I believe in the power of sound. This belief comes to me because of my hearing loss. I was two years old when I was diagnosed and I have been wearing hearing aids ever since. I have been mainstreamed in school and live a perfectly normal life. It wasn’t always easy. Sound is important to me because it’s something that I didn’t consist of. I learned how to lip read and to rely on my other natural senses.
Today, I see many people with their headphones in their ears. Their iPods players are on loud. The music is blaring and you can hear it ten feet away or more. I always think that their ears are going to blow out. I think that we take things for granted. I used to take my hearing for granted until one day my audiologist pulled me aside and told me what could happen if I continue to take advantage of it. I would become fully deaf. I was eleven.
I didn’t really listen to him, but I understood what he was saying. I didn’t think about it much because I was caught up in some drama at school. At that time I was in fifth grade and I was being bullied by another girl. She called me names and tried to get people to stand against me. It didn’t work for her because she was fighting against kids who have known me since kindergarten. Her name calling never got to me because I knew that she wanted a reaction. Sometimes I did give a reaction, I fought back. There is this one memory I have that I think about from time to time. One sunny day when the sky was a clear blue, on the playgrounds she said I was a “freak.” By that day, I’d it with her. I was ready to scream at her, punch her lights out, tear out her hair and stomp on it. I went through the motions of what I wanted to do to her in my head, but I never did it. Instead, I smile at her and laughed. I said to her as I remember it clearly, “Well, I guess I’m a freak. That’s normal to me.” She never said a word to me after that day.
Oddly enough, on that day, I realize that my hearing loss is mine and sound is important. The beauty of sound was hearing the little things. A whistle in the wind or a water drop; it has a meaning. Every sound I hear, I think of a story to it. I learned then of how important it was to me because I didn’t fully hear everything. Even later in my life, as like weeks ago during an electric storm, I could hear the roar without my aids and I remind myself as I knew it then: sound is beautiful. Even the deaf can hear.
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