Tinnitus + Hyperacusis + Divorce = Total isolation?...Or what?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Zimichael, Mar 15, 2014.

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    1. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      I have been silent and not on the Tinnitus Talk site much lately. Have been dealing with the stresses of another divorce after mutually calling it quits after seven and half years. It was not just the tinnitus and hyperacusis as we were very, very different from day one...and that did not mellow with age. But for sure having increased tinnitus and the hyperacusis did NOT make things any easier. It added to the friction and my wife never really understood it at all. Long story. "It's complicated" is an understatement, as she is Thai and I'm an ex-colonial Africa Brit who has lived in the USA for 35 years but still has those "Africa values" of reality that are vastly different to the 'Facebook 15 hours a day' and 'cat videos' ad infinitum reality that seems more prevalent nowadays.

      I guess I don't really know why I am posting this except that I was getting pretty active on this forum a few months back, and wanted to somehow say I had not dropped off the map for no reason at all. Of course there is the also the near automatic understanding that you guys know what living with very loud tinnitus is like, and for those with Hyperacusis, you also know that that makes it much, much, much harder to live with than just T alone. In short the future looks pretty bleak and all I see is "isolation".

      My mind is fine (I'm not senile yet!) and my body is pretty strong (even though I have had long bouts of chronic illness from gut issues caused by un-diagnosed parasites from contaminated water - dumb docs did not even order a stool test for 18 months!), so I have a possible long future ahead BUT HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT! There are only so many books I can read and DVDs I can watch in a week. Plus when I get over the immediacy of the divorce I know I do not want to be alone the rest of my life...yet how on earth can anyone live with me that does not also have tinnitus or a great liking of quiet and "isolation"??? How does one even meet such people??? Nearly all my friends slowly dropped away over the years as it's no fun to be around someone who gets shook up and white-as-a-sheet if a baby cries, or dog barks too close, or a knife hits a ceramic plate at dinner, or a TV is on with inane sitcoms, or if someone suddenly laughs too loud without warning, or coughs...Very restrictive! And no, I can't wear earplugs all the time as then the "internal feedback loop" of the tinnitus just gets louder and louder and it is already TOO DARN LOUD...though it does go back to baseline WHICH IS ALSO TOO DARN LOUD once I get back to quiet.

      Kind of a mess...

      Kind of wondering if anyone else is in the same mess...???

      Best to all. Zimichael
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      "My mind is fine (I'm not senile yet!) and my body is pretty strong (even though I have had long bouts of chronic illness from gut issues caused by un-diagnosed parasites from contaminated water - dumb docs did not even order a stool test for 18 months!), so I have a possible long future ahead BUT HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT! There are only so many books I can read and DVDs I can watch in a week. Plus when I get over the immediacy of the divorce I know I do not want to be alone the rest of my life...yet how on earth can anyone live with me that does not also have tinnitus or a great liking of quiet and "isolation"??? How does one even meet such people??? Nearly all my friends slowly dropped away over the years as it's no fun to be around someone who gets shook up and white-as-a-sheet if a baby cries, or dog barks too close, or a knife hits a ceramic plate at dinner, or a TV is on with inane sitcoms, or if someone suddenly laughs too loud without warning, or coughs...Very restrictive! And no, I can't wear earplugs all the time as then the "internal feedback loop" of the tinnitus just gets louder and louder and it is already TOO DARN LOUD...though it does go back to baseline WHICH IS ALSO TOO DARN LOUD once I get back to quiet.
      Kind of a mess...
      Kind of wondering if anyone else is in the same mess...???"
      _____________________________________________

      I guess its much harder for a man to find a woman under these circumstances, as a man is expected to be all tough and now with this we are afraid of a dog barking, we cannot mow the lawn anymore, hammer a nail in the wall or use a drill, etc.
      You might want to consider a life of many but short, non-commited relationships - just until she notices something is wrong. Then the cure will come along before you know it. Alas, the life of a T/H sufferer.
       
    3. Isabella 123
      Curious

      Isabella 123 Member

      Location:
      Arlington VA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Since t is often caused by age-related hearing loss, there are possibly many single "mature" men and women around you who have t and understand what it's like. Is there a t support group near you where you could meet some folks who could become good acquaintances or sometime companions to fill some of your lonesome hours? Thete is one in my area and I've only been once as I just found them, but everyone there was so nice and it was great to be with them.

      Last year I moved away from my longtime home area and friends, and had a terrible feeling of isolation and loneliness. I joined a couple of Meetups focusing on an interest or two, FORCED myself to go to the meetings, and made 2 kind-of friends in the process. It's a start.

      Maybe for now you can focus on just finding an acquaintance or two rather than looking for a woman to marry. Check on the ATA website for a T & H support group near you. If there isn't one, maybe you (with their help) could start one. You'd for sure meet some folks who are in your same situation.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. It's definitely a tough situation. Have you considered or done TRT?
       
    5. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I feel for your lonely situation. I was in the same boat a few years back with T & H and even my wife's soft voice spoken too close hurt. Luckily my honey didn't cut me off. I am one lucky guy. But those days, like you, I had to withdraw from pretty much any social functions. People talking hurt me. I had to wear ear plugs all the time or hid away in my room with the door shut. That was some scary time for me, a formerly socially active and outdoor enthusiast. Just thought my good life would be gone forever and replaced by a lonely shut out life for the rest of my time. Never thought that life could be full of fun and normal again. But here I am a few years gone, living a perfectly enjoyable and normal life. So never say never. H has long faded, after I took off the ear plugs slowly (as advised by forum members to prevent developing sound sensitivity for prolong use), and T is still here blasting every morning but I don't give a dime about it. The brain just harden to the sound over the years. I don't need ear plugs now even for long transpacific flights. I can go to parties but to be prudent I won't stand in front of loud speakers. I can even watch cinema movies. If it gets too loud, I just stick my fingers in the ears during those loud scenes. So life is back to normal for me. I learn from Melody Gardot, a lady jazz singer who has severe T & H, plus severe car accident doing massive damage on her body, now walking limp on a cane. She accepts her limitations with positivity and continues to sing even when she has to wear ear plugs while singing. She is now a successful jazz singer doing shows all over the world. What an inspiration. Here is her story:
      http://jazztimes.com/articles/24598-melody-gardot-s-melodic-therapy

      I hope you don't feel too down on your current situation. Things can improve over time. If you don't give up on life or on yourself, good things can always happen. If your H is the type like mine coming on after T, it may just fade over a few months. Many members report the same thing with their H. It was harder to live with H because it is so limiting but it is usually not staying as long as T. Even if it stays like Melody's type, she proves there is still good things in life to pursue. If you stay confident and happy despite your H, a good lady may not mind sharing time with a great person with a little handicap. Good, dependable and faithful men are not that easy to find. So don't let this little shortcoming (which may not stay forever) stop you from going out with some good lady. Cheers and God bless.
       
      • Like Like x 4
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    6. here2help

      here2help Member

      Zimichael, you wrote about different versions of reality - the reality of an ex-colonial who has lived in the US for 35 years but retains his “Africa values”; a vastly different reality where one subsists on a steady diet of Facebook and cat videos; an ex-wife who didn’t understand what it is like for you to live with tinnitus and hyperacusis; and the “automatic understanding” of those who live with very loud tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      I think there is something much harder to live with than tinnitus and hyperacusis. When our beliefs about tinnitus and hyperacusis become our reality, when we become invested in these beliefs and exclude anything that doesn’t align with them, we run the risk of getting stuck for a long, long time. If you believe the future looks bleak, and that you are automatically consigned to living an isolated life because you have tinnitus and hyperacusis, then there is a very good chance your beliefs will become your reality. If you believe the only person who could live with you would have to have tinnitus and enjoy living a quiet, isolated life, there is a very good chance these beliefs will also become your reality.

      The alternative is to challenge your beliefs and to work with someone who can help you. Don’t buy into what you are telling yourself about what life must be like for someone with T and H. When it comes to living with tinnitus and hyperacusis, there are also very different versions of reality.

      here2help
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. @billie48

      I really liked your post. Inspiring, thanks.
       
    8. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Hey thanks everyone for responding so much already, and appreciate the input which will look at more thoroughly tomorrow (am a bit tired out right now - doing outdoor chores most of the day.) A couple of things though that are pertinent in case of future discussion or comments.

      If you look at my profile you will see that I am very familiar with most of the nuances of tinnitus and even hyperacusis, as have had this affliction for a very, very long time. And yes I have "got my life back" twice (not including age 6 tinnitus - which does not really count as adapted to that rapidly c/o the 'vigour of youth'). I know all the tricks about not dwelling on the T or H but there are limits as to how far that can go as it all depends on volume, volume, volume. My ringing is REALLY loud now after the third jump up in 2012.
      The hyperacusis is of course not "constant noise" like tinnitus but in ways is much more restricting as it limits a LOT of activities. Any noise above a calm voice speaking (one voice, not ten!) immediately activates higher tinnitus and a kind of inner sense of more damage....which I feel would be totally intolerable. Protecting is not feasible all the time as that gets too draining and the inner tinnitus is of course heard in my head as louder when plugs are in. So it's "damned if you do and damned if you don't!".

      I have had hyperacusis since 2006 and indeed it took six years for it to calm enough to be less problematic. Then it all ramped up again in Dec 2012...so another 6 years and I will be 70...Great! What do I do until then??!! Certainly no more modern dance, and dinner conversations, and international flights without full earplugs and Bose NC headphones...By the way, no way I have been able to do those jet flights without plugs for over 30 years, so sorry, but time healing has a ceiling in some instances.

      Ha, ha...and NO WAY I want to get married again. Some conventions are obviously not for me. 12 years, 5 years and nearly 8 years. Third time was not the "charm" so I'm done with the concept. I really tried it and like I said, I can't imagine anyone wanting to live with the restrictions I have unless they really like quiet and companionship and reading...as there ain't much else!

      And to end off...I am not feeling sorry for myself as that got pretty much wrung out after my second divorce and second jump up in tinnitus. However and am just mighty blank about where I go from here. The Gods have thrown a lot at me in the latter half of my life but I am very clear that I had a fantastic first half, and am not in Syria right now, or the Congo in it's 50th year of war, or......the list goes on.

      Again. Check out my profile. The tinnitus experience it there. The what to do next and how to avoid isolation is the issue that is stumping to me.

      Best, and thanks.... Zimichael. [And I will re-review tomorrow]
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    9. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      OK, re-read stuff above not being quite so flaked out as yesterday evening. However, not much more I think I can add to what I already said in response...except to:

      Isabella123 re local tinnitus support possibilities. I live in a pretty small town but it is the county seat so if anything is happening on that it will be here. I have not heard of any tinnitus support network and always have an ear out for that, but will indeed be more proactive about it. I will ask the two local audiologists/hearing places and also an ENT doc I know. If there is anything they would know.
      The next option is to drive south to a bigger city or San Fran, and that is out of the question for me on a practical level if it would be ongoing (which I would hope it would be). The traffic scene and driving at night (most likely time a group would meet) are not favorite things of mine. It takes a lot of need for me to drive hours even if on a freeway, as the traffic can be bumper to bumper and pray no accident or road work is going on! It's a last resort. Very un-American I know, but I would really need to be getting a lot out of it to do that. Hopefully, something local turns up.

      Street Spirit re TRT...Indirectly. When the Neomycin and Amphotericin "blew my head off" (re outrageous T and H) in 2006, I did follow up on TRT and some aspects of it. I could not afford the high price tag and the distances required so made my own version (24 hour sound, etc.). In the end after 5 to 6 years I had achieved the "full adaption" goal - with or without my own TRT system...as was back on stage dancing to "Gangnam Style", etc. and loving it.

      billie48...yeah, did all you did (fingers in my ears, avoiding the obvious sound traps, etc. I got really good at predicting when a loud sound was going to happen.) and achieved that same place, twice. At near 64 now, my options appear to be much more "limited" not just due to the T & H, but things that face many entering retirement alone. Work and meaning often go hand in hand and my marketable skills and social range are pretty much voided by the handicaps. My tinnitus is pretty staggeringly loud if I stop and just listen to it. I always say to myself: "How the hell could anyone tolerate this???" Well, if you happen to have read some of my earlier posts, I nearly didn't. I had about 6 months there in 2013 where if I had had a gun I would have used it...smack bang in my left ear.

      OK, enough for now. I guess I have no option but to take it a day at a time, check out the local audiologists, and hope the Gods throw me a few favours for a change....Best, Zimichael
       

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