Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time flying

"So, 31 days and counting."
My daughter looked at me and nodded. "Yep."
It was that quiet determination or  maybe the resigned inevitability that pretty soon, she'll be gone. Not out of my life gone, but ready to take on the world on her own. I keep telling myself it's not goodbye. That way I don't bawl my eyes out like a baby.
Today, furniture got rearranged. Daughter #3 is going into one bedroom while daughter #2 is setting up shop, making the room hers and hers alone.
We're moving forward. I told my editor that my book will be coming her way very shortly. Things are looking up.
Yesterday a friend came up and whispered a juicy tidbit of gossip. "I think you should know, so-and-so thinks you're dangerous."
My first thought was, 'Well, of course,' but it went deeper than that. "Why does she think I'm dangerous?"
"Because you're deaf." came the reply. "She thinks you're an accident about to happen and you shouldn't work here."
That hurt. 'She should walk in my shoes.'
Right there is the mentality I'm dealing with. What all deaf people deal with. Wanna know the reality? I've lost nothing.
It doesn't take anything away from who I am. I've lost some friendships, but many of my relationships got stronger. I made wonderful new friends and cherish the ones that stuck around.
There was a time when deaf people couldn't drive, or have basic human rights.   
Those links are part and parcel of what the deaf deal with. Let me tell you about some of my experiences.
In June of 2002 San Antonio experienced massive flooding. How bad was it?
Yeah, that bad
I remember dams overflowing, levees failing and the drainage ditch behind my house turning into a rapid river/ kayaker's fantasy.
How did some of my deaf friends fair?
That's a highway underwater

One of my friends went out into his backyard to enjoy his morning coffee. Unbeknownst to him, His neighborhood had left for higher ground. His first clue something was wrong was the house next to his had been severely flooded and was about to be washed away.
A quick Google search for San Antonio 2002 flood will yield a lot pictures, some more eye opening than the ones above.
Generally police are getting better at dealing with the deaf. I got a speeding ticket two or three years ago and was able to lip read my way through the process.
Whenever the deaf have to deal with the police, we let them know right away  that we're deaf. But that's if we see them and they see us. Several of my friends have been snuck up on by our boys in blue. Imagine working in your garage, getting your fishing poles ready for the weekend, when all of a sudden 5 police officers with their guns drawn, come into the garage. That's pretty scary. Turns out a neighbor called the police on my friend. He and his wife were able to convince the police that no abuse was going on and there was no domestic dispute had taken place.
But so much of that could have gone wrong. There is still a way to go.

I wanted to go on writing about this last night, however falling asleep at the keyboard is considered a bad thing, so back into the fight.

One of the articles I wanted to touch base on was from the Limping Chicken. It's a deaf related blog in the UK written with tongue firmly in cheek.
John Barrowman is an actor who's star is on the rise. My daughters have a bit of a crush on him after seeing some of the roles he's already performed, but that's besides the point.
In this article he had gel molds placed in his ear and he went deaf for the day. My respect for him grew exponentially after seeing the video and seeing him try to experience what I go through all the time.
This last week in particular and navigating life in general has been a bit rougher and this article brought it home for me. I forget how much energy I spend on focusing with people around me. It's one of the reasons I get fatigued. The article also described it as isolating. No exaggeration there. In a store full of people and co-workers, I am alone. It's been over 6 hours and I can count the people I talked to/ interacted with on one hand.
Well just want to say I'm keeping my head up and trying to do things that make me feel better. Keeping active is the best way to handle the isolation.

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