Tuesday 12 November 2013

I'm hearing in my dreams

I dream a lot. Most mornings I will wake up and remember my dream from the night before. Sometimes they're mundane dreams about everyday life and sometimes they're nightmares  but the one thing they all have in common is that in my dreams I can hear. 

I am never deaf in my dreams.

In my dreams I do things like hold hushed conversations or hear people whispering to me. I make phone calls, people yell stuff from upstairs and I can understand and I've even heard a mobile phone ring before.

I'm not sure why I'm not deaf when I go to sleep at night. Sometimes I wonder if it's my memories of being less deaf as a child coming through. I mean, I do remember being able to hear stuff being said from another room and I'm sure I used to be able to hear the phone ring at my rents' house. It was one of those big retro phones with the dial of numbers you turned.

But the one thing I have never been able to do is hear whispers. And I know this because of that incredibly popular children's game from the eighties, Chinese Whispers. I remember being utterly confused by this game from about the age of 5 upwards, and that's taking into consideration the fact that no one knew I was deaf until I was 10.

I remember sitting in a circle with my friends and thinking that no one could hear whispers and the whole point was to be creative and make something up from your own imagination. So that's what I did.

I remember everyone being utterly confused at how the start and finish whisper had become so different. But thankfully, I don't remember anyone ever pinning it on me.

I honestly didn't know you were meant to hear whispers.

But it wasn't just whispers I thought you weren't meant to hear.

There were song words – I thought you were meant to make up your own. And dictation at school – I thought the hard thing about dictation was working out what the story was not getting the words down spelt correctly. I could never understand why I got bad marks for being creative. 

Then there was French listening. I thought the difficult thing was being able to tell what words were being said, not translating them. I used to do so badly in French listening until my amazing teacher at GCSE – post discovering my deafness – read the whole thing to me. I got 100% for the first time ever.

Anyway, back to the dreams. Last night, I dreamt I met up with a colleague from one of my first jobs. She was asking me what I was doing with my life at the moment and all I could tell her was that I was taking a year out. 

But because I'm not deaf in my dreams, it was as though Deafinitely Girly didn't exist. It was really odd. In my dream, I couldn't help feel like I was forgetting something, like I couldn't quite justify why I was not working and taking a year out.

And to be quite honest, I was relieved to wake up. Relieved that on waking, I was back to me. Back to being Deafinitely Girly.

Because you see, I like being DG. She's a part of me. And I'm a part of her. And right now, I'm quite happy to leave being hearing in my dreams. After all, with hearing, there'd be no Deafinitely Girly. And that would make my life a much less interesting place.

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