Some of us afraid of the dark. Some of us are afraid of heights. I’m afraid of silence.
I was inspired to write this post a few months ago when I woke up in the middle of the night after experiencing something I don’t think I have ever properly felt. My house is next to a main road, next to two hospitals. My hearing ear faces that road when I sleep. I always have earphones in and music or an audiobook on, or I’m having a conversation with someone, important or not.
I do not allow for silence in my life.
Anyways, so I woke up in the middle of the night a few months ago and was shocked into a panic attack. This wasn’t the first time I’ve had a panic attack, but it was still a traumatic experience for me.
I’m deaf. I have no hearing in my left ear due to a structuring problem and have dealt with and ignored this my whole life.
I have always felt more comfortable living next to a main road, it means constant noise and constant comfort. Yes, you can still hear. You are okay. So, when I awoke to total silence for what was probably the first time in my life I lost my shit. I was exhausted and afraid. I was new to this and if you don’t’ have a disability you may not understand. I would equate this feeling to your period coming late and you looking down at your white pad and thinking am I pregnant? Even if you’re not sexually active. It’s ridiculous and there’s no reason for you to think it but, for a few seconds, you’re scared shitless.
I have lived my whole life this, mostly without realising it. I have always had noise. I always have the tap of my keyboard or the constant jabber or my youngest brother to keep me aware. I have never known silence. It’s like that thing or place you’ve hard everyone else talks about but you’ve never been and you still don’t fully understand it. I had never experienced silence until that night and I was not a fan.
I’ll be honest, I am still afraid of certain insects that lurk in the night, and I’m not big on escalators. But, more than anything I am afraid of losing my hearing. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but as someone who already struggles o the day-to-day with only one functioning ear, I’m not fond of the idea of going fully deaf. I’m not saying it would be the end of the world, but a lot comes with being disabled, some of which I have already experienced and some which I hope never to experience.
I am afraid of silence, and I don’t think that will ever change. I am afraid of silence and that is my big secret. I am afraid of silence and I hope you never will be.