Misophonia has been with me for as long as I can remember. When I first started experiencing it, I was about ten years old. Whenever I would hear a trigger sound, it would freak me out and I didn’t know why I was acting the way I was. I didn’t know what I was experiencing had a name. My parents scolded me, thinking I was seeking attention or just being bratty, and I thought so too. I began to think it was just a phase and that I’d eventually stop. But then I was fifteen years old, wondering why I still hated the sounds coming out of my parent’s mouths.
I’m sure you’ve heard countless stories that sound similar to mine, and I’m sure you have an idea of what I’m about to say next. I began to hate myself. Ever hear that before? For the next four (approximately) years, I hated the way sounds could send me into a blood boiling rage that would last for a long while. I knew what I had: misophonia. I found support groups so I could learn more about what people go through. But it didn’t change the fact that I still hated myself. I probably did so even more when I joined the groups because I would see lots of sad/vent posts.
When I met my soon to be boyfriend, he taught me how to love myself by constantly reminding me that I’m beautiful, sweet, kind, loving, funny, and countless other qualities he knew I had. It took a long time, but I’m finally starting to believe him. After almost 4 years of being his girlfriend, I’m finally starting to see that I’m more than my misophonia. It will take a long time to get to the point where I’m confident enough to look at myself in the mirror and say “Man, I am beautiful and kind, and I can do this!”
So my question to you is this: How do you perceive yourself right now? If you perceive yourself negatively, it’s time to change that. I have called myself names because of stupid things I did, and I’ve looked at myself in disgust when I got triggered and thought horrible thoughts about the person triggering me. Years of being told by my boyfriend that I have so many positive qualities has begun to slowly change the way I see myself. I am more than my misophonia. YOU are more than your misophonia. Tell that to yourself everyday. Make a list of your qualities, and ask people you know what they think your qualities are. Read them everyday. Read them aloud if you want. As long as you understand that misophonia does not define you. I’ve begun to not hate myself by remembering this fact everyday. I hope you begin to love yourself a little more everyday once you start to realize this, especially when you’re triggered. You have misophonia. I have misophonia. But we are NOT our misophonia.