10 Years Missing the Golden Silence

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Bobbinapples, Sep 10, 2014.

    1. Bobbinapples

      Bobbinapples Member

      South Carolina
      Tinnitus Since:
      Sorry for the wall of text, I am just giving a general background on my experience with, and occasion of, this very debilitating condition. I tried my best to write this in a flowing, fun kind of way, so I hope you all enjoy.

      Around ten years ago I was introduced to the horrible affliction of tinnitus. For some history on my hearing before I lost some comprehendable range, I was constantly getting strange comments on how good my hearing actually is. I'd constantly hear people talking very quietly and understand it all. I'd hear moderate range conversations through walls in the large house I grew up in. It was almost torturous how good my hearing actually was. Before this instance, I could play violin by ear at one point, and I come from a very musical family. Violin, accordion, piano, banjo, flute, and guitar are no strangers to my ears, and I enjoyed the depth of music for every second that I possessed my near perfect range of hearing.

      Now for the instance that haunts me forever, and even led to my eventual disconnect from religious communities, changing my view on the world and life in general. I was not the most popular or conformative person in my teens. I was very depressed, my parents were very worried about me. I was forced (as were my twin brother and sister) to go to a christian school (for reasons not related to depression; my oldest sister thrived in that environment so my parents thought it would be good for my brother, sister and me. Before going to this school i was very upbeat and happy, even excited for the environment change. This changed very quickly and in reality served as a fuel to the fire that burned for having to spend my teenage years a loner and acquaintance to most everyone)

      At some point during a summer break, my parents thought it would be good for me to go, without my brother or sister, to a christian camp, named "The Edge". I was 13, and the past few years in a christian school had beat me down to a very low point in my life. After much pleading to not go I was finally forced into this hell. Alone, with a group of people I hardly knew, "christians" that pretended to want to know me, but couldn't get past my extreme looks (I wore a lot of black). Around day 3 of this event, we were in a daily chapel doing the hokey-pokey (worship routine) with a rock band leading, and boy did the second guitarist really wanna jam it out as hard as he could for the.. Glory of himself, i believe. There was nothing religious about this man's actions which lead to the sudden loss of a large range of my hearing. He was wailing away on the E string, yes, the very thin one, in fact! Really shredding it away when suddenly.. Technical audio difficulties lead to a sudden blast of Feedback, a pitch even higher and ten times more powerful than this tool's insistence on shredding for the glory of god.

      Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....It rang out like a gun was fired right next to my ear. Both of my ears were in a sudden wave of pain and I could hardly hear above this sudden permanent dial tone. I ran out of the chapel, escorted with my counselor because I was visibly upset and facing the hard fact that I may never experience tranquil silence in my life again, and at worst, constantly asking others to repeat themselves like some conversational stutter. I was in the dorm room i was staying in, crying my heart out. The ringing, it was deafeningly loud. The counselor suavely stayed calm and assured me 'I have been to loud concerts and had ringing, but it goes away after a while'. I insisted to him, "No, this is different, my hearing is damaged, I will never hear things the same way again. The first few nights were a hell, as we slept in silent rooms. I remember laying on my back, wide awake from this hellish ring.

      Since then, I have generally tried to protect my ears, listen to things that are quiet and soothing, and not ever sleep in complete silence, or even a silent room. I can't stand silence. My eyes well up with tears when I think back to my days as a young child in a theatre "Silence is golden". I agreed, and loved the stillness, the tranquility that moment offered as people took attention to the common respect and courtesy of letting others think and enjoy a movie without distractions.

      I realized very quickly I was never going to have a silent moment in my life again, only in my dreams would that happen, but I don't remember dreams ever being quiet. I constantly have to have some kind of white noise to block out the distraction and mental anguish this condition causes me, not to mention the difficulty of comprehending language in certain pitches. So, it has now been 10 years. I was given false reassurance that my hearing would go back to normal, and if anything it has only gotten worse.

      My name is David, and i'm 23 years old. I haven't experienced a silent moment in over 10 years but have learned to cope with what I am given. I feel like a certain level of musical appreciation was demolished, and I misunderstand what people are saying on a daily basis. I am a very talkative person, and I just felt the need to share my story. The circumstances regarding this injury, has made me battle my faith for years and what i feel about any sort of religious/supernatural conjecture. It has been a mental hell, and I have found scant resources for treatment. It's just another quirk of mine; something I have many of, as I have driven this road called life.
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    2. Peter61

      Peter61 Member

      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi David,

      Your story has brought tears to my eyes. It's just so wrong to get manipulated into a situation where you'd never want to be yourself in the first place, and as a result have your hearing screwed up for life... Only because your loved ones, the people you trusted most (in this case your own parents), put you there. Your story moves me so much, because I have a similar experience. When I was 13, my parents decided to send me to a school where I didn't belong at all, but looking back, I was sent there to meet the expectations my father had from me. I had to do what he was never given the chance to do. Long story short, these school years were the worst of my life. I'm 53 now. So I can truly say, my ,,loving parents" screwed up my childhood and I've never been able to forget about it. It's just an old wound that never heals. The lesson I've learned is that you always have to be on the alert, and never trust people blindly, even if they are your own closest family, because that doesn't mean a thing. My parents may have meant well, but we all know that the road to hell is paved with ,,good intentions". I got my hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis two years ago, due to an acoustic trauma. It's hard to deal with it, but I'll get by, taking it day by day.
      Let's just hope scientists will come up with a cure within the next couple of years.
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    3. AUTHOR

      Bobbinapples Member

      South Carolina
      Tinnitus Since:
      Thanks for the support, it really means a lot to me. I really do hope that one day this is a condition that could be cured. Although I don't think my hearing will ever be as acute as it was before the incident. I feel really bad talking to girls (my favorite kind of people to talk to) because the ringing happens to sit smack dab in a common female vocal range, so close to 45% of the time I have to use context clues or just straight up ask someone to repeat themselves because they just happen to have a voice where I can't hear part of their usual talking range. I hope the best for you, and hope you the least of (negative) progression.

      After 10 years of this I really needed to find a place to express my issue with others who have it for whatever reason (I didn't even know it could come on from something other than loud noise). I hope to stay an active member within this community and get to know you all better, in a way, we're all in this together, regardless of whatever situation landed us at this point.

      I still just can't believe that it happened when I was forced to go alone somewhere that I really loathed the very idea of. After this had first happened, it was like relearning how to understand syntax and inflections. People thought I was just twisting words around and trying to be silly, which sounds harmless until you dig deeper and realize that the "funny weird random things David says" aren't meant to be funny, but a byproduct of a lifelong disability. Luckily, I was also blessed with above average vision (never had to wear glasses or contacts - only one in my family!) so my lip reading skills improved drastically.

      It's a little worrisome though for me to think, many times if I'm not looking at someone's mouth move while they talk, I could might as well be listening to gibberish.

      Sorry for writing a short story on every post of mine, I just have so many things on my mind about this, and most people I have ever tried to express the god awful, incessant ringing to genuinely don't come off as understanding.
    4. jeffie7

      jeffie7 Member

      Maryland USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Sucks man. Really sucks. always better to hear stories about how someone got it from 10 years of concerts or clubbing but to have it go as fast as it went.... I'm a music guy and I've had the feedback happen while wearing headphones a handful of times. Looking back on it. I wonder how much damage it did...

      Anyways back to you. Have you ever thought about hearing aids? Not crap ones that amp up sound everywhere but legit ones that only bump sound where you need it, by helping to aid in your hearing loss areas it can help offset the T.

      Worth looking into if you haven't yet.
    5. Enrique

      Enrique Member

      San Diego, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hey David,
      Your story is truly heartbreaking yet inspirational. I too experienced acoustic trauma from shooting a gun i doors and now have loud tinnitus accompanied with hearing loss. Your story is all too familiar when I think about how good my hearing was prior to the incident. I now ask people to repeat themselves multiple times that I don't really have a social life because of it. Luckily I have my family and girlfriend which I am always around and have helped me enormously.
      Have you tried usimg hearing aids? Mine do help somewhat. I hope one day soon they find a cure for T and soon after be able to successfully regenerate our hair cells in our cochlea. My name is Enrique and I just turned 26 years old. You and I have a long road ahead of us but life goes by in a blink of an eye. Stay strong and never give up.
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