So I was talking to somebody the other day and she said “it must be so cool to lipread like you do, its like a superpower…. you can read anyone’s lips whenever you want and just know what they’re saying”. If that’s as the case then why did I have to ask her to repeat what she was saying several times in the conversation? I did a presentation to the year a while ago and I stressed how much I rely on lipreading, ‘I need to see your face or…’ ‘don’t stand in front of a window or…’, you get the idea. Maybe I stressed it too much or perhaps I should have said with each point I made that just because I rely heavily on lipreading doesn’t mean that i can miraculously hear because sometimes saying it once or twice doesn’t really make it sink in.
When there are lots of new people around its especially difficult to lipread people as I’m not used to their lip patterns. Sometimes there are strange circumstances, for example, the other day I was on a bus and as it stopped I saw two women talking and I lipread the one who was facing towards me and I could tell what she was saying, or at least the short sentence i saw before the bus left, it also fit in well their body language. It’s weird like that, how can I understand complete strangers but then not lipread others that well? That’s happened a few times…it seems to be that when i really want to hear what somebody is saying I can’t understand them, I can’t follow their lips and the words merge together.
Anyway, when the girl said the bit about the superpowers I kind of worried that maybe a few people at college think like this, maybe they really do think i’m quiet and I don’t even want to join in with their conversations and I’m ‘antisocial’ because of course I can read every word they’re saying(!) I don’t know. Maybe she’s the only one. I did try telling her that it is still difficult to understand what people are saying but we were at a party and I didn’t want to seem like I was lecturing her. Maybe I worry too much about what others think.
I wish somebody would tell me why people find it hard to make conversations with me. Is it because they do think I’m quiet and I don’t really talk? (which is because I can’t follow and therefore join in conversations) Or is it because I’m deaf and they don’t know what to say or they’re scared in case they say something wrong? I don’t want this to be the case but I’m running out of possibilities….and if any of these are true how can I possibly make it better? I don’t really think that anyone can fully understand what its like to be deaf unless of course they are. It’s times like these when I think there should be a film about a deaf teenager with personal inputs from hundreds of deaf people everywhere so the facts are right. Not a documentary, but a film that people can get stuck into, not get bored and they can relate to the characters, something that people say afterwards ‘that was good’ or ‘that was powerful’. Maybe I should put my new letter writing skills to use and write to some producers!! Not sure they’d take me seriously!