Alicia De Barry: Being deaf at night vs. being deaf during the day

Posted on June 6, 2016

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I wake up early. I do everything that a civilised being preparing for their day of work ahead might do. I have a shower. I eventually leave the warmth of said shower (this is why I set my early for at least ten minutes earlier than I need to, so that I can turn myself into a prune in the shower). I get dressed and with half-heartedly attempt do my hair.

This done, I can now descend the stairs and have my breakfast. During the working week I have a bowl of porridge and a hot cup of tea (fact: the first sip of the day is always the best). Whilst I eat and drink I like to read the news on my phone.

So far, this all seems perfectly normal. How is this worthy of talking about, you may wonder. Well, my curious friends I shall let you know. I am sitting here in blessed silence. I have not yet put my hearing aids in.

They are the very last things I put into my ears because I like the slowness, the peace, the tranquillity that comes with simply sitting at the table and eating my porridge, and drinking my Earl Grey tea.

In fact, once or twice I have left the house without putting them in by mistake, but I always remember once I realise I cannot hear the car start.

Yes, being a hearing person can be nice but as I stated, by not putting them in first thing a calmness, a serenity, or a sense of restfulness descends upon me allowing me to start my day with a clear mind.

Night time is a different matter. How can this be? Same ears, same place, same hearing aids. Yet night time without hearings aids is the antithesis of day time.

Where ataraxia is the order of the day (d’ya like the pun?), agitation and fear are the shadows of the night.

Okay, I may be exaggerating somewhat. I don’t exactly take my ears out and then spend the rest of the night hiding in the cupboard.

I would be too scared of the cupboard for one. What I mean is, whilst during the day I feel a sense of ease, the night brings a sense of paranoia.

“What’s that noise? I swear I heard a bump. There it is again!” But, it is only my ears playing tricks on me. There is no ominous monster lurking in the cupboard bumping around.

There is no robber outside in a black and white striped shirt, which I never thought was very inconspicuous myself, hiding underneath the window ledge. It is just my ears having a laugh.

It is worse when I have watched a scary film, which I have to admit is not that often. I find it hard to close my eyes and sleep simply because I cannot hear.

I reason that I will not be able to hear Creepy McCreepy slither up to my bed. I use acumen to argue that I should not sleep because I swear I can hear scratching in the walls.

I mutter to myself that I cannot go to sleep because I might not be able to hear the killer in the scream mask murder my husband. If I did not hear this then I would miss my chance to escape (thank you, husband, for your sacrifice).

It is worse when I am home alone. My husband has a … oh what’s it called? … a social life! That’s it! His hobbies take him to meetings once or twice a week, and they last until late. And I … am … home … alone …. Just me and my overactive imagination …

Alicia is 70% deaf and wears hearing aids. She comes from Milton Keynes and lives with her husband who is hearing, and her cat, Mickey. She works in a study centre with Six Formers and loves it. She has an MA in English Literature which she says “is great because I I love books, books, books, and Earl Grey tea.”

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