Monday, February 25, 2008

Everybody's Someone.

Hello All—

Why can’t we be accepted, or fit in? What does it take to be fit in to this deaf world of yours? Do I have to take off my hearing aids to be accepted? Do I have to learn ASL, or not talk? Forget I learned cued speech? I see a lot of people like me, those who got CI’s, etc; have their back be turned against them.

Why? As I have come to learn posting via deaf read, and the comments, individual people chatting with me, pretty much no one agrees with my lifestyle or what I did. Example, I call myself Hearing-Impaired for a reason. My hearing was just that, impaired. I do call myself disabled, because I just am that, disabled. I don’t call ANY of you that, because I respect everyone’s choices and opinions and lifestyles. Yet…I am the one who’s told I did the wrong thing. I am calling myself the wrong label. Etc.

All my life, I have been continuously bashed or told off that period, I did the wrong thing. I shouldn’t be wearing hearing aids because I am allowing hearing people to make a profit of my disability. I have abandoned the deaf world apparently by not learning ASL and such. I don’t understand it. The deaf people talk about having their world, and such. Is it wrong to want to hear? Is it wrong to want to be accepted by everybody HEARING and DEAF? I am sorry I chose a life style that is not agreed by many people here.

I don’t remember much about actually losing my hearing, but I remember the day that reality actually HIT me that there was going to be things I just could never, ever do in my life. I would never be able to 100% talk to hearing people without having to read lips. I will never be able to be a pilot for a commercial airline or a flight attendant, my one true dream I’d love to succeed maybe. Sitting there being frankly told, you won’t be able to do it. Until technology exists to allow it I won’t.

I struggle enough trying to identify myself as a person, now I have to find a label for the deaf world, whether its hearing impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, whatever the label is. I love that though..the labeling. Deaf people talk about wanting to be created equal, yet you enclose yourself into the deaf world. You label yourself as deaf, you are angered at people who get Cochlear Implants, who get hearing aids, or who might actually would like to try and hear?!?!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying every deaf person treats me this way, but I sure run into a lot of them in public, and unfortunately people from deaf read don’t help either. I remember a situation sitting at a pizza restaurant. Mom and I were talking and she is cueing to me and talking vice versa. A group of deaf people came up to my mother and signed “what are you doing to him?!” Mom looked back and shook her head and I don’t know sign. So they took out paper and pen, and the basic gist of the conversation was, my mother did the wrong thing by not teaching me ASL, and teaching me cue. My mother was a bad mother for not putting me in a deaf school. She didn’t do the right thing. I was going to grow up feeling alone, and secluded in “my own world” and the hearing people would never accept me, nor would the deaf people. I was ashamed of the deaf people and “left the deaf world”.

Well…what does that say about anything? They didn’t step back and look to see how I functioned as ME. That was extremely rude of them to tell my mother those things. Not ONCE did we go up and tell them, you should have learned cued speech, or you should have not learned ASL. No we minded our business, but they did not. They insulted me and my family for our life styles. Not once, have I EVER insulted the deaf people and their choices. What is there to insult?! Absolutely nothing.

I don’t know much what else to say, but I do ask this of you and all deaf people. Take the time to sit back and THINK. Do you REALLY want to tell people and bash them for the choices they make? Is it really that wrong to WANT to hear, and by all means, if they have the chance to hear, to let them go for it? If it means getting a cochlear implant, getting hearing aids, god forbid, and stem cell research issues comes up, you can bet I’ll be first in line to get it if possible. I am sorry I offend you people by calling myself hearing-impaired. I am not sorry for the life choices I made or my parent’s made.

There a few people who are like me and fully understand where I am coming from. There are also those who don’t agree with my decisions, but why are they different? They showed RESPECT, and all they said was “I don’t personally like how you call yourself, but that’s how you chose and if it fits you then so be it” That was ALL that needs to be said, and I have the utmost respect for people like them, you know who I am talking about.
Alex

10 comments:

beta said...

i'm very understanding of EVERYONE

but what peeves me is people that complain they cant be accepted

'I am deaf' 'you and i should be buddies!!'

well... its not like that.

you deaf - oh golly and ? we dont share any cultural similarities, or other things ?

oh.. you dont like the word deaf, prefer hearing-impaired - ok by me. but other people
take THAT as an insult

and other things, people dont see eye to eye on many things, but you expect us to be your best friend because you're deaf - excuse me hearing impaired ?

Mike McConnell said...

Hearing people accept me. So do deaf and hard of hearing people when they meet me. Even some Deaf people.

People shouldn't get offended if you prefer to call yourself as an hearing impaired person. Or a deaf person. Or a Deaf person. Or a person who happens to have a hearing loss. If you feel comfortable about how you describe yourself as a person then that's your decision. Not theirs. What's important is that you need feel comfortable with who you are and where you want to go in life. I accept you regardless of your deafness, use of hearing aid, cochlear, signing in ASL or SEE, or whatever. I simply accept who you are as a person first, deafness second. Just dwell on the positive on the things YOU can do rather than dwell on the negatives and what other people say about you. That's not important. What's important is how you see yourself as a person. We're all in the same boat when it comes to deafness and our communication access issues. You're not alone.

Welcome aboard!

:)

Here's my vlog to you:
http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/2008/02/adversity-andthe-audacity-of-hope.html

Green67 said...

Alex
One thing i notice is that deaf community who are very much in the deaf world are the ones going to miss out the hearing side of things. They just use their excuse for being deaf no matter which way you look at and use their beliefs to push into hearing world if they have a child who is deaf or HOH. Really to me it is the parents decision what is best for the child and if they want the child to have CI i agree in some levels but not always. For e.g. PROFOUNDLY DEAF not a good thing for CI .. HARD OF HEARING OR HEARING IMPAIRED they are more likely succeed. Thats how i view on CI. In my case if a deaf person comes up to me saying i should sign etc .. i would bluntly tell them it is MY CHOICE what i want to do in MY LIFE and how i feel COMFORTABLE in not you telling me what to do. As you said alex they should sit back and look at the big picture before they went ahead abuse your mother really it is none of their business as your parents made the decision what is best for you not the DEAF COMMUNITY. I dont care of the deaf community bash me all they like but its going to end up no win situation as they forgot it is my DECISION not THEIRS.
Cheers
Tassielady

Candy said...

It amazes me to no end that there are hearing impaired people out there that would have the nerve to tell other hearing impaired people what he/she should or should not be doing/saying or whatever...

I never had anyone telling me that I shouldn't be wearing a hearing aid. The nerve! Probably a good thing no one said that to me! lol

Being yourself and being comfortable with who you are is the only thing that matters. Just continue to be who you are. If anything, they're the ones with issues, not you!

The problem with certain group of hearing impaired people out there, the "so called extremes" is that they foolishly think deaf world should be one size fit all.

LaRonda said...

Alex,

A heartfelt touching post. My response is simple:

You are beautiful. You are whole. You are welcome in this world and you belong.

Take heart. Your opinion of you is the only one that really matters.

I made a vlog about this using a children's story. It is in ASL, but with a fully written transcript. Go to: http://www.earofmyheart.com/wordpress/2007/04/22/punchinello-you-are-special/

Hugs.

~ LaRonda

LaRonda said...

I notice the URL did not come through on my comment above. Got to my blog: www.earofmyheart.com and look for the search box on the right side bar. Then enter the word "Punchinello." It will take you to the post called" Punchinello, you are special!" That's the vlog I made that I was referring to. I think you'll like it. :)

~ LaRonda

IamMine said...

I'm with what LaRonda said up here. :)

I loved that vlog she did...it IS a very inspiring and powerful story. :)

Here - I'll fix it for her to make it accessible in a shorter link!

LaRonda:Punchinello, You are special!

You are who you are and if you feel good about yourself, who cares? :D

((hugs))

P.S. Thanks again, LaRonda - I'm under a lot of pressure with enormous stress and thanks for the warm feelings to ease things a little bit! :)

queenalpo said...

I remember feeling the same frustrations you express in this blog, once upon a time.

I'm wondering what your motives in posting this, because it almost sounds like you're on the outside looking in (though really everyone is on the outside of themselves, if you'll excuse my over-philosophical-ness!). But as is clear from your blog, you're not really, and I'd love to know what's behind your frustration.

In a perfect world you would like to see...?

Abbie said...

I just finally got around to commenting after giving you a deadline to do mine :) LOL

I think this is a great post because you really pointed out the fact that some deaf people can be judgmental of others just for the simple fact that we are deaf instead of looking pass that and see who we are as a person.

My outlook, no one can tell me what I can or cannot do with my life. No one knows me better then myself and quite frankly, not that I am a overly religious person but the only person that can judge me is God and thats it. Take it or leave it.

The only problem I have is that you are apologizing for the label that you chose for yourself. If that is what you want to call yourself, then stick to yours gun and defend yourself. Don't ever apologize for something you believe in, girls do that lol :)

Seek said...

Bravo.. that is one of best blog I ever read in a long time!!

I'm totally with you 100% and I know these kind of deaf people would just bash others like your great mother just because they don't like what they saw which is pathetic. I have no respects for these kind of people.

When these deaf people decide to STAY in their own world, they miss out a LOT of things going on out in real world. I built a bridge between hearing and deaf and I'm surprised how much I have learned since then.

I'm so glad to have the opportunity to know you better and look forward to meet you in person.

-SG