Ringing Ears

 

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Source: Death to the Stock Photo (because, duh!)

Headphones: what do these mean for you?

Travel. Escape. Safe haven. Nuisance. Gym. Excitement. Relaxation. Music. Podcasts. Movies. Happy place.

How about pain? Or fear?

My last two writing projects have been about people who cannot use one of their senses. One is mute-by-choice. The other is partially deaf. I’ve had people signing and writing and reading lips, body language has taken centre stage during dialogue, and the irony meter is hitting astronomical levels because my ears have been ringing for a while now.

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To be clear, my ears ring a few times a year, and then it lets out. I try not to freak. The doctors make soothing noises. (They always make soothing noises.)

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I’ve only been using headphones extensively since I went to uni. It is a considerate roommate thing to do, in shared halls and thin walls. There was a learning curve, to be sure, but by the end of the year, I had a habit set.

I also use my headphones extensively when I’m walking out and about. Street harassment does that to you – once or twice is all it takes. You want to make yourself small. You want to close your senses. Even if it hurts you.

And now I am to break that habit? How?

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Working from home helps.

Even if the silence presses down on me all the time, even if it’s difficult to just put on the music like regular people do, being alone helps because I’m less self-conscious.

Then there is all the driving I’ve been doing lately, and though that comes with stressors of its own (why is it that people turn into massive dicks when they see a woman driving? why?) I’m finding it really helpful for my music habit.

I don’t know how long it will take for me to just walk out without headphones in my ears. How long until I have the confidence to just take up space in the world.