Culturally homeless?

eagle102938

New Member
To make a long story long: When I was 10 or 11, my hearing loss was discovered. It's genetic, progressive loss, and ever since then I've used hearing aids.

I was brought up entirely Hearing, the only other HoH people I regularly encountered were my Mom and some of her sisters with the same condition, who were all raised entirely Hearing as well.

I'm 21 now, recently went home to visit my Mom, and finally really noticed the struggle she had without her aids in. She's not completely deaf, but without them in you'd have to sit next to her and speak very loud for her to understand. That's when I decided that if my hearing was going to go that way (or worse, as it probably will), I didn't want to be completely reliant on my aids. So I decided to learn ASL, and started taking online lessons this summer via Lifeprint.com.

As I took the lessons, I started to become more interested in Deaf culture, mostly due to the notes that Dr. Vicars included in the lessons. I eventually found this site, and I've been reading all that I can. But it's got me thinking about some questions, and I was wondering if anyone might could help me with them.

I know I'm culturally Hearing, for the most part. I was raised in a Hearing family, went to Hearing schools, etc. But lately I've noticed how much I have to struggle to adapt to the hearing world at times. Without my hearing aids, which I don't like to wear all the time, I can't hear someone if they're talking more than 10 or 15 feet away, facing me. Back turned? Forget about it.

Even with the aids in, as I'm sure a lot of you know, loud places make it almost impossible to hear sometimes. At work, I have to constantly ask people to repeat themselves, or wait for me to get closer. I love my friends to death, and they're really good about speaking up for me when I can't hear or something, but I can tell it annoys them when I ask to repeat for the third time. Hell, it annoys me!

So sometimes I feel like a stranger in a strange land, you know? I'm not culturally Deaf, but I'm feeling less Hearing pretty much every day. And everyone likes to feel like they "belong" somewhere, which is why I'm trying to learn more about the Deaf culture. My biggest concern is about being "accepted" as Hearing/HoH in the Deaf community. I still feel like an interloper, and like I haven't earned my place .

So I guess the first question is, do I, or could I, belong in the Deaf community?

I'm not trying to sound sappy here, haha. It's just an honest question.
 

busybee

New Member
Hi there and welcome!:cheers: I'm more or less in the same position you are with being between cultures. I know that if I allow it, it is easy for me to feel lonely/ isolated/ depressed. The best thing that I've come up with so far (for me at least) is to get involved in volunteering and to dive deeper into my spiritual life. I volunteer with old people and most of them are to some degree hard of hearing so it works out pretty well as far as everyone knowing to speak clearly and face each other. If you work at a big place like a store, hospital, factory, etc., there is a good chance that there is at least one other person there that also has hearing issues and maybe you could get to know them. My lunch sometimes overlaps with a hoh guy's and it's nice to have someone who "gets it" to chat with.
 

caz12

New Member
the first 30yrs of life had good hearing and second 30yrs none,did take along time to come to where i am now,server depression etc in the begining cut myself off just wanted to die but now i ok..i with my friend who profoundly deaf at moment and it relaxing bsl together,but got go home tomorro where life not so easy
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
So I guess the first question is, do I, or could I, belong in the Deaf community?

I'm not trying to sound sappy here, haha. It's just an honest question.

Probably not really, but there are many late deafened people who use sign and have groups where you could be happy.

Or it's possible you can very slowly make friends in the Deaf community if you are persistant and don' t mind rejection.
 

dereksbicycles

Active Member
Many deaf dogs grow up without other deaf dogs around. Same with deaf ferrets and deaf cats. They are fine as they are without any culture shocks.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
Being in the middle is somewhat quite difficult. Some will accept you, some not. Remembering the many deaf clubs and parties I went to. Was so hard to understand everyone since I was not a fluent signer....but luckily my friend was HOH and she helped me a lot. Good Luck, and remember if you at first don't succeed, try, try again. Don't let rejection get you down. Some people can be really-a-holes at times....ignore them.
 

eagle102938

New Member
Many deaf dogs grow up without other deaf dogs around. Same with deaf ferrets and deaf cats. They are fine as they are without any culture shocks.

Don't worry, I appreciate the humor, lol. Love how you keep referring to 'ferrets' too.
But I have to wonder, sometimes, do the deaf dogs ever make friends with deaf ferrets? That would be an epic friendship...
 

eagle102938

New Member
Being in the middle is somewhat quite difficult. Some will accept you, some not. Remembering the many deaf clubs and parties I went to. Was so hard to understand everyone since I was not a fluent signer....but luckily my friend was HOH and she helped me a lot. Good Luck, and remember if you at first don't succeed, try, try again. Don't let rejection get you down. Some people can be really-a-holes at times....ignore them.

If I've learned anything from my experiences, it's that no matter how you try to group people together, there's always going to be extremely nice people, and jerks. North/South, Red/Blue, American/Non-American, White/Black, rich/poor, I grew up (sadly) hearing that one was inherently "good" and the others were inherently "idiots" or "jerks." But that's simply not true, it's an even mix. And I would assume the same holds true for the Hearing/Deaf grouping.

And Derek, it's probably the same for dog/ferret grouping.
 

dereksbicycles

Active Member
Don't worry, I appreciate the humor, lol. Love how you keep referring to 'ferrets' too.
But I have to wonder, sometimes, do the deaf dogs ever make friends with deaf ferrets? That would be an epic friendship...

I'm sure that deaf ferrets teach deaf dogs ASL and vice versa. Yes, I agree that would be an epic friendship.
 

Bebonang

Active Member
Aesop is full of shit.

Aesop is make up of moral examples to explain how to make an example of life in each series. I am trying to come up with the other word to go with moral. Maybe Botti can explain better than me. Like the Hare and the Rabbit, it has a moral at the end of the story to explain why we need the moral example in our life. I am not very good at explaining this.

What dereksbicycle explained is that we, humans, grow up with other deaf people around us. But I guess there are different kinds of deaf and hard of hearing people that try to deal with the hearing world. We are isolated. It is kind of a shock not use to living or adapting to the Deaf community or be around d/Deaf people. You have your hearing family or hard of hearing family that you are comfortable. Now you are learning how to sign and need time to get to know the d/Deaf people. Just take your pace with them.

As for your mom, ask her if she is interest in learning to sign so that she can communicate with you. It help not feeling isolated when she or you have difficult living with hearing aids that might not work out. Hope that help.
 

Chuck

New Member
Im in the same situation. Dont quite belong in the hearing world, but not fully in the deaf world either. I think culturally homeless is the best way to explain it. Sorry I cant be of much help other than to say I know exactly where you're coming from.
 

eagle102938

New Member
Im in the same situation. Dont quite belong in the hearing world, but not fully in the deaf world either. I think culturally homeless is the best way to explain it. Sorry I cant be of much help other than to say I know exactly where you're coming from.

Let's just make a new culture home, haha. Any misfits from anywhere. Variety is the spice of life, right?
 

Chuck

New Member
Pretty much. It sucks sometimes but I feel very at peace knowing I dont really need anyone, if that makes sense. Im able to really focus on things..
 

drphil

Active Member
What culture does one belong if "hearing/deafness" is excluded?
In the real world-"most/all" hearing persons don't consider that hearing is cultural to begin with.
What "culture" does one's parents "pass on" to their children?

Another discussion in Sociology-culture
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
What culture does one belong if "hearing/deafness" is excluded?
In the real world-"most/all" hearing persons don't consider that hearing is cultural to begin with.
What "culture" does one's parents "pass on" to their children?

Another discussion in Sociology-culture

The way you casually toss around the word "sociology" attached to everything .... you might consider taking some university level courses in it.
 
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