Having the choice to be able to hear or not… is selective hearing (or is it deafness?) at it’s best.
Deaf people have the advantage of being able to turn off their hearing aids whenever and for however long they wish.
I do love music and hearing certain voices/everyday sounds but when there too much of something, ie chaos all around, it is a very good solution to just be able to simply, switch off. In all senses. Rather liberating as it is a luxury to be able to turn the aids off and just step back… And watch the chaos unfolding from a very safe distance, in silence. Silence is golden.
I remember pretending to switch them off whilst being told off and they (i.e. parents, teachers) would get exasperated because they thought I had switched them off and they did not want to be wasting their time telling me off when I “couldn’t hear”… when in reality I could still hear them. Oops. I’m not one to be messed with Deaf people have done this many times and we will always use our deafness for any kind of advantage – or ability to annoy people.
There are hearing people who would love to escape the cacophony of life. Whereas there will be those who sadly take it for granted and as usual there is always a balance, there are those who are extremely grateful that they can still hear.
On a more serious note, For some, turning off our hearing aids does not bring about silence due to tinnitus. Some have to live from this condition 24/7… suffering from a constant, be it buzzing… sirens… humming…. various annoying noises of the brain’s choice. I notice my tinnitus gets better during certain states of being. This tinnitus of mine is very much like the radio, a most nonsensical irritating noise. A friend’s tinnitus is more like the whining, high pitched, screeching, howling feedback you would get at a concert or festival. They dare not take their hearing aid off because of it. So, their silence, that blissful, wondrous silence we deaf people are gifted with when it’s needed, has long since disappeared. A mere refugee, a victim of the tinnitus invasion. Some like their tinnitus as it saves them from having to use their MP3, radios, etc – somewhat worrying if they prefer to listen to the voices in their heads instead
~ SJ (Sara Jae)
Now read part 2; “Somewhere Over The Rainbow…“