I have been (un?)fortunately reminded why I did not want to be a part of any social media groups, relating to or based on deafness / sign language. For I am now much happier, without, having since left quite a few.
Having this extraordinary second chance at life has meant I have very little tolerance for such toxic “deaf world” attitudes. For me to get extremely angry nowadays is very rare but as always, is justified.
My personal experience (here in the UK) is that because deaf people do not support each other, that often makes matters worse. Sadly, causing mental health issues from within.
The deaf community has however, come a long way and that should not be forgotten. From being hidden away, or being forbidden to sign, to what it is today for we now, are able to be an equal. There is still a lot to do to improve the mental health state within the deaf community and it is down to the deaf community to work harder through legal means to improve situations.
Each and every being, deserves to be respected – regardless.
Each one of us, deserves better.
I would like to publicly thank my friends, for your continued support. For one another especially. For your courage and conviction.
Much love and admiration to you all. 💖💖💖
Bless your cottons! 😜
May positivity and peace reign over us all, once more.
Oftentimes I am reminded of the challenging positions of past that I was subjected to on different occasions by those who let their negativity and jealousy get the better of them, by those who had one rule for themselves and another for others, by those who conspired to overtake my role as founder and owner of The Tree House. There were also those who dared to manipulate (others) in order to engineer situations for their own gains, only, for it to be all in vain.
Only a select few has stood the test of time, remaining by my side throughout, giving continuous support and respect and so, it is they who deserve to be applauded for their courage to do right by others. Their moral values are both honourable and admirable.
Inevitably, there came a time when I became extremely deflated, of all the triviality and nastiness out there, so much so that I was determined not to close down The Tree House, in defiance of those who then chose to exploit and/or bully me, for being who I am. For being different, for being honest and for standing on my own two feet. For not following the (m)asses.
Fortunately, I soon realised all the unsavouriness was still dictating the quality of my time, which, to me, is very precious knowing how short life can be. My beloved children consequently became my first, second and last reason, hence the decision to take a sabbatical.
All I ever wished for was a space (for people) to speak freely with the greatest of respect, without fear of being judged. This is actually possible but only as long as people remain respectful and open minded of one another, willing to improve and learn, even from one’s (their own) mistakes. Except, there is yet much to absorb and practise regarding patience and relatively, respect. Everyone is different and there will always be those from all walks of life, who will teach us who not to be.
Even, those who may choose to knowingly associate themselves with the likes of the unsavouriness still, after having witnessing events or having seen evidence of the events, after allowing “them” to manipulate them into choosing “their” side – “they” are now, their problem. Their conscience.
To get by in the world of politics, one has to lie, be cunning, devious, manipulate and hold no or very little regard for others. It is all a game of ego and greed for power. Whereas a honest and genuine person trying to do their best by the people, for the people, will unfortunately be singled out and descended upon by a baying pack of wolves, those who are in fact afraid of having their true colours exposed, fearing the truth and subsequently, being embarrassed of their own flaws.
There are those of us who may (appear to) stand alone for speaking the truth and telling it like it is. However, that is okay because our conscience is clear.
Now would be an ideal time to remind you of one of my posts titled “Positivity rules!”
There is no shame in being introspective, in being honest albeit respectfully, in seeking further knowledge, for it will all help you to become a better person. It is courageous at best since it is all about the survival of the fittest in our test of a lifetime.
On that note, do look forwards – not backwards as any impurities, which have been filtered out and left behind, are behind us for valid reasons.
Thus, why, I have decided to move on from such experiences. I have learnt so much more about people and their ways, the deaf world and how it functions. I can only hope you will appreciate this level of honesty, as I believe people deserve to know the truth since the truth always prevails.
We all have our own lives to mind and so, I wish you all the best in yours.
A token of gratitude and a tip of the hat please, for Andrew, Paul, Mervyn and all our readers / contributors simply, for being you.
The Internet is littered with forums, social media platforms, chat rooms etc. where they should be a place you can feel safe and unthreatened and just be able to be yourself. Say what you think, have your own opinions on whatever and not feel ashamed to say or express them. Well, that is the theory… but we all know that theories are all great but when “the rubber hits the road” it can be, and often is, a very different story.
There are people out there, grown adults no less (!), who think it is acceptable behaviour to verbally bully and manipulate others because:
•Differing beliefs or points of view
•Not understanding a point made
•Because they feel their victim is siding with someone’s view and not their own
Let us be straight about this for a second, it is not ok, it is not right, not now, not ever! It just makes me wonder, how were these people dragged brought up in the first place? If either of my kids turns out to be a bully, whether physical or in this way, I will feel, I have failed in my position as a father and role model. There is a proverb in the Bible:
I am trying to talk about this, to bring all this rubbish to the surface and try and be rid of this baggage myself. And also, so other people out there who are suffering, or indeed have suffered in this way, know that it is ok to speak out against these bullies.
If you are indeed suffering and not sure where to turn, consider getting help. Maybe by speaking with a friend, (“A problem shared is a problem halved”. Remember?!), The Samaritans maybe or a quick Google search reveals there is organisations out there that deal with this sort of thing. It may even be worth a trip to your local GP to discuss counselling if you feel that is what is needed.
What is important though, is to speak out – do not let these animals, these scumbags win! I know it can be hard to speak out about bullying, I know that from my school days, but it is important to speak to at least, one person.
~ PAL, who can also be found rambling away on *here.
This (very much appreciated) post was inspired by and written in relation to SJ’s post called “Stop Online Abuse“.
Being in the public eye for the past two years has subjected me to many forms of online abuse be it indirectly or directly. I have witnessed the “mob mentality” escalate appallingly fast when someone may have a different school of thought, or by simply being different. Take the time for example when I was attacked for choosing to speak instead of sign in my BBC interview. I naturally speak when I am with hearing people as I am more comfortable doing so yet my choice to speak was not respected by those who demanded that I signed just because I come from a deaf family. I was put between a rock and a hard place and I was damned if I did sign and damned if I didn’t. The sheer number of sheep flocking was astonishing – thank God I am not a sheep! These days, too many people take advantage of peer pressure to manipulate and dictate others what to do.
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou.
There will always be someone who can put forwards different perspectives on issues and situations due to their experiences in life and knowledge, making the impact for change greater – surely everyone deserves to be respected with kindness just as much as the next person regardless? It is extremely healthy to have variations of viewpoints so one can be educated and decide – especially for themselves.
When having a different opinion one tends to be singled out as a “Troll” yet to single that person out as a troll must be another form of abuse in itself.
However I have recently experienced a new form of online abuse and I have been left saddened by it. This experience has made me want to retreat, have nothing at all to do with the world-wide web to distance myself from all the negativity and to restrain myself from reacting. Life is far too short.
To go onto social media and post potentially libellous material which names a person, persons and so on when they cannot defend themselves surely must be another form of online abuse? Especially when there is no evidence that the named party has attacked or done anything wrong yet people feel the urge to personally attack the named party? And what’s worse, people adopting the “mob mentality” by joining in and adding fuel to the fire. No one is born with hatred – it is instilled and mimicked. If only respect worked in the same sense.
Seeing that occur from a distance opened my eyes and I soon realised I had been in the very same position numerous times now. Unfortunately I know I am not alone in this experience for a friend of mine was personally attacked recently by someone posting a video onto social media publicly naming him and criticising him. If only he had sorted his dispute out privately with the named person – he would not be now known as a bully within our circle of mutual friends.
I will not tolerate or condone any form of online abuse around me especially bullying. I made it clear that I would not stand for this within the Tree House in the form of personal attacks (or when we are named outside the safety perimeters of the Tree House which subsequently is inviting us to take action) or be associated with those seen to be contributing to the very public online form of abuse. Yet making it clear, I was inevitably set upon. My position as founder in trying to protect the Tree House from any potential damage was questioned, undermined. oppressed and criticised. Being unbiased and diplomatic sets myself apart from others and this helps me to look outside the box – as always I will do as I deem just, adapting to each situation based on my experience. Was my being criticised and slated another form of online abuse? Maybe not in their eyes but it certainly felt like it to me.
To have thick skin is very important and deaf people are extremely vulnerable to the various forms of abuse, be it online, within society, at school, at work and unfortunately at home. In all walks of life, there will always be that someone who will try to drag others down no matter who they may be, for being different. My scars have healed over many times now hence why my skin has grown thicker and if I can refuse to be manipulated, so can you. Positivity rules!
Do not encourage any form of online abuse because these emotions which are associated with being bullied will exhibit themselves within the victim(s).
◾Difficulty trusting others
The offenders’ hatred should not dictate your time and you would only be lowering yourself to their level if you join in or encourage it. Rise above it because people who show their true colours in this manner deserve to be reported to the police so keep a record of all the evidence and present it in order to take action. I have done this in the past being a victim and they have listened – they issued warnings to the offending parties. With actions comes consequences – if they can dish it out, they can certainly take it.
Please, don’t have one rule for yourself and another for others – put yourself in the victim’s shoes and walk hundreds of miles in it first, taking a look in the mirror before passing any judgement or criticism.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jnr.
It is about time online abuse in its various forms is stopped. Help by being a part of that change in stopping personal attacks, cyber bullying and all forms of online harassment. Fight back – especially for justice.
Update: Defamatory gossip is now being spread about The Tree House and myself which is once again another form of abuse – Please keep evidence of this as we have built up a case which we have taken action on with positive results.