To my hearing loss by Toyosi
When I was younger, I didn’t mind you. I don’t think I was fully aware of what was going on. I just knew I had to wear these things in my ears to help me hear and attend speech therapy lessons, but I never really thought of myself as different from those around me.
But, as I got older and became more aware of interaction and of course, judgment, I became more conscious of your presence. I became more sensitive to the looks I received from those around me when my hair was in a bun or when I asked someone to repeat himself/herself multiple times.
Would I be looked at with pity? Would I be employable if I declared myself as having a ‘disability’?
These questions among many more quickly became a part of my everyday life, and from this point on, I started to resent you. Couldn’t you just fix yourself and go away?
I fought to prove that I was worthy, more than just a girl with hearing aids and a weird accent. I’m now realising that I was doing all of that more for myself than for anyone around me, and honestly, I’m realising what a gift you are. Perspective, opportunity, strength, a story- some of the many things you’ve given me. I’m thankful for the lessons on patience and empathy- all of which have shaped me today. All of this and so much more, I owe to you. Thank you for being my gift, my uniqueness, my teacher, my shield of armour.
Thank you for being patient with me as I have come to these realisations.
Here’s to a journey of endless teachings, genuine self-acceptance and to the woman I am to be. People around me have taught me there’s a beauty in being different, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to accept you for you.