SILENCE | I’m hella deaf you guys

Hey guys, today I’m coming at you with a different and more #real kind of post. I’ve never gotten quite this serious with you guys but lately, it’s occurred to me that I don’t really know that much about you guys, and or do you know all that much about me.

This year one of my low-key goals was to write more Life Chats posts so I’m doing that today by talking with you guys about my disability!

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What’s it like to be deaf? Well, let me tell you my experience so far…

BEING DEAF

First up, being deaf is not as easy as it sounds. Ha, I made a joke. It’s funny when I do it, but, not when you do it.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way – I am deaf. I am hearing-impaired. There is technically a difference and I understand that difference, but I have always (well, not always) referred to myself as deaf so you can fight me. I am completely deaf (absolutely no hearing) in my right ear, but I also do not have 100% hearing in my left, so basically I’m not supposed to listen to loud music, but just try telling that to my 12 yr old depressed self who was obsessed with screamo.

(yes, I still cringe looking back at that time)

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  • I miss out on so many conversations & never understand song lyrics.
  • My parents didn’t even notice until I was four. They just thought me getting the alphabet and every song ever wrong was cute. Well, I still get sh*t wrong and it’s not cute.
  • Am I ignoring you or did I just never notice you were speaking in the first place?
  • I am constantly being told to stop ignoring people.
  • Yo, where’s my representation?
  • I hate music that uses both headphones to play music. Does that make sense? Like, when the drums play through one earphone but the lyrics play through the other. Great, now I can only hear one element of the song. It’s not cool or edgy, it’s ignorant and rude and makes me cry.

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BUT, THERE MUST BE A POSITIVE, RIGHT?

What I love most of all about being deaf is being told I’m not. Like, wow I’ve gone almost 18 years of my life thinking I couldn’t hear properly but now you’ve come along and fixed me with your able-bodied, privileged and unsolicited opinions. Thanks, but no thanks.

Seriously, I’ve yet to find a perk to this. Yeah, you think it’s funny or cool when you say shit like, “Oh, but you can just ignore people on commend though, right?”. First of all, I’m not ignoring anyone, I just literally cannot hear you. And second, I would rather have the ability to ignore people rather than have everyone judge me for thinking I was.

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THE FIRST STEP IS ADMITTING YOU HAVE A DISABILITY

Yeah, you heard it (I didn’t) right, I legitimately had to admit to myself that I had a disability. For so much of my life it had jsut been a thing that people told me I had. I’ve been half deaf since birth so it had never been a big thing for me… until it was.

For most of my life (let’s say the first 12 years) I was just cruising along probably missing a lot of conversations, but I was cruising and everything was fine. My grades were fantastic, my friends and teachers were totally understanding and life was going great.

And then I started high school, the Big Cahoona. And, suddenly I could tell. Oh shit, I’m deaf. Like, it suddenly became a big deal. All of a sudden I was constantly having to remind my teachers that I couldn’t understand what they were saying, I was having to explain to my friends why I couldn’t sit at the back of the classroom (something, after 5 years, none of them ever seemed to grasp). Suddenly my only having half the hearing everyone else had was a big deal.

It was an honest to God, hard process, to go from not really needing to think about anything aside from which side of the classroom I was on t having to constantly remind people to please let me stand on the other side if we’re having a conversation. It is a harsh and terrible process. Nobody else in my family is deaf – it’s sort of that thing that we all knew about but never talked about.

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Yeah, yeah I am.

I am deaf and it is not easy.

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PET PEEVES

DON’T CALL ME, DON’T FORKING DO IT

I know you probably just forgot, but could you take a minute before you press the call button to remember that I cannot hear for sh*t on the phone.

WHAT WAS THAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY? OH, I’M SORRY, COULD YOU SAY THAT AGAIN?

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I get it, you think you’re funny. But, you’re not. At least, where I am in my life right now, I cannot laugh with you about my disability, I just don’t find it funny.

It’s not funny to me and as soon as one of us leaves the room I will start crying – my disability might be a joke to you, but it’s not to me.

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WAIT, YOU’RE DEAF?

Yes, I am. Do you feel shitty now? Well, you shouldn’t. I’m pretty good at reading lips at this point. But, if you harp on about how you never realised I will hurt you because I know that you weren’t aware, it was pretty obvious.

NOT EVERYONE REMEMBERS

Disclaimer: I’m not sh*tting on anyone but this stuff really annoys me.

High School is a hell hole and teachers can barely remember your name, let alone the fact that you have a disability. On occasion (or if you have hearing aids) you will get a teacher that actually remembers and understands that it’s not easy, but generally, you have to remind them every couple of lessons. It’s not a fun time.

This is the one that hurts the most: I have two friends. that’s it and I’m fine with it. But, my friends never remember that I’m deaf, it rarely occurs to them that I need to stand on their right sides so I can hear. It doesn’t occur to them that I can’t talk on the phone or that I’m going to need the subtitles. I know that they’re not deaf but it still breaks me heart a little everytime they forget one of the little things.

THE BIG ONE: WHY DON’T YOU WEAR HEARING AIDS?

Yes, you heard that right folks, I don’t wear hearing aids. Because I don’t want to and at the moment I don’t feel like I need them. Sorry if that offends you but it’s my body and I can do what I want with it.

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DO YOU KNOW ANYONE DEAF? HOW FAR THOROUGH MY RANT DID YOU GET? (SORRY THIS ONE WAS A BIT OF A DOWNER)

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20 thoughts on “SILENCE | I’m hella deaf you guys

  1. thank you so much for writing this post ❤ i can't imagine it was easy to write. i'm so sorry that so many people treat you from such an ableist perspective. it is wrong. this is such a powerful piece of writing – thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, it definitely wasn’t easy to write! That’s okay, sad as it is, you get used to it pretty quickly and it’s only in the last few years that I realised I was being treated unfairly.
      Thank you for saying so, that means a lot, especially since I know not a lot of people clicked on this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was just complaining that I have no posts to showcase and I found yours Ellyn!! WOW! I’m really not sure how people don’t remember you’re deaf!? Not that I don’t believe you but, WOW! That hit me the strongest (YES I made it through your entire rant 🙂 ) that your friends don’t remember. i recently read A Quiet Kind of Thunder and the boy in that had a TOTAL support system… you only got the barest sense of what being deaf felt like and I was pretty HIT by what was shown! ❤ I'm actually so happy you shared this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it enough to talk about it in a post (I loved your post btw, it meant a lot to me).
      Yeah, it’s sad and it’s frustrating that some of the people who know me best don’t really know me all that well. Thank you for making it through the whole thing, it was definitely a lot longer than I meant for it to be (and I actually didn’t even talk about what I wanted to for this post, so I might write another in a month or two).
      Yeah, I don’t know how they forget something so pivotal to who I am and how I act in my life but, hopefully, it’ll get better one day *crosses fingers*. Yeah, that’s actually a big point on why I don’t read books with deaf characters – I don’t want to read about a deaf teenager, mainly because I’ve lived that and don’t particularly want to re-live it in book form.And, also yeah, I really don’t need to subject myself to a book about an mc with a good support system since mine really isn’t all that great.
      Thank you so much for your comment, it really means a lot to me! ❤️❤️❤️

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  3. Oh man, I felt really sad reading this post. I don’t know anyone who’s deaf but reading this has sort of ground me of things I do and how changing them could be a big support for someone else. Ah, I hope that makes sense.

    I totally relate to the “I can make jokes about myself but you can’t” part. Like I have depression and when people sometimes make a joke, which they probably didn’t mean to be harmful, I get really hurt but laugh it away. Anyways, thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry I made you feel sad, that was definitely not my intent, I just wanted to share my experience so far! ❤️ It does make perfect sense, don’t worry!
      Yes, exactly, both of my best friends have depression and I myself have anxiety and have definitely had my own battle with depression, so I try my hardest to be cautious of what I say and do to avoid saying something that could be triggering. Exactly, half the time people aren’t trying to be harmful, they’re just looking for a laugh but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

      Thank you for reading! ❤️❤️❤️

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  4. I’m sorry to hear it’s been so tough. It’s really unfortunate that even teachers can’t be more accommodating, and I’m sorry that even your friends have a hard time remembering :-/ But I think it’s great that you’re talking about this ❤ I have a chronic illness, which I know is a completely different experience from yours, but I've found that a lot of things just seem to be very hard for people to remember or understand when they haven't experienced it themselves, which makes it so much harder for those of us who need others to remember and understand. I hope things get better and that the people in your life start to understand more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. On one hand, I understand why teachers can’t accommodate for every student in their class – that’s on the school and the Government. Though, that doesn’t make it any easier for those of us who don’t get the help we need.
      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed this. ❤️I totally know how you feel – it’s more frustrating & disappointing than anything else – it honestly just makes me feel invalid when my friends don’t even remember that I have a disability – how do you forget something like that?
      Thank you! ❤️❤️

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  5. I think I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to read YA books about d/Deaf teenagers. My sister is profoundly Deaf and started loving reading for pleasure again, and she gave me her “I don’t want that” look when I recommended she read You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner, or A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard – two books I adored and very much saw my sister in. I think for her it’s a case of “this is my reality and I want a book and fictional characters that will completely take me away from all that” which is understandable when other people act all ignorant, rude and narrow-minded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, I think that’s a pretty big reason why I don’t like to read books about teenage girls, especially with a hearing disability and why I prefer fantasy settings! What kinds of books does your sister enjoy?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She loves the Lumberjanes graphic novels, Middle Grade fantasy, and some of the children’s classics that were adapted into Disney films, particularly Mary Poppins. I think being able to connect a book with a film, despite the differences, helps her to get into it more easily and visualise the setting.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh, that’s great! I have no idea which she’s read but here’s a bunch of recs lol:
          MG fantasy: Nevermoor (a lot like Harry Potter), Percy Jackson (there are two movies – they’re not very good but they should give her an idea of what’s going on), The Golden Door, Artemis Fowl (there’s a movie coming out soon!), Deltora Quest (there’s a whole tv show – it’s completed – and it’s really really good!)

          Graphic Novels: The Deep (there’s a tv show which is pretty good tbh), Gotham Academy (there’s a connected Lumberjanes graphic novel), Amulet, A Wrinkle In Time Graphic Novel (there are a few adaptations), Alex Rider graphic novels (there’s a movie and currently a tv show in development)

          Hope this gives you some more options to recommend to her!

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          1. We’ve already got Nevermoor and I’d also recommended Percy Jackson to her. I don’t know if she’d be interested in Artemis Fowl but funnily enough that was a series that got me into fantasy as a kid and it was one of her teachers that recommended it to me! Thanks for some of the other recs too. I’ll have a look at them and see if she’s interested.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I hope she enjoys! If she doesn’t like Percy Jackson, there are graphic novels!
              I don’t know if she prefers graphic novels over books but, I think there are Artemis Fowl graphic novels too!

              No problem, I hope she finds something new to read! 💕

              Like

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