I'm taking a time out to spend time with family for the coming week(s) in the state where Dorothy Gale lived with her dog Toto.
I love my family, thro sometimes it is a toss-up on when I'd find myself in favor by family here and there. There is an ailing grandmother; she is in a nursing home, and is not doing great. In the past, Grandma and I could write forth and back, we had interesting conversations that way! No longer, could that continue due to Grandma's becoming blind. I asked for an interpreter so we'd have a long good talk, me and Grandma, when I'm in town. Well, one church interpreter said she'll do it. I'm not too keen on church interpreters- it's not because of the church itself. Church interpreters usually know signs according to the church preaching- you'd not find them use general signs (such as airport, restaurant, politics, London, tea, etc). If the word is not in the Bible, then the interpreter wouldn't know the sign. See the dilemma here? When I stated that I'd prefer a certified interpreter, I was told that I should be grateful for what I got.
I want to talk with my grandma, before she passes away, and if I could not really TALK with her because the interpreter is "rusty reading signs (American Sign Language)", I should be grateful?
It is just like being grateful that I'm alive, that the fibroid along with the uterus removal was not cancerous.
I should be grateful that I have friends that could "share" their children with me, so I could "vicariously" live through pregnancy or raising children.
I ought be grateful that I don't have to "worry" about hair-pulling drama of children, I'd not go red-eyed through the night like the friends who are biting their teeth over their kids learning to drive; seeing a school-aged kid riding a bike for the first time; or the pre-teen testing their independence.
You know what? I don't care anymore. I'm tired of people presuming that I "should" be happy with this, or that, or the thing- all because folks who saying all this, are attempting to make themselves feeling better. Never mind, it only makes me feel worse.
So I'll go. I'll see grandma, and see the failure of communication between me and Grandma, due to the "church interpreter" that I should be grateful for. I will come home with a bitter taste on my tongue, and with my heart breaking, knowing that I may not have another opportunity to converse with Grandma.
I know I am angry right now. I had been passive, swallowing my pride, being grateful for whenever they'd find neighbor's cousin's boyfriend's sister who knows "a bit of sign language" for a relatives funeral, in the past. I had groaned, rolling my eyes, and suggested two different interpreting services available in town, to be told "they are too expensive," NEVER MIND that I had offered to pay out of my pocket, at a family wedding.
Reading the "Hearing privilege" article, I found one fitting for this: Hearing privilege is representing yourself. Knowing your exact choice of words are used. You do not have to wait for an interpreter. You do not have to wonder if the interpreter will be skilled or qualified. (Exploring Hearing Privilege).
And to add one other: Hearing privilege means that you can expect that all members of your family can and will communicate fluently in your first language.
Not many folks understand- I have to fight for this almost everyday. If not at work, then at the hospital. If not at the hospital, then at the workshops at a convention.
Sometimes I wonder if being childless also contributes, to the point when I'd try to find a connection, if not by deafness, then by children. The Deaf community in town highly value children to the point, every Deaf women I had encountered, had children. Unspoken rule, but it's there- "No children, you're unseen." Young Deaf women who hadn't yet have children, are poked at, "When will you get married? You're not getting any younger" and they are subtly regarded of "as a freak" if not pregnant or not having children. Once it is found that I don't have children, I'm not welcome in the deaf groups. Very nice.
I don't even WANT to know about what my family was thinking when they found that I had to have my hysterectomy, knowing there were many families out there that dread having their deaf adults becoming parents, in fear that their grandchildren could be deaf (never mind that deaf children born to deaf parents are at 5% compared to deaf children born to hearing parents (more than 90%.) I truly don't want to know.
You know, I'm tired.
At least, somewhere on the yellow brick road, I hope not to find my heart broken. The scarecrow can keep his brain- this is more a situation for emotional than intellectual. The lion can retain his courage- I'm tired of being strong.
And yes, I'm aware of the black cloud above my head lately, and that's why I'm going on a vacation- I hope to find labyrinths in town, to use my new camera to photograph vintage towns, and get together with friends that I hadn't seen since high school.