How to Survive Not Being Able to Zoom with Your Family During the Coronavirus

By Lauri L.

My family is having a Zoom chat tonight. It will be one of four weekly since the Coronavirus breakout. I haven’t been able to participate due to mouth sounds and visual triggers. My entire family clears their throats constantly. I’s hard because especially at this time, I really want to have that connection. My family for the most part have been understanding. Although family member told me that there is more to life than Misophonia. They also said that I am being selfish and entitled.

I’m isolating alone. I have no one to physically ask questions, bounce things off, laugh with, listen to music with, cry with, share emotions with, watch a movie with, etc. I also have been furloughed from my job.

The solution that I came up with is to email my family weekly to be included in the Zoom. I share bullet points on what’s been happening in my life while quarantined. Tonight is the first night I am trying this. You see my family is spread out. My dad and older sister are in Oregon, my older brother and his son are in northern Minnesota, and my younger sister and her wife are in Canada. I’m in Minneapolis. I’ll give you all an update after tonight’s Zoom chat.

UPDATE: Eveyone got back to me via email except for my older sister. They were for the most part supportive. I think this is what I’ll do for future Zooms. It seemed to work out.

Questions and Answers

  • How meaningful is family time to you?
    Family time has never been that important to me. My younger sister and I are the closest. My parents were quite toxic. I do love my family, but time with them is not
  • Do you find Misophonia is making it hard to have valuable time with your family?
    My entire family clears their throats like horses and that is the main reason that I am not able to Zoom with them.
  • What do you suggest people could do instead of calls? Perhaps online virtual games via chats?
    I suggest emailing. There’s a very low chance of being visually triggered, and zero chance of being triggered audibly. I’ve always despised talking on the phone my entire life because of mouth sounds, humming, and
  • Who came up with the voice chat idea? Did you consider asking them to do something else? Like a “Netflix party”? This is when everybody is in a chatroom and watches a show together online. My dad came up with the idea. He is continually pushing me to participate in the calls despite my telling him why I can’t. I’m not going to put myself in that triggering
  • What advice do you have for others with Misophonia?
    My advice is to find things in life that make you happy. For me it is my drum lessons, meditation, live concerts, and online friendships with only text and no video. I also see a therapist every other week. She specializes in coping mechanisms for Misophonia. I really look forward to our sessions, and always feel great after them. She validates me often.
  • How can families stay close when far apart?
    As I said,my family is very spread out. My dad, his wife, and my older sister live in Oregon. My brother and his son are in northern Minnesota, and my sister and her wife are in Canada. I am in Minneapolis I go to a lot of live concerts with my younger sister. They are where I’m at my best because I can’t hear my trigger sounds for the most part. Staying in touch with the rest of my family is important, yet not essential to my well being. I think that the Coronavirus has brought us as close as we have been in quite some time.
    I find that to be kind of sad. My family says that they “get” Misophonia , but living with it, I believe is really the only way to actually “get it”. I’ll never forget when I saw my dad for the first time in 3 years, and when he saw me with headphones on, the first thing he did was mock me by mouthing silent words very fast. That’s tough to absorb.
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