So I watched an episode of the show “What Would You Do?” tonight, which I shared with you a bit in IMs earlier. But… I really wanted to write a post about it because, as you know, this is a really big issue that hits close to home.
On the show, it made me cry. Literally cry while I watched the kindness of some strangers… and the very realistic representation of the hurdles involved with this issue.
Although not deaf, in being mute I have a serious hurdle to overcome when out in public. It is a part of the reason that I often choose to have someone with me when I go out.
Still, I do plenty of errands and tasks out and about on my own, and you cannot imagine how often I run into problems. Whether I go out with paper and pen, my tablet to type messages on, or my phone that has multiple text-to-speech apps to use… there’s just some people that are completely intolerant to the hurdles involved with being non-vocal.
These people? Lift my chin and show them the scar so that they can understand I have no voice? And all you get is an “EW, WTF MAN?? That’s gross.”
There’s no empathy. There’s no understanding. No compassion. There’s no -effort- at all on their part.
I’ve had people I’ve tried to communicate with just snort at me and walk away. I’ve had them literally call me a “retard” and tell me that I shouldn’t be allowed outside my home alone. These are people that work in a customer service industry. Waiters, cashiers, retail employees…. people that should have SOME sort of temperance and make some sort of effort to understand and communicate.
I’m not a goddamned cripple. I’m not mentally handicapped. I don’t need a babysitter. I’m a grown fucking man that was attacked, died on my kitchen floor, and was brought back by paramedics to find myself forever irreversibly injured in that attack. I can communicate just fine as long as the other person is willing to put in a little effort beyond using their ears. And yet? That kind of behavior shown by the waiter in that show? Is so very common.
It was really nice to see the people that stepped up, but as someone that deals with this issue on an everyday basis? I can tell you from first hand experience, those kind souls are few and far between. In my experience? Most people would rather turn their head and pretend it’s not happening.
I don’t know why I’m posting this. I think I just had to get it out.