Sometimes things happen in the world around you that make you sit down and reevaluate your own life as such.I've certainly had one of those days today and they're the times when you realise that just perhaps you aren't as comfortable with your own deafness, your own identity as you thought you were. The days when everything just feels a bit of a struggle, and you're not a hundred percent sure whether its really worth working everyday to overcome the barriers that you face.
Of course with my positive role model hat on I know that confidence to shout out and feel at ease with your own deafness is important for your own well-being (and everyone around you's!) but there are some days when you feel like going oh f*** it and putting on your "I don't speak hearing person" tshirt.
I've lived with the fact that my hearing loss is progressive for a few years now, most of the time I don't really give much thought to it. I've learned to get over the panic that happens every time your audiogram shows another 10dB gone... But however comfortable, however much of an incredible role model people might believe me to be I'm just a teenager really, and I have days when the idea of losing my hearing scares me to death.
I might say I hate my hearing aids, that I'd rather go without them, I might throw them away when I'm mad or sad or just plain confused. But if you told me that I would wake up tomorrow morning and they wouldn't be there if I wanted them I have no idea how I would cope. What about music? What about the world around me?
Maybe I'm melodramatic, I know some people who would say I am. But maybe I'm just tired of pretending I'm "cool" with being deaf when actually it makes me cry every time I really sit down and think about it.
I wonder how many other deaf teenagers, either deaf from birth but maybe more specifically those with late onset or progressive loss feel the way I do.
I guess the difficulty with being a late onset progressive deafie is I feel like I somehow missed out on the childhood lectures on how to cope in a world that doesn't seem to see passed the word deaf to actually understand that it means you can't actually hear. I'm a little sick of being told that "your speech is so good that of course I forgot that doesn't mean you understand me like I understand you". I find myself wishing that my speech was a little worse, a little more obvious. Just so people would have a little reminder every time they spoke to me.
So yeah, I guess all this pondering is what happens when your lecturers play 3 DVDs in one day - none of which are subtitled. When you're already exhausted from lipreading conversations in a noisy background just to appear as "normal" as possible then that's a killer right there.
But then what is "normal"? Certainly my social work lecturers wouldn't agree with that particular sentence.
So deaf kids out there... Embrace "abnormality" and rock on.