Out of Sight, Out of Sound
By Anna Jane Grossman
Photo Credit: Alessandra Petlin
In a weird way, it made sense to me that things were wrong. I could already tell I wasn't like my mother. She was flawless even her singing voice and handwriting were perfect. I was sloppy. I lied. The diagnosis felt like proof of my inadequacy.
My family puts a lot of emphasis on being attractive. My mother taught us to be impeccably groomed at all times and well mannered, like mini newscasters which, surprise, is exactly what my older brother grew up to be. But I didn't understand how I was supposed to be attractive and disabled.
As for my difficulties seeing, I was fine in small groups, like at home, where my brothers didn't treat me differently. But by the time high school hit, it was hard to decipher what I was and wasn't hearing and seeing, since I still thought I was catching everything. In reality, I was missing a lot; my teachers were always accusing me of daydreaming.
I got my first hearing aids in high school, but I would only wear them with my hair down, and only in history class because the teacher mumbled. At least I had the built-in coolness that came with being a twin. I was good at sports (so long as it wasn't a game with a small ball those were becoming hard to see). And yet, I was starting to feel I didn't quite belong.