My Greatest Challenge Yet

MY PHYSICAL DISABILITY 


In light of Nile DiMarco's amazing victory on Dancing With The Stars the other night, proving that the deaf can do anything, I could not see a more fitting time to tell you all something important about myself. I didn't announce this on the blog or on any of my social media accounts before because I wanted a chance to show you all my true self before you guys saw my disability.

I'm deaf.

I was born deaf, and I've had hearing aids in both ears all my life, which allowed me to start speaking from a young age. I started learning sign language much later, when I was around 8 years old, in order to communicate with my sister, who was also born deaf. My English language skills are quite strong. Upon meeting and communicating with me for the first time, people don't notice that I'm deaf unless I bring it up, usually because I'm having trouble understanding them. Sometimes they continue on as normal, slowing down at my request, or they shrug it off and ignore me or they speak patronisingly slowly. 

Or, my personal favourite, I get a backhanded compliment when they say approvingly "But you don't look deaf." or "Wow, you're really good at what you do despite your disability."

I've been given a large sum of money at one point because they were proud of my achievements despite my hearing. Ouch. 

So many times I've been rejected for a job just because I have a disability, even though I am more than qualified for the position and do it better than most. So many times employers learn that I am deaf, and they said they will contact me later, but they never do. I haven't had a job in a year and a half, and the longer it takes for me to find and secure something, the more stressed and negative I feel. I'm waiting on a response for a kitchen hand or pizza maker position as I'm sufficiently qualified for both, one more so than the other, but ever since I told them, three days ago, that I was deaf and couldn't talk on the phone, they have not contacted me. 

I was mercilessly bullied by a head chef at a cake factory, simply because I was deaf and it was awful. He called me names, including "you fucking idiot!" when I wanted to confirm something with him so I didn't end up doing it wrongly. I tried to report him to the boss, but they glossed over it and he never apologised for his actions. He fired me as soon as my probationary period was up and forbade any of the other staff members from saying goodbye to me. 

Throughout my childhood, I was ridiculed by many. Some of the worst names I've been called are "uncoordinated bitch", "deaf dumb bitch" and "retarded" and they have affected me in the most horrible of ways, reducing my self-esteem and self-confidence to almost nothing. It's worse when discrimination comes from within the family because to learn that they think you're dumb feels like they have shoved a knife into your heart and cruelly twisted it.

There you go. Do with it what you will. If you stop reading my blog simply because of this new development, then you're a shallow person in my books. If this announcement changes nothing for you, thank you very much, I really appreciate it.

Do not judge me for what I can't do, judge me by what I can do. 

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