I never knew I would end up being so proud or passionate about something that I use to believe was a limitation that would hold me captive all my life.
I use to somewhat fear the ‘social identity’, the power someone has to define you and put you in a category.
Yet, this has done a complete U-turn. My limitation, which I now see as motivation towards succeeding a challenge I find myself in, has been a source of both pride and frustration…
It’s moving looking back at how I saw my hearing loss as a limitation, hairstyles and extensions covered my ears, as if I was barricading them from the stares of the outside world.
The two pale peachy aids, I begrudgingly despised. I hated how I was now identified by a label. The moment I was handed those aids, came with a baggage of emotions, or perhaps a burden, I hated I was disabled.
In hindsight, despite your diagnosis being disabled or not, you have the right to define what you are yourself.
Never feel bad about twisting some expectations you hold of yourself as defined, you have every power to resist or challenge your own mindset.
Since Covid19 gripped the world, and we’ve become a masked society, the Hard of hearing community are needing their voices heard and their needs to be known. Due to the safety measures in place, this has left a devastating and isolating impact on the community.
I have recently exceeded my own limitations, with PRIDE. I now wear badges that proudly help others to identify my needs and the barriers in communication I face as well as my Daughter, Livy.
Because, now we shouldn’t have to sacrifice, We shouldn’t have to feel awkward or stand in anticipation at tills of someone talking to us and the anxiety of appearing dumb.
I have in many ways overcome the challenges of hearing loss and developed more or less functional coping strategies.
I still feel the frustration that this path has not always been easy, especially when being challenged at doors of shops about why my daughter needs a mask free mummy to communicate with despite her screaming and taking all efforts to remove the mask I’ve been forced to wear although legally exempt, about being perceived as a careless rule breaker, who doesn’t put the effort in protecting their community.
I am proud to now identify my needs and Livy’s. I hope with my approach others can feel confident to do so too.