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Posted by jennifer gibson on Sunday, April 28, 2013
Hi folks! As you may have noticed, my public profile is gaining recognition at numerous online sites including Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Authorsdb.

The fans have been amazing, reaching out to me and letting me know how much my books had an impact on them.  Some of the comments have been very sweet, touching and of course, incredibly personal.  Numerous readers have admitted that they bullied too at a young age which surprised me.  If you had met them today, you would wonder why anyone would do that to them.  By the way, it took courage for them to admit that, it's not easy revealing a part of your life like that. 

Dealing with any type of disability is difficult at any age, however, it seems to leave a profound impression as a child.  Growing up is hard enough, having a severe hearing loss is much worse since it's a very isolating disability. It was easy for many people to assume that I wasn't very bright since I was slow to respond to their questions.  The problem was that I was still learning how to listen to sounds through my hearing aids and trying to process the information. 

When most people are born with normal hearing, their brain automatically adapts to every sound there is in the environment.  When I was born, my world was silent.  My brain was not able to correctly interpret what was happening until a few years later when I received my first hearing aid.  It was a sudden shock going from silence to a swirling chaos of loud sounds.  None of it made sense.  It took time for my body and mind to work together as a team.  Going to school and learning how to deal with being in a classroom and following instructions was an overwhelming experience.  I struggled, really struggled with being able to comprehend what my teacher was saying to me.  I couldn't understand why they would get angry at me when I was doing the best I could to my ability at the time.  Not being able to function at the same level as everyone in class really upset me and what made it worse was that I couldn't be like a regular kid.  I felt like an outsider, unable to fit in.  I felt completely lost and alone. 

Eventually I got stronger hearing aids and was able to keep up with my classmates later on.  It wasn't always easy and there would be setbacks when I thought I was doing okay.  It's like being on a train, chugging along like everyone else until something happens and suddenly everything derails, forcing you to go onto a completely different track. 

I thought that I had left that life behind me, grown up and moved on.  Over the years, many years actually, I've learned to cope with my hearing loss and educated the people around me the best way to handle it such as standing in good light and facing me so that I can lipread, speaking clearly (not LOUDLY), and just being patient with me.  It still takes time for me to process sounds and speech, that's always a learning experience, especially when I get new hearing aids (technology is changing is so fast!).  I still miss information, especially in a noisy environment where sounds echo everywhere.  It's easy for most people to forget that I'm hard of hearing since I have fairly normal speech.  While it may look like I'm following them with ease, I'm actually struggling to keep up the litany of sounds, speech, words and overall message that is being conveyed to me.  I'm like a duck where I appear calm on the surface, but my feet are paddling like crazy to keep up.

Recently, I thought I was doing okay, that life was sort of going smoothly, until one day I suddenly realized that something changed.  I couldn't follow instructions like I used to.  It was if my body decided to go on strike and refused to do what I wanted it to do.  I kept trying to do what my instructor wanted me to do, but the rest of my body couldn't get it right.  I suddenly felt like I was six years old again.  At the point I was nearly in tears, unable to understand what was happening.  Then it hit me, that I've been through this before and something triggered this event.  Then I recalled what it was.  I had lost pretty much the rest of my hearing about a year or two ago, rendering my right ear nearly deaf.  I was functioning at the same level as I was when I was that young girl, struggling to follow my teacher and make sense of the sounds around me.  I felt like I had a taken a giant step backwards in time.  I felt lost and alone all over again.  It was a heart breaking revelation.

Life is weird.  It let's you think that you are doing an awesome job despite the setbacks and immense amount of struggling to stay afloat.  You're so damn proud of yourself for achieving so many goals only to discover that the road ahead just got a lot longer filled with bizarre twists and turns.  And is that a hairpin turn I see ahead of me? Oh my.  

Now I just have to figure out what to do next. 

In the meantime, you can go visit my social media pages at:

Twitter - charmedchickJG

Author Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferGibson

Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Gibson/e/B00CAWK4TS

AUTHORSdB - http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/2108-jennifer-gibson


By the way, if you love the covers for my books, you can vote for them.  I designed them myself!

SWAY - http://www.authorsdb.com/book-cover-awards/young-adult/sway-382

COMPASS - http://www.authorsdb.com/book-cover-awards/young-adult/compass-380

Simply go "Image Rating", click on it, then select the number of stars you think it deserves.  You can also choose to add a lovely comment if you wish. 


Enjoy!

Jenn



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