Suffering from Usher syndrome, characterized by hearing loss, Agate has been wearing hearing aids since she was little. A peculiarity that she has learned to accept.
As a child, Agate did not escape the prying questions of her classmates because of her hearing aids. “I remember having to put them on every morning before going to school. A woman came into the classroom and presented my deafness to the other children. She was a special education teacher for my sister, who is also hard of hearing,” confided the 15-year-old teenager during writing workshops led by the ZEP (Zone d’Expression Prioritaire). And to add that she can’t stand being told to give up: “When I ask a question, when I ask the person to repeat it and they answer me that, it’s very frustrating. If I I could, I would have heard, but I can’t… So be patient, and repeat!”
At the time, Agate was very afraid of not being accepted: “I suffered very little teasing, if any at all. It was going on a lot in my head. I believed that other people thought I was stupid because that I had devices.” Growing up, the young woman had a lot of trouble getting used to it: “I chose chestnut color like my hair, which I never tied up so that we wouldn’t see it. It was a complex to not be like everyone else. A real complex because I didn’t feel normal.” A feeling that has changed over the years: “In my eyes, it’s not a defect. I live it well. I’m neither embarrassed by the fact of talking about it, nor by the fact of wearing it and even less by the eyes of others.”
“For me, it’s not a disease, but rather a physical particularity”
Today, Agate has totally accepted this particularity: “I have learned to live with it and I have seen all its advantages. It has become a habit – in the morning, I get up, I get ready and then I put on my devices. For me, it’s not really a disease, but rather a physical peculiarity.” For the time being, the teenager does not want to have surgery: “If I was offered to hear correctly, I would say no, I am not ready for that. It is a handicap which is not a real handicap. for me. I tell myself that I don’t need to recover from it. It’s like a presentation ritual – when I show up, I say it, it’s become a habit. It’s totally part of my identity. .”