My Hearing Test 7th December 2005 and again 31st August 2010

As I walked into the room to have my test, the door was closed and it was a padded, soundproof room.  Normally I would have panicked because I hate confined spaces, but for some reason, today was different.

As I sat down on the chair and looked at the equipment I said to the lady, this may sound a bit sick, but for some reason I am feeling really excited.  As I turned the chair round, away from the equipment waiting for the test to begin, I had a sense of myslef like I had not had for years, and for some reason I held my tummy, I felt like I was taking the child me for this test and I was the aduld with an invisible child on my knee, it felt quite wonderful an soothing and a great sense of peace came over me.

The test commenced and the sounds seemed quite clear most of the time and when it was finished I excitedly asked her what the findings were and she said she did not give those, I would get the results from the doctor.  So out ‘WE’ went and it was not long before the nurse called ‘us’ to go to the doctors room.

He looked at the test results and then looked at me, I saw a big dip in the reading on the graph and as I was glancing at it he said to me that there is one part of my hearing that has gone……….just one particular area, reassured me that I did not need a hearing and and I was not going deaf but he wondered how it happened.  Unsure of what I was being asked he went onto explain there that there are ony 3 ways this can happen.  1. A severe blow to the head and he went onto explain the other two but I had stopped listening by this point and my body went into shock, as he then asked have you ever had a sever blow to the head………I stared at him and began to sob……..repeatedly as a child, I was frequently bashed around the head from about the age of five……….his face smiled at first and then he suddenly looked very serious, I said, not the answer you were expecting on a Wednesday afternoon!  Of course I tried to make light of it for a second, old habits die hard, but then I took myself very seriously.  I had been in a car accident in 1990 but my head was not actually hit, the impact was quite bad on the care………..the other was loud music, and I did go clubbing a lot, but not enough to cause this kind of damage……….my world fell into place right in front of his eyes.  He shook his head ad I felt held as he looked at me and said I have to do something, but I am not sure what to do first, I need to help you.

It is the strangest feeling, my head has hurt a lot of my life, down the right sideand that is where the test showed the worst hearing damage.  I often ask my son and friends to repeat what they are saying, I find it hard to process things properly and often become confused with too much information and I was diagnosed with dyslexia during my time at film-school.  The doctor said he wanted to run a further test to check the pathways of hearing inside my brain and also to see how good at hearing and repeating sounds I was.  This was incredible to me….I have often been accused of not hearing what people say properly, the world has often felt like a confusing place and I have often felt so isolated inside my head because I could not understand things that were going on.  The other problem was that if I heard something someone said and it was different to what they said then I responded to what I heard this caused all sorts of problems, least of all the conflict in communication and me always being told I was wrong and that is not what the other person said at all.

I explained to him that during my dyslexia test the auditory processing was the main area of problems for me…….it is all begining to make sense.  He told me that this was a very old condition, it had been with me a long time.  He asked if I had had a private education, when I said yes until I was seven and then again at fifteen, he said that would make sense because this should have been picked up when you were very young, but in private education they do not do these tests……..he then said depending on the further tests I may well have to have a brain scan.  I said book me for one of those anyway…..I have wanted on of those since I was twelve years old, I have always known there was something wrong with my head, and thought when I was young that I would have a brain tumor or something because I knew I could not make connections, it was like a part of my brain was not connecting to the other and it has been so frustrating my entire life.  he said one step at a time but we may well have to do one.  He looked so kindly at me and I felt like I was really being taken care of and heard!

I have been going to my doctors on and off for ages now asking to have my ears tested for my hearing, my son has asked me if I am going deaf and as I say, several of my friends have to repeat themselves and i find processing information really hard sometimes.  My doctor has said there is no wax in there and nothing I can see blocking your hearing, so gave me some drops, they never helped me.  I used olive oil on cotton wool in my ears a lot as a child because I used to get such bad ear ache and going on a plane can be almost unbearable.  As the doctor said to me, this is inside of you, and we can’t see it………like most things that are going on in my life at the moment……people can’t see them!

As I got up to leave, he said to me, I see you are a film-maker, what types of film do you  make? I told him about the films I had made, one with women who are HIV positive and another project with young people about drugs and alcohol and another on bullying which is being used by Kidscape.  I told him about the fuji Scholarship and my graduation film being a black comedy, which I love to make, about a man in hospital with an embarrising illness.  I said it often works better telling sad stories with humour.  I said that I had not done any film making for a long time because I was a full time mother and could not seem to do both……..but I am writing a book which I will develop into a film, what is that about?  ‘The effects of child abuse……and how it can effect your life…… this is really good material!’

I am still not sure what happened to me on that day, but suddenly it all feels different, I feel more whole than ever before, I am begining to look after myself, take care of me and it feels an internal connection is finally begining to be made.  I have felt so lost and now I don’t, not so much.  I can tell my son and my friends why I can’t hear them properly and they will understand, when I aske them to repeat themselves for the tenth time I will not feel stupid or mis-understood.  I can check with them what they mean by what they say and I can begin to understand that acturally I am ok, just as I am.  I can also know that I am not making it all up, the trauma of my childhood is slowly revealling itself and the damage it has done to my life, I will overcome it now I am begining to understand.

My therapist has also told me that trauma can cause us not to be able to make connections and slowly we will begin to repair the damage that is done, I am actually quite excited, but also very sad.

Tuesday 31st August 2010

I have been noticing my hearing deterioating again and asked my doctor to please get another test booked for me.  I went along to see the same doctor, five years later having had scans where my homeopath had to come along, hold my hand and give me lots and lots of homeopathy, I am so grateful to her, fortunately there was no brain damage, also we had to have another head scan and other tests all of which were showing that the level of depth to the loss of hearing was due to severe trauma to my head.  I remember when I first got sober and was in meetings for recovery, I would literally hold my head as I could almost hear the wack across my head, I was having flashbacks as I was waking up and thawing out, it was horrendous and I still get it sometimes today.  I used to hold my head and lean down on the table saying and crying my head, it is agony what is happening to me, it was a living hell.

I walked into the doctors and it was lovely to see him, we talked and I realised I had not been back for 5 years, I have actually been in a pretty difficult place these last years, and everything has slipped away in many ways.  I told him what the problems were and went for a test, the results…………it is much worse, particularly the right side and I now need a hearing test.  I was stunned and shocked and we talked again about the cause and he said that the impact of what happened to me as a child would have caused this, the repeated whacks round the head when she lost it have caused me to have a hearing aid, live a difficult life and you know what……….I hate her for it, I felt a deep sense of loss inside of me as he told me what would have to happen now, I wanted to sob and sob and sobb but somehow, it just could not come out, I was numb.

I left feeling bewildered, repeating the words this would have been caused by the blows to your head, no doubt about it, it made the weakness there and it is progressively getting worse.  I walked across the road, like I was in another world, shock, I rang a friend who tried to say oh well at least they have nice hearing aids these days……………why do people do that, try and smooth it over, I felt really angry and said that is not the point, I have just been told I am having to have a hearing aid because of the slaps around my head from my step-mother, bloody hell.  What to do, I cry and cry, I need a hug and I share it and eventually I will have got it out of my system and be able to move on, but right now, I feel utterly bewildered, angry, shocked and very very sad.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I needed to share it.  Some people think hitting children is ok, there are consequences to it, this is proof.

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