Saturday, October 16, 2010


Secrets - they can be good things or they can be bad things. Sometimes, though, they just are.

A good many of my friends and family know that I can't hear - not really well - it's not something I was born with, it's an effect from being in the military. That along with a few other things.

There was no point in time where I was given a choice - do I want this or that - do I want to accept, adjust, deal - there was no choice, there only is. I had to accept and adjust to the hearing loss, just like I have to accept, adjust and deal with other things like no more kids, thyroid issues, and dental issues. All from the same time period. I have a huge amount of confidence for most things. I know mostly who I am and what I want and where I'm going. Great, right - mostly. But the fact that I can't hear a lot of things means I built more walls, allow myself to be perceived as shy or weak. Why? Because I'm scared of making a mistake. One that will have people laughing at me at the best and causing someone their life at the worse. I worry that I won't hear my daughter when she needs it. I allow myself to stick around family and friends even when I know they are bad for me, not because I fear change - love change, but because I never know what I'm missing that I needed.

I've never asked why me, but I wonder - often - if I am ever going to find the right person for me - if they will accept me as I am? Will they be okay with the closed captioning on the screen of the tv, deal with the fact that plays, movies, and concerts are hard for me and sometimes not doable.

We live in a world where communication is key. My jobs depend on my ability to communicate. I completely trust few people because sometime I have to rely on them to tell me what I missed and I need to know that what I'm being told is the truth. Hearing enables communication, not being able to hear, hinders my communication. And that scares me. It is one of the few things that I'm scared about.

I want to learn ASL, but the only classes I can find are at the university level - I don't need or want a grade, I need to be able to communicate. I need to know what is happening in the world around me.

There are things I want to try, but I can't because without someone I trust around to make sure I'm not missing the signals I need, it's not safe.

I don't like talking on phones anymore than I have to, and I don't like talking to people with heavy accents - not because I don't like them or because of some nonsensical idea that they took my job away or a job from a 'real' American - no, it's because I can't decipher what they are saying. I have a friend - my best friend and it is getting harder and harder to talk to them on the phone because too many of the words run together.

PA systems, loud speakers, announcers - I can't understand anything. I don't hear my smoke detector. And the sounds that the emergency broadcasters make, I don't hear.

This isn't a topic I talk about to my friends or family - it's one that I'll work through because I have no choice. But sometimes it would have been nice to have been given a choice.


Raychill Canuck said...
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Raychill Canuck said...
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Raychill Canuck said...

As far as we can tell, I was born deaf. My deafness is "sneaky" - I'm 1/3 deaf. There are a lot of situations I can function without my hearing aids. There are however a lot of times my not hearing something correctly has been embarrassing.

If you want to set off all my emotional triggers at once, my hearing is the best avenue to go by. I worry about understanding people correctly, I worry about how I sound to other people 'cause I don't think I hear myself like they do. I'm not a parent, but when I think about it, especially approaching it as a single parent, I worry about being able to hear them if something goes wrong. I took care of my nephew by myself last month overnight and the only thing any of us worried about was whether or not I would hear him. I didn't sleep well any of those days.

For the most part, I can communicate with the outside world, but like you I have a hard time processing how I feel about it. I'm not sure I'm being coherent, but I wanted to say something.

Onilyn said...


I understand what you're saying. It's not a subject people know how to talk about. And for some, they don't want the reminders.