Many of you know that I’ve struggled a lot to socialize with or without utilizing hearing aids. A person with hearing loss will always work twice as hard to communicate and socialize no matter how tiring he or she feels. The brain is overworking to hear what it cannot hear. Close your eyes and imagine how scary it feels to not hear yet you wish to hear without struggling to distinguish where sounds come from. At the same time you want to hear the words clearly without being distracted. This is how I hear every single day with or without hearing devices.
A dark secret that I’ve been hiding for so many years is that I allowed normal hearing people to bully me physically, emotionally, and mentally for 15 years. These people were my friends and family members who I thought were good people. I will speak with them but I will never see them the way I used to see them before because I no longer trust them. I blame no one for stopping the bully because I am at fault for not speaking up and defending myself. I did what I do best which is to stay quiet and hate myself for being nice, caring, sweet, affectionate, and allowing others to call me mean names that hurt my feelings a lot. Words can only hurt so much but physical bullying kills your self-esteem. I don’t know if you have ever experienced bullying but I have. I’ve been shoved, kicked, forced to eat worms, slapped, burned with cigarette, almost drowned, almost attacked by a pit bull, punched in the nose by normal hearing people and children both public and private schools. The more people bullied me, the more I learned to hate myself because I felt different and have hearing loss. I blamed my hearing loss for having a low self-esteem.
They say that no one knows what true hate means. To me, hate means that I stopped loving myself and have low self-esteem. I see darkness and seek darkness whenever I’m hurting or isolate myself from society to avoid drama. I used to hate myself for being HoH (Hard of Hearing) and for being the only family member who is hard of hearing. I hated myself because I wasn’t born this way. I used to hear normal and suddenly I stopped hearing. It’s easy to accept if you were born with the disability. It’s hard to accept your disability when you did not have it in the first place and being the only family member diagnosed with this condition. I denied and questioned my disability.
Now that I’m older, I’ve learned to understand why people behave the way they behave. Why children, friends, family members, and people bully others. These people are the repeating the cycle of bullying because they’ve been bullied before and learned it from another person. The hardest part to accomplish in life is learning to love yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Now that I’m 27 years old; I no longer hate myself for being hard of hearing. I embrace my hearing loss, identity, culture, and love myself unconditionally. A great person who I recently met shared a wonderful quote that changed my life. I forgive those who hurt me and I will no longer listen to the sheep who tries to hurt me because I am the lion. You should do the same thing. Do not take things personally, be the lion who is stronger inside and outside.