#OurDeafCommunity | Celebrating Gallaudet event hosted by CONVO. It was supposed to be a place of celebration, meeting new and old faces, and of course, bias-free. Instead, experiencing bullying in the form of hate including intimidation from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) which no one can ever bully me. Enough of public shaming! What happened to #OurDeafCommunity?
There is no room to feel state of shame as being Deaf to please the system of Audism around the world.
There were couple of older blog posts I wrote about challenges of suicide in Deaf community. It’s really powerful. I’ve experienced a Deaf friend by the name of Greg from the school bus we rode together committed suicide when I was in 8th grade, and one of my hearing professors who committed suicide which hit me hard. She was only 39 years old. My first Sociology class was Sociology of Health and Medicine under Professor Heather Hartley.
I never forget the day when I showed up into classroom with injured right arm from kick-ass bicycle accident where I crashed my right shoulder so hard on the road and I was wearing an arm sling that time. I couldn’t write. Too much pain. That day was final exam. Yet, I still showed up with bicycle again.
She had a better idea and asked me to meet her in her office, and took the final exam by typing down the answers on her computer to take final exam and save it and send it to her. That was a brilliant idea. She was a good professor. Also, I remember the day when the news broke where I showed up for a Sociology course, Criminology and my professor was looking really down, it was not the professor I know. It became quiet in the classroom. It hit the hardest. They were good friends. The same professor in that quiet classroom later discussed about “Suicide: A Study in Sociology” book by Émile Durkheim.
When I had a fatal heart attack last November 2016, I continue to question my death experience and how I defied death. Living in real world at this current hour has been much harder than I ever face with, and it finds a lot of strength and growing pain to deal with, and one of the most challenging part, was the haters who went after me after I woke up from death. It is much worse than death. Living with labels. Especially most damaging labels. It leads a major culprit.
On the face of it, gaining access to find help, support, and strength how to overcome adversity, it was also cynical, is the most difficult thing. The last 32 years of my life has been rough enough that is way too much to deal with everyday, and when I got a gift certificate for my birthday from my mother last December 2018, I stopped by Barnes and Noble bookstore to buy a book to read: Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem by Joseph Burgo, Ph.D.
Joseph Burgo writes: “Self-esteem can’t thrive in the soil of nonstop praise and encouragement. Instead it depends upon setting and meeting goals, living up to the expectations we hold for ourselves, and sharing our joy in achievement with the people who matter most to us. Listening to and learning from encounters with shame will go further than affirmations and positive self-talk in helping to build authentic self-esteem.”
One of my many and beloved Sociology classes, I learned a great deal about Erving Goffman, a high-thinking sociologist who coined “stigma” where he described, “Society establishes the mean of categorizing persons and the complement of attributes felt to be ordinary and natural for members of each of these categories.”
How do you cope with the society when it establishes the mean-spirited of battling with tendencies to go toward suicides?
I am not writing this for myself only, but it applies to Deaf returnees living in Deaf community lacks for accessibility and big help, over the past couple of decades have shaken Deaf America and made them the most invisible minority group and their own identity and forgotten stories. When it comes to Deaf returnees who comes back into the society to change their life around, and blowing the whistle to test the strength, and the story is very much related to my experience.
When Calvin Young, a Deaf vlogger made a vlog: “Life is like a Jenga” is a great example of how to overcome adversity. Dealing with Jenga through shadows, and try to think positive as much as possible, and try to be in my shoes if you can handle Jenga. Beyond the shadows of Jenga, there are real consequences for living with the label. I learned of the news that there are four times more likely to commit suicide for young children as much as ten years old, with hard life lessons.
There are plenty of people who got away with miserable actions, but did not own up to their actions. Again, I am far from perfect and I make human mistakes, too. Will you be willing to learn the culture of Deaf returnees?
As the author of Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem wrote from the book: “You’re a fucking loser. You’re pathetic. You’re ugly. Nobody likes you. You might as well die. You’re stupid. Why bother doing anything? You know you’ll fail. It goes on and on like that for hours, repeating the same things. Relentless, like I’m always being watched and judged. You’re pathetic. You’re ugly. Over and over.”
I know the feeling. I won’t let it control me to set up for self-hatred so profound it sometimes left me dealing with the label. Will you accept me to be part of Deaf community? I’ve told many times that I should not doing anything and set me up for failure, and judged without knowing my life stories.
Bullying: Deaf vs. Deaf is the hardest thing to deal with. I am no better either. In this time of crisis, it is Deaf leaders and Deaf community itself who hold out, by our very nature, the deepest vision of healing and peace that is possible for Deaf people including Deaf returnees. It begins in our hearts, in that place that is never separate from the living heart of ours. Am I allowed to earn empowerment that is something that begins within ourselves that finds a big mirror to reflect who we are between healing and growing pain?
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
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Additional blog posts to read about suicide:
Today, November 13, 2017, is World Kindness Day. Seriously, it is. Good time to remind yourself that for next year and for the reminder of the humanly lives. Be kind. Remember that everybody is fighting his or her own personal battles that you know nothing about. Stop hate please. I am writing about Deaf returning citizens.
Currently, I am reading a book, Stand up to Stigma: How We Reject Fear and Shame by Pernessa C. Seele, has helped me to think and questions that we need to analyze more about community accountability. We also need to recognize in a hierarchy who do a good job that would be promote to the next level. If they are not competent, then they do not get promoted and remained at that level. We also have responsibility to break the cycle of stigma, too.
Seriously, this book is damn good! I’ve read few books about Stigma, but this one is the top of all! I write to you that it will worth every dollar of yours to read this book and help break the cycle of stigma, and guide you to see the personal stories and it is only $17.95, of course with taxes.
Remember great literature George Orwell, that guy was brilliant for creating a shared language for educational equity, to understand the glossary of an important term:
Doublethink: The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
Then does it leads to a compassion that is any and all thoughts that serves the actions of seeing ourselves? Do we ever wonder that we do not talk enough about compassion?
Compassion is enhanced wherever and whenever consciousness displaces repression and unconsciousness and reality replace unreality.” Compassion & Self-Hate: An Alternative To Despair by Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D;
Be kindness. Like I wrote above, everybody is fighting his or her own personal battles that you know nothing about. Let’s celebrate World Kindness Day!
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
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Deaf Butterflies Falling Into Skulls—Forgotten People done by David Call.
What a special day! Woooooooooo!! It is September 11th! Yes, that’s right! “You must be crazy for thinking like that!” No, I am not talking about 9/11 in NYC–I am talking about 9/11 in 1880. Yes, Deaf people DO make good neighbors because they are ordinary people like you and me who suffered through Oralism have learned their struggles and the Milan Resolution of 1880 facts say much more than just that. Do not be manipulated by the fear hucksters as Milan Resolution says so. Get the facts for yourself.
I do not care about whether you have sympathy or not. What matters the most here is that hearing people who commits Audism be held accountable and after they have been successfully held accountable in society, do they have the right to be integrated back into society? That means these people need sensitive training, disable ignorance, and other societal needs met. They need an “I AM AUDIST” label where, like today, results in discrimination, stigmatization, shaming, un-employment, under-employment, homelessness, and general social exile are the norms that must be reversed against Deaf citizens today.
People are so reactionary on this stuff, the penalties are now almost as bad as “wiping them out”—yes, Audism is a terrible disease, but they are not the same as taking someone’s life. See my point? The Milan Resolution is a total mess as well. Audists who are caught and they do not land on Audism list—and all the Audists in the world are all lumped onto one list for lifetime humiliation.
Hearing people already known to Deaf person commit the vast majority of oppression against Deaf people. The continual focus on the Deaf-danger myth—thanks to Karl White, the potential threat to Deaf community. Oh, not just Karl White, but Theresa Bulger, Dimitry Dornan, and yes, the founder of Tucker Maxon Oral School, Paul Boley, my first school and many other Audists out there.
For the majority of Deaf community who suffered under the spell of Milan Resolution who have paid their debt to society should be reintegrated back into our communities WITHOUT the targeting that continually wounds them with shaming, stigmatization, unemployment, homelessness, and general social exile. As a liberal society, I believe in facts before myth, science before faith, and reason before assumption, and justice for all Deaf citizens—-not a justice for a few.
Milan Resolution used myth, faith, and assumption that Deaf people are dumb because they cannot hear sounds. The Milan Resolution who make a deal that Deaf people all MUST learn oralism on September 11th, 1880—is nothing more than the thousands of other propaganda mill rumors that promote fear as a mean to profit. Interested readers who desire to learn about Milan Resolution should investigate the following facts: Religion plays a major factor.
We need to repeal the Milan Resolution 1880 off the history books because it is the greatest legislative fraud that is based on false assumptions: The Oralism Success stories. We must as a humane society protect Deaf signing community from undue harsh response by Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and its ignorant rabble. Enlightened Audiologists, Speech therapists, and such support alternatives to imprison them or else.
Taxpayer funded cochlear implant companies would give them a glory story by getting Deaf children to become hearing and receive a good life and free Audists for more oppression who are more dangerous to society than anybody.
Time to show compassion for the most put-upon hated minority in American society, the Deaf people. Allow them the respect you would show you win them and welcome them back into the society with open arms! Today is the saddest day in Deaf history, September 11th, 1880 where the Milan Resolution conference changed Deaf people’s lives forever!
Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.