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.