Hearing Aid Insecurities: Overcoming it

We all have dealt with body image insecurities growing up. But there’s another part of me that has been shaped by something else.

I got called weirdo, a deaf-mute, foreigner, etc.

“What’s wrong with your voice?”

I used to have rocks and wood chips thrown at me during recess.

“Why don’t you use sign language instead of your weird voice?”

I was terrified of public speaking.

“Why do you wear a radio behind your ear?”

I would wear my hair down to hide my hearing aids in the halls.

I’ve been pushed, kicked, shouted, hair pulled to get my attention.

I was lost.

I was ashamed of my hearing aids.

I spent many years in speech therapy and used to think it was all for nothing.

BUT

They shaped me to be the person I am today.

They pushed me to be a better person.

Let it motivate you, let it break you down and take you to places you’ve never imagined before.

Take a bow on your past insecurities and stand ten feet tall.

Being Deaf in a Hearing Family

I was often seen as favored out of my brother and sister.

I often read lips of important figures telling others my mother pays too much attention to me. But wait.

The jealously is over a hard-working single mother who threw all of her support, love, life lessons, attention in to raising me to be the best human I can be. Mixed feelings of guilt and gratitude over here.

I remember the teenage anguish of frustration between all of us. The loneliness, despair, guilt, can’t-get-the-right-words-out-of-my-mouth feelings. The door slams, hide in your room and cry it out, the aches to be included even though to them you are. Deep inside you’re left out.


Dinner and party events are often a blur because you’re reading so many lips and hearing a ton of static in the background.

Conversations are in a trance and often times, there’s misunderstanding, correcting, and did I mention awkwardness?

Fitting in with your extended family was a stretch.

Throwing your hearing aids in the toilet over the sound of your parents arguing in the background.

Being social with friends is like trying not to drown.

I was born in the mid 1980s when doctors are telling parents to place a disabled child in a home with other disabled children. Sign language was deemed inferior to English speaking. Cochlear implants were part of an amazing young technology that had barely any research to back it up.


After my diagnosis at 2 years old, my mother ignored all of the doctors orders. The kind to send me away to boarding school to be placed with other deaf children. The kind to put some unknown irreversible implant into my cochleae. The kind that tells you your child shouldn’t be using speech but express with her hands.

I distinctly remember the routine of a long drive to daily speech lessons. The fear of my speech therapist covering her mouth, making me crumble at every word that I was forced to repeat. The sick feeling in my stomach knowing I got every word wrong. The weight of the world on my shoulders as I come home.

There were note pads in every room. Every piece of furniture had a name. I was challenged every single day. To speak it correctly in every consonant, vowel, and spelling.

Closed-captioning became readily available on certain channels at the time. It was a life saver. It taught me lip-reading, how to read words, how to comprehend, how to read a sentence and listen, and so much more.

Being bi-lingual, in my terms, with not-so-fluent ASL and fluent English has taught me to be more broad, in my opinion. Each one of us in the family picked up ASL in our own ways but linguishly I still flourished with oral speech.

ASL may have never been in the household. I don’t, never did and never will hold any resentment towards that.

Those who learn oral speech aren’t less deaf and those who learn ASL aren’t failures. – unknown

My family accepted me for who I am.

That Mom With a Deaf Daughter

That mom had no idea what she was in for. I was a pretty outgoing little baby with so much to offer until one day she realized I wasn’t talking when I should be. I wasn’t responding to that clap behind my back. Wait a minute? She’s fine. She’s just lazy…

Remember when I talked about perseverance in my past blogs? This woman is the definition of perseverance.

She became that mom with a deaf daughter.

She quickly became that teacher, speech therapist, my “hearing aid battery switcher”. She taught me in more ways than I ever could learn.

I learned to speak, I learned to hear, I learned to listen.

She showed me a passion for dance, a place I could escape and express.

She showed me places I never imagined seeing, turning me into a wanderlust.

She showed me independence, molding me to be the strong woman today.

She taught me that fear is not an option, to deal with the fear I didn’t know existed.

She taught me the strengths I didn’t know I had. To be able to fall fearlessly into life and truly learn what this world has to offer.

She taught me to smile in the face of adversity. And to believe in myself.

She taught me that love doesn’t come from hugs and kisses, it’s the random act of kindness you do for others.

She’s taught me what it means to give love and be loved, and for that I am forever grateful.

Thank you for always being selfless. The constant rides to dance lessons and rehearsals. Showing up to every single dance performances and games. Making my birthday cake every year. Being there when I need it.

Being there for my first words, my first steps, my first days of school, my first heartbreak.

All the way through life, no matter the highs and lowest lows, she’s always been my standing ovation and continue to be so.

Thank you for being you.

I can only hope to be half the woman, friend and future mother she is today.

All I am I owe to my mother

George Washington