I call myself the missing link. Why? Hearing people do not think I am deaf because I speak. Deaf people do not think I am deaf because I do not sign. Where does that put me exactly? I do not belong in the hearing world nor the deaf world. I'm just stuck in the middle hence the "missing link." It seems the world is not ready for people like me who do not fit neatly into categories.
I began calling myself the missing link after one year in college. I grew up orally and worked really hard at practicing my speech. Now many hearing people believe I am not deaf because of how well I speak. They do not understand that I still do not hear. I depend on lip-reading and, even then, I miss a lot of what people say.
I started learning American Sign Language when I was a senior in High School, but gave up because of a conflict with the teacher. In college, I tried again and began enjoying it more. Though I have tried to become fluent in ASL, I still prefer to use my voice to communicate. As a result, deaf people do not find me deaf enough because I do not sign as will as most of them.
So I do not fit in either world -- hearing or deaf. I am just simply stuck in the middle. I realize that, for most of life, I have been trying to figure out where do I belong?