Game Night

game night

By: Sara Lundquist

About a year ago I wrote about advocating for myself and how I need to work on that aspect of my life, well lots of areas.  I have found that this is not an easy task, and I have found this takes time. and also make peace with myself and acceptance.  In college I was part of a group or a cause.  I will go to meetings and pay dues and make posters and be all for helping a cause.  I have found the hard part becomes when the person you are trying to help or advocate is yourself.  It seems like there is a neon sign over your head and I don’t want it lit up.  I sure hope this isn’t a common thing with many people, but it is with me at times.

A few weeks ago we were invited to a game night at a young couples house.  I was excited to be invited, and my daughter and I ended up going.  Including us there was 4 families there.  There are a couple people at the game night that know of my hearing loss and many did not, including the hosts.  I debated do I say something, do I tell them in the kitchen before we play games.  I knew not letting people know that I need to see people when they talk and so on would hinder the night.  I made a mountain out of a mole hill in my mind and I stayed quiet.

whats the lyrics

Because I stayed quiet I ruined the first part of the night for myself.  The first game was about song lyrics.  Are you serious, it couldn’t get worse.  I have never been able to understand that many song lyrics since a child.  That is one of the first things my husband noticed when we first dated.  I didn’t understand what songs were about, I didn’t hear enough of the lyrics just mainly listened to the music.  The game was you split in teams a word was said and you go back and forth saying lyrics that contain that word till a team can’t think of one.  My first mistake was I took the card and looked at the word we were now thinking of.  I don’t understand what the big deal was but one person yelled you can’t look at the card, we all heard it.  I dropped that card so fast and I could tell my face was beat red.  I wanted to crawl in the couch.  The next problem began when I started thinking I really stink at this game I need to contribute.  I finally thought of some lyrics so I yelled them out.  Whoops our team just thought of one so now the other teams turn. I gave them a point.  One team member got upset that I gave the other team a point.  Well needless to say I was feeling mighty low.  I remained silent the rest of the game and our team lost.  I wanted to leave but my daughter was having a great time.  I ventured to the kitchen to look at the snacks and a friend came up to me gave me a hug and said they felt really bad for me and that game.  They agreed it was a very hard game to follow especially if you couldn’t hear all what was said.  Next game was a card game.  It was great, 4 people sitting around a table.  I did mention something to the fact that I don’t have the best hearing but that was about it at this point.  I kicked myself of not saying something at the beginning.  The night ended great.  Now I need to change.

I need to advocate for myself.  I need to get myself in the mindset that I am worth it.  No one cares that I wear hearing aids and they may have to repeat something.  So why is it so hard to say something.  Why do I feel that neon light is blinking above my head.  So once again this will be a resolution for 2016 and my whole life.  I advocate for causes, my children, my husband, I need to include me.  When I am with a friend that happens to be hard of hearing and our families get together I feel so at ease.  I don’t need to pretend, I can be myself completely.  She gets it, her husband gets it, my family does it just feels great.  Peas in a pod, or birds of a feather they all mean this feeling.  Find people that understand and with the friends you have try to explain let them know, let them into your life.

I can’t wait to meet and be with more people that get it.  I hope to soak in the confidence, experience and advice they can give me.  This year I want to take time for me, stand up for me, and become a better me.




3 thoughts on “Game Night

  1. I didn’t advocate for myself very well until after my kids were grown and gone. Thinking back I wonder if it was because I had little energy left to include myself, I was too focused on everyone else? Or did I develop more attitude about it as I got older, caring less about being normal and just wanting to hear? Or was it practice little by little building up to me now? Maybe a combination of it all.

  2. Advocating for myself with people I know and who have known me for years is so much harder, for some reason, than advocating for myself with people I don’t know that cross my path every day. I’m highly successful in my everyday life at telling people what I want and need in order to participate and be included, but not so much in my private life. I’m working on this this year with my family and friends. Good luck to you, Sara! Recognizing the areas where we could do better is the half the battle. ~~Michele

  3. Another point… the biggest improvement I’ve made in my life (see comment above, I’m still lacking with family and friends) is taking control by informing. I don’t necessarily have a set thing I tell people, but I do say in almost every instance what a person needs to know about me and my hearing loss in order to accommodate me, and I ask for what I need. It’s so simple, I don’t know why I didn’t begin this behavior years ago? Possibly because we are taught to be considerate of others and that makes us not want to “inconvenience” someone with the extra work it takes to communicate with us?

    Example of what works for me: At the grocery store check out, “Hi, I read lips, so when I’m I’m unloading my cart or digging in my purse I’m not going to hear you if you say something.”

    This very direct approach and my taking charge from the get-go means I’m going to have a very smooth experience at the check out, which wasn’t the case for years.

    Now if I could just translate this technique to family/friend/group situations I think I’d spend less time being silent and going to the kitchen to be busy so I don’t have to hear (something I do subconsciously). ~~Michele

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