As you might know I'm a Guest Blogger over at Deaf Insght. I post every two weeks Sunday, I just posted my third post and am still without a Blog name.
In my second post I was trying to come up with names, one name I thought of was "In Between Worlds". Why did I think of this one? Because I feel that I'm stuck between the Deaf World and the Hearing World, participating in both, yet feel that I don't fit in either one.
In the Deaf world, I sometimes felt different. Not exactly an "outcast" because I was never shunned, I was welcomed in to an extent. Since English is my first language and I didn't learn ASL til I was 12, I still signed in "English Grammar". I also could not really follow the signing that quickly because of my low vision. There's been a few Deaf who were put out that I couldn't keep pace with them, but thanks to those Deaf who slowed down or changed their signing to accommodate me. But I was never part of a clique one way or another. Don't get me wrong, I had lots of friends and such, but when everyone's in their groups, I wander from group to group, chit-chatting and all. But when there are group plans to head somewhere, I'm sometimes forgotten behind.
In the Hearing world, I can lipread well, speak well somewhat (you tell me, you've seen some of my videos), but pretty much on an one-on-one basis. If I'm with one person, I have no problems. The problems start when you throw in two or more people, first I'd have to find out who's talking (usually by that time, they're done speaking), sometimes I have to go over where they are (if sitting around a room), or I just sit and try and just concentrate on one person (which is like listening to only one side of a phone conversation). Then there's the occasional - "Sorry I missed that" "I'll tell you later", which pisses me off (and plenty of other Deaf people too). The awkward "what's so funny?" (explained what happened, but it's not so funny anymore "Guess ya had to be there" I WAS there, right here! Or trying to find the right moment as not to interrupt anyone, start sharing my story, "oh we stopped talking about that ages ago". Again when plans are made, I'm forgotten behind.
Sometimes I try and figure out why I'm stuck in between worlds and not fitting in either, hey everyone self-analyzes once in a while eh?
I know my low vision plays a role in both worlds, there are some Deaf who feel that Deafblind are not part of their world (I'll make another post someday on that), then there's the experience of some Hearing who've shown me that it's a bother to help me out.
Maybe it's a combination of being an introvert and my fear of "imposing" on people. The fear that people are put out and inconvienced if I ask for help, whether they're Deaf or not. I'm always ready early so the other party doesn't have to wait - they're doing a lot just going out of their way for me already. I've been scolded by Randy, "What time is your ride?" "Ten O'Clock" "It's only 9:15 and you've got your coat and watching the door? Sit Down and relax!" Irrational? Maybe, but I can't shake it.
Maybe I've declined one too many invitations that people have stopped bothering to ask? Maybe they assume too much "This bar will be too dark for Tracy, let's not ask her along".
Whatever the reasons or excuses, I'm here coasting along, enjoying my time in each world, however frustrating it seems. The "world" I'm most comfortable in has been the online world. Chat rooms, Twitter, Facebook, has been my quiet domain for years. I even met Randy in an online chat! Think about it, no one cares about me being Deafblind, I can keep up with everyone chatting, and I don't have to impose on anybody!
So keep your eyes out for a Coyote trotting along the web....
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon