You did what now Lord? Part one

 

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My first HA and its accessories

“But you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone. And you don’t know what it’s like to feel so low. And every time you smile I glow. You don’t even know…know. You don’t even know.”

 ~”A Little Bit Longer” by the Jonas Brothers (Yes a little throwback) 

 

“Why do you have to wear that?” 

“I noticed you wear a hearing aid. Were you born….” 

“She will need to wear a hearing aid in her left ear and take speech therapy as she begins school,” the doctor told my mother the summer before I started kindergarten. I don’t remember this exchange, nor the early years of my hearing and school, but what I do know is that from the moment I was born there was something different about me. When I was born I was diagnosed with the disease Cytomegalovirus or CMV for short. So with the doctors orders I began my first year of school at Sneed Elementary in Houston with a child-sized Hearing Aid (HA). My hearing was only a mild lost, but it was still a loss. My right ear was still at a 100% at the time. As I mentioned already I barely remember going to speech therapy as a kid, but I can see the hallways in my head. Brick walkways as I was taken to a special room meant for students like me.

As we moved around Houston I continued to take this class to work on my speech. I didn’t know the reasoning for it as a kid, I just knew that I needed something that other kids didn’t. My fourth elementary school, Taylor Ray Elementary, was where I vividly remember my hearing really beginning to take hold of me. My mom and I moved to Rosenberg to live with my grandparents following my parents divorce. I was enrolled at Taylor Ray so that I would be going to school with my cousin Brandon. Of course when we moved here my mom told the teachers that I wore a Hearing Aid and would need to be near the front of the class, as well as, attend speech therapy classes. I remember attending maybe 4 classes of speech therapy before the speech therapist spoke with my mom. They celebrated my progress over the last 5 years, and came to the conclusion that I didn’t need speech therapy anymore. I remember that my last class was where we were reviewing the letter R.

Fantastic! I didn’t have to go to this special class anymore, but I still had my hearing aid that I hid behind my puffy triangle looking hair. The ear piece was clear at the time, so it wasn’t like someone would have immediately noticed, but I didn’t want to show it off. As I finished out my elementary years at Taylor Ray I faced a lot of bullying. I was called a giraffe, had friends literally were pushed away from me, and I was left out because I didn’t belong with my classmates who had all grown up together. So I made a decision at the end of 5th grade, I was going to hide my hearing aid. By hide I meant I wasn’t going to wear it. My 10 year old self was tired of feeling excluded and bullied because I was different from the rest of the class. I didn’t want my classmates to accidentally notice my hearing aid and have another reason to pick on me.

Over the course of the next four years I lied to those around me. I tried to make myself seem like the average American pre-teen. At first holding up the lie by wearing my HA to the doctors and telling them that I was indeed wearing it was easy. I was also able to persuade my teachers to let me sit in the middle or back of the room. I did what I could to make sure that I wouldn’t stand out so much from my peers. During that time I was still being bullied and was fighting an uphill battle to get my classmates to like me. The feat wasn’t easy. I was straightening my hair (as well as perming) to receive approval from my classmates. I was helping classmates with their work in order for them to approve of me. I wanted to be like them with everything in my being, but then God.

 

Part two will be up tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed part one! Leave a comment below or like the piece! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the next installment!

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