Home, But Not At Home.

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Looks beware.

It took a lot out of me today, to remain calm and ignore this incredibly rude woman on the bus who refused to budge an inch for me and my pram, which carried my beautiful sleeping baby.

The bus was almost EMPTY but she was sitting right where the pram needs to be placed, safely. The priority seats for those with a pram or children. I was dumbfounded by her coldness and misery. Not one flicker of kindness or consideration to let me pass, her, to access the empty seat next to her so I could sit next to / with my baby.

I decided not to let her dictate the whole situation and submit to her evilness so I squeezed past her, between her and the pram and sat down. I felt her stony glare dig in and could see just how despicable she became, out of the corner of my eye. I focused on my baby who was my priority and smiled at her, reassuring her I was by her side so she could go back to sleep.

A sense of achievement overcame me, I had not allowed her to bully me based on her assumptions of me.

A kind stranger looked at me to see if I was okay because they too had noticed this woman’s attitude. I would have loved to vent right there and then with someone who witnessed it all, especially their dirty looks. Instead, a hint of a smile was managed.

Patience prevailed.

I was born in the United Kingdom and I have a British passport. I may not have pale white skin or “English” features but that does not give anyone the right to judge me or anyone else based on my / our looks or choice of clothing.

Who the hell do some people think they are? Piss off!

Words fail me, when I am made to feel like a foreigner in my own country. This may be my home country but I am most certainly, not at home.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Where Are Your Manners?

Utterly shocked at the snobbery of some people.

My daughter goes to the library with her friend so I drop them off and see my father for a brief chat, cappuccino for him. The table he chose to sit down at had a mother and teenage daughter neighbouring it. Cafe was pretty busy and full. Instantly I felt their dismay at us sitting there, next to them. I chose to ignore it.

I happened to catch the mother giving me funny looks so I ignored her again. Fuming inside I was though. I had to keep calm and my wits about me…. even when she put up her mega sized costa coffee cup over her mouth in our direction, not drinking out of it. She held it there for a good five minutes until her daughter made her put the mug down. I ignored the bitch. I had to.

They left and I wished I had put her in her place by asking her what her problem was. The effing cheek of her… to go to a public cafe where all the hearing people can hear sod all she says but hides from us. Not that I wanted to look at her or be nosy. Could it have been because she was trying to hide what they were saying about us?

Kettle had boiled and settled. Calm was restored.

We then went for a walk to pass a little time but one of the shop’s entrances was busy. My dad being tall and well built, slowly edged his way through a small gap. I spy this woman giving him a dirty look behind his back. I looked at her and calmly asked her, “Why did you give him a dirty look?” The dirty look reappeared.

Omfg.

I said to her, calmly – I don’t know how! “There is no need for you to give me a dirty look either.” and walked away….

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Walking back to the library… the woman from the cafe and her daughter walked past me. I thought sod it, carpe diem. Don’t laugh. Heh.

She was trying to ignore me as I approached her… I said to her “Just because I can sign and have hearing aids,  it doesn’t mean I can’t hear you. Next time don’t be so rude and hide behind a mug.” And walked, back to my father. Who was standing a short distance away, smiling with what seemed to be a sense of pride.

I cannot understand why some people can behave in such a way? How does evil come naturally to them? Mind boggling.

I wanna get off this planet…

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

What Is A Hate Incident?

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I was reminded of an incident that happened to me some years ago, by the actions of this hateful woman who very recently hurled verbal abuse non-stop for about five minutes at a pregnant woman because of her religion. Not only that, she threatened to kick her in the stomach. The only thing I feel able to say in response to this offender is to “Take a look in the mirror”. For people to realise such hypocrisy. Her ancestors are neither white nor British – how dare she tell this innocent woman, to go back where she came from.

My memory of a potentially hateful incident serves as follows…

I was shopping one day in a maternity shop, for a gift to purchase for my sister who was expecting her second baby. I spied some pyjamas in the sale for my young daughter so I stretched my hand out to pick it off the rail. However, this woman snatched it from my hands and said it was hers. It was on the rails so how could it be hers I exclaimed. She refused to let go of the hanger and the garments I had picked up. There was a battle of words and anger took hold. She was absolutely vile.

We were in a maternity store and there she was, kicking me in the stomach with one aim, she obviously assumed I was pregnant and aimed to maim. The security guard and my husband rushed to pull us off one another yet she continued to kick me in the stomach. I had a life-saving operation on my stomach 2 years before and had to see the GP to be on the safe side.

It was more than clear to the shop’s staff that the instigator was, along the lines of not being respectable, good mannered and well-behaved. The contrast was rather apparent.

I was looked after while this vile woman was escorted off the premises, I had asked the shop’s manager for the police to be called so I could have it ‘on paper’ what happened in case the, let’s say… ‘ABH’, actually did some harm or long-term damage to my already fragile stomach. The police were not called but the shop very kindly put me into a pre-paid taxi for my safety, homeward bound.

Should my request then, for the Police to be involved, be respected or not?

Did my deafness hinder my opportunities to keep on top of the situation regarding what happened?

In addition, is it a positive thing that my deafness hindered me from understanding / knowing what was actually said to me during the incident? I feel somewhat fortunate that my deafness prevented me from being as exposed to the verbal abuse from her and her acquaintances.

Just to clarify any notions that this incident may have been along the lines of hearing vs deaf or vice versa. This is not the case as most people were not aware of my hearing impairment until after the incident, due to a hat I was wearing which covered my ears, therefore my HA’s.

I had to take it all in my stride as with everything else, as a good experience and challenge.

One of the problems with being deaf is that everyone else knows who we are yet we do not know who they (the hearing people) are.

All they have to say / think when they see us, ‘that’s the one who is deaf’… they can identify / recognise us.

We can change how we look, our names but not our disability, which at times, renders us vulnerable. Disability hate crime does exist.

I have since bought several personal alarms (key-ring pull ones) for my children. I already had one at the time but was unable to use it during this particular experience.

It is quite unfortunate my children were with me at the time and they were extremely distraught.

Advice given to me by a friend at the time was that I could always “go along to the police station and ask to speak to someone about it. They can still go back to the shop, ask questions, and if necessary take action. It is not always the best idea to call the cops in the heat of the moment as it can escalate hostilities” so they assured me I did right there.

To quote him;

“What is a hate incident?

When a person or group of people treats someone badly just because they do not like whom they are.

Why does this happen?

Some people bully or hurt other people who are different from them because:

#They are disabled

#they have a different colour skin

#they wear different clothes

#they are old

#they are young

#they are gay

#they go to a place of worship e.g. church or mosque

If this happens to you or someone you know tell someone. There is nothing wrong in being different.”

Report it, always. http://www.report-it.org.uk/home

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

There’s No Place Like Home…

Oftentimes, I wonder where one’s home is because I have questioned myself if somewhere can really be ‘home’? As I was sent away to boarding school, ten going onto eleven years old, I lost that vital ‘homely’ and ‘family’ sense. Moreover, I do not really like to complain because…

Some people or children I dread to think do not even have a home. People here in the UK and elsewhere can be so ungrateful and inexplicably arrogant; they have a roof over their heads and free medical care. They concern themselves with having the best garment or the latest gadget when an older child overseas could be going without food for days at a time so their younger sibling does not – Their parents having passed away. It is children like them who you need to pay your respects to and be mindful of, not some sociopath looking to gain popularity to feed their ego and vanity.

Unfortunately, there is a level of such hypocrisy and ignorance amongst us also. There was a Polish family in the Valley and so there happened to be an Afghanistan family too. I scanned around me to gauge people’s reactions as I sensed an interesting moment. Most were happy to respect one another’s personal space and continue as they were yet the Polish adults clearly from their body language, facial expressions and directional glances did not want this Afghanistan family sharing the same albeit very public playground as their children or their space. One of them even tried his luck to take a photo of the women as they were in their full gear. He pretended he was looking at the menu on his camera but then he felt braver and so the camera was lifted higher and higher until he felt confident enough to brazenly photograph them.

I felt fury seething away at me yet my husband held me back from standing in front of his camera to obscure any further potential frames and to prevent him from being so disrespectful – making a point of his/their attitudes. How dare they take photos of another family and be racist about them when they are immigrants themselves?! The bloody cheek of them.

Once, someone from the very same vicinity told my husband, my children and I to go back where we came from… If only they knew that, I came from down the road to them. There was no way my family and I was going to keep quiet about these bullies so we complained to the local councillor and several others who at their next residents meeting had their voices heard on our behalf. They were rather embarrassed and somewhat apologised.

Many also tend to have one rule for themselves and another. I knew someone who did not want anything to do with anyone who was in a negative state of mind yet he did not practise what he preached “Be kind always for you never know what that person is going through”… What another hypocrite.

One of the things about being deaf is being able to relate to how a foreigner is made to feel, since we are made to feel like outcasts also. Social cleansing happens much more than people realise.

The difference between the people of the North and the south of England is clearly diversity and tolerance. In London, anything goes – everyone is different and easily tolerated whereas in the North, most people are spoilt and do not like change.

Nevertheless, I have come to sense a certain emotion being ‘at home’ in the North East of Yorkshire. Being out in the wide open, the rolling moors, and the golden beaches of which is the surfers’ paradise. Up above are birds cherishing their flight and the wind beneath their wings. Bags of Cinder Toffee testing the strength of one’s delicate teeth. The mouth-watering aroma of the traditional fish and chips, especially in Whitby… Forget Parmesan! Discovering an abundance of fossils here and there. My childhood becoming my children’s’.

The glistening in the sunlight and the relative unique sounds of the seashore reminds me how it feels to be at peace, to be in awe of Mother Nature and its designs. Trivial issues be it political or personal and wealth turn ever more meaningless. The meaning of Life is clear.

However, Italy and North Africa is also in my blood so it is only natural that I feel a certain connection to these places and their cultures. Ever since I was a child growing up in the UK, I have never felt at home or accepted, not even, for who I am. How could I ever feel “at home” amongst all the conflicting angst being imposed upon myself?

As the delight in my children’s faces matches that in my heart, I know that as long as we have one another, I determine that I will be ‘home’… For ‘home’ is where my heart is.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)