Deaf-Hearing Marriage

“Did your husband think twice about the fact that you were hard of hearing when you met? Does it cause any difficulties in your marriage?”

This question….kind of perplexed me.

It’s really a normal marriage. He got down on one knee, I said yes. We ended up doing that ‘getting married’ thing. We said our vows and agreed to agree how red meat should be cooked.

I think when the question was asked, I had no idea people think it could cause difficulties. Now, I can see people wondering that. If people knew us, then maybe that wouldn’t be a question.

I supposed people often question Justin. I’m sure once they meet me it’s like “oh…she’s normal.” “With a funny accent.” No, I’m just kidding.

People might automatically think we communicate via sign language. (He knows zero)

This was the first time I asked Justin if he thought twice about the fact I’m hard of hearing. This was his response.

“Nope. I think because we got along right from the jump.”

Be more like him.

It’s a problem if you make it a problem. Remember, love is universal.

Let’s get to the difficulties of how it is in our marriage!…..NONE. No difficulties whatsoever. I mean, we sure have communication issues. JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MARRIED COUPLE.

We wouldn’t be married if we didn’t mesh well. He knew what he was getting himself into and we simply had to work itself out. He happily makes the necessary phone calls that I need. I make fun of his New England accent because he will say a whole sentence in one word. Can we cue the eye roll here?

No, our marriage is not perfect. It’s normal. Like a unicorn is normal.

I am loving all of your questions. Please send more!

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“Do you feel “different” or does society make you feel different?”

This is such a hard question to be honest. I’ve never felt like I was a different person in my own world. I knew I was different but chose to accept it long before I knew I was deaf. It’s a part of who I am. It’s not black or white.

But in this world of diverse cultures, I do feel different….in ways as if I’m not accepted. In other words, you make me feel different. Inferior to my own kind. Not doing the “right thing” such as not having the cochlear implant surgery, not using sign language, not producing speech the right way, and blah blah blah.

Why does society really feel that they need to change who you are as a person? If you didn’t tell them you were deaf, they’d think you’re an idiot for having a weird accent you have, or not hearing everything they said because they assume your device behind the ear they see with their blind eye is suppose to do all that job.  I could really go on with a whole list.

The point is, I would feel different if I did not signify my disability. Weird right? I constantly have to state who I am as a person to get you stupid people to change your behavior towards me. Ta da!

It’s black or white with society. I wish I don’t have to feel different. But I do. Because of the way people seem to be engineered to do. Looking one direction instead of all.

We simply must respect others for their own individuality. You can laugh because I am different. I’m going to laugh at you because you are all the same.

I wish common sense was more common.

Growing Pains

I was asked about bullying in my past. I know bullying is such a hot topic these days and it happens to EVERYONE.

Growing up had its hardships. There’s bullying. And teasing. Lots of it. Daily.

Grade school was different. Once I mainstreamed, I was the only deaf student in the whole school. I was constantly pulled out of class to attend speech lessons and one-on-one tutoring.

Talk about kicking your self-esteem to the corner. There’s nothing like eyes on you and snickering every time you have to step out of the classroom. Kids will be kids. Damn…that was hard. But wait for it.

I remember being tripped in the hallways. Rocks thrown at during recess. Getting Saturday detention because a classmate on your bus pointed fingers at you when you were asked to repeat a word and you had no idea why. The name calling ha….Being called a “Deaf Mute” on your birthday two weeks into freshman year at a brand new high school.

Socializing had it’s awkward times where you’re always the quiet one not because you’re shy but because it’s hard to follow in a group. (It still is.) Especially in a loud cafeteria and you’re a flickering lightbulb due to lack of understanding.

How many of you stayed “friends” with people even though they were awful to you?

Life in school then was…difficult. It wasn’t really easy making friends and keeping them. It was like playing cards, stacking them up castle high till it folds on you because there’s no strength to hold it up and nothing to glue together. Those cards were dealt so many times.

Allow adversarial experiences to bring out the best of you, strengthening you, not bring you down. You’re more open-minded and face difficulties better than anyone. Look at it this way, the person throwing rocks at you doesn’t know why he’s doing it. Instead, you take the rocks as a reminder that it has made you a stronger person despite the tear drops streaming down your red face and the hurt it’s done to you.

BUT it’s totally okay! I don’t want to depress my readers. Honestly, I look back as a reminder of how it has shaped me up today. For the better.

To the young girls and boys of all shapes, sizes, disabilities, race, color, and gender today….always hold out your hands to the friend in need. And always reach back to those who is holding out for you. You never know you could be sitting next to. It could be a friend for a lifetime. I tell everyone this. “Always be kind.”

However, when you misspell my name on a post-it, you really had one job. 🙂