Humanity

Profound Hearing Loss. #1

SUPER PROFOUND.   super. Heh.  its not a tragedy.

I have profound hearing loss. in both ears, but one of them is completely deaf.

so grapple that one to the ground a little, if you please.

I was born with misshaped cochlea so i always had hearing loss, and wore two hearing aides from the time i was four.

when i was 26 or so, I was hit by a car door while riding my bike (think wayne’s world)  and broke all the bones in my right ear, (not that funny) which means its currently unfixable… (that one’s a longer story, but whatever. skipadoo)

person riding a bicycle
Photo by Bianca Gonçalves on Pexels.com

what all this means?  i’m not a snob, i’m not aloof, i’m not even as shy as you or I think I am.

but socially? I’m the queen of awkward.  I say hello and its incredibly possible that i’ll have absolutely no idea what you say back.  fun times. i try to figure it out but damn. if its not ‘hi’… i’m a little lost…

the worst possible situation for me is a baseball bleacher set.  or basketball. There’s a lot of environmental noise, people are in all directions, and there’s tons of chatter that comes out of nowhere, unrelated to what is going on in the game.

because one of my ears is deaf, i can’t tell which direction sounds are coming from. someone will say or call my name and i’ll turn in the opposite direction. because ALL the sounds come in the same ear.  its trippy.

so usually i will park myself off a little ways, with my kid who is young enough to want a blanket to roll around on still, or in the case of basketball, I’ll be in the middle of a pack of family, so that no ‘outsider’ chatter will be untranslated by them…

it can be crippling sometimes… like, its just so much easier to stay home, to just surround myself with people who say somewhat predictable things…

trying so hard to hear or figure out what is going on — especially when its just the little drips and draps of casual conversation — is exhausting.

i mean, its hard, like fingernails in the palms, eyes squinted in concentration hard.  and thats all for a punchline that already passed everyone else by.

its not something visible.  its something eminently forgettable.  even in my marriage my spouse frequently got annoyed by my asking for repetitions, and i think it possible he forgot from time to time.  (and this might be my generosity problem, but thats another post) …

i read lips like a champ, and so most of the people that i know have no idea that i’ve got such profound loss. i’m an excellent ‘passer’ .

but i’m getting older. and my tolerance for b.s. is at a particularly low ebb, and so i’m putting this out there for some people who are regularly pissed off at me for whatever it is you get pissed about.

I CAN’T FUCKING HEAR YOU.  COULD YOU PLEASE LOOK AT ME WHEN YOU SPEAK? COULD YOU TAKE YOUR SUNGLASSES OFF BECAUSE I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE IF I CAN’T SEE YOUR WHOLE FACE?!

Okay, that last one … its a thing… because I stare at people so much when I’m trying to ‘hear’ them, i really do recognize them by their whole face.  i think its weird too, but I think lots of people are like this. take your damn sunglasses off if you want to communicate.

act like it matters.

Wow. digression. and aggression. whoosh. i’m not actually mad at anybody.  how could i be?  its standard behavior and if i haven’t told anyone i’m almost deaf, HOW COULD ANYONE KNOW?

whoosh. sigh.

anyhow. its part one. the telling.

 

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