I came onto the forum for a rant yesterday and read your story. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Yours is only the second story I have read from someone living with a Misophone, and both have seriously upset me, and also made me have a good look at myself.
I really feel for you and your situation. I don’t disagree whith most of what you have said (except saying how much headphones hurt after a while – you don’t need to tell us, most of us wear the wretched things all day!).
I’d like to think i’m not as harsh on the people around me. But occasionally I’m afraid that I am, or used to be. I don’t usually tell people what they do that triggers me, I don’t want them to be paranoid about it. However I know that when I was young I didn’t ever tell my mum that her chewing was driving me insane, but I would instigate arguments at the table so I could be sent to my room (blissful escape!!) but I can see now that those arguments would have been upsetting for everyone, and probably confusing. I knew even then that I was seen as irrational and maybe even spolit or nasty, which I hated and felt unfair, but I just had to get away.
I’ve told her since during an honest discussion and when I visit now she does make concessions that she wouldn’t have done when I was a child – she was very strict, and less understanding as a person than she is now (she will leave the TV on during dinner now, and sit at the seat furthest from me). But I am an adult now and I think we achieved this through, as you say, compromise and discussion, or even just being honest so we can understand each other better. You might be interested to know that now we have had those discussions, and both been honest, reasonable and willing to compromise: she triggers me a LOT less. Her chewing sounds annoy me less and we went on holiday together recently for a week with absolutely no problems! We even shared a room! (Unless she ate an apple, some things are insurmountable haha).
I don’t want to say bad things about your wife, particularly as I understand her reactions – if not her way of asserting them. I do think she needs to discuss this more with you, and help to find ways of making this bearable for you both. Perhaps finding her triggers which are insurmountable, and others which might be worked around. Have you told her what you’ve told us? The piece really, really made me think about the poor people around me and others like me. I think in a way it has helped me too. I hate that I might have made anyone feel like you do 🙁 🙁 and your wife in ‘normal, untriggered mode’ I’m sure would agree, and it would hurt her that you feel this way.
I don’t think you can have these discussions when she is in ‘trigger mode’ so pick your time well! Sadly I don’t have the solutions but I agree that they can only be found during a caring discussion, you are partners and need to work together on this.
I’m not a remotely sloppy person but your second chance at love has got me a bit! and I hate to think it is being so tainted by this horrid condition. You being constantly on edge as well isn’t the answer is it. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you all the luck in the world.