Most people know that since December 2007 I completely lost my hearing thus making me 100% deaf. Before that I had hearing devices, I never had 100% good hearing.
I managed becoming deaf pretty good, I always thought when that day would come that I would be crushed. But now almost two years later I realize how much of a burden this is. In Holland people are more used to others being different so I have no problem with telling strangers that I’m deaf and to please articulate or to write something down if I can’t lip read it.
Currently I’m back home on Aruba for the first time since becoming deaf, I have been dreading this because this is a small island and generally people aren’t used to others who are different. Not to say that everybody is like this, there are people who are real great about it, they’ll take in account that I have to lip read.
But I have been refraining from speaking to strangers to avoid uncomfortable situations. The thing about Aruba is there are always large social gatherings and that’s when I get isolated most of the time. It really frustrates me, I have been frustrated a lot here this past two weeks than I’m normally am.
I am not one that complains or talk about how hard it is being deaf, because lets face none of us like people who complain. But this makes people assume that I have no problems at all being deaf, while in reality everyday it’s a struggle.
Now that I’m home I want lots of alone time with my mom, because we can’t speak on the phone anymore. And MSN is great but in the end it’s not as personal and easy as speaking to each other. And I feel the same about other family/friends I’m real close to. But try telling that you’ll be considered rude to ask for that.
And one thing that happens everywhere, people assume that being deaf equals being stupid. For the I leave this quote by Meryl:
If I don’t understand what is said, it’s not out of stupidity… rather out of the fact, I’m not a perfect lip-reader.
Sometimes I feel I have to walk around with all my education diploma to show people that yes I am intelligent and look I did that all without special assistant. People forget I put myself through my whole study career without special help for being hard hearing.
P.S. To the cinemas owner of Aruba; what about providing subtitles for the movies? I really want to see “Julie and Julia” and “The Ugly Truth” but I guess I’ll have to do that back in Holland.