I am… deaf
Alanna Hurmon on the challenges of being deaf
My deafness is passed on through the family. Most of us have got it. Not all, but most. It’s caused some problems. We’ll get told off for being ignorant when, in actuality, we’ve just not heard, and can’t really control that. Sometimes, I’ll have my hearing aids in, and even then I might not hear – so my hearing’s quite selective. I might be too zoned out to hear things. I might have a cold, or be ill – I’m ill all the time.
Having deaf family members is both a blessing and a curse. My dad’s deaf; my mum’s not. So, we have the TV on really loud at home when we’ve not got our hearing aids in – but that’s bad for mum. Sometimes two of us will have our hearing aids in and the other will not, and they’ll be playing something loud. Those of us with the hearing aids in don’t like that.
Sounds affects us all differently. For me and my sister, if it’s high pitched, it’s not nice at all. Say the fire alarm bell goes off and we’ve got our hearing aids in, it’s absolutely shocking. Sudden sounds are not nice.
My level of deafness isn’t too bad, but I definitely get looked at if my speech goes funny. Sometimes I struggle with my pronunciation because I’ve lost my hearing. I get teased for that sometimes, but with my friends it’s just a bit of banter, so I’m fine with that. I had a little bit of bullying in primary school but not while I’ve been at secondary school. People have become more mature. In primary school, I’ve been left out of things – such as people’s parties – because they didn’t think I’d be able to hear what’s going on around me. In fact, if I’ve got my hearing aids in, I’m pretty much able to hear most of what other people hear, just not everything…
Alanna Hurmon attends Shiregreen United Reformed Church, Sheffield. She was interviewed at the URC’s Youth Assembly in January
This is an extract from an article that was published in the April 2019 edition of Reform