I would like to clarify a few things that I mentioned in my last blog post. Some people thought I was assuming things, when I indeed was not. To start, the topic of a support system. I will quote from a commenter on the post before I explain. This is only a small part of the comment:
Not everyone has a support system, or a great group of friends, or people that can help them, for whatever reasons.
I understand this completely. When I was writing my last blog post, I didn’t think I needed to dedicate another paragraph or so to explain that I, in fact, do understand that not everyone has a support system. Allow me to elaborate and give you sufficient evidence as to why I do, and that I know and feel your pain.
I was unfortunate in the beginning. I didn’t have support from my parents because they thought I was just seeking attention, or just being a brat. Whatever was happening to 10-year-old me happened within my family, so I didn’t tell my friends either. I had no support. Just criticism and five years of pure torture, because I was forced to do things with my family. Normal things, like eating at the table, talking to them, and doing activities with them.
When I was fifteen, I decided to Google search why certain sounds were making me so angry. I didn’t think I’d find anything. However, I found the term “misophonia”, read about it, and was relieved and giddy. No, I wasn’t a brat. No, I wasn’t seeking attention. And no, this wasn’t just a phase. There is actually something wrong with me. This is when I decided to tell people about it. I started with my family.
I was fortunate enough to have an understanding family. As soon as I told my dad and showed him the information I found, I wasn’t forced to be in situations where I would get triggered. Now, I know there are people who don’t have family who would do that. I am in multiple misophonia Facebook groups, and I read posts like that all the time, and it breaks my heart because I was in that position before. Why are their family members so non-supportive? The things I read about family members cussing at them, getting mad when their daughter/son hears a trigger and reacts to the trigger. It’s so heart wrenching. I understand, because I was in your shoes, and I am so sorry if you don’t have a supportive family. I wish everyone could have supportive family members.
I decided to tell my friends too, though that came a little later. Perhaps a few years. I published a post on Facebook and waited. I got outrageous support from my friends, which was surprising and overwhelming. So overwhelming that at that point I knew I could continue with my life. The right people came into my life and their friendship alone has motivated me to live it. I am also aware that there are people who don’t have friends who are supportive, either. This is tragic. How could your own friends claim to be your friends if they can’t be supportive of you after you told them about misophonia?
I also decided to tell my boyfriend about misophonia. I don’t remember if I told him when we were still friends, but the point is that I told him. And the amount of support he’s shown me has been just…I can’t put it into words. He puts up with so much, and I consider it a miracle that he still sees me as this wonderful person. I’ve also read that people don’t get support from their significant other/spouse, and that is terrible. To not have the support of your other half must be devastating. I’ve read how people have broken up or divorced their SO because they were just so mean to them. I hate that, and I’m sorry if you went or are currently going through that.
Perhaps a lot of you have found support in various Facebook groups, or other groups on social media (Reddit, Tumblr, etc.). This is great. If you’ve found solace, comfort, and support from online groups, that is fantastic. If complete strangers can keep you going because you haven’t found that support from your family and friends, that’s awesome. Or, maybe you haven’t, and you’re still searching for support. Perhaps you’ve given up on getting support from other people. If you’re one of the ones who feels like they have no support, I advise you to please keep looking. There are good people out there. If you need professional help, you can contact these people. If nothing else, you can always contact me through the “contact page” here on the blog, and I’ll reply with my yahoo email account.
When I say to “keep looking”, I’m not being insensitive. I’m trying to help you by telling you what I have done to help myself. I have even offered for you to contact me. Additionally, I provided a phone number for you on the contact page to text me if you need an easier way to talk to someone. I try to be sensitive about certain topics, but I cannot please everybody. This brings me to the last thing I want to talk about: the topic of suicide.
This has been the topic of a lot of articles lately, and I talked about it in my previous blog post. Here is another comment from someone on the blog post:
I know maybe you don’t like it but many times very miserable misophones do indeed speak about suicide. It is happening.
In my last blog, I had stated that there was a problem with how the press is talking about suicide and misophonia. I had also said that suicide is not a good option, and that there are ways to cope (I mentioned some in the previous blog post). The commenter here mistook what I was trying to say, or they were trying to twist my words in some way. I’m going to clarify. In the article, I never meant to say “People shouldn’t talk about suicide”. I meant to say “People in the press shouldn’t talk about misophonia and suicide in a way that stigmatizes both topics even more”. I’d like to say suicide is not an option, but this is my personal opinion. I know that for some, it is a very real option, and something they are considering. And it should be talked about in the misophonia groups because some people only find their support in online communities. I never meant to suggest otherwise with my previous post.
I hope I have made myself clear, and if not, please contact me. A friend of mine I was talking to about my blog post said it very well:
Because you are addressing the fact that suicide is not the only option…. you are clearly not ignoring the fact that you try and get past it completely. I mean I’m just trying to understand her point because yours wasn’t to judge or point out how your life is better than that person’s, but it’s kind of mean in a sense because you aren’t saying people don’t have those thoughts you’re saying that you should try and stray away from them
And to make myself even more clear, I know it must be hard not to stray away from suicide thoughts. I know someone who still has them from time to time, but never acts upon them. I have hope that everyone can live their lives the best way they can and, though they might have some suicide thoughts, they won’t ever act on them. This is not including those taking medication that may give them suicidal thoughts. To them, I want you to stay strong and don’t act upon them. You are loved. Anyone with suicidal thoughts is loved, whether they know it or not. Again, this my hope. Realistically, I am aware that there are people who might read this and what I say won’t change anything about suicidal thoughts or actions. But I still hope, because without it, despair wins.
I am not writing this to cause trouble. I’m writing this because I don’t let people walk all over me, even if it’s just a few people. I realize there may be more comments like the one above that I’ve mentioned, however, unless it’s something truly outrageous, I won’t address it again. I just felt I needed to address a few comments now for the sake of clarification.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with things. Everyone is different. Each person has their own way of coping, healthy or unhealthy. There may be similar beginnings of how people’s misophonia started, but after that, every person makes different choices on how to handle it. This goes for all kinds of struggles a person may be dealing with. I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. I’m just here to suggest alternatives–positive alternatives–or suggest something you have already heard and might agree with. I’m not here to be insensitive or cause anyone discomfort, although that does tend to happen because every person interprets things differently. I’m here to advocate about misophonia through my own personal experiences with it, and talk about things I do that help me, which I hope will in turn help the person reading.
To end on a positive note
assuming you’ve gotten this far:
The decision I made up to this point has been telling people. It started with my family. Then my friends. Then people I didn’t know very well. For me, telling others has been a positive experience for me, and I’ve developed a strong support system for myself. I’ve told complete strangers, and there have been some disbelieving looks and comments, and dismissive comments such as “You’ll be fine!” However, it’s made me who I am today. I look at it as my way of fighting back. In my mind, misophonia wins if I’m isolated from supportive people. If I surround myself with people who support me, I win. If I keep telling people, the right people will come and support me, I win.
Misophonia is still ever present. It’s not like it disappears when I have a support system. It still debilitating. But never has it struck me down and kept me down, because I know I have people I love waiting for me to stand back up again. They’re my purpose, my reason, to continue fighting. I hope you have–or find–your reason, too.
See you next week. <3