I promise this will be my last confession. I’m ashamed to admit my mistakes. I’m not perfect, I’ve hurt people and made mistakes. No more drowning, it’s time to surround myself with happiness and ask for forgiveness.
I moved to a new city in 2005, transferred to a new high school for senior year without friends to talk. At age 17, I wrote a letter because I no longer wanted to live. How I let my young self think this way still bothers me.
Moving to a new city affected my sleep, appetite, and energy. For eight months I ate breakfast alone, pretended to wear hearing aids and took them off while I drove myself to school. I did not want to deal with the bully. I was afraid of my new school finding out about my disability. It was one of the reasons why my family decided to move to a new city and transferred me to a new school. I ate alone in high school wishing someone would invite me to eat lunch with them. Then I drove myself back home and waited until mother and brother arrived home. I cooked for my family hoping they would appreciate the dinner I made them. When they got home, they didn’t bother to ask how my day was because they were tired from the long commute. Whenever they had bad days, most days were bad days….they yelled at me because I was an easy target. At that time, my family was not aware I was experiencing mixed feelings and difficulty coping with loneliness. So to avoid the yell, I shut myself in my room and spoke with no one. My decision to shut myself in the darkness made it worse for me. The less I socialized, the more I thought stupid thoughts and wished to actually kill myself. This is exactly how I let my young self think suicidal thoughts.
I almost killed myself. I’m not going to explain what I was about to do. The point is, I got caught. Till this day, I still believe an angel told brother and mother to get home early because I was very close to taking my own life. Since then, my family started to care and forced me to see a therapist. My family thought that I had a problem. Later they found out they too had a problem. Things between my family and I got better. My suicidal thoughts slowed down but it never went away. I tortured myself for letting my young self think this way.
Rumors spread out and a majority of my family members found out. I felt and lived with shame. This is another reason why I don’t like socializing with my family. Despite getting caught, I continued to judge myself for letting people call me fat, retarded, big mouth, and overwhelmed with emotional pain. I wanted to understand why I must wear hearing aids when I was never born this way. Maybe if I was born with a hearing loss diagnosis, my thoughts would be more positive then negative. Only a person with hearing loss diagnosis can understand my emotional pain but a normal hearing person can never understand my pain. To truly understand what if feels like to live with deaf or hard of hearing diagnosis, you must have hearing loss.
Now that I’m almost 28 years old. I thank my family and my therapist for saving my life. If I could go back and tell my 17 year old self, I would have told her “Alicia you must live, you will attend two colleges, earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, work for a federal job, and blog about your success and experiences to motivate people and help them believe in their dreams.”
The person I want to ask for forgiveness is myself. No more suicidal thoughts. I’ve never felt as happy as before. I’ve learned to accept and love myself. I’ve learned to be honest with myself and wear my hearing aids proudly without letting others judge me for who I am. I’ve learned to defend myself and take care of my body. I am unique, have dreams to accomplish, and feel more beautiful than before.
I learned so much about the deaf community, hard of hearing community, cochlear implant community, and normal hearing community. I’ve learned that we all make mistakes but our mistakes only makes us stronger than before if we learn from them.
If you have trouble coping with mixed feelings, just remember and understand that pain is temporary. Accept the hand that reaches out to you and experience the journey that will ultimately become a golden opportunity. Now that I let all my confessions out, I will blog more about opportunities, golden opportunities.