Explaining my deafness (even though I hear sounds)

I find myself explaining again and again to people what being deaf really is. It might surprise a lot of people that I can hear, but still have to classify myself as deaf, particularly in social aspects. Here are a few official definitions before I will give you, my readers, my self-developed metaphor I have created in order to explain deafness to my friends and family.

deaf (df)

1. Partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing.
adj without usable hearing.
lacking the sense of hearing or not having the full power of hearing; exhibiting deafness.
My challenge of deafness:
I can hear sounds. Bear in mind that I am assisted by hearing aids in order to hear any sounds.
But I have problems distinguishing various frequencies of sounds. It means that I can detect that someone or something emits a sound, but if someone pronounces a word  or a sentence, my challenge is to interpret the meaning of the spoken word or sentence. 
My metaphor goes like this:
If a painter fills a canvas with a series of painted stripes in various shades of color, it creates an expression (like a visual word). If you look at the same painting with eyesight that is poor, you loose the ability distinguish the various shades. Thus the painting becomes dull. If the eyesight is poor enough, the painting looks like one blotch of paint which leaves an unclear or blurred expression.
Anyone have a better metaphor? I’d like to know about it if you use another one, or come up with one…
Posted in deaf. 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Explaining my deafness (even though I hear sounds)”

  1. diddums Says:

    Sometimes I’ve told people that hearing aids do not give perfect hearing; it’s like trying to hear when you’ve ducked down underwater in a bath tub. Things echo, you hear the rumbles and the thumps but not the high sounds. I think it’s like that, anyway. 🙂 Your picture looks like how I imagine it… watery!

  2. funnyoldlife Says:

    I have found something that is quite good at explaining the different difficulties of hearing loss. You’ll need speakers 🙂

  3. kevin Says:

    Have you read the book “Deaf Culture in Search of Deafhood” by Paddy Ladd? It may give you different and positive perspective on Deaf. It is going to give you the opportunity to understand the concept of colonialism within Deaf community and how we de-colonize our mind, heart and soul from the medical world. If u have not read it, I highly recommend you to get one and read.

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