Always the elephant in the room...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Abby Nicole, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Abby Nicole

    Abby Nicole New Member

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    Hi alldeaf.com,

    Newbie here, I've been a long-time lurker and decided it's time to participate. It's refreshing to relate with others on topics I keep hidden or cannot successfully explain to family, friends, associates and strangers.

    Short background: 30-something newlywed, unemployed, congenital severe-profound bilateral deafness. I wear Oticon BTEs, mainstreamed growing up ("won" an AG Bell award in 7th grade for being oral deaf), and have absolutely no exposure to ASL, Deaf culture, and the closest relation I have to others with deafness are my elderly grandparents. My family's response upon discovery of a deaf daughter was to throw money at it; I always have the best equipment on the market.

    And oh, I'm an excellent faker. I've faked being a hearing person for so long, I've lost my sense of self and what makes me happy in life. This has been exacerbated by what I experienced as a BWW bride and twice laid-off job hunter these past few years. To add insult to injury, my hearing is worsening.

    I want to change several areas of my life (ie, learn ASL), but it's hard to undo audist brainwashing and how I've set up my fake "hearing" life. As an example, embarrassed to admit this, I feel uncomfortable watching strangers sign yet I wish I could join them. There's a sign language school one mile from my home, yet I haven't walked in the door. Messed up, right?

    Sidenote: I visited a therapist for a few years in my 20s, and he told me I wasn't actually depressed or needed meds, but that my life was challenging and I had a right to grieve and be angry. Of course, health insurance ran out after that little breakthrough session, so I'm perpetually aware of being an angry person grieving for the hearing I'll never have.

    DH is my soul mate, and he tries his best to comfort and help on my bad days or bad experiences. But support and advice from those who share similar experiences is invaluable; I'm interested in making new friends and reading your different views and lifestyles. Hence, hello alldeaf.com, I'm looking forward to being a part of your community - thank you for reading.
     
  2. Bottesini

    Bottesini Old Deaf Ranter Premium Member

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    Cool. Maybe your family would like to adopt me. I would love to always have the newest best equipment!

    BWW= Big Wacky Woman>> :confused:
     
  3. BeatriceB

    BeatriceB New Member

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    From one hearing "faker" to another, welcome. I'm new here too and am relieved to find there's the possibility I could find people like me.
     
  4. Jazzberry

    Jazzberry Member

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    Welcome to AD Abby! I joined in July, so I"m still new also.

    I'm learning ASL now also. I'm studying at Lifeprint.com (just finished lesson #18) and going to ASL meetups (2 so far). Although I'm not dyslexic, I feel like I'm dyslexic when it comes to sign. So probably learning off the net is best for me -- I can take my time figuring out which direction my hands are supose to be starting off at and moving in. :) But the main reason I'm bringing up those two options is just to suggest other ways to start off learning ASL. However, I have noticed that most people at this forum think formal classes are best.

    Like Botts, I was wondering what BWW stands for also.
     
  5. SilentRider

    SilentRider Member

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    :wave:
    Hello Abby, yep you made a step in the right direction !we all know.how to fake it and nod our head in agreement to something we didn't understand etc.. welcome to all deaf, its a nice place to chat and learn from others.
     
  6. Abby Nicole

    Abby Nicole New Member

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    :lol: You'll have to pardon me, I've spent the last 18 months posting on wedding forums with all their crazy wedding codes.

    "BWW": big, white wedding. The kind of ballroom wedding where hundreds of guests are speaking french to you over the din of DJ dance music and party chatter, and you just repeatedly nod your head and mutter "thank you thank you" (crossing fingers this response works) before making a desperate escape for the bar or powder room - and you're the BRIDE!

    I can thank my large Ital-American family for pressuring me into a BWW; they would've held a vendetta against me for years had I not. They couldn't have cared less that I didn't hear a word at my wedding or my wedding vows. That makes me feel like a big wacky woman for sure.

    Thank guys, for responding. It's nice to meet you.
     
  7. Bottesini

    Bottesini Old Deaf Ranter Premium Member

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    Have fun with us, and thanks for the definition!
     
  8. Abby Nicole

    Abby Nicole New Member

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    Online classes definitely seem attractive because it's private and you control the pace. Can anyone explain why formal classes are believed to be the best?

    I also wonder who these in-person ASL classes are geared towards - hearing people wanting to learn or oral deaf people like myself, late bloomers? I use a FM system for classes, so is the instructor going to be wearing 20 different FM microphones?

    Since my parents are still chucking guilt money left and right at deaf "cures", is it possible to hire an instructor to teach private classes for my family? This may be the only way I can persuade them to give sign language a try...
     
  9. Abby Nicole

    Abby Nicole New Member

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    By the way, I've been checking out the other "introduce yourself" threads, and there's some blunt and/or brutal responses to the hearing ASL students. Getting first day of class jitters here, so any posting advice or etiquette lessons would be greatly appreciated! Thx :D
     
  10. SimonJ

    SimonJ Member

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    I can't be 100% sure as we are a different culture, but the main thing everyone looks for is respect, tolerance and a willingness to embrace the deaf world. Hearing people "doing" Auslan for work, not really making an effort got a rough ride here. Others learning for themselves, spouses or friends were accepted very easily.
     
  11. DeafBadger

    DeafBadger Ad Astra Per Aspera Premium Member

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    Welcome to AllDeaf! :wave:
     
  12. jillio

    jillio New Member

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    No, thank you for sharing. I do hope some of the hearing parents who visit from time to time will read, and be impacted by, what you have had to share.
     
  13. jillio

    jillio New Member

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    That's because we always get an influx of them wanting us to do their assignments for them right around midterm or the end of the semester.:giggle:
     
  14. Beach girl

    Beach girl Active Member

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    Hi, and greetings from another Italian-American! (Though only on my dad's side.)

    Welcome to AllDeaf, and congratulations on your new marriage! May you have a lifetime of creating happy memories together. It's a pity that your family pressured you into having a type of wedding that you didn't really want, if I'm reading your correctly here. But I'm confused - why were you surrounded by people speaking French if you have a big Italian family?

    Anyway, glad you got through it, and it's great to hear that your DH is loving and supportive. I take it he is hearing? Is he going to go to ASL classes with you, if you decide to go?

    Everyone learns in different ways. You could always try the Lifeprint on-line lessons, and maybe get a feel for it before you start formal classes. Step by step, you'll figure out what makes the most sense for you, I'm sure.
     
  15. Sarfarigirl2011

    Sarfarigirl2011 Active Member

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    welcome to AD!
    I had worn Oticon BTE hearing aids for 7 years now and I'm on my 2nd Oticons which is pretty neat (see my hearing aid in the picture) *my 1st pair of Oticons is crap now due to hearing change*
    for me, I ♥ to fool people with my lipreading :D
     
  16. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    We have a couple of former AG Bellers here.....damn your post just reinforced yet again, what I see of the downsides of Automatic Inclusion and oral only.....There are a lot of "recovering from the oral world" deafies here....and damn when I think that bajagirl and you were AG Bell High Acheivers and yet you still had tons of problems....makes you think!
     
  17. LDNanna

    LDNanna New Member Premium Member

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    Hello Abby and welcome to AD.

    I can only say that you will learn a lot from these great folks. Dont take offense but try to understand if someone seems rough. We seem to be a bit blunt. Really, I think we are just being efficient, not blunt. lol

    There are so many different people from all areas of the world. You will have fun!
     
  18. Abby Nicole

    Abby Nicole New Member

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    I agree, and I do wonder from time to time if perhaps my parents would've chosen a different path had the world wide web been available in 1980. To this day, I don't know if they researched and made an informed decision or simply followed one so-called expert's advice.
     
  19. Abby Nicole

    Abby Nicole New Member

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    Hah! I must've bungled that phrase - a play on "it's all french to me," meaning I couldn't hear a word of what my guests were speaking so they might as well have been speaking in french? Sorry for confusing you. :Oops:

    Yes, DH is hearing. Our plan is to take classes together, he wants us to wait until I find a job. Being a one income family right now is a drain on our finances, so he works late many nights. I'd like to get my parents to learn as well, but my mom just signed up for Italian classes. I think my parents would rather stay in denial than learn ASL. Love them, but they tend to be snobs.

    Any opinions or experiences on in-person classes versus online learning?
     
  20. Abby Nicole

    Abby Nicole New Member

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    Thank you, that brought tears to my eyes. The AG Bell award epitomizes my life, I was praised and congratulated on how well I concealed being deaf. It took years to figure out why that award and organization had an unsettling effect on me.
     

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