Isolation within Isolation

I was born with a severe hearing loss. I read lips and faces and eyes… it is my only portal.

Someone is addressing the problem of masks for the deaf and hard of hearing by showing some that have a see-through section. Is this mask going to be available to the whole country? The whole world? Everyone has one? Will it be cleaned every five seconds for visibility and spittle from speaking? Will it fog up from breathing? Will it have little windshield wipers with cleaning fluid per each sentence so we can see?

I like that someone is inventing them and realizing the problem. But it makes me angry that all I see is a wall of isolation. I am not in the deaf community and I do not know ASL. I was not allowed to learn as a child and every time I try to learn as an adult, I fail.

So all I see when I look out in the world right now is a world that is a brick wall. I meet kind people, but I’m tired of seeing a constant visual evidence that I do not belong… that I’m shut out of this “new normal” which is a phrase that I despise.

It is on television, it is on video, it is on the newspapers, it is everywhere I step outside. Fashion masks are becoming all the rage.

All I see is “you are locked out” and I’m bitter and angry. I used to be able to straddle both worlds. Now I belong nowhere.

4 thoughts on “Isolation within Isolation

  1. I can feel the frustration in this. I have a hearing loss, and find myself watching lips when people speak. It’s not that I consciously “hear” what I see, but I’m sure it makes a difference. I’ve had store clerks lower their masks so I can make out what they’re saying. What’s interesting is that I have a high-end hearing loss, but it’s the lower voices that give me a problem. Take those high tones out of their voice and it’s more of a drone or “buzzing” voice I hear. Masks make that even worse.

    • I am so very sorry that it took me this long to answer! I should come back to my site more often, to read and to write. I plan to do that. Thank you for sharing with me about your hearing loss and what you are facing also. Do you tinnitus too, do you think? Yes, the masks are a nightmare for us. I’m with voice-to-text apps now, since many people are getting fired for lowering their masks…. but they do it when no one is looking because they want to breathe!

      • I do have tinnitus – 24/7 in my left ear since an inner ear infection 30 years ago. The right ear started about 5 years ago, but the left is the dominant “sound.” My overall hearing loss has gotten worse in the past 2 years, and I’m seriously considering hearing aids.

      • I have heard that some hearing aids can help with tinnitus. So if you got two, it maybe could solve both issues? And get all Bluetooth’ed up also!

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