handling the expectations of the hearing world

in~the~middle

New Member
:wave:
I am new here, seeking and searching for answers to a lifelong problem with interpersonal relationships.
I know this place is called alldeaf, but I can see that there are all levels of hearing abilities in the posts.
I have hearing loss, but I can hear. My left ear hearing is totally gone. My right ear has one frequency(high pitch) in the normal range, everything else is 65dba or worse. I was diagnosed several years after the onset of the loss so I had already taught myself to lip read. I was mainstreamed, and learned to speak clearly with speech therapy.
I have attempted several times to adapt hearing aids, but the discomfort the aids cause due to the normal freguency make it impossible to focus on the sounds that it improves.
I see several posts about those comments early on about "you speak so well, I had no idea" and all the variations of that. I can totally relate to that.
How do you deal with the people who still expect you to react and relate in the hearing world? I am exhausted, tired of apologizing for offending someone by not responding to them in passing, and dealing with all the awful things being said about me. I don't hide my disability. I make it known early in relationships that I have certain needs.
I have been accused of being:
unfriendly
rude
standoffish
selective in hearing
deliberate in ignoring

none of these things are who i am. and before you tell me to let it go, some of these people are close to me, and some I must find a way to get past these impressions because I must work with them.
:hmm:
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
:wave:
I have attempted several times to adapt hearing aids, but the discomfort the aids cause due to the normal freguency make it impossible to focus on the sounds that it improves.

I see several posts about those comments early on about "you speak so well, I had no idea" and all the variations of that. I can totally relate to that.

How do you deal with the people who still expect you to react and relate in the hearing world? I am exhausted, tired of apologizing for offending someone by not responding to them in passing, and dealing with all the awful things being said about me. I don't hide my disability. I make it known early in relationships that I have certain needs.

I have been accused of being:
unfriendly
rude
standoffish
selective in hearing
deliberate in ignoring

none of these things are who i am. and before you tell me to let it go, some of these people are close to me, and some I must find a way to get past these impressions because I must work with them.
:hmm:

What is it about the hearing aids that cause you discomfort? is it merely the volume or frequency? If so, your audiologist could likely help with that. If it's the actual hearing aid itself, try some other kinds. Maybe you might be a candidate for ITE.

I have been accused of all the same as you have, and I have realized a thick skin needs to be developed. Brush off all those comments -- it can be hard, I know -- but frankly, you have nothing to apologize for.
 

jillio

New Member
It is unfortunate, indeed, that those who don't understand hearing loss often have extreme misperceptions. As frustrating as it is, your experience is not unique. I'm sure you will find many people here who can relate.
 

bebito831

New Member
It's hard I know. Lots of people would never guess I wear two hearing aids. I speak perfectly and I can "act" hearing pretty well. LOL I guess how I cope with the stares and rudeness once people find out is by ignoring them. I realize not everyone will like me and there will be people who just don't understand. But I have found that the majority of people I meet are still very kind and helpful.
As for your hearing aid. I would def talk to your audi, he can help you find the epfect fit and adjust the frequencies so that you are not in discomfort. Hang in there!
 
As a blind person sutdying to interpret i have noiced it a lot. not only with deafness, but other disabilities as well. i go shopping with people, and the person i am with often starts yelling at people for staring at my cane. We need to educate people or the rudeness and staring will just continue to happen, we need to educate people that a disability dosent mean different. We are all normal people, we have our own ways of doing things to fit our needs.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Grew up in the hearing world despite being completely deaf in both ears since birth. The experiences that you described are what makes me so happy that I discovered ASL and the Deaf community. Now, I am not in the hearing world 24/7 like I used to be and life is hella lot better now.
 

lilraysofhope

New Member
I could have written that post!! I have about *m*

same loss as you. Took my parents years to figure it out. By that time, I had already taught myself to lip read! I realllllllllllly wish I could give you the answers. Even, 30 years later I find myself with the same stuggles.

HUGE hugs!:grouphug:
 

ClearSky

New Member
You'll feel better if you stop apologizing to people. It's something you have, and you have nothing to apologize to anyone. If serious people are confused, just say that you're deaf in one ear. If you want, you can explain that it sometimes causes you to miss hearing people in certain situations. Be yourself. They'll understand and some people won't.
 

NEWIDME

New Member
I handle the expectations in all sorts of ways. I am HOH working professional. Sometimes I get so mad I cry in private. Sometimes I go home and beat the wall. Other times I abuse alcohol. I am not as healthy as most all the people seem to be here. But I am on happy pills now and all that anger has pretty much gone away. So, I guess I should say the way I handle the expectations of the hearing world is to take legal drugs! haha. Honestly, I find I can handle the dumb and ignorant by trying to be a good christain and taking happy pills. I will probably be on zoloft for the rest of my life but that is okay because it really is no fun being out of control angry cuz nobody understands my 'disability'.
 

Hear Again

New Member
Like you, I've been accused (pre-CI) of the things you mentioned above. I'm totally blind as well, so I also have to deal with the misconceptions people have about blindness.

I know it's easier said than done, but try not to let other people's ignorant comments bother you. As a deafblind friend once told me, "If you get upset at every stupid comment a sighted-hearing person makes, you're going to be miserable 24/7. Is that any way to live your life?"

I agree with AlleyCat that you really need to develop a thick skin when it comes to these kinds of comments. If you don't, you will continue to be hurt time and time again.

Also, the more people begin to see your self-confidence as a HoH person, the more willing they will be to accommodate your needs.
 

dead money

New Member
Being HOH, its almost like youre stranded in no-mans land. Not deaf enough to be deaf, not hearing enough to be hearing. Im also profoundly deaf in my left ear and i have some loss in the right but i speak normally and you wouldnt know i had a disability unless i told you more than likely. Funny to hear that you hated hearing aids, i did as well. My mom bought a 600$ hearing aid i wore for maybe 2-3 years sporadically back when i was a kid-- because it bugged the shit out of me. I heard TOO MUCH all at once. Got annoying real quick. But it IS frustrating to be thrown in this category. All my life i was envious of starting a career in a certain field of work only to be told because i have significant hearing loss i cannot qualify to be eligible for the position. Fucking bullshit. Or going out on a date only to tell her youre deaf in one ear and it freaks her out to the point of thinking "this dudes handicapped, fuck this" and not obliging to go out on a 2nd date. Then flipping the coin and asking a deaf woman to go see a movie or to a concert and you get the "theyre not into that kind of thing" Its happened. But i soldiered along. As frustrating as it has been in certain moments, ive accepted long ago who i am and where im going and i cannot allow doubt to creep in my mind and throw me off the path feeling sorry for myself. You just got to accept that the world isnt your doormat, theyre gonna try treating you like you are theirs. If they got a problem with that, then they can go fuck themselves. Thats my attitude pretty much. I'm still in some ways trying to figure out the pieces of the puzzle for myself on certain issues, but im confident ill get there. And i will.
 

Dixie

Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
Im in the same boat as well, but for sake of my sanity, I just tell folks Im deaf since explaining my actual degree of loss can be confusing for some people. I dont hear everything that is said especially group conversations.

You should have seen me at the counter last night and the guy at the register is trying to get my attention, by the time I turned around to step up in line, he had this annoyed look on his face. Oops, sorry didnt hear you, Im deaf I hope you'll understand. Continued on with my order and then went to be seated.

And I too tried an ITE aid but I was forced to wear it all the time by my parents, there was no 'adjustment' period. They said I had to just shove it in there and get used to it. While they meant well, obviously it wasnt the best ways of going about it.

I finally just stod up to them and said I would rather be deaf and happy than to be forced into something I have no say over especially when it concerns my own body!

I wore the aids for about a year then just finally told the audiologist (a new one thank god that was also HOH and understood me) what I was going through then she said she would work it out with my parents. After the next visit my parents said the audiologist told them that I was hearing well enough to not need the aid.

Of course this was all when I was 14-15 years old, so there was this whole self-conscious attitude like I didnt want to be caught dead wearing an aid at school for fear of further being made fun of. (I was already the class freak as it was).

If there was anything I could change, it would be this:
mom and dad would have listened to me more intently because I was the one wearing the aid, they weren't!

I would have asked for disability services to be provided to me during school hours to ensure I was getting the information being given to the class. Although I was on honor roll, it was a struggle, especially math. A typical math assignment each night would have taken me 2-3 hours to complete. Whereas the other kids would have it done in about 30 minutes. I would have to go and read the examples in the text, make sense of them, work out the example problems then hope and pray to god I understoood it fully.

Another possibility, allow me access to ASL as a mode of communication. The audiologist I had from aged 2 until about 8 or 9 was pushing my parents towards the all-oral environment. By the time I came across my hoh audiologist I was 13-14 years old, I had already adjusted to the hearing world. I wish parents would go ask people who really are hoh/deaf for better advice as to which method is better rather than listening to one old school audie that was very set in his ways.
 

Hear Again

New Member
Wow, Dixie. You and I sound alike in so many ways.

I also started wearing aids (BTEs) when I was 15. My audi never showed me CIC, ITC or ITE aids because she knew as a self-concious teenager that I'd never wear them.

I'll never forget the first day I wore them to school. My itinerant teacher (who found out about my hearing aids from my parents) said rather loudly as I walked through the door, "So, (insert name here). HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR NEW HEARING AIDS?" I could have just about died from embarrassment right then and there. No offense to other ADers, but it was bad enough being totally blind without also having to wear hearing aids too.

I was also in Honors courses in high school and struggled to hear quite a bit when I couldn't sit in the front row.

Fortunately, it wasn't long before my teachers put two and two together and added a recommendation in my IEP that I be given preferential seating because of my hearing loss.
 

Dixie

Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
The aid I had was ITC. So for the most part you couldnt tell. But what irritated the hell out of me was when my dad would shout from across the hall "ARE YOU WEARING YOUR HEARING AID?" I would just look at him like he had gone mad and continue walking away.

There were also times I was accused of not wearing them when in fact I was. The whole hearing aid thing was more of a hassle for me than my parents. I think when I finally told them that when I was the one having to deal with the issues I should get a say in it. Not them when it was just to make their lives 'easier' by not needing the CC on the TV or having repeat things to me, etc.

Im just very thankful of the Audie at the Hearing Centre in Ft. Smith as she is HOH and she understood my needs better than my parents did.

My mom swore that no matter how ridiculous she looked she would wear a HA just so she could hear. Im like yeah, wait until you ACTUALLY experience it.
 
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