I nearly killed myself after being bullied for my deafness ｜ Metro
I was born five weeks premature in July 1995 into a hearing family, one minute before my twin sibling.
By the time I was one, my mum and grandmother had an inkling that I wasn’t hearing as clearly as my twin. I was always staring at their faces and following their movements.
However, despite my mum relentlessly going back and forth to GPs, she was ignored and viewed as an overactive parent.
As a child, I didn’t understand what was happening; unaware that I was any different to other kids until I was diagnosed, aged seven, when an audiologist came into our school and tested us all.
It suddenly made sense. I had relied heavily on lip-reading and asking teachers to repeat things and for more clarification on tasks. Without an explanation, I was worried about coming off as weak or stupid.
Unfortunately, things didn’t change massively after finding out I was deaf and was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss, which is moderate hearing loss in both ears. No one at home or school knew British Sign Language and no extra provisions were made for me in the classroom.
Hearing loss felt taboo; I internalised that it was a bad thing. I was put into the class with those who had learning difficulties and behavioural needs, showing that they did not see me as someone other than a problem.
I often felt I had to morph myself into a hearing person in order to survive the harsh world that was fit for hearing people, and high school was no different.
When I finally got a radio aid, aged 12 (which my teacher would wear and I would wear its receiver attached to my hearing aids) and had support from teachers of the deaf on a weekly basis, I finally felt supported.
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