I'm sure it wasn't easy for my family. Yesterday when I called home to speak with my aunt, she said that this is her favorite holiday of the year. I'm sure it's because it's usually the one holiday where our family is all together - which probably hits home even more so this year, since it's the first time that Thanksgiving and Hanukah are at the same time (which makes my not coming home this year even more of a double-whammy for my family).
Even though I told her and my uncle my reasons for not coming home this year - mainly I can't stand traveling during the days surrounding Thanksgiving but also, now that I'm understanding my misophonia more (something I only learned about last year), I knew I didn't want to deliberately put myself in the situation of being bombarded by triggers with no means of escape. I actually said to my aunt yesterday that I am miserable during Thanksgiving and was surprised when she asked, "Why?" I guess she was so focused on how much it means to her for the family to all be together that she didn't realize how torturous Thanksgiving gatherings are for me. My misophonia is still a relatively new concept for my family to understand; and I did such an effective job of bottling up my frustrations during past Thanksgiving gatherings, there was no way she (or anyone else) could truly comprehend the extent that I suffered during Thanksgiving. I even told her that it's such a stressful time for me that it usually takes me several weeks to recover from the stress of Thanksgiving holiday; but not this year.
In all honesty, as much as my not being home right now must be tough for my family, I do hope they
understand that I did it for my own peace-of-mind, something of which I find I have less and less as I grow older and more sensitive to triggers. Hopefully, this holiday season will be the start of my taking better care of myself, especially as I learn more about misophonia and how it affects my life.
May your holidays be peaceful and trigger-free!