As most people would think, deaf people have it easy when they’re at home because they don’t need to worry about communicating with the public, or any dangers that occur when out… but actually, being at home is sometimes the same level of difficulty as anywhere else!
Firstly, I love my family to bits… but there’s always the occasional argument, where my mum, dad and brother are talking and I try to get involved because I want to resolve it, or I’m just interested in what they’re saying. The problem is, the conversation is like a ping-pong tournament with lots of balls bouncing back and forth… and I struggle so hard to keep up with lipreading it all. Sure, my family do include me most of the time, but at other times they can’t be bothered to repeat it, only because “it’s nothing interesting or important”. The same excuse I hear over and over again. I often say to my parents; “if my brother can hear what you’re talking about, when he’s not supposed to be listening, then why can’t I know too?” It’s just my ears that are stopping me! Sometimes it’s just not fair. I do feel left out at times. I am 18, and I’m an adult, but I feel that my family still haven’t took it in, that I am old enough to understand the real life problems, which I want to learn, but sometimes I never will. Due to this, I often just retreat to my room because it’s just not worth the hassle.
Secondly, Family gatherings, BBQs with groups of people, work social dinners… every deaf person’s nightmare! How many times have you deafies had to sit back and gaze around the room, looking for something entertaining, purely because you cannot keep up with group conversations?! I swear people sometimes tend to forget I’m there, or that I’m deaf because I often feel invisible on those days. The other night, I just got in from a hard day of work to find out that we were going to the neighbours for dinner… yippee! Only that I had just sat down on the extremely comfy sofa, and had to get back up again! When I got there, I was literally TOO tired to lipread the conversation, and I felt that I was going to annoy them because I wasn’t joining in and listening. As some of you may know, us deafies can suffer from concentration fatigue, which basically means we get super tired after concentrating on lipreading for a long period of time, in this case- from work, which causes us to switch off and avoid any type of communication! We’re not being rude, we are just genuinely tired because of this disability that doesn’t enable us to have the free communication that hearing people have. Straight after tea, I had to go back home because I was too tired, and to be honest if I sat there any longer, I would’ve just dozed off, which would’ve been even more rude! Of course I apologised to the neighbours, and thanked them for the lovely meal!
Thirdly, my brother was the inspiration for this blog post tonight… after him yelling at me straight in my face for being on the internet, which uses up the bandwidth, which means he can’t play online with his friends, which means he ‘loses money’…. and a whole load of other rubbish…. sound like a typical brother to you? For starters, I wasn’t on the internet until I wrote this, and secondly he doesn’t realise how selfish he is sometimes, because he plays on that computer 24/7, and all I get to do is briefly check Facebook and Twitter, before he goes off on one again! Did I mention, when I want to call my long distance boyfriend on FaceTime, it uses all the bandwidth up and he goes mental! I don’t even get to call D that often, because we can’t literally phone each other, and when I do, it’s never a long call, because of my egoistic, self-absorbed little brother. I don’t know why he can’t understand how hard a deaf long distance relationship is!? If only I could just call him over phone network, it would solve all of these problems! Course I love him really, when his good side comes out..!
Anyway, last of all, my brother can be a pain sometimes when it comes to my deafness. He uses it to his advantage, where he says something behind my back, often to my parents or friends, which causes them to laugh and he won’t repeat it. Or when he talks to me, when I wasn’t listening in the first place, to get me saying “what did you just say”, over and over again, and he won’t repeat it as he finds it funny that I didn’t hear what he says. This really agitates me, and my parents do tell him off but I don’t think he realises how infuriating it is. Not being horrible, but I sometimes wish he was deaf for the day to realise the struggles we have to go through.
I’d love to hear your version of family struggles, please do comment, Facebook post or Tweet me!
I apologise if I don’t post in the next few weeks, I’m off to Italy and France so I’ll see what challenges it brings to me, and perhaps it will inspire a new blog post… as well as having fun! That’s all from me!
Love E x