Deaf - Extremely Hurt - Family and Friends turned on me

Wiz

New Member
I have read many posts on this blog, and this is the first time I have ever responded to one, but I feel like people here really listen and understand. I want to share what is bothering me in hopes of getting some experienced advice from others.
It's impossible to explain every detail, but I will do my best.
I lost my wife in 1982 from brain cancer, I had a 7 year old son at the time. I managed to raise him by myself and never remarried in that time frame. After my son graduated from high school, he moved out and wanted to live with his girl friend. OK... then I knew it was time to move on with my life. I put my home up for sale, and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to start a new life.

Jobs at that time were abundant here, so you could really choose the direction you wanted to go. I applied for a City CAT bus driving job, but during my physical, the Dr. noticed I had slight hearing loss. I told him that I had that since 1969. I went into the Navy, was deployed to an Ammunition ship, and was on a 3"-50 gun mount while in Viet Nam. Though I lost part of my hearing, being young and tough, that wasn't going to stop my from living. No, because of my hearing, the CAT job was out.... I understood that, working with the public and there safety was #1. So, I found a job that maybe I could do, working in a bank as a teller. If working conditions were quiet enough maybe I could get by with my hearing loss. It was here that I found my new life, my soon to be wife. We were married soon after, and things went OK. She knew about my hearing loss, and worked with me.... she's the best! I found a job at another bank after we were married. Coworkers figured it out right away, that I did not hear as well as them.... but did my best so they dealt with me. Under these conditions, I was under a lot of stress working with the public. One day my District Manager came in, and said something to the group, and asked him, "sorry, what did you say?". He replied back to me in front of my coworkers, "What, did you forget your HORN?" O... I was just hurt and mortified that he said that! I even called his boss, and told him what he had done... all they told me was, "I'm sure he was just kidding". With that .... I left my Assistant Management position after 4 years with them, to go work for another bank. It was at this bank I had a very severe mental breakdown. I was counting the safe with my trainer, and that is when I realized I read lips. "Looking away from me, she would say , "IFTY", I said, "Sixty"? She replied back, "IFTY".....in a voice that could be heard 30 feet away! She just broke what I had left inside of me.... and I just walked out in tears. I was not able to drive, I was so upset.... I could not get myself pulled together....
I went home, and that evening I told my wife what had happened.... I was just sick with hurt. I tried to find work that maybe I could do.... but was always turned down. My wife thought it was because when the interviewer asked me a question, maybe I did not hear them correctly, and answered it wrong. I feel now she was right. I did not know what to do, or who to go to.... I was very scared. I was told I should apply for SSDI, so I did. After I did that, I found out that the VA offered assistance to those who needed help. What a life saver they were... I have 2 Psychiatrist's from the VA that is helping me now. The VA checked my hearing, sent me to a ENT outside specialist, that scheduled me for an MRI on my ears. Conclusion: My left ear is 100% dead... and I have 40% partial hearing along with tone deafness, in my right ear.
OK... that was the foundation of my story....
Since.... I have been put on SSDI, and picking my life back up. My issue for this blog, is my wife's family. My wife lost her husband 9 years ago, and her daughter did not want her to remarry. (Though it was ok for her daughter to divorce and remarry since I meet her Mother). When her daughter found out I was not working, she had told her Mom to dump me, that I was not going to do her any good being deaf and not wanting to work. I read a text message on my wife's phone from her daughter, that backed up what I am telling you. I confronted my wife, and she told me that all her friends and family members felt that way about me. For the years I sat home, unable to work, I did not leave the house without my wife, (except for Dr. Appt) in other words, did not go golfing, fishing, shopping.... did not spend money I did not have. What I am now, is very ANGRY at her family..... I know that I am not excepted because of my past few years not working, when in there eyes, I was perfectly well, so he's a little deaf.... How horrible it was to find out everyone had said the same thing to my wife.... get rid of him! But my wife stuck with me.... together we managed! My wife say's I'm holding a grudge against my wife's daughter. Yes.... I may be doing that .... but I have a very hard time liking her, because of way she thinks and said about me. Money has always be a VERY big concern to wife's daughter.
What would you do if your family, behind your back felt this way about you? Only someone that is deaf would understand what I'm feeling..... I'm sure.
 

dereksbicycles

Active Member
I'm only 35 years old. I wouldn't know what to do if I were you. Here is what I have:

My girlfriend and her whole family are hearing. One sister suggested CI. Why not try it? If it doesn't work, what do you lose? You don't hear anything anyway. I understand they're looking out for me. Just that they've a different perspective. Good thing I have thick skin and see where other people are coming from.

I'm sure you've a thick skin, but yes, that hurts. I wish you the best luck with yours.
 

green427

Active Member
Damn, sorry to hear about your issues.

Late-deafened people have it worse than those of us that became deaf while young.

It is humiliating to have co-workers make fun of you, I've put up with that crap for many years, and still have to put up with it these days. The only reason I put up with it is because it is hard for deaf people to find decent paying jobs, and once you complain, everyone will treat you differently and leave you more isolated. It is up to you how you want to handle it.

As for your current wife & her daughter....your wife will have to decide for herself how she should handle it. Sounds as if the daughter feels threatened by you....for money or emotional reasons...and she needs to see a therapist to sort out her issues with you.

As for your hearing loss...if you are on disability and receive Medicare, they will cover CI's but you will have to pay 20%...something to look into if hearing aids don't help.

But...yes, being a deaf person in an audist hearing world does suck sometimes....
 

Qkitty

New Member
I don't know exactly how you feel, but I've been made fun of multiple times by people I work with. I constantly have to ask them to repeat what they say and then they all make fun of me saying that I'm dumb or need to get my ears checked or I'm annoying just because I need stuff to be repeated. I try really hard to hide that I'm HoH because they fired a guy after they heard he was going deaf. So I have to put up with the jokes and pretend like they're funny so I can keep my job to help pay for college. It sucks, but sometimes I can't always hear the insults so it's not too bad:p
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
Wiz, I'm very sorry about what you're going thru. I hope you can get all the help that you need.

As you are probably finding out, bitterness doesn't help anything. It's not easy but you must not dwell on the things that your step-daughter says or does. She obviously has unresolved issues of her own, and she's taking them out on an easy target--you. Please recognize that it's not anything that's wrong with you; it's her problems.

Hubby (TCS) and I are also Navy veterans (Vietnam era), so we can empathize with your VA struggles. Has your hearing loss been evaluated as a service-connected injury? If you could get that evaluated and passed, you could be eligible for more VA benefits. Also, check with your local colleges to see if they have VA offices. The VA is offering lots of help now for vets who want to return to school. I'm not talking about just the GI Bill. They also have other programs. Just a couple months ago, TCS used the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program, and was amazed at what they had to offer.

Also, a deaf person, you're eligible to get free assistance from your local Vocational Rehab office. They usually have a specific counselor and program just for deaf clients. They can also provide free re-training/schooling for you. (Caveat--not all VR counselor's provide equal service; don't let them put you off.)

Have you looked into a peer support group, either for hearing loss or for veterans?

You've come this far thru adversity. Don't give up now. :hug:
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
Totally agree, Reba, especially on the service-connected injury portion. My honey has extra VA benefits because of his. This can be important in time of need.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

I'm sorry this has been so difficult for you.
I've been fortunate that I've never once been made fun of or had negative workplace experiences regarding being Hoh/Deaf. Much of that is because my attitude about being hoh/Deaf is positive and everyone around me sees that.

What type of HA do you have for your "40%" side? Is it possible for you to try some other HAs which might work better for you?

I'd also recommend some hearing loss support classes/meeting for you and your wife. As well as VR to help you with employment.
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
It seems that your wife's Daughter did not like you from the get go. The deafness issue is just an excuse and not the real reason she has issues with you. Unfortunately there is a lot of shallow people who put consumerism and money ahead of everything else in this world. They then view the whole world from this perspective.
You sound like you are a good candidate for a CI as you have one totally deaf ear you can use. with VA ans Medicare you would be covered for the proceedure. (Medicare starts 24 months after becoming eligible for SSDI)
 

deafwelder

New Member
hang in there

I have been married twice (now divorced). Both women felt I wasn't worth much, except money and a place to stay. I worked 40-50 hours week. 6-12 years ago my wages had more buying power and I had cheap apartment and so the wife stuck. First wife quit working 2 weeks before we were married. Basically a sponge. Had a kid with second wife. After 2 years the wife didn't feel like coming home if there was something else happening.
Both marriages I knew I wasn't welcome sometimes with their family or friends because i was "too hard to communicate with". Couple times was told to leave a party.
I hope your wife grows some courage and recognizes you.
 

CrazyPaul

Active Member
If your wife loves you for who you are, then you should be happy. That's all I can say. Don't be bothered by her family and friends. Hopefully they will get used to your deafness someday.
 

Sares

Member
Premium Member
Hi Wiz, Reba has a good point. All I can add is I have lost boy friends for them not being able to deal with me not hearing. Hold your wife close. no one else should matter. She must love you to stick with you and your bond is with her no one else let her know how much she means to you. As for a job find something to sell on e-bay.
 

caz12

New Member
i was born hearing but lost full hearing years ago and yes people can and do take the p that when i tell them i grateful i deaf i dont have to hear whinging bigots.....it do sound like the step daughter selfish bit of work but remember it her daughter so dont put your wife in a position that she has make choses...try to man up with the girl get some fight dont let them treat you this way...i can't begin to understand how you feel it must be horrible you just got hang in there mate good luck
 
Top