful story. Well, yeah, thanks, Jennifer, for coming on. This is great.

Chaky [60:24]: Thanks for having me. This was great.

Adeel [60:28]: Thank you again, Jennifer, once again. You know, that was just a surreal and emotional conversation for me. And yeah, I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks. If you liked this episode, don't forget, you can leave a quick review or hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. You can hit me up by email at or go to the website at You can reach me on Instagram or Facebook at Misaffointed Podcast. Support the show by visiting Patreon at slash Misaffointed Podcast. Theme music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.