All About Accepting Yourself

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As you know I have mentioned that I was born deaf, with a mild Cerebral Palsy which is invisible and I was pretty upset when I found out I couldn’t hear when I was at young age. My parents found out I am deaf when I was only three years old and took me to couple hospitals to do hearing tests to determine whether or not if Im deaf or not. I remember going to the specialist to request for an operation but unfortunately the doctor told me that he couldn’t do that due to the fact that it could kill me. After a while, I came to understanding myself as a deaf person and accepting who I am. My parents put me in a regular school where they provide an assistance for me in order to learn how to read and write. A lot of my friends wanted to learn sign language so they could communicate with me. The school wanted to set up a class where the students could learn to communicate with me and then I started noticing all of my friends that learned how to sign. I started hanging out with the same group of friends and I feel blessed to have them in my life through school years. When my helper was sick, my friends would offer support so that I wouldn’t miss what my teacher taught us. I used to take notes from the black board and looking at interpreter at the same time and I didn’t feel it was hard for me. My family all took their time to learn how to sign as well and I had someone coming in once a week named Brent Paul. He is the one who taught my family and myself how to sign in order to communicate with each other and my brother named Will, he’d get involved with what Brent Paul had taught me. The media press got involved and wrote an article in the newspaper about what my life was like in the hearing world and school and they were impressed.

I was told by the school that I would have interpreter in high school, she also signs ASL (American Sign Language) that deaf people use and I didn’t even learn that yet. I didn’t understand clearly why they had to do that and I was upset that my helper had to change. Mrs Nickel was the helper for 8 years with me and I was uncomfortable with her leaving because she was great with me. I was signing S.E.E (Signed Exact English) that my family use and having an ASL interpreter was a big challenge for me so I begged interpreter to teach me ASL so that I could communicate with deaf people in general so she did for me; I admit when I learned ASL, I almost gave up to learn ASL because it was so hard to change my first English language. In grade 8, the school offered me to visit the deaf school for a week, I was really nervous because I knew nothing about deaf school or their language. I came back to regular school telling them how my visit was, it was a little awkward for me and I didn’t want to go back there.

Through my childhood life I never got to meet deaf people, their culture, their language and it was hidden from me for years. Every time I try to meet deaf people, have conversation with them and when they find out I was from the hearing world they would automatically ignore me or to create limit conversation and would not make me feel welcome. I did some research on deaf culture and their way of life and the more I learn about them makes that easy for me to understand them. I would have to disagree with one of their actions that they think they need to throw other deaf people away just because the they are from different world or different country but their identify is same. I am speaking from my experience with them and how I felt through times. I then got use to being around hearing people more and more because I feel they could understand me better and I understand them better.  What are there any different for anyone that we live in many diversities in the world? What do you expect world to do for you? We all have to accept the way individuals are and just love them who they are.

I am now a full time makeup artist and photography as well. I love to meet interesting people as much as enjoying my career and that I can make people feel good about themselves when I make them look beautiful. I like to see that my clients are satisfied with my work and make it a success.

By: Carolyn Bulsink

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There Are A Lot Difference Between Hearing and Listening

Hey Guys,

Just thought I’d let you know about my story being interviewed by “The Dyonne Lewis Show” Host and she wrote her blog excessively beautiful about what my life was like in one world. I grew up being deaf in the hearing universe and I was surrounded by people that can hear – while growing up, I thought I was like everyone else and intentionally got upset when I couldn’t hear what people were saying and I wanted to get something that can help me hear but unfortunately it never succeed. I was like ok something doesn’t work for me and I realized I have came to the terms of understanding my deafness  and discovering who I am in school. I remember receiving a speech therapy every morning at school – they thought I’d be able to talk and thats because of my parents teaching me how to speak/read lips. My parents taught me sign language and teaching me how to speak. I began to read lips at a young age and my friends would ask me what words I can speak like “apple” and she heard  my voice.  I knew nothing about deaf culture or their school until in 1995. The deaf school came to the school to tell the school how deaf people are like and how they interact with  others in a different way. 

An evening with the Stars

An evening with the Stars

When I started attending school and my friends were like “she’s deaf and we have to learn sign language for her” and I begin to notice they were signing and I asked them “How did you learn?”  they replied, “Mrs Nickel did teach us” My interpreter decided to have a class to teach the kids how to sign and I was so amazed. My first Interpreter was Barb and she helped me for only a year and then she was told to leave town and I was upset that she had to leave, she was the one who taught me how to read & write.  After many years, I decided to meet up with Barb in Toronto two years ago and she was very surprised to see me again – she was saying that she had thought of me and my mom. I came and visit her for the first time and I got to tell you that she’s amazing woman that taught me everything.

There are a lot difference between hearing & listening, having to say that is because a hearing impaired people brain is working properly and it is just ears that doesn’t work. Most hearing world are afraid of communication barriers and they don’t know what the other options available for them – yes there are so many options you can communicate with a deaf people. Technology is excessively improving and developing cool translator apps that can break down communication barriers on iPhone, Samsung and BlackBerry. I’m intentionally going to work on a communication project to help with the technology.  I am currently working with an electrical engineer and studying with him to be a successful engineer.

You can check my story on http://www.dyonnelewis.com what I have fought for my accomplishment and not sitting around.

By: Carolyn Bulsink