Being totally deaf on a Sunday – what’s the big deal?

Often get asked this, but how do you explain something you’ve grown up with and been living with since you became totally deaf at 4 1/2 years old?

I started a book many years ago – never got it finished, but there was one chapter that I focused on what it’s actually like to be totally deaf. I can word it many different ways, this one was something that perhaps you might understand… just perhaps, because however you try – you can’t just “shut your ears” like you would “Shut your eyes” to imagine blindness. You will always “hear” something… so why am I trying to explain “total” deafness? It happens to many, be it in their childhood, or in their teens or in mid-life – or even in old age…

This is what total deafness is like.

It is Sunday. The sun is shining. You are sitting on the patio, looking at the flowers and reading the papers. The weather is warm. You feel at peace with the world.

There’s a smell in the air – it smells of petrol… then you eventually smell cut grass. You realise that the neighbour is cutting the grass, you don’t realise it makes a noise.

You see a bird flying, it meets another one in mid air and they land on the tree at the end of the garden – you see them flapping and their beaks moving, you realise they must be making a noise too… ah – well you wouldn’t have known if your daughter hadn’t come in and said that there was a racket going on and that birds were being a nusiance…

You go back to looking at your sunday papers – even then you don’t realise that they make a noise as you turn the pages…

Your daughter tells you to look up at the sky – you see a heilcopter – she tells you there has been an almighty noise just now, then you see some black clouds in the distance and realise there has been an accident on the motorway, just by the way…

You go to your I-pad, and look up the news and see that indeed there has been – but unless someone had told you  – you would have been oblivious to it.

You then go onto social media and see that friends and family have been talking about it for the last 4 hours, you had no idea… you were simply sitting in the garden thinking the world was at peace.

You go upstairs, and you put the bath on, you think it will take abut 30 mins to fill up, you go downstairs and you put the kettle on.  You then get distracted by the television showing that something is happening in your neighbourhood… you look outside, you see a ball fall into the garden..

You decided to throw the ball back realising your neighbours children have been playing, oblivious to the noise they have been making – you don’t get it that there have been so much noise going on this morning but you want to find out if all is ok  so you go back to the television and try to catch up on what’s going on…

Suddenly, your daughter comes running in telling you the bath is overflowing – you never heard it! – and finally you realise how much you are missing by not being able to hear. (to be continued)




About Suzie

Mother, Wife, Teacher, Cook and Hearing dog owner. Passionate about Equality for deaf and deafblind people. Believes in communication for all and breaking down these barriers, real and perceived. Deafened.
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1 Response to Being totally deaf on a Sunday – what’s the big deal?

  1. Shaun Ernest Jackson says:

    Hi Suzie

    I have just read your article onwhat “deafness” is like, and i’d just like to say i was taken aback to how much someone with a hearing disability might miss! it would have never occurred to me 🙂 i’d like to thank you on sharing with us your experiences and I am eager to read part 2 on “Being totally deaf on a Sunday – what’s the big deal?”

    Yours Sincerely,

    Shaun E Jackson

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