Can you relate? Holla back!
As a child in the hearing family and going to school with a mixture of hearing, hard of hearing and deaf students your identity of who you really are is not displayed. You begin to wonder 'what am I really'? My family speaks, no signing. My peers at school sign and/or speaks. Me.....do I really have a choice? At this time and age, it's not about me or who I am. I'm so busy trying to fit in where God placed me.
At home or around hearing people, it's difficult to be on same level. Boy I hated it. I have to figure out who is that talking, where is the person that is actually calling me, what is that noise when it actually is not noise, where is that sound coming from, did you hear that or did you say something? Constantly, I have to look over my shoulder. Why?
First, they never really understood me. There are times when they are calling me and I really didn't hear them. Don't you hate it when someone say 'I know you hear me calling you! Is your hearing aid on? You heard me.' In reality.....I didn't hear them. They may have been around me constantly and trying pick up on my behavior, but still they have no idea what it is like to be hard of hearing. Therefore, any sounds make me look.
Secondly, my peripheral vision in public places. There is always something in the side of your eye. Imagine seeing a face looking your direction or even just a body figure, it just make you look over there. There are annoying air condition sounds, people talking, conversation on the radio, loud vehicles going by and then suddenly there is someone in your peripheral vision looking at you. I immediately have to look at them, otherwise......attitude. They are thinking that you ignored them. In reality....I didn't hear them in the midst of all these sounds.
At school among the mixture of hard of hearng and deaf students, I was gaining a sense of myself. I was placed in the classroom with hard of hearing. Due to my academic skills, I had to go to a hearing classroom for some classes. I was the only one that have to do that. When I am with hard of hearing, I felt so comfortable because we knew how to communicate on the same level, there was no second guessing and a lot of huh? what?. When I go to hearing classroom, I was silent. Just sit there and learn. Get it over with. Eyes were piercing my soul. You could tell that they were staring at you in your peripheral vision. Whoooo! It was cold up in there. I prayed everyday that the teacher never call on me. That was the only reason why i loved that teacher. Once I return back normal class, my identity was developed.
The only problem that I faced was when I am around deaf students. I was never taught ASL or any sign language. I had to learn more and more each day from peer. Was I nervous? At first I was but after awhile I began to fit in there a little. Once I started picking up on sign language, they became my family.
Childhood as a hard of hearing was so difficult. Can you relate? Am I the only one or is this common? What was it like when you were little as a hard of hearing or deaf child? Holla back!