Originally Posted by GrendelQ
I had no prior idea my child was deaf. But my daughter's deafness has not and will not have any bearing on the expectation I had to love, care for, cherish, and raise an amazing human being. I know grief, and I would indeed grieve that loss deeply, but thank goodness, I've not experienced it and retain great hopes.
Jillio, I was hoping for some insight from you, given the build-up, but I really think you are crossing the line in this amateurish attempt to build a psych. profile. Your analysis is exposing a lot more about your own issues and fears regarding deafness than mine, and that seems to be the case as you try unsuccessfully to unpack FJs head as well. I'm sure you think that you know best, that's obvious in your approach, and can assess what's going on in our minds better than we do. But consider too that you may simply be projecting your own fears, undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto us. Just as you described denial, projection too is a common process that every one uses to some degree.
Some wonderful parents like WeeBeastie grieved a loss of expectation, some didn't. I don't think you are qualified as the arbiter of how all parents ought to react to learning a child is deaf. There's no template we have to follow, no matter how much you want to see your world vision validated by my experience.
Perhaps we all should follow your advice in one sense and 'stick to the topic' -- which is the bill, not what expectations you ascribe to new parents. Not all of us expected ballerinas.
Well, GrendelQ, the only amateurish attempt that is being undertaken is the one that you, personally, are attempting now. Of course there is no template you have
to follow. You can follow any template you choose. However, there are those templates that lead to healthy results for both parent and child, and there are those that lead to less than heathy results for both parent and child. The parent that cannot admit the negative experience certainly is not free to elaborate on the positive.
Regarding my own deaf child...I have no issues and fears. My son has been raised in a bilingual environment by a parent who is unafraid to be honest regarding her emotional reactions. He is currently a graduate student at a major hearing university. He is living, and has always lived, a happy and successful life, inpart because he had a mother that saw no need to make him a reasonable facsimile of a hearing child, and freely admits that raising a deaf child is not the same experience, for the child or the parent, as raising a hearing child. Only when one can admit that those adjustments to life and expectation are necessary can one free oneself to actually receive the help and advise that is most beneficial. That would be the help and advise of those that have walked that road and made a success of it, as well. Namely, not the audiologists, not the surgeons, not the "hearing experts", but the deaf/Deaf themselves. Until you are able to admit to the differences, you will never be able to ask the people who are the most valuable to your daughter how to deal with those differences. Consequently, you will be shutting out the most valuable resource you can have.
The sad fact of the matter is, deaf children continue to suffer the negative effects of the parent who refuses to honestly admit their emotional reaction, and spends all of their time denying it. "I didn't grieve! OMG, that would make me a horrible mother! And I will prove I am not a horrible mother...look at all I do. I got my child surgery, I spend 24/7 turning my home into a speech center, I go to therapy with her. How dare you say I would grieve." That kind of frenzied action in a attempt to change what is instead of accepting what is the root of so many of the difficulties we are seeing in deaf children today.
So, yes, GrendelQ...you are free to choose any template you desire, as is any other parent. But then, you are also free to accept the consequences of that choice. And never forget, that many of those consequences will be experienced not just by you.