Fears faced Continued, this is a series 🙂
As a deaf and hard of hearing person I have spent most of my life pretending that I wasn’t. It took me a very long time to fully understand the psychology and behavioral aspects of my case in particularly. The psychological effects of this in and of itself created the reality that I choose to live it. The initial creation process was unconscious to a degree. It started at a very young age. As a child in elementary school in the first grade I already knew that I was missing things. Regardless of how close I sat to the teacher, or how much I tried to pay attention, the sounds were just sounds, and those sounds did not translate to comprehensible words. At the time of course I couldn’t have formed that understanding, nor would I until a lot later in my school years.
I began making my first friends through art. Art didn’t need any sound! I could easily see what the teacher meant for us to do and this “thing” inside me seemed to take over. I loved to draw right away, like almost every kid does. Drawing was the ticket into raw, non-judgmental fun, mark making and narrative illustrations. Even though I had discovered art as means of early coping, the discoveries of bullies also reared their ugly heads. There were very few kids with disabilities in my elementary school (and all through my secondary education really) with the exception of one or two kids who wore hearings aids, thicker than normal glasses or were in co-dependent on the use of a wheelchair. Sadly enough, as mentioned, the bullies came to fruition at this time, and they began their campaigns of ridicule, abuse and the constant bantering of those kids. I was one of those kids hidden under the radar, lurking on the sidelines and watching with hawk like visual precision. The kid with the hearing aids got it the worst. Perhaps this is my personal connection to the experiences, but day after day, week after week, and year after year until he vanished from our elementary class ladder climb. The 1st grade bullies seemed as fast and as sharp and aggressive as the first wave of wasps and yellow jackets that return from the winter, eager to attack and reclaim the territory. For many years, I wondered why? Why would they do this?
Watching the bullying and tormenting, and I can vividly recall some of those scenarios, even in the most seemingly subtle of verbal ways left me feeling terrible inside, it scared me and immobilized me more than anything else. This was my introduction to both fear itself, the fear of my hearing loss and deafness being discovered and the ability to manipulate myself and everyone else around me. It took me over twenty years to put that awareness into place and be able to write about it this clearly.
The grainy pixelated glitched animation visually represents how auditory distortion feels. This is a visual translation. The soundless animated loop works perfectly to represent the ongoing endless cycle. The loop and textures also display the confusion and scrambling to try to makes sense of things in both real-time experiences and how they remain distorted over time until we face them. The finger spelling in the video spells the word LEARN. Learning ASL and sign language is helping me greatly, and I am loving the process, slowly in my own time.
Much more to come, next story:
“The 1970s Hearing Test Machine Hacker”…