Later!

Dear Family and Relatives,

I read someone’s status on Facebook that was circulating around. It asks me to cut and paste to pass this message.

I did.

Being left out of a hearing family/friend’s conversations just because I’m the only deaf person in the family or circle of friends. Whoever is hearing needs to realize it is so hurtful for your deaf relative to feel left out. If you have a deaf relative, please always include them in your chats- the deaf member wants to be part of your family or circle of friends. Please copy & paste. Hopefully we can educate others.

This brings back some bad memories while growing up as the only deaf person in the family.

Patience is the skill I have learned when I was so young. I was been told, “Amy, I will tell you later” so many times that I had to be patient until someone takes time to sit down and explain what was happening.

“Tell you later…”
“Not important…”
“Please be patient…”
“Hold on, phone’s ringing…”
“It is hard to explain because you may not understand…”
“It was a joke, and it was not funny anymore…”
“I am sorry, I don’t know sign language…”
“I don’t know how to call these phone thingy…”
“I am too busy and I don’t have time for you…”

I was patient. I waited and waited. 45 years later, I valued myself as very patient person. This skill is very useful for many things.

If I ever hear these statements once again in any family gatherings today.

You will hear me saying,

“LATER!”

Then, you will not see me again in any future family gathering ever again.

It is been 45 years and you still haven’t made an effort to learn sign language or even made a simple videophone call with video relay service. Even though, you didn’t even bother to send me an email or text message.

What does that tell you, YOU, as one of my blood relatives who reads my Facebook statuses, and not even bother to click, “Like” or even made a comment?

Do you see me as a family member? I AM your relative, and I am related to YOU! I guess, family is a relative word.

LATER!
Amy Cohen Efron

94 Responses to “Later!”

  1. peggy berlin Says:

    Hello Amy
    I grew up with big family, i am only one deaf, and had struggle with commuications, but my grandparents never nelgect me, always support me and read lips so good. but with my siblings, i am now fed up with them, like what you said, tell me later, not important, when my parents got real bad health, they never give me details what their illness are. I was so pissed off, they twisted me alot. It’s not my fault but i do helped with my sweet parents almost every once a week. Every xmas they just say hi and walk away, i felt left out… Now, i am in deaf culture and have alot of deaf friends are now my family. I support your feelings. I grew up hard life with them alot, but they do love me, they feel hard to communication with me, they should learn sign language or some way to communicatuon with me. they have no hard efforts with me. I have to let it go and be my own life with my sweet husband and move on. but it s not easy for me back off and will bitter in later when my parents dies. It only way to focus myself to be social with deafies.. smile

  2. Elizabeth Galvan Says:

    Well spoken there. There were and are numerous of times that I have told my family of how I felt and all. All the responses were that I being told to let it go, or I was being too silly. Really? To me all those years that I came to my patience and my effort to keep my faith and strength and its positive to make a bond no matter what. Have the communcation, bonding or anything improved? No….It is such as somehow disappointing because deaf friends have became family and family have became friends. Family should be family and friends should be friends instead. So I really can understand since it is very common to many deafies that feel the same.

  3. Wendy DiMatteo Says:

    This week I interpreted for a Deaf person who was crying and expressing her feelings to a hearing person about this problem in her life, and how her family and other hearing people leave her out when she needs support the most. I felt so sad.

    I try to educate hearing people about this issue, and encourage them to include the deaf people that I work for. Even with an interpreter, they often they feel awkward having a conversation, because they don’t know anything about being deaf. For a family member who knows sign, it’s inexcusable!

    If a hearing person doesn’t know sign language well, and doesn’t have an interpreter, they don’t know how to express themselves or tell a story, so they don’t know how to be. In order to not offend the deaf person, they often just don’t talk or go ahead and just be themselves, telling jokes, etc. Either way, doesn’t work in making the deaf person feel part of the group. I’m not sure what the solution is…

  4. Lori K Says:

    Well said!

    I’ll never forget. When my husband and I were first married, his mother would get upset if we signed to each other and wanted to know what we were saying. Both of us said back to her “later” or “now you know how we feel when you talk with someone and we do not understand”, etc. She’d even go as far as insisting we use our voices. needless to say, we didn’t. When we’d be with my side of the family I’d do the same-sign. No voices. They didn’t complain LOL.

  5. Ria Says:

    I found your posting via google – I was the one who created the status on my facebook a year ago but I am stunned as it even reached the US by the copy and paste request. I did not realise the impact the message would have as it has spread like wildfire.

    Sadly the message I’d created had caused a family rift for a few days which was sad. I think we all learnt lessons in my family, including myself. The moral in the story is be careful what you put on as your status as i am a lot more wary these days.

    I am very pleased that you have had a lot of comments and received a lot of support regarding this on your page.

    Kind regards

  6. Dawn Says:

    Amy,

    A well written article!

    I come from a large Deaf family. So often, we would have my friends who have hearing relatives stay with us for Thanksgiving. At times, I was not that close to certain individuals, but in their eyes, they begged me to take them home with me for Thanksgiving. My heart broke for them, so of course, I took them, 2 at a time, home for the Holiday.

    So, for those hearing relatives who had done bad deeds for my friends, shame on them. Their relatives (my friends’) should be responsible for them, but they had become our family’s responsibilitiy to fulfill their Holiday with full communication accessibility.

    Your article is worth the share!

  7. Donna Says:

    I’m exactly like you girl! I just wrote something like to my sisters saying I’ve had to learn almost 50 years of the hearing world and now it’s my turn, they should learn my languages! Wow someone is really listening out there. God Bless you!

  8. Scott Manion, Sr. Says:

    I grew up in the same way frustrated not being included in conversation. I am profoundly deaf but can hear some with HA’s, I can talk with my voice but don’t want to cuz I get sore throat all the time. I hate using my voice cuz not sure if I am speaking loud enough for them to hear me. Sometimes they will ask me to either speak louder & other times they will tell me to speak softer, ugh! I prefer signing than using my voice & wish my family would sign for me. My niece learned sign language to become a Deaf counselor & is teaching her parents & sister to sign for us (my wife is deaf also), so we can be included! I am very proud of her for doing that. When I was growing up & I wanted to know what they were talking about the answer was always “later”! My wife’s sister has learned sign language & she always signs for us so that we are included in conversations. Now all of her sisters & brother are wanting to learn as well rather than depend on me or her sister to interpret what they are saying!

  9. Mark Myers Says:

    I just read down through this blog and comments. I really appreciate Amy for her stand. So many of us have had similar experiences in their family. I didn’t really appreciate the ‘cult dynamic’ label one person gave, which is a very extreme response! Also, I noticed some comment like “if I had hearing parents, I would….. which is really not valid because the person does not have the experience to be able to talk about it.

    The comments by those who have a large Deaf family and opened their home to those of us who have hearing families, is great, and I thank them for their generosity!

  10. Mark Myers Says:

    Also I agree with someone who told me it is sad to read some of those comments as families experience estrangement just like I do.

  11. Larry Says:

    Fifty years ago, a story along the same lines of the one Amy wrote was written. Fifty years from now, this exact same story will be written again. Sad, but true.

    Larry

  12. Ralph Excelhomme Says:

    In Haiti, I was at Catholic School that hearing teacher taught me to be deaf because school did not allowed ASL and FSL (French sign Language) and not provide my parents not learning FSL.School required oral to teach me and my parents and family encouraged me to be frustrated.I am full deaf but I am able to speak for only lipread with my family some understanding. Next, 2001, I moved to Los Angeles city in CA that I struggled with my aunt did not learn in ASL to communicate me that through in my life. I have been left out of her that I am alone in my life. That is difficult in my life.

  13. Rachel Says:

    As a hearing person knowing a really basic ASL and LSQ vocabulary, I was wondering if deaf people are offended when I try to use that small amount to talk to them. Not everyone wants to try to decipher what that clumsy hearing person is trying to say..lol

  14. Ray Says:

    Amy, it takes the deaf to teach the hearing how to listen.

  15. Kathy Says:

    As a single mother of a deaf son, I must say it was tough to get other family members to learn sign…even tougher for my friends that lived around us to learn….I was self taught and then lol…my Son taught me and I did learn more along the way….I was proud of myself…There are many times that I was guilty as sin for saying:” Later…Hold on-someone is talking to me…the phone is ringing…not important right now-tell you later. For those comments – I’m very sorry..Time passes and things can’t be taken back. It can only be fixed if we truly try and pay attention and be in the moment.After reading this blog – I hope it’s not too late for me to piece some years together and regain constructive conversation. As a hearing mother….it wasn’t easy…but then again life is not always easy….But to Amy…..Ray’s comment on Sept15th 2013 of “it takes the deaf to teach the hearing how to listen” IS SO TRUE! I’ve tried to spread the word…but I’m a hearing person living with a deaf son…We ALL have to spread the word….\ii/

  16. kenneth nickel Says:

    Parents must learn sign language simple as that !!! No feeling left out !!!

  17. Alexandra Kostrubala Says:

    My sister is deaf..and at that time were supposed to only use lip reading. Now I live in Sweden and am slowly learning ASL on the web..a part of me was made silent too..My sister doesn’t think I should bother anymore as I am older but the pain I have had NOT being able to really talk to her just grows,,and makes me very sad….change culture bring awareness!Thank you!

  18. Leigh Hubbard Says:

    When I was 10 I moved to a rural neighborhood with a deaf year and a half old child. I love her and enjoyed the times when she and I would just BE together… needing no words at that time. We made signs together.. home signs I guess I read here??… lame perhaps, but we found communication. Later I became babysitter for her and her older brother and younger sister. With our home signs, we told each other secrets and jokes. When she started school at age three, she learned new signs and she brought them home to me each weekend. My mother and I often running around the house trying to figure out the meaning of each sign. She would giggle to be the one who knew what the secret was. Her parents did not know ASL. I read a paper sent home that encouraged the use of “cued speech” as an alternative to ASL, but as far as I know, they never learned even that. They often sent for me if they needed to know what she was saying, but mostly all she needed to do was grab at something and go AHHHH, which to me was a disservice to the child. I tried to treat her the same as the other kids in that she should use language (our signs) to get her words met. .
    Sadly… I had to move away. I was 15 at that time and she was 6. We cried so hard. I truly loved that little girl. I worried and wondered about her. Who would talk to her?? Her parents did not sign. Her older brother had no interest in signing to her. (Mind you, he was 7 years old at that time) The baby though, aged 3, she showed some promise of absorbing them naturally as the sisters played together. Still… I wondered about her for a long long time, thinking I would never get my answer.
    Then came social media. I found her on Yahoo messenger 25 years after I had left her (an amazing 2 or three years before she married and changed her last name. She said she had wanted to look for me also… but due to her age and language issues… she did not clearly understand my name and her mother could not remember it either.
    My worse fears were realized. NO ONE in her home ever mastered ASL. I cannot fathom that. I cannot believe that, given a child of special needs, that I would not take any lengths to communicate with my child. I DID got to great lengths to communicate with THIS child, and I was but a child myself.
    I do regret that I did not ever become fluent in ASL. The beauty of social media is that it has given us a medium in which we can converse. I did take something away from my experience with this child. I have had several situations in which I forged friendships across foreign language barriers. Most recently, I have become the nanny to my profoundly autistic nephew and have formed a bond of communication with him and pulled him out of being nearly non-verbal. Taking the time with him to let him know that someone was listening and patient enough to take the time to understand him has made such a difference in his life. It has greatly reduced his behavioral melt-downs and even reduced… nearly eliminated… his epileptic seizures.
    Communication is so vital to the human psyche. No one should be made to feel left out.

  19. Lisa Covell Says:

    You nailed it. I had been through.

  20. Steve Says:

    I can really relate to the communication barriers between hearing and deaf family members….Being at a family gathering, it was difficult for me to communicate with my relatives as well. I felt left out most of time. My mom and my middle sister both knew sign language which helped me. (my middle sister is more fluent in ASL than my mom) It did help me out most of time with my sister… but still, I felt left out because there were so many conversations going on at dinner or in family room…I would not always get it what was going on……Imagine my frustration….

  21. Molly Says:

    This is why I never see hearing people anymore. I’m connected to the deaf world and I stay close to them.

  22. Beth Says:

    As a single person of a deaf child…it wasn’t easy. I can see just how this child may feel. Of course as a single parent , I have beautiful child who grew to be self confident and proud.

  23. Vincent Stone Says:

    I can relate to all Amy was saying about siblings and parents not having patience with you growing up…along with friends (peers) classmates, some teachers, etc.
    It is ironic that I now have more patience at this point in my life, and people look up to me now, and appreciate who I am and what I have done with my life. I used to have alot of anger and frustration about being deaf, but I know I have done the best with what I was born with. I still have to deal with some really ignorant people on occasion (like the lady who asked me how I can drive if I’m deaf….ha ha)…I just smile at these people now, and remind myself that I have a great woman, and few close friends, and all the creature comforts I need….

  24. Trish Ames Says:

    my son Tyler is deaf. In our family i have heard many members say they will just wait till he can hear them. It makes me so mad to hear people say these things. as i have told my family and friends…. either u show Tyler u respect him and love him enough to learn his language or u don’t. but if u don’t the y would he want to come around. he is deaf… he is proud… i am proud of every bit of him… we try our best to stay active in the deaf world and also hearing. having four kids is hard… being a single mom of four is harder…. and having a child who is deaf, one who is boarder autistic can be a challenge. if u truly respect and love your family member whom is deaf then show them…. show them they are worth learning to talk to them. i love my kids so much… i love them and i love them enough to tell them in any language they may speak!!!

  25. Bev jaeger Says:

    I am the grandmother of a deaf child – who is now a father of a hearing child and will soon marry her hoh mother. Although I have a masters degree my dyslexia keeps me from reading sign and I have always felt very guilty because there are times I cannot communicate with my beautiful grandson in the way I want to. I tried to compensate by making sure he had everything available – closed captioning, alarm watches, people with us on vacations who could translate – I hated having “heart-to-hearts” in writing but at least we had them. His mother was fantastic – his sister is in school to be an work with the deaf – his soon to be wife learned sign because she was raised oral. I really feel I failed him in so many ways.

  26. Beth Says:

    Dear Grandmother, I’m sure he thinks you are wonderful. I am deaf and understands how some cope with the best they know how.

  27. peggy berlin Says:

    After my beloved parents’s passing, my siblings hardly email or text me anymore, but when i grew up with my silbings, we have no problems until got older, seems they always ignore me when the ocassions like xmas, easter, summer cookouts. I always sit and try to tell them what other are saying, seems saying i will tell you later, It s making me very furrious, I am always last person to know, I starting withdrawl my family gathering for awhile, until they realized whn i havent keep touch with them. I do missed my grandmother’s family tradition, they never left me out always there for me to compare with my silbings. I have alot of deaf friends who are now my true family. I am not worry about my sibilings anymore, I have new life with my soul mate and be happy. Before my mom died, she said to me please “be happy and be with your friends, dont worry about your siblings. We will keep watching over me … I hate the word “later” I wish to teach my siblings to understand be circle with trust…

  28. Beth Says:

    Oh Peggy, So true and sad…

  29. Barbara Says:

    Finding myself pretty rusty with my sign, and staying in contact with deaf friends on Facebook, I am wishing I could read sign better. This may also be a problem for hearing folks who may learn some sign but have a hard time reading it. When I am with Deaf I always sign whatever is going on, even if they are not paying attention, and even if my sign is not “pretty”, I know that whatever I do will give them the knowledge that I care if they know what is being said and also that they have the opportunity to be included in the conversation. Every little bit helps, on both sides, and thank you all for the wonderful comments that serve to enlighten us all! Blessings!

  30. Barbara Says:

    To Bev Jaeger—wow, how wonderful to have a grandmother like you! I sometimes realize that I can’t read sign well is because of some dyslexia (took me a while to realize what was wrong!) but you have blessed your grandchild with your heart. Whatever the communication, that child will forever remember your love and concern and you shouldn’t ever feel like you failed.

  31. Gwen Says:

    Yes,true I was been thru family/friends all my life nothing change but remember the hearing culture and deaf culture, important to do deaf to deaf and hearing to hearing.

  32. Tiffany Says:

    Reading all of the comments, it really made me realize how hard it is to be the only deaf person in a hearing family. I myself am also Deaf, but my family (my parents and older brother) are also Deaf, so I pretty much have it easier but I still am struggling to communicate properly with my grandparents and uncles/aunts, seeing as how rest of my relatives are hearing and my family are the only deaf ones.

  33. Pam Says:

    To my son Mick-

    I’m so sorry I have failed you as a mother. I really thought I tried, but after reading all these comments I see I did just enough to get by. For our New Year’s resolution we were going to work on our communication skills, I screwed that up, to busy to sit down and go through the old SEE II book. Yesterday you really needed to know what was said on the phone with the doctor and what we needed to do. Today when I get off work we will sit down and discuss it until we have a plan, I mean untill I understand what your plan of action will be. Love, Mom (a little too late, after all you are 27) Uncle Mike just walked by and threw in “why doesn’t he get that coculear thing up and running? (hearing people’s easy way out, make you hearing) so sorry kids…..from a mom who use to be patient.

  34. Lara Grantham Says:

    Personally, I know that I am guilty of this myself…not wanting to sign and talk at the same time or not wanting to repeat myself. However, the thought of someone not giving even somewhat of an effort to communicate with a deaf person is extremely sad, not to mention rude as well. I think that the person speaking should at least try…even if they consider their signing to be inadequate or their point to come across differently than it did originally. Yes, it’s harder to translate into ASL if it is not your first language…but looking back on myself, I know I am being somewhat of a hypocrite. I find myself saying “later” many more times than I should, and after reading this I’m planning on doing better with signing AND talking simultaneously so all people get what I’m trying to say instead of only a portion. This definitely gave me a better insight into what it feels like.

  35. Jessie Says:

    I feel bad for Amy, and I wish that she didn’t have to grow up the way she did. I have an idea, especially after learning a lot about Deaf Culture, of how others feel about being left out because they’re Deaf. I can promise that whenever I am around a Deaf person, I will not be leaving them out.
    I am glad though, that Amy has been standing up for herself, choosing not to show up to family events should someone leave her out or tell her to wait. I’m glad she’s one of many taking a stand.

  36. Dianrez Says:

    Friends, this discussion has been going on for nearly three years and a common theme can be seen here: courtesy consists of remembering the differences among people, understanding them, and actively building bridges rather than taking the easy way out and behaving as though there are no differences at all.

    When this is ignored, there are consequences. Several deaf people have reported estrangement from their family members. This is unfortunately common. Simply implanting CIs in children does not entirely resolve this matter; despite hearing relatives believing this (often unrealistically, too often passionately). Even with a CI, the deaf family member still needs assistance to stay in full contact. One-to-one relationships do not automatically translate to one-to-group discourse–and family gatherings are almost always one-to-group.

    Estrangement happens at the adult level, often when the mainstays of the family–the parents–pass away. When my mother passed on, she was a widow with two daughters both with families. Without Mom’s heroic efforts to maintain the family through annual holiday dinners and traditions, my hearing sister chose to break with me. Our families have had no contact for the past thirteen years despite living in the same suburb.

    It was over division of the estate: without a legal will, the state mandated that the estate be divided equally. That was only the breaking point–actually it was decades of habitual omission, then expecting the deaf sister to accept the wish of the hearing sister. Instead, I chose the state, and she never forgave me.

    Had there been better communication and sharing between the deaf and hearing siblings and their respective deaf and hearing families, there would have been more willingness to keep relationships. As it happened, neither sister knew of the other’s adult life, likes and dislikes, successes and disappointments, passions and hobbies, or deepest feelings. No sign language was allowed nor appreciated in this home except by the deaf side. The overall atmosphere (to the deaf family) was that hearing concerns weighed more importantly. The hearing sister probably felt the same, in converse.

    Now that our children have grown and flown, it is just the two of us now. Both of us are alone and times are right for us to rekindle the relationship and sign language will not be necessary if it is just the two of us. However, the estrangement still stands, at her wish.

    Family relationships begin in infancy, and it grows by building a common platform that includes ASL and a healthy understanding of the realities of deafness. Tragically, it takes exceptionally perceptive hearing people to get it.

  37. Amy Says:

    Amy Cohen Efron here…

    Everyone, I am humbled that you made time to leave a comment on my blog, sharing your experiences, regrets, wishes and feelings…. it is really validating for me to hear all of this. This blog entry is been published in a most recent book, “A Student’s Guide to the Deaf Experience” by Michelle Jay. The link to this book available for purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Just-Sign-Communicate-Experience/dp/0984529470

    I am still amazed that my blog entry that was first published in August 24, 2011 and it has over 9 thousand shares on Facebook. Please continue sharing this story with your friends and families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and I hope that estrangement and regret will not be as so common as it is right now.

    Every Deaf and Hard of Hearing individual craves to belong. Belong with their own family who loves them and always include them. I know my family loves me very much, and I only wish that I can be included with an extended family, especially my relatives. I wish they are not too afraid to contact me. Today’s technology is so advanced and accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals, and yet, not been fully utilized within the families.

    It made me wonder. Why are they are so afraid to connect with me, and reach out to me?

    I still forgive you and love you. Just don’t wait any more or thinking later that you will connect with me… time is running out and there are so many opportunities missed.

    Love,
    Amy Cohen Efron

  38. peggy Says:

    i want to share this comment.. Every time i host any ocassions, like birthdays, anniverary, xmas and etc, my family hardly never come up our house, because too far away, I feel that my family is lack of communicate with me, I gave their remarks, ” my deaf friends always there for me even too far away, i do appreicated my dear deaf friends than my own family. They rather go my other sister’s house because closer home, and feel social with hearing family instead of us, because i am deaf but i can read lips and understood their conversation. AFter my beloved parents gone, I stopped attend to their ocassions and tell them too far away from home… I am sick tried of my family. Now my friends are my family. I feel they rather my sister’s house because she is always good cook, and bossy.. I wasnt very pleasant with her. She hate my deaf friends, my clothes, cook, and eveny my driving. I dont know why she is hating me… I need your feedback and feelings?

  39. Beth Says:

    You are not alone,unfortunately. It’s hard but go forward with the positives and leave the negatives behind. Life is short.

  40. Miss Carrie Says:

    Enjoyed reading the blog and comments…

    Here’s my favorite one.. Not so upbeat favorite but it’s one great irony that I just move on and not dwell on it. I am the only deaf out of my family. My immediate family do know how to sign….but of course, as most of deaf children, i have experienced the left out ZILLION times, and have spoken out all my life of how I felt in the gatherings. I was so glad that I turned 18 because then I could do whatever as I damn pleased. Once I turned into adult, I felt I deserved to be involved every conversation, regardless how lame or boring topic it was, I still want to know every and each of it…….

    To this day, I do still get left out… Once in a while I would speak out, but not so much like growing up because I realized that I cant change them no matter how many I ask them. One of these time I would get upset and sad, which would make my Mother to feel pretty bad and she would cry and beg me to stay in the gathering.. Do you know how bad that gets me to feel? I never want to have my Mother to cry on my behalf…..NEVER. I love her to death because I know she loves me very much and would do anything for me… so When I get upset with the leaving out, not including me, etc, then my mother would get pretty upset and cries and just feel awful for what I am going through. She will try harder and she normally does.. for several hours.. then she goes to her way, leaving me out.. unintentionally..

    I dont really like to make excuses for them because I know it’s inexcusable but…… they hardly sign in their 24/7 daily basis. They speak 24/7, not sign.. so they forget, not intentionally but they do forget that they need to sign. ……so yeah for me I just prefer to just say PEACE OUT and leave do my own things rather than getting irritated while waiting on them to include me… which would lead to my mother being upset and cry.. It’s just easier for me to do my own thing rather than speaking out and having my mother to be upset. She doesnt get upset for her reason but she gets upset for WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH as a deaf person and she sees it. She feels awful and always want to make it better for me and all of us in our family.. but.. I guess as they say, you cant teach an older dog the new tricks..

    My Fiance, who is deaf as well but he can speak and lip read pretty good, unlike me.. His immediate family can sign as well….but still he feels the same as me, and had the similar experiences as we all do with the leaving out..

    my motto….It is what it is. Let’s make the best out of it.. 🙂 LATER!

  41. "I Will Tell You Later" | Audio Accessibility Says:

    […] Later! by Amy Cohen Efron […]

  42. Karen Says:

    I am the mom of a deaf daughter(36). I have a grandson and granddaughter thru this daughter and I want to say it is tough for everyone involved.. I have always treated my deaf daughter the same or better than my other three children. It seems their are a lot of deaf people that feel left out, list or unloved. I think this is just a part of deafness. I try my darndest and it is never enough. I text, call, listen to her complaints all the time and she still has issues. I feel bad for her but she does very well and seems to use deafness when she needs an excuse or wants to blame her family for not taking the time to talk to her. They are very busy people as the world is so hard. Everyone e rushes here and there. I exhausted by the end of NY 9 hr shift and have little patience. I love her to death and am so proud of her but she doesn’t seem to have any compassion for our lives. It is all about her. We all try…she has pushed people away because she is tired of being hurt when they don’t mean to hurt her! We all love and accept all the deaf. I’m struggling to give her an answer to this issue. My family has been disrupted by all this. They love her but sometimes feel she uses this when she is jealous of her two sisters living close by each other and do things when she can’t cause she is an hour or more away. Wish I could figure this all out! And yes we all communicate well with her and k ow some sign and read lips well.

  43. Wanda Miller Says:

    I didn’t grow up using sign, married a hearing man and raised 3 hearing children. Oral/aural all the way with everyone. About 10 years ago, I began experiencing my deaf side and began to realize what was missing. I’ve started asking family and friends to learn sign, anything. I’m not asking for them to successfully carry on a full ASL conversation. I’m asking them to supplement what they’re saying so we don’t get stuck or hung up because I’m not catching what they’ve repeated multiple times. They say I need to teach them but they don’t make the time. Life is busy, I get that. But I’ve tried hard to develop interest and knowledge in what they’ve vested themselves in.

  44. Lisa Richards Says:

    I found your article. I am in the same boat. I am great suffer. I am very inferior. I am divorce and have three hearing children. They know ASL. They don’t like to interpret for me. Sometimes they are willing to interpret and give short information. My family (five siblings) and my children chat each other. Also I don’t have deaf friends because I don’t have “skill” of social and problem communication. I grew up in hearing family and they don’t know ASL at all. My parents strongly activist is oral. Of course, a school for deaf and blind talked to my parents about the rules…not allow any to use signs. (Same common to deaf people and schools, too. I am not only one). I learned some signs from my classmates and other students. I was excited and got home. I asked my parents to give permission to transfer to sign classes. They often were angry, blew out and scold me. I strongly felt I have no rights and was stuck. My family chatted each other while dinner time or meeting. I was left a lot. My parents never encourage me to social with deaf friends or hearing friends and neglected me in most of my life. One day, I noticed “Special Education Class” in the yearbook…I was with four deaf students (they had multiple disability, very low level brain, just like retarded). I was puzzled and asked my mother about it. She didn’t answer my question and she was denied. I still don’t know why about it. I knew she refused to have me transfer to sign classes. (I was adult, and my four teachers told me that they tried to talk to my parents about communication problem and my need was ASL. Plus one deaf patient did explained to my father about ASL, TV, social, education, etc. My father was stubborn and don’t listen. He wanted me to live in hearing world. I believe he learned from school (Dr. Bitter and oral activists).

    I am not popular person, not pretty myself. My communication skill is poor. I am great suffer, deeply feel hurt and patience. I don’t know what my family talk about. All I need is love and care.

    At the deaf center and deaf church, I always sit back and am quiet. That is why I don’t have friends.

    Just recently, I had a hearing family Christmas together. I noticed my hearing sister had a Christmas card, signed her name, passed to my hearing siblings to sign their name and the card returned to her. She sealed it. I was surprised…I don’t get one to sign. After my mother gave family the Christmas presents. At last, my sister gave my mother the card. No one interpret what my mother said. I don’t know what was going on. I had no idea. Everyone left for home. I looked at the card that they gave my mother a new patio furniture. I felt hurt because they discussed together and don’t get me to involved. I felt like they reject me. I texted to my sister and asked her about it. She doesn’t response my question. I asked my mother about it. She don’t know. (maybe she know. She doesn’t want me to feel hurt).

    My next hearing neighbor and I had peace for 16 years until two years ago, he started his welding sandblast business outside on his driveway. About 15 times (four summer months), the sandblast spread out in the air, landed my vegetable garden and killed them. I was upset and tried to talk to my neighbor but he was very aggressive at me. He threw grapes at my property, posted his angry notes, harassed, etc. I called police…nothing violation tickets. It took two years and continue. One day, a detective police went over my mother’s place and was curious about her house where I live. My hearing sister in law (my hearing brother’s wife) jumped to involve. She tried to evict me because I was one to start to cause problem with neighbor and I used revenge on my neighbor. Also he is homeowner and I am tenant. My neighbor wanted to have her telephone number. Each time he called her. She jumped to involve and listened to him, not me. She scolded me for no reasons all the times. I knew both are “hearing”…strongly bond to hearing. She doesn’t listen to me and ignored me. I was angry and asked her to stop involve because she is with my neighbor’s side. She was “third party” and middle between my neighbor and me. I don’t like it because I am deaf, she and neighbor are hearing…bond. “third party” to communicate. My neighbor used her. She continued to involve. It leaded to destroy relationship between me and my sister in law. I was so mad, was out of control and blew out on her. She continued to judge, criticized and insult me. I asked her to stop please. Also I asked her to stop involve with my neighbor anymore. She is not good listener. I finally made “very risk” to her and told her that she is rude, deeply yell very loud to her four children and threw things at them. She needed help and learn to control her angry. I would call protection children service. She yelled at me to leave her and her family alone. She told my whole family include my mother that I hurt her…called her “bad mother” (I never say that). My whole family are with her side and support her. No one support me. I let it go.

    By the way, I talked to a chief police about problem with my neighbor (I had ASL interpreter). The chief said police cannot force me to give telephone number without permission and get family member to involve. It is very wrong. Also about evict…chief said the police cannot evict when two neighbors fight or argue each other…No matter what they are homeowners or homeowner/tenant unless court order. Homeowner cannot evict tenant…must go to the court order. Anyway, I asked property zone offices and Property management about evict…they said they cannot evict them whatever they are homeowners or homeowner/tenant or tenant/tenant. Except tenant don’t pay or destroy property or add more families…the homeowner can evict them.

    I realized my sister in law really don’t care about me. She wanted to evict me for no reason. She is not very nice and friendly. She is audism on me. She wanted power. The house where I live is belonging to my mother, not her (sister in law).

    Very sad. I am GREAT suffer. I love my family.

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