I rarely walk around without my hearing aid on during the day, as I work full-time and am in constant conversation with my clients. However, on this one day, I decided to be deaf. Not sure why, except that maybe the constant noise of phones ringing, peoples’ voices chatting away was beginning to overwhelm my senses that day.
I only wear one hearing aid and that’s because my other ear has no speech discrimination. So without the aid, I hear very little. During the course of the first hour, I realized and I mean, fully became aware of how much I actually did not hear and though my colleagues knew I took off my hearing aid, initially, no one appeared to communicate any differently with me, knowing, I could not hear. That’s when it hit me. Hearing people have no understanding of what it means to “not hear.” They have no idea that I am watching their lips move and nothing they are saying is being heard or understood.
I admit to being a very poor lip reader but I do read people well. I can see the build up of their frustration in “my” not hearing them. I can see their blood pressure rising as the coloring in their faces change and their mouths fly wide open, thinking, she’ll hear me if I just scream a bit louder, open my mouth a bit wider. I want to yell STOP this madness. Stop, listen, learn. No matter how many times I tell these people, yelling does not make me “understand” the words being said, I continue to feel misunderstood or is it my hearing loss thats misunderstood. NO, it’s just hearing loss that is not understood. I refuse to take the blame for “their” frustration.
I put my hearing aid back into my ear and the world is turned back on.