Today was a really bad day for me. As most of you know, I'm hearing impaired. I do not use sign language, I read lips and I have a good voice because I lost my hearing in my early 20s. I have never let my hearing loss stop me from living life the way I want. I have learned to deal with it the best I can and feel that I've done a damned good job so far. I don't expect people to powder my ass just because I have a disability. In fact I'm opposite. I just want the freedom to live and be myself. The people that know and love me have learned to deal with my hearing loss and they all treat me with respect. I don't allow people who don't treat me with respect to be in my world long. Living in a hearing world is hard enough. I don't have room for people who put me down.
Most days I do pretty good but today was horrible. I was out in the public lobby where I work today trying to talk on the phone. I can talk on the phone fine but I have to turn the hearing aid on my ear I'm not using off so I can hear the person talking on the phone. This makes hearing my own voice impossible. I end up talking loud and don't realize it.
Right when I ended my call a security lady marched over and towered over me sitting in a chair. She griped me out for talking too loud. I tried to explain that I'm hearing impaired and I cant hear my own voice especially in areas that echo like the lobby but she kept ridiculing me. She embarrassed me in front of everyone. She made me feel like I must be some kind of freak.
She kept asking me questions and when I answered too loud she would tell me to stop talking too loud. I told her I was sorry but I can't make myself hear and as long as she detained me and forced me to converse with her in an area that I have difficulty hearing in I would talk loud because I CANNOT HEAR MY OWN VOICE. She said I was making up my hearing loss so I showed her my hearing aids. She just kept on me.
I finally asked her if she was enjoying discriminating against me and publically humiliating me. I told her I didn't appreciate it and I needed to go back to work. She then yanked at my badge to read my name out loud and said she was reporting me. I told her I would've gladly given her my name and grabbing my badge wasn't necessary. She got mad and stomped off.
I don't know what I did wrong. I wasn't rude to anybody I just was talking on the phone in the lobby like everyone else does. I'm sorry I have an invisible disability. It doesn't mean its not true even though you can't see it!
Once someone is told that a person is hearing impaired that should be the end of it. This woman didn't have to continue to embarrass me in front of everybody in the lobby.
I cried all the way home from work and off and on all evening. I'm real tired of being treated like crap by uneducated, callous people who don't even know me. I'm really a nice person. One just has to take the time to get to know me to realize that.
I'm tired of all the judgements and assumptions made about me when people find out I'm hearing impaired. I'm NOT STUPID. I'm very intelligent. I graduated summa cum laude from TU and I got a 4.0 GPA when I earned my MBA. I did better than most HEARING PEOPLE with no special treatment. I read people's body language better than any hearing person because I have to.
I guess I just feel like I'm out here all alone trying to deal with an invisible disability that very few people understand and most refuse to learn about.
Tonight my heart is broke. :'(