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It’s an invisible disability and generally easy to hide, at least physically, so why should I discuss it? That’s what I convinced myself. I can hear well enough anyway, most of the time. Don’t bring it up. Sound like denial? It was. I was incredibly self-conscious about my hearing loss.
It was an easy pattern to fall into. My father had a hearing loss, but it was never mentioned — a taboo subject, even within our immediate family. His hearing aids were always hidden behind sideburns, grown long for that purpose. I never remember him mentioning his hearing loss, asking for a better seat at the table, or a quieter spot in a restaurant. Often he could be found sitting off by himself at social gatherings. I thought he was shy, but the truth was he probably couldn’t hear and didn’t want to be embarrassed.
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