I know I said I’d be back, and it was a while ago, but life seems to kick my butt of late. If you are new here, then you should probably be aware of this tidbit. If I’m quiet for long while, it means something is going on that I’m not talking (to you) about.
These last two years have been a mixed bag of awesome and oh shit. I’m currently in the oh shit phase. And i have not been talking about it, for many reasons.
Here’s the brutal truth of it: I’m losing my hearing.
It’s been going on for awhile. For those who don’t know, the quick of it is that back in 2014 I was attacked, beaten up and raped. I got a concussion from it, and the hearing loss is from that. It’s “sudden” to everyone but me, because I wasn’t talking about it. I wasn’t even admitting it to myself. I couldn’t. That whole process of the attack/rape, reporting the rape, dealing with the aftermath was so fucked up, I thought I’d just accept it for what it was and move the hell on. All of the “systems” that are supposed to be in place to help rape victims are a complete joke and a complete let down. Police suck, the process of reporting your rape sucks, the lack of action on the PD sucks, advocacy sucks. AARGHH!!! Anger, much like tears, feel like a useless emotion. I feel like I’m locked in a cage I didn’t put myself in and no one will help me get out. If anyone is sitting here reading this saying ” Don’t be so mad”, then clearly YOU have never been through something so horrific, that it changes you in ways you don’t understand much less everyone around you..
There are a lot of emotions involved for me. a lot of anger. a lot of annoyance, a lot of things I can’t quite express because I can’t even put them into words. So it just evolves or de-evolves into exhaustion. Speaking of exhaustion, I get exhausted from having to strain to understand conversations with people; it takes a lot of freaking work to focus on what people are saying so you can understand them when you can’t hear them clearly. Now add all the awful things that make it impossible. Background noise, two people talking at once, music, ANYTHING other than a singular voice on a face that is looking DIRECTLY at me. And if I go outside, all hope is lost, it’s just like one big windstorm, or like I’m at the ocean, sans seagulls calling above and it’s not the lilting back and forth cadence that waves make as they come on and off the beach, it’s a constant SSSSSSSHHHHHHHH, like they come in, but they never go back out.(I can’t even describe it properly sorry).
Now there are other things involved too for me because you know, I AM complex, so why would this be any different. After I knew they were not going to prosecute my rapist, and after I knew I was never going to see my camera again (he stole that along with all the other things he took from me that day,) and after my so-called friends left me because I was no longer ten feet tall and invincible, I quit a lot of things. I quit grad school, I quit my never ending belief that love and being a good person conquers all,(boy was that a load of bullshit) I quit being and believing that I was indeed invincible and could handle anything. And I quit believing that the system really IS there to help you. What bullshit. You don’t just get screwed by your rapist, the system screws you over too.
So, I just shut up and shut down. I watched my friends walk away one by one. And honestly, I didn’t want to do anything about it. I had no energy, for anything. All I could care about was making sure my daughter was safe and sound and happy and completely unaware of what happened to me that horrific day that I was late to pick her up from school.
I figured since no one was listening anyway, I’d just move on with my life. I eventually got back into the groove of things and made what looked to outsiders like a semblance of a life. And if nothing else, all I had to was flash my smile, because to this day, there are STILL only two people who know when my smile is BS; I’m married to one of them and the other I bore out of my body. Everyone else just buys the picture I present because I AM a survivor, I’ve been a survivor since I was 18 months old. It’s almost part of my DNA, I know it like my breath, it takes over for me without any thought on my part.
Soo, back to the deaf thing. It came on gradually, then suddenly really. It was harder to hear things and I wondered but didn’t pay attention, then this summer, it was really noticeable for me, but I kept it to myself. Because honestly, I didn’t want to deal with it. I knew why I was going deaf and that was a whole situation I had no desire to go back to. I was FINALLY starting to feel like myself and starting to feel FREE again, I was afraid of what it would/could mean for me. But then over a matter of weeks, I could no longer listen to the t/v or radio at an acceptable level. I went out and bought a new T.V. because I thought our old one was ten years old and the volume was going out, but I tried to watch the new tv and the sound was so soft, even at it’s the loudest level, I was mad that the new television I had bought was crap. Ha haa..the t.v was just fine. While we were in the car, I’d have the radio on and she’d tell me it was too loud for her as she covered her poor ears. So I just quit listening to the radio. And then there was the phone. I had been bypassing my issue by always having my calls on speakerphone because I could NOT hear the person on the other end if it was not on speaker phone. But if I was on a business call, they would say they could not understand me/hear me if I was on speaker phone, but if i took it off, i couldn’t hear them. So I tried to put headphones on, but I’d have to smash the ear parts into my ears to hear even a bit of sound and eventually that stopped working too. So I just stopped talking on the phone. I would only text. But you can’t text to make doctors appointments or veterinarian appointments or audiology appointments I couldn’t pretend anymore. So now I am in the process of working with audiologists. I need to have an MRI done because he suspects that the bones in my ear got broken in the attack, (which explains the pain) BUT…it costs 8K to do it. and I don’t have that much and my insurance deductible is ginormous.
Ugh. This is getting blathery, and I’m tired. it’s almost one thirty a.m. There is more to say but I’ve said a lot so far. I just needed to finally talk about it. There is one thing else I do want to say. I am okay with being deaf. I am NOT okay with how I became deaf. And for me, that is what the struggle is. As fucked up as it is, and as off as it was for the officer to say this, his words that day in the PD ring in my ears: “What were you doing there alone?” Yes, I know, I STILL kick myself in the ass EVERY FREAKING day for that choice that changed my life in ways I will never get back. So now, when I have to explain to people who have known me forever who say, “Well, how did you become deaf.” Inside my head I am saying, “Well, I made a stupid decision one day, got myself raped and lost my hearing.” As wrong as it is, and I know it is, I already have shame attached to my rape but now I have all this shame attached to how I lost my hearing too. But no one hears that part, (*no one meaning those who need to be hearing it, the advocates, therapist etc.) and so I’m stuck with this thing of, I’m the one who’s deaf, but you are the ones who don’t listen.
BTW, I am NOT in therapy now, because finding a therapist is hard enough, the ones I have had these last two years SUCK at listening, now it’s only all the harder to find one that signs. Though I have thought about just taking an interpreter with me to sessions, which I might do, if I can find a Therapist I actually LIKE and who can do their job so I can do mine, rather than me having to do both our jobs.
Holy crap this is waaay long. Like I said before, there is more to say and I will be back. And this is also the rawest I have ever been with you readers, but this is the new me. I’m done with the bullshit and I’m done waiting until I’m “better” to talk about what I’ve been going through, this is my life and it’s freaking hard AF sometimes.
I will be back because there are soo many other things to talk about, like:
*my precious cunksi now being a CODA (a child of a deaf adult), and how that weighs heavy on my mind and heart and why it was part of my avoidance at admitting there was a problem
*the fear that came up for me as a deaf person in a rapidly changing world, the way things do change for me now, and that lovely issue of what I hear…the title of this post..which is literally a sound that I would describe as wind and or waves. ALL. THE . TIME. and it is NOT beautiful.
*how this will or will not affect my hard earned career..and maybe the foreshadowing I never even questioned when it showed up.
so yep, lots to say….
peace and Turtles, MBB