(I am sorry.....that you're hearing)
I am trying something new with my introductory animation film that I normally have in my every It is a Deaf Thing post. Just click play and you will see the theme for today's post!
What brings me to talk about this topic today is a common occurrence that I get when I meet somebody for the very first time, and the person learns that I am Deaf. The conversation goes something like this:
Person: Hey, are you Ashley?
Me: (taking paper out and scribbling on it while the person is standing there, slightly confused): Yep.
Person: Ooooh.....(eyeing the paper)
Me: I'm Deaf. This is how we can communicate. You know, by writing.Person: I am so sorry!
The act of apology confuses me. I understand the intention behind that apology. I do. A part of this is because the person is awkward and doesn't know what to say. Other part of this is because he/she just feel bad that I am unable to hear as if being Deaf is a huge inconvenience for me. But...really, why are you apologizing that I am Deaf?
Me: Oh why are you sorry?
Person: Well....because of your...you know, condition.
Me: My condition....you mean me being Deaf?
I am happy with the way I am. I am really okay with not being able to hear. I am okay with not speaking. Not being able to hear is not my choice. I've been this way since birth or shortly after birth. It is not like I picked up a pen and popped my ear drums or someone rattled me so badly that my ears broke. Not speaking is my choice. I made that choice as a kid not to speak, and I've been fine ever since. Nobody made me this way. However, being Deaf does require a lot of adaption because not everything will be accessible or everybody will be accommodating. Nonetheless, I have adapted very well. I have been surviving in the "hearing" world for past 26 years, and I will be just fine for next 60 years.
I assure you...I am NOT inconvenienced. I have tools to back me up in all different scenarios that you can think up of. Sure, there is some bullshit that I have to deal with that hearing people don't have to deal with. Then again, everybody do have their own share of BS to deal with. This is part of life. At the same time, I am quite happy with my Deafness. It has given me so much and shaped me into the person I am today. I view it as a gift instead of a curse. If I am given a magic pill and told that it will cure my Deafness then guess what? I wouldn't take it. To be able to hear will drastically change who I am, and I don't want that for me.
Me: Oh.... I am really sorry that you're hearing.
I don't say it out of spite or to be mean, but rather to break the ice. It is funny. Once I apologize for the person being able to hear, the person realizes how silly his/her apology is, and we move on to the topic that the person wants to talk about.
But really, don't apologize. Or I will give you look like this...I promise: