The Secret Deafie is a series of anonymous columns written by different writers. Today’s Deafie tells us about an incident from his teenage years that led him to stop wearing his hearing aids.
I wore hearing aids when I was growing up, and even though I was at mainstream school, I didn’t really see myself as being any different from everyone else. Until one day when I was 14.
I was on work experience at the time, for two weeks away from school. Every day at lunchtime I walked around the small town, usually buying a sandwich and sitting in the local park in the sun for an hour. It was a nice break from the office.
One day, I was walking through the town when I saw two pretty teenage girls walking past me. They both looked at me and smiled, and I smiled back.
As they walked past me though, just as they passed my side, I heard one of them say “yuk!”
When I think back now, they could have been talking about anything. Maybe a bird had pooed on my coat. But at the time, I was sure this was her response to seeing my hearing aids.
From then on, when I went out for lunch, I took my hearing aids off. Even though it made it harder to buy things in the shops.
I got into trouble on the last day when my boss accused me of ignoring him in the town – he’d called my name and I didn’t hear him!
That was the start of years when I would take my hearing aids off at every opportunity. I feel sad when I think about it, because now I’m much more proud of them. I don’t care what anyone thinks.
But when you’re a teenager, you’re less confident.
Do you have a story or experience you’d like to share? If you’d like to write a Secret Deafie column, just email email@example.com
The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, the Deaf training and consultancy Deafworks, the RAD Deaf Law Centre, and BID’s upcoming 5th anniversary performance by Ramesh Meyyappan on 12th October – don’t miss it!