Hope is a dangerous thing

There is a quote from one of my fiance’s favourite movies, The Shawshank Redemption, which has been running through my head of late.

Let me tell you something my friend.

Hope is a dangerous thing.

Hope can drive a man insane

I hate hope. What I hate most about it is how it creeps up on me when I am not looking.

Bastard hope sneaks in and settles itself down, getting all comfortable. Just to be swiftly replaced with utter devastation when it leaves, scarpering into the distance leaving not even a trace of it’s existence.

When we fell pregnant with Harriet we knew there was a chance that Will’s hearing was caused by genetics and that, therefore, she would have the same. But still I hoped. I let myself hope that she wouldn’t be that unlucky, that we wouldn’t be that unlucky.

When she was inside me, squirming around, I let myself believe that she squirmed in reaction to Shaun’s voice, to my voice. I let hope in.

In the hospital, when she failed her newborn screening hearing test at just hours old, I heard myself say ‘her brother is deaf’ and I heard the audiologist say ‘it could be just fluid, she had a very quick birth, it’s common’ and I chose to believe her over what I should have known to be true. Hope made me.

And so today, when we sat for hours as she was sedated and prodded and poked and tested, I hoped. I hoped that the doctors would turn around and say ‘hurrah, she can hear!’. I know that she doesn’t startle at all and I know that she already failed two hearing tests and I know that there is a chance she has a genetic condition that makes her deaf. But that bastard hope was there, the whole time, taunting me.

And then when they did turn around and say that she can’t hear, that she will need hearing aids, hope was gone. When they said she has a severe loss in both ears and will struggle alongside her brother to talk and learn, hope was nowhere to be seen. It deserted me. It left me empty.

Let me tell you something my friend.

Hope is a dangerous thing.

Hope can drive a man insane.



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