Belenen (belenen) wrote,

watching a show with Deaf characters and thinking about my relationship to hearing

icon: "distance (two hands (from two people) just barely apart, facing each other palm to palm)"

Been watching a show with Deaf main characters and I feel such relief when a hearing person remembers that a character is Deaf and does something besides vocalize to get their attention. It's really obvious and necessary in that case but the idea of people doing that when talking at me is such a relief it makes me cry. I can't stand ignoring people- it feels incredibly disrespectful and I wouldn't even do it to someone I hated- but people don't know that or don't trust that so I feel constantly at risk of accidentally making someone feel ignored. This is incredibly annoying when someone calls my name from a room away and shouts something that I can't understand, because I feel impelled to go to them lest I ignore them. In general it takes so much energy to always have my antennae up to catch if someone has started talking to me. That's one of the reasons I need housemates to assume we are not going to just randomly strike up conversation. If I think they might just start talking to me it means I can't even relax at home.

To have someone make sure you can see their face when they talk to you, that also would be such a relief (though in the show, I mainly keep noticing hearing people not pointing their faces so that Deaf people can see them). I think I subconsciously read lips to help process things and if I can't see someone talk it is much harder to understand (part of why I hate talking on the phone - it takes so much effort). I wish people weren't such ableist shitheads in general and also because in a world without ableism I could ask for these accommodations and actually get them just because people would be used to thinking that everyone has different needs. But our world only makes accommodations when forced to and your average person doesn't want to think about non-average needs or desires.

I don't understand why my auditory processing seems to have gotten worse, but it has. I feel like I'm watching through dense fog when I watch a show without subtitles. Good thing I read fast, otherwise that relaxation technique would be gone.

I keep thinking about how culture and language is so entwined and wondering what it feels like to communicate exclusively in sign. I notice a totally different cadence, and so much more facial expressiveness. I really want to learn to sign, to learn how it feels to think in gestures.

Sometimes when I am really emotional I find it extremely difficult to speak, but I don't find it hard to communicate. I can write or gesture but making sound come out of my mouth feels impossible. One time this happened to me and there was someone around who knew sign language. I felt so incredibly relieved because even though I didn't know how to sign, they could understand my gestures and sort of interpret for me. I think there's a kind of watching that hearing people just generally never do. I want to learn to watch that way.
Tags: accessibility, add-pi, communication / words, films / shows, social justice / feminism

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