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deaf in difference

By Rasheera D. Dopson

I like the title but the words I am about to write may have no relation to the tile. I may hint at deafness and I’ll more than likely talk about difference. I guess I’m writing to see where this is going. And it’s hard to talk about, it’s hard to write about because there are so many complexities and ways in which all of these experiences intertwined and cause me a lot of joy and even more pain within the same breath. It has to do with appearance and the need of wanting to fit in. It’s trying to be perceived as normal, even though you consciously know you’ll never be normal. It's fighting that urge of wanting to place blame and having an emotional outburst that goes deeper than the surface-level circumstance. It’s about understanding the depth of what miseducation can do and desperately wanting spaces that were more inclusive. It’s about finding the space to be heard and acknowledging experiences that aren’t commonly told. It about that constant internal pull between peace and unbelief and that mixture of feelings you get in the middle night when you dare to think that things should be different. It’s about wanting people to get it, not so that they can feel your pain, but so that they can empathize with your struggle—enough so much so that they too become allies and not merely bystanders thinking that they have little to no control. It is wanting your peers to be enlightened and not so closed in a box… it’s about the shame that you sometimes pick up because you labeled by that box. It’s about the road of Difference and the hidden battle and secret frustrations we face when there is no spotlight. It’s our own aggression and most times emotional turmoil. And pinpointing down those triggers and healing from past trauma. And vocalizing, “yes, it was a trauma that I faced, and in my adult life I’m finding ways in how to heal.” It's no longer internalizing this pain but being open about our struggles. It’s opening my ears to new conversations and shutting my ear off to negative thoughts. It’s about trying to piece this puzzle into a beautiful picture and praying that the Lord is working behind the scenes. It’s about trusting the creator Abba Father knowing he makes ALL things beautiful in its TIME. It’s about honesty and raw truth…humanizing the ugly experiences. It’s about embracing your weakness and finding each day to put on strength. It’s about hopes for the future and knowing that these times of grounding are for blazing permanent trails. It’s about writing and writing hoping to get it all out of your head and onto paper. It's about creating space for new thoughts and momentum so that you can progress forward and not stay stuck in a triggering emotion that is connected to a tree of your past and current experiences. It’s about finding HOPE in the midst of a storm, and PEACE during a rainy day. It about finding the inner calm within and knowing that it will all get better with time. Reminding yourself to be patient and breathe, just breathe.

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