Saturday, June 15, 2013

A note on "partial" deafness

I'm often labeled "weird," and I suppose I am, for a variety of reasons.
The biggest, though, may stem from my deafness.

I can hear well enough. Took me a tad longer to learn how to talk, and I was a silent enough child to be dragged to a shrink while all of 4 years old, who figured out I was a bit deaf.

I'm still deaf, and I'm still weird. The child psychiatrist could not fix either.

Suspect a lot of it comes from being (literally) shut out of the conversation, as I was, until computer communication started.
I never understood lyrics, never was quite sure what someone said, and even if I did understand, it was at the cost of a beat or two of time, and the conversation moved on without me.
I have trouble saying good-bye, I think, because that tiny pause between what was said and what I hear gets interpreted as me having something more to say. And sometimes folks say good-bye, and I miss it.

As much as I pretend that I am missing the empathy gene, that's a lie. What I am missing is living in the same time instant as everyone else, and that freaks people out, maybe at an unconscious level. It's a common thing among the partially deaf. We are (most of us, anyway), odd.
Traveling on a moor, no worries. Traveling anywhere else, where speech matters, a fucking nightmare. Even ordering a cup of coffee becomes a trial.

My deafness played a large role in making me the person I am--and for that I am grateful. I am a lucky man.

Heard dolphins snorting today while on the kayak.
Enough for me....


Sue VanHattum said...

I've had my hearing checked, and can't blame my own comprehension delays on deafness. But it's like you describe for me, too - I'm often just a bit slow getting what was said.

doyle said...

Dear Sue,

You're thoughtful--in a culture that no longer allows for pauses, that's a problem.

I bet we'd both be comfortable with long pauses when we ever meet.