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All Quiet

What I am about to describe to you is my own personal slant on body modification. For some people its tattoos, for some its piercing, stretching twisting cutting off or moving, anything that makes us all a little different. I saw a line that sums changing our bodies perfectly "I don't want to be different. I just want to be me!"

Well my thing is "Self Induced Deafness" and having given it many hours of thought, I do honestly think that this is a form of body modification just like any other. After all, I start in one state and end up in another. By definition "modification"

I started many years ago when I was younger and I found myself wondering what it would be like to see things and not have sound to go with it (I drank a lot when I was younger!!). This thought grew and at one point in my life I realised that I could make a very good simulation of deafness by pushing cotton wool deep into my ear right up against the eardrum. The first time I did this it was amazing, it was like watching real life on the TV with the sound turned off. If the cotton wool is wet, there is almost no sound that gets through. All you can here is your own voice and breathing.

As I sat looking at the TV I was aware of the faintest sound seeping through. I guess I could tell there was sound but it had no form at all. Understanding speech was impossible. Outside was even stranger with cars going buy like they were floating on air and trees moving all on there own. Even in places where there was no sound I became aware that there must have been background sound because now there was nothing, and that was very different.

I continued using cotton wool for some time but found the only problem was that in a few hours it started to dry out and as it dried out sound started to leak back in. Within 12 hours it was as if there was nothing there. I wanted more

There was something else, with cotton wool it was easy to turn the clock back and take it out. If there was something I needed to do that required sound I could simply take out the cotton wool and everything was back to normal. This method lacked any form of commitment.

So, how to move it up a level. I am no good with pain at all, so the idea of mangling my middle ears was right out of the question and it was dangerous. I want to be deaf not give myself a lobotomy!!! No, it had to be simple, pain free and long lasting what ever "it" was.

Then, all of a sudden it hit me. Super glue (crazy glue in the US). A few drops of that in my ear would have an amazing effect. So, on Sunday afternoon when there was nothing to do I took a tube of superglue and a syringe from an inkjet refill kit and very slowly and very carefully poked the syringe (with a very small amount of glue) into my ear until I felt it come up against my ear drum. I then pushed the plunger and dropped the glue onto my eardrum. It was even more amazing than the first time I used cotton wool. At first there was a warm feeling as the glue started to go off. Then there was a small amount of pain, nothing much but a good sold pulling as the glue hardened. At first I could still hear a little but, over the following hours I found I could hear less and less until after 3 hours there was next to nothing at all.

For these 3 hours I think my heart beet faster and faster with the excitement. This was exactly what I had been looking for. Now for the final test. I took a pair of thin tweezers and very carefully poked them into my ear. All of a sudden they hit a plug of hardened glue. It was like rock! I tried gripping and pulling but it was very clear that it was going no place. I think my heart rate hit 300 bpm at that point.

Being a little careful I tested the superglue plug just in one ear to start with and it was fine. No pain and best of all no sound. I also realised that I so much wanted to do the same to my other ear but realised that I would be making myself 98%+ deaf without any options to remove the plugs when it suited me. I needed a plan.

Its scary but this is what I wanted to do to myself. So, I purchased a good quality pair of high powered hearing aids over the internet. Once they arrived I realised that I was ready for total silence.

Before I committed myself with both ears I waited a few weeks to see if the first glue plug would come out. After about 12 weeks it did work loses but I could not get it out. Although I did not try all that hard.

So, again on a Sunday afternoon I put a few more drops of superglue in the ear with the plug already in place just to reseal that ear. Then after an hour and with the glue dry, I turned over and dropped a few drops of glue in the other ear. I was suddenly engulfed in a silent world that over the following 3 hours grew ever quieter. It's amazing just how much of a difference it is to lose you hearing in both ears as apposed to just the one.

My emotions were in a turmoil, panic, excitement, fear. Everything all at once and in bucket loads. Later that first Sunday I also realised that I had committed myself to a new world. A world of silence. I am now 100% reliant on my hearing aids to be able to function in the hearing world. As soon as I take them out its impossible to tell you how good it feels and how exciting it feels. To see things move without sound, to walk through a packed supermarket in total relaxation while there are people screaming and shouting around you. It's worth every second of inconvenience of having to rely on the aids and subtitled TV to live in this peaceful world.

It's been a good 6 months now since I made myself deaf and I am still getting a buzz out of it every day. Some years ago I chopped off one of my toe's and the buzz from that was nothing compared with this. This just keeps getting better every day.

I am sure that I have done a load of damage to my hearing and I am sure that I will never hear clearly again, but I don't care, its like going for a tattoo, you pick one that means something to you then, not one that's going to be easy to get rid of in 10 years time. Making myself deaf is the same thing. I do it because that's what I want to do and if it makes life difficult, then I will simply deal with that.

If you want to try this then for gods sake try the cotton wool first. The superglue is a real step in one direction and one that is not easy to go back from. If you have any questions then e-mail me at richard.k.davies@ntlworld and I will be happy to discuss why and how.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 14 June 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Me
Studio: At+Home
Location: UK

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