Abigail Heringer made history as the first deaf contestant in The Bachelor franchise.
Since becoming a beloved member of Bachelor Nation, Abigail has used her platform to inform and educate about living with hearing loss.
Recently, Abigail answered fans’ questions and opened up about some of the struggles related to her condition.
Abigail Heringer talks biggest hearing loss struggle
Abigail Heringer took to her Instagram stories and opened herself up to questions. Several of Abigail’s fans asked about the Bachelor Nation star’s cochlear implants and hearing loss.
One fan asked, “What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to your hearing?”
Abigail responded that the biggest struggle shows up in social settings, writing, “not being able to be as extroverted as I want to be in new situations.”
Abigail elaborated on the question, stating, “It’s so exhausting trying to follow conversation if I don’t have a ‘lifeline’ of one of my close friends to repeat something someone says. And it’s stressful to think, ‘did I miss something and does that person think I’m a b***h for not responding?’ AND I don’t want to be annoying and constantly ask people ‘what’ and make it seem like I’m not paying attention or disinterested.”
Abigail’s struggle impacts her “social battery” as she wrote, “this is why my social battery gets drained so quickly lol. I’ve noticed that I’m drawn towards people with bigger personalities because these people tend to make me feel the most comfortable in new situations.”
Abigail Heringer details how the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the deaf community
During the Q&A, a fan asked Abigail, “Do you rely on lip reading? If so, do you get anxiety when someone talks with a mask on.”
Abigail responded, “Yes and Yes.”
The Bachelor in Paradise Season 7 star explained, “the last two years were some of the hardest when trying to communicate with others in public. I know masks were there to protect us and they did during the height of the pandemic, but man was it hard for deaf community.”
Abigail provided examples of anxiety-inducing situations, writing, “The anxiety of when a service worker would try to make small talk or ask a question and feeling stuck of not being able to hear them but not wanting to be disrespectful or put them at risk by removing my mask or asking them to. It was a lose lose all around so I am definitely happy that I get this form of communication that I rely so much on back after two years!”
Bachelor in Paradise is currently on hiatus on ABC.More: Abigail Heringer, Bachelor in Paradise