Taylor - Harnessing Creativity and Lessons from Living with Sensitivity

S7 E28 - 2/22/2024
In this episode, Adeel Mag hosts Taylor, a project manager from California, for a conversation about living with misophonia. Taylor opens up about her childhood, highlighting the impact of growing up with alcoholic parents on her misophonia. She talks about her hypersensitivity issues and how they complicate her interpersonal relationships. Taylor also shares her academic journey, revealing the support she received from teachers and how she adjusted to online learning. The discussion includes strategies she employs to manage trigger sounds, such as using background noise and hypnotherapy. Taylor expresses her love for music as a significant outlet for her creativity. Lastly, they delve into the potentially positive outcomes and lessons learned from dealing with misophonia.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. This is season 7, episode 28. My name is Adeel Mag and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Taylor, project manager in California. Taylor talks about her home life and how growing up with an alcoholic parents may have contributed to her misophonia. She also discusses her hypersensitivity and how it affects her relationships. She shares her experience in school and the support she received from teachers along the way. She shares how she copes with triggers and the importance of supportive relationships. And Taylor also talks about seeking professional help and her experience with hypnotherapy. She highlights her passion for music and how it serves as a creative outlet. And we also end with some of the maybe more positive aspects, or I should say lessons, that can come from living with misophonia. After the show, let me know what you think. You can reach out by email at hello at mississipponiapodcast.com or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Mississipponi Podcast. By the way, please head over. Leave a quick review or rating wherever you listen to the show, whether it's Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever. It really helps us move up in the search results. A few of my usual announcements. Thanks for the incredible ongoing support of our Patreon supporters. If you feel like contributing, you can read all about the various levels at patreon.com slash misophonia podcast. This episode is sponsored by my personal journaling app that I developed called Basil, B-A-S-A-L. Basil provides AI-powered insights into your journal entries and guides you with new writing prompts based on those insights. You can even explore many different therapy approaches and modalities. It's available for iOS and Android. Check the show notes or go to hellobazel.com. And just a little disclaimer, I noticed my microphone was a little hot during this interview, so I apologize in advance if there's a little bit of slight distortion in some sections. All right, now here's my conversation with Taylor. Taylor, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you here.

Taylor [2:10]: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so jazzed. yeah yeah yeah likewise likewise do you want to tell us kind of where where you are kind of what you do and all that stuff yeah absolutely uh like physically right now well i'm located in in the bay area um you know i'm in i'm in my room my room is separate from the rest of the house which is great um um and i am a project manager I'm a project manager for a company called Receipt. It has to do with use. There's a lot of commercial office furniture waste that's put into landfill. Not really something that people think about a whole lot, but especially being in the Bay Area, there's a lot of tech companies around. And post-COVID, they're getting rid of furniture. I come in and I'm part of a company that buys it, sells it, all that, connects end users. And project management is a great position for, I guess, someone, I guess, since we're given the context of Misophonia here, project management is great for that. I'd say my biggest...

Adeel [3:23]: hurdle is like if someone's got allergies on the day that i go to a job site or something and they're you know they've got the sniffles or whatever but right yeah it's probably there's no you're not like fixed in the same room every day nine to five kind of thing you get you at least get to travel and if some simple hey you can you can you can drive home and scream as loud as you want in your car exactly exactly you know what really helps do you have airpod pros in

Taylor [3:52]: Are those pros? Those are amazing. Are you aware of the feature where you can play background noise on your iPhone?

Adeel [4:00]: Yes. I have a shortcut. If I hit two buttons on my phone, it automatically turns it on.

Taylor [4:06]: That comes in so clutch. I love it. Worst case scenario, I'll use that. I put on the bright noise because that matches the frequency of the sniffling. Right. Or mouth noises. Yes. I love the bright noise. Yes. It's great.

Adeel [4:24]: Yeah, you're right. I put brown noise in the back of the podcast because it's more like an airplane kind of rain. But yeah, you're right. Some noises are higher frequency, like sniffling. And so you might want to mask it with something a little harsher that you wouldn't want to necessarily hear all the time. So that's a good tip.

Taylor [4:41]: Yeah, it's great. And maybe the... There's like dark noise or balanced noise. It's really helpful for when you're trying to match the trigger sound that's going on in the background. You know? Like snoring helps. Like dark noise helps with snoring for me.

Adeel [5:00]: Yeah.

Taylor [5:01]: You know?

Adeel [5:01]: Right, right, right. Very cool.

Taylor [5:03]: Okay. Okay. Yeah. But that's what I do. I'm project management. I'm, you know, it's great. And, uh, school post coat out of there, you know, post COVID, uh, has been all online. So that's great.

Adeel [5:19]: Right. So you graduated, are you, are you in school or, or was that, uh, Oh my goodness.

Taylor [5:24]: My, my academic journey has been so all over the place. Um, I am getting my associate's degree after like four and a half years in higher education. But it's something under my belt. And it just took me a really long time to land on a major to find something that... I don't know. I guess my impression in my academic years was that you had to commit to the thing that you major in, you know, right. A lot of the time employers just want to see that you are going to college or have gone to college and you've finished it or did your thing. Like, you know, um, but yeah, getting that, uh, in May communications, easy peasy. It's great.

Adeel [6:17]: Yeah.

Taylor [6:17]: Yeah.

Adeel [6:17]: Cool. Cool. So, Very cool. Yeah. And you mentioned like where you are right now, you're literally, your room is like separate from your house. Like how does that, is it like floating on like its own kind of foundation, soundproofed, everything?

Taylor [6:35]: Or is it just kind of like... Dude, that would be ideal. But it's, so it's kind of like an ADU. Like an adult thing separate. Or like an in-laws unit or something like that. Maybe you've heard that. It's kind of like that. So there's the rest of the house. If I open my door right now, I'm in the backyard.

Adeel [7:02]: and then the rest of the house it's got a lot of room which is nice yeah yeah yeah and did you choose that because you're like oh that looks like i can live there and not go crazy oh well you know what i it's expensive so i mean you usually can't like big time really tell i mean you can't really choose

Taylor [7:24]: absolutely i know it's it's crazy i do live at home with my parents and so i've i've moved out before but i and i came back and the this used to be an office um the wall is a little unfinished behind me and whatever but i mean i'm hey industrial i guess i don't know um but yeah i uh i came back after i had moved out and uh this was open it used to be an office my dad used to work out here but now they're all moved inside and this is my spot and it's great it's separate from the house um i say the summertime is probably the noisiest because everyone wants to be outside and like the radio sometimes the muffled sounds of the radio well but

Adeel [8:15]: I mean, yeah. So do they know about your misophonia? I'm assuming.

Taylor [8:19]: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, let's do it. So I'm pretty open with my misophonia. And I've heard a lot of people on this podcast say that communicating with others about it is really important and really helpful. I have found that to, that was kind of just like my natural instinct. Like I got to let people know, I got to ask people about it. Do you, are you hearing what I'm hearing? At least in the beginning, that's how it, that's how it was. I'd be like, why is no one else hearing this right now? Why is no one else reacting like me? But in terms of my family, my family does know. I guess should I start with the origin?

Adeel [9:05]: Yeah, yeah. Why don't we go rewind?

Taylor [9:07]: Yeah, let's hit rewind. So like most people with misophonia, I... I started to experience it around age 10, 11, early adolescence. And I guess at home with my family, my mom, she used to have the little tin of Altoids, mini Altoids, and she would dump like, half of it into her mouth. Okay. And it was wretched. Like, that was just, like, her thing. Some people have, like, their thing that they do. That was her choice of, like, you know, breath freshener or whatever. For me, it was torture. I remember, like, sitting in the back and, like, I didn't know what was going on. And I would be, like, squirming in my seat and, like, covering my ears, even, like... reacting vocally to or like screaming squirming and uh in the beginning it was very difficult for my family for sure uh because i didn't know what was going on yeah and i didn't know what was going on it was just like my natural reaction that's the first thing i'm gonna do i hear that i hear the sound i you know go into fight or flight and i'm sitting there squirming like uh Like very obviously, not just like a little twitch or a little whatever. It was very like, if I didn't know what was going on either, I'd be like, what the hell is going on with my kid? You know, like, what am I doing? What's going on? And so, yeah, I can remember that being one of my first triggers as a kid, my mom eating Altoids and crunching and slurping and smacking on them. a nightmare. And let's see. I suppose when I, I remember there was one time I had my computer and I was, you know, I looked up, why do I hate the sound of eating noises or whatever. And up came Musophonia. As soon as I gave my family the name, they were like, oh, you're not just making this up. Like, oh, you don't just want attention. Like, okay, this is real. For sure. Okay, something to pay attention to.

Adeel [11:37]: Gotcha. Yep. Yeah, there was more of that. When was that? Was that since 2011 or so? Since, you know, it was kind of out there more. Yeah, absolutely.

Taylor [11:48]: It was around 2011, 2012-ish. Like, I was probably, yeah, around 10 when I experienced it. And about a year into having it, that's when I looked it up and we put a name to it. And then it was like, okay, you know.

Adeel [12:04]: Did it start to change? Did your mom change?

Taylor [12:07]: um kind of stopped the altoids or oh yeah just go to another room i mean it was kind of difficult she wanted her altoids in the car uh and every time we got in the car she would sit like i think she had a little bit more of a difficult time adapting to it or uh taking action on implementing accommodations in the very beginning i like she knew what was going on but i don't think she really like grasped what ex how viscerally i i was feeling this reaction how it just overtakes like i i think if you're missing that piece as a parent or if you are not missing that piece then you can more easily accommodate. But if you're just like, Oh, you just don't like the sound then. All right. Well, I'm going to do it anyways. I'll just let you know that I'm going to do it. And that's what she did. She would be like, Hey, I'm going to, I'm going to eat my Altoids now. And I would sit there and like covering my ears and be like, okay. You know? That's how a lot of that was.

Adeel [13:18]: How did it evolve then? Like, did it go to get to your other family members and other sounds and.

Taylor [13:26]: You know what? I would say that it didn't really start with my family. I would say it started like in fifth grade at school. And when it came to my family, though, it was my I'd say my my oldest sister first. She's just a loud eater. She eats loud and she was eating chips. And I remember thinking like, what? Okay, come on. Like, it was a little, I was like, can you relax, please? Like, this is hurting. So that, then it was my mom, then, like, my dad occasionally. I'd say the family. I'd never thought about who was it first with my family specifically, but it was kind of just, like, all of them gradually, you know, found to happen. Yeah.

Adeel [14:11]: And what was going on at home? Was it pretty chill at home or any kind of, like, unusual situations or anything around that time?

Taylor [14:20]: I'd say... You mean about my home life?

Adeel [14:27]: Yeah, home life, basically.

Taylor [14:29]: Maybe in correspondence with my experience with music.

Adeel [14:32]: Exactly, in parallel. Sometimes there's difficult things that we all go through.

Taylor [14:38]: Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, my family...

Adeel [14:43]: has always been dysfunction.

Taylor [14:46]: Yes. Oh, my gosh. All the time. Yeah, my family has always been a little chaotic. I would say I don't know how vulnerable I want to get. But I mean, obviously, I'll share what I'm comfortable with. But I guess, yeah, my parents, I grew up with alcoholic parents for sure. And alcohol, I don't really have a good experience with it. Some people, some families can, can have that or have that in the house and it's not an issue. Um, but for us it was definitely, um, it was always being drank with every meal by my parents, you know, and every time we went out to dinner or whatever, which is already a challenge in itself. But, um, yeah there were a lot of uh altercations i would say i i always had uh this i mean nothing like crazy violent you know but um definitely like as a child did not feel like comfortable you know or safe right yeah um and i think that's definitely something that contributed maybe to my misophonia at least for me through my lens that makes sense Yeah.

Adeel [16:23]: Obviously you weren't, you're not the only one who's had, you know, the similar kind of, and I'm sure people would love Miss Funia too. And it's not necessarily turns into anything, but it's, it's an interesting common kind of thing that comes up and natural for a kid to kind of feel like natural for a kid's brain that's still developing to kind of make, start to make connections. And, and so, um, I'm, you know, I was curious, give me the, There hasn't been enough research done about this, but it's something that I feel like some dots that might be able to be connected. So I always.

Taylor [16:53]: Absolutely.

Adeel [16:54]: Whatever people are sharing.

Taylor [16:55]: Right. No, I feel like tumultuous situations, you know, or the brain copes with tumultuous situations in very different ways. You know, some people might develop anxiety. Some, you know, some of this, some of that, whatever the whole.

Adeel [17:11]: Yeah.

Taylor [17:11]: You know, combination. Or maybe you might have a little bit of everything. And for me, obviously, anxiety was a hand in that. But maybe misophonia was a way that my brain felt like it could be adversely aware of my environment. And or it's a control based warning signal to you. Yes, exactly. And I will say for sure, in relation to. the chaos in my home um and related to my parents being um alcoholics they don't drink anymore but uh and to me that connection i guess um my brain kind of just i'm having a hard time putting my words together i'll be honest it was like Yeah, I don't know. I kind of lost that one. Lost my train of thought on that one.

Adeel [18:08]: Yeah, we can come back to that.

Taylor [18:10]: But I would say, yeah, that connection was made, I guess.

Adeel [18:15]: You know? And speaking of other things like anxiety, HSP, you know, highly sensitive person, you kind of identify with that as well. A lot of us consider ourselves kind of highly sensitive in general. Oh, yeah. I'm curious if things like that or or other like comorbid diagnosable conditions for part of your part of your past or and pressure yeah uh definitely like hyper vigilance is that the right word i'll just or that's definitely one yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah i definitely just being able to read the room and kind of sense emotions of other people like very very strongly

Taylor [18:57]: hyper aware hyper hyper hyper aware absolutely that's definitely something that your project manager or any kind of manager no oh my gosh to some level yes yeah definitely being able to match the client's energy or whatever situation i'm in and being adaptable i think maybe it's another way to put that but um i guess uh yeah hyper vigilance is a really big part of my life uh I'm it's definitely a double-edged sword, you know, like it's a really good, it can be a really good thing. And also kind of, maybe at least in my experience, I will start to perceive things that aren't really there, you know, or someone's like, I'm doing that too.

Adeel [19:41]: Like maybe overanalyzing or being over, over vigilant.

Taylor [19:46]: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Overanalyzing. That's a good word. Um, yeah, especially in my intimate relationships, you know, or my current relationship too. Um, there's definitely moments where I'm like, what's going on you know or reading something i'm like your face looked different when you said that or your energy shifted and he's like a lot of the time i'm pretty spot on but every once in a while if i'm more sensitive or worked up about something else or experiencing anxiety with something else i might read into things that don't need to be read into you know?

Adeel [20:27]: I'm similar.

Taylor [20:29]: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Have you, I have a question. Have you had Martha Johnson on here?

Adeel [20:35]: Marsha Johnson? Of course. Yeah.

Taylor [20:36]: Yeah.

Adeel [20:37]: Marsha Johnson. Yeah. She was one of the first like 10 people or 12 people. Yeah.

Taylor [20:41]: Yeah. Uh, I, I bring up, she, uh, she's the one who diagnosed me with misophonia officially in, uh, july no june 2021 and this was part of the conversation she asked me she was like what a hyper vigilance have you heard of this you know or ocd and we talked about these other disorders that um people with misophonia also experience in hand you know and so yeah that's definitely something that she is yeah i mean she has talked a lot about with misophonia obviously so she's

Adeel [21:16]: Yeah, she's seen a lot of the different patterns, and that's definitely one of them, is the hypervigilance. So that's cool that she asked that. Yeah, she's definitely aware that it's not just about sounds. There's other stuff that comes with it. And even if she can't do something about those things, it's just good to be aware of it. Right. So it kind of explains things about your reactions in general to lifestyle.

Taylor [21:40]: Yeah, totally.

Adeel [21:43]: Yeah, go on.

Taylor [21:44]: There was just something that came up, I guess, because you were asking about maybe my home life or things like that. But the thing that comes to mind is my parents always told me when I was a kid that I was very, very, very picky about how things were done, in what way they were done, if my sock wasn't on straight. It was, like, a sensory thing for me. I would freak out. If I could feel the seam of my sock on the side of my toe, you know what I'm talking about? I would freak out.

Adeel [22:21]: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Taylor [22:22]: Like, it had to be done a certain way.

Adeel [22:24]: Totally agree. And actually, that brings up, like, visual triggers. And, like, have you... Do you find with mesokinesia, you also get the visual triggers as well?

Taylor [22:32]: Yeah. My mom, she suffers with... psoriasis on her scalp yep and so she picks at her hair a lot and this motion or if her hand goes up like this it i can't like i have to i have to go away it like shocks me for a second i'm like oh my goodness or um pointing sometimes if someone leaves their finger up like this

Adeel [23:02]: know so when you're doing it in front of you i don't know yeah yeah no it's actually it's actually cut off from the uh the frame anyways oh good okay yeah i don't think it would bother me as much as perhaps perhaps you but i i totally understand uh sure and uh because yeah i mean um yeah the sock thing too um Yeah, no, I can, I think that Misfunny is, and visuals. I mean, you know, I tell people, I feel like Misfunny is, hearing is one of the symptoms of maybe a wider issue that Misfunny actually is. And I think it's about all the senses. And I feel like hearing is the, hearing is like the hardest thing to block because you can't just completely block hearing. You can't, you can close your eyes and you know not put that sock on but it's hard to block hearing and i feel like that's kind of the first line of defense and uh absolutely and so it totally makes sense to me that your senses would kind of like cascade into being extra sensitive uh yeah that's such a good point oh my gosh i've never heard that before Yeah, just stuff I make up on the podcast. But I've said it enough times that I'm like, yeah, I think there's more to it than just sound. And you know, even Marcia Johnson, who's an audiologist, I mean, she says that multiple times that there's more going on than just... sound so um absolutely that's hopefully yeah hopefully with more research we'll figure that out um and you said going back to like you said like something about fifth grade like it was it was kind of your mom and then in school like you have curious kind of like school and friends what was going on there

Taylor [24:45]: yeah let's talk about that i uh i can remember the name of the guy who first triggered me in school his name was keishon shout out keishon he's a great guy such a sweetheart i remember we sat next to each other and we had a seating chart that did not change the entire year and um He unfortunately has still I say has because we ended up going to high school together. And I'm just assuming as an adult that he still has this really bad allergies. And I guess his thing that he had to do was he had to sniffle a lot. And I mean, like, really hawk it back to like, really get in there.

Adeel [25:29]: Yeah, yeah.

Taylor [25:31]: I remember sitting there like, Oh my God is looking around the room. Like, is no one else hearing this right now? Like, isn't that crazy? And so our thing throughout the school year was like, do you need a tissue? I would sit down and be like, how is it today? Keishon, you know what I mean? And he'd be like, it's a rough day today. The pollen count is pretty high today. Like, you know, and so it kind of became like a joking thing a little bit, but he was, I think, one of the first people to show me what it looked like to be receptive and empathetic and understanding and to hear what I said and be like, that makes sense. Like, you know, I didn't even have the name for what I was struggling with, but I just told him like, Hey man, this makes me feel really bad inside. Like, can you please try and get a tissue or do this or whatever? And he would genuinely do his best, you know? Yeah. Honestly, maybe. And I know this is a pattern between people with misophonia is when you express it to somebody and they are receptive to it. It makes it a lot easier to have a threshold. Your threshold kind of widens, I guess. I don't know if I phrased that correctly, but yeah, your tolerance with that person is easier. Yeah.

Adeel [27:07]: No, I know what you mean. It's because I think it's whatever part of your brain has assigned a threat to Keishin. If he's receptive, threat level DEFCON 5 goes down.

Taylor [27:20]: Exactly.

Adeel [27:22]: Because it's the fight or flight. That part of our brain, which has been hypervigilant, looking for danger. uh initially was like we need to take keishin out is now like keishin's cool okay he can stay cool cooler you know yeah right exactly exactly yeah that's cool do you know if he had he kind of like um heard about i don't know maybe not miss the point but he had he kind of heard something like that before and maybe he was used to it just kind of how he is

Taylor [27:53]: I think that was just how he is. I remember throughout high school, he was just very like, just a chill guy, you know, kind of just nice to everybody kind of thing.

Adeel [28:02]: And then otherwise in school, were you able to get out okay in terms of taking tests and all that?

Taylor [28:09]: Oh, man. I'm pretty sure my school days were spent just like everybody else, especially the early days. A lot of people with misophonia may be just plugging one ear at your desk if you couldn't have headphones in. or if you have mesokinesia, kind of blocking your vision at the desk.

Adeel [28:31]: Right.

Taylor [28:32]: And staring at the clock, like waiting for that bell to go off so you could get out. Right. A lot of my teachers, like I said, I was pretty open about it. And I believe in middle school, I might have been too shy to say anything. And I don't really remember any teachers like I talked to about it. And they were like, Oh, wait. I just remembered. Yeah. Eighth grade. Ms. Schlamann. Shout out. Donna? What's her name? Diane?

Adeel [29:05]: Let's go with Donna.

Taylor [29:06]: Yeah. Let's go with that. I'm pretty sure it was Diane, actually. But whatever.

Adeel [29:10]: Let's go with Donna.

Taylor [29:12]: Sure. Donna. Schlamann. That's her last name.

Adeel [29:15]: Schlamann. That's the important thing. Yeah.

Taylor [29:16]: Yes. I told her about it. She was so sweet. She was extremely receptive to it. And I think she really opened the door for me to communicate that to my teachers more like, Oh, I can use communication as a tool to cope. You know, I can let people know what's going on. And so if I need to do what I need to do for myself, like go outside for a couple of minutes, like that's a little unofficial accommodation. She made was I, if I just raised my hand and pointed to the door, I could go outside or we weren't allowed to chew gum in class. Thank God. But she would slip me a piece if I, if I wanted a sensory experience, you know what I mean? Okay. She met, she met me with some empathy there and, uh, that was really meaningful. And throughout high school, uh, until my junior year, was communicating with my teachers and telling them what was going on it worked out a lot of teachers just let me wear earbuds um i remember one time i told them i was listening to white noise but a lot of the time i was listening to music one time my music was a little loud and this student uh looked over at me and he could hear my music i guess he looks at me and he like he goes or whatever, pulls up a rock on the side and I'm like, okay. But anyways, there was a teacher in sophomore year, she was from Australia, not important to the story, but she made me, she told me that she was gonna have me prove that I had misophonia. to she was like it's such an australian thing to say is it oh my goodness she said uh something like well taylor i'm not gonna believe you unless you have a panic attack right in front of me

Adeel [31:22]: That is a really good Australian accent.

Taylor [31:23]: Oh, thank you.

Adeel [31:23]: Could I just say that? Yeah.

Taylor [31:25]: I work on it. Thank you. But she was, yeah, she said that. And I was like, I'm going to go to the office. Like the office knows that I have this. Like, can we get somebody in here? Eventually it ended up being fine. And then junior year of high school, I had a teacher. who I, when I communicated this to, she said, why don't you get accommodations? You know? In California, you can get, maybe this is a thing in other states. Maybe I'm not aware. Is it?

Adeel [31:59]: I think it's a national thing. Yeah, yeah.

Taylor [32:01]: Oh, good.

Adeel [32:02]: Yeah, I mean, you can get it through ADA, which is obviously national.

Taylor [32:05]: Oh, yeah.

Adeel [32:06]: But yeah, I've heard... Yeah, 504 stuff from many different states, yeah.

Taylor [32:13]: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, she was like, why don't you go get accommodations? Just tell them what's going on. This is a pretty real thing. Obviously, there's a name for it and whatever else. And I did that, and I got accommodations, and it made the rest of my high school experience so much easier. Very good, yeah. And in college as well, first few years doing that, you know?

Adeel [32:35]: Did your parents have to help with that or did you just kind of like, it sounds like you kind of like were pretty proactive.

Taylor [32:40]: Yeah. They, uh, my mom was happy to step in. Um, cool. She had, maybe she had a more difficult time on the personal level of it. Sometimes I think she kind of was feeling like, why are, why are you making me feel bad for something that I just can't do or it can't help but do, you know, like throat clearing or eating or something like that. Right. But she was happy to step in. Um, you know, if I needed help back at, academics and if I had needed accommodations to be able to do what I need to do you know then right that was an issue and I guess another tidbit about that when I got accommodations that same teacher who told me to get them told me that there was a teacher next door who also has And that was so cool. This was a AP Lang and composition class. And we would have times where we had to be writing essays for 30 minutes or whatever it was. And when the room was quiet, I could hear everything. Not ideal. And this teacher let me go into the other teacher's classroom because she had an off period. And I go in there and she's like, so what are you doing in here? And like, you just need like a quiet space to write your essay. And I said, yeah, well, I have this thing, Misophonia. I heard you have it too. And she got so excited. She was like, oh my God. She's like, thank you. Oh my God, you understand what I'm saying? And da, da, da, da.

Adeel [34:16]: It's tough for teachers, so I'm sure she gets excited.

Taylor [34:18]: I bet.

Adeel [34:19]: I don't know.

Taylor [34:21]: How do they do it?

Adeel [34:23]: I don't know.

Taylor [34:24]: Especially with kids, I guess. Maybe they might not be as receptive to it. And I... I got that confirmation after I learned that she had misophonia. I was in another class on a different day. And this kid, my table group, he said, God, this is such a. like called her a B word and said that, Ooh, B word. And, and he said that a bum. Yeah. Um, she's such a bum. Uh, she doesn't let me, she doesn't let us eat in class. That's what he said. And I was like, oh, well, she has what I have.

Adeel [35:09]: You did the rock on symbol.

Taylor [35:10]: Yeah, right. But this kid was complaining about this teacher with misophonia who didn't let her students eat in class. and he was like kind of making fun of her he's like he said uh yeah whenever she hears bags crumpling she freaks out it's hilarious we kind of you know whatever and i was like oh dude that's why it's rough for teachers man yeah like they have students that just like do it on purpose that like to push their buttons you know oh i can imagine that being so tough

Adeel [35:46]: One day we'll get those kids suspended, but that's another.

Taylor [35:50]: Hey, we'll table that for now.

Adeel [35:51]: It's in the queue. What about, I don't know, other than Keisha, like your other friends and stuff, like how are you, how, when you meet people, how are they? And maybe we can kind of saddle into like great relationships and stuff, but how has it been kind of like socially?

Taylor [36:08]: Absolutely. Honestly, people that I meet or friends that I have, like, don't give me a hard time. at all. If they do, it's like, okay, well, then I just won't hang out with you then. Like, okay. A little auto-filtering. Exactly. It's like, okay, well, you're not going to be receptive to it. That's cool. You know? Right, right. Now I know. My friends definitely were some of the first people, along with Keishon, our patron, to show me empathy and to show me what it... means to like care and love for someone to be understanding and to accommodate with no questions asked pretty novel idea here right oh my god crazy um but uh yeah my best friend iliana she's great um i can remember i would tell her You know, she would clear her throat a lot. She still does sometimes. And she was the first one to be like, oh, okay, how about I can tell you when I'm going to, does that help? And she was very curious. People who approach with curiosity have always been some of my faves, you know? Recently, I did have kind of a weird experience. I have been becoming friends with this girl. She's such a sweetie. But we're over at her house, my boyfriend and I, and we're over at her house with her partner as well. And I'm telling her about it. We're having a separate conversation, but I'm telling her about it. And she's like, oh, like really expressive. I don't know if that was her way of reacting. Yeah. Reacting or whatever. She seemed really confused by it. And I was like, oh, I hope this goes well. You know, thinking to myself like, OK, you know, maybe it was the way I was explaining it. But. I don't know. In the past, I feel like when I explain it, it's just like a sensory issue. That's kind of your pitch. Yeah, that's my pitch. I'm like, I have a sensory issue, particularly with sounds. And this is what I need to accommodate. Like, if you see me put my earbuds in, I'm not ignoring you. I'm just listening to white noise. I still want to engage or... I know what I need to do. I get up and I'll leave for a little bit. It's not personal. And a lot of people will just be like, okay, cool. Like, thanks for telling me, you know? And, but she was very like, Oh, kind of furrowing her brows a little bit, a little. Yeah. Almost like, I don't want to say, I don't want to speak for someone or say how someone else felt when I don't really know. But she seemed a little weirded out, but yeah. That's okay. We'll see how it goes.

Adeel [39:16]: Yeah, we'll see how it goes. We'll see if she's a bum or not.

Taylor [39:21]: Exactly. Thank you. That's a good word.

Adeel [39:25]: But we'll be optimistic. We'll be optimistic.

Taylor [39:26]: Exactly. She's a nice person, so I'm sure.

Adeel [39:31]: How's your, how do you, I mean, in terms of day to day, like how do you deal with this? You got, you got some nice headphones there.

Taylor [39:37]: Oh yeah.

Adeel [39:37]: You have a job where you can kind of move around. Yes. And you use the white noise on your phone. Yes. Anything else? I don't know. Other kind of tips that you, that you've come up with? There aren't really a lot of novel ones, but you know.

Taylor [39:51]: I mean, you know, music.

Adeel [39:54]: Yeah.

Taylor [39:55]: Is a huge one. And I'm sure I've heard. People on this podcast talk about how big of a thing that is for them. Heard a lot of musicians come on here. You had a musician on here recently.

Adeel [40:04]: A lot of creative people who are here.

Taylor [40:09]: Yeah. I make music. That's my thing. That's an outlet. Keeping myself busy, making things with my hands, crocheting. It's a big thing. Also, lifestyle changes have been extremely beneficial. Like eating right and getting enough sleep. If I don't get enough sleep and I'm crabby in the morning, I'm probably going to be really sensitive all day. Other than that, it's always been headphones. That was my first. And that's my tried and true. My buddy through life is Bose QC45s. They're great.

Adeel [40:50]: Those are the QC45s you have on right now? Yes.

Taylor [40:53]: I'm sure you've heard.

Adeel [40:55]: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Third grade. Yeah, the 20s and the 30s. But those are, the PC-45s are currently the flagship Bose noise cancelling. Right, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Taylor [41:04]: Yes, yeah.

Adeel [41:05]: Yeah, I've also got the Sony equivalents, which are, I can never tell which are better. I know, I was going between those two.

Taylor [41:14]: I've seen a lot of support pages, too, say Bose and the Sony ones. And I was going between... I might have just picked the bows because of the color. I honestly don't remember, but it seemed like they did the same thing.

Adeel [41:26]: At that level, it's pretty much the same. You're kind of, yeah, you're kind of at the epitome of noise cancellation.

Taylor [41:33]: Yeah, I'm like, how good can this really get? Like, you know, so.

Adeel [41:37]: Right.

Taylor [41:38]: Yeah.

Adeel [41:39]: No, that's cool. And have you, I mean, have you seen, I'm curious, have you even tried, other than Marcia Johnson, have you tried to see any other professionals about it or is it kind of self-directed?

Taylor [41:51]: Oh, yeah. So I say maybe early high school. My mom was the one who was really curious about seeking professional help because she really needed a hand in understanding. We, oh my gosh, I'm just now remembering. I guess I've just forgotten all this. Thank you for asking. That's a great question. Tim, what's his name? Todd?

Adeel [42:18]: Tom Dozier?

Taylor [42:19]: Tom Dozier, yes. We spoke with him. We reached out to him a really long time ago. And he was kind enough to give us a call. And yeah, we spoke about this. And he explained it. I think he was the one to explain it to my mom to be like, this is a real thing. This is fight or flight. This is something that's going on in the brain. There's nothing wrong with your kid. It literally feels like... she's being shocked or tased or something like that. And yeah, beyond that, we also went to an audiologist. We didn't know, I think this was probably before we were told that it was more of a brain thing instead of a hearing thing. And they were like, yeah, there's nothing wrong with your hearing. of hit us with the dead end there but you know then we were just a very common path though a very natural path yeah right yeah absolutely um and then we've even tried hypnotherapy okay yes and i was pretty hopeful about it um until i found out that the sessions were going to be performed online with a woman in amsterdam okay so i don't i was i was not going into it with a very optimistic mindset to begin with so i'm just like laying in bed with my headphones on listening to this woman over a phone call that would occasionally break up looking at her it was like i think it was um like over skype or something and i would have you her and the bows yeah yeah it was um and we would sit there I think with the camera on me or something while I'm laying down, it's just uncomfortable to begin with. Not very effective. Maybe did two sessions, you know?

Adeel [44:19]: And did you go under quote unquote and, and, and kind of like stuff come up or how did that, what happened in the session?

Taylor [44:27]: No, I sat there with my eyes closed.

Adeel [44:29]: Okay. Okay.

Taylor [44:30]: And I can't, I did the 10, you walk down 10 sets of stairs and, went to my happy place but that was it yeah you know there was nothing where she was like i'm gonna snap my fingers and you're not gonna do this this and that uh it was nothing like that uh we didn't get to that point you know did she was she known for misophonia or was it just a um some kind of a hypnotherapist in amsterdam I think she was known for misophonia.

Adeel [45:01]: Okay. Because they have kind of some research facilities there. Absolutely. So it's kind of a known place for misophonia stuff.

Taylor [45:12]: Totally. I'm sure it would have been way more effective in person. I'm open to that kind of stuff. For sure. I think the brain can be easily swayed. um yeah you had someone on here named krista yeah she's coming i mean i'm talking to her again tomorrow she's coming on uh really i'll actually i'll have her episode i think go on right after yours sometime in march so oh my gosh i loved her episode how she talked about misophonia and uh her experience with it i just it a lot of it resonated with me and since I've heard it, since it came out, I've been trying to implement hints of what she was talking about, right? Like, one of them is a bit more Obvious, I guess than a regular coping strategy, but it really is just being like No, I don't want to feel this right now my brain is making this like my brains making this up right now or there's really no threat and It takes practice Reassuring yourself and it it's really discouraging, you know when you first try it but since implementing her sort of approach with it taking it more face value as opposed to making it more maybe i'm kind of reeling this a little bit incorrectly but uh facing it head on soothing yourself through the experience trying to get your place you know get your nervous system to regulate um that's been extremely helpful I can be in the same room as my sister when she's eating. Not the chips one from early childhood.

Adeel [47:00]: Right, right. No, she's a lost cause. Yeah, the self-soothing, yeah, I do that too. It definitely helps, at least for me, because maybe I had to practice more. But the earlier you can start that before a trigger, or especially if you know that... it's not going to last a long time. Like it was just a meal and it's not some open-ended, uh, triggering situation.

Taylor [47:25]: Right.

Adeel [47:25]: Trapped in a car on a long road trip kind of thing.

Taylor [47:28]: Nightmare. That's a nightmare.

Adeel [47:31]: But, um, how about, uh, I mean, how about, you know, relationships? You mentioned something about kind of, uh, it's maybe being an issue or not being an issue or, um, yeah. How do you kind of approach that with people?

Taylor [47:44]: Yeah. Well, um, luckily, um, I've run into people who have been very receptive, very understanding. My current boyfriend, I talk about this like I've had like nine, 90 million partners here. I've had three. All three have been fantastic. The one I'm with now, definitely more like long-term. But the first time that I told him, I told him over dinner, I was having a hard time. in a restaurant. There was just someone whose S's were really prominent.

Adeel [48:25]: Yeah.

Taylor [48:26]: You know, that's one of my, I can't, you know, obviously. And I was just having a really hard time sitting comfortably. And I told them what was going on. I told them what it was. And the first thing he said was like, thanks for telling me. Cool. all right, what do you need? Like you need a headphones. What do you, and immediately it was just very okay.

Adeel [48:52]: Yeah. Collaborator. Yeah. True partner. Yeah.

Taylor [48:57]: Dude. Right. It makes such a difference. I can't, I couldn't imagine having someone that wasn't at least willing to explore ways to make me feel more comfortable, you know?

Adeel [49:09]: Right.

Taylor [49:10]: Which unfortunately a lot of people have experiences with, you know? especially if they have a partner that just takes it really personally or whatever else. And, yeah, I mean, I would say it's not really that big of an issue, but recently it has been. We've been together for almost two years. And... Recently, like as time goes on, he does start to trigger me a little bit more. Yeah. Like with mouth noises. That's natural. It's normal. Right? Yeah. Mouth noises for him. Or sometimes he breathes really deeply through his mouth when he's sighing. But he'll inhale through his mouth. The air will pass through his teeth in a way that makes a sound that I just don't. I can't, it makes me flinch, you know? Yeah.

Adeel [50:05]: Yeah. Yeah.

Taylor [50:06]: Yeah. So yeah, I'd say that.

Adeel [50:10]: That makes, I mean, that's very common for things, especially as after a relationship starts to kind of pick, you start picking more stuff up, but right. You know, if he can kind of like keep that, keep that, um, um, open attitude then.

Taylor [50:26]: Yeah.

Adeel [50:27]: And hopefully that'll get that DEFCON 5 threat level in your brain from going off.

Taylor [50:37]: Exactly. He's definitely receptive to it, but I can tell there are some times where I might have a reaction and he's like, I'm just breathing. I just breathed. I don't want anyone ever to feel like... I can't, I have to be hyper aware of myself around you. Um, and that was definitely an experience. Yes, that was definitely an experience that I had with my family. I think, especially in the very beginning or the first few years, even after hearing the name and getting some validation behind it, the personal element never really went away. And Even with the most receptive people, like my best friends, like my boyfriend, there are some things or sometimes where they're like, okay. Or like have to calm themselves because, you know, they're just doing a normal human thing. Breathing, eating. They have the sniffles. They have to sniffle. Parting their lips a certain way. Talking.

Adeel [51:41]: Yeah, I know about that. Yeah.

Taylor [51:43]: absolutely is that like one of your biggest triggers oh yeah i can i can tell when somebody begins a sentence with the popping sound right exactly exactly or ticking sound but anyways yeah yeah i feel you um yeah so there are definitely moments where i you know we see that people are just a little bit yeah frustrated you know

Adeel [52:11]: But yeah, like, you know, the best we can do at least is, like you said, like, if we can get, I find that, you know, get sleep, eat well, at least that the amplitude or the ramp up to getting, you know, triggered by some of those little things is better. You know, it's like if we're exhausted and stuff, then I think those little, the lip sounds, even those can blow into something out of proportion.

Taylor [52:36]: Yeah, exactly.

Adeel [52:39]: Well, we're getting close to an hour. I also want to just kind of, you do a lot of creative stuff. I'm just curious if anything has been kind of inspired by Misophonia or is it really just kind of just getting, I find when I do any kind of creative stuff that it kind of like, I don't know, it just kind of like provides some mental harmony where I'm less willing, you know, triggered. But I'm also working on creative stuff that has to do with Misophonia. So I'm just curious.

Taylor [53:03]: That's great.

Adeel [53:04]: You know, what your passions are.

Taylor [53:07]: Yeah, I make music.

Adeel [53:09]: I think you play guitar for some kind of scene on your Instagram.

Taylor [53:14]: Yeah, I play bass, I play guitar, I play drums, I play piano. And I do make music. I've been making music for the past few years. I am just now starting to get it mixed and mastered, which is very fun. And it's really great to see things that you've made really come to life, become whole. But nothing has been, nothing that I'm really putting, pressing the gas on is misophonia related. Um, for me personally, I feel like when I talk about misophonia too much or I center it around my creativity a little too much, I am then a hyper aware that I have it and it affects my life in that way, you know? So I really, I try and like just write about. other things, you know?

Adeel [54:13]: Yes.

Taylor [54:16]: Um, exactly. Thank you. But yeah, so hopefully, um, I can release some stuff soon. Um, yeah. Oh, I don't know. And share it. It's just for fun. Thank you. Oh, that's great. I do. I will be making music under the name Chrissy Taylor, C H R I S S Y Taylor.

Adeel [54:38]: Okay, okay.

Taylor [54:39]: So, you know, hey, when that comes out, when that comes out, I'll let you know.

Adeel [54:44]: You'll bump it, right? No, that's super, super cool. Super cool. Right on, thank you. Well, yeah, I mean, we're about an hour. Like, anything else you want to share with people about Misophonia? I know it always does.

Taylor [54:59]: Oh, my gosh. Well, I do have, I have notes here of stuff.

Adeel [55:03]: Oh, please, yeah, feel free. You don't have to stop. There's no hard deadline or anything.

Taylor [55:07]: Oh, thank you. I did a lot of these things we had covered, but I just had some notes just for preparation, you know, or to see if there was anything else. I would say. we got we yeah we got through a lot of this oh my goodness oh I I saw on your prompts in the very beginning or not the baby get the on the email that one of the maybe prompts that we talked about because we mentioned support and getting support maybe not getting support I think a lot of people with misophonia maybe have this experience where you have a hard time asking for what you need or maybe a hard time asking people to accommodate, not just with misophonia, but with other things that come up. If you have a certain need in a relationship or something, you might have difficulty asking for that. And one thing that I had written down was under non-support, I made a T-chart here.

Adeel [56:22]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Taylor [56:24]: One of them was something that I've heard other people say on this podcast, that they've had family members ask them, how will you have a husband? Or how will you have a wife? How will you have a partner? And maybe they're hearing something like, damn, this must be really hard for you or something, or, you know, this will pose a lot of challenges in your intimate relationships. Um, but I suppose what we hear more so is how will anyone ever love me because of this, you know, man, that, that is a deep cut. If anyone's ever been told that, or maybe you or something of that notion, you know,

Adeel [57:11]: It definitely impacts. And it definitely impacts. Because it's on top of most of us. We're not out there to kind of police people's sounds. Once we've become adults and we've kind of seen how it does affect us. the person on the other side, there's all this shame and guilt that we already have that kind of piles on. Right. And so then to hear, to hear stuff like that, I mean, you know, that's, that just adds on to it, you know, because we're, we're basically, it sounds like we're being accused of, Hey, you're, uh, you know, you're going to obviously have miscarriage, but you, you know, you're, you're probably going to make the other person feel like shit too. Cause that's kind of what we were sensitive to. We are sensitive to other people feeling like shit. Like you, like you.

Taylor [57:57]: Exactly. Exactly. Oh my goodness. Yeah, that's a huge part of it. But I think also as we near the end here, we've got, you know, we're at 57. There's I know you said there's no harsh deadline or anything, but there's in that same breath. I there was an assignment in school. my senior year of high school where our teacher the first week we were getting vulnerable deep cuts first week of high school or first week of senior year he said write about something that you struggle with daily something that haunts you that follows you you know oh man i was hitting the paper with my pencil i was so jazzed to be writing about misophonia um I do like to share it, honestly. I think the vulnerability connects people too. And a lot of people have this experience, which is such a beautiful experience, the experience that comes out of it, of developing not only hypersensitivity, but hyperempathy. Or understanding complex things. Or things that might not otherwise make sense to another person. but there was a portion of this poem and i have it written down um where i meant i won't read the whole thing because it's honestly it's kind of bad but there is a really nice part that i like to remember a lot um and it's about as being asked that question how will you have a husband um I mentioned that in the beginning, but towards the end, it says, say I end up on this futuristic beach pondering on my past, where how will you have a husband is something never asked. I have not only a husband, but beautiful children I bore. I feel so lucky to hold them, teach them to walk along the shore. I have a story to tell where my mind was in control about when I had to yell about when my mind took its toll. They are now non-judgmental towards those who struggle to die. They now view life's purpose as simple to show compassion and love before they die. And I think that's something like, yes, there's something beautiful that comes out of misophonia is being able to teach yourself that compassion and empathy to have for others. And I guess, um, I don't know that my future goals are still aligned with my 17 year old self. I'm 23 now. I had to think about that. Um, and you know, if I have kids, I have kids, but I know that if I have them, that that will be a huge part of their experience growing up is, um, showing compassion and love before they die, you know? Um,

Adeel [61:00]: That's beautiful. I take that lesson too. And so, and I try to, I try to think about that all the time. So yeah, that's, it's the great, beautiful note to end on, you know, the kind of the positive lessons of misophonia and neurodivergence where, you know, these things aren't necessarily all, all pure defects and evils that we need to like, you know, smother. There are some things we can learn from them.

Taylor [61:23]: Absolutely. That's a great way of putting it.

Adeel [61:26]: Well, Taylor or Chrissy Taylor, as the future rock star will be known as. Thanks. Yeah. Thanks for all this. Thanks for coming on and finally get to finally talk to you. And yeah. Yeah.

Taylor [61:39]: Thank you for having me.

Adeel [61:42]: Thank you again, Taylor. Definitely keep me posted on the music as it comes out. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or rating wherever you listen to this podcast. You can hit me up by email at helloatmissiphoniapodcast.com or go to the website, missiphoniapodcast.com. It's even easier just to send a message on Instagram or Facebook, Missafonia Podcast. And on Twitter, it's, or X, it's Missafonia Show. Support the show by visiting Patreon at patreon.com slash Missafonia Podcast. The music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.