Claire M. - Job loss and family challenges due to misophonia

S7 E2 - 6/12/2023
In this episode, Adeel spoke with guest Claire about her experiences with misophonia, detailing its impact on her career and family life. Claire shared how her sensitivity to sounds, like machinery at work and shopping carts at grocery stores, led her to leave her job and alter her lifestyle to cope with the condition. She discussed the lack of support and understanding from her family, explaining their dismissal of her condition for years until it visibly affected her job, which prompted a slight change in their attitude, albeit not entirely supportive or informed. Additionally, Claire talked about the evolving nature of her triggers and how managing misophonia has increased her empathy towards others with sensory sensitivities or mental health challenges. The conversation highlighted the ongoing struggle to find understanding and accommodation in everyday environments and the unexpected positive outcomes, like heightened empathy.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 7, Episode 2. My name's Adeel Aman, and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Claire. Another Claire, which is by far the most popular name of all my podcast guests. I really enjoyed this conversation because it hit upon a lot of things I've been thinking about. related to misophonia and possible roots in childhood experiences. We talk here about watching fights as a young girl between her dad and her older brother, both very temperamental people. We talk about mental health not being taken seriously by her family, even at a very low point. And I want to warn folks of some discussion of suicidal ideation. We talk about the effects of those experiences in her life now as an adult, some negative, but some actually positive. And we end on a note that I've been hearing more and more about lately, and that is the appreciation for the higher level of empathy that misophonia seems to give many of us towards other people's feelings and experiences. After the show, as usual, let me know what you think. You can reach out by email at or find me on Instagram or Facebook at Missiphoney Podcast. And yeah, please leave a quick review or rating wherever you listen to this show. It's actually helping us reach more people, driving us up in the algorithms. It's definitely helping a lot of folks who are just discovering Missiphonia. I want to thank again the incredible ongoing support of our Patreon supporters. If you feel like contributing a little financially, you can read all about the various levels at slash misophonia podcast. All right, let's get to my conversation with Claire. Claire, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Claire [1:53]: Thank you.

Adeel [1:54]: Yeah, do you want to tell us roughly where you are, kind of what you do?

Claire [1:59]: Yeah, so right now... I'm still, uh, I'm living in a home, which is, you know, not that, not that fun for many reasons.

Adeel [2:12]: We'll get to that.

Claire [2:13]: Um, but, um, yeah, I've been unemployed for a little while cause the last job that I had actually, um, I came to the conclusion that I should quit or should, leave because I was working at a manufacturing company, I was doing human resources. But on the other side of the wall was a lot of machinery and they were cutting steel. So they're cutting steel part all day long. And when I got the job, I had gotten it in 2021. like early 2021. And I had been previously laid off from my other job during COVID. So I took this job. And then when I got there, I realized how distracting and how triggering it was. And I tried to just go along with it as long as I could and try to find other ways to distract myself and whatnot. Because I also wasn't allowed to wear earbuds. there either i was gonna ask if they yeah let you do anything yeah i i wasn't um so that made it harder but yeah so i've been unemployed for a little while and i've been uh dog walking and pet sitting um for a while now which is the last last time that we tried to connect um i was pet sitting and so one of the dogs was a little bit too anxious and I was worried that the dog was going to start, like, barking in the middle of the interview.

Adeel [3:59]: Sure, sure, sure. Oh, that's interesting. Well, no, it's unfortunate that, yeah, you were... Yeah, I can imagine, though, steel cutting is not something... It'll break through any sound barrier. So earbuds or headphones, it's going to be tough. Did you bring it up to them, or was it just like, oh, I know that I'm not going to be able to wear anything?

Claire [4:22]: He my boss kind of made it apparent that, you know, he didn't want me to because where my where my desk was situated, it was part of the wall was just it was just glass. And then on the other side of it was the front entrance to the company. So like a lot of our a lot of the vendors coming in, you know, a couple of days a week and like, you know, delivery. drivers and everything who wanted to know where they needed to go were right there um so he wanted me to kind of like be uh focused and be ready to talk to yeah ready to talk to somebody and not be distracted by something else yeah yeah yeah um so so you're at you're at home now so how is it at home it's uh i mean it's that's kind of where it all starts for most of us and

Adeel [5:19]: And so was it easy to get back or, you know, do people know at home what's going on?

Claire [5:25]: Oh, yeah. They I've struggled with it. I struggled with misophonia since I was a little kid. Of course, I didn't, you know, know what it was when I was a little kid. I didn't know that it was a, you know, a real thing and that it was, you know, diagnosable and whatnot. But they're not exactly supportive of it. I've tried to talk to them about it for, you know, more than a decade. Like, once I found out what it, you know, what this thing is and that it has a name and that it's being studied and everything, I kept trying to bring it up to them and, you know, just, like, have them listen. Like, hey, like, this is a real thing. This is, you know, other people have it. It's you know, I don't know how diagnosable it is in terms of getting a treatment and whatnot, but it's a real thing. And I just kept getting dismissed and dismissed and dismissed like for years. And then recently, because I told them that I had to quit my job. Now they're, you know, kind of taking it seriously, but in a way that kind of is, I guess, maybe. It's still... It's not exactly supportive because now it's mostly my parents. Now it's... They kind of talk to me about it as if they know more about it than I do. Or that they know more about it. They know more about it than I ever have.

Adeel [7:07]: And it's just... There have been conversations... A little bit patronizing and eye-rolling a little bit. Yeah. It's like, oh, this is affecting her. Is it kind of implicitly like, well, it's affecting her job. It's not a big deal. So why don't we just try to, I don't know, nip it in the bud somehow or this little silly thing kind of thing?

Claire [7:29]: Yeah. Yeah. It was kind of frustrating because it's like, well, now that you see it's affecting me to the point where I have to quit my job. And to be honest, the job that I had wasn't exactly thrilling for me anyway. But, you know, listening to that all day, I just was the driving force. But it was just frustrating because I was like, well, now that you see that I had to quit my job for it, now you're on board. But listening to me, like try to like reach out to you about it for years, you did nothing. Right.

Adeel [8:05]: Yeah.

Claire [8:05]: So it was extremely frustrating. And then there was a conversation that my mom had. tried to have with me where i was just i was in a different room watching tv and then she sat down next to me and said um you know i heard that you know i know because she could you know like google things because because when i told her um that i had to quit my job because of it she's like well i heard that if you you know if you do this and you do that and If you do, if you do an hour of cardio a day, that's supposed to help you. And I'm like, I already do all of that. Like, you're not, you guys aren't getting this.

Adeel [8:49]: Yeah.

Claire [8:49]: And my mom tried to have a conversation where she was like, well, I hear that, you know, it can be, you know, heavily dependent upon, you know, the function of your thyroid. And then I read an article that said, because I was a competitive swimmer for 12 years. And she said, and I read, you know, high you know uh chlorine exposure can affect your thyroid oh my i was like i was like that would mean every single competitive swimmer would all have a thyroid disorder yeah yeah yeah yeah um yeah

Adeel [9:37]: I don't know. Yeah, I don't know. That's a lot there. Yeah, it's very kind of, yeah. Our responses are either dismissive or patronizing, where it's just, it's not taken seriously. So there must be a quick thing we can just kind of rant. The first article on Google is probably going to solve the problem, and I'll just tell my daughter, who's been suffering this for years and knows more about it. Um, it's that epistemic injustice, which I, which I posted on, uh, what is it on Instagram recently? It's the, uh, it's the injustice of like not having your experiences taken seriously. You know, um, that's, it's kind of like the, our, uh, one of our themes. Um, how about your other family? Well, so first of all, was your early days, was your mom, one of your first triggers, your, your parents, or was it, um, other types of sounds?

Claire [10:26]: When I was really little, it was my dad. And I noticed he was kind of... Initially, it didn't have anything to do with particularly the sound of how he was eating, but the way he was eating. I would point it out. I remember when I was four years old, I pointed out... And I asked him, I said, why do you eat like that? And he's like, what do you mean? I'm just eating my dinner. And I was just like kind of fixated on it. And so it didn't really, none of the big triggers that I have now came into, you know, into the game until I was about like nine years old. And then I started getting fixated on, you know, the way people do or, you sneezing, coughing, things like that.

Adeel [11:26]: Throat clearing, things like that, yeah.

Claire [11:28]: Yeah, and then I started to notice that my dad clears his throat almost incessantly. When he's sick and he has a runny nose or a stuffy nose, he won't really fix it. And yeah, so all of those were kind of the first few things that... kind of made me notice that like oh i can't really kind of shake off this feeling i have when i notice these things like that i don't i don't think that's normal and i don't think anyone else experiences this either so i don't really want to tell anyone else about it yeah and then um around that how did you express that right around did you say anything uh or i know you said it when you were four i'm just curious kind of how that how that went over

Adeel [12:22]: As you were getting a bit older.

Claire [12:24]: I didn't say.

Adeel [12:25]: Or would you just kind of glare?

Claire [12:26]: Yeah. Yeah, I would kind of glare. Yeah. Sometimes. Or then, you know, like kind of like turn my head and just, you know, roll my eyes at whatever it was. But I didn't say anything until I was about 13. So like 14 or, you know. somewhere around like 16 years ago um i would start to like point it out to my parents and say you know like can you not eat like that can you not chew like that why is this so loud and then they would get you know immediately upset they would you know yeah um take it personally and just tell you to take it personally they would get over it yeah tell me to get over it told me i was acting like a brat um that you know very being very dismissive and told me you know like i need to get over this thing that i have um instead of you know taking you know taking it seriously and asking you like like why is it bothering you are you in pain are you distressed maybe we can fix it um yeah and then i i actually the way that i found out about you know misophonia and that it's you know the name and what it is i was watching um an episode of live with regis and kelly yeah and kelly started to it was like right in the beginning of the show where they go over like some news events and topics and she was reading it from an article she was you know very expressive about it and she was saying like i have it too and like this is what i go through with my husband and like when i watched it was like oh my god yes that's That's what I have.

Adeel [14:20]: Yeah, that was a lot of people found out from that episode. But I don't think I've ever actually watched live live.

Claire [14:27]: Yeah.

Adeel [14:28]: So that's cool.

Claire [14:29]: Yeah, I think. Yeah, it must have been. I must have been like home from school that day. But yeah, I watched it. Oh, my God. Yes, this is what like this is what I've been trying to express for years. And then I told my parents about it. I, you know, I told them, it's like, oh, it's a real thing. I saw it on the show today. It's got a name. It's being studied. And, you know, all these other things. And still no response from them. No support.

Adeel [14:58]: Yeah. Did you have any, like, you know, as you were going, did you have any other, you know, comorbid, like, issues of, you know, anxiety? Like, did you have any other issues that they did take seriously? I'm just curious. And this was, like, one, you know, one thing that they didn't.

Claire [15:15]: or was was generally mental health not not taken seriously um yeah my personally for me like my mental health hasn't always been taken seriously um which has been really discouraging because there was a time um when i was 15 i was trying to express to my mom um that I was really depressed. And I wasn't an adult, but I wasn't a child. And I knew the difference between being really sad and bummed out about something that had happened versus actually being depressed. And so I remember the moment that I told her. We were driving home somewhere in the car. And it was one of those things that you have to admit. And it's kind of like... kind of, like, caught in your throat and you can't get it out. I remember having to, like, throw myself forward to kind of, like, flirt it out. And she said, well, like, why do you think that? And I told her all the things that I had been feeling and what I had been going through and for how long. And, you know, it was hitting all those checkboxes for, you know, depression. And she said, well... you know, antidepressant, you know, drugs, you know, dad was on them and your brother was on them and it kind of makes you flaky. So you don't want to do that. And I remember sitting there going like, well, that's not what I'm asking for to get a prescription for anything necessarily. I just was kind of, I was literally saying like, I help me like, I don't know what else to do. Yeah. And, um, cut to i mean i had brought it up several times and then cut to a year later um i ended up in the hospital because i was um i was very suicidal and it was getting uh was getting very dangerous um and so i went went to the psychiatric wing and I, you know, got examined by a doctor to make sure, you know, everything else is all right. And I wasn't, you know, harmed from anything else. And then I got an assessment and I was, you know, the doctor who asked me like a lot of these questions, my experience of it was like, I was looking at him thinking like, oh, he doesn't really care if I'm here. Like it was very, it was very odd. was just he was kind of like not looking at me he was just asking these basic general questions to kind of just like put in some box yeah yeah and i remember thinking like this is so uncomfortable i i don't like this it's not welcoming yeah also the psychiatric wing the uh you know the floor that was on in this hospital was in like the basement of the building so it was like dark down there so it already looked odd pretty grim too yeah yeah yeah and so after you know talking to several different doctors and everything um i did get diagnosed with depression and then i got told to just you know get dressed again um and then wait out in the hallway and then you know, for my parents to come back. And then they went behind some other door to go talk to one of the doctors that I saw, one of the psychiatrists. And to this day, I don't know what they were talking about. I, which kind of makes me feel cheated because it was my own, you know, mental health. And yeah, you know, I, I felt like I should have been in on that conversation. Um, but when they came out, we just went to the car and they were like, well, we're not going to pay for therapy. So.

Adeel [19:42]: Okay.

Claire [19:46]: And looking back on it, I definitely was kind of, um, that whole experience of being there. Like I was just kind of not in shock, but just, so shocked and surprised it was almost kind of like pulled out of my own situation and realizing like oh my mental health is really it's this bad that I you know I almost took my own life that I'm here in the hospital and so I was just kind of in this mode of like I guess maybe like survival mode of like okay like what's the next thing we have to do to get to safety And then from there was the next step so that we're safe. So when I heard that I wasn't going to get therapy, I was just like, okay, all right. So then, like, what do we do next? Like, are we going somewhere else?

Adeel [20:44]: Internally, obviously. Now you have to talk internally to yourself because you're not getting any external support.

Claire [20:50]: Yeah.

Adeel [20:50]: Yeah.

Claire [20:51]: And I remember after my mom told me that, that, you know, I wasn't going to get therapy. therapy. I also didn't even get a chance to talk to the doctor after that. So it's not even like I was given any other options saying like.

Adeel [21:08]: And no medication. There was just like.

Claire [21:11]: No, no medication. Yeah. No medication. I probably even at that point would have taken like, you know, hey, you can't get medication. They're not going to pay for therapy for you. But here are some other resources. You know, here's some support groups. things like that. I didn't even get anything like that. So we drove home in silence and then it was late at night and from what I recollect I just went to bed and then I woke up the next morning and I just went back to school and it was it's a little bizarre because the next morning when I woke up, um, both of them acted as if like nothing had happened and they just, um, it was like a regular, I think it was a Wednesday. So it was just like a regular like Wednesday routine. They didn't like their demeanor didn't, you know, give off any impression of like, like, Hey, how you doing? You all ready to go back to school? Do you need anything? It was as if, like, it was just, like, a regular day. And I remember going to school thinking, like, oh, my God, like, no one else here knows, like, what, like, where I was, what happened. Yeah. And I remember, like, going through the whole day thinking, like, I don't know how else to tell anyone this. I don't even know how to tell, like, my best friend about this. Like... I remember thinking like, I don't know how to tell anyone, but I wish someone would just ask me anyway. Like I was just so desperate to kind of like talk with someone and connect with someone about it. And there was, I went to a private Catholic high school and there was someone there who was in charge of not like the the church not like the masses that we all went to but something to do with like campus ministry so it was like a spiritual guidance person um and i remember i had like one meeting with her and i don't know like what her credentials were i don't think she had a degree in psychology or anything um i remember thinking like i'd like this isn't the person who i want to talk to like i like this is this is fine but like i I need like a real doctor I need a real therapist and even like after talking with her with one session um she she like dropped me after one session too like she didn't reach out to schedule another meeting with her or anything yeah yeah um so that whole year was like very rough

Adeel [24:19]: and discouraging i just kind of didn't know it until years later because i kind of just i guess in a way it was like detaching myself from like i was gonna say it sounds like you would have to dissociate somehow a little bit because you're not you're yeah like detaching is right like you others were had basically sounds like they'd mentally detached from maybe not all all of you but that part of you so you had to fill in the blanks and it's great that you did it sounds like you moved past that somehow obviously not you know not ideally but but yeah you must it sounds like yeah you were probably kind of dissociated for the rest of the year I'd imagine I mean did it come up at all after that day it not for like did you get to tell your friends or your parents again about what happened

Claire [25:15]: My parents and I to this day have still never talked about it. They've never even asked me about it. Like, hey, remember that time that you were... That huge deal. Yeah. They never brought it up again. They never asked me. I didn't tell anyone else about it. I didn't tell my best friend until a year and a half later. And she actually... I told her like something came up and it was kind of like on topic. So I, I told her about it and she was like very like shocked and, you know, um, you know, didn't know that I had gone through that. And she actually wrote me like this really long note about, you know, like how much are like our friendship means and how much, you know, she was so sad that I went through that and she didn't know. and it was just like a very encouraging letter that she wrote and it means a lot and I still have it to this day but yeah I didn't tell anyone else about it for a year and a half it's like towards the end of my senior year in high school but yeah like I was saying that whole my junior year I after you know getting dismissed for years by my parents because of, you know, I've been experiencing and like, they just didn't want to hear it. And then, you know, the psychiatrist who diagnosed me, and then, you know, other people, I kind of just had to something just something, something in me just clicked, like, okay, like, maybe just stop asking people because like, no one wants to hear it. Or, you know, that, you know, that that old sad thing that like i don't want to burden anyone with this or no one no one else is going to help me so i guess i have to do this by myself so right talking with people about my mental health and you know my depression and my misophonia has never been it's never come natural to me um and i think that whole experience kind of just reinforced like a negative

Adeel [27:38]: know thought of like don't you know like don't talk to anyone about it don't open up to anyone because they're just going to reject you and you're going to feel that all over again yeah um yeah so a lot of us don't talk about misophonia is because we've just been dismissed so many times um it's it's because in um for most of us other things do get taken seriously um it's particularly discouraging to hear that you know nothing has been taken seriously for you but i'm i'm impressed that you're something something it sounded like something inside you kind of like there was a turning point and you're is something inside you's been trying to like get you past and it's gotten you to this point here um is there anything i'm just curious so getting back to misophonia do you do you feel like it Do you think back and think any of that was related, like the years of misophonia leading to depression or there's other factors?

Claire [28:38]: I think there's probably other factors, but I think it, you know, just initially getting irritated by some noises and then not being taken seriously or being like, you know, yelled at pretty aggressively from one of my parents it kind of creates like a lot of resentment yeah especially now that they think they want to take you know they're taking it seriously now and I'm like well you didn't when I really needed it you know now that I'm an adult and I can kind of make other decisions for myself and I can kind of decide who I want to see to help me like I don't I don't need you to help me and I don't want your opinion on it um but it's Yeah, it creates a lot of resentment. I know other people think that their misophonia and their sensitivity to certain sounds could be linked to certain traumatic events or could have similarities between PTSD. Yeah. And I never thought that I really even had that until, um, it was like two years ago now I was at a party with a party. It was, I was out with a couple of friends for one of their birthdays. Um, and then we went back to her apartment afterwards. Um, and she had invited a few more friends over. So there was, It was like a large number of people there. And then someone, she went off on me. She had been drinking a lot. She was a little bit drunk. And then she went off on me and then one of my other best friends for something really stupid. And then it got pretty aggressive and pretty violent, like verbally aggressive, like very quickly. And... And it didn't get to the point where, like, physically, like, they were, like, fighting each other, like, punching or anything. But they did start to, you know, like, get up and start screaming at each other and kind of, like, physically express themselves.

Adeel [31:07]: Yeah, yeah.

Claire [31:09]: But it got so aggressive very quickly that it just triggered something in me that I remembered when I was about, like, six years old. one of my one of my older brothers struggled with addiction for like a really long time um he's about a decade older than me so when i was a little kid he was a teenager and he was already getting into trouble with things and um getting caught with drugs and you know getting in trouble for alcohol and whatnot and so when i was a kid um he would get into fights a lot with my parents mostly my dad. But the both of them had, you know, were frustrated a lot. And they both had like short tempers. And so sometimes they would get like physically violent with each other. And it would get like really loud and really intense.

Adeel [32:09]: And so when I would see that, you'd see this, right?

Claire [32:13]: Yeah. I mean, like there'd be times where I'd be like, kind of like caught up in the middle of it. Cause it would just happen, you know, instantly just, you know, once, once I get to be fine and the other minute, you know, they got into a fight with each other. So when I was at this party with my friends and they got so aggressive with each other very quickly, I literally, I just curled, like curled up. into a ball i put my head down and i was just like hyperventilating for like i don't know like a really long time um and i just had like that's where my body thought i was i thought i was six years old again and i was watching the fight between you know my dad and my brother um so that definitely has made me think about you know like was my misophonia kind of

Adeel [33:10]: attached or is there a comorbidity there with um some previous traumatic events you know that you're make you sensitive to certain things as well yeah i mean i didn't have quite this exact same situation but i had to deal with you know temper flipping kind of situations and um you know as i've talked to some professionals it's it's It makes sense that I was definitely around that age and having to listen for what is the mood shifting, what's going on on other floors kind of things. And what's the only sense that's available to you is hearing. You're not going to like see or taste your way out of some of those things. So I feel like that that's a big part of mine. It's kind of what I'm realizing now. And then what you just described just seems like. very similar variation i mean you for me as well it's like things are happy i'm in my imagination i'm playing or something and then the mood shifts and then i'm not explaining what's going on and then there's often no no um like sometimes uh things happen and then kids get explained what happened and are able to process it but if none of that happens if you're like in uh my house which is a very religious house it seems like yours may have been as well somewhat but um sometimes there's not no talking about stuff and then your body your your six-year-old body has to mind and body uh because your brain is not fully formed it has to kind of process it and come up with a um a way to warn you uh of it happening again and i feel like hearing is like the the likeliest candidate and i feel like that that's gotta be linked to

Claire [34:53]: misophonia i'm not a doctor but yeah um yeah that's that's that's interesting that you you know you put it that way that you know a lot of times you know especially if you grow up you know like that and have you know a something that you're sensitive to or you have to kind of be aware of for your because you feel like you have to keep yourself safe the only thing that's really gonna you know kind of keep you safe is how you listen to things and you know um you know if you hear someone's mood shift if you hear someone losing their temper and start you know slamming and smashing things in the other room um or people getting into a fight you know um it's yeah it's that's kind of been like the the one thing that's kind of like kept you safe but then you know yeah when you get older it's it makes sense that parts of it kind of get too sensitive.

Adeel [35:53]: It's stuck. Some of them are, yeah. What, what, what, how it's put to me in some modalities, like internal family system is like, there's literally a part of you that's still six years old. Like you actually, you just kind of said it earlier. There's a part of you that's still stuck in that phase where you don't necessarily need that one. Cause your conscious mind has grown up a little bit, but there's a part of you that's still stuck there, which is, is, is kind of curled up. Interesting analogy. It literally almost kind of curled up and is kind of warning you of these sounds when you don't really need it. I don't know how to put it. well, maybe a positive, but it's almost like it's, you know, Miss Plenty's always thought of like a defect, but it's kind of beautiful in a way where it's like part of you is trying to protect you, trying to, in good faith, trying to help you, but you don't really need that anymore. But we're unfortunately kind of still stuck with that sound mechanism. Because, yeah, the mood shift is like, if you start to witness it, things happening like almost on a dime, you have to be on alert all the time. And I feel like that's part of what we're kind of burdened with.

Claire [37:00]: Yeah. And even like, so I have two older brothers and like most, most of my, most of my triggers, like if it's within the family, most of my triggers come from my dad. But one of my older brothers is, you know, not the one who struggled with, you know, substance abuse issues, but, um, my second one has, you know, is like moody sometimes. And when he still, when he still lived here, he would just get like moody, like very quickly. And he would just start, you know, I could hear him up in his room, start slamming things around and I'd be downstairs and it would just be me and it'd be really quiet. And I would get like jolted. And I would, and not just like startled, like, oh, I didn't, you know, I didn't know you were up there. I didn't know you were home. But like my heart would start racing and I would get like very, very tense too. And it was if, you know, my body was saying like, you need to be alert and you're now in danger. And I'm like, I like, I don't need to be scared, but I am scared because I feel like it's my fault that I've done something to make him upset.

Adeel [38:19]: Yeah, well, that's interesting because when you're six years old, you don't really know if it's your fault or not. You don't know what's going on. And if nobody's talking about stuff, then it's just best years. Would you also consider yourself a highly sensitive person in general? Do you know that term HSP, which is like you're able to just kind of like sense and read the room, read people's moods and kind of feel things a little bit more intensely? maybe have other senses that are hypersensitive as well like touch or visuals yeah I think I don't think I've ever heard that term before but yeah I think I would definitely say I am pretty good at like reading the room there's a quiz somewhere online but it's just come up a lot it's not just like a random Cosmo quiz it's kind of a somewhat well known but yeah I'm just curious if you've heard that term

Claire [39:17]: Yeah, I think I would say I'm definitely good at leading the room. I've thought about that kind of a lot more in the last couple years. I think part of me is kind of does that naturally, but then there's also a part of me that based on my previous experiences, my body's kind of like, okay, we need to make sure we're not going to upset anyone. Yeah. you know do anything to make them upset with you and so yeah there's some times where it's not to the point where you know I feel like I can't necessarily you know go somewhere or be in a room like it prevents me from doing something because I get too sensitive but I like just being like very aware of certain things then yeah

Adeel [40:15]: Yeah, it's not always necessarily a negative thing, but it's just some people sometimes have a sense of like, yeah, just being able to understand what's going on faster than anyone else. Did, so what do you, I guess, what are some of your kind of misappointed coping mechanisms? Is anything radically different than the usual, like headphones and leaving the room? Noise machines?

Claire [40:40]: Yeah, I don't, I don't have a noise machine. I wish I had a noise machine. so that I wouldn't have to, like, wear, like, earplugs at night. Because sometimes when I wake up in the morning, like, my ears are kind of sore from wearing them all night. But, yeah, leaving the room, especially, like, this is, like, another thing where, like, if I'm going somewhere where I'm not familiar with it and I kind of get an idea of, like, there might be a lot of people there or it might be an environment that is going to have a lot of other things going on that make me feel overwhelmed or, um, you know, trigger my misophonia. I might have to, you know, know where my exits are so I can leave.

Adeel [41:27]: Yes.

Claire [41:29]: Yeah. At any moment. Um, so yeah, leaving the room, um, a lot of my friends are really supportive of it. You know, they've, they've never been judgmental and they're like, yeah, like we understand if you need to take a moment for yourself or, um, Or whatever. Like you go and do that. Yeah.

Adeel [41:47]: I was going to ask socially how it's been too.

Claire [41:52]: Yeah. A lot of my, I remember I told, I didn't tell my freshman year roommates in college. Cause I, again, I felt like very like self-conscious about telling anyone. But like the next year I told, my roommates. Cause they, I just got into a point where I was like, I feel really comfortable with them. I think, um, I think there'll be all right with it. Um, and they were like, Oh good. Like we thought that there was something that there was something up with you. Cause, cause every time I pulled my nail clippers out to do my nails, you would leave the room and not say why I was like, yeah, that's it. Um, and I told like, by junior year, I was living with, um, two other people, two additional people. Cause I was living in an apartment and I told them about it and they were very supportive and I told them exactly what it was and, um, you know, how it affects me. And I told them like my coping mechanisms and I'm, you know, just basically said like, if I ever do it, don't take it personally. It's just something, you know, it affects me. Um, and of course, you know, like there are, you know, there were certain moments that they, you know, if I got triggered by something, they would get a little frustrated, like, oh, I don't even understand why that's bothering you, but whatever. But, like, in general, they're very, very supportive of it. But, yeah, leaving the room, headphones, listening to music, also, like, kind of like mimicking whatever the trigger is right which it almost doesn't seem like that's um like that would be helpful but like the way I do it it's kind of like I'm mimicking it but almost like like I'm mocking it at the same time um and it's also kind of like it's like a control thing too in my experience like if I do it it I've kind of like reversed it somehow. Um, it's very weird, but like one of my, one of my friends understands it. So, um, like she'll, she's told me like, oh, I was out there at the grocery store today and I heard this, you know, this, this older man, like he just wouldn't stop sniffing. And all I could think about how, um, As if, like, you were with me, I would hear, like, another sniff, like, behind his, like, just kind of, like, mocking him.

Adeel [44:39]: Right.

Claire [44:40]: So, yeah. So those are some of my coping mechanisms.

Adeel [44:47]: Have you met anyone else who hasn't? Like, in real life? Like, any of your friends or family members?

Claire [44:58]: None of my friends or family members Uh, no, I've, you know, I've heard, you know, of course I've heard, you know, hundreds of people online, um, you know, talk about it. Yeah. Um, and of course, like I've, I've heard people who think they know what I'm talking about or say like, Oh yeah, we know all those.

Adeel [45:22]: Yeah.

Claire [45:22]: They're like, Oh my God. Yeah. Like when someone taps their pen too much, it's so annoying. And I'm like, that's not really what, what it is it's not the experience um but yeah i i don't yeah i don't know anyone in my in my family or or any friends who who have it either yeah yeah gotcha okay okay um

Adeel [45:44]: Yeah, we talked about coping mechanisms. Any, you know, I mean, we are coming up to close to an hour. So, you know, you're unemployed now. Are you starting to, I don't know, is there types of jobs now that you're kind of looking for that are, you know, not going to put you next to something that triggers you like a metal?

Claire [46:09]: cutter or is it consideration like you're looking for work you know work from home jobs or or whatever yeah i've looked into work from home jobs um uh some of them are you know it's it's tough because like i do just you know by this point i do just want a job in general yeah but some of the work from home jobs are just also not um most of them are just not things that I'm even really interested in.

Adeel [46:39]: Um, yeah.

Claire [46:41]: So it's tough. It's like, I could do that job, but like, I don't, I'm not really like really interested in doing it. Um, but yeah, it's definitely, by now I definitely, you know, going into job interviews, um, I definitely want to tell people about it, like tell employers about it. Um, just to say like, Hey, like I have this, neurological disorder. It affects me in this way and this way and this way and whatnot. If I'm able to get an accommodation or if I'm able to use earplugs, I'll be fine. If I'm not, I'm not sure what else could be done. I've worked at other jobs where I just didn't want to tell anyone that because I didn't want them to use that as a reason to... say like uh well no that's too much of an issue you're asking for too much we don't want you yeah as a candidate um because then i get stuck with a job but you know like i might like to do or i might like the people but you know the environment is just it's way too stressful all day right

Adeel [47:52]: right right yeah um yeah stuff hopefully people yeah hopefully employers are well because it doesn't take much to kind of like accommodate us like if we can just listen to something or be given you know and understand that we can kind of like move around at least or leave a room uh for a second and come back um hopefully that'll be more of a normal thing um Yeah. Yeah. Like I said, we're coming up to an hour. I mean, anything else you kind of want to share with people listening, not to put you on the spot, but yeah, I mean, I think a lot of your experiences are similar to a lot of people for, you know, for good and bad. But I think that, you know, I've heard at this point, I've heard so many people come on and say, I was inspired by, you know, the open experience that somebody else has. I'm sure other people will relate to anything else you kind of want to share with folks.

Claire [48:47]: Yeah. It's funny. I was having this thought the other day. I was at the grocery store. And like a lot of other people with misophonia, some of my triggers have just gotten worse over time.

Adeel [49:01]: Right, right.

Claire [49:02]: Which is frustrating, of course. So now one of my triggers that gets me are shopping carts. And people use them because they're heavy and they're loud and they're made of metal and some of the wheels are... they don't they don't work um so now when I go to the grocery store I either have to you know have have headphones with me which I don't I don't really like because grocery shopping used to be very kind of like relaxing for me in a way um but now I can't stand the the sound of shopping carts and whatnot um and so I was just I was really mad one day and I was like God, there should just be like a day at every grocery store where there's like a sensory sensitivity hour or a whole sensory sensitivity day where you're not allowed to use these shopping carts and the employees aren't allowed to do any major unloading of any products and whatnot. It's just very, very quiet just to give people a break.

Adeel [50:09]: Well, you know, some of them do that. Do you know that there are sensory... I thought that's what you were getting to because there are... Oh, no, no, no. If you Google for it, grocery stores will do that where they'll turn on the volume of their cash registers. They won't collect all their shopping carts because you know how they roll. I've heard of them at once. uh and they'll turn on the lights so it's not just for misophonia it's for like autism spectrum and other things right right but a lot of them will have like two hours in them like before things open where it's all quiet and now like theaters have them too sometimes and like music um and so it's starting it like yeah starting it up there for these other conditions like sensory sensory sensitivity stuff but but yeah look for i don't know where you live but look for it somewhere in in your area there's got to be something that's doing that wow yeah i didn't i didn't know that

Claire [51:01]: I figure that, you know, because I often don't go to the movie theater anymore because it's just listening to someone, it's just too much. And I had seen on Instagram, like regarding the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie that came out, the director had posted something about there was a screening of the movie at some theater that was like a, it was for people with like sensory sensitivities. um and it was i think they they mostly got motivation to do it for people with autism um so you know like not make the the volume so loud or you know the lights aren't so um intense and whatnot but yeah i yeah that was interesting hearing that i didn't know anything about the grocery stores having the yeah the sensory stuff yeah

Adeel [51:55]: Yeah, that comes up, so hopefully that'll be a growing movement. I've been trying to think, like, how can we kind of try to attach our names to that as well to try to get on that bandwagon because it's, yeah, that's all. It's going to be helpful stuff. I might just kind of go shopping just to kind of check it out. I'll check one of those out sometime. Yeah. Well, cool. Oh, and by the way, other triggers, like visual triggers, we didn't talk about misokinesia. Do you also have, like, visual triggers, like when you start to,

Claire [52:22]: see people make sounds or is it not quite yeah i think i think i like sometimes if i see people like um i don't know if they're like scratching their legs or their or their feet sometimes i kind of like almost imagine the sound in my head of like them scratching like dry skin. So that kind of like, it kind of gets to me sometimes. So I just, I don't, if I'm far enough away where I don't even hear it, I can just like look away from it and pretend it's not there. Um, but yeah, sometimes like that, um, also kind of just like, like anticipatory anxiety. So if I'm looking at someone and they're like opening a wrapper to some, you know, crunchy snack, I kind of get like, I get tense and I might, I may not even hear it cause they're far away, but just looking at it might, you know, especially if I see them getting closer, I'm just like, Oh God, I'm going to have to do something. Um, but yeah. And the other thing I wanted to, to, um, to say, and I had this thought not that long ago, um, was, um, I kept thinking for years, there's no silver lining to having this at all. It sucks so much and it makes me so stressed out all the time. Not that I've always been a heavily judgmental person, but it's just made me quick to not judge other people for certain behaviors that they have or certain reactions to things that they have. If they get super sensitive to something or upset, um or if they have a weird ritual of how to do something um yeah it just made me because you can empathize a bit yeah it's just made me a lot more empathetic of like well you know i have something that's you know it's very frustrating to even explain to someone else because they just don't understand the idea of like you know feeling like you're being attacked when you hear a certain sound um But it's, yeah, it's made me a lot more empathetic to other people who have other odd disorders or experiences or OCD-like tendencies of how to do something. And it really is, it's disruptive to them in their day or it's disruptive to other people. It's, you know, it's a small thing that I'm glad this has given me, but it's, you know, I'm glad it's made me more empathetic to other people.

Adeel [55:08]: I think that's a great positive note to end on. Yeah. And I agree. I think we are talking about more about in, as a society generally about mental health, but it's still, um, like there's still stuff like this that people don't take seriously. So we're not quite there yet. And so if, if this helps, um, I mean, I think it's great that like us misophones can become more empathetic. We use our kind of like issue to make us a better, better person. I think, uh, I don't know. Yeah, I'm starting to enjoy conversing with fellow misophones more than a lot of the general public who doesn't quite have the same empathy. So I think that's something we can be proud of. Claire, thanks for coming on. Yeah, this is great. Thanks for being so open. And I know this is going to help a lot of people.

Claire [55:54]: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Yeah.

Adeel [55:57]: Thank you, Claire. Thanks again for being so open. And it was really interesting to hear how you've been able to go from that little girl watching family fights and the little points you experienced to someone who can see and appreciate the empathy that we have. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. You can hit me up by email at or go to the website, It's even easier just to send a message on Instagram at missiphoniapodcast. You can follow there or Facebook. And on Twitter, we're Missiphonia Show. Support the show by visiting the Patreon at slash missiphoniapodcast. The music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [57:18]: Thank you.