It’s been very revealing to rewrite old posts from ten years ago. I can compare my experiences then, when I wore hearing aids, with now, when I live with two bionic ears. The comparisons that this allows me to make are very interesting.

As it was in 2010…

I love wearing my
hearing aids
. And I love not wearing them. I need moments of silence, or rather moments when I’m alone with my
. Listening is a delight, but it gets tiring. I explain: when a person listens normally, their brain knows how to ‘filter out’ annoying noises. When you can’ t hear well, hearing aids amplify everything. And some noises cause anguish. Examples: vacuum cleaner, dog barking, car alarm sounding, door slamming.

Sometimes, after a stressful and tiring day, all I want to do is get home and ‘switch off’. And when I ‘switch off’, I end up annoying everyone around me. Even if you spend the whole day using technology to hear better, it seems that people don’t forgive you for wanting to be who you really are, even for just a few hours.

I don’t even need to comment on the fact that even people close to us don’t have much patience with deaf people.

I love it and I’m very grateful to have the option of LISTENING. I’m amazed when I look at the devices, so small and yet so miraculous.

They take me out of the state of almost absolute silence and place me in a world full of sounds. Sounds that may go unnoticed by listeners, but which cause enormous happiness and a lot of tearful smiles on faces.

Nothing compares to being alone in a room, opening the window and suddenly recognizing a bird singing. Or driving on a rainy day and enjoying the symphony of the drops falling on the car windows.

Even a symphony of fingers and nails tapping on a wooden table can be pleasurable – as can understanding something someone has said without looking at the person’s face. These are small achievements. These are sounds that the devices have brought back into my life after so many years.

But I also like silence. It gives me a moment of meditation. Absolutely no noise to distract me so that my brain and soul can rest a little from this world of new sounds.

I think sound and silence complement each other, and I need both. Much more sound than silence, it must be said. Today he helps me, but in homeopathic doses.

As it is in 2021…

Ten years ago, it had never crossed my mind that I would be hearing everything, have a child, live in Rio, lose my mother, win a Facebook program and open so many important doors for so many deaf people around the world.

It’s quite strange to think back to how I was in 2010: it’s as if my fears and despair over my hearing loss had all disappeared.

My relationship with deafness has changed. She doesn’t scare me anymore. Technology has allowed me to get around it wonderfully, and that has made my whole life much easier. It gave me peace and quiet, two things I hadn’t known before.

I still love the possibility of having moments of silence

I use and abuse my OFF button especially at work, when I need to concentrate on something I’m writing or creating.

The possibility of being able to switch off completely and not hear anything when I need or want to is a real luxury. Several people who hear perfectly have told me that they’re envious of this and wish they could do the same.

Every night, I sleep in absolute silence

I only break out of this routine when my husband travels and I need to hear my son calling me at night. If you were to ask me what is the thing I hate most in life, I would say that having to sleep listening to it is a strong candidate.

I love, value and revere silence when I sleep. At first, after Lucas was born, I had to sleep with the CI in – I spent many nights awake because any sound would wake me up.

As soon as I wake up, I like to enjoy a bit of silence. I usually only put my CIs in after going to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Then my day begins. The world is really noisy, and people don’t even realize it. Silence can be extremely invigorating.

After a day of lots of sounds and brain activity because of them, I confess that I can’t wait to be able to lay my head on the pillow, switch off and watch some series on Netflix with subtitles. Silence no longer disturbs me because I know that the sound is right next door, and that all I have to do is open the door to it.

How do you feel about this?


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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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