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i have noticed recently that people are understanding me less then i thought. why i do the things i do, and since this blog is meant to be there to pour my heart out, that is what i shall do.

this is why i shut down.

in large groups i often get lost in the conversation. sometimes it's because i don't understand the topic, so i just clam up to avoid sounding stupid. sometimes it's too many conversations going on that i can't focus on just one, so i choose to focus on none. but more often then not, it's because i can't hear the conversation well enough to follow along, and when i can follow, and finally have something good to say, the conversation goes too quick for me to even get a word in.

but lets go back to the hearing thing.

in case people have forgotten, or just didn't know, i am hearing impaired. not just a little, I'm talking borderline deaf here. and it was NOT from listening to my music too loud. and it was NOT from doing things that would cause harm to my ears. it IS because of genetics. i unfortunately am the youngest person in my family to suffer from this affliction. i had a hearing aide at 16. as i am barely making enough money to pay my bills, i can not afford new hearing aides so that i can hear the conversations around me. i fear every day that it will be all gone one day, it's not getting better, it's only getting worse. so what i ask instead, is kindness, compassion, understanding, and some attempt on your part to understand what is going on.

yes i retreat to my technology. it's comfortable, unlike the conversations around me. instead of attempting to get me out of the technology by simply taking it away. why don't you try asking me what's going on. ask if i am hearing ok, or following along well enough, or if it's a topic that bothers me in some way. taking my phone or ipod or computer out of my hands is not the answer. you may think it's funny, but it's not, and it hurts me, because it takes away the security blanket. and you can not honestly say that you have never needed a security blanket of your own.

understand, don't just judge.
It's awful having an invisible disability. I have Crohn's disease and severe allergies, and most people understand neither.

I think there are some companies or organizations that can help people get cheaper hearing aids - if you have a PCP, you could ask them or search online for such groups.

Maybe if you began looking for jobs within the hearing impaired community you would feel better? Making contacts there might help you along quite a bit.

Perhaps just tell your friends that you can only hang out with them one-on-one, so you have just one person to focus on and (more importantly) just one person to focus on you.

Good luck, hun.
thanks Emmi! i actually know a little about Crohn's and have some allergies myself (tomatoes and latex). i'm actually going to my primary care today for a physical and i will put it on my list of things. it's just something that bugs me a ton. it's starting to make my wife go insane every time i turn up the volume on the tv. funny, but annoying.