My Voice Is Silent. I Am Hearing.

I have had vocal paralysis from intubation as the result of severe anaphylaxis. I was in my twenties when I became physically silent.

Before I was adopted, I was mute by choice. I was in in shock from being badly abused. In fact, one of my former Teachers tried to have me committed for refusing to speak. My adopted parents were very good, kind, and patient to me. They taught me to communicate through Music and Art. During my teens and by my twenties, I was on stage in front of thousands, winning and judging National Piano Competitions. This gave me confidence. I became a social butterfly, sang, and even became a Praise Team Leader. I owned a sucessful business teaching Piano and Art. I was fearless, unafraid, and living life.

I married. During the pregnancy of my first son, my husband became horrible abusive. I divorced him.

I became engaged to another. After the birth of my second son, fiance and I were going to elope. I went to the Hospital for a simple test. I had a freak anaphylactic reaction. Fiance' thought I panick and stood him up. He ran away, left the state. When I woke up, I was completely mute, partial amnesia, and more sick than when I went in! I had no job, my house was taken, and husband number one had my car repossessed for missing a car payment for the first time- while I was in the Hospital. Husband number one sued me. If my lawyer hadn't filed bankruptcy, I would have gone to jail. I was all alone.

I had a short amount of time to provide a home and stability for my children. I met husband number two. Two weeks later, we married. I will give him credit for that. I was recruited to be a professional cheerleader. I felt awkward and quit. A silent cheerleader? At that time, husband number two and I thought that my silence, or muteness was temporary. A year later, still no voice! Exploratory surgery confirmed that my vocal cords were severed. Husband number two became almost as bad as husband number one. He had a temper, screamed at me for hours, cornered me into the closet- and I couldn't even whisper back! He refused to read my notes, he refused to learn sign, he spoke for me whether I liked it or not. He would not text message me. For hours, I was locked in the house. I cried, prayed, and begged God for help. This evil man would taunt me by taking me to karaoke bars to remind me of what I had lost. I needed communication. Communication of any kind.

I went back to Art school. I learned American Sign Language. My oldest son went to College with me. My instructors understood my diar need for communication and allowed me to take Art classes independly so I could immerse myself into the Deaf Culture. Deaf community quickly accepted me. I was given a sign name.

I divorced husband number two. After my adopted parents passed away, I sold everything. I Moved to a different city. At first, I was scared. Living in an isolated area, going out, being stalked by an ex, what if something happened? What if I needed to scream or run away, or get help? I hated being silent. I couldn't even call for 911 if there was an emergency! And he knew it. I am still harassed.

My second son was a baby when I was struck mute. He has never even heard my real voice. I homeschooled both children. And, let me tell you, it was a real challenge to teach reading! However, once accomplished, the older can assist the younger with making proper sounds. Praise God, their Grandmother was a school teacher.

Now, I am surrounded by good, loving, people who accept me for who I am. My boyfriend, has been patient amd understanding when it comes to communication. He is the one that found the Ipad application for me : ) Nine years later, lots of money, and drastic life changes, my voice can sometimes be heard; as long as there is no other sound to compete with. And, when I am able to be heard, it is soft, rough, breathy, and very quick to be gone. My throat swells easy. I hate talking, it hurts to talk!

I carry my I-pad everywhere. I use type to text. I can sound like a British woman with a Southern Accent! I find it insulting for people to tell me it's okay, go ahead and talk, I can hear your whispers- when it hurts like hell to talk! Or, most of the time, I find it amusing when others whisper back! I like yahoo messaging. It is free and I can text any phone. I use facebook, and mobile text messaging. My household has special house signs and sounds. Two clicks of the tongue- I want my boyfriends attention. Two snaps- and I want my children. Two claps- kids front and center. I have a collection of bells. A large bell is saved for 911. And, I love long walks through the woods. I have a piccalo flute that easily fits in my back pocket or purse. It lets others quickly know where I am if need be. And, most importantly, I cannot stress how much American Sign Language has improved my quality of life.

I have learned how to communicate that I've had vocal paralysis. There have been a multitude of times, when an emergency team has thought I was having problems breathing, that perhaps my throat is swelling shut, and they are ready to intubate me again, because I am also broken out in hive- Ugh! Or, the time, a well-meaning bouncer carried me to the paramedics at an outdoor rock concert because he thought I was in medical trouble. . . Hee. Hee. I can laugh now!

Overall, being silent doesn't bother me. Being quiet, I've become a better judge of observing people's actions instead of listening to their words. And, in today's society, there is a multitude of alternative forms of communication. Now, I am looking forward to traveling the United States with my children and living the Artists life!

Disenchantedangel Disenchantedangel
36-40, F
May 13, 2012