January 30, 2015 Alicia Castro 44Comment

I understand that my confessions may shock, hurt, and anger you.  But I’m ready to change and do what I must do.  My heart no longer wants to follow the darkness or feel empty.  It wants to breathe happiness.  To make myself happy, shine, and live without fears or anxieties.  I need to release the things I’m not proud of.

One of the things I’ve been doing for so long is to pretend that I can hear when I cannot.  I’ve been pretending to listen to people’s conversation since the day I started utilizing hearing aids to hear better.  My reasons for pretending to hear is because I wanted acceptance, attention, and communicate with normal hearing people.  All I wanted was to continue to watch movies with family members, play video games with friends, and laugh with every person who tried to socialize with me.  The longer I pretended to listen, the easier it became to continue pretending.  I’ve never told a person face-to-face that I’ve been pretending to listen when I cannot hear because I know it’s going hurt his or her feelings.

A person wearing cochlear implants or a deaf person will never pretend to listen what he or she cannot hear.  Why should I continue to pretend when it’s better to be myself and honest.  It’s mean and selfish to pretend to listen when I cannot hear.  No more pretending.  It’s time to live my life like the wind.

wind

44 thoughts on “Confessions of a 27 year old HoH (Hard of Hearing) Part 1

  1. Um, sorry. But lots of us with CIs still pretend to hear when we cannot. Even if it’s only to convince ourselves that the CIS are “working just fine for us.” Sure. In the booth under the right conditions, we can score 95%+ on the comprehension tests. But in the real world, every day we’re in that old situation where someone is telling us something, we can’t understand, and we know it’s just too much hassle to ask them to repeat and repeat and repeat.

  2. Um, sorry. But lots of us with CIs still pretend to hear when we cannot. Even if it’s only to convince ourselves that the CIS are “working just fine for us.” Sure. In the booth under the right conditions, we can score 95%+ on the comprehension tests. But in the real world, every day we’re in that old situation where someone is telling us something, we can’t understand, and we know it’s just too much hassle to ask them to repeat and repeat and repeat.

    1. John, I understand why you disagree with my opinion. Like I mentioned earlier, my goal is to be honest with my self only. Be the real ALICIA, and continue to ask people to repeat and repeat no matter how tiring it becomes. I don’t feel like myself when I pretend to listen when I cannot hear. It’s hurting me inside and I do not want to hurt anymore. I agree with you. It’s so easy for us to score a 95%+ on comprehension skills but it’s not the same once we step out in the real world. I have bilateral reverse hearing aid and I have trouble distinguishing sounds which can be difficult whenever I’m talking to people. The more noise there is, the more frustrated I feel which is why I continued to pretend to listen to people when I couldn’t hear. From now on, I will be myself and ask people to stop talking because the noise is not allowing me to hear their voices.

  3. Just to be sure: you will not longer be pretending to hear? You will tell people face to face “I can’t understand”?
    Every hearing loss is different but I see you have completed a master yet. I am curious, how you managed the course to complete it? Was it a special program for deaf people? Signing? Using FM support? CI? Thanks a lot in advance for your comments. Very valuable ideas May come from them.

    1. Alex, that’s correct. I will no longer pretend to hear. Most of the time, I am “guessing” or trying to put in the words “I think” people are saying. I get lost a lot so I usually stay quiet and smile. From now on, I will not stay quiet. I will speak up and ask people to please get closer to my face…allow me to read their lips with a lot of light…and they need to use hand signatures if they’re trying to tell me something.

      For example, “Alicia do you have a pair of scissors?”

      I’m usually hearing. “Alicia do you have a tart of ….sors?” I stay quiet thinking….what the heck is he or she trying to say. So it’s helpful for me for people to use hand signals. They can say “Alicia, do you have a pair of (using scissors cutting signals) scissors?” This makes my life so much easier to hear and not feel like a complete idiot.

      I do not sign. I wasn’t enrolled for speech therapy when I was diagnosed with hearing loss at age 9. I used BTE hearing aids and ITE hearing aids. I never heard of “using the FM Support or CI system, until I enrolled at a undergraduate program. By then my self-esteem was low, I was depressed and embarrassed for earning low grades. So, I’m currently working right now and am starting to realize that I need to LEARN to use my hearing ability not READ LIPS. I need to train my ears to get comfortable hearing different voices.

      I read lip 80% and use 20% hearing ability. I need to stop this bad habit of mine. It should be read lip 50% and hearing 50%. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I really need to change and be happy wholly. Accept it’s okay to ask people to repeat words, use hand signals (not necessarily sign because I do not sign), and ask people to make sure I am catching up to their communication level. I hope my answers were helpful.

      1. I agreed with you that most of HOH tend to read lip 80% and use 20% hearing ability. It should be read lip 50% and hearing 50% but it is difficult to improve. Even i tried to do it but cannot as it is difficult to change your habit which I have been doing it for very long time. You have any ideas to improve such task?

        1. Hiren,

          It’s true that hearing 50% and reading lip 50% can be difficult but not possible. I started doing this by facing people on the side. I refuse to see their faces because it makes me want to read their lip. I sit with l people sideways and imagine I’m reading their lip, it’s been a difficult journey but this method works for me to train my ears to listen. Try doing this for a week and let me know if it’s been helpful 🙂

  4. Just to be sure: you will not longer be pretending to hear? You will tell people face to face “I can’t understand”?
    Every hearing loss is different but I see you have completed a master yet. I am curious, how you managed the course to complete it? Was it a special program for deaf people? Signing? Using FM support? CI? Thanks a lot in advance for your comments. Very valuable ideas May come from them.

    1. Alex, that’s correct. I will no longer pretend to hear. Most of the time, I am “guessing” or trying to put in the words “I think” people are saying. I get lost a lot so I usually stay quiet and smile. From now on, I will not stay quiet. I will speak up and ask people to please get closer to my face…allow me to read their lips with a lot of light…and they need to use hand signatures if they’re trying to tell me something.

      For example, “Alicia do you have a pair of scissors?”

      I’m usually hearing. “Alicia do you have a tart of ….sors?” I stay quiet thinking….what the heck is he or she trying to say. So it’s helpful for me for people to use hand signals. They can say “Alicia, do you have a pair of (using scissors cutting signals) scissors?” This makes my life so much easier to hear and not feel like a complete idiot.

      I do not sign. I wasn’t enrolled for speech therapy when I was diagnosed with hearing loss at age 9. I used BTE hearing aids and ITE hearing aids. I never heard of “using the FM Support or CI system, until I enrolled at a undergraduate program. By then my self-esteem was low, I was depressed and embarrassed for earning low grades. So, I’m currently working right now and am starting to realize that I need to LEARN to use my hearing ability not READ LIPS. I need to train my ears to get comfortable hearing different voices.

      I read lip 80% and use 20% hearing ability. I need to stop this bad habit of mine. It should be read lip 50% and hearing 50%. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I really need to change and be happy wholly. Accept it’s okay to ask people to repeat words, use hand signals (not necessarily sign because I do not sign), and ask people to make sure I am catching up to their communication level. I hope my answers were helpful.

      1. I agreed with you that most of HOH tend to read lip 80% and use 20% hearing ability. It should be read lip 50% and hearing 50% but it is difficult to improve. Even i tried to do it but cannot as it is difficult to change your habit which I have been doing it for very long time. You have any ideas to improve such task?

        1. Hiren,

          It’s true that hearing 50% and reading lip 50% can be difficult but not possible. I started doing this by facing people on the side. I refuse to see their faces because it makes me want to read their lip. I sit with l people sideways and imagine I’m reading their lip, it’s been a difficult journey but this method works for me to train my ears to listen. Try doing this for a week and let me know if it’s been helpful 🙂

  5. I myself living in a hearing society, with hearing colleages, family & friends know exactly where you come from. I also pretended to hear for many many years, I am unsure to this day why? whether it was to ease the embarrasment or to feel included. I would cling on to the ever decreasing information, like a word in a sentence & process the small amount of information I did hear to work out what was being discussed, blagging my way through life & avoiding being found out. Was I a fraud? Up until a couple of years ago, my hearing loss became too severe, I knew the day would come but I was so unprepared! It wasn’t until my best friend who was deaf herself up until she was 7 years old, turned round to me one night & said totally out the blue ‘you don’t have to be embarrassed for not hearing, its not your fault’ it suddenly dawned on me. At that time it was just getting too hard to carry on pretending, it was like my brain was working overtime trying to process simplest of things like communication & continue to live life & do my Job which required a lot of thought process as it was. I became so frustrated & depressed.. i think it just creeps up on you, & your human instinct is to just cope & get by the best you can, until you can’t cope no more. When that time came it was truly heartbreaking & a scarey world & i didn’t feel anyone understood, I was totally alone, I didn’t know how i’d cope, it was such an uncertain time. Gladly things did improve in time & I’ve learned to adjust, i just wish I’d done it sooner! unless you’ve walked in our shoes, you really don’t know. Its good to hear your no longer pretending & your facing up to it. Good for you! x

  6. I myself living in a hearing society, with hearing colleages, family & friends know exactly where you come from. I also pretended to hear for many many years, I am unsure to this day why? whether it was to ease the embarrasment or to feel included. I would cling on to the ever decreasing information, like a word in a sentence & process the small amount of information I did hear to work out what was being discussed, blagging my way through life & avoiding being found out. Was I a fraud? Up until a couple of years ago, my hearing loss became too severe, I knew the day would come but I was so unprepared! It wasn’t until my best friend who was deaf herself up until she was 7 years old, turned round to me one night & said totally out the blue ‘you don’t have to be embarrassed for not hearing, its not your fault’ it suddenly dawned on me. At that time it was just getting too hard to carry on pretending, it was like my brain was working overtime trying to process simplest of things like communication & continue to live life & do my Job which required a lot of thought process as it was. I became so frustrated & depressed.. i think it just creeps up on you, & your human instinct is to just cope & get by the best you can, until you can’t cope no more. When that time came it was truly heartbreaking & a scarey world & i didn’t feel anyone understood, I was totally alone, I didn’t know how i’d cope, it was such an uncertain time. Gladly things did improve in time & I’ve learned to adjust, i just wish I’d done it sooner! unless you’ve walked in our shoes, you really don’t know. Its good to hear your no longer pretending & your facing up to it. Good for you! x

  7. I myself living in a hearing society, with hearing colleages, family & friends know exactly where you come from. I also pretended to hear for many many years, I am unsure to this day why? whether it was to ease the embarrasment or to feel included. I would cling on to the ever decreasing information, like a word in a sentence & process the small amount of information I did hear to work out what was being discussed, blagging my way through life & avoiding being found out. Was I a fraud? Up until a couple of years ago, my hearing loss became too severe, I knew the day would come but I was so unprepared! It wasn’t until my best friend who was deaf herself up until she was 7 years old, turned round to me one night & said totally out the blue ‘you don’t have to be embarrassed for not hearing, its not your fault’ it suddenly dawned on me. At that time it was just getting too hard to carry on pretending, it was like my brain was working overtime trying to process simplest of things like communication & continue to live life & do my Job which required a lot of thought process as it was. I became so frustrated & depressed.. i think it just creeps up on you, & your human instinct is to just cope & get by the best you can, until you can’t cope no more. When that time came it was truly heartbreaking & a scarey world & i didn’t feel anyone understood, I was totally alone, I didn’t know how i’d cope, it was such an uncertain time. Gladly things did improve in time & I’ve learned to adjust, i just wish I’d done it sooner! unless you’ve walked in our shoes, you really don’t know. Its good to hear your no longer pretending & your facing up to it. Good for you! x

  8. Hi Alicia! I have a few things to say!

    Firstly, I agree with John, be careful with black and white generalizations ! ” A person wearing cochlear implants or a deaf person will never pretend to listen what he or she cannot hear. ”
    Of course we do! So do hearing people! It is still a shock for me to learn that hearing people miss stuff all the time too, and fake it.

    On fakery: it depends on my energy level, who I am with, what is the “goal” (do I really care if I missed the waiter’s explanation of the daily specials when I already know what I want? Nope. Do I care if I miss what my 17 y.o. says? Yep.) If I hear, oh never mind, it wasn’t important, I’ll tell you later, I will threaten to launch a lecture on deafness politics until it is repeated. But only if I WANT to.

    For you, Alicia,
    I applaud your goal of being honest @ faking it. Do it until you don’t need to anymore.

    It’s like becoming a feminist or political– for awhile EVERYthing is about feminism. When I learned ASL at 25 y.o., and with it Deaf awareness, culture, and politics, EVERYthing became about this until this became more “integrated.” I was a bit of a pain to be around at these times, but my grad school prof (psychdrama) said I just had to go through it. Like he did in his early 20’s when he became aware of whatever political stripes he pulled on at the time.

    I began to relax when I learned ASL and overtime develop relationships with Deaf people, who celebrated being Deaf and accepted my “loss” . DO NOT underestimate the positive impact this has on self esteem. The more I learned ASL/culture, the more confident I became as a communicator in English, period.

    I wish that every hard of hearing, deaf, and CI child had an activity or 2 with Deaf people to learn ASL. My goodness. Doesn’t mean one has to change educational environments. IT ADDS to one’s life, sort of like attending say, Russian school on the weekends for while, to learn Russian culture, Dance and becoming aware that beauty of a Russian identity is a part of you, even if in your daily life you are mainstreamed and like it that way.

    Sure, I still had to go through the fire in terms of learning a new culture. There is no either or. Currently I spend most of my personal time with hearing people (just sort of happened with life changes, hearing children, divorce from a hard of hearing man who also was “more” culturally Deaf than I, etc. My Deaf adult clients are actually happy that they don’t see me around at Deaf events– less awkward.

    1. Thank you Carrie for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I’ve been careful with what I say and what I write on my blog. In fact, I asked a person who is deaf and another person who wears cochlear implants for his or her opinion before I blogged this post. I try my best to blog with how I feel. My goal is to inspire people to be the person they were meant to be and unite normal, deaf, hearing loss individuals. Not to disappoint or anger people. I do agree with your opinion, no matter what I say another person may not like my post and disagree with my opinion. I welcome people’s opinion no matter how nice or harsh their opinions are. This blog is my therapy and whoever writes or likes my blog becomes my friend including those who disagree. Any like or comment that I receive helps me heal mentally, physically, and socially.

      You are correct, people fake what they hear but only at their convenience. Individuals with hearing loss cannot fake what they cannot hear all the time. I get lost a lot and I’m sure I’m not the only one. We smile, we nod, we stay quiet and say nothing because we are afraid or feel shy to ask the communicator to rephrase the words.

      Wow, I do see the feminist pattern. Never in my mind would I have thought that this blog post would attract so much attention. I guess I’ve been faking it for so long because nobody knew about my secret. I am tired of feeling lost everyday, tired of not making enough friends because I cannot act like myself, and tired of guessing words. I want peace, accept my identity and embrace my hearing loss.

      Your wish about people taking time to learn ASL; I am currently working on it. I’ve been practicing ASL with the little time I have. As soon as I feel comfortable- I will publish videos of how far I’ve gotten to learn ASL. Again, I need to be careful because I do not want to offend anyone. To me, ASL is a beautiful language and deserves respect.

      Please correct me if I am wrong but I get the feeling that you’re trying to tell me that your deaf adult clients dislike seeing you socialize with normal hearing individuals. Does this explain why deaf people feel happy when you’re not attending their deaf events? Thank you for your time and consideration.

      V/R
      Alicia Castro

      1. Alica,

        I have the same issue as Carrie as in the terms of not attending deaf events. It is a very tough boundary to be in, being a professional and a deaf person at the same time and still attend events. Sometimes it is better just to stay away from the events themselves in order to give other Deaf people and myself the privacy we need.

        To balance myself out, i find friends outside the Deaf community or find another Deaf professionals to socialize with as well as have hearing friends who understands ASL. Hobbies also helps!

        1. Tammy, it saddens me to hear you and maybe Carrie too cannot attend events because some deaf people want their own privacy instead of using the opportunity to network. It shouldn’t be that way.

          Believe or not, I see a similarity and feel the same way whenever I attend any type of events (fairs, shows, networking, and career booths). I dislike attending events because it’s very loud, difficult to concentrate listening to people, and speakers refuse to rephrase their words for me. I feel left out and hurt as if nobody cares to understand I’m trying my best to communicate, accept this is how the real hearing people work, and fit in.

          I stopped networking. Instead, I found better ways to stop “feeling left out”. For example I hike by myself, go to the park and watch the sky move to use this peaceful opportunity to listen and distinguish how different sounds work. Sometimes it’s boring but I’ve gotten used to it.

  9. Hi Alicia! I have a few things to say!

    Firstly, I agree with John, be careful with black and white generalizations ! ” A person wearing cochlear implants or a deaf person will never pretend to listen what he or she cannot hear. ”
    Of course we do! So do hearing people! It is still a shock for me to learn that hearing people miss stuff all the time too, and fake it.

    On fakery: it depends on my energy level, who I am with, what is the “goal” (do I really care if I missed the waiter’s explanation of the daily specials when I already know what I want? Nope. Do I care if I miss what my 17 y.o. says? Yep.) If I hear, oh never mind, it wasn’t important, I’ll tell you later, I will threaten to launch a lecture on deafness politics until it is repeated. But only if I WANT to.

    For you, Alicia,
    I applaud your goal of being honest @ faking it. Do it until you don’t need to anymore.

    It’s like becoming a feminist or political– for awhile EVERYthing is about feminism. When I learned ASL at 25 y.o., and with it Deaf awareness, culture, and politics, EVERYthing became about this until this became more “integrated.” I was a bit of a pain to be around at these times, but my grad school prof (psychdrama) said I just had to go through it. Like he did in his early 20’s when he became aware of whatever political stripes he pulled on at the time.

    I began to relax when I learned ASL and overtime develop relationships with Deaf people, who celebrated being Deaf and accepted my “loss” . DO NOT underestimate the positive impact this has on self esteem. The more I learned ASL/culture, the more confident I became as a communicator in English, period.

    I wish that every hard of hearing, deaf, and CI child had an activity or 2 with Deaf people to learn ASL. My goodness. Doesn’t mean one has to change educational environments. IT ADDS to one’s life, sort of like attending say, Russian school on the weekends for while, to learn Russian culture, Dance and becoming aware that beauty of a Russian identity is a part of you, even if in your daily life you are mainstreamed and like it that way.

    Sure, I still had to go through the fire in terms of learning a new culture. There is no either or. Currently I spend most of my personal time with hearing people (just sort of happened with life changes, hearing children, divorce from a hard of hearing man who also was “more” culturally Deaf than I, etc. My Deaf adult clients are actually happy that they don’t see me around at Deaf events– less awkward.

    1. Thank you Carrie for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I’ve been careful with what I say and what I write on my blog. In fact, I asked a person who is deaf and another person who wears cochlear implants for his or her opinion before I blogged this post. I try my best to blog with how I feel. My goal is to inspire people to be the person they were meant to be and unite normal, deaf, hearing loss individuals. Not to disappoint or anger people. I do agree with your opinion, no matter what I say another person may not like my post and disagree with my opinion. I welcome people’s opinion no matter how nice or harsh their opinions are. This blog is my therapy and whoever writes or likes my blog becomes my friend including those who disagree. Any like or comment that I receive helps me heal mentally, physically, and socially.

      You are correct, people fake what they hear but only at their convenience. Individuals with hearing loss cannot fake what they cannot hear all the time. I get lost a lot and I’m sure I’m not the only one. We smile, we nod, we stay quiet and say nothing because we are afraid or feel shy to ask the communicator to rephrase the words.

      Wow, I do see the feminist pattern. Never in my mind would I have thought that this blog post would attract so much attention. I guess I’ve been faking it for so long because nobody knew about my secret. I am tired of feeling lost everyday, tired of not making enough friends because I cannot act like myself, and tired of guessing words. I want peace, accept my identity and embrace my hearing loss.

      Your wish about people taking time to learn ASL; I am currently working on it. I’ve been practicing ASL with the little time I have. As soon as I feel comfortable- I will publish videos of how far I’ve gotten to learn ASL. Again, I need to be careful because I do not want to offend anyone. To me, ASL is a beautiful language and deserves respect.

      Please correct me if I am wrong but I get the feeling that you’re trying to tell me that your deaf adult clients dislike seeing you socialize with normal hearing individuals. Does this explain why deaf people feel happy when you’re not attending their deaf events? Thank you for your time and consideration.

      V/R
      Alicia Castro

      1. Alica,

        I have the same issue as Carrie as in the terms of not attending deaf events. It is a very tough boundary to be in, being a professional and a deaf person at the same time and still attend events. Sometimes it is better just to stay away from the events themselves in order to give other Deaf people and myself the privacy we need.

        To balance myself out, i find friends outside the Deaf community or find another Deaf professionals to socialize with as well as have hearing friends who understands ASL. Hobbies also helps!

        1. Tammy, it saddens me to hear you and maybe Carrie too cannot attend events because some deaf people want their own privacy instead of using the opportunity to network. It shouldn’t be that way.

          Believe or not, I see a similarity and feel the same way whenever I attend any type of events (fairs, shows, networking, and career booths). I dislike attending events because it’s very loud, difficult to concentrate listening to people, and speakers refuse to rephrase their words for me. I feel left out and hurt as if nobody cares to understand I’m trying my best to communicate, accept this is how the real hearing people work, and fit in.

          I stopped networking. Instead, I found better ways to stop “feeling left out”. For example I hike by myself, go to the park and watch the sky move to use this peaceful opportunity to listen and distinguish how different sounds work. Sometimes it’s boring but I’ve gotten used to it.

  10. Hi Alicia! I have a few things to say!

    Firstly, I agree with John, be careful with black and white generalizations ! ” A person wearing cochlear implants or a deaf person will never pretend to listen what he or she cannot hear. ”
    Of course we do! So do hearing people! It is still a shock for me to learn that hearing people miss stuff all the time too, and fake it.

    On fakery: it depends on my energy level, who I am with, what is the “goal” (do I really care if I missed the waiter’s explanation of the daily specials when I already know what I want? Nope. Do I care if I miss what my 17 y.o. says? Yep.) If I hear, oh never mind, it wasn’t important, I’ll tell you later, I will threaten to launch a lecture on deafness politics until it is repeated. But only if I WANT to.

    For you, Alicia,
    I applaud your goal of being honest @ faking it. Do it until you don’t need to anymore.

    It’s like becoming a feminist or political– for awhile EVERYthing is about feminism. When I learned ASL at 25 y.o., and with it Deaf awareness, culture, and politics, EVERYthing became about this until this became more “integrated.” I was a bit of a pain to be around at these times, but my grad school prof (psychdrama) said I just had to go through it. Like he did in his early 20’s when he became aware of whatever political stripes he pulled on at the time.

    I began to relax when I learned ASL and overtime develop relationships with Deaf people, who celebrated being Deaf and accepted my “loss” . DO NOT underestimate the positive impact this has on self esteem. The more I learned ASL/culture, the more confident I became as a communicator in English, period.

    I wish that every hard of hearing, deaf, and CI child had an activity or 2 with Deaf people to learn ASL. My goodness. Doesn’t mean one has to change educational environments. IT ADDS to one’s life, sort of like attending say, Russian school on the weekends for while, to learn Russian culture, Dance and becoming aware that beauty of a Russian identity is a part of you, even if in your daily life you are mainstreamed and like it that way.

    Sure, I still had to go through the fire in terms of learning a new culture. There is no either or. Currently I spend most of my personal time with hearing people (just sort of happened with life changes, hearing children, divorce from a hard of hearing man who also was “more” culturally Deaf than I, etc. My Deaf adult clients are actually happy that they don’t see me around at Deaf events– less awkward.

    1. Thank you Carrie for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I’ve been careful with what I say and what I write on my blog. In fact, I asked a person who is deaf and another person who wears cochlear implants for his or her opinion before I blogged this post. I try my best to blog with how I feel. My goal is to inspire people to be the person they were meant to be and unite normal, deaf, hearing loss individuals. Not to disappoint or anger people. I do agree with your opinion, no matter what I say another person may not like my post and disagree with my opinion. I welcome people’s opinion no matter how nice or harsh their opinions are. This blog is my therapy and whoever writes or likes my blog becomes my friend including those who disagree. Any like or comment that I receive helps me heal mentally, physically, and socially.

      You are correct, people fake what they hear but only at their convenience. Individuals with hearing loss cannot fake what they cannot hear all the time. I get lost a lot and I’m sure I’m not the only one. We smile, we nod, we stay quiet and say nothing because we are afraid or feel shy to ask the communicator to rephrase the words.

      Wow, I do see the feminist pattern. Never in my mind would I have thought that this blog post would attract so much attention. I guess I’ve been faking it for so long because nobody knew about my secret. I am tired of feeling lost everyday, tired of not making enough friends because I cannot act like myself, and tired of guessing words. I want peace, accept my identity and embrace my hearing loss.

      Your wish about people taking time to learn ASL; I am currently working on it. I’ve been practicing ASL with the little time I have. As soon as I feel comfortable- I will publish videos of how far I’ve gotten to learn ASL. Again, I need to be careful because I do not want to offend anyone. To me, ASL is a beautiful language and deserves respect.

      Please correct me if I am wrong but I get the feeling that you’re trying to tell me that your deaf adult clients dislike seeing you socialize with normal hearing individuals. Does this explain why deaf people feel happy when you’re not attending their deaf events? Thank you for your time and consideration.

      V/R
      Alicia Castro

      1. Alica,

        I have the same issue as Carrie as in the terms of not attending deaf events. It is a very tough boundary to be in, being a professional and a deaf person at the same time and still attend events. Sometimes it is better just to stay away from the events themselves in order to give other Deaf people and myself the privacy we need.

        To balance myself out, i find friends outside the Deaf community or find another Deaf professionals to socialize with as well as have hearing friends who understands ASL. Hobbies also helps!

        1. Tammy, it saddens me to hear you and maybe Carrie too cannot attend events because some deaf people want their own privacy instead of using the opportunity to network. It shouldn’t be that way.

          Believe or not, I see a similarity and feel the same way whenever I attend any type of events (fairs, shows, networking, and career booths). I dislike attending events because it’s very loud, difficult to concentrate listening to people, and speakers refuse to rephrase their words for me. I feel left out and hurt as if nobody cares to understand I’m trying my best to communicate, accept this is how the real hearing people work, and fit in.

          I stopped networking. Instead, I found better ways to stop “feeling left out”. For example I hike by myself, go to the park and watch the sky move to use this peaceful opportunity to listen and distinguish how different sounds work. Sometimes it’s boring but I’ve gotten used to it.

  11. Alicia,

    I am so proud of you for discovering things about yourself and wanting to be the real you. It reminds me of the times in my life when I really struggled with depression. In those days, there really wasn’t a support system. I had to be strong for me and just try to move forward 1 inch at a time, 1 step at a time. Your perseverance shows your strength, beauty, and the wonderful human being you are.

    “Keep your eyes on the prize and hold on!” by Alice Wine

    1. Dear Paula,

      Thank you for your support and for always being their for me through good and bad times. That’s a beautiful quote that you shared with me, I’m very happy to read it and plan to post it on my bedroom wall. Each day, I try to think positive thoughts no matter how bad my days go. I will continue to smile and be the real person I was meant to shine. I’m so glad to hear you’ve gotten stronger without any support when you were depressed. I see you happy, beautiful, and a wonderful human being too.

  12. Alicia,

    I am so proud of you for discovering things about yourself and wanting to be the real you. It reminds me of the times in my life when I really struggled with depression. In those days, there really wasn’t a support system. I had to be strong for me and just try to move forward 1 inch at a time, 1 step at a time. Your perseverance shows your strength, beauty, and the wonderful human being you are.

    “Keep your eyes on the prize and hold on!” by Alice Wine

    1. Dear Paula,

      Thank you for your support and for always being their for me through good and bad times. That’s a beautiful quote that you shared with me, I’m very happy to read it and plan to post it on my bedroom wall. Each day, I try to think positive thoughts no matter how bad my days go. I will continue to smile and be the real person I was meant to shine. I’m so glad to hear you’ve gotten stronger without any support when you were depressed. I see you happy, beautiful, and a wonderful human being too.

  13. Alicia,

    I am so proud of you for discovering things about yourself and wanting to be the real you. It reminds me of the times in my life when I really struggled with depression. In those days, there really wasn’t a support system. I had to be strong for me and just try to move forward 1 inch at a time, 1 step at a time. Your perseverance shows your strength, beauty, and the wonderful human being you are.

    “Keep your eyes on the prize and hold on!” by Alice Wine

    1. Dear Paula,

      Thank you for your support and for always being their for me through good and bad times. That’s a beautiful quote that you shared with me, I’m very happy to read it and plan to post it on my bedroom wall. Each day, I try to think positive thoughts no matter how bad my days go. I will continue to smile and be the real person I was meant to shine. I’m so glad to hear you’ve gotten stronger without any support when you were depressed. I see you happy, beautiful, and a wonderful human being too.

  14. Hi Alicia,
    I am glad I saw your post and came over and read your blog. You are NOT alone. I am 64 years old, have written TWO books (Alone in the Mainstream and Turning the Tide: Making Life Better… — if you plug those into Amazon those titles come up)…but guess what? When I am with family members (who live 5 hours away so it’s only when I go visit or they visit me) I still fall back into “faking it” because I get lazy and tired of reminding them. Fact is, no amount of reminding will work in large family gatherings. So I am content with the effort they make when it’s just me and one family member. Beyond that I have made a life for myself in the DC area where there are many people, both deaf and hearing, who use sign language. I began learning when I was not much younger than you — at age 21. To me, that is “the answer” because no matter how many times we tell them, most hearing people are not going to constantly remember that we miss things. So, Alicia, please understand I am not trying to discourage you. I am GLAD you are realizing this at your ripe young age and not when you are a mother with a several hearing children you can’t follow at the dinner table!!! Or as a senior citizen when you go to the Senior Center and realize you are STILL “the only one”. All the best!! And feel free to email me any time (Gina.Oliva09@gmail.com)

    1. Hi Gina,

      Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on my post. I appreciate the time you took to read and write me a message. Wow, that’s amazing that you wrote and published two books. I’ll have to order the book and would love to know more about your life experiences. I do get tired of reminding people I wear hearing aids and it kind of annoys me because I “expect” them to respect me by remembering to be nice and thoughtful. Most cases, they will always forget and like you said “we” get lazy or tired of reminding people. Hahaha sorry to hear your children who don’t follow your respects in terms of hearing at the dinner table. That is one of the things I’m afraid of, having children. I don’t think I’m ready nor will ever be ready. Maybe someday…I’ll think about it after I’m 30 (if I have a partner who truly loves me wholly). I will definitely email you, thank you so much for sharing your email 🙂

  15. Hi Alicia,
    I am glad I saw your post and came over and read your blog. You are NOT alone. I am 64 years old, have written TWO books (Alone in the Mainstream and Turning the Tide: Making Life Better… — if you plug those into Amazon those titles come up)…but guess what? When I am with family members (who live 5 hours away so it’s only when I go visit or they visit me) I still fall back into “faking it” because I get lazy and tired of reminding them. Fact is, no amount of reminding will work in large family gatherings. So I am content with the effort they make when it’s just me and one family member. Beyond that I have made a life for myself in the DC area where there are many people, both deaf and hearing, who use sign language. I began learning when I was not much younger than you — at age 21. To me, that is “the answer” because no matter how many times we tell them, most hearing people are not going to constantly remember that we miss things. So, Alicia, please understand I am not trying to discourage you. I am GLAD you are realizing this at your ripe young age and not when you are a mother with a several hearing children you can’t follow at the dinner table!!! Or as a senior citizen when you go to the Senior Center and realize you are STILL “the only one”. All the best!! And feel free to email me any time (Gina.Oliva09@gmail.com)

  16. Hi Alicia,
    I am glad I saw your post and came over and read your blog. You are NOT alone. I am 64 years old, have written TWO books (Alone in the Mainstream and Turning the Tide: Making Life Better… — if you plug those into Amazon those titles come up)…but guess what? When I am with family members (who live 5 hours away so it’s only when I go visit or they visit me) I still fall back into “faking it” because I get lazy and tired of reminding them. Fact is, no amount of reminding will work in large family gatherings. So I am content with the effort they make when it’s just me and one family member. Beyond that I have made a life for myself in the DC area where there are many people, both deaf and hearing, who use sign language. I began learning when I was not much younger than you — at age 21. To me, that is “the answer” because no matter how many times we tell them, most hearing people are not going to constantly remember that we miss things. So, Alicia, please understand I am not trying to discourage you. I am GLAD you are realizing this at your ripe young age and not when you are a mother with a several hearing children you can’t follow at the dinner table!!! Or as a senior citizen when you go to the Senior Center and realize you are STILL “the only one”. All the best!! And feel free to email me any time (Gina.Oliva09@gmail.com)

    1. Hi Gina,

      Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on my post. I appreciate the time you took to read and write me a message. Wow, that’s amazing that you wrote and published two books. I’ll have to order the book and would love to know more about your life experiences. I do get tired of reminding people I wear hearing aids and it kind of annoys me because I “expect” them to respect me by remembering to be nice and thoughtful. Most cases, they will always forget and like you said “we” get lazy or tired of reminding people. Hahaha sorry to hear your children who don’t follow your respects in terms of hearing at the dinner table. That is one of the things I’m afraid of, having children. I don’t think I’m ready nor will ever be ready. Maybe someday…I’ll think about it after I’m 30 (if I have a partner who truly loves me wholly). I will definitely email you, thank you so much for sharing your email 🙂

  17. I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes I forget that I cannot hear well. I call across the house to hubby or one of my daughters and then get frustrated when I cannot understand their answer. It helps remind me to to continue to be patient with others who forget.

  18. I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes I forget that I cannot hear well. I call across the house to hubby or one of my daughters and then get frustrated when I cannot understand their answer. It helps remind me to to continue to be patient with others who forget.

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