Monday, February 25, 2008
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.