Cotton Balls in Ears

Cotton BallsA Desire to be Deaf: Here is an interesting case of a hearing woman with such a compelling desire to be Deaf that she resorted to putting cotton balls soaked in oil into her ears. See the article. In this case, the woman experienced negative reactions to sounds and reported feeling so much more “at home” in the Deaf community, that she was ready to do whatever it would take to get rid of her hearing.

A Curious Calling: Unconscious Motivations. Although an extreme case, the article raises the question of what benefits other hearing people might hope to gain by immersing themselves in the Deaf community, not by making themselves Deaf, but by working with Deaf people and/or making the Deaf community the center of their lives. Some hearing people have obvious missionary attitudes and act like Deaf people need to be saved or helped, but other hearing people may not be as obvious about the reasons behind their motivation to be with Deaf people.

CODAs or other relatives of Deaf people may be involved in the Deaf community because ASL and Deaf culture have always been part of their lives. Some hearing people may be encouraged by their Deaf family, friends, or partners to work with Deaf people. What motivates other hearing people to work with Deaf people, does it have something to do with their psychological make-up or is it something else? Could it have anything to do with gaining an identity? Or compensating for feelings of inferiority or inadequacy in the hearing community? Are there other unconscious motivations that compel hearing people to work with Deaf people?

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