Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Growing up Deaf - Final

Looking to the future

Post-college, there are times that it seems that old friends have disconnected. Those who mistreated you have apologized or don't seem to care. While you tend to keep in touch with those you met back in college over time, it's too easy to lose contact with those you grew up with. I was never able to keep in contact with the other old friends from before high school due to all the moving we did. I've found some from high school and before via Internet searches. I would like to hear from my previous teachers if I can find them again.

After high school, I started finding out about the social stuff that I had missed. After college, I found I had missed much more. Almost no one invited me over for birthday parties, dinners, overnights, the usual things of growing up. That included missing the prom and finding out what it was all about.

Here's a message I posted to an email list in response to a low-vision friend who has a guide dog when she was complaining about some things related to the church she was attending;

> I'd bail. Start looking for some place that's closer and easier to get
> to. Two hours away, two hours back -- that's four hours a night just to
> be rejected. And that far away, there's little or no chance of
> outside-of-Tues-night contact if you do connect with anyone.

Yep... Kinda the story of our lives. If you're the only one at the church with a vision problem, and people aren't talking or interacting with you, then you know something's wrong.

How many times have I heard the stories of deaf kids and others who have never been invited to a sleepover, never been invited to a birthday party, never been called by their friends, never been visited by them, none of them ever gone out of their way to be on the kid's side after they're going through teasing, always being picked last, always eating alone at lunch, no one talking with you at lunch...

That flippin' *HURTS!* It gets worse when adults are doing it and they start creating cliques or reject you due to your disability. Even worse when they ignore you or refuse to interact with you...

We can't always dwell on the past. Neither can we change it. The future can have better things in store for us. If we move on with our lives, then we have become better for it.

Thanks for reading the serial.

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