You Think You See, But You Have No Idea

My photo
Jasper, Alabama, United States

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Ramblings of Nothing Exceptional...

Being the parent of a hearing impaired child comes with many challenges. Being the hearing impaired parent of a hearing impaired child makes those challenges,,, different. For instance, something I've noticed that typical hearing parents worry about is how their child is going to be perceived by its peers. Are they going to be made fun of or even have friends at all. I don't give that a second thought. Hearing impaired or not all children will either be liked or not. Then at the same time, because I have lived it, I fret over things other hearing parents might not notice. Number One on my list is and always has been education. My school days were a living HELL, and I don't say that lightly. School was a complete nightmare for me. Not because of lack of friends, but because of lack of education. I was always a failure. I never "applied" myself. I was "scatterbrained". I "didn't listen". I "wasn't paying attention". I "talked too much". And my personal favorite, I was "Lazy". All the while, I didn't know why I couldn't "apply myself" or "listen", or "remember my home work assignments". I wanted to be a good student so desperately. That's what made every day of my school life torture. I CAN NOT let my child live that experience. He's smart. He's beautiful. He's also hearing impaired. If that teacher had to go though one day trying to function in the hearing world with only hearing aids... Ha! I laugh at what would happen. Ok. I know I'm ranting here. I'm just angry.
Today at work it was so nice to be there, doing my job, listening to conversations and when I got lost, I could just walk away and go do my job. After a while you get used to missing everything. Actually its okay. I thought today how strange it was that I just accept it. I always think to myself, "its not important anyway". On second thought, though, maybe it is. I don't know.
I want to be more. I WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOUR SAYING! Okay it matters.
But the older I get the less it really matters. I just give the "didn't hear you, but I'll let you think I did" nod and walk away. Hide. Get lost in myself. I've spent my life within myself. Ok. This is turning into a rambling of sorts when all I really wanted to say was that I spent my life in the public school system here in Nowhere, Alabama as someone who was "nothing exceptional". When all the while, it was the teachers who were nothing exceptional, because they let a beautiful mind go to waste. They let my education slip right though their hands, and didn't even know it or care.
Ok. Again I'm rambling. I'll stop.

"There are few pains so grievous as to have seen, divined, or experienced how an exceptional man has missed his way and deteriorated"
~Friedrich Nietzsche


SpeakUp Librarian said...

I think you're experiencing mixed feelings regarding your coworkers conversations. Sometimes I deliberately don't wear my hearing aids at work so I can tune the world out and focus on my own duties. But I sit in a cubicle and work on a computer and can go for a long time without interaction. Your job is different and more social by nature.
You're right that it doesn't matter - because the next day perhaps you wouldn't even remember what your coworkers said. At the same time it hurts to feel excluded for something you can't help. For me the bottom line is this: If something is truly important for me to know, the person telling me is going to have to make sure I'm paying attention and that the situation is optimal for me to hear.
Re: your education. It's never too late to learn. I'm glad you've been reading my blog posts on online education. Perhaps sometime you'll have an opportunity to take a class that would challenge your mind yet be accessible at the same time.
I enjoy reading your blog. Keep writing.
All the best,

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, this is familiar. Drolz has written a *lot* about these issues (

American society is not really inclusive until *we* are included - without being surgically remade.


Ambulance Mommy said...

I dont have any advice....i just wanted to say I'm sorry, and send a hug your way. if it's any consolation, as the parent of a hard of hearing toddler, his education is my biggest worry....i was the biggest dork in school, so I know how to survive that, and I can teach him how to get around that. But I'm so worried that my bright little guy will miss something. So we have that in common!

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi AmyKay,
It's me again. I just found out about this terrific resource and wanted to pass it on your way.Described and Captioned Media Program offers captioned videos for free to students who are hard of hearing. You can have them sent to you in the mail or download them on your computer.
If you try it out for your son, let me know how it works for you.
Hugs, Sarah

Amy Kay said...

Yes Sarah I think your right, I am experiencing mixed feelings. I also love to tune the world out. I don't have the luxury at my current job. btw, I've been in the process of obtaining my business degree for years now. Acually I just like going to College. Guess I'm what you might call a professional I wil totally check into the info you sent me. I feel so blessed to have you in my life.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks, AmyKay. You really made my day with that comment. I'm blessed by knowing you (online) too.

KV Creative Designs said...

Every time I read your blog I cringe. Have you taken a Deaf Culture class? Have you educated yourself fully? I just had to let you know that saying "Hearing Impaired" is incredibly disturbing the the Deaf/HOH community. Hard of Hearing (HOH) is the term that we prefer. Saying impaired implies so many negative attributes. If you notice MANY of your commentors also use the Hard of Hearing term.
I encourage you to investigate this further and talk to other HOH people.