Hearing Loss

Auditory Challenges

I was working from home the other day and my cell phone started to ring. Oddly, while I could hear it ringing, I couldn’t locate it. I wandered around, checking all the usual spots, but no luck. After 5 rings it stopped and I was at a loss as to what to do! I could phone my sweetie and ask him to call me so I could continue to search for it? Or I could just wait and assume it will turn up sometime? My youngest seems to have some sort of magnetic body – any electronic device sticks to him – so chances are good that he could find it, if no-one else could.

Whatever. The dogs needed a walk, and since I was up and wandering around I might as well get to it. I was putting on their leashes when my phone started to ring again. Oddly, while I’m now I’m in the front of the house it STILL sounded like it was right by me. Suddenly I remembered, I’d used the powder room when I got home earlier that day – maybe I’d left my phone in there? But a quick check dashed my hopes, it wasn’t there. As the ringing stopped – again – I gave a mental shrug. Might as well get on with things … surely it’ll turn up.

As I pulled out some bags to take with  me, I started to stuff them into my back pocket. Yes, dear readers, I’m afraid you are way ahead of me. Yup. There it was. My phone. It sounded as if it was right THERE, because it had truly been right there. Sheesh.

Another episode of “My Life as Brought to You by a Monaural Hearer Living in a Multichannel World.”


Hearing Loss

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This author shares his thoughts on the value of CBT – many of which echo mine. As a “mental illness veteran” (love that description, Sid) I have been known to roll my eyes when anyone mentions CBT. However, unlike the author, I have had significant success with plain old talk therapy. Works for me and even now (16 years into seeing my therapist) I still go to her when I need to.

Growing up

Border woes

Your story reminds me of one of my many border experiences. Growing up in my family meant going to the US often because my parents emigrated here from there in the early 60’s, so all our extended family was south of the border.

One day myself (maybe 14), and my two younger sisters Rebecca (12) and Gloria (9) were put on a bus in NB to go to NH. Two hours later the bus driver (or border guard?) put us OFF the bus when we tried to pass across the US/Canada border. Why? Well … for three reasons.
Problem #1: We didn’t look like siblings! Four of the six kids  in my family were adopted, so I was Caucasian, Rebecca was Pakistani and Gloria was African-Canadian. But we were sisters. Yeah. Right.
Problem #2 arose when the guard asked us where we were from.
I said Toronto (we had moved from there to NB fairly recently). Rebecca said Sussex (this was the closest town to our farm) and Gloria said Apohaqui (closest settlement to our farm).
Problem #3. We none of us had been provided with so much as a hint of documentation. It was a kinder, gentler world back then!
Result. With relatively little fuss we were taken off the bus and told to phone our parents to come pick us up. We were not getting to New Hampshire that day.
healing · Mental Health · Parenting

My baby, my son, my young man


Alex was an infant when he was born. A tautology? Yes. But what many didn’t see is that I (his mother) was also an infant at his birth … no more ready to be a mother than he was to be a baby. So, together, we grew. Most of the time he grew faster. He showed me his internal self,  in music first, then with ASL, and finally in words. Once the words started it seemed they would never stop. They poured out of his person, bubbled along his perambulations and lit up the crannies and corners of his emotional world.

I stumbled along behind. Falling, often, catching him almost never yet somehow always persevering. I had lots and lots of help. A therapist, many and various mental health professionals, an (invaluable) parenting support worker, and (gradually) the discipline and friendship I found in my martial arts. Throughout I was (almost) always following Alex’s forays, struggling to catch up.

And now I find myself looking up at him. He towers over me, stomping around in his size 11 shoes. He is just as verbose as he always was, and his intelligence is used mostly to figure out how to muddle through a school system that neither inspires nor engages him. Other people see more of him than I, his world is larger than our shared reality. As it should be.

I, too, have changed. I am more whole than I was, more present, more conscious. As I begin to explore the other side of 50 I find myself saying hullo to my own emotional landscape. I am happy, sometimes, sad, sometimes, and all that falls in-between. I am a mother, a step-mother, and a wife. But enough of me. The world waits for Alex, he is champing to get out there and be himself. Meanwhile, my role has changed. I stand back further, ready to catch him if he stumbles, and I watch him unfold, physically, mentally, emotionally. He is and always will be, irrepressible, verbal, gentle. My baby boy, my son, my young man, of whom I am very proud.


healing · healing · Mental Health

Words to live by

There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken,

The shattered out of which blooms the unshatterable.

There is a sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space too vast for words through which
we pass with each loss, out of whose darkness we are
sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound whose serrated edges
cut the heart as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole, while learning to sing.

(Author unknown.)

I love this poem. My heart-mother shared it with me recently. She, upon whose compassion I shattered my old self, agonizingly, and then slowly rebuilt my soul, my life, my me.

She saved me, I grew her in her gift, together we are larger than we were before we met.