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Day 18: Whispering (pst..pst..)

“Shhhhh…’re being too loud,” was a common response when I’d try to whisper.

“But, how can I be too loud?  I’m whispering,” I would ask dumbfounded.  Everyone around me would give me “the look” to be quiet.

How confusing~ everyone whispers and they don’t get in trouble~ and others don’t seem to hear them.  Yet, when I whisper~ the whole world could hear me~ and I would feel as if were singled out.  No secrets.

That was when I wore behind the ear hearing aids.  I could never hear a person whisper, ever~ and yet, when I would try, I needed to feel the vibration in my body as I would try to whisper.  apparently, that is too loud.  But, if I didn’t feel that vibration, people would tilt their head towards me and ask me to repeat myself because they couldn’t hear me.  It was a damn if I do, damn if I don’t situation.  Talk about annoying.  If only they could read lips where there are NO sounds at all~ and it’s so much easier~ AND, it’s a great way to communicate without having the person nearby hear parts of your secret.

It wasn’t until I had two cochlear implants that I heard a whisper for the first time.  The first time was, shall I say, magical?  Awe-struck?  It was pretty early on in our relationship when I believe, Dan, accidentally whispered in my ears, “I love you.”  When I first heard that, I froze somewhat, “Did I really just hear that?  Naw.  I don’t hear whispers.”  I doubted myself~ what I heard.  But, it was so clearly enunciated. Since, it was what I believed something that slipped out, something he hadn’t meant to say, and he acted if nothing happened, I didn’t want to embarrass him by saying, “Did you really say what I think I just heard?”  So, I let it go.  I asked him recently~ and of course, he doesn’t remember the first time he told me (or whispered) that he loved me.  But, the first time  hearing whispers of loving words is not something to forget.

Besides, being enthralled with my first whisper~ I find it fascinating.  A blessing and a curse.

A blessing because I can now hear it and is now another way to communicate on the spot and quickly.  It helps me at my team meetings that we have weekly, “Did they just say what I think I heard?”   I get an immediate reply and I’m not interrupting people or asking them to repeat what was said.  Even better, my whispers are not so loud anymore~ I can hear myself very well.  Although, I do worry that it may be too loud~ I still don’t know what the appropriate volume is so I rely on facial expressions from people.  Actions say a lot without ever having to speak.

But, you know what?  The whispers don’t sound very quiet to me.  They sound rather loud.  I may be at a staff meeting and someone would whisper something to another colleague~ and I’m so sure that the person from another table can hear.  I’m always a bit horrified with how rude the whisperer is~ yet, when I look over, there doesn’t seem to be a response from the other table, which means, he or she didn’t hear anything.  How is that possible~ when I clearly heard it without having to strain my ears.  I also find it disruptive when I trying to listen to something else~ I can’t filter out that sound~ I so badly want to turn to that whisper and give him/her “the look” to quiet down.  This is the curse.  I can’t block it out when I need it to.

Do you have memories of someone whispering something beautiful to you?  Or, is it mostly bothersome?


About Amy Pogrebin Bremenstuhl

Life is noisy~ in a messy way. I thought I'd try writing about surviving the hearing world every day for 365 Days.

2 responses »

  1. Amy, I remember a specific time, while in girl scouts, we were playing a game of telephone with the whole group. We were in a large circle and whisper to each other. You and I would always sit next to each other. We would put up our hands so you could read my lips and no one else could see. Remember that?



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