When I was ten years old, I lost my hearing. Some people might think it's an earth shattering experience, to wake up in a hospital bed with one of your senses gone. I was certainly shocked, but the nice thing about being a child at the time is that I adjusted pretty quickly. Ah, I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I?
My name is Sherry Marie Belmont. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, Conneticut. It was pretty ritzy, and I admit that, yes, I have a bit of a silver spoon in my mouth. I try to not let that define me. My father is a heart surgeon and my mother is an interior designer, though she does most of her work from home, finding that she likes to be around me and my brother, Henry, much more. And I know, we have rather old names for our generation. My parents' aesethics never cease to amaze me.
Anywho, we grew up pretty much the same as anyone else around us, went to the best school possible, played outside, indulged in our interests, because our parents always told us to get into hobbies as a way of finding what we want to do in the future. Henry found a love in architecture, and I found mine in fashion. I loved designing dresses and pretty clothes, and I would chatter on my mother's lap for hours, detailing out my designs to the exact kinds of fabrics. My parents decided that for my tenth birthday, we would go see a fashion show in New York. It was singularly the best, and worst day of my life.
My memories are still kind of hazy, but I can piece together some things with what I've been told. We took a rental car to our hotel after the show, it was raining, and there was a truck, massive and swaying all along the roads. I was told that the driver was over exhausted, had closed his eyes for one moment, and that was all they needed. The truck careened into the back of the car, on the driver's side where I was sitting.
I don't remember the impact.
When I came to, I was in the hospital, the battered faces of my family surrounding me. Apparently I was unlucky enough to get the full brunt of the collision. I realized something was wrong when they kept opening their mouths, but nothing came out. I thought they were messing with me, but that wasn't the case. I watched the look of horror on my mother's face when she realized I couldn't hear her, and that's when the tests were done. When they came in, it came as a shock to everyone but me: there was severe damage to my inner ear canals, and I was now permanently Deaf. I've never seen my family cry so much.
After that they decided it was time we move. They didn't want me to back track on any trauma, and hoped to get more medical opinions about my condition somewhere else. Within three months we were packed up and moving to Peachtree City, California. It was hard at first. Not only was this a completely new place, but I had to learn how to communicate all over again. Tutors came to our house every other day, to teach the entire family sign language. I took to it easily. There was something fun about learning how to say words without using my voice. I was okay with it, but it seemed like mama and papa and Henry quite couldn't.
School life at that time was difficult. Kids aren't very kind, and they did whatever they could to get under my skin, to bully me for being different. I wasn't allowed to wear hearing aids at school, not with the frequency in which they were broken by my peers. It was.. difficult. I think my brother found it frustrating. He's five years older than me, and couldn't protect me like he wanted. In the end though, I think he decided that looking at me filled him with too much guilt. As soon as he graduated from high school he went to study architecture in Boston, and I've barely seen him since.
Currently, I'm in junior year, and while I've gotten better at speaking with my hearing aids, I have a bad habit of forgetting them at home, so I rely heavily on reading lips, sign language, and a trusty pad and pen. High school is a strange place, and while I wasn't accepted amongst the elite, my abilities as a seamstress and my love for art put me in the creative crowd. They're all very kind and so unique, and I look forward to the next couple years. For now, I want to build up a portfolio of designs, and make a name for myself in the fashion world. Who knows, I may be one of the first deaf fashion designers out there. It would be nice. I don't want my dreams to die.