S6 E6 - 9/10/2022

S6E6 - Robert

Robert reached out via email earlier this year desperate to tell others his experience growing up with miso, being triggered by a specific sound from one family member, and the intense repercussions of it. Robert shares my interest in the ramifications of misophonia on relationships and psychology. He was basically ostracized from his family from a young age and that more or less remains to this day, many decades later.


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: Robert, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Yeah. Nice. Excellent. Yeah. So first why don't you just tell us roughly where you are in the. ?

[00:00:10] Robert: I am a hairstylist in New Jersey. I have my own little place. I've had it for about 15 years. I have two children. Both of them have this. Huh. And that's about all that I think would interest anyone.

[00:00:26] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah. That sounds great. Yeah, it's funny, I was just talking about I, I just did an interview with a woman in New Jersey this morning too let's be something in the Air . Okay. Yeah, so you sent me an email which is pretty, it's pretty, an intense email. Some time ago when we first corresponded.

Now I purposely didn't look back on it cuz I wanted to come in fresh. But yeah. Do you want to maybe give a little bit of background about that and then obviously we'll get into the whole story.

[00:00:51] Robert: What I was sharing with you is that, so I've had this issue, my whole life with me. It was one trigger and one solitary sound from one solitary individual. And that individual happened to be my mother. Yeah. So it was the most tragic manifestation possible. I was I couldn't tell you for sure what age, but ever since I can remember, I must have been about five. And when my mother spoke and when she pronounced an s so just one continent.

S only s, which come out in virtually every sentence that comes out of your mouth. Popular letter.

[00:01:32] Adeel: Yep.

[00:01:32] Robert: It went through me and, I just felt very tense and, . Not so much angry that stepped in later, but anyway, so obviously I was enormously confused as to why I felt this way.

But what I had to do was get away from my mother . Now imagine you have a child Yeah. And your ch you see your child. Trying to get away from you. So she obviously thought that I hated her. That, that those were her feelings that I just, I despised her. And I heard this later on from one of my siblings said she did think that way, but it was obvious.

So there was no way of explaining this even when I got old enough to. What was going on? I, how do you even explain this to someone? It sounds crazy. Sounds crazy. Yeah. So now I have four siblings. I have twin sisters and two brothers. And so now how my particular way of coping was to mimic the sound.

And I understand this is very popular. Yeah. And so imagine refresh. Yeah. Behind it. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. So imagine. , your siblings . Not only do they see that it appears that you despise your mother because you can't wait to get away. You I, my way, another way, I was, I would lock myself in my room, basically I just needed to be away.

So my siblings. That I can't be around my mother. They think I despise my mother. They don't know why. Everyone's confused and the whole house isn't turmoil in a psychological turmoil and nobody's talking about it. No one is talking about it. It's just running under the radar. , I got used to that.

I got used to being alone. To this day, I prefer it cuz I got used to it. But back to the agitation. So I was, extraordinarily agitated by this obviously. And so my mother thinks I hate her. My brothers and sisters seeing me using this coping skill, hissing under I tried to do it under my breath, but the, you can't, I really hide it that well.

So I, I look like a crazy. And I knew I looked that way. Worst of all, I knew I looked that way, and worse than that, I knew I really wasn't. But I couldn't explain any of this to anyone. So my mother eventually notices that it's that one trigger that brings this out. And so she thinks I despise her.

She doesn't know why. She's confused. She sees eventually it's this one trigger. She starts to actually use it against me at times. No,

[00:04:18] Adeel: I thought you were gonna say the opposite of that.

[00:04:20] Robert: Okay. No. For example I couldn't eat at the dinner table. I couldn't be at the dinner table because she would inevitably speak and I couldn't stand that and I had to leave early.

And so I would rarely eat at the dinner table. So later on I try to sneak into the kitchen to get something neat cause I was still hungry. And she'd be waiting there and she would, she'd do things like say, so you get what I'm. To hoo me away because it was so ugly. And all this is running under the radar.

Yeah. Sh so it, it gets really complicated. So to, basically, to this very day, I have no relationship, virtually no relationship with any of my family. And now remember now my brothers and sisters, I would think I was crazy. , let me qualify this. If it were one of my siblings, I would've thought they were nuts too.

The way I behaved. So I developed, I, I knew I, I was developing a reputation and the circle was white. They would tell their friends would tell their friend. Anyway, the circle was. And so I was a, I was very angry, in my adolescence and as the years progressed I it made me very, and I felt correctly that no one understood.

I remember I had an uncle that I was close to when he was always saying, Robert's whole problem is he thinks no one understands. And little did he know he was right. They really didn't. And I didn't either. So anyway, so yeah, I ended up moving. I ended up, I couldn't. to, there, it was a push pull thing.

I stayed home, as I got older later than I should have because I wanted to reconcile this somehow, even though I didn't know how to. And it, it was very strange. But eventually I did move and I be, because I had to get outside. I had to punch through that circle. of reputation. I knew I had and go somewhere where very few or nobody, very few or nobody knew me so I could start my life, yeah. Around what age

[00:06:14] Adeel: was this? This was like 18, 16, 20

[00:06:17] Robert: When I left. Finally? Yeah. Oh. I was in my twenties before I finally left the house. Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. It was in my twenties before I finally left the house. Finally was able to afford to one blah, blah. , but you know that helped a lot.

And, but anyway, so the, the story is that, so I had a a guest in my chair who I know very well, and so she's talking to me, just random conversation and she mentioned to me very casually, she had just gotten her d n a oh and. , I've always had this problem where certain sounds, they irritate me, and as she's talking, I inside, I'm flipping out.

I, she has no idea what she's revealing here. And then she says the name Ms. Ocon. And then she tells me that they found this in her dna. So it was like a curtain. And the heavens opened and, I, now this thing had a name and anyway, of course I, I couldn't wait to get to my phone and start looking it up, what it is and blah, blah, blah.

And that's how I ended up eventually finding people like you on the internet. And thank God for people like you that are spreading awareness because I don't want anybody to go through what I do. Yeah. And now that. The name for this thing, it's still, most people I speak to have never heard of it.

[00:07:46] Adeel: It's very early innings, I'd say. Yeah, in, in, in awareness and then exceptions is a whole other level. Yeah. I'd actually had 23, a scientist at 23 and me on the podcast to cut with like you early on. So if you want, if you wanted to listen to that, that could be Oh, absolutely.

Very interest. But yeah, then yeah, there's been obviously a lot of other interesting episodes too, but yeah that's

[00:08:04] Robert: the, so he talk about a certain marker relating to the misophonia? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:08:07] Adeel: It wasn't so interesting. Yeah, it wasn't like they found a gene that's screamed, misophonia that's connected to here or anything.

Uhhuh. It was more like they took a lot of people who had filled out a survey and Ms was one of the questions on the survey do you have Ms. They just statistically happened to find that a lot of people that put dysphonia on their survey also had this genetic variation or trait in common.

So it's not like it's like necessarily linked one to one, but they just saw that there, it, there's, there was a trend.

[00:08:37] Robert: It was enough that, that this person was kill. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that, that, that's interesting. That whole story came out from her about it.

Yeah. Or else we wouldn't be having this conversation. I would've still wanted myself as a little loony.

[00:08:52] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah, it's funny. And yeah it's really just, yeah. In the last, so it's supposed have been actually just a few years ago, right? Cuz I think that paper was published in 2018 or 2017, , something like that.

. Yeah. Okay. Boy all okay. Backing up. So under the radar, no one was talking about this thing that you were dealing with? No. Was, and then you just want to get the heck out of there as soon as possible. So was that, so you have no relationship with your family, was that, did that start to deteriorate immediately?

I'm assuming it must have been pretty bit pretty early because your, if your mom was using it against you that's quite harsh, I would say , yeah.

[00:09:26] Robert: I, , yes and no. I like, I can understand where that was coming from because she was so frustrated and it did look for all intents and purposes, like I hated her to her.

, I can understand her feeling that way because there, there was a, an anger component to the whole thing, so I appeared angry. Really, I was more tense than anything. And by mimicking that sound, it was almost like, releasing the top of a kettle a little bit. Did you, it. Totally alleviated for me, but it was about 20% reduction in the anxiety.

Yes. Which was something, and I would've taken anything.

[00:10:01] Adeel: Are you familiar with the the recent research from last year about the the mirror neurons that the leading group wait, one of the leading groups that's doing research published paper last year called The Motor Basis for Misophonia, and it tries, starts to answer that.

Like, why does mimic, why does many people mimic to get. to feel better about misophonia. And what they found was when somebody with misophonia is being triggered and they're looking at somebody somebody's face , they get triggered by the face, your muscles, like the neurons that control your muscles doing the same behavior are going crazy even though your mouth is not moving.

And . And the mirror neurons in the brain are linked to things like learning, watch, like as a kid watching and learning and mimicking, and , the, one of the questions is, Hey is that is, do you feel better because you are bringing harmony back to your, your body by moving where it makes sense, the muscles that your brain is trying to fire.

So anyways, it's logical. Yeah. Yeah. More research needs to be done. But yeah, that, that was an interesting landmark

[00:11:01] Robert: paper. Yeah. I'll buy that. , buy that. That makes total sense to me. But yes, that's the first I'm hearing of it, so it's very interesting. Yes.

[00:11:07] Adeel: I actually had a, Merced Fank was one of the, if you're interested, I was one of the lead authors and she was, I interviewed her I think early last year, so that'd be another interesting one to listen to, Mike.

Oh yeah. I certainly would some alarm bells. So did and so before before that, Before you were first being triggered with your mom, was everything all Yes. Beautiful. At home? Like how,

[00:11:26] Robert: Was it like a It was so early. I, yeah. Yeah. I couldn't tell you. I, my earliest memories are that I don't have any memories earlier than being agitated by her voice.

Okay, gotcha. In that particular continent. I who know? Your was, there was some dysfunction, but everything yeah. Was

[00:11:42] Adeel: some dysfunction. Is your, like now, even now, does your family all hang out and they just, you don't, you're not involved kind of

[00:11:47] Robert: thing or yeah, I, It's it, see, this is what I find most interesting about the whole thing are the psychological ramifications of it.

Yeah. Yeah. Because, since I appeared a certain way to them and I knew it, and I was frustrated because I knew I wasn't that, and they couldn't understand, and there was nobody to explain it to them, and then nobody understood it at all. It, I was so frustrated, as you can understand.

, I was so frustrated and so were they, and another mechanism. I use that and I understand that these are, comorbidities, yeah. Apparently this syndrome, whatever you want to call it, is related to anxiety disorders, they believe. Yeah. And I certainly have an anxiety disorder.

It's not obvious or overt or anything, but, I certainly do. I was diagnosed with one, many years ago by a very good psychologist, and I certainly do . Yeah. I've taken medication for it, intermittently, and it did help. But I just thought I bring that to your attention that yeah, it, apparently it's associated with anxiety disorders and things like that.

And I don't know why, but Right. That seems to be the prevailing wisdom. But the wisdom, yeah. It was ugly. It was very ugly with the family. It's very ugly with the family. But, another coping mechanism, like in the mornings when I will be getting. had this obsessive compulsion with my hair.

I literally would spend two and a half hours in the bathroom until every hair was in the right place, which is, that was insane. But, I'm just trying to be as perfectly candid as I can with you. Yeah. Be because I do think that these comorbidities are important and they're important to understand, and I hope the, the community's more open.

Don't worry about sounding crazy because maybe it'll, help. Maybe it'll help somebody.

[00:13:23] Adeel: That's why I'm here. That's why you're here. Yeah. And yeah, just


[00:13:26] Robert: that further inflamed my family, because I was hugging up the bathroom at ,

[00:13:32] Adeel: that may turn just usually the endless big reason in most.

Yeah. It's usually the biggest reason. Most

[00:13:36] Robert: s yeah. It's just endless. And I don't blame them for any of them, but and that was the problem. I couldn't explain to them yet. I couldn't.

[00:13:44] Adeel: So was there any was it constant anti Robert or was it, was there any days of warmth or family trips or anything?

Or was it just Not for me. Always. Not nor Okay. Yeah. Not for me. Yeah. Was, did any of your other family members have like mental health, was it ever talked about mental health at all or was it one of those like classic No. School families?

[00:14:03] Robert: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I don't know if it's an Italian thing where we sweep things under the,

I, I've noticed that a lot. But, my father had a business, so he wasn't there often. Yeah. And it was just easier. He noticed it because we've spoken of it. He noticed it, but, he was too busy trying to make a living and did, my mother was overwhelmed with five. And she couldn't deal with me yeah.

[00:14:27] Adeel: Did your trigger her that Duke was ugly, expand to other people like your dad

[00:14:30] Robert: or not a single person really flourish since Yeah, which, okay. Yeah. Yeah. Which is fortunate. Which is fortunate. Now. My mother passed away about seven years ago, and, so you have these, yeah.

How'd you feel about. It, it sounds perverse to say, but I was relieved in a way. , because I knew I'd never have that issue again. And of course, you love your mother. You don't want your mother to die, right? So you got the, you got those conflicting emotions going on, and then you feel guilty about that.

It's just normal human, human thoughts. Yeah. Yeah. But no, I've never had a problem since with any sound anyone makes and Oh, really? Okay. So this is It's basically disappeared from my life ever since then, but Oh, really? Okay. It has destroyed and e even the potential of a. A, a moderately normal relationship with not only just my family, but anybody, with their tentacles.

Their friends, my, my extended family people. They know Robert was really strange. Yeah. It's just that Robert was always strange, when we would get together for family gatherings, when we go over, one of my relatives homes, I would invariably escape to a room where I could be alone and not eat at the table.

And I was just like, yeah. What the hell

[00:15:38] Adeel: is wrong with? . , but are you sure, not to I'm sure you know better than I do, but of so you're saying like of all your, even your nuclear family, your extended family, and anyone they know Yes. You're confident that no one would be able to have a friendship or relationship with you because of

[00:15:53] Robert: No.

I I don't mean that, but Yeah. Be because I do have some relationship , with, not with the immediate. Tangential at best, but I do. Yeah. Yeah. But, it's always gonna be writing in the background. They're they remember me as that.

[00:16:06] Adeel: Gotcha.

It was that big of a thing. Yeah. Yeah. Wow.

[00:16:09] Robert: And it's not them, it's not their problem. Frankly, most people don't care, even if you tell them, because it's not them , it's like they have their own lives. It's okay, so you had this thing, I gotta. You know what I mean? People don't care.

Yeah. That's why I'm speaking to you because I, if I have to force my way through a brick wall, I will just to get it out there just to get it out there. And I so appreciate that you're doing what you're doing.

[00:16:33] Adeel: No, e no. Yeah. I've. , thank you. And yeah, I appreciate that you're here and I appreciate that you reached out and yeah, it was a amazingly written email.

I'm looking at it again now, . Oh, thanks. You have, definitely have a way with words. No, it's okay. But it speaks to, you mean, it speaks to how intense things were for you. Oh, yeah. Yeah. That's, that is ooh. Do you remember any there are any, there must have been a whole series of incidents that must have been memorable in not

[00:16:56] Robert: the best way.

It affected me in every way. I was a behavioral problem at school. Okay. Yeah. I had a tremendous intellectual curiosity. Yeah. Yet it was almost impossible for you, for me to focus. I was depressed over the situation at home. I was angry about it at the way I knew I was perceived.

It it would take it, it would take many sittings with a very excellent psychologist, to, to get all this out. But, it, it really affected my life for family cuz you know, I, I do what I do because it only required like a year of schooling, which took me too, by the way.

Cause I showed up half the time for the schooling for it. But, I, that's why I do what I do because I. It, it was easy. It didn't require a lot of schooling, and I was a behavioral problem at school. I got kicked out of two schools because I was such a behavioral problem.

[00:17:43] Adeel: Yeah. Wow. Okay. So you'd come in Yeah.

And you would just, you'd just be angry coming in, probably triggered from home and then just lash out.

[00:17:50] Robert: Yeah. I was just frustrated, yeah. It, it really profoundly affected my psych and I'm not using that as an. For my my, my behavioral issues. It's just the fact that it affected my behavior.

[00:18:02] Adeel: Yeah, no, we're, I'm just trying Yeah we're all just trying to understand how, like the causal relationships here. Yeah, exactly. And then maybe where to, for the benefit of others, maybe where things were the, steps. Stuff could have been taken like your teachers or anybody at school.

Did anyone think that maybe it was more than just boys being boys and just being violent or,

[00:18:24] Robert: I don't think so. I don't think so. I think they were too busy. Gotcha. Okay. I, I don't know what it's like today in school, back then I'm 60. Yeah. And back then there was very little awareness of these things, and yeah.

Again, why I'm speaking to you, because man, if someone's in my position I would not want them to go through what I did. Yeah, I understand. There needs to be, there needs to be awareness they make concessions for people like me. Yeah. I don't think it's gone that far yet, but with people like you, it, it can.

[00:18:55] Adeel: Yeah it's mis funny is recognized by the ada, the American Disabilities Association, so people are, I didn't know that. Yeah. People are able to go into, it's a pretty wide, like ADA is pretty wide has a wide definition. So there are, yeah. I'm interviewing kids in high school who are aware of this and they're able to get official accommodations but have doing things like taking an exam in a different room.

Oh, that's great. That's great. Just simple things like. Now some schools won't even do that. And we are hearing of occasional lawsuits from kids against schools. Which I think, which you thing is great if a school is not, I'm doing even basic accommodations. I think there needs to be some recourse there.

Now, yeah, absolutely.

[00:19:33] Robert: It needs to, some

[00:19:34] Adeel: are concerned about it going too far, but I feel like we're not going far enough, so let's just, let's just get the basic accommodations. So actually another episode you should might wanna listen to is Lyle, who's around your age. And which is interesting.

Actually had somebody who's, I think I think she's 87 years old. Come on. So obviously you were growing up there was, forget about mental health at, at all. Like it was it was, you were, it was supposed to be tough and take everything. I would imagine that's kinda what it was like.

Yeah, fifties and sixties .

[00:20:01] Robert: Yeah, there, there was very little a attempt to understand. Looking

[00:20:05] Adeel: back, do you recall anyone else maybe showing similar signs as you or even now you're like, yeah, you are just totally on your

[00:20:13] Robert: own? I don't believe any of my siblings have it. I don't know that my mother or father had this but I can tell.

unequivocally, my mother and father both have anxiety disorders or my mother had anxiety disorder. And like I said, it seems everywhere I read they seem to associate it with anxiety disorders.

[00:20:34] Adeel: How did that manifest? How did your mom's anxiety manifest? Oh, it was just,

[00:20:39] Robert: it was so obvious. It was just always there.

She took copious amounts of Valium because in, in the sixties they called it mother's little helper. Yeah. And it was very common. And so a lot of people got, inadvertently on Valium, and, I think my mother became one of those casualties, but maybe she needed it. , I don't know.

, she definitely had tremendous anxiety. My father certainly is a very anxious person. One of my sister, two of my sisters from what they tell me are very an, it's just, it's an undercurrent, it's riding there for sure. So I do believe there could be an association.

I'm not a psychologist.

[00:21:11] Adeel: No, but yeah. Yeah. We're, we're as far I'm welcome. People just, yeah. Talking about it and making observations and trying to think of, cuz we are, we're, there's not a lot of people researching it, so we gotta sometimes do it ourselves.

Did yeah. And so you, do you see them at all or Christmas or is it really just. ,

[00:21:28] Robert: It's perfunctory. Yeah. Per, for both parties, for all parties involved. You show up, yeah. And I'm glad you asked that because you made me think. Now it's exacerbated by the fact that I can't even be myself around them because there's this undertone of anger that's always riding in the background because I associate.

Yeah. With all this, and so I it's it's enormously difficult for me to even speak in the tone I normally do around, because I'm there. I, there's still this residual anger from the reputational damage I've endured over it.

[00:22:02] Adeel: Yeah. It's not just the triggers anymore. It's gonna be the baggage and the memories that come with it, right?

[00:22:06] Robert: Yes. That's what I really wanted to get across. , this thing has very far reaching tentacles, sometimes it affected my life profoundly. That, that, that's what I really wanted to get out there because we need to talk about this. Yeah. We need to get this out.

[00:22:20] Adeel: Someone was just saying it, yeah it's, so other comorbid conditions like O C D for example, or even anxiety, you can. You can experience those by yourself, and no one else has to see it, but yes, misophonia, there's always somebody right in front of you, pretty much. And so immediately there's a threat to that relationship, which is I think yeah.

Unique amongst the, these conditions. And I just real, I realized that today was talking to somebody and that's why, what's, we've gotta be one factor as to why this destroys so many lives. Oh,

[00:22:48] Robert: did, do you have many triggers?

[00:22:51] Adeel: Yeah, I've got the usuals, the, all the it's not just Yeah, the us.

That's interesting that yours was just that, but it's yeah. Throat clearing, coughing, chewing lip smacking,

[00:23:00] Robert: Gum. My, my daughter I think has similar triggers to you. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Those are pretty common. I think. I think mine's a little less common, I think, but I have read that.

, it's not that uncommon for it to be one person, no one trigger and one parent. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know why. I don't know

[00:23:16] Adeel: why. Don't know why. So your daughter did you have a partner that you were living with then at, or that you were with at some at some point, or you still are?

[00:23:25] Robert: I am divorced twice.

Okay. Okay.

[00:23:28] Adeel: So with Ms. Estonia at all part do you think

[00:23:32] Robert: there is some, oh, I think, yeah, absolutely. I think it affected, my relationship with my. was so fractured and I think it's affected my relationship with all women

[00:23:41] Adeel: going forward. And specifically sound or do you think it was just the, the second, third order effects of like, how

[00:23:48] Robert: I think there's a certain level of distrust that stepped in at a certain point with just women in general.

Yeah. That, may be running just subconsciously, but certainly will affect my relationships. I don't think there's any way around it. If

[00:24:02] Adeel: you, if your mom used against you like that at that early age, not to speak ill of the death,

[00:24:07] Robert: And I don't mean to demonize her, I'm just being perfectly honest with what happened.

Yeah. Yeah. My, my siblings wouldn't even want to hear it. They'd said she wouldn't do that, but she did, and I know she did because I once heard her sharing the fact that she did with a friend of hers on the phone because she felt guilty about it. So that's when I would say, I know this isn't in my mind.

[00:24:26] Adeel: Yeah. So she felt guilty about it. So there was, there, yeah. Other was, do you feel like a lot of that you know how it, it escalates really quickly and as easier, a reaction and then a reaction to the reaction. Do you think that she maybe did feel guilty a lot? And and that was, if you talk to, if you, if she was still around that she would it seems like the rest of your family doesn't care.

So I'm curious if that was a common thing that she, if that was a reg, if that was nor if that was really how she felt, where she, in the moment, maybe she reacted, but there was. some guilt or, yeah.

[00:24:55] Robert: Yeah. There she what I heard her sharing was, she knew that it was that sound and she was using it against me, and she felt terrible that she did.

I don't, I can't remember verbatim. I was young but she did feel bad about it. But was, she was frustrated. She couldn't understand that. I looked crazy. I looked crazy to me. Yeah. Even though I knew I wasn't. I knew that, in that way, yeah, if you want to call it crazy in that way, it was certainly an aberration, but I knew that my general, cognition, personality wasn't, dissimilar to most people.

It was just that, yeah. It was just that, and the anxiety. And the anxiety and my, the anxiety was my baseline because, I'm 5, 6, 7, 8, you're around your mother a lot. , it was my baseline. Either I was anxious because I was around her, or I was anxious to get away and anxious that I was gonna have to reenter that scenario again.

At one point, it was incessant. It was just, it was hell, . It was absolute hell.

[00:25:51] Adeel: Did you have any friends that you know that you. that you weren't getting into fights with at school. Did you have any friends that could confide in, in any way or

[00:26:00] Robert: not? Not really. E even the friends I chose, they were the wise guys and, tell you the wise guys.

Yeah. I was always a very I'm very slight in stature, so the, at least the first high school I went to, it was rough. I grew up in. And it was rough and I could have chose to hang out with the nerds, or I could have ch I hung out with the wise guys and I think, I thought subconsciously that would keep me safer.

And meanwhile I was just bullied by, I was just bullied by them. Yeah. But I explain, I didn't discuss this with them. I didn't because I didn't think anybody could understand me and I was right. Nobody. ,

[00:26:32] Adeel: do you wanna define Wise guys? Just for people who might not know, who don't watch this movie, movies.

[00:26:37] Robert: Know guys whose fathers were in the mafia, guys, smoking dope and just general wise guys, not, yeah, not the scholarly type.

[00:26:46] Adeel: No. Goodfellows the movie and things like that. Okay. And then as you, okay, so then as you got out You started living on your own and working and whatnot.

Yeah. You met, did when you met, when you were dating and you met women? Yeah. Were you telling them at all or were you just I'm sorry. Was I, what was you, were you telling them about your Yes.

[00:27:03] Robert: Your past? Yes. I was. Yes. And I

[00:27:05] Adeel: had to because they must come to the, your parents must to come to the weddings or no,

[00:27:08] Robert: Ex. Exactly. So I had to, because eventually they were gonna meet my parents. Yeah. And they were gonna see this other side of. And they were gonna say to themselves, alright, which one is it? Which one is the real Robert? Is it the one that's angry or is it the one that I see all the time? Or is it the angry one with you get what I'm saying?

I'm that different around my family that it's almost like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And so I, I knew this would be disconcerting for them, so I would tell them, listen, I got this thing, I can't explain it, and blah, blah, blah. So yeah that's a really good. And you know that was tough.

That was tough.

[00:27:45] Adeel: Yeah. And how did that go? I'm curious when they first,

[00:27:47] Robert: there was, generally they understood because they saw me most of the time. You can't fake your, 99% of your life, you can only fool people, maybe 40% of the time.

I don't know. Because you, people were accepting. People were accept you weren't, but nobody understood because it didn't have a name and I didn't know what it was. And you weren't triggered. And I took the risk that they were going to dump me because of this insanity, . When I, but I had to tell them. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:28:10] Adeel: At least you weren't triggered by them. You were, it was just the the sound Yes. Your, of your mom,

[00:28:15] Robert: Yeah, it was exclusively her. I will say that when she did pronounce an as, it was very, , she had a, it was sharper than when most people do.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And you would notice it, but I brought to your attention and then she would speak, you would actually notice it. But it wouldn't bother anyone to the extent that it did me, that's for sure. Yeah.

[00:28:33] Adeel: And your daughter, did she did she observe it as when she was growing up that, dad's around Grandma, what the heck's going on?

[00:28:40] Robert: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It was weird. It was weird. And my mother. Very good relationship with my daughter. She loved my daughter to death, and I'm sure my, my daughter was very confused as to, to see me act a certain way most of the time. And then, see the way I was around my family because I had this anger, because I all this reputational damage and everything else I told you, it was very confusing for her, I'm sure.

And I did eventually when she was old enough to explain it to her. And now when after. That Kline of mine in the chair explained it to me. I had a name and I talked to her about it, and then she has it. And she really understands. Gotcha. Okay. My, my kids understand perfectly, it's my family that just, they don't get it.

They don't care it. Okay. And it's only one, although like I share with you my, my, my brother, my recent conversation with my brother he did listen and he said he got it. He said he got it. Okay. You're older. Yeah. Sorry to keep on

[00:29:33] Adeel: interrupting you, . No. This is what I'm, this is what I want to hear.

So your brother, after all this time finally said, oh, okay, I get it.

[00:29:40] Robert: Yeah. Because he couldn't he couldn't deny that, I said, do you remember when you would see me hissing under my breath? He said, yeah, who could miss this? He, I guess he figured he can't make this all up, yeah. The evidence is there.

[00:29:50] Adeel: So he's still talking about it at, he couldn't 61. So it's good. There's gonna be something.

[00:29:54] Robert: Yeah. Yeah. And I did I don't know when it was probably about 20 years ago, mentioned it to one of my sisters that this particular, I had this particular trigger with my mother and could she please?

And she said, I'll talk to her. And so I'm sure that she would remember that. , I haven't spoken to her since about this, but I'm sure she would remember. She would have to remember having that conversation with my mother. Cause it's so strange. Robert has a problem when you say this, that's strange.

Let's face it. Oh,

[00:30:24] Adeel: but that was the first time that was must have not have been used to your mom, right? Because

[00:30:28] Robert: no, it wasn't news to her at all because she was literally using it against me. So she knew.

[00:30:32] Adeel: Yeah. Did you and so you, you only found out a few years, so your mom never found out that it had a name.

Because she passed.

[00:30:38] Robert: Yeah. Before, yeah, my mother never knew. , my mother never knew she died. Frustrated over it. , and that's unfortunate.

[00:30:45] Adeel: Did she ever send you any messages or letters? Bef I know as before she was passing away maybe to reconcile or anything,

[00:30:51] Robert: or try to no. She went very quickly.

She went Okay. Yeah. Within an hour. She had some heart event that we don't know. There was no autopsy, but she went that quickly. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:01] Adeel: So you're not being triggered now. So how are you helping your child? Does your child have your daughter have the usual array of triggers?

[00:31:08] Robert: I think what she has are more typ certainly more typical than mine. Yeah. Sometimes I'll be in the car with her and I'll be tapping my finger as something she be Dad shut. Yeah, . She's good about it. If chewing bothers her, you know that's very. But she deals with it, she says, I just walk away when I have to.

She can deal with it better than me. She can deal with life, I think, better than me. Okay. She's an old soul. Yeah. Okay. That's fair. And she's in healthcare , she's a nurse, so Yeah. Okay. She's a little more aware of these things.

[00:31:36] Adeel: Yeah. Interesting.

[00:31:38] Robert: Okay. Okay. Very understanding. She's very understanding. How couldn't she be? She has the same thing. And my son just recently, I was speaking to him about, I dunno, three weeks ago, and he said, dad, you know that thing you have? He said, there's a certain sound. I was like, yeah, you too, . Hey, welcome,

[00:31:54] Adeel: welcome to my world.


[00:31:55] Robert: Sounds, and everything I've discussed with you, I discussed with them. Gotcha. And they're very understanding. Very interesting. Yeah.

[00:32:02] Adeel: That's great. That's great. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Hopefully, you'll be able to, , be able to talk about it more with your other family members maybe.

And maybe some of the baggage can be

[00:32:13] Robert: can be rewarded. It's have you ever totaled the car? It's it's never gonna be the same. Yeah. No matter, I don't care who fixes it, it's never gonna ride the same. Yeah. And I think that it's that way with relationships. It's once they're that damage,

I don't think there's any way back. And when people feed you feed that reputation for so long, it it's like they, they're feeding this monster, like Roberts, this Roberts dad, and they're feeding this monster and the monster gets so big that they can't kill it.

It's like they're, that they're, they have this relationship with that monster that they understand, but they, this is new and I don't think I, I don't see much reconciliation there. It's possible, but highly unlikely. Yeah. If you ask me, sounds like you're, and I'm not that concerned about that.

Yeah, you're enough person. I accept that. Yeah. I accept that. I just want to get it out for other people, to know like you're doing that. It's very real. It's very.

[00:33:10] Adeel: have you in your occupation cutting your hair, have you met? People, you work with people from all over the place have you Yeah.

Yeah. Have you talked to people and it's come up?

[00:33:20] Robert: Yes. Yes. I brought it up. Yeah. Because after I found out about it, I, I was like, can you believe, I tell because I have, I'm very close with a lot of, I've been doing, I know a lot of 'em for 25 years. Yeah. Yeah. These people, so they're almost like, And yes.

Absolutely. I brought it up with a few of 'em, and they're very understanding. Yeah. But let's face it, it's easier, it's easy for them to be understanding they didn't live with me. They're right.

[00:33:42] Adeel: They're with you for 20 minutes every

[00:33:44] Robert: couple months. Yeah. Yeah. It's easy to tolerate me, for an hour Yeah.

Or whatever. But when I was young, I'm sure it was not easy on, on, on my family. Like I said I do not blame them for thinking any and everything they did of me, . But in light of recent Revel, that should change, but , I said, it's a I think it's a totaled car, I just think relationships are generally like that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that's why we need a deals to nip it in the bud. Yeah.

[00:34:10] Adeel: Wait, we're trying to do that. We're yeah, I mean there's this yeah, there's so quiet.org, it's advocacy 5 0 1.

[00:34:17] Robert: You're gonna have to email me all this stuff.

Yeah. Course we finish, because I already forgot all of it. But I wanna check out all of,

[00:34:23] Adeel: yeah. There's more stuff in the work that, some of it I can't quite talk about over the next couple years. Just in terms of great stuff coming out. I'm

[00:34:30] Robert: even working on, oh, you had a great guest that she has.

what does she have? Some website or something? Was a woman. She was fantastic. I was listening to her a couple days ago. Yeah. I wanted to

[00:34:43] Adeel: be familiarize my, yeah. Dr. Jean Gregory, maybe She has a website called, sounds like misophonia.

[00:34:48] Robert: It wasn't her, it was a, I think it was a young girl.

[00:34:53] Adeel: Yeah, there is. There's. Yeah, there's Jennifer, who's miss, miss Misophonia on on Instagram. I know she's got a lot of stuff. I think it was her.

[00:35:01] Robert: Yeah. I think she's got a lot of stuff on her. She was great listening to her. Yeah.

[00:35:03] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah. No, she's awesome. Yeah. Very cool. Yeah, there's, yeah there's things in the works coming out.

I think we're, a lot of us are trying to break through the wall and, honestly, if we just find each other, I think that's enough work. There's enough work to, to kinda help each other out rather than, broadcasting it to

[00:35:18] Robert: every single person. Just knowing that there's so many other people that suffer with this.

Yeah. It's perversely comforting, do you know? And I felt alone, my whole life. I thought it was just me. Yeah. Yeah. Which was foolish. What are the chances? It was just me, but that's how I felt. Yeah.

[00:35:32] Adeel: That's how I felt. Yeah. Do you find a lot of other people who have it maybe that you're also working

[00:35:36] Robert: with?

Yeah. Yes. Okay. Several people I brought it up to have it, especially chewing seems to be the number one trigger. Public enemy, number one. If you think that's number one. You hear that too? Yeah. A lot of people from the mouth. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I have a woman who she can't stand to be at the dinner table with her husband.

We were laughing about it. Yeah. But that, she . I told her, I said, after I, I talk to a deal, you make him listen and make him listen.

[00:36:06] Adeel: Yeah. It's

[00:36:06] Robert: not uncommon. He doesn't believe it's real. He doesn't believe it's real.

[00:36:09] Adeel: Yeah. No there's people, there's people I've talked to just on this show who they don't eat, they don't sit at the same table with their family, even if they have kids and or they're standing while they're eating so that they can at least move around.

So they yearly sit there. At least you're there, but it's just oh, the sound comes up. You just move out and you need wander back in. Yeah. Yeah. So it's definitely something real. It's definitely something that we, if and I'm sure like, like everyone else, if. for you? Actually, I guess you don't really feel it anymore, but if we could not have this, we wouldn't, it's not like we chose this.

We know how crazy it sounds. Yeah. We know how crazy it looks. And you can't

[00:36:43] Robert: understand it. Un unless you have it. Yeah. I really don't think you can.

[00:36:46] Adeel: Yeah, I think we can understand that it seems so. To people not looking. That's, it just seems whoa. I get people who don't have an ask you like because maybe their spouse has it and they're like, isn't there like a, isn't there like a book or quick fix or like a psychedelic that something like digital we wish for like the


[00:37:06] Robert: it's we're not doing, yeah. The only thing I found on the internet is look, is, they're suggesting people wear, earphones and Yeah. Earplugs and. I used to try to hold my ears, yeah. But that looks really weird. That you can't hold your ears without people noticing.

So that would just make me look more strange. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, thank God, It was only one trigger with me. And it's only ever been one trigger. And I'm perfectly fine now, but it has affected my life profoundly.

[00:37:32] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah. No this is a fascinating story.

And yeah. And this is one reason I wanted the show. I wanted not to, not just to read a one line rant on Instagram about triggers. It's it cuz it is more about the second and third order effects like the people Yes. Around you. Like that doesn't get talked about it.

And just because you don't have, you haven't had this for you, you haven't really felt a lot of triggers for years. Yeah. Even when your mom was alive, cuz you weren't seeing her, you weren't seeing her because the relationship was destroyed a long time ago. And just, it's amazing that this thing caused that and just completely changed the direction of your life and everyone around you.

Yes. That's powerful. And I don't know many. I don't know of many other mental health conditions that, that, that do that because going back to how petty everyone thinks this is , it's this weird Yeah, just this weird thing. Anyways,

[00:38:19] Robert: it's like depression. Before they understood it, they would say, get over it.

You can't get over it. You can't, especially if it's writing somewhere in your dna. I remember stick. Yeah. Yeah. I was blaming myself my whole life. And I find out it's somewhere riding in my d I couldn't help it any more than my height or my eye color is there, right? , it's there. Yeah.

Does anyone else in your family have it?

[00:38:43] Adeel: No. Not that I know of. No. But I've had people on who are like, , like half of their nuclear family has it, like it, or, and cousins and aunts and uncles have it. Yeah, there are a number of people who are convinced it's purely genetic.

Some people think it's like epigenetic where there are maybe it's, and there maybe there's something in your DNA that makes you more susceptible and it's your environment that can amplify

[00:39:06] Robert: it or not. If there's no trigger, it won't manifest. Yeah.

[00:39:09] Adeel: Wow, Robert no, it's been great.

I, this has flown by already. This is this is great to hear your story. Is it any, anything else? This is my pleasure. Anything else you wanna share with people?

[00:39:18] Robert: I'm sure there's a lot. I just can't think of it at the moment, . That's fine. We'll look, it was nice to have this catharsis.

Yeah, it was nice.

[00:39:24] Adeel: Cool. Yeah then yeah. Robert, thanks. It was great talking to you. Thanks for finally connecting. Yeah. Yeah, like likewise. Likewise. Thank you again, Robert. Really glad I could finally share this episode. Sorry again for delay. I enjoyed our conversation when it happened and I really enjoyed listening back to it here and editing.

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