Saturday, January 27, 2007

The virtues of fibbing

So Marie has posted before about how she has a hearing test in February. She's also stated that she wishes to acquire hearing aids. In this post Marie will clarify the desire she feels for hearing aids.

One aspect of hearing aids that appeals to Marie is that she sees them as validation of herself. It isn't easy to state but she can only make an analogy to a transgender person: even though they may be "in the closet" they still buy female clothes as validation of their female identity. Similarly having hearing aids is a validation of Marie's (this is going to sound 'odd') deaf/HOH identity.

Marie will leave the true psychology of it all to a shrink. Like many things in this blog this makes sense to Marie even if she has a hard time conveying it in writing.

And so she moves into the virtues of fibbing.

Marie has a strong interest in otology and wants an answer for why her hearing is already and on its own declining. Along with various balance issues it may be an indication of a medical condition that would take precidence over Marie's dw-wishes. People usually don't have hearing loss in their mid-twenties without something being wrong.

Of course if Marie were to fib during the audiogram and make it appear that her hearing is worse than it is she could be prescribed a pair of hearing aids which would go a long way in calming Marie. There are a few things that would come as side effects: For example if Marie appears to have a hearing loss of -40 dB across the board she would have to keep that pretense with the ENT and dispensor. She would in effect begin to lead a double life.

It is also not easy to fib during an audiogram. If the target is -40 dB Marie would have to be able to tell the difference between, say, a 50 decibel sound and a 35 decibel sound and a 40 decibel sound. Having an irregular audiogram could give Marie away and put a note in her file that may make it impossible for her to ever acquire hearing aids (even if/when she genuinely needed them).

Marie has wrestled with the decision for months. It isn't easy! Being honest means that hearing aids are further away - perhaps by years - but she would be able to have an understanding of her true hearing capabilities. Knowing where her hearing is versus where she wants it to be are important to Marie; truthful audiograms are a milestone towards her goal.

It comes down to this: Is Marie a pretender or a wannabe? There's a distinct difference. Marie has tried to lead a truthful life (yeah yeah, she'll tell Casey about this when the time is right. But she wouldn't deny it if Casey asked directly!) so she sees herself pretending to be disingenuous. By remaining a wannabe Marie can remain truthful to herself and still attempt to reach her goals by truthful methods.

This post seems to go back and forth: Marie wants hearing aids sooner rather than later but she also wants to know if her health is at risk based on her vertigo/balance and current hearing problems. If it seems like Marie is indecisive it's because she is! It's unlikely that she'll decide what to do long in advance of her hearing test in February and it's likely to be decided on the spot as her name is called to see the ENT.

3 comments:

Sean said...

Hello Marie,

Congratulations on your blog. I hope you find as much solace by writing it as I have had with http://transabled.org over the years.

The question of double-life is a difficult one. As you may know, I use a wheelchair full time (well, not at home). I hide the fact my legs actually work, and it is far from easy.

I guess that makes me a pretender. But I *am* a wannabe. I use pretending as a tool, because without the pretending, I'd be even more depressed than I often get. So being a wannabe doesn't preclude pretending, and pretending can be rather healthy.

One last comment regarding your blog. I find the way you refer to yourself in the 3rd person to be very distracting, annoying almost. It makes it very difficult to relate to *you* as a person, as it reads more like a story. My opinion (for what it's worth): skip the 3rd person in future posts :)

wishtobedeaf said...

Hello Sean,

I post in the third person because it forces me to separate myself from my psuedonym (My real name isn't "Marie") - we're not all as brave as you to use our real names... ;) It is also an interesting way to write.

My friend Robin also says it's distracting. I might change it to first person.

In my situation my partner has no idea (I think! Sie sometimes jokes when sie hears how loud my music is that "maybe you want to be deaf!" I'm half tempted to blurt out "YES! I DO!" and get it over with) that I really do want to a significant hearing loss. Since sie doesn't know it would be hard to pretend at home to be deaf/HOH to the extent that I'd like. The closest I can get is to block out sound with music (which also conseals my tinnitus).

So it seems that in real life since I don't have work and thus stay at home I am confined to simply 'wannabe' status -- I don't have much opportunity to pretend to be deaf! When I do, though, I seize it. To me there's a clear distinction between the wannabe and pretender (especially when extending it to a crossdresser) but it's obvious to me that one doesn't necessarily preclude the other. Sorry if I wasn't clear in my post.

I don't want to live a double life but I do fear what my partner's reaction will be. Sie's already said sie'd be willing to learn BSL with me - in fact before I moved to England (from the US) I was into my fourth session of ASL from an NTID interpreter.

And on a side note: I've been reading your archives over the past few days since Robin had mentioned the site to me some weeks ago. It's very interesting to read someone else's experiences even if they don't mirror my own.

Marie said...

I did forget to post something in my last comment:

The topic of the post wasn't necessarily dealing with pretending in general but moreso with being dishonest during the hearing test for the specific goal of acquiring hearing aids.

(And apparently 'Sean' is a psuedonym. Oops!)