Let them Pee in Peace

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TargetBoycot

I applaud Target for their policy. This issue is so silly. Are we going to have bathroom police checking everyone’s DNA to decide what bathroom you can use? Just don’t let children go into bathrooms by themselves if you are worried about sexual predators. Women can be sexual predators too. And, in the past, I have used a man’s bathroom when it was empty and there was a long line for the women’s room. It didn’t make sense to wait. Just use common sense. This is all a tempest in teapot. We have much bigger battles to worry about, like dealing with climate change, getting toxins out of our environment, and preventing cancer.

It would not be a man going into a woman’s bathroom anyway, it would be a woman because that is how they identify. And yes, a man could dress as a woman and go into the woman’s bathroom, BUT that could also happen in non-gender neutral bathrooms as well. Sexual assault happens everywhere, sadly. The real problem isn’t people worrying about their child get sexually assaulted it’s that they are scared of people who are trans. It was never about water fountains before, and it isn’t about bathrooms now. It’s about people being uncomfortable with people who don’t identify with the gender they were born as. It really isn’t complicated.

What’s really going on with Targets restroom policy. Check your sources before you post bullcrap stories. The truth is transgender men & women have been using the restrooms of their choice for a long time. People just didn’t know they were transgender. The only difference now is that they aren’t being secretive about it any longer. The same was true years ago for homosexuals. It wasn’t considered normal so gays kept who they were secret to protect themselves against discrimination in order to keep their job (income) protected and to keep from getting physically assaulted. Just like back then for gays transgender people have now reached a tipping point and are now speaking out much more than before. And just like before truth and fairness will win out over persecution because this movement will educate people that transgender people are just like everyone else. They love and respect others and are standing up for their right to be respected too.

Here are the facts: zero assaults by transgender people towards children in bathrooms. Now, 21 transgendered women were killed last year by men. 1 out of six kids will be molested by a non trans  person in their lifetime. These same molesters once freed are allowed to use the same restroom as your child, yet I don’t see you bitching about that. Get it together people, I’m a woman and I have ZERO issue sharing a bathroom with anyone who identifies as a woman. I fear more the men out there who keep trying to pass laws that try to control my life. A trans woman is at a greater risk if she uses a man’s bathroom room. Stop spreading malicious hate filled propaganda. Educate yourself, and stop being a douche bag. Thanks, on behalf of people who think there are bigger issues in the world that need to addressed. Chances are you shared a bathroom many time with someone was transgender and didn’t even know it. Move on people!

 

Poem: What it’s like being Deaf

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This is a old post from Facebook a year ago today. Trying to save some of my old postings onto here as I see them.

Written April 8, 2014

We had a very emotional night in our Deaf Studies class last night, many people got teary eyed several time during the evening. Especially myself….. We talked about the impact Deafness has on the family and friends around them…. and the impact deafness has on the Deaf. My teacher is very passionate about this, and she often went into character and made you feel like she was that loved one…… I got very choked up imagining my mom, sibling, friend up there…….. then I got very choked up recalling several moments I have gone through. It was an excellent class! Aside from the test we had at the beginning ha ha (but I think I got an A lol) As most of you know I have two majors, ASL and teaching (possibly a 3rd in English or Art) Anyways, one of my goals is to get awareness out there, about teaching Deaf babies ASL and English! About getting awareness out there to families with Deaf babies all their options. about the language and culture. My family was never given this information, we did not even know there was a language for Deafs and their families, we did not know there was a whole community and culture out there. I honestly believe if we had, I may have gotten a lot further then I have already, I may enjoy gatherings even more with family and friends because maybe I would be able to participate more (not saying I don’t enjoy it, but it is hard and draining) I am making it a purpose of mine to help make sure more are aware, teach your Deaf child

ASL also, and learn it for them! If you have a loved one who is Deaf, learn at least your basic finger spelling and words…..We learned to lip read and speak for you…… meet us half way and learn a little for us so we are not sitting there 80% of the time as a wallflower clueless at gatherings smile emoticonHere is a poem we read last night I want to share with you all.

What is it Like to be Deaf

What is it like to be deaf?
People have asked me.
Deaf? Oh, hmmmm, how do I explain that?
Simply, I can’t hear.

Noooo, it is much more than that.
It is similar to a goldfish in a bowl.
Always observing things going on.
People talking all the time.
It is being a man on his own island
Among foreigners.

Isolation is not a stranger to me.
Relatives say “hi” and “bye”.
But I sit for five hours among them.
Taking great pleasure at amusing babies.
Reading books, resting, helping out with food.

Natural curiosity perks up
Upon seeing great laughter, crying, people upset.
Inquire only to meet with “never mind”,
“Oh, it is not important”.
Getting such a summarized statement
of a whole story.

Supposed to smile to show the happiness.
Little do they know how truly miserable I am.
People are in control of language usage,
I am at loss and real uncomfortable.

Always feeling like an outsider
Among the hearing people
Even if it was not their intention.
Always assume that I am part of them
By my physical presence, not understanding
The importance of communication.

Facing the choice between the Deaf Camping
Weekend and Family Reunion.
Facing the choice between the family commitment
and Deaf friends,

I must make the choice constantly,
And wonder why I choose Deaf friends???
I get such great pleasure at Deaf Clubs,
Before I realize, it is already 2 am
Whereas I anxiously look at the clock
Every few minutes at the family reunion.

With Deaf people, I am so normal,
Our communication flows back and forth,
Catching up with little trivials, our daily life,
Our frustration in the bigger world,
Seeking the mutual understanding.

Contented smiles, and laughing are musical.
So magical to me
So attuned to each other’s feeling.
Truly happiness is so important.
I feel more at home with Deaf people
Of various colors, religions, short or tall,
Than I do among with my own hearing relatives.
And wonder why?
Our language is common.
We understand each other.

Being at a loss of control
Of environment, that is, communication,
People panic and retreat to avoidance,
Deaf people are like the plague.

But Deaf people are still human beings
With dreams, desires and needs
Of belonging, just like everyone else.

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DEPRESSION, I will recover because I know I am stronger than this!

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I wrote this a few years back after Robin Williams sadly too his life.  In light of a recent tragedy that has affected myself and many I know, and also after having a few of my friends coming to me in distress and asking for help this week. I thought I would post it here and again.

Drepression

With the death of Robin Williams yesterday, it has had me thinking a lot about my own battle with depression. Then my niece wrote a post on her wall and I started to write a reply to it, which turned into this long post, which I decided to share with everyone. I hope by sharing my story it may help at least one person

Depression is no joke…… It ruined my life for a long time….. It was a huge reason of the breakup of my marriage. I was told many times, it was “in my head” and I am “just using it as an excuse”….. Even as he walked out the door he said this. But now I understand, people just did not know enough about it, we are not educated about it and that is what many learned, the doctors even told us that at one time “it’s all in your head” I hold no bitterness now that he didn’t push me to get help, I hold no bitterness for when he said “shake out of it” I hold no bitterness now for the day he walked out the door, because he did not know better, and he did not know how to deal with it, he could not let me and this disease pull him down also. He was not strong enough to fight the fight with me. Sadly it did pull my kids down. I cry often still, thinking about how it affected them. This horrible disease made me a shell of who I once was for a very long time. I would dig out of it long enough to make sure my kids were safe, fed and sheltered. Long enough to be sure their bare necessities taken care of. Then I would slip back into it again. I made a lot of mistakes I normally would not have made. I blamed myself for many years, beat myself up and told myself the same things my ex told me repeatedly…… what a horrible mother I was. I believed him deep down and hated myself for a long time for being such a bad mother. He even tried to prove it at the court ordered shrink he insisted on, which failed and may have been the beginning point of my crawl out of that dark hole. A psychiatrist said I was a great mom, recommended the kids stay with me! It was then I stopped believing that I was useless, horrible person I was constantly told I was. Which kept me depressed (not to mention bi polar on top of it) for even longer. It is an ugly cycle.

That Doctor helped me have a ray of hope, while it was still many years before I felt I had won the fight with depression, It slowly affected me less and less because I began to do things to help myself, and I began to love myself again. It was and still is one of the toughest battles I face (once your inflicted with it, it is very easy to relapse as I have many times in the past) I survived cancer and the chronic pain I was in from that, and to me that was a piece of cake compared to defeating depression. My entire universe began to cave in around me and I stopped sleeping, eating, cooking, hobbies – everything that I needed and enjoyed. I was confused and seemingly alone and scared for my life. Many people view depression as sadness or as a reaction to a traumatic event—that is a common misconception. Depression is not a straightforward response to a tragic situation. It can affect a 6-year-old just as easily as it can affect a 90-year-old. It just, sort of, happens. When I first began battling with this illness, I had no idea what was going on. I stopped writing, I stopped singing and I stopped loving myself and others. I had no idea what I was going through and I was scared that my life would always be like this. I often found myself asking why. Why do I feel this way? Why am I sad? What do I have to be sad about? I was mad at myself for feeling like this because I was so blessed to have so many amazing things in my life, amazing husband, kids, and family friends. So why was I sad? I didn’t understand that I was suffering from a mental illness and that none of this was my fault. It is very hard for someone who is depressed to ask for help, and when they do, they feel guilty for bothering others with their problems. Someone who is depressed might feel the need to put a smile on every morning.

Over the years, I’ve spent so much time crying in my bedroom in the middle of the night so no one would hear; answering every “How are you?” with a forced smile and a “I’m fine” because I was worried that I would be bothering someone if I ever told them the truth. For the longest time, I didn’t let anyone in because I was concerned that if they knew who I actually was, they wouldn’t want me anymore. (after all my husband didn’t, or that’s how I felt at the time) I learned a lot who my real friends were, they stuck around, they were not just there for the good times and when I could give them something like they were used to. When I couldn’t babysit anymore, or buy lunch, or go out for an expensive night out….. Slowly the friends started drifting away. When I needed the hand I used to extend to everyone they were gone.

When you’re falling apart, surround yourself with the people who will help put you back together. No one needs a friend who is only around for sunny skies; everyone needs a friend with which to wait out the storm.

When I had finally came to grips with my problem and wanted to find help, I did reach out to my ex and he told me this “Your depression is all in your head. It is not real. You were just being selfish. And if you refuse to admit that you were simply being selfish. Snap out of it” This validated my fear that people would be angry at me for feeling the way I did. Then I reached out again to one close friend. I was terrified of being that vulnerable. However, one afternoon I summoned the courage and told them what I was going through. When I told her, she got angry. She yelled at me for not getting help earlier, and she told me that I had no reason to be so sad. At first, I was broken. My worst fears were realized and the people I reached out to had reacted in the exact way I hoped they wouldn’t. I moved on, I distanced myself from that them and found a few friends that not only stood by my side, but helped me day after day, and that is the kind of friends everyone needs. Someone who will not only listen when you just need to talk, but will also give you your space when you need that as well.

I found an amazing boyfriend, who has pushed me harder than anyone I know, in the right direction, who sees me when I slip and holds his hand out to help me back up and doesn’t let me fall when I stumble. Who never gave up on me and saw my potentials.

The saddest people are the people who work so hard to make everyone else happy first. They hate to see other people in pain because they know what it feels like. I bent over backwards for everyone who asked for my help, and even those who didn’t ask. If I saw someone struggling, I would put aside my needs to satisfy theirs. I worked so hard to make other people happy that I let my own happiness slip through the cracks. But it wasn’t my job to save the world. As amazing as it was to help others and give your time to other people, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you will never be able to give people 100% of your help. Worry about yourself first, they will forgive you. I still suffer from this somewhat, but have learned to step back and attend to myself when needed.

Depression affects every morsel of your body, every fiber of your being. It is hard to get out of bed every morning and hard to motivate yourself to do anything. Depression does take over your entire life while you are suffering from it, but it also helps you to realize and change the aspects of your life that aren’t working. Suffering from your depression can open your eyes to things you would have never seen otherwise. It really helped me see the things and people I no longer wanted in my life. My depression helped me turn my life around. I am actually grateful my marriage fell apart now, because I didn’t have a choice I had to not fall into that dark hole for my kids…… I know I slipped a lot and was depressed a long time, but I held on for them, I kept enough wits about me for them, and eventually I made it. In an essence my kids saved my life more times than once, I also found out I had cancer when I found out I was pregnant the 2nd time.

And you are not selfish. You are not a freak. You are human and that is okay.

Even now, I have my days—more like my nights—where I feel completely and utterly alone, and I feel like there is no one out there who feels the same way as me. I am wrong. There are millions of people that feel the same way I do.

There is a huge stigma surrounding depression and suicide and a lot of people are afraid to talk about it, because a lot of people don’t understand it. Many people who have survived a hardship in their lives believe they know how it feels to be depressed and therefore they think they have the right to cast judgments on those who are actually suffering.

This mental illness is so easily brushed off that a lot of teens who suffer from it don’t know what to do to find help because no one will educate them. No one helped me, no one wanted to admit I was broken, most people thought I was just irresponsible, immature, selfish, lazy……. Which is ironic because I was the polar opposite of all those things before depression hit, why didn’t they see the sudden change and realize that wasn’t me? But I understand a lot now that I have educated myself on the subject and I have made it my goal to educate others as I can. People just didn’t know or didn’t want to see it, people have their blinders on, their rose colored glasses. I am here to tell you though, if you see someone with these patterns, don’t look the other way!

Find something/someone to hold onto and hold on as tight as you can. I understand that is much easier said than done, but it is possible. I found that in my boyfriend, I thank God for him every day, he is the most amazing and incredible man and helped me out of this and helps keep me out. It is perfectly fine to have bad days. It is perfectly fine to break down. But never, ever give up. I did, and I have never regretted anything more. As much as I hate the stereotype that suicide is selfish, it has some truth to it. When you’re in that dark place and you just want all of the pain to stop, all you can think of is your situation and how much better it would be for you if it all ended. It is selfish, but it is completely understandable. Trust me, I’ve been there.

I did try to take my life 15 years ago. The only thing I remember is that I was in so much pain and I knew how much better it would be if it just all ended. I swallowed a handful of pills…. Got rushed to the ER by ambulance, drank charcoal, got chewed out by the ex, and then sent home and chewed out again. It amazes me they sent me home….. It was obvious I swallowed pills, but while I was in the ambulance, they acted like they were doing me a favor and said “Tammy, you took too many on accident right?” “that’s what we write in the report right”? “You did not swallow them on purpose right?” So of course I said yes yes and yes. So instead of watching me for 72 hours, they write it off as a “accidental overdose” , swept it under the rug. I had just had my appendix burst a week before, so I just “oops” took too many pain pills…… I saw my kids when they got home and realized how stupid I was, how much I loved them. I swore to never do that again….I swore to get better for them. It took me years, but I did it, for them and myself. This is the best piece of advice I can give you. Find something worth living for. There is always something if you look hard enough.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel.” Every single time someone said this to me I hated it. I hated hearing that it would get better when I couldn’t see that it would. When you’re in that place where all you know is your depression and you don’t even remember not being depressed, hearing that it will get better is a slap in the face. But I am finally in a place where I can tell you that it DOES get better. I’m not a stable human being by any means, and I’m not through with my depression, but I am better.

If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would be doing this, speaking openly about my depression, I would have laughed in their face. You will make it through this, and you will come out stronger on the other side.

Don’t be mad at people when they don’t understand. The fact that they have tried to understand is commendable in itself. And chances are they don’t see you as ‘that person with depression’. They see you as you; depression and all. And it’s the ‘all’ that you have to try and focus on. Because depression doesn’t, and shouldn’t, define you. I mentioned some people above who at the time treated me not so good…… it was ignorance, lack of education on the subject, it was frustration and being hurt also from it. Depression effects everyone! The only reason I mention those incidences so honestly, is to share my story, to share what happens when people are not educated and have these misconception. Not to make these people look bad, they are good people, who didn’t understand. Depression does not just affect the individual it affects the whole family. I do not fault anyone who did not understand. But I will help educate more so others are not ignorant and this happens less and less. Please pass your knowledge along to others, take the knowledge you have and help someone. Please feel free to share this is you would like.

 

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Another Post I did the same week, which are both related:

RobinDepression

 

I have suffered from depression, I am not afraid to admit this. Since then, I have tried to help others who fight this battle also. sadly Robin lost his!! Lets prevent others from losing theirs!!

Creating motivation when feeling depressed can be one of the most difficult things a person can do. An episode of DEPRESSION can be physically and emotionally draining. The simplest of tasks seem to take maximum effort, and sometimes even beyond maximum. Some may feel lethargic. It may be tough make meals, or clean up at home, or take showers, or even get out of bed.

Navigating motivation when depressed can be tough because the instinct is to wait for the energy to return. People who are depressed often fall into the trap of trying to wait it out — that if you give in to the urge to stay in bed for a few days, that you’ll be re-energized and recharged, believing you’ll have exorcised the DEPRESSION demons by just “going with it”.

Unfortunately, it’s not usually as simple as this. If everybody tried to wait out their depressive episodes, some people would be in bed for 20 years, realizing somewhere along the way that depression actually tends to breed depression if it’s not actively confronted. That’s right, catering to our depressive urges actually reinforces them.

Obviously, actively doing anything doesn’t sound so desirable when feeling depressed, let alone confronting our depressive urges head-on. While it’s important to give depressive symptoms their attention and get to understand and learn about what’s underlying the depressive episode, the concept of “mind over matter” can help create motivation when depressed. I have seen evidence with many people that creating a change in mindset with small, manageable, behavioral steps can change a whole experience of depression. For some it’s brought their symptoms entirely into remission. This doesn’t replace taking the steps to learn more about what’s causing the episodes, but these steps can help us move on with our lives while we continue to work on the underlying issues.

Let’s look at some steps that can help break an episode or a cycle of depression.

1) Opposite Action – In Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (an offshoot of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), Opposite Action is the idea of forcing yourself to do something that you know is good for you, in order to prevent the reinforcement of a bad habit. For example, if you want to stay on the couch and watch tv all day, when realizing this only gives in to depression, opposite action would say to get up and go out, knowing it would be a healthier behavior. It’s very much a “just to the opposite of your unhealthy urge” technique. In CBT, the principle is that your behaviors can create positive changes in your emotions.

2) Set an Alarm – This isn’t only for getting out of bed. The alarm can be for anything that marks a SYMPTOM OF DEPRESSION. You might set an alarm to wake yourself up at a certain time to make sure you get out of bed in the morning; or you might set an alarm to signal a meal time if you’re missing meals, or signal time to do laundry, or run a particular set of errands, and so on. The alarm serves as a cue to draw your attention to a target area where you want to become more active in change.

3) Make Your Bed – Getting out of bed can be very tough with DEPRESSION. The first step to take is to sit up on the bed, put your feet on the floor, and visualize leaving all of your troubles and thoughts behind you in the bed. Then, get up and nicely make your bed, leaving the troubles behind for the day. Making the bed is essential in this process, as it signals to your brain that there isn’t an option to get back in the bed for the day. As you make your bed, it can also be helpful to imagine the troubles you’re left behind dissipating as the covers are pulled up.

4) Wash Up – The more routine-setting steps you’re able to add on after you make your bed, the better. Try washing your face and brushing your teeth to help wake you up. With these kind of steps you’re training your brain to understand that you’re getting ready for “something,” rather than simply a day laying around.

5) Get Dressed – This is a crucial step in separating from the bed to the day. Sitting around in pajamas on the couch is still possible, even if you escape the bedroom. Getting dressed decreases the urge to lounge, because again you’re reinforcing in your brain that you’re getting ready for something.

6) Go Outside – This can be one of the toughest steps for people who struggle with depression — actually leaving the house. One of the problems with this step is that people are easily held back by not having a place to go. “Okay, I can go outside…..but then what?” So for this step, the idea is to not have a place to go. The goal is going outside, not the particular place you go once you’re outside. Go outside, close the door behind you, and do whatever comes to mind — a walk around the block, down the street, pacing in front of your house, getting in your car and driving on an errand, and so on. It can be anything or nothing at all, but the goal is to spend at least ten minutes outside before going back in.

7) Choose One Exercise – Getting your body moving is a good way to start feeling better. Choose an exercise that works for you: walking, running, swimming, jump-roping, etc. Whatever you choose to do, make it a point to do it every day when you go outside. And if it’s an indoor exercise (like a treadmill), do it before you go outside.

8) Make a List of Activities – Brainstorm activities that you’d enjoy doing. Include things to do at home and out with people. Try to generate a list of things that includes others and that gives you some time to yourself. The activities can be a mix of productive (e.g. work-related) activities, and hobbies, and self-care.

9) Schedule Activities – Schedule the activities throughout the week. Try to plan out either one or two weeks ahead of time and actually write the activities into your calendar with specific days and times. Spread them out as much as possible and make sure to stick to the schedule.

10) Daily Necessity Schedule — This schedule is if you’re having trouble getting motivated to do your daily activities — such as eating, cooking, showering, or other household chores. For this, you’re creating a daily home schedule. Choose the specific times you’re going to do each activity every day. It can be as specific as you feel you need: time to get dressed, brush your teeth, start cooking, eating, showering, turning off the tv before bed, and so on. This is to help you get your daily necessities actually functioning on a daily basis.

11) See Family and Friends – This one is more about the people than the activity. Being around other people is often helpful for mood improvement. Schedule specific dates and times with friends and family, outside of the house. The more you can remove yourself from the environment of DEPRESSION (usually the home and bedroom), the better chance of overcoming it.

12) Psychotherapy – It’s important to keep in mind that the desire to stay inside and and lay around isn’t what causes depression — it is a symptom of depression. Psychotherapy remains a necessary step throughout the process of dealing with depression in order to prevent further episodes, reduce severity, and hopefully be rid of depression altogether. Even if we can resolve some of the motivational issues through pushing ourselves to take behavioral steps, the internal issues that are causing the depression still need to be addressed. Otherwise, when our motivation drops, the depression may return if we don’t have a handle on the underlying issues.

What’s most important to keep in mind is that you’re not going to feel like doing anything discussed above. If you’re going to wait to “feel like it”, then it may not happen. Using opposite action will be the necessary first step to conquering DEPRESSION — knowing in your mind that it will be good for you to take the steps to move forward, and just doing it. By also engaging in psychotherapy, you’re still able to give appropriate attention to what’s happening inside of you, including if medication therapy may (or may not) also be helpful. You do have the power to increase your motivation and to break out of depression. It may take some effort, but the opportunity is there for you to reclaim your life.

 

 

Please see and use the following info if you or someone you know needs help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

 

 

 

Until it Happens to You………

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TamDark

 

Last night as I watched Lady Gaga’s performance when she gave heart and soul as she sang “Until It Happens to You,” at the Academy Awards last month on You Tube, tears flowed. The brave survivors joined her onstage as a united front to say “You are not alone.” What a powerful moment. In our culture in America as well as in many, we are willing to watch horrific depictions of this on TV shows and movies but we don’t actually talk about the issue. I am guilty of this also, as I have been assaulted a few times in my life and swept it under the rug and told no one. I was once very private person, mainly because didn’t want to burden others with my problems. As I have matured, I am a very open person, often people say I am not private enough. But I have felt a calling to share all the adversity I have gone through, and am going through, to help others get through what they are going through now. So I speak from experience and the heart.

 

This is something we especially need to talk to our children about. Like nitty-gritty, those uncomfortable talks about what a girl/boy feels like when “no” doesn’t mean anything and someone takes over their body with force as if they doesn’t even exist. Obviously we teach our children never to attack a stranger, but in the cases of date rape, there is no gray area here. Not sure that everyone really gets that. If she/he is drunk and say no, no matter what you “think,” it f$%^ing means NO. Back up. I don’t care if you are dating, been dating for a year, are married, you’re naked, you already started a sexual act. Doesn’t matter! (If you even think about commenting a blessed thing here about false accusations, this isn’t the time or space for that.)

If you have ever been raped or sexually assaulted, I hold your hand and speak for you today.

It’s one of those things that can be swept under the rug in families. It’s too hard for people to deal with. How many women or men do you know that this has happened to? Maybe even you? After the attack, no matter how the circumstances are, it’s the shame the victim has to own just isn’t fair. The victim doesn’t deserve to hold onto that dark, ugly, sinister space of that feeling, the breech in your being, your boundaries, your truth, your sacred, your special gift the Divine gave you. Though someone may violate the victim’s body, they have no right to taint the future of that person. Honor this part of your story, oh beautiful one, and heal in your own time. Your journey is not defined by this terrible act. The infinite value, worth, and greatness that you are has to do with your strength and resiliency. Don’t forget that when you’re sad about what happened. You’re allowed to feel all the feels. You may get angry even at the wrong people. Know that you can use this as a catalyst for good in your own life. I promise you. You need to forgive yourself and LOVE yourself to the max, taking super care of yourself. It’s a process that is yours and might not look the same for other people. It can be confusing, especially in cases in date rape situations where your friends know and like the guy. Some people may not be there for you that you thought would and others surprise you and their compassion is a little light you need to give you hope. Remember to let all the love in. You’re so loved. Your loved ones won’t always know what to say and they may be silent because there is a pain in them, an anger, a sadness, a guilt, a blame, an energy they have no idea how to process. I wrap you up in my heart and send you love.

 

Deaf Labels

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I posted this a few y ears ago on Facebook, and have been asked to locate and share again several times since, so I am posting it here now for easier reference.

Hard of Hearing

 

Several times in the last week, I have had people refer to me as “hearing impaired” Even a close family member and friend……. It’s common, this isn’t a gripe or rant, I also have had a few people ask me about what term to use this week, so I put together something to help educate you all a little on some Deaf Culture smile emoticon

Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing…labels

The deaf and hard of hearing community is diverse. There are variations in the cause and degree of hearing loss, age of onset, educational background, communication methods, and how individuals feel about their hearing loss. How people “label” or identify themselves is personal and may reflect identification with the deaf and hard of hearing community, the degree to which they can hear, or the relative age of onset. For example, some people identify themselves as “late-deafened,” indicating that they experienced a loss of hearing later in life. Other people identify themselves as “deaf-blind,” which usually indicates that they have some degree of hearing loss and some degree of vision loss. Some people believe that the term “people with hearing loss” is inclusive and efficient. However, some people who were born deaf or hard of hearing do not think of themselves as having lost their hearing. Over the years, the most commonly accepted terms have come to be “deaf,” “Deaf,” and “hard of hearing.”

“Deaf” and “deaf”

We use the lowercase deaf when referring to the audiological condition of not hearing, and the uppercase Deaf when referring to a particular group of deaf people who share a language – American Sign Language (ASL) – and a culture. The members of this group have inherited their sign language, use it as a primary means of communication among themselves, and hold a set of beliefs about themselves and their connection to the larger society. We distinguish them from, for example, those who find themselves losing their hearing because of illness, trauma or age; although these people share the condition of not hearing, they do not have access to the knowledge, beliefs, and practices that make up the culture of Deaf people.

This knowledge of Deaf people is not simply a camaraderie with others who have a similar physical condition, but is, like many other cultures in the traditional sense of the term, historically created and actively transmitted across generations.” The authors also add that Deaf people “have found ways to define and express themselves through their rituals, tales, performances, and everyday social encounters. The richness of their sign language affords them the possibilities of insight, invention, and irony.” The relationship Deaf people have with their sign language is a strong one, and “the mistaken belief that ASL is a set of simple gestures with no internal structure has led to the tragic misconception that the relationship of Deaf people to their sign language is a casual one that can be easily severed and replaced.

“Hard of Hearing”

“Hard-of-hearing” can denote a person with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Or it can denote a deaf person who doesn’t have/want any cultural affiliation with the Deaf community. Or both. The HOH dilemma: in some ways hearing, in some ways deaf, in others, neither.

Can one be hard-of-hearing and ASL-Deaf? That’s possible, too. Can one be hard-of-hearing and function as hearing? Of course. What about being hard-of-hearing and functioning as a member of both the hearing and Deaf communities? That’s a delicate tightrope-balancing act, but it too is possible.

As for the political dimension: HOH people can be allies of the Deaf community. They can choose to join or to ignore it. They can participate in the social, cultural, political, and legal life of the community along with culturally-Deaf or live their lives completely within the parameters of the “Hearing world.” But they may have a more difficult time establishing a satisfying cultural/social identity.

Individuals can choose an audiological or cultural perspective. It’s all about choices, comfort level, mode of communication, and acceptance. Whatever the decision, it’s theirs.

Question — What is wrong with the use of these terms “deaf-mute,” “deaf and dumb,” or “hearing-impaired”?

Deaf and hard of hearing people have the right to choose what they wish to be called, either as a group or on an individual basis. Overwhelmingly, deaf and hard of hearing people prefer to be called “deaf” or “hard of hearing.” Nearly all organizations of the deaf use the term “deaf and hard of hearing,” The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) also voted in 1991 to use “deaf and hard of hearing” as an official designation.

Yet there are many people who persist in using terms other than “deaf” and “hard of hearing.” The alternative terms are often seen in print, heard on radio and television, and picked up in casual conversations all over. Let’s take a look at the three most-used alternative terms.

Deaf and Dumb — A relic from the medieval English era, this is the granddaddy of all negative labels pinned on deaf and hard of hearing people. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, pronounced us “deaf and dumb,” because he felt that deaf people were incapable of being taught, of learning, and of reasoned thinking. To his way of thinking, if a person could not use his/her voice in the same way as hearing people, then there was no way that this person could develop cognitive abilities. (Source: Deaf Heritage, by Jack Gannon, 1980)

In later years, “dumb” came to mean “silent.” This definition still persists, because that is how people see deaf people. The term is offensive to deaf and hard of hearing people for a number of reasons. One, deaf and hard of hearing people are by no means “silent” at all. They use sign language, lip-reading, vocalizations, and so on to communicate. Communication is not reserved for hearing people alone, and using one’s voice is not the only way to communicate. Two, “dumb” also has a second meaning: stupid. Deaf and hard of hearing people have encountered plenty of people who subscribe to the philosophy that if you cannot use your voice well, you don’t have much else “upstairs,” and have nothing going for you. Obviously, this is incorrect, ill-informed, and false. Deaf and hard of hearing people have repeatedly proved that they have much to contribute to the society at large.

Deaf-Mute – Another offensive term from the 18th-19th century, “mute” also means silent and without voice. This label is technically inaccurate, since deaf and hard of hearing people generally have functioning vocal chords. The challenge lies with the fact that to successfully modulate your voice, you generally need to be able to hear your own voice. Again, because deaf and hard of hearing people use various methods of communication other than or in addition to using their voices, they are not truly mute. True communication occurs when one’s message is understood by others, and they can respond in kind.

Hearing-impaired – This term was at one time preferred, largely because it was viewed as politically correct. To declare oneself or another person as deaf or blind, for example, was considered somewhat bold, rude, or impolite. At that time, it was thought better to use the word “impaired” along with “visually,” “hearing,” “mobility,” and so on. “Hearing-impaired” was a well-meaning term that is not accepted or used by many deaf and hard of hearing people.

For many people, the words “deaf” and “hard of hearing” are not negative. Instead, the term “hearing-impaired” is viewed as negative. The term focuses on what people can’t do. It establishes the standard as “hearing” and anything different as “impaired,” or substandard, hindered, or damaged. It implies that something is not as it should be and ought to be fixed if possible. To be fair, this is probably not what people intended to convey by the term “hearing impaired.”

Every individual is unique, but there is one thing we all have in common: we all want to be treated with respect. To the best of our own unique abilities, we have families, friends, communities, and lives that are just as fulfilling as anyone else. We may be different, but we are not less.

What’s in a name? Plenty! Words and labels can have a profound effect on people. Show your respect for people by refusing to use outdated or offensive terms. When in doubt, ask the individual how they identify themselves.