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I Can't Hear You

Posted May 14 2010 7:17am

I am the oldest of five. For the most part, my siblings and I share similar political beliefs. Unfortunately, our parents seem to feel quite the opposite, so if we happen to end up talking politics at a family gathering, a heated discussion may escalate into a shouting match. We are learning to avoid certain subjects.


Last time I was visiting my parents, while my mother and I were preparing breakfast, the conversation started dancing around a sensitive subject. I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I happened to announce where I stood on the issue. My dad didn’t agree and started on a tirade denouncing what I believe. Immediately I regretted having said anything but I was not going to back down. My mother was getting uncomfortable and wanted everyone to stop - which was fine with me, but dad was not getting the message. I was at the kitchen sink wiping a dish and dad had his back to me. I decided to give him the message visually. I put the dish down, wiped my hands, walked around to get in front of him and when he was looking at me, I reached up and with exaggeration I knocked my CI headpieces down to my shoulders. He got it. He looked at me and his mouth stopped moving. There I was in my silence feeling like a naughty child. I didn’t enjoy disrespecting my father, and I didn’t enjoy being disrespected.


I have shared the story of that incident with my girls and one of them said she finds herself wondering how many children with cochlear implants or hearing aids, have, or eventually will, take their hearing off in the face of being scolded or lectured. I suppose it is the equivalent of a hearing child plugging her ears with her fingers and taunting, “I can’t hear you.” With a CI it is much more dramatic and effective - but still naughty.

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