“An Introduction”

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My name’s Mike and I’m currently struggling to navigate the confusion, frustration and isolation I experience daily as I travel along my deaf journey.

I have severe hearing loss in both ears caused by meningitis as a teen, and its progressive nature has impacted my life in both pedestrian and dramatic fashion. Although my deafness has been a constant companion for 40 years, I have never come to grips with it; it’s a tenuous relationship with an unwelcome guest who will never leave and whose insidious nature has infiltrated all areas of my life.

Yeah, you could say I hate being deaf. Hence this blog.

This is my attempt to reach out from my isolation to see if there are others like me who are deaf and feeling shunned or who have become reclusive due to deafness, not knowing sign language or other deaf people, and who have essentially fallen by the wayside as life passes them by. I hope to write about my experiences as a functionally deaf person in a hearing world, the struggle to survive as a disabled person in a world where the disabled are generally ignored or deliberately scorned, and the coping mechanisms I’ve developed over the years to try to stay afloat in a rural area where I have no deaf friends or acquaintances and very little in terms of deaf support services.

Despite all of this, my deafness does not define who I am as a person—it is only part of who I am. In my story, deafness is only one of the characters in a cast of many. Finally coming to accept my deafness is my goal; perhaps learning to co-exist with—or even embrace—my deafness is my only chance of finding peace in my life. I hope to hear from others who may be in similar situations. Discovering we’re not alone could be the breakthrough we need to live better, more fulfilling lives.

18 thoughts on ““An Introduction”

    1. Thanks, Juliette. I’m humbled by your kind words. I must say I’ve been enjoying your blog as well and I look forward to exploring more of your wonderful writing. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. It means a lot to me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like the way you said the deafness does not define the person you are, such a positive word that is. Deafness honestly does not define you, you are way beyond a better person than most who can hear, I am really thrilled you started this blog now we are all blessed with your beautiful words and a magnificent collection of photography. ✨

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks, Daphny. I’m still working on accepting myself as a deaf person (it’s really difficult) but there’s no fixing my deafness, and no one is to blame for it, not even me. It just happened. I’m so accustomed to it now after all these years, but I still fight against it in vain, as if somehow I could change it. Peace comes with acceptance, and I’m not quite there yet. My blog was my attempt to reach out and talk about it, to try to connect with people both deaf and hearing, and to raise awareness of what it’s like to be a deaf person stuck between the deaf and hearing worlds. I’m so glad I took that leap and decided to create this blog. I’ve come across some amazing people from all over the world, and I’m so grateful for the kindness I’ve been shown so far. Words are powerful; words can comfort and heal and assuage fears and bring peace. I truly appreciate your support and encouragement, and I’m so happy you enjoy my words and images. Thanks so much for your kindness. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am glad you took that leap and yes it always a challenge to accept ourselves but the good thing is you didn’t give up and I can’t help but admire your courage. You’re most welcome Mike. 🙂✨

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, rajkkhoja. I decided on the name “Silent Pariah” for my blog for a couple of reasons. First, I’m deaf, and while I can still hear some sounds, my world is silent for the most part. I have tremendous difficulty understanding speech, so I avoid interacting with people if I can (I lip-read, but lip-reading is highly unreliable, and impossible during a pandemic when everyone is wearing a mask). So, not only is my environment mostly silent due to my deafness, I also don’t speak much, so I’m silent as well, and am quite reclusive.

      Second, a pariah is an outcast, and I’ve felt like an outcast all my life. I grew up in Utah, a state dominated by one religion, and I am not a member of that religion, so it was made clear to me early in my life that I was never going to fit in there, no matter if it was school or jobs or friendships or relationships. There was a lot of religious discrimination there, and I don’t have many good memories of that period. Also, being deaf in a hearing world has rendered me an outcast as well. I’m too deaf to fit in with the hearing world, but not deaf enough to fit in with the Deaf world. I don’t know sign language, nor do I know any other deaf people. So, I feel stuck between both worlds, an outsider looking in, and not fitting in anywhere. I’m an outcast again.

      I figured the name “Silent Pariah” had a nice ring to it and described my life perfectly. My hope for my blog was to meet other deaf people, but that hasn’t happened. However, I’ve met some wonderful people here on WordPress who have been so kind and supportive and friendly (like you!), and my deafness doesn’t come into play on my blog since everything is written down rather than spoken. I have a few essays in the Essays section of my blog that describe my feelings of being an outcast and my experiences as a deaf person, and I’ve touched on it briefly in my poetry here.

      So, there you have it—a silent pariah reaching out to the world to make a human connection. Thanks so much for asking about this. I appreciate your interest and kindness. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rajkkhoja

        Thank you so much. I have no any words what , I write you. I unhappy you can’t hearing. You are brave & strong women. God blessing!
        Iam so sorry!
        I can read your reply it’s very hard but some I understand your words. My English is very poor! I hope you understand my wrods. Thanks !

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No worries–I understand, and your English is very good! I do my best with the struggles I face, and I try to help others understand what it’s like to be deaf. Your kind words are very much appreciated! Thanks so much! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Mike, i’m reading your essays since last night, though i read only the first essay last night, and felt it so intensely, but tonight i read 3 further essays. I didn’t want to comment yet, wanted to read all first, but now preferred to comment as i read..

    I can understand what you have gone through my dear friend .. i can understand that grief, pain, are very tough emotions to experience.. i have been there too..and many other people too, our experiences can differ but the feelings of pain can be the same..as we all are humans.

    You have your own journey of experiences.. but i don’t see you as “disabled”, yes not hearing can be challenging, i will never underestimate what you have experienced and are experiencing but that does not mean you are any less able..or disable at all. You can be differently abled.

    Your writing skills are so excellent, and i’m truly inspired by the standard of your words and expression. And the most beautiful thing that i observed in you is your “openness to your vulnerability..” and therefore i also feel so relaxed and open while talking to you.. and i feel that it might be one of the reasons of your wise insights.. don’t look for the deaf people, i will say, my dear friend Mike, look for the people who can truly listen..otherwise this whole world is deaf.. and blind.

    Good that you joined this platform, i will say keep writing.. no matter what.. for no other person but for your ownself, at first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mike, once again my comment is repeated and went as someone else’s reply🤨 its so funny and embarrassing too😃 pls delete that comment, i think it appeared as Daphny Aqua comment’s reply. I don’t know why it happens to me here 😃 i think i m writing very late night..could be due to that😃

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This is such a wonderful comment (and such a late reply by me–my apologies). It’s taken me four decades to try to figure how out to live life as a deaf person, and I’m still lost. It’s been my goal for the past few years to just learn to be comfortable with who I am and stop fighting against my deafness. I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with it completely–deafness creates such drastic obstacles, both physical and emotional–and there’s no magic pill to fix it. My blog originally started out as a deaf blog in an attempt to find others who are going through this, but it failed. I mean, I understand that many deaf people are reclusive like me, and don’t wish to deal with the world when it’s so painful due to deafness. But while I never found any deaf friends here on my blog, I did discover something else, and that is, at least on a blogging platform, my deafness doesn’t come into play, so I’ve been able to interact with “normal” people, and there are a lot of good folks here on WordPress. Deafness doesn’t affect my writing so I’m able to not think about it unless I’m writing about it. In a face-to-face meeting with a fellow blogger? Yeah, that would be quite different, and difficult, since my deafness would come back into paly. I wrote these essays in an attempt to show the hearing world what it’s like to be deaf and stuck on the periphery of life. I ended up switching my blog’s focus to poetry and nature photography after realizing no one was interested in reading the essays. I guess it’s just another of life’s detours. Things don’t always go as planned, and we never really know where we’ll end up, so we should try to enjoy the journey. I’m still struggling with being deaf, and struggling with being me. I nope I can accept both of those things before all is said and done. Thanks for reading these essays, Saima. They show a side of me that isn’t present in my poetry and nature photography. I appreciate your kindness and encouragement so much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem, dear Mike, you already told me the reason of your absence from the blog.. and i fully respect that 🙂

        I agree with all that you have gone through/ are going through because of your hearing challenges. I can understand how it feels to feel the disconnect..may be not in that way you are saying but still i can relate to the feeling of disconnect..may be a little bit.. anyway, my words can not do justice to all that you experienced but i respect your struggle, dear Mike. In life, we go through different journeys, one of those, the most crucial one, is the journey within us..our inner self..our inner world. And for me that’s foremost important.

        As far as your writing is concerned, i will say (agree/not..your choice😃) write all what you want, essays/ poetry.. plus your photography.. for your ownself, in the first place.. don’t judge your work from the “statistics” point of view.. i have observed that usually here on WordPress too, like social media, there are other criteria for the viewers to read a post.. which doesn’t/shouldn’t matter, especially to a writer like you.. i feel your essays are as beautiful as your other work.. yes, if you want to reduce the length, you can divide it in parts.. authentic readers will always read whatever you write.. essay/ poetry.

        Thanks to you, Mike, for sharing your stories with us.. every person is unique and has as important story to tell as any other’s.. keep writing!! Diversity is beauty!! I strongly believe..

        Like

Leave a Reply to Juliette Turrell Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s