An open letter to filmmaker Tyler Trumbo:
I just watched your documentary The Sound Inside, and I’m sitting here crying tears of sadness and tears of euphoric joy.
The tears of sadness fall because I know how they feel. I know what it’s like to feel alone, alienated from the world around you. I know what it’s like to struggle to hear your family and loved ones. I know what it’s like to live in a world of silence, confusion or ringing pain. To feel the exhaustion of simply trying to listen. To miss out on the important whispers and mumbles around you. To feel “less than” or “impaired.” To not be able to make others fully understand.
I’m 25 years old, and my hearing loss is most likely as severe as the women and men in your video. I have had a hearing loss since I was 13, and in ignoring it for over 10 years, allowed it to progress to the 80 percent binaural loss it is today. It took me a long time to accept my disability, one that I only accepted through over a year of blogging about it.
Today, I have hearing aids. The first pair I was fitted with were horrible, and I was fitted on Christmas Eve 2014 (not the best way to spend Christmas Eve mind you). In March, my openness in writing about my hearing loss landed me a job at Starkey Hearing Technologies, and in March I was fitted with my amazing Halo hearing aids. I fit my dad this March with our newest versions, Halo 2. He’s worn over four pairs of hearing aids I believe, but according to him, he’s never heard better than with his Halo 2s.
But now to the joyous tears. You have managed to do what so many others have failed to. You have seen and shown what hearing loss is truly like. You’ve made it real for those in the world who can still hear. You’ve captured the sadness, the frustration, the isolation, the depression. You’ve shown just how important our hearing really is, and how impactful a hearing loss can be.
So following my tears, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for showing the harsh truth of a reality with hearing loss. Thank you for giving me the ability to say to my boyfriend’s normal hearing family and my friends: “Here. Watch this. This. This is me. Every day. Now do you understand?” Thank you for showing the world that we are not incapable, but that we struggle daily. Thank you for hopefully opening the eyes of others to understanding what our lives are like, and the power of hearing aids for many of us.
Thank you Tyler, for helping us make the world understand when words are simply inadequate on their own.
Watch the documentary here: