I’ve never been in a fight.
Now, I’ve been pushed to my breaking point once back in middle school, prodded by a girl who thought it was funny to rip my hearing aids out of my ears, but no, I’ve never actually participated in one.
I was writing a short story for my English class and was sitting in a tiny corner at the edge of the library. Sometimes I just need to be away from the world and its ruckus so I turn down my hearing aids in order to focus solely on my work. Silence wrapped me like my morning sheets and it was a comforting environment for me to think clearly. Until she came. She, with her obnoxiously loud heels clacking on the tile floor, gum bubbles blown to the bursting point, and braids rattling due to the metal pieces she stuck in there. She thought I was ignoring her, but I wasn’t, I was concentrating.
She started to shout, thus ripping the silence, and I wanted her to shut up. Unknowingly I said said this out loud and she turned around so quick I thought her neck was going to snap. I don’t want any trouble, I tell her, I’m sorry. She laughs and calls me weak for not fighting back. But why? Does everything have to be solved with conflict?
I try to explain to her that I turn my hearing aids down when I work sometimes and she thought I was lying. She pulled at my hair and tilted my head down until she got a grip of my ear and yanked one out. Can you hear me now, she sneers. Yes, I state as I try to grab it from her. My parents were going to be upset, don’t her parents tell her not to be mean to other people?
She got frustrated when I simply stopped struggling and asked her nicely to hand it back. She cussed me out and I was starstruck- back then I was shocked by these things but now I’m in a public high school and nothing really shocks me anymore- and walked away, taking the ruckus with her but leaving my hearing aid on the ground. Silence covered me yet again and I started another paragraph.
I’ve never been in a fight, but stopping them is something I can handle effectively.
Sit where it counts
Sometimes shouts sound like muffled whispers and some days they feel like they rattle my bones. They say I’m basically deaf, so that means I’m weak right?
My old math teacher thought it was funny that I asked random questions. “Wait what? Come again? Can you repeat that?” She said she would have to “slow things down to my level” and would lead the class in another round of laugher until I got flustered enough to sit down and keep my mouth shut. I assumed I was just a bother. Sitting in the front didn’t help, sitting in the back made me get glasses, and sitting beside her desk was useless considering she was always moving around.
Sitting on the ground however… That’s what changed things. This way she couldn’t ignore me if she tried. Or else she would just trip.
Sure, I’m “hearing impaired”, but does that mean my questions are wrong? I’ve always payed attention… or have I? I have hearing aids, so that means I’m obviously special right? That means I can say what I want and they have to feel bad because it’s a “disability”… right? I was my own disability. I didn’t need my own space on the ground to focus, I just needed to