Deaf blogger Kym Bozarth, from Deaf In The Kitchen, is today's guest blogger. Every time I read her blog, my mouth waters from looking at the amazing photos of great food. Check it out today!
I am on a journey to rediscover who I am. Since becoming profoundly deaf this past April 2012, I've always gone about my daily activities of living as a hearing person. Hard of hearing my whole adult life, I suppressed my feelings of inadequacy and walked a fine line between hearing and deafness. I never told people I was hard of hearing, so no accommodations were made for me and I bluffed my way through every social situation.
It wasn't until becoming profoundly deaf this year, that I opened my eyes for the first time, to my new life, my new world - the deaf life and world. I was depressed for a long time in regards to my deafness, and did not know how to cope or adjust. My original life plans would have to be changed.
Over the summer I started attending a program for the deaf. In this program I learned how to live my life as a deaf woman. I am still in the process of learning ASL and Deaf Culture, and attend deaf socials and events. I have deaf friends. My sense of identity has changed. Becoming deaf ushered me down a path that has enriched my life in immeasurable ways. It has saved me from self destruction.
Occasionally I wear a hearing aid in my right ear, but most of the time it annoys me and I take it off. I do not want a Cochlear Implant and do not want to be fixed. My ENT has stuffed all sorts of strange looking devices in my ears, and put me on various medications. I had an MRI and even went to physical therapy to adjust the "rocks in my head," which was supposed to restore my hearing and help with dizziness/balance issues related to my deafness. None of these things restored my hearing. I'm still deaf.
Today I had a "Aha" moment. A defining moment. I thought, I am going to live my life as a deaf person and not accommodate anyone else anymore. If I choose to be "voice off," don't question me. If I share my voice with you for some reason, feel privileged that I choose to share something special with you. Do not ask me if I can drive, raise a family, communicate effectively etc...because the answer is "Yes, I can." I am not going to be just Kym anymore. I am Kym; deaf wife, deaf mom, deaf grandmom, deaf friend, deaf cousin. The word "deaf" is beautiful. It has given me joy to discover who I really am now. It has given me a sense of identity and freedom.