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© 2023 by inTune Pathways 

ABN 78 435 698 441

Managing Misophonia

December 30, 2018

Ah the silly season. Ah the food. Ah the sounds.
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The misophonia.
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I love my family, I really really do.
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But when I hear those sounds..
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Those mouth noises..the clicking, lip smacking, spoon scraping the bowl, clang clang slap bang from dish to dish..
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The breathing, the sniffing, the foot tapping..
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I feel rage.
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Misophonia is triggered by selective sounds that push my brain into overdrive.
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And last night, I had it.
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I had it real bad.
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You see, there are certain challenges that I have which are associated with my brain type..
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And misophonia is one of them.
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I love my family enjoying the beautiful foods I prepare for them but misophonia sends me into a downward spiral of imagining what I might do with their bowls and cutlery when they’re done with them..
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Yep.
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Rage.
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And for this, I am responsible.
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Here’s something I know many of us autistics do, because we forget that we’re autistic.
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I sat, analysing my pain. I sat, analysing why I was struggling the way I was with certain sounds.
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I attempted to think myself out of something I’ve battled my entire life.
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Sensory processing disorder is no joke, it’s painful, and misophonia is a very real part of it for me, laughs aside.
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For a number of years, I would ask my family to chew quietly or to stop scraping the bowl, or to please hurry up and finish their food.
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I just didn’t understand myself, I didn’t know why I struggled the way I did.
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Those sounds are a violation.
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I feel assaulted by them. I feel overwhelmed and enraged.
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And last night, as I sat, trying to ‘think’ my way out of the experience, trying to use CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to release myself from the agony of the Xmas pudding covered in cream and custard eating sounds, I had a realisation.
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I am responsible.
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I am autistic.
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I have sensory processing disorder.
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I struggle with misophonia.
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And knowledge, and acceptance..
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Is power.
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I stopped trying to analyse my challenges away, because all I was doing was intensifying, feeding and prolonging the struggle I was having.
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I got up, said Goodnight and removed myself.
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I was not able to hug and kiss anyone goodnight.
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Because THAT is part of the effect that misophonia and sensory processing disorder has on me.
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I become extraordinarily tactile defensive as a result of offending sound.
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I can’t think my autism away, I can’t think my sensory processing challenges away.
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But I can take responsibility for myself and implement strategies that keep me, and the people I love safe and happy.
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It’s important to allow people to remove themselves from any situation and to trust that they’re taking an action that will benefit not only themselves but others.
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Nobody was doing anything wrong.
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They were eating.
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It’s important to accept the things we cannot change and to have the courage to change the things we can.
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I can’t change my response to sensory input, but I sure can make choices around how to care for myself before the resulting behaviour ensues..
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After a lifetime of believing I was wrong and defective for the things I struggled with, after a lifetime of exposing myself to people, places and things that would push me over the edge..
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It takes time..serious time to recover. To learn new ways. To implement self care.
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To discern between reasonable expectations of myself and self harm.
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And it will probably take the rest of my life to work this out.
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But we must be allowed to do so without the odd looks, the silence or the rolled eyes.
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Supporting those who require support is the most loving, empowering thing we can do.
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When a loved one removes themselves from the dinner table, trust in their judgement around their self care.
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It takes great courage for us to remove ourselves knowing it isn't 'typical' behaviour.
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And it's probably taken us a lifetime to work out how to do it.
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<3

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