Hi alldeaf.com, Newbie here, I've been a long-time lurker and decided it's time to participate. It's refreshing to relate with others on topics I keep hidden or cannot successfully explain to family, friends, associates and strangers. Short background: 30-something newlywed, unemployed, congenital severe-profound bilateral deafness. I wear Oticon BTEs, mainstreamed growing up ("won" an AG Bell award in 7th grade for being oral deaf), and have absolutely no exposure to ASL, Deaf culture, and the closest relation I have to others with deafness are my elderly grandparents. My family's response upon discovery of a deaf daughter was to throw money at it; I always have the best equipment on the market. And oh, I'm an excellent faker. I've faked being a hearing person for so long, I've lost my sense of self and what makes me happy in life. This has been exacerbated by what I experienced as a BWW bride and twice laid-off job hunter these past few years. To add insult to injury, my hearing is worsening. I want to change several areas of my life (ie, learn ASL), but it's hard to undo audist brainwashing and how I've set up my fake "hearing" life. As an example, embarrassed to admit this, I feel uncomfortable watching strangers sign yet I wish I could join them. There's a sign language school one mile from my home, yet I haven't walked in the door. Messed up, right? Sidenote: I visited a therapist for a few years in my 20s, and he told me I wasn't actually depressed or needed meds, but that my life was challenging and I had a right to grieve and be angry. Of course, health insurance ran out after that little breakthrough session, so I'm perpetually aware of being an angry person grieving for the hearing I'll never have. DH is my soul mate, and he tries his best to comfort and help on my bad days or bad experiences. But support and advice from those who share similar experiences is invaluable; I'm interested in making new friends and reading your different views and lifestyles. Hence, hello alldeaf.com, I'm looking forward to being a part of your community - thank you for reading.