When you imagine a family dinner, you probably picture a beautifully served table with fine china and proper silverware. Or maybe you picture paper plates and pizza boxes. Or maybe you picture something in between, or both depends on the day of the week.
Maybe in your home everyone eats together in the living room in front of the TV.
Maybe in your home TV is not allowed during dinner time and family conversations are taking place.
Whatever your preference/ tradition is if you or a family member has Misophonia this could be the worst time of the day for them.
Misophonia is a disorder where people have abnormally strong and negative reactions to the ordinary sounds humans make at the dinner table, such as chewing or talking with food still in their mouth. The amount of pain one experiencing is often unbearable.
Now imaging for a moment a child who has Misophonia, whose parents do not know/understand/or ignore the fact of what this child is experiencing, is told he or she has to sit through the dinner time while experiencing pain, “fight or flight” response, anxiety, rage and panic attack and get their act together and sit still, and behave and be police, grateful and appreciative for the food, parents, siblings and everything those loving parents do for them.
Even as adults we often can’t explain what we feel and why, children or teens are struggling with it as well. Only few reaching out for help. Most continue to suffer in silence.
Please make a decision to value safe environment at home more then you value your house rules. Be open and open minded. Even though it is not easy. Let your heart lead and not your ego or fears. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself “Why is it so important for you to have everyone eat together?” List the reasons. Review them. You will be surprised (and most of the time this is not a pleasant surprise). But if you are brave to face the trough you will the opportunities to make peaceful decisions and create loving, respectful and safe place in your home for yourself and all family members.
If dinner time associates with the quality time for you maybe it is time to review how much quality time your family actually have and how come dinners end up being the only time when family is together? Do you have to have quality time with everyone at the same time or maybe you can create quality time with each family member individually? Do you feel immediate resistance or do you start wonder about new possibilities? Is it time to create new experiences for your family?
Mindset and your perspective play the most vital role in it and what’s great about it – it can be change! The question is how bad do you want it? Are you willing to make those changes?
P.S. It is also applies to your adult friends J If you have Misophonia – lunches and dinners with friends are not the only ways to have quality and fun time. Create the enjoyable experiences. It is in your power!