A Letter to My Husband

Dear Chris,

You are my love, my life, my best friend and soulmate, I love you with all of my heart. We married each other for better or worse, in sickness and in health. As every marriage has its ups and downs, ours is no different.

For many years, you accused me of having anger management issues, and I actually started to believe it. What is wrong with me?  Why am I such a monster? As if that accusation was not hurtful enough, I will never forget reading an email you sent one of your friends saying that we all start out being so wonderful and sweet then we turn into these monstrous “she-devils” after we say “I do.” Those words left a scar on my heart. I remember thinking, OMG he really does think I am a “she-devil?” I do not want to be this way, how do other people do it? Sounds just make me lose my temper really fast. I cannot imagine what other horrible thoughts about me drifted through your mind as I lashed out at you for doing nothing more than breathing or eating.

During my “meltdowns” I would escape to our bedroom and close the door, throwing myself on the bed as I burst into a sobbing fit of tears. A few minutes later you followed. I know that you were only trying to comfort me, but I pushed you away.  “Just leave me alone!” Please understand I was not rejecting you, I just needed to be alone, in silence. I appreciate the fact that you were trying to help, but you continued to badger me, “what is wrong?”, “how can I help?” which only intensified my rage and prolonged me being able to calm down.  Besides, I had no answer for you, no explanation. How can I expect you to understand something that I cannot understand? I felt rage and hatred and just needed to purge those feelings and emotions out of my system. I needed to be alone.  I did not want to lash out at you. I did not want time to calm down, I needed it. You never understood, but finally would relent and leave me alone. I am ashamed to say that I continued to blame you and avoided speaking to you for days at a time. It is not your fault, but my mind kept telling me you made these sounds to intentionally hurt me. You KNEW certain sounds bothered me, but you continued to make them.

Sleeping with you is a huge struggle for me. Your snoring and breathing are so thunderous, especially when it is dead silent. Whenever I would grab my pillow and blanket to sleep on the couch, you took it personally, accusing me of turning my back on you. This was so devastating, why can’t you just understand? I pleaded with you to see a doctor, hoping that a c-pap machine would help your situation, which in turn might help me be able to sleep in the same bed with you. Sharing a bed with your partner is a way to share intimacy, I fully understand this. However, sometimes the noises you make when you are sleeping are beyond agony for me.

Years later, we discovered I suffer from Misophonia. It was such a relief to know that it is not “me.”  One of the first things I said to you was, “See? I do not have anger management issues!”

You stood by my side through all of my outbursts and meltdowns. In complete honesty, if I were in your shoes I probably would have thrown me out. You held me when I cried trying to comfort me, possibly wondering why I hated you so much, not knowing how much I truly love you. All you wanted to do was provide me with comfort and love, but to a Misophonia sufferer, love and support is not always shown by your presence, sometimes it is shown by your absence.

You continue to prove your love and support by researching information on Misophonia, always looking for ways to help me so I am not suffering so much. Not many people would do that. After different explanations of how Misophonia made me feel, I emailed you a video from youtube. That video was a major turning point in our marriage. A few minutes later you called me and said, “I will do whatever it takes to make sure Misophonia does not ruin our marriage.” I truly believe that you mean with all of your heart, which makes me love you even more.

We have had some very open discussions about things that trigger me, I think the most important issue we discussed is my need for space and solitude. I know this is difficult for you, I watch you struggle with my need for seclusion because your first instinct is to the find the problem and try to fix it. Misophonia reactions are not something you can remedy. Misophonia is my struggle and although it affects all of us, the solution is inside me. Sometimes it is necessary for me to walk away from a situation, this doesn’t mean I am walking away from us. It is so liberating for me that you are starting to recognize when I need to be alone.  At times, I will catch a glimpse of anguish on your face when I am triggered, I see the helplessness in your eyes. Babe, trust me, there really is nothing you can do to “fix” me. Just knowing that you are here for me is enough.

Our open communication about my condition has helped tremendously, you have definitely become more aware of seeing my signs of distress. Knowing and understanding my needs when I am triggered means the absolute world to me. Misophonia is MY condition but it affects our marriage and family. I am so thankful that you are willing to learn, understand and make so many sacrifices for me and our marriage. As long as I know we are in this together, we will confront my Misophonia… together.

All my love,

Vicki

 

Vicki Sladowski
My name is Vicki and I am a lifetime sufferer of Misophonia. I grew up thinking I was a mean, hateful monster, only recently did I learn that I have Misophonia. Like most sufferers, when I found out I had an actual disorder I was so relieved to know that it is not my personality, and most importantly there are people who UNDERSTAND what I am going through and I how I feel. We are not in this alone.