Feralism

#1
I don't know what to call this or where to put it, so I'm sticking it here.

It's become much clearer to me why I'm not happy... This is not a sob story, but a means for someone with training with late-developed children or even feral or semi-feral children to see this and put me in contact with others like myself.

I am a case of where I was not found to be profoundly deaf until I was seven and a half and started deaf school a few months later. I was already past eight and a half when I could talk in complete sentences enough to understand the world around me. I learned how to read a clock and a calendar past nine.

I didn't know about Jesus until I was eight and a half. I could not believe my ears when I heard about him. I was like, "WHAT?? But this is a grown woman who's smarter than me helping me with my homework. Did I just hear her say something nonsensical?" It felt exactly like a riddle. Was she testing me to see how free, how wild I was? Actually no, because she believed it herself. It was at that point that I realized that other people did not live like I did. Inside, up here.

Up to the time I was found to be deaf, I lived in a world of silence. No, make that a world with no language. I knew a few words here and there, for things like bathroom, various food items, but I couldn't communicate like other kids my age. I can remember lip-reading Dad at 3 years old, as I stood in front of the opened fridge sometime past midnight when we were supposed to be asleep. He was kneeling beside me and said, "What do you want?" I couldn't say it, but I could feel the desire and the taste for what I was hungry for. I can remember being small enough that the level of the crisper drawers were about mid-chest height. I must have reached for or pointed what I was looking for.

I still very much remember the early years when I didn't know what time was or what day it was. What was expected of me as a child. I went through kindergarten, the first part of first grade, and church without any idea of what was going on around me. I did whatever I wanted, when I wanted. I suppose teachers punished me when I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing, but I don't remember it. Either way, I had no idea why I was being punished.

I remember my first childhood sweetheart. I had a hard time understanding her speech, but our feelings were absolutely mutual!

Going to the school for the deaf was hard, but being mainstreamed into public school was a nightmare, full of anger and hatred at the school system. I just wanted to be outside and playing all day long. I couldn't understand why I had to stay after school to work on my basic skills. I used to fight my teachers. My Dad would come to pick me up after school, and I would run to him crying and screaming. Finally, one day, I asked him after school in front of the teacher why I had to stay after school. I don't remember the answer.

My stepmother came along and married my Dad. She says that when she first met me, I was a wild child. I did whatever I wanted, ate whatever I wanted (even cheese enchiladas for breakfast!), but I had to do my homework at some point. We fought for at least 10 years. She struggled with the fact that I didn't have anyone guiding me, even if they tried, in the early years.

I guess what I need to say is, my worldview that I had from childhood is still intact within me. I don't know how to explain it. There are no words to explain it. You just have to be me to understand. To say that I am a part of something spiritual and it a part of me is a very poor approximation at the least. I am not a feral child, for sure, or I wouldn't be able to come here and write what I write, but for sure, I can clearly remember the times before I was found to be deaf. I feel like the part of me that is independent, wild is much larger than it is in the average civilized child, and that can create problems in modern civilization, where I find too many boundaries and feel like I need to escape the big city I live in and be away from people for as long as I need to be. I'm just now coming to understand much more clearly how my early childhood has affected me through to today.

I'm not happy, because I don't know other people like me who went so long without intervention and have a much larger degree of personal freedom as a result of growing past a little too long without sufficient social restraint. Are there others like me? Are there others who can come up to me and not have to say anything in speech or sign, but simply smile or do something fun? To not have to say, "Oh, you must be a Christian, Muslim, straight, have this kind of a job, have this much education, etc." To function as humans did 20,000 years ago? That is me. I feel out of place. I feel like I don't belong here in this life.
 

sallylou

Potterhead and Janeite
Premium Member
#2
Wirelessly posted (droid)

There is a therapist who volunteers at Lilian Beard Deaf Connection Center. She's Deaf and uses ASL. If you don't know ASL, I'm sure that they will accommodate you, too. Get in touch with her asap. She can help you.
 
#3
Thanks. I didn't know they existed. Because of how I am, I'm out of touch with the deaf community. Let's see what happens... I'll point them to this thread. E-mailed... And bounced back. I have a suspicion that they are connected to a Baptist church, as that's the number for it, but no one is answering...

I'll keep looking and waiting for replies here. Let me be clear. I am not looking for an episode of "Greystoke." I am not looking to be converted nor more civilized. I will not budge from the place I am in. It's too late for that because it is not my desire to go there. My desire instead is to find a life or lifestyle that better fits who I am.

Whhoops! Just looked at the mission statement on one of the things provided by them - "Mission: To provide the Deaf Community of Houston a great place to enjoy Christian fellowship and delicious food! Also, to present short contemporary dramas that teach spiritual truth and deal with current issues of Deaf culture." That is why I'm not part of the deaf community. It irritates me to no end how hard it is to find others like myself who escaped the indoctrination process.
 

Cheetah

Cheetah Consulting-Closed
Premium Member
#6
I won't say you don't need a therapist (most of us do). I will say that every person that walks this earth is a unique individual. Many of us look back and wish things were different growing up. Everyone of us has a different set of challenges. Although your experiences are unique you are not the only one that has these feelings and experiences. Sometimes learning how others cope with something helps us to cope with it better. Sometimes it's simply "oh, I'm not the only one".

I won't give you any advice, but share a little about my experience, maybe it will help you, or maybe not. For a time, I was in Korea working with the Korean Association for the Deaf. The had a class for people with out any language skills. They were a unique group of people and I learned so much about myself from them. They had strength they did not know existed within them. Working with them every day and watching their language grow (much faster than my ability to acquire the Korean Sign Language), I was struck at how intelligent they are. These are a group of people without any mental issues, they were neglected and not allowed to learn a language. When the doors opened up, suddenly they started to understand why things happened and why people did the weird things that they do. I was 20 years old at the time but still a child inside, through them, I grew. And today I am still learning and growing.
 

sallylou

Potterhead and Janeite
Premium Member
#7
deafdrummer, the deaf center is separate from the baptist church. I'm not religious myself, but I feel very comfortable at the deaf center. The only religious part of my classes was a quick devotional before the classes, which I didn't mind. There is no requirement that you go to the church portion of the property.

We should have a secular deaf center here but that's another thread. I'm grateful for what we have. Lillian Beard was the person who started the national intepreters' registry. She was a lovely woman.

If you'll PM me your email, I'll send it to someone who can tell you more. The therapist is good friends with my ASL teacher. It's a small community so everyone knows everyone.

ETA: Some of what you're describing is perfectly normal. We all have doubts about fitting in. Then, there's the whole do I do want my family wants to make them happy or do what I want issue.
 
#8
That's just it. I AM ok. I have had thousands of hours of counseling, which led me on the journey I have been on. Please reread my previous post about what I am looking for.
While meeting someone who has gone through the same would be helpful, not everyone handles those experiences in the same way. In fact,you may not like that person. Just saying...
 
#9
While meeting someone who has gone through the same would be helpful, not everyone handles those experiences in the same way. In fact,you may not like that person. Just saying...
Isn't that true in modern society, especially when people are coming after you for money, to convert you to their religion, or to convince you to buy something you don't need? That, I don't need... I get a lot of that on the job. Soccer moms and A-hole fathers really get on my nerves, and I don't need to be around them, but I have to as part of my job, and it's taking its toll on me.
 
#11
So, the question for me today is (now that I've had two nights of 10-hours sleep after a long work weekend), what changes do I need to make in my life to better support the wild child in me?

The first part is, what changes have I made already? I made some very big changes in my life about 14 years ago. It forms the foundation for what I am today. That is as far as I'll go, other than I would be dead if I hadn't made the changes. Please do not bring it up here. A few years later, after getting washed out in the computer field because of the tech bust, I had to do data entry/office work. I left corporate America for good nearly 8 years ago. I no longer wear the corporate suits and the pumps. The last such job I was at, I lasted 9 months before I had to quit. I got into a rock band down here that really, really got me in touch with the partially-feral part of me inside (School of Rock was the trigger point, because I didn't really understand what Rock was about and why Dad hated it). The next thing was getting a job that allowed me to be me as far as how I dress goes and doesn't require me to work full time. Problem is, the job is great for a people's person, and I'm not quite that because of my wild child and deafness, which doesn't help matters when I have a hard time understanding some international customers and get frustrated. The most recent thing was getting a long-wheelbased Jeep that allows me to go out there and is mechanically simpler and stouter than the last city-AWD-car I had.

The second part is, what further changes do I need to make to continue to survive in the midst of "civilized people" and yet be happy and thrive? A few things I can think of include a change to a job that decreases the amount of contact I have to make with customers, and a lifestyle that lets me be closer to nature, but gives me a sparse yet stead diet of contact with people I know and like (I have a few friends, but I see them in person only once or twice a year because they live so far away). Now, what do I do about new friends who are not religious, are low-fat-raw-vegan, and actually have the time to hang out with friends?
 

Cheetah

Cheetah Consulting-Closed
Premium Member
#13
deafdrummer, I get the impression that you are looking for something that doesn't really exist. I'm not saying that your feelings are wrong or that feral children do not exist. I am saying that you have decided that this is the only thing that can make you happy and are on a search to bring you to a place that really only exists in your imagination. For you, it's the destination not the journey.

The best part about life is the journey. There are times in our lives that really suck, I've been there. Why not explore different way of getting there. And along the way pay attention to what you enjoy more and where you relax more.

Why not take a weekend to camp out in one of our great national parks, volunteer with the national park service (or even the state parks). Perhaps volunteer at a soup kitchen (look at area churches they tend to do this a lot). I volunteered with a K9 Search and Rescue group and did a lot of wilderness work.

I suspect you are a lot like me. I am an introvert. I love being social but not with a huge group of people. I tend to focus on one person at a time and do get over stimulated and need to "escape" for a time. I even do this at family gatherings (they tend to be all day events). So, take a personality test and learn a little more about yourself. Look at who the other celebrities that match your personality characteristics. You will see there are successful people in all categories.
 
#14
deafdrummer - your wish list for non-religious, semi-feral and low fat raw vegan friends is really unrealistic. Friends can come from the most unexpected places and it's more important that they are actual friends to you, not whether they eat raw vegan foods or that they are atheists/agnostic. I am athetist but have religious friends and their friendship way overrides religious differences (p.s. religion is never brought up in conversations most of the time anyway).

Secondly your plan to flee to the country - did you actually plan this out? Like, how will you support yourself and how do you expect to find the kinds of friends you're looking for if you are hermitizing yourself way out in Bum F**k, Nowhere? Just concerned that you might have unrealistic expectations. It's important you know yourself well enough to be very honest about what your needs are. Can you handle living alone 24/7 way out in the boondocks? Small towns tend to be more conservative than the city, so if you're struggling already so much in the city, it's possible you will have a harder time in a more conservative area.

I am kinda half joking when I say maybe explore moving to communities where people are of like mind such as British Columbia - there are many unconventional communities there where being different and thinking differently is accepted.

And if you are still convinced that isolating yourself from society and human contact is what you need and it won't affect your psyche and well being negatively, maybe explore doing work for clients online?

And lastly, one very important thing to remember when it comes to acceptance; you teach people how to treat you so if you are unhappy with yourself, if you're angry, anti-social, anxious, they will pick up on that and reflect back to you. If you express unconventional ideas to conventional people, of course they are not going to accept those ideas and therefore you. You strike me as a very clearly intelligent person and this is where I will say to you that you know fully well how people will react to what you say especially if you've gotten that reaction many times before.

You can't be deliberately provocative then complain it's hard to make friends. To make friends, you have to be one.
 
#15
deafdrummer, I get the impression that you are looking for something that doesn't really exist.

<snip>
Then what's the point of being here if it doesn't exist? I refuse to believe that. And Jiro, buzz off if you don't have anything useful to add to this very important topic for me. Let's not get off on the wrong foot here...

What do you mean a particular job doesn't exist? What do you mean small towns don't exist? There ARE people who practice low-fat-raw-vegan, but they're caught up in this busy-as-a-bee lifestyle they have. Trust me, I know a lot about myself. I know what don't like in my life. I know what gets my goat; it's a matter of determining what I need to do to get my goat back.

When you say "For you, it's the destination not the journey," it shows how little you know about me. You've no idea of the journey I've been on.

Right now, I don't have the money to just get up and go somewhere. I'm trying to pay off everything I have so I can get out sooner. I do take a trip occasionally, but it takes me a few months to pay it off before I can take care of other things, and that slows me down in my goals. I can't just up and spend money like a lot of people do. No wonder they're in the fix they're in with little savings of the RIGHT kind. It just blows my mind that people can afford to eat out TWICE a day most working days! My food budget is $230 a month. I have DREAMED for years of being able to go camping whenever I want. I'm off four days this week, right? I could be in a part of Texas that's not raining this week, right now. Next week, I could be spending another four days at another park. I only work 3-4 days per week, especially right now when things are slow. I would be doing this every week if I had the money. I'd be out Jeeping on the trails twice a month if I had the money (and these people in the Jeep club can do nearly every weekend and apparently afford to spend 20-30 dollars for dinner at the end of the weekend(!)). What kind of money are these people making (or charging on their cards)?!

Anyway, I'm trying to wrap up my obligations and close things down one by one before I make my move. I'm hoping that a certain thing doubles if not triples this year (can't talk about it, so don't ask), though I don't expect it to because the environment for it is just simply not right (so, it's plan B, not A), though a lot of people in the investment circle think it will happen this year. That is where I don't let my wild child get emotional just because it's not going the way I want it to. If I get emotional about it, then all bets are off and I might as well cash out at a fair gain and skip town before I start making bad investment decisions. I won't let Wild Thang do that because that's short-sighted all the way around.

Keep in mind that I had only decided in September that things were going to have to change, so it will take me a while to back up a bit and change course before I can press on.

That's the thing about celebrities; I didn't grow up like them. I don't know about the deaf actors/actresses, but I'm sure they didn't go as long as I did undiagnosed and lived in a small town with little resources. They come from a completely walk of life than I did. A few of them might share SOME similar characteristics, but no cigar. If they're successful, they've got some money, they've had at least a few relationships, a family relationship in some cases, and they've got their exclusive circle of friends. There are obligations incurred and sacrifices that have to be made to get where they are. That's not me! I don't want to be trapped like that! That's the thing! Ms. Wild Child doesn't want to be tied down! Read the book, "Queen Bees & Wannabes" by Rosalind Wiseman. I've had to make that journey myself. THIS is what I want to do every day, for the rest of my life (I think) - ExPo: Adventure and Overland Travel Enthusiasts - I get very depressed during the winters and summers when it's too cold or hot to go on trips, or don't have the money. I have just enough money to keep my life going, keep my bills from overwhelming and killing me, and take trips occasionally. This means I have to spend most of my free time away from work at home, on the computer. After all, I might as well make the best of $50 I spend a month on Internet access. I have to be very disciplined to make it happen at all. It drives me nuts sometimes, the amount of discipline I have to put on myself!

Cheetah, I know you're trying to help, but it helps to know a little more about me...
 
#16
You've made many posts about your situation. Clearly, you're opening up the floor for feedback but it seems you have argued or discounted almost all feedback and suggestions. What I am wondering is what are your expectations from members here reading your posts? Are you looking for advice? Help?
 
#17
deafdrummer - your wish list for non-religious, semi-feral and low fat raw vegan friends is really unrealistic.

<snip>
Why do I have to explain everything? Good questions, though. People don't get educated or get to know me if I don't. Here we go...

Different categories of friends - because they keep trying to change me, make jokes about my life just like haters make jokes about Jews. I think you're in Canada. I don't know what it's like up there, but you ought to come down here in Texas. I'm TIRED of people trying to get me to "accept Jesus." You've no idea! :eek3:

Bum F* - I CAME from a small town, in the countryside, actually. About 8 miles down the road from it. I know what it's like, and I consider the city to be NUTS compared to it, especially the biggest cities. The cities get to be TOO MUCH for me. It overwhelms me. I sometimes wish I had never gotten out of where I was. But I got what I asked for and learned my lesson. I have friends from high school who have accepted me as I am, more so than those who still don't. Those were the days before Internet, when we called each other on the phone or found each other somewhere in town, and we'd get to spend the weekends at each others' places to play occasionally. I became depressed in the second semester of college because I missed it and was having a hard time adjusting upwards even to a town of 10,000 people with maybe 6,000 students. I felt small, lost, as the county I grew up in had 5,000 people, total! It was even worse when I made the jump to a metroplex a year later. Nobody was anything remotely like the town I came from with some exceptions.

I have thought for years what I've been looking for and where I might find it, and I'm still looking right now. You'd be surprised at what stores you'd find down here in these small towns. There is the concern of higher prices, check. There is the concern of gay roundups (not that bad, really; just bring your shotgun or live in an open-carry state), check. There is the concern of a narrower range of produce available, check. But those are minor details for someone positioned properly to be able to afford to live in a small area and driving fair distances to take care of needs. Space is the primary thing for me. I'm like "People, please get away from me. Don't tell me about Jesus, don't try to feed me cheese enchiladas, and please, I'm not interested in sports!" When I'm home for several days in a row, I tend to hide out except to go to the store or appointments. I LOVE standing outside in the country, where it's wide open space, nothing around you. Try this sometime. Imagine the city you live in. Gone. What was it like hundreds of years ago when a single European had yet to see it? How quiet would it be? What would be living here in this natural space? It terrifies me to see how many people are alive today, and how much land has been scraped clean in the name of civilization. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if there was only one or two billion people, but SEVEN and going higher?!

"You strike me as a very clearly intelligent person and this is where I will say to you that you know fully well how people will react to what you say especially if you've gotten that reaction many times before." That involves a decision, a conscious one, to realize that if you're going to be who you are and not what someone wants you to be, you're going to step on toes, especially traditional toes. I don't get invited to church, I don't get invited to hang out at bars or eat fast food for lunch. That's fine, because I have to decide, which is the higher price I have to pay, the loss of the kinds of connections these people seem to need, or MYSELF when I do things that hurt me, such as eating foods I'm clearly not supposed to be eating per doctor's orders, people putting me down for my beliefs (watch Cartman's history of ridicule of Jewish people on South Park - yes, there are people like that down here), whether religion or dietary, or even worse, dating people with destructive habits like drugs or physical abuse. The Queen Bee book has helped thousands of girls learn not to put up with self-sabotaging things like that. So, which is it? Which is higher in cost? Losing yourself around people like that, or losing those kinds of people you don't need to be around in the first place to be YOURSELF. However, how far I take "YOURSELF" is a lot further than the average civilized person takes it because I still have that instinctive nature to resist people's efforts to change me or make me do things I don't want to do, which is very strong in comparison. I won't tolerate smoker partners, I won't handle meat in the kitchen, and I especially won't take abuse from partners.

I have a few friends, but they happen to not live here. Otherwise we'd be getting together a lot more frequently. They are also the ones who stuck through thick and thin in the changes in my life. They're not many, they're not well-to-do, but I know we can go to each other when we're struggling. I just wish we were all in one place for the rest of our lives, but that's life... The ones I met here and I am closest to have all moved away. In fact, one committed suicide just shortly before I left on a trip, and I didn't know anything about it until I got back. He became very lost like myself, but didn't tell me about the estrangement in his relationship with his old flame.

Because he didn't have the emotional survival skills I have (even though he was a military-type survivalist!), he was not able to cope with being alone, without a relationship. He was a father, used to being married for most of his adult life. Now, he was asked to move out, started drinking again, got in a wreck under DWI, the truck was impounded and the license suspended, and lost his job for lack of transportation, and ran out of money. This time span, from move-out to death was only 10 days... I've been living emotionally alone for decades. Someone who was starting to become a closer friend before I figured out she was trying to get me into church, had made the comment, "You know, you give me the impression that you're fine. You don't need anything." I had no idea I came across like that to her, but it makes sense because I had to suck it up and keep going or go six feet under. I'm not sure I'm ready to be reborn in another galaxy as a symbiote host for a Goa'uld just yet. I've been doing this ever since I could clearly understand Mom in her drunken state yell at my father to "Take the little B* with you." I learned very early on that people you love dearly can turn on you and hurt you badly.

I was already lost when I came back from my most recent trip. Go here - Overland America and click on IH Nationals 2011. You can see what a trip it was for me, especially when you get to the Reflections page. You can see very clearly that I don't like routine in the big cities. I was already on shaky grounds upon coming back to work, because I felt like a different person than I was just before I left. How was I going to interact with my coworkers, my customers, etc.? I found it hard to believe upon seeing Houston's skyline that I live and work here. At that moment, I knew it didn't fit me anymore. And to find out my friend died two minutes after clocking on for my shift just shattered it, I mean destroyed it. I knew that it wasn't enough to simply decide to disassociate from the financial circle I had been working in for 7 years. I realized that I was next, or could still be, if I didn't make additional changes in my life and put some sanity back in my life.