I've been hearing impaired my whole life. Severe hearing loss, that is. My sister and I, 9 years older then me, had both gotten it from my mother, who had gotten it when she was sick as a child.
From as long as i could remember, there was always someone to tease me about it.
There was kindergarden through fourth grade. A very dark blur, that i've always tried to erase. It started as small things it seems. Stuff that adults would say, oh well, that just happens. So i never told anyone. I learned quickly and at a young age, how to read lips, very well at that. I'd get picked last for a game, or simply no one wanted to talk to me. Nothing big, right? I got picked on, because i was allowed to skip classes, but only to go to speech classes, they tried to improve my ability to speak. Get picked on, snickers and giggles, here and there. I soon had to wear these huge headphones, that seemed incredibly big to my tiny head, that was connected to a cassette sized and shape box. To the teacher, they had to wear a clip on microphone. It was a one-way walkie talkie, with none of the "cool" factor. No one wanted to have to talk into the microphone. I was the loser. The girl no one should talk to. I was too small for a hearing aid. I had to wait. I was to be avoided, to all but a very select few, that didn't mind talking to me. A couple of kids, were even impressed that i could read lips so well. That was the sunshine. It turned pretty dark after that. The better i got at lip reading, i "heard" all the comments. The girl who can't talk. The reject. The retard. The slow one. I got pushed up against a locker. While a few kids laughed and giggled. I can't even remember the kid's name. Life hit pretty fast and hard after that. Memories i try to block out. Things that "never happened." How the teacher's had eventually wanted to give up on me. How i should go to a deaf school. My transition from fourth to fifth grade. It was different, i still tried to be positive. I could see people talking to me, or more then that, talking at me, down to me, I was inferior to them. My family, i can remember things here and there. I recognized tones of voice. The talking-down at me tone. "Hold her hand while you're crossing the street, YOU CANT HEAR THE CARS COMING." Like i couldn't just look? As a 14 year old. I was already the odd kid out. So i was a perfect target to be bullied. I was the silent type. I had my hearing aid in middle school. That didn't stop everyone, that stopped absolutely no one. All it did, was push me further, making me realize how cruel the world was. So i matured quicker, grabbed a better outlook on life then what society wants out of me. I don't want a 9-5 job and get married and live the way they want. The way they want, i tried that, it was horribly cruel. I'll remember the laughs and snickers, "you're so deaf." "Can't you hear me?" "I'm just done with this, i'm not dealing with it." Dreams here and there, began to fade with every dark cruel comment. Policewoman, firewoman, simple things that just require hearing. Things that everyone took for granted. I had began to hear/see more cruel comments as i got older. They told me, no matter what it was, that it could never be done. To stop wasting time on me. I was a lost cause. My mom saw the pain i went through. Bits and peices that, i would admit, when the 2nd or 3rd month rolled around and i grew weak of keeping it all in. I had to keep it a secret. I knew it wasn't her fault. But there was also nothing she could do, and i couldn't make it harder then it was. I grew in better control of my emotions, i learned how to block out what people say. But it was always there, and that made me an incredibly sensitive person. I got sick of getting picked on. Looked down at and picked last for whatever it was. Memories of people teasing me in middle school, are pretty strong. I kept it a secret though. No names needed. I worked on my speech, after my 8th grade graduation. You see, 5-8th grade, gave up on me. I was just that, i was a lost cause. It improved. I gained friends.
High school. It didn't stop anyone from teasing me, but it caused my friends to grow protective of me. My new friends. And a couple old ones. The friends i gained, and quickly. I became less of a target. I still kept my distance, but people were still there to make a comment, whenever i was alone. I still heard mean things. I should just quit. Other cruel things. I learned to trust people again, i was working on it, and people had screwed me over before, people i thought were my friends. Freshman. Sophmore. Junior. I happened to really like this boy. We dated for quite some time. A year and a half or more. I learned, the world wasn't so evil. I loved, i trusted, i was happy. Blindly happy. Things i never noticed,happened. Things i refused to beleive. Cheating, drugs and more. That wasn't even what hurt the most. I had found out, that he talked, literally right behind my back, to his friends. Cruel things. I'd turn around and asked what he said, "oh nothing, i love you babe." Say cruel things and do cruel things. I was not blindly in love, i was "deaf"ly in love. I still think about that. Every. Single. Day. The graduation day rolls up. It happens. I've officially graduated in May. Granted, this all happened and knew nothing of so, till about October of that year. A love, had turned into my deepest fear. The name, strikes something i've never felt before. Someone who told me, i ended up liking him. That fear had been reunited once that name had been strucken up. That fear. How does someone so trusted, be so cruel. That really messed me up. I tried again.
This one. Once i tried again. Had mentioned to my friends, about my disabilty and laughed about it. I couldn't hear, i didn't talk on the phone enough, though i spent 110 dollars, just trying hours and hours of talking on the phone. That was the "reason". Turns out, it was actually cause i "was a loser and a mistake, a waste of time." He was glad he was "never going to turn out like me." It hit. Everything everyone ever said. It came back. Everything i'm never gonna be. Everything i should never do or try. The first love. The fear. The loser in 2nd grade that got pushed against a locker and got my head hit. The one who got excluded from music class, the picked last. The picked on. The ditch scene. The outcast. It all came back. I can't even type this without trying to not bawl my eyes out because i'm trying to at least keep my composure. The voices, the memories, the false happiness and the blind side. It all came crashing down. All at once. I was terried to see anyone. I still get comments. That retard can't talk right. She sounds stupid. What an idiot. F*cking reject. She could kill herself. SUICIDAL B*tch.
I'm a successful 20 year old who graduated high school, went to college, volunteer multiple places, never got kicked out of school (in fact the only time i ever got in trouble, i got 3 in school suspension, for being late to english the first month of my freshman year), never done drugs, smoked or drank. I have my own crafting, painting and photography business. As well as babysitting. And being a side model. Yet. All the comments, they stick. All the actions, they still hurt. How am i have "turned out" the way you never want to? I'm filled with countless of cruel stories, countless. I never created one cruel story though. I was never simply, EVIL. To hurt someone or something with no cause other then to hurt them. I couldn't accidently scratch someone without apologizing. I cry at every sad moment.
How does it hurt? "“Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.” I truly beleive, that one should have to put up with me. Oh, here comes brittany. Here we go again. I don't deserve to be happy. That's how i feel sometimes. That feeling that just makes you want to sleep in bed, not get up and say, well theres nothing to do. I don't fight back. I don't stand up for myself. I'm just here. I walk away quietly, into empty spaces. Trying to close the gaps of the past.
I have a huge base of friends now. I guess, i'm "popular". I truly can't go anywhere without someone knowing me or knowing something about me or knowing someone i know. "OH HEY! There's brittany!" Excitement. Happiness. I bring that. That confuses me to no end. I can't store positive things. Mostly negative things. I'm working on it though. I'm not bitter and im not a depressed little girl, i seem like that, i know.
All in reality. I am so grateful that i'm alive. Through all the mad and the craziness, the world is head over heels an amazing beautiful place, breathtaking even. I don't like this, and i hate i have to be careful and plan things to make sure nothing happen to this technology that i'm oh-so dependant on. But i wouldn't change anything. It all happened for a reason. I hope it doesnt ever happen to anyone else. It's really rare to have to be positive about everything. To be like me, almost. This is my story, and how i took an incredibly dark world, and added my own little splash of color into it. I made my story, a beautiful painting, something that i'm grateful to be a part of, to wake up and see all of this. (If you saw my room, you would understand quite how colorful i am). I guess you can say, I can hear, see the difference now.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.