Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mrs. D, are you deaf?

On Monday afternoon a bubbly, third grader came bouncing up to me during hall duty.

"Jenna said, you are deaf, are you?" bubbly third grader said.
"Yes, I am." I stated back

WAIT

When did I become deaf? A year ago, I would have corrected the student by said no, I'm hard of hearing. I just use hearing aids, but I am just like you.

I am not sure when I started to develop my deaf identity, was it before surgery, after, or during 3 weeks of total silence. All I know is that I made that transition not kicking and screaming, but peacefully and happily. I cherish finding my identity. 

Now how do I move from deaf to Deaf?

***My whole hearing history has been challenged, I might have been born with a degree of hearing loss and not at age 3 from Rheumetic fever. As I try to explore the cause of my hearing loss, I will keep you informed.  It turns out my mom is a carrier of Ashkenazi Jews gene. My aunt has the dominate genes. So we are trying to find out it that has caused my hearing loss.  

9 comments:

Abbie said...

I agree with you on so many levels! I didn't admit that I was deaf until I lost everything. It wasn't until I discovered this humongous support group of people that have a hearing loss that I could associate with. Just their influence on me clicked to a part of me that has been suppressed for so long.

Like you if someone said I was deaf, I would have corrected them and acted ashamed or even worse defensive. Now I am proud to admit that I am deaf and more then happy to openly engage a conversation about it. If I knew that all I needed was to be around other people that were deaf, I would have done this a long time ago. I have come a long way from being a shy and naive girl to who I am today.

All these years, we have struggled and an ironic twist of events to accept our deaf identity. We lose our hearing to get a CI which allows to hear us better then ever and from that point, we finally heard ourselves loud and clear. Irony of all ironies isn't it?

:)

Kim said...

This touched a chord in me. Yes-- just like you I would never admit to being deaf years ago. I was even embarrassed to let people know I wore hearing aids. Now I have no problem.

Paotie said...

Great!

Nothing to be ashamed about if you have hearing loss of any kind.

Thanks for sharing your reflective moment.

:o)

Paotie

A Deaf Pundit said...

*smiles* Glad you're okay with your deafness now.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised you realized this kind of situation.

It's so ironic how people like Abbie benefited from DeafRead.com as was originated by Deaf people and not long from now she's off to HLAA 2008 in Reno.

Good thing I'm DEAF, ASL and so successful in the mainstream that I don't have much time to contend with spats online. What do I get? Was called a traitor.

Good thing I have my people like you do too.

Deb Ann said...

Beautiful post :)

David said...

I am intrigued to see where you get to next in your detailing of this story. I always wonder why I apologize for deafness. "I'm sorry I 'm deaf, could you write down those directions for me. I have yet to get a GPS like Valarie. She always gets the cool tech things before anyone else. " :)
Thank you for your kind warm words on my recent posts. They mean a lot to me getting through these times.
David

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