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The deaf kids

I was one of the deaf kids.  I always kind of felt separated from my so-called peers.  I’d look up and people would be staring at me and laughing and I would have no idea why.

I’d go to use the bathroom and the other girls would circle around the stall I was in and chant, “stare, stare, I don’t care, you’ve got dirty underwear”.

Did they say this because I was staring because I had to read lips?

I think because I couldn’t hear people and I had to read lips, people thought I was staring at them and also kind of stupid because I wouldn’t always understand what they were saying.

Needless to say, childhood, being “mainstreamed” was kind of hellish for me.

I had to go to speech therapy for a long time.  I think I was in fifth or sixth grade before it was decided that I could speak well enough to get along.  I had particular trouble with the letter, “S”.

Once or twice a year, for reasons I didn’t know at the time, my parents would load me in a car.  We’d go someplace, sometimes a house, sometimes a school cafeteria, sometimes a restaurant.  What I remember about these times is relief.  I was surrounded by other deaf kids.  Other kids who knew what my life was.  Matthew.  Shelley.  Robbie.  Others whose names I do not remember.

Those were times I cherished.  Times when I wasn’t on the outside.  Times when I was just as good as everybody else.  Times when I wasn’t ridiculed for not being able to hear.

I miss those kids.  I lost contact with them.  This makes me sad.

I am sure that those nights, what I thought was just play-times with other deaf kids, was probably a support group for parents of deaf kids.

I remember there was an auction one year, and my family donated a lot of things to the auction.  I don’t know what the auction was benefitting.

I am so glad my parents took part in whatever group this was, just because it gave me the chance to interact with other kids who were like me.

I think I am a better person for my hearing issues, but yes, I’d love for it to go away.

I want to reconnect with the other deaf kids who were part of that group, but I have no idea how.

I limp along in my life today, and the hearing continues to be a detriment.  One day.  One day, I hope this can change.






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