Thinking about going "voice off".

horus11B

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I'm a late onset hard of hearing individual who's considering going voice off. Why?

1. People in your family will not learn asl unless they have to to communicate with you. If you make it easy for them, they won change how they've interacted with you for years.

2. Forces me to express myself without using my voice. Making me figure out how to sign better than I do with deafies/Hoh people. Makes me figure out how to interact with people who can hear.

3. I can't tell how loud I'm talking. I embarrass my wife and kids sometimes.

Does anyone have an experience or some advice on this? Pro/con?

I appreciate everyone's input.

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seb

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I'm a late onset hard of hearing individual who's considering going voice off. Why?

1. People in your family will not learn asl unless they have to to communicate with you. If you make it easy for them, they won change how they've interacted with you for years.

2. Forces me to express myself without using my voice. Making me figure out how to sign better than I do with deafies/Hoh people. Makes me figure out how to interact with people who can hear.

3. I can't tell how loud I'm talking. I embarrass my wife and kids sometimes.

Does anyone have an experience or some advice on this? Pro/con?

I appreciate everyone's input.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app

Are you wearing HA's now? Are you able to benefit from HA's? If not and your hearing can be helped with them they should help you modulate your voice.
 

Mewtilation

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I am not sure how it is to be late deafened... so I have no personal experience here since I was born this way... However, I can't really imagine how being late deafened would suddenly be such a large dramatic change that you would not be able to control your voice volume all of the sudden or tell how loud you were being... but maybe that's just me... :hmm:

I can appreciate you wanting to immerse yourself in ASL and wanting to learn. However, I can not appreciate you making things that difficult on your family. Just to hurl yourself into that and go voice off all of the sudden and make communication like that so difficult and stressful for your family ( especially children ) is rather selfish. I'll leave it at that. There are reasons that us Deaf in the Deaf community go "voice off" and they are not for the reasons you have listed... nowhere near. I think you may want to reevaluate this situation and think things over... that is my opinion.
 

Angel1989

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My opinion...I had sudden traumatic total hearing loss, both ears. I can't imagine not being able to have a conversation with the people I love. Yes at times I speak a little too loud but this is due to the severe loud tinnitus. Having late onset HOH you should still be able to control your voice. Expecting everyone around you to learn "what you want" is really not fair. If they are your "loved ones" they will want to learn ASL with you. You don't have to be all or nothing.

So I agree with Mew...I think it's a little selfish.
 

horus11B

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I do have a set of hearing aids. They're setting in the center console of my truck. I never wear them because I hate them. There's alot of reasons but mostly I live in texas and the heat index was 109 today. I guess what's at the core of this is partly an identity thing, partly severe frustration. My parents won't even accept a vrs call, and while I've had some success doing vco, it's still awkward for them. They've made little to no effort to try and meet me half way on a lot of this. My wife and kids and I use a combination of sign and voice with each other. Both kids are too young for pen and paper to be effective. I'm more talking about my extended family. They're really resistant to changing the way in which they communicate with me. I can't really blame them, that's got to be hard on them because they don't really know who I am now. Like me losing my hearing didn't make me a different person, but they don't know how to handle me really. Plus you guys have to remember that you've had years to get numb to the "nevermind I'll tell you later". It's new for me. It's ungodly frustrating still. I can control and modulate the volume of my voice, problem is sometimes I dont know I need to. 5 he volume I pick for what I think is happening in the room isn't quite right (I was already loud anyways, 2003 - 2013 spent yelling at people). really though, me being too loud is hardly the reason, it's just an added problem.

So, I guess the new topic is, how do you overcome the stigmas placed on you by people you've known forever when these things change. My idea was obviously to force them to figure out how to interact with me or don't bother. I don't really see that as being s3lfish, but I see where you guys are coming from.

To address the immersion side, the amount of frustration I feel when I can't convey an idea is above an beyond. Forcing myself to in turn, figure out how to interact with my family seems like a necessity right now. I don't know how to figure this out without trying something different to see what I can learn. I'm not trying to be selfish, I'm trying to avoid the falsehood that things aren't any different by forcing those around me to accept that they have. Working out together how we can best interact, sooner rather than later, and moving foward. Talking about the situation brings comments like " well, it'll get better". I look at these people and go... no its ****ing really not going to get better... I can't hear you now and I'm jot going to be able to hear you tommorrow. So how do we do this?

Talking doesn't seem to be bringing me foward with this and my family and friends... so something in how this is being done needs to change. Something in how we are dealing with this needs to change. So if not going non vocal to force the situation to resolve itself, what's the suggestion? Cause talking is bringing out a lot of denial and platitudes, but little in way of results.

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Lau2046

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I'm a late onset hard of hearing individual who's considering going voice off. Why?

1. People in your family will not learn asl unless they have to to communicate with you. If you make it easy for them, they won change how they've interacted with you for years.

2. Forces me to express myself without using my voice. Making me figure out how to sign better than I do with deafies/Hoh people. Makes me figure out how to interact with people who can hear.

3. I can't tell how loud I'm talking. I embarrass my wife and kids sometimes.

Does anyone have an experience or some advice on this? Pro/con?

I appreciate everyone's input.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app

I was born with significant hearing loss so I totally get the talking loud part. However, I think you're projecting way to much on your family assuming they're embarrassed. They may or may not be, but I'm sure they get over it quick because they understand why you're talking as loud as you do. My father does this too because he needs better hearing aids and can't afford them - so....talking loud comes with the territory.

I'm not sure if you're open to this but I think you should meet with a counselor. You're anger is misplaced and you're taking it out on your immediate family. Hearing loss is for many people a gradual thing and so are relationships...I get that you're angry and frustrated but it's not fair to take it out on people just because they're there. They could well be making an effort but you're not seeing it because of your anger.

Losing your hearing later in life can cause anyone to come unglued. You're world changes, things sound different and your view of the world changes too. It's not a walk in the park for those of us born this way either. For many on the forum, their hearing will get worse and we all struggle to find balance. Your audi or primary care may know of support groups...for your sake and your family, I hope you give it a try. The support you receive will give you coping advice and make you feel less isolated.

Laura
 

Mewtilation

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I do have a set of hearing aids. They're setting in the center console of my truck. I never wear them because I hate them. There's alot of reasons but mostly I live in texas and the heat index was 109 today. I guess what's at the core of this is partly an identity thing, partly severe frustration. My parents won't even accept a vrs call, and while I've had some success doing vco, it's still awkward for them. They've made little to no effort to try and meet me half way on a lot of this. My wife and kids and I use a combination of sign and voice with each other. Both kids are too young for pen and paper to be effective. I'm more talking about my extended family. They're really resistant to changing the way in which they communicate with me. I can't really blame them, that's got to be hard on them because they don't really know who I am now. Like me losing my hearing didn't make me a different person, but they don't know how to handle me really. Plus you guys have to remember that you've had years to get numb to the "nevermind I'll tell you later". It's new for me. It's ungodly frustrating still. I can control and modulate the volume of my voice, problem is sometimes I dont know I need to. 5 he volume I pick for what I think is happening in the room isn't quite right (I was already loud anyways, 2003 - 2013 spent yelling at people). really though, me being too loud is hardly the reason, it's just an added problem.

So, I guess the new topic is, how do you overcome the stigmas placed on you by people you've known forever when these things change. My idea was obviously to force them to figure out how to interact with me or don't bother. I don't really see that as being s3lfish, but I see where you guys are coming from.

To address the immersion side, the amount of frustration I feel when I can't convey an idea is above an beyond. Forcing myself to in turn, figure out how to interact with my family seems like a necessity right now. I don't know how to figure this out without trying something different to see what I can learn. I'm not trying to be selfish, I'm trying to avoid the falsehood that things aren't any different by forcing those around me to accept that they have. Working out together how we can best interact, sooner rather than later, and moving foward. Talking about the situation brings comments like " well, it'll get better". I look at these people and go... no its ****ing really not going to get better... I can't hear you now and I'm jot going to be able to hear you tommorrow. So how do we do this?

Talking doesn't seem to be bringing me foward with this and my family and friends... so something in how this is being done needs to change. Something in how we are dealing with this needs to change. So if not going non vocal to force the situation to resolve itself, what's the suggestion? Cause talking is bringing out a lot of denial and platitudes, but little in way of results.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app

Well forcing people to interact with you by going voice off isn't exactly going to get any better results, either. That is just going to frustrate everyone further. You have hearing aids... you may hate them... but they're a tool to help and aid you. The transition is difficult, yes. I was born Deaf to a family who is mostly all hearing. Growing up my father forced me through Voc rehab and many other things. I went to a regular school, though I grew up speaking Romanian, English and was taught ASL growing up. Yes, Voc rehab helped me with the formation of sounds and words ect. now... but growing up, it was a huge pain in the arse... being different from everyone else. Being little and feeling "left out" of everything. I didn't socialize much... I kept to myself mostly... They thought I was socially withdrawn blah blah. I'm a social friggin butterfly! I wasn't socially withdrawn... :roll: What was it? I was so worried about what you just mentioned... I was worried about what everyone else thought... I was worried about the social stigmas or what everyone attached to my Deafness. You know what I think about it now? Who gives a flying FU*K?! If people don't accept that, it's not your problem. It is something you can not change. You need to learn to deal with it yourself and accept it, and also learn to not worry about what other people think. If other people don't want to learn to go the distance to communicate with you or accept you for who you are ( deafness included ) then they are obviously people you don't need to interact with. If they're family ( extended included ) interact with them only when needed... period. You're an adult... you have full control over who you interact with when you want to interact with them. If they're your wifes family, explain to her they're ass tarts and she should be standing by your side and talking to them. If she isn't... well then you have a bigger problem. If I was married to someone and they felt my family was being disrespectful to them and they talked to me about it, you're damn right I'd be getting onto my family about it and straightening that out! That's unacceptable...

To me, it sounds like you need to work on some personal acceptance. It sounds like you haven't fully accepted what has happened to you. It also sounds like you need to grow up a little... sorry, blunt honesty. Now that you're deaf, welcome to the community... we tend to be blunt like that. Sorry, there's no cookies or cake... just blunt honesty. Most of us have been ridiculed, picked on, made fun of, and treated like we're retarded a good chunk of our lives... you can either 1) Whine about it as you're doing or 2) Be an adult, look them in the eye... dish it back ( My favorite ) or 3) Take it like an adult and be a brick wall and walk away... ( Sometimes I do this but I prefer dishing it back ) This is no different than kids being made fun of for glasses and being called four eyes in elementary school except the adult version. People are cruel and lack empathy... that's life. People are also stupid... that is also life... Just go read the Deaf / Hearie story thread... :roll: We deal with that crap... EVERY DAY... Believe me, you're going to notice it more and more sadly... Sometimes it will make you laugh... sometimes it will make you want to punch people in the face... it's the sad truth. However, it's a reality you will have to face.

You are lucky enough to have hearing aids. You have young children you have to think about with all of this. Do not miss out on their growing up just because you hate the hearing aids. There are things that you will not want to miss. Do I enjoy my C.I.? Hell no... It's annoying... I wear it for work simply because I have to... working in triage demands it... Once I leave, it's off. Around my family sometimes I wear it because it can be quite frustrating around a large Romanian family... ( I admit we have loud big mouths, I'm not going to deny it... :shock: ) Anyway... All I'm saying it, sure they're not exactly comfortable at first, they take getting used to just like glasses or anything that we aren't born with... I was with a girl when I got my C.I. years and years ago... When I first heard her voice... it was the most amazing thing I can remember... I hate her now... she is a cheating ass tart... but hearing the voices of my parents... and my GF at the time... such an amazing memory. I'm sure you will not want to miss hearing your children's voices.

There are many stereotypes attached to the Deaf community... How do we deal with them? We get over them... we push on and don't let them get to us... Who cares what people think... we bond together... that is why we have each other... the Deaf community is a strong one... Go out and find some other late deafened people for support... take some ASL classes... lots of places hold deaf meet and greets... put yourself out there for some friends... get that support... That's all I can suggest. Introduce those people to your family... Maybe having those people around will instill the idea in their minds... Other than that, all I can tell you is that you're going to have to stand up, stand strong and deal with it like we all do... because it's something you're going to have to get used to... we all deal with it every day... Yes it's frustrating... but we all pull through... like I said, our community is a strong one. We all have to toughen up and take it from annoying people who don't understand all the time... People who refuse... every day... Eventually your family will come to understand... but forcing them to come to terms by going voice off in such a drastic way is not going to help the situation. These things don't just cure themselves or come to terms poof right away. Obviously you're still coming to terms with your deafness... so are they.
 

Lau2046

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Plus you guys have to remember that you've had years to get numb to the "nevermind I'll tell you later".

I don't know where you got the impression that people like us have gotten used to this, we get this all the time and it's frustrating and hurtful every time it's said. No one gets used to that. Your anger is affecting how you communicate which is why I suggested seeing a counselor to learn how to speak to people, as well as maybe finding a support system.

When someone says "it'll get better" that's your teaching moment to explain where you're hearing is at and why they need to adjust how they communicate with you. However, if you say it in anger, nothing will get resolved. Some of the folks who responded to your thread shared some very good insight which you don't seem to acknowledge as valid. The counseling I mentioned isn't just for you; maybe your wife could join you in a session so she could understand how to explain to family better if you can't. However, some people just lack the ability to grasp things so it may come down to whether you can forgive them for their shortcomings or not. Shutting people out and sulking about it never helps though. You can't change what's happening but you can change how you react to it.
 

VacationGuy234

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1. People in your family will not learn asl unless they have to to communicate with you. If you make it easy for them, they won change how they've interacted with you for years.

As it is, those of us who don't even use ASL lose interaction with people including family. If you force the issue, you're going to lose interaction even quicker.

2. Forces me to express myself without using my voice. Making me figure out how to sign better than I do with deafies/Hoh people. Makes me figure out how to interact with people who can hear.

You should be doing that on your own without torturing your family and friends.

3. I can't tell how loud I'm talking. I embarrass my wife and kids sometimes.

I know deaf people who don't wear aids and can control this. It's learned behavior.

Does anyone have an experience or some advice on this? Pro/con?

Read some posts of people who went voice off and had their friends, spouses and family go contact off.

My advice is that you try to meet people half way.
 

AlleyCat

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I second the learned behavior. Every once in a while, like when I'm over-excited, I raise my voice. Otherwise, it is supposedly at normal level (if I'm going by that nobody is telling me I'm talking too loud). I think I keep it at a normally reasonable level just because that's what I learned over time. Doesn't happen overnight. In the mornings and evenings when I'm at home, I often don't wear my aids. I assume I'm still speaking at the same volume as with aids.
 

Lau2046

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Every once in a while, like when I'm over-excited, I raise my voice.

I think everyone does this really, I see normal hearing people all the time that find themselves talking too loud without realizing it. Knowing how loud you talk isn't as obvious as people think. Yesterday I had something interesting happen when my job called us all down to the first floor due to a tornado that was passing through the New Hampshire area. My coworker and I were talking about the job and everyone was down stairs so it was hard to hear. I tried to gauge my voice so I wasn't talking too loud and much to my surprise, my coworker needed me to talk louder to hear. She was talking loud in response and got shushed by others trying to hear the announcements. I don't believe it's always a deaf thing like most people assume.
 

DeafDucky

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Funny my voice seems to be "not loud enough" at times and I wear hearing aids!

I can't say it any better than Mew- everything she said is pretty much what I was thinking. I'm the same way now-- wear hearing aids for work/interactions out there in the world. Second I get home... Off they come. Course here I leave them on most times because my parents are here. SOMETIMES they will 'attempt' sign if I have them off- or I try to lipread momma (hahahaha no fat chance I am a horrible lipreader in general anyway- so in that situation I have to go find my hearing aids).

why not email with the extended family or text? I've managed to finally have it where most of my family either now emails me or texts me (only aunt won't text but she won't for everyone anyway) and not use the voice phone like in the past. Never tried VRS with them as I'm not far enough away from them lol. Could use FaceTime etc but that's almost like standing right there with them and still dealing with "what?" *sigh* [repeats comment] and so on.
 

seb

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I do have a set of hearing aids. They're setting in the center console of my truck. I never wear them because I hate them. There's alot of reasons but mostly I live in texas and the heat index was 109 today. I guess what's at the core of this is partly an identity thing, partly severe frustration. My parents won't even accept a vrs call, and while I've had some success doing vco, it's still awkward for them. They've made little to no effort to try and meet me half way on a lot of this. My wife and kids and I use a combination of sign and voice with each other. Both kids are too young for pen and paper to be effective. I'm more talking about my extended family. They're really resistant to changing the way in which they communicate with me. I can't really blame them, that's got to be hard on them because they don't really know who I am now. Like me losing my hearing didn't make me a different person, but they don't know how to handle me really. Plus you guys have to remember that you've had years to get numb to the "nevermind I'll tell you later". It's new for me. It's ungodly frustrating still. I can control and modulate the volume of my voice, problem is sometimes I dont know I need to. 5 he volume I pick for what I think is happening in the room isn't quite right (I was already loud anyways, 2003 - 2013 spent yelling at people). really though, me being too loud is hardly the reason, it's just an added problem.

So, I guess the new topic is, how do you overcome the stigmas placed on you by people you've known forever when these things change. My idea was obviously to force them to figure out how to interact with me or don't bother. I don't really see that as being s3lfish, but I see where you guys are coming from.

To address the immersion side, the amount of frustration I feel when I can't convey an idea is above an beyond. Forcing myself to in turn, figure out how to interact with my family seems like a necessity right now. I don't know how to figure this out without trying something different to see what I can learn. I'm not trying to be selfish, I'm trying to avoid the falsehood that things aren't any different by forcing those around me to accept that they have. Working out together how we can best interact, sooner rather than later, and moving foward. Talking about the situation brings comments like " well, it'll get better". I look at these people and go... no its ****ing really not going to get better... I can't hear you now and I'm jot going to be able to hear you tommorrow. So how do we do this?

Talking doesn't seem to be bringing me foward with this and my family and friends... so something in how this is being done needs to change. Something in how we are dealing with this needs to change. So if not going non vocal to force the situation to resolve itself, what's the suggestion? Cause talking is bringing out a lot of denial and platitudes, but little in way of results.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app

I think you need to do your part and if that doesn't work then they have to meet you half way. You have HA's but they are in the center console of your truck where they aren't doing you much good. You say you hate them and it's an identity and frustration problem: If you have a problem with them go back to your audi until they get them dialed in, as for the identity problem, who cares if you wear HA's? It sounds like it's obvious you have a hearing problem and everyone around you knows it, yet your not willing to do your part to rectify the situation, so why should those around you do anything either. if your HA's are giving you problems because of heat and sweat in the Texas heat, get HA's that are waterproof and wear those. You have to accept that the problem is yours first and not push it off on your family and friends to make accommodations to meet your needs until you are willing to do your part to solve the problem yourself. You definitely haven't reached the point of acceptance of owning your hearing loss and are still stuck at denial or anger and have a ways to go until your problem of communicating will be solved. Sorry to be so blunt, but that's the way it is. In Texas talk, You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!
 
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horus11B

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Even with my HA I'm only at like 30 percent. I don't see a need in wearing them when they don't fix anything, they're not comfortable... and the va won't get me a different set so.... I'm not going to wear them.

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horus11B

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I'm hearing your comments about me needing to meet people half way. I got that. I'm working on it... I'm trying to take yalls advice... I'll do what i can.

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My first reaction is that there is something wrong with your aids. However, you've noted that you don't wear them and it takes a good three months to get used to them, so I can't make that argument.

Wear them for three months, everyday and if you still can't hear, get them checked ASAP.
 

Angel1989

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Even with my HA I'm only at like 30 percent. I don't see a need in wearing them when they don't fix anything, they're not comfortable... and the va won't get me a different set so.... I'm not going to wear them.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app

There are other ways to get better hearing aids. They're are a lot of people on this site that can provide that information if you ask. Technology keeps improving and you have to look for ways to get help. It is highly possible to get hearing aids that are super comfortable and that will improve your hearing significantly. Have you given any thought to Cochlear Implants?

Also keeping your hearing aids in your trunk console in the heat is probably a really bad idea. I hope you reach out and receive the information needed to improve your situation.
 

RisinDragon

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As a child, my father used to take my hearing aids out of my ears when he took me to his Shriner's Organization in the City. He was part of it, his father was part of it, my grandfather on my mother's side was part of it. Reason he did this, is because he didn't want to be embarrassed by his friends when they see me with Hearing Aids in my ears. When they talk to me and I couldn't hear them, he'd slap me upside the head for not answering people who were talking to me. He took away the only tool I had that could make me hear everyone and expect me to function like a hearing person. Never gonna happen.

Eventually when I was 10 years old, I had enough. I told my father to 'f**k off, I don't want to see you again'. I am now 38 years old and I haven't seen my father in 28 years. I cut ties to him, because he would not accept the fact that I am deaf and I am going to need to wear hearing aids for the rest of my life. I don't miss my father, because he was an abusive and nasty drunk. And man he could drink anyone under the table.

As hard as it may be, it's about time to think about who's in your life and who actually respects you. It's about time to cut ties to those people who don't even want to accept the fact that you are loosing your hearing and move on. It goes both ways, both sides have to be willing to meet each other halfway. If they can't do that, then they really do not belong in your life.

As for hearing about 30% of everything around you, sounds like you need stronger hearing aids. I just got brand new Naida Q50 UPs last month and they were stronger and better than my Phonak PowerMAXX 411s. I am borderline between severe and profound. I speak extremely well, but I work so hard at trying to pay attention when people do talk to me. I don't catch everything, but I do catch most.
 

shel90

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Plus you guys have to remember that you've had years to get numb to the "nevermind I'll tell you later".

I have been deaf since birth and was raised orally and immersed in the hearing world. I am 42 years old and I have never gotten numb to this. That's one of the reasons why I learned ASL and now a member of the Deaf community.

Whenever I go back to the hearing world and get this comment, instead of being passive about it like I used to, I confront it and tell the person saying that never do that ever again. I have lost friends and have pissed people off as a result but I no longer care.
 

seb

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As a child, my father used to take my hearing aids out of my ears when he took me to his Shriner's Organization in the City. He was part of it, his father was part of it, my grandfather on my mother's side was part of it. Reason he did this, is because he didn't want to be embarrassed by his friends when they see me with Hearing Aids in my ears. When they talk to me and I couldn't hear them, he'd slap me upside the head for not answering people who were talking to me. He took away the only tool I had that could make me hear everyone and expect me to function like a hearing person. Never gonna happen.

Eventually when I was 10 years old, I had enough. I told my father to 'f**k off, I don't want to see you again'. I am now 38 years old and I haven't seen my father in 28 years. I cut ties to him, because he would not accept the fact that I am deaf and I am going to need to wear hearing aids for the rest of my life. I don't miss my father, because he was an abusive and nasty drunk. And man he could drink anyone under the table.

As hard as it may be, it's about time to think about who's in your life and who actually respects you. It's about time to cut ties to those people who don't even want to accept the fact that you are loosing your hearing and move on. It goes both ways, both sides have to be willing to meet each other halfway. If they can't do that, then they really do not belong in your life.

As for hearing about 30% of everything around you, sounds like you need stronger hearing aids. I just got brand new Naida Q50 UPs last month and they were stronger and better than my Phonak PowerMAXX 411s. I am borderline between severe and profound. I speak extremely well, but I work so hard at trying to pay attention when people do talk to me. I don't catch everything, but I do catch most.

Your dad is a sick puppy, it's to bad you didn't say something sooner or tell the people at the event "I'm sorry I didn't hear you because my dad won't let me wear my HA's to these events."
 
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