For Better or Worse…Living with Misophonia is not easy on anyone
I realize that it is not easy to live with someone with Misophonia. For the most part, my husband has been very supportive and I do see him making a sincere effort not to trigger me. He is very soft spoken and reasonable and typically he will express his anger in silence. Tonight tells a different story.
I am sitting on the sofa relaxing and coloring, my husband storms out of the bathroom and barks “WHO PLUGGED UP THE TOILET AND DIDN’T TELL ANYONE?” I immediately jumped and felt every muscle in my body tense up. Oh no, he needs to calm down, trigger mode enabled. He continued to ask in a very agitated voice.
Sure, I completely understood his frustration, we have told the kids dozens of times if there is an issue all they need to do is let us know. He saw my body tense up and in a very angry voice, he told me, “You know, you really need to get your triggers under control.” WHAT?! Get them under control? Are you serious? Do you hear what an ass you sound like? I sat in silence, trying to take deep breaths and calm down, I focused on the Mandela I was coloring. Think I will use glitter blue next. Breathe… breathe… deep breath. Damn, this is not working. I avoid looking at my daughter. I sense that she is very upset, obviously she is the one who plugged the toilet and didn’t confess, so she starts to cry. What an asshole! She was obviously embarrassed, she messed up, just let it go, it is not a big deal, what the hell is your problem? Now my heart is breaking for her and I cannot comfort her because her crying will just add to my response. I know that makes me sound like a bad mother, but I know that it is best right now for me to just step away knowing that I will explode, no matter how much I try to refrain.
A little while later he asks me, “What are we going to do about this?” Oh this is going to be a very interesting conversation. Is he kidding me? I want to punch him in the face! “What would you like me to do, you know I have no control over this? Do you really think I enjoy this? Well I don’t! I really cannot talk about this right now.” Really? He tells me he understands, now this? We sit in silence. I wish he would just go away. His eyes are penetrating me, he looks at me with concern and confusion.
Once I have had ample time to calm down, he asks if we can talk. Sigh, ok let’s just get this over with already. Naturally, I am on the defense and start the conversation with, “I cannot believe you actually think I can control this?” He held up his hand to silence me and asks, “What do you need me to do? You told me that you would give me some kind of sign when you are being triggered but all you do is (he makes a motion to simulate the way I tense up) you did not even give me any warning.” I explained that loud sounds, especially sudden loud sounds set me off, sometimes the triggers can build, other times they are very sudden like a gunshot, which obviously I have no warning myself. He is listening to me, and trying to understand this. How can I explain it when my reactions are not black and white? It is not like my brain processes the sounds and sets off some type of warning alarm- HEY! Vicki! The next sound you hear is going to send you into the immediate rage. I suppose it would be nice if it did, so I could brace myself. Sorry honey but Misophonia does not work that way.
He tells me that he has been doing research on Misophonia and many of the articles that he has read tell him that he should try to help the Misphonic person avoid stress. This is the reason that he has been helping around the house, picking up after himself, doing the dishes, cleaning the table and putting things away. Well I do not see how that would affect my Misophonia but I am keeping quiet about this and taking advantage of the extra help. Shhh- don’t tell him I said that. He assures me that he loves me and that I am not alone in this battle, he is here for me to support me in whatever I need.
In hindsight, my husband is not an asshole, (that was just my miso talking) this is just an un-expected part of the journey, but at least I know that we will make this journey together. For better or worse!