Everyone can have a hard time during the holiday season but, for some of us, spending time with family and/or in-laws can be a bit more difficult. When we (or I) can’t get into the conversation or understand everything that is going on (like why everyone is laughing), we (or I) tend to become very quiet and mentally distance ourselves (or myself). I don’t mean to be rude (I PROMISE) but it can come off that way. I haven’t figured out how to cope, have you?
Truth be told, I wasn’t always ENTIRELY like this, I was somewhat, but not nearly as bad. When we went to my step-father’s parents house, it was the worst, as they did not treat me very much like family. Once I lost most of my hearing however, I just sat and had a pretty blank or goofy look on my face as everyone talked.
I spent this Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas with Lexa’s family. This is when my anti-social tendencies really became a problem. About the only words I said were “Hello” or “Nice to meet you”. Truth is because of my deafness and not much social interaction as a child, I never really gained the social skills I need.
How does a deaf man act when surrounded by hearing people and only one whom knows to sign? Especially when he, himself, can barely read much more than finger-spelling and they sure can’t sign the whole time, they want to interact too. I hear enough to know when someone’s talking, and I don’t want to interrupt, so what do I do? How do I get the response? I have asked myself these questions so many times, I just stopped interacting. How do you interact? Maybe you can help me, and others.
Lexa has tried to tell me I need to talk more, I need to interact more. I agree with her, I do, I am just so shy and so lost at how to communicate, I freeze. I hope to get responses to this, I really do. Let me know how you feel, please.