You might be sitting here super confused. You are probably wondering what I’m talking about. Pros and cons of being deaf? Are there even pros? Well I am here to rock your world and tell you this:
Yes. There are pros to being deaf. Sometimes I am even *gasp* THANKFUL that I am deaf.
You know, when mom says “Kalina, can you do the dishes?” and I ‘didn’t hear her’.
Okay. I’m kidding. But yes, there are pros to being deaf.
- Pro #1: I sleep better. Since I can only hear out of one ear if I lay on that side when I sleep it blocks out any noise almost completely. So I usually end up sleeping on my left side. Since I’m deaf in my right ear.
- Con #1: I can’t listen to music. I mean I can, but it’s hard. Because there’s both music and singing, and that’s confusing to my brain to try to listen to both. Don’t get me wrong, I love music. It’s just hard to listen to. I still listen to it all the time though. But earbuds? That doesn’t work. Ever. Because you put them in your ears. And I have to take my hearing aid out to do that. Also, a lot of earbuds play music in one ear and the singing in the other ear. See the issue?
- Pro #2: I’m a mind reader. I’m serious. Because of my hearing loss, I can read people very very well. I can tell how they feel about something, usually even when I don’t know them. I can read body language and facial expressions better and faster than most people. I can also usually tell when people are lying. It’s pretty cool.
- Con #2: I Don’t Talk On The Phone.
- Pro #3: There are subtitles in most movies nowadays. They even have CC glasses at my local movie theater that project the subtitles on the lenses, so you have subtitles for your movie. It’s kind of amazing.
- Con #3: There are no subtitles for life. So if I’m in a classroom, and the teacher has his/her back turned and is talking, I can’t hear them. If someone is trying to talk to me in a crowded room, or in a lunchline, I can’t hear them. If someone is covering their mouth when they are talking, I can’t hear them.
- Pro #4: I get special services at the college I am enrolled in. I can get an FM device, where the teacher wears a microphone, and it is hooked up to my hearing aid. I can have someone take notes with me. I can request subtitles on all the videos.
- Con #4: Some people just DO NOT understand any of this. No matter what I have told them, no matter what I show them, they do not and will not understand this. They just don’t get the fact that I can’t hear. I also don’t come off as someone who can’t hear, or someone who is slower at catching onto things because I am fast at reading body language, and following along with the crowd if I miss something. I have realized that some people will just never understand that.
- Con #5: Because of that my life can become very stressful. Why can’t people understand what it means to be deaf? Also, I get stressed out in loud places. I get stressed out about swimming because I have to take my hearing aid out, and my glasses off, and that scares me. I get stressed out easily. I get stressed out when people or teachers don’t understand that I can’t hear. I try not to let myself, but I get stressed out a lot.
- Pro #5: Now that I know that I have hearing loss, I have been very interested in the deaf community, especially since even with just one ear being deaf I have to fight sometimes to get people to listen to me (how ironic is that?) and understand what I need to be able to cope in, say, a classroom setting.
People need to stop and realize that even a deaf person is still a person, and should still have just as much as a chance as you do at a good education, and a good job. My dad was in a hardware store once and he asked one of the workers how to find something, and she pulled out a little notebook and wrote down that she’s deaf, but he could write down what he needed and she would help him. I want to people to realize that things like that are possible. Just because you are deaf doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to work at a normal store. I am going to be taking ASL this fall, and I am so excited for that. I have seen baristas and cashiers that have an ASL badge on their name tag. That tells people that they can speak ASL, and if you are deaf, you can communicate with them that way. I want so badly to be able to have that ASL badge on my name tag in future jobs so that I can connect in everyday life with the deaf community.
When it comes down to it, I am thankful that I am deaf. Yes, it’s hard sometimes, but there is so much I’ve learned. I wouldn’t change it even if I could. It’s a part of who I am, and it’s something that’s only made me stronger as a person.