Long Car Rides and Misophonia Simply Don’t Mix

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If you’ve ever been on a long field trip, whether it’s to visit family or go on vacation (or a combination of both), and you were stuck in the car with all kinds of triggers, you know what I’m talking about. It’s probably the worst thing to anticipate and go through, especially if you HAVE to go on the trip because your family is saying “You have to go.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I love spending time with them, it’s just most of my family basically live on the other side of the world. And since I don’t see them often, when a trip is planned, I have to go and I get extremely anxious.

I’ve learned to prepare like crazy when trips like these spring up out of the blue. I prepare two ways. The first way is mentally. I have to acknowledge my anxiousness about the trip, and then let myself know that I’ll be ok. That doesn’t get rid of my anxiousness, but it brings it down a lot, which helps me think more clearly. The second way I prepare is by bringing my over the ear headphones to plug into my phone and listen to music in the car. If not music, then I listen to brown noise on an app.

Second, I bring things to read in the car, and that can range from 300 page novels to a single comic book. If the ride is long, I make sure to bring a couple books and a few comic books (if you’re interested, I love to read Spider-Gwen and Girl Thor 😃).

This year, I’m visiting my aunt, uncle, cousin and his wife and children in New Mexico. I live in California. You can guess how long of a car ride that’s gonna be. LONG. So I must be prepared in order to survive (sounds like I’m preparing for a zombie apocalypse or something!). Thankfully, my relative that’ll drive me up there knows I have misophonia. She likes to play music in the car if the ride is long, so I can understand that. However, if the music starts to trigger me, I can ask her to either turn it off, turn it down, or just put on my headphones and listen to brown noise. This is just what I do when I’m stuck in a car for a long time with no way to escape, and I hope it helps you.

I’m so thankful I have my relative’s support, because I know many of you don’t have support from your family, and I think that’s terrible. When I first started experiencing misophonia, my parents didn’t support me either. I went online and showed them evidence that what I was experiencing was real and valid. That’s when they started to be more supportive. If you’ve already tried this and your family still isn’t supportive, just know that you are valuable and neither your family nor misophonia should make you feel any less. I encourage you to keep trying if it’s safe to do so (by “safe”, I mean if your mom or dad or other relative don’t start yelling at you and start triggering you on purpose when you bring up misophonia, then you should persist in trying to help them see that misophonia is real, and that their support is vital).

Thanks for reading!

Sharon Mousel
I graduated from Vincent Memorial Catholic High School in 2014, and now that I’m in college, I have been taking classes at Imperial Valley College and San Diego State University. This was made possible due to a partnership between the two schools where I can access everything on both campuses and graduate with my bachelor’s in 4 years. I am currently a junior, and I am studying Criminal Justice; I will now only be going to SDSU campus, as I have graduated from Imperial Valley College. I like going on the computer and hanging out with friends, and my wonderful, supportive boyfriend. I love practicing photography, writing, and singing. I’m known to be really shy, but I’m always trying to go beyond my comfort zone.