I blog a lot about my deaf friends. The reason for that is because for the majority of my life I didn’t have a constant circle of deaf friends. I did have a few years here and there where I had a couple of deaf friends. In a way it’s still new to me so I am still exploring what it means to have a circle of deaf friends.
I do want to talk a bit about my hearing friends.
They’re awesome people.
Just like my deaf friends, they have a special place in my heart.
A lot of mainstreamed deaf people talk about how they felt alone because they didn’t have more than 1 or 2 good friends due to communication barriers. Yes, I experienced that communication barrier but I also saw how that barrier could be knocked down.
I always had several good hearing friends no matter what stage I was at in my life. Until this past year I had way more hearing friends than deaf friends (it’s about equal now). It took me a while to adjust to constantly being surrounded by deaf people. I do miss being around my hearing friends.
Anyways, my hearing friends are some of the most awesome people ever. I used to feel guilty because I knew it took extra time and effort on their part to communicate with me. As I got older the more I realized they were doing this because they wanted to get to know me…I was worthy of getting to know. Through the process of breaking down communication barriers together….we developed strong friendships.
Because there was so much time and energy put into our friendship….I have made some of the most loyal friends a person could ever make. Whenever I moved away or if we had an argument…we went the extra mile to work things out and make sure we stayed in touch. I’m actually still in touch with a few friends I have only seen twice since 9th grade.
Heck, I didn’t always need to communicate with people to be friends with them. That was the best thing about being a kid. You didn’t need to worry about talking about clothes, boys, gossip, or anything. The main goal of any kid, hearing or deaf, was to play and have fun. I didn’t need to understand other kids to play and have the time of my life with them. One of my best friends during my early childhood was a hearing boy who didn’t know any sign language. We had some good times together.
Breaking down communication barriers takes work but it brings people closer to each other and forms a strong bond. For this reason sometimes I think I’m one of the few people who truly knows what it is like to have a true friend. My hearing friends are a family to me just like my deaf friends are.