Train Our Minds to See Good in Deaf Returnees

When a Deaf returnee (returning citizen/returned citizen) denied, he/she are separated from Deaf community. First, Deaf returnees seek rehabilitation is not illegal and the law says they shall be treated respectfully. According to the United States Constitution, Eighth Amendment.

Second, as it is, Deaf returnees are guilty and incarcerated without due process. So much for compassion and following the rule of law. Most of Deaf returnees are receiving harsh treatment than they had their entire lives. Dealing through harassment is a depressing task. So much cruelty, so much lack of empathy or understanding or even basic human caring.

Those Deaf returnees are humans. Do any of you that support this know any Deaf returnees personally? This is not how Deaf community treats the awareness among us. Remember, humanity has been at this crossroads before.

Culture of fear is what will fail. Deaf community should be accurate and fair. On the other hand, rejecting Deaf returnees from Deaf community seek to minimize the profound damage that culture of fear is doing to us. This practice is a witch-hunt. It has to be critically examined and discussed.

If you want to go that route, then it is just what it is, but states, counties, cities needs rehabilitation, not retribution. Do we understand that oppression used to justify the ownership of Deaf community?

Deaf returnees are being taken away from Deaf community are traumatized enough and it does infect harm. It is a fact. The pain, anguish, fear, raging through rumor-mill who lives in culture of fear. It is shameful, and it has no place in the heart of Deaf community. Who in their right mind takes a Deaf returnee on a difficult journey while knowingly being punished daily? Why do Deaf community continue on this path of cruelty? What price will Deaf returnees pay its final reckoning due? One Deaf person sent me this quote few weeks ago to remember by:

“Train your mind to see the good in every situation”- Buddha

It would be nice to train our minds to see the good in every situation what Deaf returnees can contribute back to Deaf community.

For Deaf returnees who seeks Deaf-centered counselors, please visit

www.deafcounseling.com

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

 

 

 

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Do I Deserve to Live in Shame?

 

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43 years ago today (December 27th), this boy was born on the Mother Earth, had been battling adversity all his life, his journey began back in the winter of 1974, when he became the first child of his parents’ first marriage. During his first 19 years, he lived in a small town with a population of about 500 in the nowhere of Washington State. This photo was taken for his first birthday cake ever.

For the first 12 years old of his life, major events shattered his life into pieces, and with the fact that He is Deaf, the society would think of a Deaf child that cannot possibly be normal and certainly must be the result of a horrible childhood or the victim of the system, one of the biggest reasons I am writing this post is to show how subtle and destructive the “mistakes” can be visited upon the stigma for generations to come, especially in normal families. Deaf children have suffered the highest proportion of abuses than any other groups.

For example, Dr. Kirk Johnson who was the court-appointed psychologist made this following statement: “Deaf people are simply immature to the society because they do not have the same exposure as hearing people do.” His statement was concurred by the judge. That was almost 22 years ago. The picture you see below was taken in 1986. 12 years old birthday boy.

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One day when I was bought to the court, one of the interpreters subtly and quickly told me to tell the judge that I was only 12 years old when it all began to happen. However, during the strict court procedure, I had never had an opportunity to tell the judge my life stories. I was struck for long time. No one wanted to hear my stories about my home situation. It was really a sad situation.

Counseling and interpreting for the Deaf were still in their infancy back then, and I did not understand who and they were. Even though what I did was wrong. Yes, I admit that I did wrong, but am I supposed to be perfect?

In the same year, 1986, at age of 12, I entered into Columbia River Mental Health, a “professional” mental health service that was recognized by the state of Washington, I reported this to a counselor and the counselor had failed to notify the authorities what happened. It was against the law. It should have made all the difference right there. I was helpless since my father was out working and could not understand my scream for help.

Oh, true story, I was actually kidnapped as in abducted by strangers right on my father’s property and held for five hours in 1983 when I was nine years old? No, I am not kidding—let me know if you want to know this story.

When I was a student in middle school as a 13 years old kid, they also failed to report bruises on my face when I walk through the school halls. The teachers and staff at my schools have failed miserably. The sound-oriented teachers and staff were not trained as professionals to understand the abuses what Deaf children had been through dealing with language deprivation and all that.

There was a “Certified Deaf Interpreter” who worked with me in seventh grade decided to quit and found a new job because she could not deal with the abuses what the teachers and interpreters had done to me. I have not seen that person until 2011, in a party filled with Deaf people and was surprised to see me all these years. She later told me many stories and told me how the school system covered it up and told her to shut up or else. I admit that I cried that time when she told me. I thought I was alone. Not anymore.

I was suffering enough ostracism. I come from hearing family and it was my education in mainstreaming schools that failed me miserably. Until 2010, my life revolved around Deaf culture. When I was a kid, I never had an opportunity to experience Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) or Junior National Association of the Deaf (JrNAD)at all. What I did in my youth is still within my heart that has been damaged forever and I can think of no words to describe the pain and suffering I had to inherit for the rest of my life.

We know that to our cost, it is very much in evidence today that we must protect Deaf children from abuses. Can it be any sincere and valid statement that they suffer enough punishment today? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) actually physically damages the brain. This boosts political careers inside the judicial system and keeps the truth from people.

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My father and mother were more than just joyful for one of my greatest accomplishments. 

As I was a graduate scholarship recipient, it shows that the scholarship committee had looked at my potential ideas, and they wanted me in. My award has nothing to with my past mishaps, and higher learning always means forgiving and changing. I became a strong candidate for the fellowship, however the field is brutal. It is the key to have clear victories to show for myself, and I would need much stronger support for my fellowship.

When I was ten years old, I experienced sexual violence in the hands of an adult who was well known in the town. What does it mean to be ignored and neglected as a Deaf child? I cannot take it back and it was little too late to think about the consequences. My actions have destroyed my own life and the hardship was very difficult to bear in my mind that I was myself once a survivor, too. Am I still a survivor into the culmination of the challenges today?

A friend of mine writes me a letter few months ago, “I do not know if living in a rumor-driven world is a new thing but it feels more vicious now thanks to the Internet. It’s next to impossible to scrub your reputation anymore, you just have to go forward…it’s just an unbearable cavalcade of unfairness…you hope that the good that you do in the world pays off in a personal level….”

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Tozier family. 2011. We believe in forgiveness. It is powerful, indeed.

I thank my family for supporting me all these years. The picture you see just above was taken six years ago. My grandparents who passed away last year was very proud of me what I had accomplished that far. No one knows better than me and my family. Not even a person who claimed to know my life well. Stop the rumors! I have good relationship with my mother, my father, my brother, and my sister.

My guidance has been lost that may be result of my childhood. The people and circumstances around which I grew up influenced the choices I made. Most of my decisions were not taught without conscious thoughts. Do we believe that we all make mistakes based on our past experiences? My challenge that I face every day as well as the way the public sees my role or face exclusion in society. Do you believe in second chances? Should the society continue to punish me for my consequences soon 32 years ago? Are you biased right now? You just do not know my life stories. Rumor-driven world is really hurting me into pieces.

The saddest part is that the guy from state of Washington is still obsessed with me after 25 years and counting (how pathetic!) and would do anything to drive me to suicide when he claimed that he knows me well and spread false information about me had entitled enough damage. No, he does not know me well. He was not even there. My family did not appreciate the defamation what he had done to me recently that soon will face the reality.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

Harassment in the Deaf Community: Guidelines for Protection and Prevention

 

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…………………………………….So, I got harassed during Homecoming 2017 Saturday afternoon. I am getting tired of this. I was trying to have good time for a change. The person who approached towards me in a threatening mode signed to me, “YOU ARE SICK! SICK! SICK! CRAZY! SICK!” in the PUBLIC EYE. That is a hate speech as well, too. You know who you are. I did not appreciate being humiliated. The public perception is that in Deaf community is getting sick of that same person who continues to cyber-stalk my own friends because we all believe in support system.

It has been like this for long time. It is now pathological. I also acknowledge that person needs help to get rid of a spiraling depression or exacerbate the behavior the person was already exhibiting.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The injustice of the situation is both palpable and maddening. There is a broken mental health service system and what we deal with in Deaf community is sad but not unsurprising result.

In the wake of this person’s harassment driven by hatred as well as hyper-vigilance, the detours and rumors will always chase after me. Does not matter anymore. And whether intended or not, the message sent by the person is that the value our culture places a human life depends upon community accountability as well as in Deaf community.

Can we examine this question, can this person understand the dangers of creating and maintaining an oppression environment of harassment? Can the person be expected to conduct itself in a form that accept the community accountability for causing harassment? Can this person understand the part as a community expectations not to violate someone else? Anger is not cool. The image above says it all. Anger becomes hatred. It is becoming immature. What kind of benefits would you get that out of it?

Finally, how can we foster an environment that harassment is being promoted in this society?

More to come.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

Baby Step to Reveal My Life

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1984. Lewisville Park. My dad and my brother in the background. (I never liked Nike!)

I would walk through the same paths in rural area where I grew up living in country on 400 acres, being lonely where my life was destroyed there, my father asked me why I would stand hopeless in the middle of the family’s property one day when I was visiting there about seven years ago, the search for the remain of my fatal happiness, I could not explain to my father why I walked into the familiar flashes of my own negligence.

Even in sphere of Deafhood, there are plenty of rumormongers who are hypocrites themselves. There is a major theme that needs to be embedded in literature today. The acceptance of Deaf returned citizens, the nature and persistence of Deaf returned citizens, and the character of Deaf returned citizens as they shape their intellectual life.

Before I begin to make a statement, it is important that I would like to set the bar. There were countless times during my status as a Deaf returned citizen; I learned how to use my own strength to overcome the adversity for a successful reintegration. I make this clear to admit that I make no excuses for my actions and offer any apologies for the choices I had made—at someone else’s will because my adolescent experience was set in motion the development of losing my human dignity.

Where are the welfare, safety, and protection of the Deaf returned citizens when they were once children survivors of abuses that the society failed to report them? I was a survivor of sex abuse when I was 10 years old that I will reveal soon. The reality is, though the details of my life are largely ignored in larger context, no amount of help has surfaced to help me move on through the damage that I had done to my reputation.

The Pandora’s box I plan to reveal soon and that was the hardest thing to write. I am tired of being targeted anymore for the stigma to be solved through the thick wheel of fortune. Criminal justice system is broken. They choose to withhold my stories and harm me in most ridicule way. I read Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote that caught my attention,

Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

That is my goal to disclose my life struggles to let the readers know that the self-discipline is necessary.

I remember a field trip when my teacher would take me and three other kids from my “hearing impaired” class to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) then when it was over for the day, my teacher took us to her house for a bit when she needed to do a quick errand before taking us back to school. There was a large craved wood display of a large breast hanging on the wall in her living room and I asked my teacher, “Who was that?” and she emphasized it was hers and that was when I was nine years old. That was in 1983. Was it unintentional or intentional wrongdoing even if it is as form of art on the wall? Did I deserve to see this?

After all, who would willingly do that as a teacher that would diminish my confusion what sexuality consists of? Then I started to struggle my balance to maintain good grades in school when she is there. Two years later when I first got TTY for the first time, I remember couple of TTY messages exchanged with my teacher and told her what she did was wrong; she quickly denied and made sure that I was some troublemaker. I struggled with my own interpreters when my teacher was the boss of my interpreters.

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Celebrating my 12th year of my life. 

Typically, Deaf children are considered troublemakers with the opportunity given threatens by their sound-oriented teachers whatever affliction Deaf children suffer from manifested it. You know, the teacher or school itself was supposed to seek each parent’s permission along with signing the form of agreement to have the teacher take us out of “educational” settings heading for her residence. The form was never materialized.

They forgot to teach Deaf children the most important evidence of all: Logic and reason. I was never taught that way with extremely lack of communication in my family that it was a wrong reason to do it and that became logic of my stupidity a bit later in my life. What I do not need right now in my life filled with hatred, fear, and angry from the numbskulls that fuels the desire to demonize my life hardships.

This is one of baby steps for me to reveal my life stories. As the quote would wrap up for the thought of the day:

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.