Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pearl of the Day: Feeling Alone, Even in a Crowd

 "The hopeful man sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm." ~O.S. Marsden

Hello my bloggy friends!  It's finally Wednesday and I get to share my baby's post today!  I know, I know, she's twenty, but she's still my baby, and always will be.  I asked Brittany if she would guest post on my blog about three weeks ago because I really felt like her story needed to be told.  I will be breaking her story up into two separate posts, so make sure to come back Thursday for the conclusion.

Yesterday I filled you in on some of the details of the challenges we've been through with the vision problems and hearing loss.  Today, Brittany will share things from her perspective.  She will share her heart with you and how difficult it's been for her.  I teared up while reading what she wrote.  As hard as I know it's been for her, reading her account of the pain and loneliness she felt makes my heart break for her all over again. 

Her story begins like this......

"I stand amongst a small group of people.  People my age.  People I call friends.  I look from one face to the next, trying to read the expressions I see, trying to figure out which of them is talking.  Someone must have told a joke or said something funny because everyone laughs.  Everyone except me.  Not because I don't think it's funny.  I probably would have.  If I'd heard it.  But I didn't.  In fact, I don't hear anything that's being said.  I just stand here watching everyone else contribute to the conversation, wondering what they're talking about, wondering what's so funny, wondering if they see me at all, or if my lack of hearing makes me invisible to them.

Some of these people, who I call my friends, know.  They know I have hearing loss.  They know I can't tell what's going on. Yet, they make no effort to include me.  They act as though I'm not there at all.  I'm just empty space.  I'm invisible.  I'm trapped inside my own glass bubble, shut out from everyone else.  The sound isn't loud enough to penetrate through this barrier between me and everyone else.  Between me and normal.  I am an outsider.

Since I don't want to seem weird or stupid, I just put on a smile and pretend to look at something out the window.  I find myself actually hoping that no one will talk to me, because, although I really do wish to be included, it's easier to be left alone.  Because I'm afraid.  If someone does talk to me, I won't know what they're saying, and if I have to ask them to repeat themselves more than once, they'll most likely get annoyed, say forget it, walk away.  Talking to me is just not worth the trouble.  I know this all too well.  I've been there many times before.  But most people don't bother at all, so I don't have much to worry about.  To them, I'm the quiet, "shy" girl, who keeps to herself.

At home, in the comfort and safety of my room, I've got so many questions going through my head.  Why me, God?  I don't understand why some people have perfect hearing and others don't.  Why do some people's lives look so easy, while mine is a challenge to get through ordinary things?  Why can't I hear the preacher?  The squeaky bathroom door?  The microwave beeps?  Why can't I hear the birds sing in the morning?  I don't understand and it doesn't make sense.  It gets lonely and depressing.  Having this problem makes everyday conversation difficult.  I dread coming in contact with other people.  I try to stay home as much as possible.  Become depressed.  Lose faith.  I worry that some day I'll lose what hearing I have left.  I feel so alone.  No one knows how I feel.  No one understands.  Every effort to be normal, to be liked, is pointless.  It all fails.  I'm stuck alone.  Forever."

This is where I will close for today.  Please come back tomorrow for the rest of Brittany's story.  Hope is never far away.  Until then my friends, be blessed!

"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us." ~Samuel Smiles

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