Hard of Hearing

I’ve struggled with my hearing loss over the past few years. It has progressively gotten worse over time. I was born completely deaf in my left ear, and as of now, I have barely 50 percent hearing left in my right. And, as I’ve said, its been very hard. I struggle to keep up with simple conversation lately. I usually end up asking someone closer to me to repeat what others are saying. I’m currently re-learning sign language and I have to admit it’s pretty hard to learn at this age and I feel like kicking myself for not sticking to it when I was younger. Being the only deafie in the family, it was hard to stick with it when I was the only one learning and using it. Anyways, I guess I am just going to have to work twice as hard at this as I do everything else.

There are perks to having such substantial hearing loss. I live in a very quiet world. All I have to do to focus is take my hearing aid out.  I can read lips from across the room which can be pretty hilarious most of the time. And even though I’m learning still, soon I will be able to speak one of the most beautiful languages on the planet.

There are also cons. Being called disabled when you consider yourself to be perfectly normal. Being judged and people getting irritated because you can’t hear them. Always having to use all your energy to follow conversations. Needing captions to watch pretty much anything.

I guess it could be worse. Its just lately, at work, I’m having a hard time keeping up and as my hearing is getting worse, so is my ability to keep up my speed. I have people make snide comments towards me. I even had a woman tell me that they “shouldn’t hire people like me”. And while I have heard these comments most of my life, it still hurts me. When my coworkers think its funny to nickname me “deafkid” it hurts. Because I AM going deaf. And it’s not fun. But they are hearing so they don’t get that it hurts me and since I laugh it off and go along with it, they think its okay. That is my fault for not saying anything.  So I guess its time to step up and say something.

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4 thoughts on “Hard of Hearing

  1. One of my dearest, most beloved friends was born deaf in one ear and was also progressively losing his hearing in the other. It pained me to see what he had to put up with because of people’s ignorance and lack of compassion. Now, when I use the word compassion, I don’t mean you are worthy of pity, it’s just that people in general are lacking compassion / empathy and this hurts society as a whole.

    The world is so “me” oriented that there is hardly room to consider others. What they’re dealing with, what they need — to take a step back and realize: “Okay, maybe this worker can’t hear me well, but you know what? She’s here and she’s trying to live. She has to pay bills, like me, and keep living, like the rest of us. Let me not be a douche bag and just calm the eff down.”

    People are so caught up in their entitlement and need for instant gratification that it’s becoming an epidemic. Never think it’s about you. It’s definitely generalized douche bag syndrome. Stay strong.

  2. I am learning ASL as well. Not because I have a hearing loss but because I love the language and culture. I recently read a book for my class called On the Fence: The Hidden World of the Hard of Hearing. It has a variety of people’s experiences being HoH. You should give it a read! I understand when you can’t communicate with family or close friends that dont know sign language. It’s frustrating.

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