Deafinitely seek help when needed

Yesterday evening I made a call to see about getting myself some mental health counseling.  For the past three years I have been experiencing episodes where I would become extremely stressed and anxious and end up uncontrollably shaking with a killer headache or where I feel like if I somehow die, everyone would be better off.

No, I don’t want to die because I want to see my kids grow up, and no I am not “strong” enough to hurt myself, but I have imagined freak accidents like passing away in my sleep due to eating some bad food for dinner or getting stung by some deadly unknown bug, or getting into a bizarre car accident or getting shot by some crazed racist (since I do live in the south where racism is very much alive.)

I have been battling with this on my own with the support of the many strong and fabulous women in my inner circle.  My mother, grandmother, sisters, cousins, mother-in-law, and friends.

I realized that I am always busy taking care of everyone else and I neglect taking care of myself.  In realizing this, I also realized that if I am not okay, I cannot do my best or be my best for my kids.  I used to believe that they needed to see their mother remain strong in tough situations so that one day when they get older they could follow suit, but I have since realized this was a fallacy.

I would much rather my kids see me getting help and helping myself; realizing I potentially have a problem and finding a way to “fix it” rather than see me in a light that portrays me as being perfect. I want them to know that I am not perfect.

Should either of my children grow up feeling even an ounce of what I’ve been feeling, I want them to feel courageous enough to admit to these feelings and therefore seek help, rather than deny them and let them fester.

The goal is to raise children who don’t need to recover from their childhood. The goal is to set an example for our children and be sure they are instilled with the proper tools that would enable them to live their best life.

I want my children to be confident and unafraid of asking for help.  So I needed to set that example.  I need to be confident and in being confident I needed to accept that it’s okay to ask for help–something I have never been good at.

So yesterday, I swallowed my “pride” and made that call.  The woman on the other end of the phone was clearly confused from the start of the conversation.  See, I use a sign language relay service called Sorenson to make all of my outgoing phone calls.  With this service I am able to make regular phone calls but the difference is I use sign language to communicate through an interpreter and the interpreter uses their voice on my behalf.  Confusing? Think of a conversation going on between an English-speaking person and a Spanish-speaking person with the help of an interpreter. Check this link for more information about Sorenson.

So anyway, I quickly realized this woman wasn’t sure what was going on despite the fact that my interpreter explained that the phone call was being made by a deaf person who uses sign language, so I re-explained that she was hearing someone else’s voice but that someone else was using my words. Things clicked for her momentarily.

She searched for mental health facilities that specifically catered to deaf people and her search only came up with one result.  I told her she didn’t have to look for a facility that specifically catered to deaf people, she could broaden her search to include “regular” facilities and I’ll just enlist a sign language interpreter from a sign language interpreting agency. This confused her. So I tried a different angle.

I said, “I can hear, I lost half of my hearing in both ears, and I can speak very clear, most people aren’t even aware that I am deaf until I tell them. I’ll mostly utilize an interpreter just to be sure I don’t miss any crucial information, but all in all my lip-reading skills are on point”

And boy, her light bulb went off! She said, “Oh! well, that makes a huge difference” I really didn’t see how but in the end she referred me to a different and better (per google reviews) mental health facility.  She offered to make an appointment for me to which I declined her offer, I wanted to do it myself. I needed to.

I only told this story to encourage all of you–disabled or not–to seek help whenever you feel like you need it.  Sweeping things under the rug can prove to be more damaging than helpful.  Wouldn’t you want to want to be able to say “I’m going to be okay, I will get through this”? Wouldn’t you want to feel better about yourself? Doesn’t the idea of waking up one day and actually looking forward to your day sound like a slice of heaven?

I bet it does.

In the meantime I do partake in some self-therapeutic methods because I am aware that it isn’t free to just knock on a psychologists/psychiatrist door and ask for help.  My advice is to find something you love doing and do it when you are feeling those feelings of anxiety or depression.  I know that it is sometimes hard to get up and go when you are feeling depressed, but try to think about a time you were doing something you loved and try to recapture that moment.

Below are some of the things I like doing:

  1. Writing short stories.  If I am feeling down, I found that It is easier for me to create characters who aren’t and this lifts my spirits; living in my happy characters’ world is like a little vacation from my reality.  On the other hand if someone in my life pisses me off, I can always write a story where they get hurt insert evil grin here.
  2. Listening to smooth Soul and R&B music.  I tend to listen to a lot of smooth R&B music, preferably songs sang by men.  I find their voices to be soothing especially Luther Vandross. His voice is literally like butter, it makes everything better.  But I also prefer male singers for another weird and unrelated reason as well. For some reason in society most men are conditioned not to show their feelings and to carry these tough personas so I find it refreshing when a man goes against the grain and openly expresses his feelings.
  3. Taking a hot bath with scented aroma therapy Epsom salt. I don’t know whether it’s the heat from the water that melts my anxiety and anger away, or if the aroma therapy thing is real (I’m still skeptical, don’t judge me), but I recently added this to my list of stress/anger relievers and it works wonders!
  4. Read a book. As I’ve mentioned earlier, walking in a characters shoes is an escape from my reality.  I like to read fiction books (my favorite author is Janet Evanovich) and as bad as it sounds, reading about someone else’s problems help me see that maybe my problems aren’t as “unsolvable” as I believe them to be.
  5. Talk to my loved ones.  Communication is definitely the key to everything. Anyone I’ve ever vented to would tell you when I am angry or frustrated I express my feelings in such a raw and otherwise “effed up” yet hilarious manner. And for that, I’ve come to appreciate my moments of frustration and anger because apparently that’s when my creativity shines through the most.

What are some ways you relieve stress or lift your spirits/ mood?

 

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It wasn’t me!

There is nothing worse than being forced by your best friend to go to the gym with her when you already had your mind set on pigging out on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s cinnabon ice cream while sobbing over the latest episode of This Is Us.  There is absolutely nothing worse than being in the middle of a very compromising yoga position and having this propeller-sounding gust of air blow through the silent room.

All eyes on me.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Right, deny, deny,deny and deny some more.

It wasn’t me! It was probably the Air conditioner that was grinding overhead; perhaps something got stuck, or maybe it was a shootout happening outside, or maybe it was the seventy-year-old woman next to me–which would probably explain the smell, right? P-U, lady.

“You should probably take a laxative when you get home to clean yourself out, dear, and forget drinking soda and all of that sugary stuff you kids eat and drink these days, drink water and only water, because gee, kid, even I don’t smell that bad, and I’m older than God”, the old lady said.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t her. But it still wasn’t me!

 

via Daily Prompt: Deny

DEAFinitely Deaf Facts (okay, only some) 

Dear People,

​Okay, listen y’all– and I’ll try my best to be as clear as possible– but I have to get something off my chest. (Sorry it’s kinda longish)
You will not and I emphasize will NOT go to hell for making “deaf jokes.” (There’s no special section down there for those who made deaf jokes. Trust me. I checked) If made tastefully they can actually be quite hilarious. Sure, it seems insensitive to make jokes about something someone cannot change but y’all out here making racial jokes daily and aside from Rachel DoWhatever, one cannot simply change their race. Now can they?
If you meet a deaf person like me who has completely come to terms with their deafness they might tell you that they actually enjoy a good deaf joke every now and then. Why? Because for a culture that is seemingly ignored it makes me feel like we’re being noticed and not only that but I like seeing and understanding different people’s perspectives on deaf people and deaf culture because if something is misunderstood it gives me a chance to slide up in there and teach and enlighten! And something most deaf folks can agree on is: we really wish hearing folks would start using all of their brains as much as they use their ears (see? I made a bad hearing joke, and nobody is crying, right?) 

Okay great, moving on.
No, not all deaf people are dumb just like not all hearing people are smart! Just like not all black folks are hoodrats, just like not all white folks are rich! Just like not all Asians are smart, just like not all Americans are dumb (dumb enough to vote for whats his name — but in our defense the majority of us actually didn’t vote for him, those higher up folks did)
No, me and the next deaf person cannot hear the same things. Some deaf folks can hear more than others. Some can speak on the regular phone, some can’t or prefer to instead use a Videophone (Google will tell you all about those. Just type in “Sorenson Video Phones”… There’s a rival company called Purple Communications but I’m #TeamSorenson!) 

Pop quiz! Let’s see if you can guess my phone preference! When hearing people say for me to call them or they’ll call me I’ll either say “okay, but don’t expect me to respond beyond ‘hello'” or I’ll just give them a blank stare then smile politely and say “I’ll text ya!” Or “if you call I won’t answer, I’m just letting you know now so you won’t be offended later” if you guessed, that I prefer not to use a regular phone, you are cor-rect!

Okay, back on topic!
No, not all deaf people know sign language. I, myself learned sign language in 6th grade which is considered late in the Deaf World and yes, I’ve gotten that “what the f***” look from other deaf people when once upon a time I had to tell them I didn’t know sign language. I also get the same “what the f***” look from hearing folks who communicated with me strictly verbally for months with no problem and suddenly saw me use sign language one day or saw my hearing aids and  that conversation usually starts like “wait…. You’re deaf?” To which I’ll say “yes” and then they’ll say something like “… but you speak so well…” which leads me to my next point and it’s a big one so get ready….Oh! But before we move on–no, I don’t hide my deafness, but if conversation flows without a problem, I won’t interrupt you and tell you I’m deaf. If you happen to cover your mouth or turn around while you’re speaking,THAT’S when I’ll tell you–if you didn’t already notice how my eyes zero in on your lips– because I rely on reading lips. So yeah, my next point….dun dun dunnnnn…
YES, some deaf people can speak just like you! (If you are a hearing person.) Remember what I said about me enjoying seeing and understanding other people’s perspectives on deaf folks? Yeah, THIS tells me that hearing folks expect us to all sound distorted (or I’ve heard some people liken it to sounding like a Whale or seal) so I’m able to tell you that that misconception is exactly that, a misconception. Oh the joy! 

How well you speak all depends on when you lost your hearing and/or how much you can hear. (You can pick up the book  “I can hear you whisper” by Lydia Denworth for a more in-depth explanation of how the ears and speech work. I, however, am typing this from my phone and my thumb burns so….) 
With all of that having been said, I hope you have at least a little more of a better understanding about us Beautiful Deaf People. I will detail more things once I get on a computer but for now I think this is good enough! 
So, come on,  talk to me! I want to hear  (read) some of y’alls best or wackest deaf jokes, come on peeps! Or if you have any questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer them! 

Love,

DEAFinitely Tay. 

Yet so far away…

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but sometimes that isn’t always the case.  Sometimes absence can drive a bigger wedge between two people especially if the reason behind said absence is in bad taste.

Both people are left with that distant feeling where suddenly all of their good memories are ancient history and all of their bad memories seem like the only memories worth remembering.

How do you get back what you once had? Is there even a way to get it back? Or should both parties just accept the fact that it’s over?

via Daily Prompt: Distant

Happy and you know it? Clap your hands

I am always interested to learn what makes people happy.  I feel like in order to enjoy life people should do what makes them happy, would you disagree?

So tell me, what makes you happy? How do you know you are happy? How would you define happiness?

For me, writing makes me happy.  I find writing to be extremely therapeutic when I am going through something tough.  I like to write my feelings and thoughts down because I believe that once you put your feelings down on paper (whether it’s in the form of a diary entry, poem, or song) you would not only have a better concept of how to deal with them but you’ll be able to get them off your mind.  I’m sorry was that confusing? Whoops.  Okay, let me try again, you go through a rough patch and you don’t write it down to get it out of your system, it builds and you’ll most likely implode whereas if you jot everything down, it doesn’t need to stay on your mind anymore.

I know I’m happy when I feel like I’ve grown in any area of my life.  Whether It’s making an improvement in my writing, turning a new page with my kids, learning how to better communicate with my husband, or making a new friend, the feeling of growth is how I would best describe my happiness.  As long as I am growing and gaining new experiences, I know that I am happy.

As long as what you do doesn’t feel like a burden or a job that you don’t want, I think it means you’re happy, right? If you could wake up every morning and look forward to doing what you do everyday it would be safe to believe that you are happy, correct?

Now, with that said, if you aren’t happy, what are some of the ways you can become happy? What advice would you give someone who is stuck on their road towards the pursuit of happiness?

I would love to hear your thoughts! I might be able to make use of any advice anyone may have.

Can You Believe that?

Almost everyone around me associates themselves with a religion.  I, however, do not.  I don’t consider myself in any way, shape or form, religious.  I think that the best way to describe my belief system would be that I am a spiritual person.  But don’t get me wrong, I am very aware of the different religions out there and I try my best to learn about them; I may even take a little of what I learn and align it with what I believe.  In other words there’s a little bit in each religion I’ve learned about that I hold with me.

I feel that my choice not to be affiliated with one religion gives me the ability to be religiously free.  I don’t think there is a right or wrong religion, I don’t think that there is any belief that is wrong.  I actually respect the differences in people’s beliefs.  I try to understand why they believe what they do rather than try to tell them that they are wrong.

I remember when I was in College I had an art class–but we didn’t draw anything and that upset me! I was tricked because no one told me it was an art history class (bore, bore, snoozefest, cue in the snoring).  I remember specifically learning about the Greeks and Romans and all of this stuff about the way they lived and how they captured their lifestyles in their art.  I remember little things about why their sculptures were the way that they were and so on and so forth.  I remember one day the topic of religion came up and my professor talked about Jesus on the cross.  My sign language interpreter made just about every face in the book and kept shaking her head and adding “that’s wrong” or “that’s not true” whenever my professor would explain a “textbook fact” about Jesus.

There was one comment that she made that has stuck with me through all of these years because I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t care about what’s wrong, I just care about what the professor is saying because that is what’s going to be on the test and I need to pass this class.”

When my professor mentioned the shape of the cross and how Jesus was positioned on it, she said it was a plus-sign shape and Jesus’ arms were stretched out on his sides. my interpreter who was a Jehovah’s Witness said to me in sign language, “that’s not true, that’s the stupid Catholic belief.  In the real bible–my bible–it states that the cross was in fact not a ‘plus sign type-shape’ but it was actually a ‘x shape’ with another piece going straight down in the middle.  His hands weren’t stretched out across the cross either, his hands were actually tied up above his head because think about it, if you hang someone up on a ‘plus sign shaped’ cross with their hands stretched out, gravity would cause their body to fall and possibly detach from their arms and the cross would fall forward, whereas if it was positioned the way it shows in my bible, Jesus would have had more support. Plus, it makes more sense that way”

I remember looking at her feeling a growing pang of annoyance.  I couldn’t immediately determine if I was more annoyed by the fact that she was telling me this, or if I was more annoyed by the fact that since she started telling me this my professor possibly switched topics three or four times, or if I was annoyed with the fact that she seriously called another person’s belief stupid.  It’s a belief system as far as I am concerned, none of it is proven facts.

The bible has been repeatedly altered throughout the years to match the evolving times so what right does anyone have to say what is wrong or right?

I believe in the power of love, freedom and respect.

My grandparents are Jehovah’s witnesses, I have an uncle who is a converted Muslim (If thats the proper termonology), I have aunts who are Catholic, a whole family of Christians whether they are devout or not, I have friends who are Atheist, I know people who are Protestant, I know people who practice Hinduism, and with that being said me, not being affiliated with any religion makes it easier for me to absorb everyone’s belief.

It also makes it easier for me to see people for who they are beyond their choice of religion, or their choice of lifestyle like being Gay, for an example. (Let me just say, I don’t like using the term “homosexual” I feel it’s just as offensive as the word “Faggot” which I don’t use either; I prefer to use terms like Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender etc.)

If you’re human and you happen to be Gay–as long as you are not going around killing people or harming other people in any way–I love and respect you (that goes for anyone, whether you’re gay or not). Why is it a problem that you love someone who happens to be the same gender as you? As long as you found love, and you are happy nothing else matters.  I don’t feel like being Gay is a “sin” I don’t believe that being Gay is even wrong; I honestly see nothing wrong with being Gay. I hear the saying “people should be fruitful and multiply” but some people don’t want children (even ” straight” couples) and children are expensive as hell…I know this from experience.  I’ve heard the saying “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.” Man, listen, God made, Adam, Eve, Steve, Shaquana, Taquan, Richie, Raul, Maria, Su yung and all of them, if you believe that God made all of us, right?

A belief system is a belief system, and I want to share with you my belief system.  In addition to believing in love, freedom and respect, I also believe there’s a reason why everything happens and people die (before they get old).  This might be a little confusing but I will try my best to make as much sense as possible.

Okay, so, everyone has a different walk of life, everyone goes through different things and everyone turns out to be who they are.  Why? Because every walk of life teaches people different things that could either help them grow or give them knowledge that they could pass on and potentially plant a seed in another person who would then have the power to change the world.  We all go through different things in order to polish us and groom us so that we could be functioning human beings–life to me is all about learning.  We all turn out to be the way we are so that other people could learn from us and experience some inner growth.  We need other human beings to survive, is what I believe.

I believe that if you wronged someone in any way–and if you are religious it’s always a good thing to ask for forgiveness from your God–but even if you are not, it’s also a good thing to face the person or people you’ve wronged and ask them for forgiveness as well.  Give people and yourself a peace of mind to be able to grow and move through life as smoothly as possible without carrying the weight of being angry or resentful.

Is this confusing? I hope you at least get the gist of what I’m trying to say because my belief behind death might be a little more confusing.

When people are faced with a tough situation they tend to pray on it to their God.  I pray to any loved one of mine that passed away.  In most cases I pray to my Uncle Tony.  I ask him to look over me and I ask him for clarity.  I ask him to give me signs that I am walking the path I’m meant to walk and he always comes through for me.  It gives me comfort because I actually know my uncle, I know what his voice sounds like, I know his personality.  I know what faces he might make if I ask for something ridiculous like if he could find a way to make it so that when I wake up in the morning, a million dollars would be sitting on my nightstand.  I know his laugh so when I think of something funny I can hear it.  I know him personally.

Which brings me to my reasoning as to why he and many other people passed and still pass away “before their time”. I believe that each death has its purpose.

I was too young to understand what–if anything–was going on in my family around the time that Tony passed away but I do remember feeling like my family became closer after his death.  I remember feeling like everyone was checking in on everyone often and everyone was helping everyone out more often. So, I think that the reason he had to pass away was to wake my family up and to make them aware that even though on the outside we may look healthy, we might be fighting internal battles (diseases or otherwise) and we need someone to reach out to us and help us because we may not always be too forthcoming when we need help.  I think it’s safe to assume that my family also learned to appreciate the gift of life and became more driven to achieve their goals being that Tony was in his late 30’s when he passed away. He was very young.

I’m currently twenty-six years old and will be turning twenty-seven at the end of the year and I want to do so much with my life, I have so many ideas but I don’t know where to start. I started this Blog with hopes of figuring that out.  I have to admit that I feel a little impatient because I am not where I want to be, but I do believe that when it’s my time to put all of my ideas in motion, I will do so with a bang with the help of Uncle Tony and other humans in my life or who I will eventually cross paths with.

The stronger Sex?

All throughout history we’ve heard about how such great men have helped shape the world and everything we know.  We have heard about how men have fought in war and men were stronger by default simply because they are…men.

But if you really take a closer look you’d have to ask yourself, are men really the stronger sex?

Sure, physically, many men may be a wee bit stronger but what about every other aspect of life?

As of recently, men have been ticking me off, pissing me off, disappointing me and letting me down.  I have been really been walking around with hooked eyebrow.  What in the world is going on with our men?

In the celebrity world, we have T.I. stating marriage is a distraction and I’ve actually saw a man on my Facebook post the same exact thing stating, “I want a relationship but they are a distraction”

From what I heard Carmelo Anthony stated that LaLa has been married but he’s been single all along.

I can’t help but think, these men are bitches. Or maybe I should just say, these men are…men since calling someone a “bitch” implies they are weak and the word is also associated with women.

How could you go out and embarrass your wife like that? How could you publicly hurt her feelings? How could you ask a woman to marry you, have children with you (which puts our bodies through hell, by the way, with all of the changes and motions), support you and maybe even catch a case for you and you STILL have the nerve to hurt her? Men are supposed to protect their women, right? So what the hell is going on?

It’s taken me a while to finally put my thoughts into words because almost daily I’m baffled by the things men do.

The Facebook Killer. I mean what the hell?

Through the weeks I have probably thought of a 101 scenarios which can prove that women are more than likely the stronger gender  so forgive me if I forget some of my points but from the top of my head I’m going to list what I can. And yes, this list will be all over the map, because I’m upset and confused and desperately need to jot my thoughts down as they come.

So here it goes:

When a man cheats, he expects a woman to forgive him and take him back with no issue, but when a woman cheats, the man cannot do the same.  Why is that?

I am aware that there are men out there who are rape victims but they don’t come forward because they think it’s weak that a man should ever be raped by a woman because after all, men should want sex at all times and it’s unmanly to turn down sex with a woman, it’s “gay” if you will.  But I believe true strength comes from admitting you were violated and seeking justice.

Admitting there is a problem is a sign of strength, isn’t it?

All throughout history men have had to put women down just to prove they are stronger/ better.  Women had to fight for their rights and even when we were given equal rights, men felt so insulted and still cannot view women as equals.  Why is that? Are they afraid that a woman just might be able to do the same things they could only better?

It seems as if naturally women are more forgiving than men whereas men would rather just burn a bridge and never look back.  Isn’t forgiveness a sign of strength? Isn’t avoidance a sign of weakness?

A woman can work full-time, come home and cook and clean and make sure the children do their homework, are bathed and put to sleep, but it seems like most men are only wired to just work, eat and sleep, why is that? I need some answers.

A woman can be a stay-at-home-mom with four children under the age of five–which means she’s constantly moving around tending to each child, trying to establish a schedule, making meals, trips to the park, or other activities to keep the kids entertained–but the moment she asks her husband for a break so she can get me-time, most men would become overwhelmed at the mere thought of having to take care of four children at once. They may busy themselves with other things and the women possibly never gets that break, but when she snaps under pressure and stress, the man has the nerve to be confused as to why she did.

Are we not human? Are women robots or something?

Oh! And my favorite scenario! A man can lay up in bed with a woman, get her pregnant be aware of this pregnancy and still walk away from his responsibility claiming he didn’t want any kids in the first place or the kid isn’t his, or his day-to-day life doesn’t allow him to make room for a family.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  So the responsibility of raising a child falls on the lap of the woman and often times when she has that responsibility she goes above and beyond to ensure that her children are well taken care of, yet she’s still considered weak because she may need government assistance to make up for the absentee father.

A man would belittle a woman based on her outer appearance then turn around and get upset when a woman decides she doesn’t want to be with a certain man.  It’s as if their ego can’t take rejection but they could dish it out with no problem.  I’m confused.

I was on Facebook the other day under a thread under an article posted in TheShadeRoom regarding the Carmelo Anthony and LaLa situation and a woman commented saying “My father told me don’t think a man can take what he dishes out because he can’t” and I was lost for words.  One, because a man knows this is true about men, and two, because a man knows this is true about men and most men aren’t doing anything about it.

Our generation of men are the most easily influenced group of men that I am aware of.  If a celebrity says they should call their wives and girlfriends, “Bitches” then our generation of men would do just that; if a celebrity states that a certain type of image accurately portrays beauty, then our generation of men would become bobble-heads and stop at nothing to destroy a woman’s self-confidence all because she doesn’t have a big butt, big boobs, long silky hair, light skin, “chinky” eyes and full lips. Then if a woman pays to get work done in order to fit the bill of men’s image of beauty, she becomes unworthy because none of her is “real”

Um, I think a lot of men have a lot of nerve.  They are never satisfied.  They complain if a woman is independent, they complain if she relies on government assistance; they complain if she works long hours, they complain if she doesn’t work at all; they complain if she works as a stripper to make ends meet, they complain if she would rather keep her clothes on and collect government checks to make ends meet.  All of this complaining and judging, ugh, aren’t those signs of weakness?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the saying go, “behind every good man is a strong woman”? or something to that effect? Which therefore means a man needs a woman and not the other way around?

Why are men so freakin’ selfish? Why do men expect women the stroke their egos day in and day out? Why are men so insulted by a woman’s strength to the point where he has to belittle her in order to feel good about himself?

I need some answers and I am open for a debate because I find none of this fair at all.  Women are supposed to take blow after blow and still be strong but if a man steps on glass he falls apart and it’s okay for him to.

I might add more to this should something else come to me.  But sound off, please, I am interested in hearing your opinions.