Chronicles of Deafness / Hearing Impairment

Bullying and deafness: let’s talk about it?

is an English term used to describe acts of physical or psychological violence, intentional and repeated, practiced by an individual(bully ) or group of individuals with the aim of intimidating or attacking another individual (or group of individuals) incapable of defending themselves. There are also victims/aggressors, or perpetrators/targets, who at certain times commit aggression, but are also victims of bullying by the class.”

When I was at school, the most I suffered were mean comments, always made by fellow girls, never by boys. Of course, back then I listened much better than I do today. I only started using hearing aids in my last year of high school. The thing that held me back the most was hearing the comments they made about a friend of mine who was deaf – and who didn’t use hearing aids because, in her case, they didn’t help. The lightest was ‘here comes the little deaf girl’.

I used to swear a lot at the assholes who said that about her but, despite my best efforts, they wouldn’t shut up. In my head, the recurring thought was ‘if I show up with a hearing aid at this school, my peace is over! Today, I see that it was an exaggeration on my part, but at the time it tormented me. Both for what they did to her and for what they might do to me.

Deaf people who are victims of verbal bullying can’t defend themselves because they don’t even know about the direct attack. They can tell more by the diabolical expression of the aggressor and the laughter of those nearby. When I think back to the mean comments they made to me, I realize that they were nothing compared to what children make today. The most I heard was“you must be deaf, I’ve been calling you for hours and you won t even look me in the face!”, “teacher, if you want to say that someone is deaf, you can say that they’re like Paula” and the like. Nothing serious.

The word deaf

But I was very young and the word DEAF still sounded like a super affront. It may sound silly, but that marked me forever. For years I was terrified and itched every time I heard the word DEAF. For me, it was the worst in the world. Today, I laugh at the time I wasted on such nonsense

As an adult, the comments have changed. And they are ALWAYS made by women. I don’t understand it and I don’t want to, but I’d be lying if I said that any man had ever said anything derogatory to me about my deafness. Never! Women, however, find a way. The most common is the classic ‘she’s so (put any adjective here, like intelligent/beautiful/wanted and derivatives) but she’ s…deaf!’ or the basic ‘she’s playing deaf to get by!

In the first case, the comment is not directed at me, but at a third person who is nearby – the intention is to diminish me as a person. I’ve also found myself in several situations where I was getting more attention from someone who didn’t know about my hearing loss and suddenly some woman who wasn’t happy about it opened her mouth and said ‘did you know she doesn’t hear properly? Boring, isn’t it?

I’ll say it a thousand times if necessary: deafness is not a character defect. If people use it to try to diminish you as a human being, thank heaven: that means it’s the only thing they’ve found bad about you! 😉

Bullying and deafness

I think
directed at children is very dangerous and should be taken seriously. Adults know how and can defend themselves. Children don’t, and what’s more, they’re at a crucial stage in the development of their self-esteem. With each attack, the child becomes more withdrawn, more introverted and frightened. And he’ll carry that forever. Or the opposite could happen and the attacked child becomes aggressive.

In both cases, I think parents have every right (and duty!) to take action. Schoolchildren can be very cruel – I wonder if they learn to be that way at home or if it’s just part of their personality…


club of the deaf who hear

Your deafness journey doesn’t have to be lonely and uninformed! To make it lighter, simpler and full of friends, become a
MEMBER of the Deaf Who Hear Club.
In the Club, you’ll have access to our

digital communities (Facebook and Telegram groups)

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There are 21,000 hearing aid and cochlear implant users with the most different types and degrees of deafness for you to talk to and ask questions about the world of hearing loss (rights, hearing aids, doctors, audiologists, implants, exams, etc).

REASONS to join the Deaf Who Hear Club:

  1. Being in direct contact with those who have been through what you are going through (this makes all the difference!)
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  5. Talking to thousands of people who have deafness, otosclerosis, syndromes and use hearing aids to hear better
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If you are

parent of a child with hearing loss

one of the Club’s digital communities is a Telegram Group with hundreds of families helping each other every day.

how to buy a hearing aid


I’ve been through the saga of buying hearing aids several times. I was once persuaded to go into debt to buy a “discreet and invisible” hearing aid that didn’t even cover my deafness. I’ve already been cheated when I took a hearing aid for repair to the store where I bought it: the audiologist said it was no longer suitable for me without even checking it or doing a new audiometry. I almost fell for the vicar’s tale of spending a fortune on a “top of the range” hearing aid for profound deafness, the features of which I would never be able to take advantage of due to the severity of my deafness. I’ve already been pressured into buying a hearing aid because the “unmissable promotion” was supposed to last until the next day. I also almost made the mistake of buying a hearing aid that was almost out of stock because of a stratospheric discount.

But YOU don’t have to go through that.

I’ve created a quick online course of 1 hour and 30 minutes that brings together everything I’ve learned in 41 years of living with deafness 24 hours a day and that will save you a lot of money, time and energy in order to hear again. Become a student HERE.



About Author

Paula Pfeifer é uma surda que ouve com dois implantes cocleares. Ela é autora dos livros Crônicas da Surdez, Novas Crônicas da Surdez e Saia do Armário da Surdez e lidera a maior comunidade digital do Brasil de pessoas com perda auditiva que são usuárias de próteses auditivas.

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