Age Old Attitudes Still Prevails

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A couple of years ago, my daughter kept asking a good friend of hers to come round after school. Her school friend desperately wanted to come but it soon transpired she was not allowed to. This disappointed my daughter greatly so. Upon enquiringly why her friend was not allowed to come, it transpired that her parents thought I was incapable of looking after her, “It’s dangerous” – simply because, of my deafness.

I could not believe my eyes at the time, what I was lip-reading…

After disclosing it to close friends and seeing their reactions, none of which was very constructive, I decided my best option was to contact the parent support advisor from the school and explain how unfair it was, that such an attitude was preventing two good friends from some quality time together, outside of school. I received a prompt yet agreeable response – they obviously educated the mother as her daughter was eventually permitted to come round.

Two years on, except this time her mother cannot pick her up so she subsequently asked me to drop her off home. I was happy to do so and agreed, “Fine!…” She paused and sensing her bout of contemplative hesitation, I decided to smile to put her at ease.

She turned to my daughter and told her, “Get your dad to bring her home…”

Hmmm, I did not know what to think or feel but to let it be. At least, the girls were happy… Slowly but surely, it is at least an improvement on the age old attitude, two years before.

Even though her home is within walking distance, there is no danger whatsoever.

Yes, deaf people can drive (shock horror!). I once had a friend who had no choice but be driven home by my (deaf) mother. He was rather nervous at that. Come to think of it, my mother also smiled….

Is smiling potentially dangerous?! Perhaps, one needs certifying? After all, smiling does seem to bring trouble 😉

Nah, I think I shall keep on smiling, all because it is free and does wonders.

Patience will prevail over such attitudes.

~SJ (Sara Jae)

The Truth Always Prevails

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“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” ~ Thomas Jefferson

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.

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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.

More than you realise… 🙂

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

That Magical Feeling

No one likes having a full bladder and not being able to use the toilet. Except the looming ultrasound scan was almost imminent. Just half an hour left to go in trying to hold it. Jeez!

Previously, on the bus journey over to the women’s health day unit, I felt good compared to my last experience. Then, I was worrying and contemplative but this time around, it is what it is. Of course the results will be anticipated, I just do not wish to borrow tomorrow’s troubles prematurely.

Right now, what I am really looking forwards to is emptying my bladder! I really cannot hold it any more, it does say on the letter if one is desperate to go, they can release a tiny amount but to replace it by drinking more water immediately afterwards. Half an hour’s wait, too painful. Sod it.

A moment’s relief was soon brimming once more at the rim. “Bloody hell, how much longer can I hold it in for?” I thought… Recalling various moments of banter where I had teased others about listening to running taps and picturing waterfalls, that amused me still. (That made you chuckle I am sure.)

A woman suddenly appeared and asked to see my letter, who said, “I will call you in, in a few mins.” “Heck, I had just relieved myself of a little – was that little enough?” I hoped it was.

Her face was priceless as she first started the scan “Whoa! Your bladder is very full! You would not have made it if you had to wait until your allocated time!” She had called me in 20 mins early. By this time, I was bursting once again and once I was permitted to empty my bladder, it seemed never-ending. A bit, like when Austin powers was defrosting from his cryogenic period and they made him use the urinal. Funny indeed.

More probing… More questions. “Have you had an operation before? Do you have a lot of pain?” Etc. Some I answered yes to and others, no.

Finally, all was done and she informed me that I needed to see my GP in a weeks’ time for the results.

Once again, patience has to prevail.

I feel okay, perhaps detached, which might be a defence mode of mine or subconsciously being strong, for others. I have been here before albeit in different circumstances so I have been prepared in a sense for anything, if anything.

I decided to take a detour on my way home to the high street, for some “me time” to reflect on today’s roller coaster of a ride. Do I hide the fact I have had a smear test and ultrasounds from my kids as not to worry or remind them of our ordeal last time around… Alternatively, do I stick to a habit of a lifetime of which honesty is the best policy? The latter I decided on.

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Walking through the high street, the Christmas cheer was welcomed. My immediate family does not celebrate Christmas but the kids get do gifts for being good. That magical feeling is certainly present and today it helped. The twinkling lights, shimmering tinsel, glowing smiles, scent of pine trees, I hope the very same magic will see me through the next few weeks of having to remain patient and positive. Some falling snow though, would add that extra magical touch in completing the overall picture. (Hint hint!)

On one hand, it is most probably nothing but on the other hand who knows. Being sporty and keeping fit does not deter what nature intended because with every beginning, there is also an end – nothing lasts forever and that is a fact of the matter, not a negative outlook as some have and may try to portray, lying to themselves in the process.

Where would we be this time tomorrow or even next year? God only knows. Life is extremely precarious and I cannot emphasise just how fragile it is to those who would much prefer to remain trivial. As I have been instructed to remember for my own sanity, other people’s shortcomings are not my problem but theirs alone.

I did feel a bit lonely today but in a good way if that is at all possible. No one I passed by knew where I had been or why and vice versa. The strangers I saw, I could not help but wonder if they too, were OK.

Family time is becoming even more so, precious – so please, do remember your loved ones and spare a thought for those you may not and do not know, for they might be lonely, cold, hungry, depressed, poor or even homeless. Especially over such wintry months. Be patient within yourself and thus with others. Not everyone will immediately appreciate that but the message is there, for those who do eventually understand, on their own terms.

Que sera, sera… Listen to your body and let nature work itself out as decreed. Do not ignore any potential symptoms or try to reign over nature, especially if the appropriate treatment could delay the inevitable, enabling your loved ones to enjoy the pleasure of your company furthermore. One day, you, they will be loving angels instead, and they will be there for us – in our hearts.

Have faith and trust in it. It all helps… That magical feeling.

Keep on smiling for it is free and does wonders. Moreover because, it suits you so… 🙂

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

All Shall Be Well…

Alarm bells which had started to ring recently indicated it was now the time, to finally pay the GP, a visit and to momentarily embrace her with the pleasure of my company. 😉

An ultrasound is now in the pipelines. How do I feel about that one may ask? Well, last time around I ended up in hospital fighting alongside the consultants, for my life. On one hand, I know what to anticipate this time around yet on the other hand, learning the result will determine what happens next…

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Meanwhile a diary is to be kept of any pain, the duration of and what foods I eat.

Except, to relive what was quite the nightmarish memory will be very hard going emotionally and mentally but as with then, it is a case of one step at a time, one day at a time.

My children and their happiness come first, above everything and everyone else. I am humbly reminded once more to enjoy and cherish, the now.

Patience will prevail, as will a dose of positivity. Whatever may be decreed by God’s will, have faith that all shall be well… In the end.

🙂

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

With Age Comes Wisdom

Peace

Reflecting upon last Friday’s massacre in Paris and seeing how the whole world has taken notice and shown their support, it will inevitably frustrate those who have lost loved ones in Palestine, those who were banned from going to mosques, and so on. They are innocent people too, are they not? Where is their voice, their support?

The reason why such a despicable attack was carried out is because these men were (mentally) young, impressionable and frustrated at the French (and the western world) for their hypocrisy and responibilties in taking innocent lives – elsewhere.

If only they had not been so frustrated or impatient, in time they would have realised it is wrong to take innocent lives, especially that of women and children. They clearly misunderstood the true meaning of Islam and what it stands for which is peace, patience, humility and tolerance but understood what they were learnt, on their own terms. Distorted and fuelled by their anger at the hypocrisy of the western world.

I have seen boisterous young men do whatever they want because their mind has been set to it whereas I have seen other aggressive young men become wise with knowledge and patience.

To retaliate with violence (especially where a war in any sense ensues) is so not the answer.

With respect comes peace… With age comes wisdom.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

The Next Hurdle

Today I had to pay the eye hospital another visit. This time around was a lot more stressful in the sense that I had to rely on the public for their kindness, patience and assistance.

I was given eye drops on the spot so a test could be undertaken. This meant my eyesight would be temporarily blurry albeit for a good few hours only. I tried not to go into panic mode as my thoughts returned to the journey home, by foot, train and bus. How would I manage all that? One pondered.

Unfortunately, patients’ names are called out at this particular hospital so I could not help but daydream, gazing at the floor, unable to focus on anyone around me. I found myself trying to listen perhaps to compensate for the temporary sight loss. Each time a name was called, I paused to see if it sounded similar to mine until one name when I thought, “Ooh, was that my name? It could have been but perhaps not because the receptionist hadn’t come to alert me.” Doubts crept in as intuition told me that was my name so I looked up to appease my nerves and saw the nurse who had earlier, done the eye drops, approaching me and with her hand, waved for me to come. I explained to her that I could not focus on anyone’s lips. She understood. The doctor DID call my name. (Go me!)

While my hearing aids enable me to hear so much more – not being able to focus, I could not really hear as well which proves to me just how much we hear with our eyes – it became clearer to me just how unfair playing the deaf card can be. I never used to question why deaf people thought they were entitled to pay only half of their TV license fees, like those with blindness do. “It’s only fair,” they would state… ‘Tis not fair at all for blindness alone causes one to be so much more dependent, stressed and isolated than deafness can. Our eyesight is extremely precious, hearing less so. However, when it is combined?

When those who happen to be deaf, try their luck in taking advantage of any privileges that is usually taken for granted, they run the risk of offending those so much more entitled. For sure, there are those who rely on solely sign language and for some it can be a matter of life or death but for most, not really, because they can at least understand the nation’s language, be it written or spoken.

The eye doctor, who made every effort possible to speak extremely clearly, put me at ease very quickly. I could see enough to gauge, and what to do next all the while making mental notes of how it felt being unable to see, so clearly, for your information.

For example, I noticed how much more comfortable it felt to look down, it put less pressure on my eyes and relatively, my headache – no or less visible noise for my eyes to try to focus on. I also wondered if I was standing and holding myself, gazing to the side as a blind person usually do.

Eventually, I was free to go except the prospect of the journey home filled me with utter dread.

How was I going to cross the roads safely? How was I going to know which destination on the train it would be or which line the train was? Alternatively, which stop it was? How this and that, I could not answer.

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The first hurdle was taking a few tentative steps outside but I had to be brave and just go for it. I expected to see a green man at a crossing to indicate when it was safe to cross but it was not a man, just a green blob.

I had no choice but to retrace my steps home – from memory with an abundance of patience.

The next hurdle was checking I had the right (train) platform home. I decided I could only follow the colour of the tube lines I needed and then when I needed direction as to take which platform, I took consciously longer to look at the shape of the words, indicating its destination. Did the size and outline of their word match the word I had, in my mind? If it did not, it had to be the wrong platform. I had to triple check with myself before I had the confidence that I was going in the right direction.

The next hurdle was to be sure of the next train’s destination, or was it to be a train meant for elsewhere? Under so much stress, I reminded myself to look at the word once again; did the size and outline match? Yes it did – quick double check, yes off I jumped onto the tube. How would I know when it was my stop? This was not my usual or local train so from memory I recalled the stops on my way there, counting on my fingers – putting each finger down for each stop. When the time came to change lines, I underwent the same motions not once but twice more. On the last tube change, I could start to relax being in familiar territory.

The next hurdle was in catching the bus home. The people traffic by then had worn me out; having been on tenterhooks the whole journey, hoping people would be mindful and patient with someone who may have looked extremely lost.

As I stood at the bus stop, leaning against it, I could see in the distance a bus but it was stationary. At least it is coming, or so I thought. I realised I was still waiting… The bus had not yet arrived yet it was still there, in the distance. Perhaps something serious had happened. Still, I was kept waiting. What could the matter be? I then wondered if… the bus was actually a bus or a town house. Of course, that explained it!

Finally, a bus turned up except no one could get on it. By this time, I put my instinct into people power and followed them to the next bus behind. I was completely exhausted, mentally.

There were several text messages for me, on my mobile; I tried to remain calm, not being able to read them to understand if my kids urgently needed me. I had to ignore the texts… of which, my daughter read for me once I got home and responded to.

Of course as with last time, I later indulged in some sensuous chocolates but that is no longer important as I know there will be many more trips to endure to and from the eye hospital yet I do not mind because I anticipate that with each insightful experience, one will become wiser for it.

My respect is well and truly reserved for those who genuinely need attention, not those who want attention.

Let us move on from campaigning for additional deaf rights, more deaf awareness when we should be supporting those campaigning for more deafblind rights and awareness since it would benefit every single one of us.  If it were not for any of the colour designated posts, i.e. green man, different colour tube lines, I would not have managed to get home – independently. Who then, deserves our consideration and assistance, the most?

~ SJ (Sara Jae)