How to Tell a Loved One They’re Affecting You?

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  • This topic has 24 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by donna.
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  • #1009201 Reply
    Tracy

    I began experiencing misophonia around the age of 8, triggered by my mom’s constant burping. To cope with this I would mimick her burps or create my own noise to cover up her burping. When she caught on to what I was doing, she thought I was being rude and trying to disrespect her in some way. Being 8 years old I had no idea that I had a condition called misophonia, I thought it was just normal to be irritated by everyday sounds people made. Over the years, my intolerance to the sounds worsened when my mom stopped burping constantly and instead started coughing. The coughing triggers me so much more than the burping, but the burping still does trigger me when it occurs. I’m also triggered by her clearing her throat, but by far the coughing is the worst. My mom coughs approximately every 5 minutes or less, I’m worried she has some kind of chronic allergy or sickness of the sort, and my father and I have tried telling her for months to go to the doctor to get it checked out but she is very stubborn and refuses to listen to us. She’s had this cough for about 15 years but it has gotten worse the past 3 years or so. The coughing used to be very long and drawn out a few months ago and I used to be able to guess when it was coming by the sound of her intake of breath. This helped me because I was able to cover my ears and hum really loudly before she coughed so I wouldn’t have to hear it. Recently though her coughing has become more abrupt and I have no warning signal to when it’s coming, so it’s much harder to cope and block it out. In addition, she frequently clears her throat to prevent coughs sometimes (I suppose to relieve the itchiness felt in her throat). This clearing throat noise also triggers me a lot, as I’ve stated earlier. It’s not like a normal clearing of the throat, it’s more throaty and disgusting. To cope with this I usually clear my throat right when I hear her start to do it, so as to block out the sound. Of course, the past few years she’s noticed what I’ve been doing and she is not happy about it. She thinks I’m being disrespectful and that I’m doing it to spite her. I tried to explain to her that it’s misophonia (at this point I had discovered about it online) but she shrugged it off and forgot about it. She has always made fun of me or provoked me by faking coughs just to see how I would react. When I cover my ears she laughs at me. And recently when my dad had a really bad cold I would also cover my ears when he coughed and he has also started making fun of me for it. It really hurts that they’re not trying to understand why I feel this way. Because of them making fun of me and trying to provoke me, I’ve begun to feel ashamed and embarrassed. When my younger sister coughs I don’t have a reaction to it and she’s always making me feel guilty and questioning why I don’t have the same reaction to her coughs as I do with my mom. It really sucks to not have support. I try explaining it but they refuse to understand or take me seriously. When I visit home from college, I have to lock myself in my room and blast music because I cannot stand to be in the same room with my mom for long, or the noise will drive me crazy. It frustrates me to no end and makes me cry. If I’m not blasting music in my room on the second floor of the house, I can hear the coughing no matter where my mom is in the house. If she’s in the kitchen, the garage, the living room, the front yard, the backyard, her room, her bathroom, I can hear it wherever she goes. Because I have to isolate myself, this has affected my relationship with my family. I feel like my mom thinks I resent her or don’t like her, even though I’ve tried explaining that it’s not her but it’s the disgusting noise that comes out of her mouth. I don’t hang out with my family as much as I used to it, and I wish I could do something about it, but I feel so powerless about this situation. When I’m around my family I always have my guard up, waiting for that sound. I really hate living like this.

    #1009225 Reply
    Kristen

    Ok, so not only does hearing people chew- and not everyone, but some people who seem to have an abundance of saliva involved- gross me out, but seeing these people in the action is just as bad. That combined with the noises has not only caused me to be very rude to my BF in a time we are trying to better the relationship,but it prevents me from eating. I get so disgusted that I CANT eat while its going on and for some time after. And something about his tongue coming out of his mouth to grab the food instead of putting the food in his mouth…ugh. I know it sounds so petty but I’m so disgusted and I can’t hide it and it affecting our relationship.

    #1009226 Reply
    Anonymous

    I have had misophonia from a very young age. I never knew what it was until around 10 years old… I am 15 now.
    My first symptoms were when I my mother would be laying in bed with me and telling me a story and then I would fall asleep. Well she would too, and then she would snore! I was little so I didn’t have control over my feelings so I would kick the bed to wake her up and she would leave. I have never been able to sleep in the same room as her- now she has a CPAP machine so it’s a little better because I could hear her snore sometimes through our shared wall.
    My dad was the one who told me what it was and I was so relieved because someone finally knew what I was going through! I wasn’t actually a brat! (My older sister thought I was annoying because of my reactions to snoring/crunching/weezing/etc.)
    I now go to a therapist for misophonia and it helps -me- but my mother still finds it personal. I leave the room to keep myself from going insane and screaming at everyone to stop eating and breathing in my presence. Sometimes I don’t even wait for her to eat, she just walks in the kitchen and gets out a bowl so I leave. My therapist says I need exposure therapy but will that work? I can stand noises for a maximum of 5 minutes but after that I -will- ask someone to blow their nose, go somewhere else, or leave myself. How can my mom stop feeling like I hate her? She’s my favorite family member but her noises bother me the most! What can I do? I’d move out but I’m still in highschool!!!!!!!
    Help.
    -sincerely,
    A fellow misophone

    #1009229 Reply
    Lucy

    My parents are big believers in family dinners so i cant avoid it and both my dad and my sister eat really loudly and whenever i ask them to be quiet and try to explain to them they just say “i cant help it” and they dont understand and sometimes i feel like exploding and ripping out my hair. What do i do?

    #1009240 Reply

    Hi Anonymous, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through.

    Try, if you can, to explain to your mum that the most cutting edge research from neuroscientists suggests that misophonia is a neurological disorder. As such is something that happens in the pre-conscious and is to something you can control having a response to.

    It’s great that you’re seeing a therapist to help but please please don’t go down the exposure therapy route. Exposure therapy is a completely and utterly unproven treatment for misophonia (despite certain practitioners with a financial interest suggesting otherwise). It may do more harm than good, not to mention the expense.

    You’re not trying to overcome an irrational fear of spiders – as suggested it’s most likely a neurological condition (see Dr Sukhbinder Kumar’s study). You can’t cure dyslexia with exposure therapy and the same applies to us.

    Wishing you all the best with everything, I promise you it gets easier as you learn different coping mechanisms. For now, why not point your mum towards some of the latest misophonia studies? You can find links to a bunch on this site.

    #1009490 Reply
    Suzanne Wilkinson-McKay

    I have just found this site after some extensive research into misophonia this afternoon. I have just spent the weekend with my mother in law and my husband kindly told her to stop knitting because it was driving me crazy. Then this morning, I was trying to have a conversation with her while she was eating toast and then an apple. I was nearly in tears. Thankfully my husband does understand and will warn me if he will be eating anything crunchy so I can put my headphones on. College can be a nightmare with people eating crisps or apples at break and don’t get me started on the tapping of someone typing on a keyboard. I also have misokinesia so it’s the mouth movement of someone chewing gum that can set me off. And, this is going to sound really stupid, but the way people hold their knives and forks can drive me to distraction. I have suffered with this for about 35 years and always thought it was just me. It’s only recently I have discovered I am not alone. Thank you ?

    #1010444 Reply
    Alec

    I’ve been away to see my family but I am so embarrassed by my behavior during meal times I’ve been on a massage downer ever since. I wish I could tell them somehow what was going on.

    #1010467 Reply
    Dee

    I feel because Misophobia is relatively unknown (only sufferers search for answers) and we have almost all self diagnosed. People in general without this relatively unheard of condition cannot relate to the feelings normal everyday sounds / actions cause. I feel I have communicated this condition to family and friends, I printed papers with known triggers for family so they could read…But I don’t think anyone has ever made a conscious effort to change sounds or movements to eliminate my anxiety…
    I don’t sit with people to eat (only a select few and thankfully some people very close to me don’t trigger anything when I sit with them for a meal).I love to cook so I will make dinners and serve and move around or leave the room when everyone else eats…I have been doing this for so long that I don’t see it as a problem anymore….it does sound unhealthy but alternative of sitting with noisy eaters is worse…If in a restaurant I will need to select my seat so I can easily move and ensure I don’t sit beside certain people…
    just need to say it as it is and ask people read up about it say its a real thing and you genuinely feel discomfort with triggers you experience…and have the conversation with people when there is no trigger present,,i have all to many times had the conversation when reacting to a trigger and that has untimatly lead to an argument where I feel the trigger is attacking me and the person I am trying to discuss the issue with is feeling I am attacking them for them been rude…and its not the case, so try have the conversation in a calm manner in a calm environment…

    #1010809 Reply
    Sarah Thompson

    I am so lucky to have a husband that understands (sort of) what I am going through.
    The worst bit for me is eating with someone else there. If hubby has had a long
    or a hard day at work, he is unaware of just how much noise he makes when eating.
    However, when I told him of my frustration and anxiety, he bought me a pair of
    noise-cancelling headphones and they do actually work! These are the industrial
    sort used by people in noisy industries, so for home use only, but they do help.

    #1010824 Reply
    donna

    So relieved to find this site!

    I have misokinesia too!

    I always remembering my mum talking on the phone and rubbing her knees / legs up and down and hearing the swish of the material!!

    Ive been feeling very badly that I cant tolerate my boyfriennd’s voice on the phone!!

    He knows about it.

    He just says he knows he talks too much (which he does).
    He understands.

    I have him on speaker and I do other things so its not too much.

    Eating gets me and heavy breathing and certain voices..

    Be interesting if others find these things annoying.

    I actually get angry!!

    I used to talk on the phone for ages when I was younger-say 30s, but have found it too draining for many years now..I text..much better..

    #1010898 Reply
    Ella

    Hello!
    I’ve also had misophonia since I was a child, like most of you, and my parents were my first trigger-makers. I had to make excuses to leave the dinner table and beg them to play music while we ate. TV dinners were the best. I’m 32 now, read about the condition a lot, I’m an neurologist myself, but even though I feel very educated about misophonia, it still hits me hard. My partner tries to be understanding, but is hurt every time I have to leave the room or put in earphones when he eats crunchy food.

    I’ve realized, though, that it helps a lot when he himself acknowledges his sounds and even apologizes. It kind of “shares the load”. When he is alarmed, my alarm doesn’t go off as badly. Same goes for my parents: when my mom reprimands my dad for chewing too loudly (“you know she doesn’t like that!”), I not only feel less frustrated and angry, but it’s easier to grasp onto my logical side (“this is a nonsense reaction, he doesn’t mean bad”) and fight off the alarm.
    The worst is when you get the feeling somebody is triggering you on purpose or just doesn’t care.
    I hope this helps somebody.

    Best,
    E.

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