a rant

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It was pointed out to me recently that maybe I should vent more, let things out instead of bottling it up.  Funny really as I think I am always raging on about something or other but then it occured to me that I hadn’t made any Mrs Deaf and Angry posts on here for a while.  I ‘m not sure why but I would guess that it’s because  I am feeling tired, jaded, still stuck in that boggy mire , beyond anger. It’s time to vent a little.

My chosen subject  is around telephones which are a recurring bogey  in my deafened life.

I’ve become used to not being able to sit and gossip with a girlfriend, to ring and hear a familiar voice when you need it. My mum is deafened too and sadly it’s a long time since we have been able to phone each other.  Instant messenger has filled some of that gap but only a few of my friends and family will use it to talk to me.  Some take the time to email me but it really isn’t the same as a conversation That toing  and froing, the action and reaction, the immediacy and intimacy of a few words of no importance.  Some people will text but that doesn’t happen since I have been in Canada. The people I know here seems to have  their cellphones switched off most of  the time, and if you do send a text the cellphone providers can lose it for hours in the ether.

The phone calls that I have needed to make at home have either become a job for MLM or I have used email. My dentist’s offices email me, they have no trouble doing this.  The bank can’t cope with the idea at all. Doctor’s appointments- no email help there.  Querying bills, cellphone plans, all have to be done by phone so MLM does it all. We could have used a typetalk/voice carry over phone and I tried one for a while but it wasn’t worth the expense when the CI was imminent.

Anyway, now I am learning to hear again and should be using the phone more to practice but it doesn’t happen. I should make myself ring people up for a chat but I’ve forgotten the social  niceties of how you do this and I’m still scared of the reaction of the person I call.

The worst thing about not being able to use the phone for me is being removed from the decision making process. In theory a phone call with someone helping me should happen thusly;  I speak, explain that I can’t hear their reply, and then pass the phone to someone else who will relay the caller’s words to me. I then take the phone back and speak to the caller again. What happens is that the helper invariably takes over the call, makes the decisions and excludes me.

Exclusion is the important word here. Excluded from making decisions, from thinking, from interacting, from equality. I can stand there – and this has happened very, very recently – and have something that I was involved in was discussed but I was not consulted.

Not important enough? Not worthy? Not what??  Just let me crawl back into that wormhole that ‘you’ think I should live in.  ‘You’ can hear and I can’t, this doesn’t make ‘you’ any better than me, it doesn’t make ‘you’ any smarter either.

I’d like to ‘you’ to slow down to when ‘you’ speak to me, and use less slang too. Did you know that deafened people’s brains take longer to process the words? That’s because our brains have to work harder to make out what is being said.  Just because ‘you’ have to talk slowly doesn’t mean that I am a half wit so don’t treat me like one. Oh, and making jokes about having to speak slowly? Well that’s just harassment and discrimination.  I hate having to ask people to slow down, repeat themselves. I worry about imposing, about asking others to do something for me. So that witty little joke at my expense is just going to make me worry more.

Then if you factor age into all this, well I may as well not exist for many people  A deaf and middle aged woman, what’s she worth? Not much it seems. Invisible, stupid, slow. Not worth putting yourself out for.  Anything I ever learned is wasted, no one wants to know what’s inside my head, but that’s another rant.

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14 responses »

  1. If you want to talk with another person who has a hearing loss over the phone but don’t know of anyone, then feel free to contact me so that you can see how well you can hear with your CI when you’re on the phone.

  2. I agree, that kind of incapacitation is probably the worst thing about acquired deafness. I’m sorry life gives you so much trouble right now.
    Re. phone, I’m not there yet acoustically. But I did notice that I have become so accustomed to not calling people that I wondered if and to what extent I will take the trouble re-learning it…

  3. Yes, I agree with all this, it would be wonderful for me to hear your voice again. I can use my typetalk. but my last call to me was in January. My friends say that having to say “Go Ahead”, (like over to you) puts them off and they forget what they were going to say!!! It is fortunate that airplane pilots etc do not have that problem in their intercom communication.
    I found it really difficult when I was out to work and understand your continuing frustration.

  4. It’s good to rant – I don’t do it often enough. I can fully relate to what you say.
    I was at my wee girl’s school recently and her teacher wanted to know how to contact me directly in case of emergency. I told her to contact me via my friend but no, she insisted that I had the right to be contacted direct. I guess I’ve got so used to someone else taking my phone calls (and yes, often making decisions on my behalf).
    Anyway, it seems that I can text the school via my mobile to a landline number and leave a message – and they can actually text a message back to my mobile by computer – so it’ll all work! At least that teacher has an understanding on what it is like for us deafies not being a ‘part of the community’.

  5. Thank you all for your replies. Jonathan I will give you a call, I’ll send an email for contact numbers etc.

    It’s good that so many of you understand. Glenice, Rob, NQLB, Kim. I know of course that my mum, Rits, does, and she knows me so well that she knows how I feel inside. xxxx

    Fran, good for your school for insisting their was a way. Sometimes we need that extra push.

  6. I agree with NQLB. I’ve gone without the phone so long I don’t really desire to use it again. Plus not paying for any mobile minutes.

    Also totally get the having someone else make decisions for you. D will make calls for me but never lets me comment while he’s on the phone. He often orders my lunch for me. Recently I asked him to ask if there’s a BBQ special and if yes get that, if not get the usual sandwich. He said there was no BBQ. I got to the place and they had 2 other specials that sounded great. I said I guess I needed to have him ask about specials next time and the girl at the checkout said to me ‘oh I told him about those! he said you didn’t want them.’ *sigh* In this case, I wish they updated a website with specials or something.

  7. Great rant, mog. I can relate to what you say. I find myself avoiding the phone as much as possible. When I was at my parents’ home recently, I was amazed at the amount of time my mother spends on the phone.

    I would be happy to IM anytime you want a chat.

  8. Pingback: telephones revisited « mog renewed

  9. I just recently ranted about phones on my blog too. I hate that we are forced to use phones when technology (email/chat) is here to give us our dignity and independence, yet most institutions won’t use it. I can’t believe my family doctor doesn’t offer an email option for me (and other HOH/deaf/Deaf patients) to make appointments. It obviously irritates her busy staff when they have to repeat numerous times. Now I tend to drive over to the office to make appointments so I can see the receptionist’s face. I hate going to the office. I hate how little privacy there is — all squished in the sitting area with 20 people while I tell her I need to set up an appointment for some embarrassing condition – and of course I need the receptionist to raise her voice so I (and the rest of the room) can hear her.

    I use my husband as little as possible. I want to be independent so it irks me when I have to resort to a third party, especially when there are readily accessible technologies available (email, chat).

    Slowly, some companies are using Virtual help i.e. chat windows. I really appreciate that type of help and have used it a couple of times. Wish my dentist, doctor, ophthalmologist, etc would adopt it.

    • Hi, thanks for visiting and commenting. It is hard to fathom why some places and people won’t try to help, I reckon it sorts out the good guys from the bad. Places should help, they have an obligation in law to help let alone any moral, ethical, humanitarian issues.

      Before I had my CI I had no choice but to use MLM or others to make the calls for me. I did have a TTY/VCO phone on loan for a while but once I knew I was getting the CI then it seemed daft to invest in one.

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