My Stubborn Dilemma

International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hea...

International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hearing This symbol indicates individual(s) who is deaf, hard of hearing, or having some degrees of hearing loss. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey guys! I know it has been forever since I’ve updated my blog, but the other day something happened and I felt like it was very appropriate to tell you about it!

Thursday, I undertook the task of “biting the bullet” (at least that’s how I felt) and asked for assistance from my university. I live by myself and I wanted to ask for assistance in getting an alert system for my apartment. I never like to ask for help and I get easily embarrassed when I do. I hate feeling like I’m needy or helpless and that I am left to another human being to fix my own problems.

I know, I am your typical male in wanting to fix my own issues even when it may be beneficial to ask for help.

Getting back to the story, I went to the office of disability services in order to look into possibly getting an alert system for my apartment. I have never registered with the office of disability services, and they never even knew I was on campus. When I called it obviously did not please them that I hadn’t registered. I had always hated the idea of the label “disabled” pinned on my file, or even on my life.

I know, asking for help doesn’t make me disabled, but I’ve always been a very independent person and I’ve never wanted to think of myself as a somewhat lower class citizen, so I haven’t registered. Even through high school, it was somewhat difficult for me to accept that I was a little bit different than everybody else. Thursday though, it was the idea of actually registering with the “Office of DISABILITY Services” that completely freaked me out. To the general public, the word disabled carries a negative stigma with it that I don’t want associated with me.

Apparently the alert system will cost about $3000, and I will have to move into another apartment in order to receive it’s benefits after I’ve registered. They told me that I need to consider a signer or a professional note taker because all of the other deaf people use it.

Honestly that frustrates me. Yes, I understand that they are trying to help. But not every deaf person fits their cookie cutter definition of “deaf”. That’s what I’m trying to prove to people by going to school, holding a job (several actually!), and being a mainstreamed student.

I feel like people needs to expand their belief system a little and understand that not every person is the same. The lady went on to say that I was “hard of hearing”, not “deaf”. Okay?

I was a little frustrated to be labeled by somebody who has no grounds to speak on the subject. I really have a problem with people passing judgements on another person without any prior knowledge. This applies anywhere in life, not just with deaf people.

The other day when I actually wrote this post, it was fuming with anger. I deliberately waited to post it so that I would not post something inappropriate. I was irritated with the fact that a person who didn’t know me took one look at my life and labeled me as deaf who needs a signer amongst all kinds of other services. I was mad that she looked at the outside of me and labeled me instead of looking at the actual me and finding out who I really am.

I’m afraid that that happens too much in life, I catch myself passing judgements all kinds of people even when I don’t know them. This experience has opened me up to trying to actually get to know different people in life. It has also opened me up to the ignorance of people in society sometimes, but hopefully being patient will help them in the long run.

Have a great week!

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7 thoughts on “My Stubborn Dilemma

  1. Zita says:

    Hi 🙂 your blog is really inspiring. I just wanted to comment (I'm a little tired so this isn't eloquent or articulate. Oh well.)

  2. Connor says:

    Ha ha thank you! It's always great to hear people enjoy reading.

  3. Belmarie says:

    Hi! I have a 5 year old son named Yambel(soon to be 6), he was diagnosed when he was 2½ with severe to profound hearing lost. He was implanted when he was 3, on August 6, 2009 and our journey has been amazing. I wanted to let you know that your story gives us hope for our child and assures me that the decision we made for him was the right one. He is a very happy child and is now working on closing the 4 year language gap he had. Today he has a 2½ year gap and he is able to communicate with words how he feels and what he wants. Thank you for letting others know how good you feel about CI.

  4. Jeff says:

    Conner,You have an amazing blog and an amazing story about your Cochlear Implant. I too lost my hearing at a young age as well, that lasted nearly 40 years at the time of my activation in 2007.I sometimes think asking someone to help is kinda like pushing a button and waltzing your way toward the cha cha and the tango. I had used note takers back in my college days as as well, they helped, but, later in life, I never used them again – unless there was a need for someone to write something down, that I couldn't understand.Today, my CI solves that problem, I'm hearing far better than I have ever been in over forty years since, I lost my hearing at age three and four prospectively. I kind of gave me the jinx for awhile, but, than I understood why.I hope your CI journey is a good one and continued success with your college endeavors as well.Nice, blog, btw.– Jeff

  5. Matt Koz says:

    Connor,Thanks for sharing your story. I saw your video on YouTube and found my way here. It's very interesting and educational. Best of luck to you in school and your career!Sincerely,Matt

  6. ljlaws says:

    I had to do the same thing at my college and it drives me crazy that I have to be put in rooms with the “needs” they think I need. They are trying to help but I am very much like you in this. Have a great day

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