By: Sara Lundquist
When to ask, how to ask, and who to ask. These are all question that flood through my mind when I realize I am not getting what I need at an event or in a situation. I will be an advocate for my children, and for a cause until the end of time but how do you become an advocate for yourself? I had made a New Years Resolution that I was going to stand up for myself and make sure I can get what I need. This post is my public display that I am not holding up my end of the bargain.
I will tell people I am hard of hearing. People may ask how much loss do you have, I will tell them I have a moderate severe loss and what that means. I am open with that information but I don’t say what would make this conversation easier on me. I have discovered that is incredibly hard in my book. People hear the words hard of hearing they see hearing aids and they assume all is fixed and you can hear just fine. WRONG so wrong, I need you to face me, I can’t have a noisy fan or other noise around. I am not proficient in speech reading or in sign so I have to rely on the residual hearing I have.
I have had a few instances that have come up recently that I should have spoken up to enjoy the experience to it’s fullest. I didn’t speak up and ask anything and for that the fault all lies on me and my pride, or fear, or whatever is festering with this issue.
Last night my daughter and I attended a movie at a little country church that is used for an outreach ministry in our area. I attend a Bible Study at this church and it is a place of incredible peace for myself. My daughter and I got to the church and got our popcorn and drink and settled in to watch the movie, Heaven is for Real. Watching a movie in a candlelit century old church was magical. It was a beautiful thing watching the movie on a sheet being held by clothespins strung across the front of the church. What would have made the night better is if I could have heard the dialog. I maybe heard 10% of the movie. When I watch tv at home I either use closed captions or I stream the movie through an assistive listening device that goes right to my hearing aids, I love this option, I usually use both.
Did I ask for captions…NO. Did I come early and ask to hook up the assistive listening device to the movie which would have taken two minutes…NO. Why, I guess I just don’t want to draw attention to this issue. I did bring my portable streamer unit. I tried it but it mainly picked up the fans and I just got an amplified Charlie Brown teachers voice effect for the dialog of the movie. I had a great time last night seeing friends and neighbors but I just had this kick in the butt feeling why didn’t you say something or stand up for yourself.
I need help in this area. I need a shot of confidence that I deserve to understand what is going on the same as everyone else in the vicinity of me. I came home last night and my husband said to me, “Bet you couldn’t hear the movie tonight.” No I couldn’t, he keeps telling me nobody cares if you ask, there may be three other people there that missed this line or that and maybe wouldn’t have minded captions.
I need to learn how to do this at events like this or even a movie theatre. It is just easier to watch a movie at home and not have to ask. This is a huge learning curve I have found. I don’t like to ask for something normally so this is just way out there for me. I need to shove back my shoulders, hold my head high and get the idea drilled in my head that I deserve it.
This I guess would be my New Years Resolution part 2 of just ask, stand up for yourself, you are worth it.