Hitting My Head Against a Wall.

I feel like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall. It’s uncomfortable, I back off and try to make things easier. I look at the other side of things. I ask questions and read about both sides of my arguments. Or are they ideals? The brick wall gets too hard and I wonder if I’m being too idealistic. I wonder if I’m making my decisions based on my ideals. That’s how I give myself a break from banging my head against the wall, I self-deprecate. I tell myself I’m crazy or over-thinking situations. Or that I’m wrong about what I think is true. I’m wrong. Then I cry, I stay in a perpetual state of mild depression. Always a bit of sadness. I escape with the moments I’m dreaming about my garden, spending time in the yard with Jack and Fiona when they get home from Kindergarten. Or walking along the sidewalk, saying hello to our neighbors. My fascination of us all learning sign language, my whole family, so Fiona isn’t obligated to where her hearing aids day and night. So, she can still communicate, but have breaks from the horrible amplification, every sound competing for the other. Fiona keeps saying, “I can’t hear your voice” or “I can’t hear my voice”. This morning I finally understand what she’s talking about. I was using my listening tube to check her hearing aids. I was around the corner from the T.V. but I could here the sound from the T.V. like it was coming right into my ear. I walked over to where the T.V. was. I asked Jack to say something to me. It was hard to differentiate his voice from the T.V. I know it sounds different for Fiona because she has at least half the ability to hear than I do. But that’s hard to quantify because Fiona and I hear differently.

Recently a battle about having my twins together in the same classroom has sprung up. Even though there’s tons of research and I’ve recently gathered personal experience from all the twin moms and educators I know, that twins together isn’t always bad. I thought to myself yesterday, if I’m wrong and I mess up my kids by keeping them in the same class in Elementary school, I promise to send them to therapy. If I am making a huge mistake by wanting my daughter to learn sign language and wanting her to have an interpreter in class, I guess that’s just going to happen. I was told that Fiona will just want to fit in and that having an interpreter will make her feel different. I don’t see why this is an issue, Fiona is different, and she needs to have access to the same experience all other children do, the only way to have this is that everyone that talks to Fiona knows how to talk to people who are Deaf/HH. That means the whole Kindergarten class. Fiona should have the right to access language without technology, even socially. One way to do that is use sign language.

I can’t explain a lot of stuff about having hearing loss, there are things I think only people who have hearing loss can understand, and things people who live with a person with hearing loss can understand. Yesterday I heard Fiona ask Jack what over and over again and finally Jack got frustrated and gave up. It was only the two of them and me in the house, I don’t even think the T.V. was on. I may have been cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. For some reason Fiona just could not understand what Jack was saying. And Fiona can understand a lot of what Jack is saying. Last night Fiona and I were sitting on the couch, right next to each other. I had food in my mouth, Fiona asked me a question, I tried to answer but she couldn’t understand what I was saying because I had food in my mouth. I was talking differently. These are in relatively, quiet, environments.

There’s a big emphasis on the F.M. system. An extra amplification system from a speaker straight into Fiona’s ears, this “fixes” the problem of deciphering what a speaker is saying from the background noise. This is great, I think? I need to talk with a Deaf/HH student to find out what it’s like, someone older than Fiona. I ask her but she can’t explain it yet. I would never say that I don’t think Fiona should use an F.M. system, she would have to tell me she didn’t want to. But I also don’t know how good it is. Is there still interference? How quiet an environment is ideal? Is it still hard to decipher certain words like it is when Fiona is only wearing her hearing aids? The only person who can answer these questions is Fiona. But she’s still too young. I need to make the decision for her. But there’s a whole team of people putting in their input. People who do not have formal training with Deaf/HH people, they hire experts. Which is fine, but there’s always bias. There is major bias against sign language. There is no support for sign language once Fiona leaves Preschool. There may be an interpreter, but it’s not total communication. It’s better than nothing. I will be dedicated to teaching Fiona and the rest of my family sign. We are all going to take lessons together, I’ll keep studying with the SEE Center, and I will use sign way more at home, and practice way more once I get my head above water. Once I’m not having insomnia, stressed, obsessed about this conflict I’m involved in. It’s intense entering the public-school system. Time to go to my studio.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist