Nov 19 2009

Not having many friends?

Published by at 12:27 am under Hearing Loss,Open Chat Night

A topic was posted in my forum about “Do many hearing impaired people have many friends?“.

Along with other interesting topics of conversation, I thought this might be a good one to discuss during Wednesday’s Open Chat Night.  Looking back to when I was in middle school, a friend of mine in class (Kory) asked me to sit with him during lunch.  He was sitting at the cool table with popular kids.  When I joined the group, the others gave me that look as if I didn’t belong there.  Seeing their faces made me feel like an outsider.  I was heart broken and never sat at that table again.  It was difficult for me to make friends because I was the only kid wearing hearing aids in the entire school.  We all know kids can be so mean and immature at that age.  I would never forget that day and it reminds me of the new challenges I am facing today. 

I ask myself whether everything happens because of my hearing loss.  I don’t think that’s entirely the reason.  It is because of the bad experiences I’ve had with many broken friendships at a younger age.  Therefore, I have become responsible for pushing people away and making mistakes by trying too hard and being down on myself.  All the hurt feelings still remain deep inside me that I couldn’t let go of over the years.  Also, I haven’t had much experience building relationships with people and whenever the opportunity comes, it becomes a greater challenge for me.  Honestly,  I have found myself failing many times but have kept trying and learning from my past mistakes.  Never give up on yourself.

Just remember, any of you out there having similar experiences are not alone in this world.  I am very fortunate to have built a community to share my thoughts and hearing loss journey with others.

I am excited for the next Open Chat Night on Wednesday, December 2nd.  Let’s all continue to make this a great place to communicate and learn with others in the hearing loss community.  You will be part of a wonderful group of people willing to help and share their story.

Thank you for reading.

One response so far

One Response to “Not having many friends?”

  1. Eloiseon 24 Nov 2009 at 10:56 pm

    While I understand this is not an open night for talking…I just happen to be passing by and thought I would say hi and pass on a few thoughts myself. I can never tell when I will have a few moments of my own to reflect on things with my busy schedule and family life.
    Friendships are hard to build since there is a communication that takes place in order to forge a relationship built on trust and understanding. When a person can not hear or understand what is being spoken…strained relationships occur unless those who are around you share in the same challenge. It is difficult to walk in another’s shoes.
    I have a life story that could fill two books but that’s in the future when I am retired. I have always been hearing impaired – evidently since birth…but never knew it until I kept losing my employment jobs. All of the classic responses of someone who can not hear well has followed me all of my life. Unable to hear behind me, sitting in front of the classroom, asking for repeating statements, talking inappropriate in conversations, shaking my head yes when I really meant no, and laughter, startled looks and rude actions taken to scorn my inability to talk correctly, keep a conversation going or just understanding a joke – all took a back seat to ‘being like everyone else.’
    I learned to stay away, to keep my head in the books and found things I could do and well that gave me the satisfaction of being equal or better than those around me. No silliness – no picking on others – I learned to take it in stride and push myself to do as good as I could given there were no devices, no assistance, no therapy that was available for me as I grew up.
    As a future grandmother and still working in my nursing field, I have the experience, the knowledge and now the understanding of what it is like to be impaired but limiting it’s reach. Yes, there are things that I just can’t do or enjoy, but then again, there are things -adventures that I can do.
    I have learned to set a goal, even one that is outrageous or very difficult and include it as an accomplishment one day. Indeed, I have done things that I had long ago had only hoped for when I was growing up. Even as I was busy being a mom,wife, nurse and all of the many hats one wears these days, I was able to be a student, a Professor, Substitute Teacher, and serve on many different advocacy Boards. Entertaining thoughts of new horizons…new avenues not traveled yet…but are still possible helps me etch out a role that serves to help others as well as myself.
    Learning about one’s disAbilities and working to enhance what one can do only works to make things even better. Disappointments, set-backs and speedbumps will be encountered along this road. I have had one at every intersection of life. My chapters in life now number 5 1/2 and like the cat…I have 3 1/2 to go.
    So, jump into life – find others who share your likes/dislikes – share your abilities and inform others of your inabilities to be just right…owning up and helping others to help you benefits all.

    That’s all for tonight…got to run…take care Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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