Hearing in the Dark

I was just reading 4 Eyes 4 Ears: Misadventures in Deafness by blogger Cynthia Dixon when I was reminded of my reality by one sentence regarding normally hearing people:  They can hear in the dark.  Frankly … that’s spooky. How do they do THAT?

For all of my “hearie” readers, I bet it never occurred to you that deafies and the HoH need light to either sign or read lips – or both.  I remember Deaf members of an open AA meeting at a local college complaining that when the lights went down in the auditorium they couldn’t see the interpreter’s signs or lip read the speakers.  I never bothered to go to that meeting – what was the point?  That’s like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner:

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Like Cynthia, I pretty much can’t hear in the dark.  I can’t read lips in the dark.  I can’t see sign in the dark.  So those “sweet nothings” people talk about murmuring?  They really are nothing.

Want to talk to me in a theatre (assuming I’m crazy enough to go into that amount of sound)?  Hahahahahaha!  Forget it. My hearing aid is off and I’m using it as an earplug against the deafening noise.  I can’t see anyone well enough to read their lips.

I suppose the flip side to that is that, after years of being married to a blind guy I watched how he navigated his environment and now I can walk around in pitch darkness and navigate the same way.  Just don’t try and talk to me.   I probably won’t have my hearing aid in and I can’t seeee you.

By the way – you should all read Cynthia’s book.   It’s awesome.  🙂







  1. So were you a deaf woman married to a blind man? That must have had its challenges. We hearing people (well me anyway) often don’t think about how it must be to have to read lips and so on. I’d have no hope!

    1. Hi Butimbeautiful,

      I am a HoH woman who is slowly going deaf. In some situations I am so overwhelmed by sound that I am essentially deaf.

      Dan was totally blind. He had a big voice and he made allowances for me – most of the time. He was my ears and I was his eyes. It worked.

      I grew up without full hearing so I have no idea what it must be like to be fully hearing. If you lost hearing now you could get CI or hearing aid or you could go to classes on speech reading (lip reading).

      You might be surprised how fast you’d pick up new skills. We humans are very adaptable. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

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