I’m loud and chatty, but I wasn’t always that way… And I shouldn’t be put down for it.
People have commented that I’m quite loud and very chatty. But it wasn’t always this way.
I was mute up until I was twelve. At this point in life, we now know that it was a part of my Autism and partly because I was deaf. I could talk, but I didn’t. And it wasn’t until I was in high school that it changed drastically.
I didn’t really start talking until I was four. But it was small pieces, here and there. Hello, Yes, No, Thank you, Please… I would only really speak with family, majoritively my Mum and Dad.
I got a little chattier in my second primary, I was around eight – I had an operation and I was able to hear. I gained a few friends and I spoke to them and my teachers, but for the best part I was still quiet. It felt more natural to me considering I’d not been able to hear up until this point.
When I got chattier in high school, I was less mute and more hyperspeaking. I talked too much and ended up with a stutter, which when stressed – I still have.
Then I started losing my hearing again. I was at Wakefield Pride 2019. I was running a stall, and I hit my head on the table… Twice. I broke my nose and gave myself a concussion. But no one realised until five days later when I passed out. It was day seven when I was trying to sleep but couldn’t because my head was hurting, when I decided to try and listen to music… I put my earphones in and realised that the music wasn’t playing right. It was off, it sounded like I was underwater. But it was only affecting one ear. I switched earphones to make sure it wasn’t that I’d got water in one of them, but it continued. I cried myself to sleep that night – knowing that after finally being able to listen to music, I’d possibly lost the ability to enjoy it just thirteen years later. My right ear began doing the same thing to music a few weeks later. Music hasn’t sounded the same ever since, but I’m used to it now. I may not hear it like everyone else does, but I still get to enjoy it… For the time being at least.
The problem I had when I started losing my hearing again was that I’d forgotten how to speak quietly while being unable to hear myself. I was used to hearing myself talk at a certain level, and the less I can hear the louder I got in order to be able to hear myself at that level.
It’s something I’m dealing with, and having to improve on, because I don’t want to be the person shouting in the supermarket… (Though, that person is usually my Mum who has no hearing issues at all… She’s just very loud. I’m often telling her to be quieter because she still triggers my hypersensitivity to sound… Even with my hearing loss).
Sometimes I wish my hearing would go quicker and someone would just allow me to sign for the rest of my life. I much prefer being mute and silent than talking aloud. Whether my hearing will go entirely or not, I’m not sure. But the in between, accompanied with my hypersensitivity and Autism, is possibly the worst feeling. I wish I’d remained deaf.