The above question was posed to Tales from a CI Gal and it made me think about the question as it applies to me.
I don't actually think that I have thought all that deeply about the fact that I am deaf. It is simply a part of me, there isn't a great deal I can do about it except make sure that I carry spare batteries with me!
You see, although I am deaf, I do like to hear what is going on around me as then I feel less vulnerable and less inclined to behave meerkat-like as I frequently pop up and swivel around in order to see what's going around me. At least with hearing aids I get some sense of what's happening around me, but that doesn't mean that I don't jump a foot (or two) when people manage to sneak up on me!!
Of course, there will always be moments when I get frustrated with the fact that my ears don't work quite as they should. For instance when the promised subtitles are not working it means I can't watch something that I'd been anticipating! Or perhaps when I am out for a walk with friends and family and simply cannot listen to the conversation because we have to walk in single file for a moment - this I find harder to deal with sometimes because what do I do? Do I ask people to wait and finish the conversation later, do I ask people to repeat the whole thing to me after the conversation has finished? Usually I end up shrugging my shoulders and saying to myself that if it was important they'd tell me and so I look at the scenery and think what a beautiful day it is.
As I usually get by, I have no intention of making other people feel uncomfortable and having to feel constantly alert as to whether I was able to pay attention or not. Yes, I am well aware that it could be said that the people around me have a duty to make sure that I am not marginalised simply because I cannot hear. After all it is not my fault that I need to see in order to hear, but like I said, I usually manage to know what's going on so in the main it doesn't bother me that much. Besides, why get all worked up and frustrated about a conversation that probably wasn't all that important - it is just that so much could potentially get missed.
However, I am not so deaf that I can't hear my cat, Phoebe, meow when she wants feeding!! Clearly, I hear her much better when she is right next to my shoulders or when it is particularly quiet and she is right at my feet. Which is a pain in the neck because every time I even look as though I am walking to the kitchen she is there at my feet - meow, meow, meow!! But, hey, I can't have it both ways can I?! I can't choose to hear what I want to hear and ignore what I don't - it's all about taking the rough with the smooth and not forgetting to be quite totally deaf when the call goes up for dishwashers!!!! ha ha.