Working in regular health care settings as a deaf nurse?

Hi everyone,

It has been so long since I have written something. My last post was on the 22nd of July 2016, and at that time I just came back from San Francisco… oh how the time flies!

So, what have I been up to? Am I going to start writing again? First I’ll give an update – I’d like to say a ‘small update’, but I can never write short stories, so bear with me! After that I’ll explain a little about the title and my experiences working in a ‘regular team’ with a ‘regular job’ without any accommodations.

Last year of Nursing school has begun!
Where to start? In January I finished my 3rd year internship, and I passed, so that means I’m officially a 4th year Nursing student now! Woop woop! I did a 5-month traineeship as a student-nurse in a mental health facility, and it was such a great experience. I got to work along with registered (general) nurses, psychiatric nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. Working in psychiatry is a whole other kind of nursing than what I was used to – On my first day working at this facility I started with meeting all colleagues who where there during shift handover, and after that I met all the clients and had breakfast together with them. Everyone was… walking… and… dressed? And were physically fine. That was definitely different!

During my 5 months of internship I learned a lot, but the most important thing is: I learned that this is really the work I see myself doing.

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Writing a group research paper
The past 5 weeks have been busy as well: I started on my thesis and group research paper. I like my own, individual, thesis best – because in the group research I got assigned to a research-request from a health care facility and it’s always challenging to work in a group: will I hear what someone is saying? am I speaking too loud? how many times have I already asked someone to repeat what has been said? can I just nod now, or do I have to check if I’ve understood correctly? It’s exhausting to try and get all the information like this… BUT: I really like doing research in general, finding ways to help improve a facility, being part of something constructive. And I like the subject I got assigned to, so that helps!

“How accessible is health care for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing people?”
My (individual) thesis/paper is also AWESOME. I’m working on a question regarding health care accessibility for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing patients in my country.
I don’t know how accessible health care is for people who are, for example, in a wheelchair, or can’t walk very well, or people who are blind, but I assume (sorry if I’m wrong about this!) that this is mostly ‘physical’ accesibility, for example, in hospitals: can you get in and around the hospital if you’re in a wheelchair – are there elevators, wide corridors, no obstructions on the floors? How do you get around if you’re blind/have low vision? –> if you ask an employee a question, you’ll get an answer that you can hear.

Information is being said to you in (usually) your language, or a language that is easily accessible to you. I think this is different for many D/deaf and HoH people in some cases… they get around physically, they will find their way to the place in the hospital they have to be. But then? How does communication go if you can’t hear other people – or can hear some things, but not everything? If you have surgery and you have to stay in the hospital: will the busy nurses take extra time to make communication smoothly with you, if they are understaffed, overworked, and have 10 other patients to see within the next hour? Or will they say: “It’s not important, I’ll take care of it?”, or don’t finish the intake forms because you have spent a lot of time together clarifying things and figuring out what the other was saying? If they don’t know important information, or if you don’t understand important information that’s being given to you, then what will be the consequences? Do D/deaf and HoH people tell nurses what they need in communication? Or have they tried so many times that they don’t even try anymore? I’ve seen these communication breakdowns happen at work multiple times – and have read / heard about it a lot, in all sorts of health care facilities… so, that’s why I’m focussing on that with my thesis!

Awareness

Working in regular health care settings as a deaf Nurse?
So, now I’ve talked about the subject of my thesis, I’ll give you some of my experiences working as a deaf nurse in regular health care settings. The day I started my 3rd year internship I told my supervisor that I don’t hear much, and so I wear hearing aids. I also told her: just speak normally, if I’m unsure if I’ve heard you I will let you know. During that week it came up a couple of times; sometimes colleagues saw my hearing aids and asked, sometimes I told them. Now, working in mental health care equals constant communication – and the clients who were in treatment knew that I sometimes asked them to repeat what they had said. I was open about it and didn’t want anyone to feel bad for me: I don’t mind putting extra energy in good communication – I sometimes summarized what I think had been said, and it was actually liked: people knew that I had listened to them.

Were there any obstacles or funny moments when working with only hearing people?
I was scared of not being able to communicate with clients and colleagues, of that people would think of me as ‘less’, but that was not the case at all. I think that because I was open about it, and gave information about what they could take into account (face me, or tap me if I haven’t responded, speak in your natural speaking voice, don’t yell – it won’t help, etc.). The only real obstacle was answering the phone, and because I didn’t hear anything through them I didn’t use them, until we got new pagers that amplified… after my shift I went home, and the next day I came to work only to see the night shift nurses’ head almost exploding because the pager was set SO LOUD that she had wrapped it in a bunch of towels so she didn’t go deaf herself.

There were many funny things… sometimes there were a lot of people standing and talking in the nurses station, while my colleague and I were writing the shift handovers. It made it impossible to focus, so I put my hearing aids off and worked along in silence. My colleagues were always jealous that they couldn’t do that too.

A nice moment was when I prepared a poem in signlanguage to practice with the group of clients, nurses and therapists, and everyone told me afterwards that they had really liked the auditory silence and the beauty of a visual language – It’s nice to introduce people to deaf culture/signlanguage, and during my internship everyone has been so open about it, and it has never felt strange.

So. I think that’s enough update for today I suppose! I’d like to do more with raising awareness, I’ve already gotten some emails about this, so I’m going to think about what’s next! Something to definitely look out for is a blog about ‘Tourettes and acceptance’ (self-acceptance and acceptance of others).

Question: what do you want other people to know (about deafness, tourettes, (dis)abilities at work)??

Cuddles for you all!

-Sam

San Francisco, Yosemite and awesomeness while getting tattooed

Hi everyone,

Who knows me, knows that I’m already back home – I haven’t written something since, because: jetlag. I thought that because 6 years ago I didn’t have a jetlag from Australia I wouldn’t have any trouble getting back to the real world this time either. How wrong was I! My lovely Lilian reminded me: I’m getting old!

I’ve been home for about a week now, and I still miss my last city, San Francisco. Not just because of the city, also because of the people I met during my hiking trip to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite NP and the fun I had getting tattooed. I didn’t just get a tattoo, but opened a new chapter of my life and my awesome tattoo artist set me up with a new favourite word + tic. Thanks Kim, it was my favourite tattoo session EVER!

San Francisco
I arrived at the airport in the middle of the night and managed to get on the last train to the city center (thanks to a local at the airport who helped me get through the airport and to my train station!), and the next morning I grabbed myself a map and wanted to explore the city immediately. I looked on the map and decided to walk to the Golden Gate Bridge and explore that part of the city. It didn’t look that far on the map, but JEEEEZ San Francisco makes it a sport to make streets go up and down so steep you can’t stand still because you’ll start walking backwards.

steep SF street

Not-Used-To-That! Definitely not as a Dutch person. But I had a lot of fun exploring the city. After a loooooong time I finally saw the Golden Gate Bridge. Which was awesome! Didn’t walk across because I’d been walking all day already, but I am going to come back to SF as soon as I can and then maybe rent a bike 🙂

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I didn’t do much in SF except for walking around and seeing stuff, but most of my photo’s are on my camera (and I only have my phone with me right now) so you’ll just have to believe me when I saw that I had a great time!

Lake Tahoe & Yosemite
I had booked a 3 day tour to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, and to be honest it was quite disappointing… Instead of 5 hours per day in the bus we had an average of 8 hours on the bus and just a few hours to spend at Yosemite. Lake Tahoe was a little better, because our campsite was near the lake and we had an evening program on a boat, but in general I expected more of it – and I heard most people felt that way – which is a pity. But well, the time I did get to spend there was AWESOME!

Lake Tahoe

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The last photo has a great memory! I was walking in Yosemite with one of the girls I met on the tour and we both wanted to go to Mirror Lake (see picture above). After a while I was just looking around to see the mountains around the lake and suddenly I heard: “Sam, are you coming or what?” – and there she was, already halfway in the lake! We had too little time to do the entire hike so we had to make a shortcut somewhere. She decided that with the warmth this was the best solution. At first I thought she was insane, but I thought it was awesome that we actually walked through the lake.

Getting tattooed
Thursday was one of the days I looked forward to most. Which at first I thought was strange, because you can get tattooed anywhere. Why would this be so special? Well, because I wanted to get a tattoo while traveling, about my travels and special memories. So, a few months before I left for the US I found an awesome tattoo artist online (Kim Stace Thomas from Mermaids Tattoo Studio in San Francisco) who was so great in helping me out with designing my tattoo concept. So I really looked forward to meeting her and getting tattooed by her.

And I was not disappointed by the experience! My new tattoo consist of a combination-skyline of the Sydney Opera House, the Golden Gate Bridge and a ferris wheel – partially because every big city I’ve been to has some kind of ferris wheel, and partially because it reminds me of my sister and grandpa going on the ferris wheel and taking pictures all the time 🙂 And of course the nights sky and water to have a reflection of the skyline.
Normally when I get tattooed the artist doesn’t talk much and doesn’t let me talk much, because they have to focus, but Kim warned me that either she or I should be talking because it helps her focus. I came in to the studio at noon and I think I left by 5pm, and there wasn’t a minute of silence or awkwardness. Just complete awesomeness. Awesome (and variations of that word) is my new favourite word. I told Kim I have Tourettes and occasionally get a new tic, so she put emphasis on one of the words she said most during our 5 hour meet, which was the word awesome. I think she wanted to give me a tic – and I have to say it is an AWESOME tic. So thanks!

My tattoo is on the outside my underarm, where I had a pretty bad chemical burn from a year ago. And now you can’t see there’s ever been scars in the first place! It’s so good to have people not give me sad or judging looks because of that. I’m happy and grateful that Kim believed my skin could take it and to try it anyway. Getting the tattoo truely hurted worse than all my other tattoos combined, but wow it was SO worth it!

When it’s healed up properly and I’m allowed to post a picture of it I will, somewhere!

Back to reality!
I loved my trip, definitely my days in San Francisco were the best and I’m going back there as soon as I can! I miss SF but had the most fun in a long time. Now I have 5 weeks left to prepare for my next internship (as a psychiatric nurse intern on a closed ward in a mental health hospital), so on monday I’ll be starting with my assignments and research!

And OMG I’m soon going to do something I’m terrified about: take up a martial arts class again at an MMA center near me – it’s been too long since I’ve done something with that! Going back to my strong self. If I don’t die in my first classes I’ll write about it soon.

Big hugs for all of you, stay awesome!

Love, Sam

US Travel Adventures 3 – Toronto

Hi everyone,

As I’m writing this intro of the blog it’s day 4 of my US/Canada trip, I’m sitting on my bed in the hostel in Toronto. At first I was a bit scared because I didn’t know anything about the neighborhood and if we could get to the city center fast and easy, but we arrived a couple of hours ago and it’s amazing! During the next couple of days I’ll write some things and will post it probably on day 7 or 8, right before I head for New York City and Lilian will leave for Amsterdam…

Day 4 (Thursday, 16th of June): Traveling from Niagara Falls to Toronto
We woke up in our hotel in Niagara Falls around 5:30am, we had a nice long morning walk and bought some souvenirs for our families. After that we went back to the hotel and relaxed a little before checking out. We left the hotel at noon, and we decided to grab something to eat before heading to the Greyhound busterminal. We thought: oh, it’s 30 minutes walking, we can do that! But it was HOT outside and we were carrying our big backpacks and day-backpacks… it felt like we were walking for hours… But finally we got on our bus to Toronto (which is about a 2 hour drive, if you don’t get stuck in traffic like we did…) and we had wifi, so we heard some good news: Lilians’ younger sister passed her high school exams!! Yay for her! And we Facetimed with my mom for a bit, which was nice!

We arrived in Toronto, saw the big CN Tower, and walked straight to our hostel. And what we found was a big surprise!

We’re in a street that is totally my thing: a lot of veggies + fruit stands, vegetarian/vegan restaurants, art all over walls and buildings, people from all over the world walking around and people who sing publicly while just walking around the streets. So much fun to watch!

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Day 5 (Friday, 17th of June): Facing our fears!
Today we had an extremely busy day, we had breakfast at 8am and directly after that we started walking to the entertainment district and the CN Tower. We went in, obviously, all the way to the top! At the top there was a glass floor and Lilian just walked up on there. I, being a bit of a scaredypants, was too afraid at first but in the end I jumped up and down with joy because it was so much fun!
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After the CN Tower it was HOT outside, so we went to the aquarium, which was next to the CN Tower. I like aquariums so much, I start acting like a child again. We had lots of fun there!

In the afternoon we walked through Old Toronto,  went to the Lawrence Market (which looks a lot like Paddy’s Market in Sydney, Australia!) and sat for a bit to rest our achy feet.
We decided to go to the movies in the evening, and what better movie to see than Alice – Through the looking glass?!

I forgot my hearing aids and in English speaking countries they normally don’t provide subtitles, but they had this funny selfie-stick sort of thing with closed captions. New experience, but I liked it a lot!

Today we walked for about 10 hours, so we have to let our feet rest a bit more so tomorrow we’ll be able to do some more walking and sightseeing!

Day 6 (Saturday, 18th of June): Casa Loma + Movies again!
Because we bought a city pass we were able to get into Casa Loma. We met up with our couchsurfing host Michael, who hadn’t been to Casa Loma before either. Not much to say about it, except for that it was amazing!! From high up in the castle you could see the skyline of Toronto, and I love skylines 🙂 Now it’s time for us to sit down and have a nice meal at the Hungarian-Thai restaurant we went to on Thursday as well, and then go and see Finding Dory in the cinema! With my CC-selfie stick! ❤

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Day 7 (Sunday, 19th of June):
Today we went to the islands that are below Toronto. We went with a crazy-crowded ferry to the center island. Lilian really wanted to rent bikes, but when we went there were dragonboat races, and the lines for the bikes were so long that we decided not to – but instead walk around, have nice and long talks, and then Lilian came up with a scary idea: she thought it’d be fun to rent a canoe. A CANOE! Since it was her last day of vacation I decided to face my fear and go along with her. The first minutes I kept saying “I don’t want to, I don’t want to!”, but after a while I started to actually like it and I started to understand how boats work.

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And the luck of traveling by ferry is that you can see the pretty skyline on your way back!

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Now it’s off to bed, because tomorrow we’ll be leaving the city…

Day 8 (Monday, 20th of June): The day I have been dreading
Lilian is leaving today to go back home. And I’m flying from Toronto to NYC in the evening. It has been a great week, but from now on, the next 6 weeks I’ll be depending on myself, trusting myself to make the right decisions and make the most out of my days. During this week I’ve been doubting a lot – will I stay here or join Lilian and just go home? It comes down to being scared of the unknown, and not trusting people easily lately. But, the people I’ve been talking to about this have all said: if you don’t try, you’ll never find out.

Time will tell if I’m able to do this on my own. I certainly hope I can. See you when I get to NYC!

Love, Sam

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US Travel Adventures 2 – Niagara Falls

Hi everyone,

Today is the 15th of June, which means we (my lovely Lilian and I) have been abroad for 1,5 days. A lot has happened, and I’d like to share some photo’s and stories with you.

Day 1: 15 hours of traveling
Is a LOT. For everyone. We were at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport at 8am, and our first flight was delayed so we left at noon. At our stopover in Frankfurt we originally had to wait until 5:30pm, but left an hour later. Not really a big deal, but we had booked a shuttlebus in Toronto and it wasn’t going to wait for us. We did have a really nice big airplane with individual tv screens so we could watch movies! Lilian watched X-men and I attempted to try and watch the Big Bang Theory… 1 earplug didn’t work and I could barely hear anything out of the other one. Too bad nothing had CC.

Arriving in Toronto we had to go through security, which was HELL! We were in line for like half an hour and I felt the time ticking away (and I was ticcing away, which caused a bit of people staring at me). At one point I was so exhausted and scared and relieved (I’m scared to death of flying, so I was happy that I survived my flights) that I started to sob uncontrollably. Poor Lilian, she had to deal with a lot in that hour! Luckily we made it just in time to catch our shuttlebus from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

Arriving in Niagara
I knew that I immediately wanted to see the falls. We were both really tired, but went anyway – in the summer the falls are lit up with pretty lights and colors between 9pm and midnight. We arrived just minutes before midnight and this was our sight (sorry my camera isn’t really good with taking sharp pictures at night:

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After this ended we went to our hotel again 🙂

Day 2: Our first real day
We walked around Niagara Falls a bit and then decided we wanted to go to the American side. While walking the bridge that would lead us to the US, there were some army men and police officers standing there. Apparently the torch for the special olympics went through there that day. Pretty awesome!

After going through security (YAY Lilian also got a stamp in her passport for the US!) we went to the visitors centre to get ourselves tickets for the Maid of the Mist – have I mentioned that I don’t like boats either? I have to admit, IT WAS AWESOME! We got these funny blue ponchos (not sure if that’s what they’re called in English, but whatever) and found ourselves a spot at the top of the boat right at the front.

We went past the American Falls and went almost into the Horseshoe Falls. The falls are so high up and pretty and I really loved it. Especially because I was with my lovely girl.

 

 

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Cave of the Winds + surprise
After our first adventure we went to get ourselves some ice cream, since it was a lovely sunny day. We asked for a SMALL ice cream, and compared to what we get at home when we ask for 1 scoop, we got 5 scoops, it was crazy! I can’t imagine what a large ice cream would look like, would that be a liter of ice cream?! It was nice though, we ate it while sitting in the park chatting.

Lilian found a map and found out that we could go down by the falls and be literally beside the falls. Again, we were given (this time yellow) ponchos and very comfy sandals. We didn’t understand why we were given the sandals, but it was so slippery and windy that our own shoes wouldn’t like it at all!

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And right there on the left where you see people, right next to the fall, I did something that I had been planning for for MONTHS!

I told her she was my everything, and I wanted to stay with her for the rest of my life. I asked her the big question: do you want to marry me? and she said YES!!!

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Day 3: Last full day in Niagara Falls
It’s 8am now, we’re about to find ourselves some breakfast, do some groceries, relax a little, sit in our hottub(!!) with a Lush bubblebar and walk around some more to the old part of town. In the evening we’re going into the Skylon Tower to see the night’s view and the fireworks! Then tomorrow at 3pm we’ll leave for Toronto to spend the rest of our week there. Time is flying by so fast already… on Monday Lilian will go back to The Netherlands and I’ll be traveling on to the US for 6 weeks… Long time to miss the one you love most. Luckily it’s not Monday yet!!

Have a great week everyone, I’ll give a Toronto update soon 🙂

Love, Sam & Lilian

My Deaf identity in progress

Hi everyone,

I’ve been talking to some great people today and I thought it was about time I’d share something with you all.

There’s something I need you all to know about me, it’s not shocking news, but…
I’m Deaf. Yes, I am. I can speak perfectly, in my voice you’ll barely notice any difference from a hearing person, but I can’t hear you anymore. Therefor I need to adapt myself by reading lips, reading gestures and reading facial expressions. But it also means that other people have to adapt to me as well.

Compromising in communication
We have to meet in the middle, otherwise it’s not fair to anyone. It’s what I hear a lot from Deaf people: “I have to do all the work to follow a language that’s no longer accessible to me, and the hearing people don’t adapt to me”. Sadly this is more common than uncommon, and I’ll tell you why it’s so common: there are so many hearing people and less Deaf people. It’s ‘normal’ to WANT to fit in to the regular group, do what everyone else is doing. If that means I have to speak instead of sign, I will. And many other d/Deaf/HoH people will do the same.

I’m not saying that it’s our own fault that hearing people don’t adapt to us, but they usually don’t know that it takes a lot of energy to ‘act hearing’. I think it’s the hardest for people who have turned deaf all of a sudden or have had a lot of speech therapy and therefor sound ‘like every other hearing person’. Nobody notices that we struggle in communication, because WE can communicate perfectly. It’s just that the communication coming back to us is like a 10.000 piece puzzle we have to solve within seconds.

I’m not saying either that hearing people aren’t trying to compromise in communication, but a lot of the time I get said to “never mind” or “I’ll tell you later”. And that’s not compromising, that’s deciding for me what’s important enough to be told. I hope that Deaf people can tell hearing people what it is in communication they need, because that’s a concrete solution. I can’t tell you hearing people what all Deaf people need, because that’s different for everybody. But just let hearing people know what it is you need, and if you come across a decent person, they’ll listen and at least try.

Hearing Identity
I always have considered myself to be hearing, even when my hearing started to become less and less, I have always said “I’m hearing”. And people believed me, of course. Why would you think otherwise when you sound hearing, and act hearing?
Problem is: I am not a hearing person, not even close! I camouflage it well with nodding in crowded conversations, and reacting to what someone has said in the hopes that I answered correctly to whatever it is they were asking me. I can’t keep up, and then your identity crashes.

Identity crisis
This was what I discussed briefly with a friend of mine: he used to tell everyone he was ‘hard of hearing’, and he could speak so much that he fooled everyone with how ‘bad’ his ears were. Eventually we both started to do the Signlanguage program and I saw an identity shift. All of a sudden he called himself Deaf, refused to wear his hearing aids and he only wanted to sign. I didn’t get it: what had changed so much that he decided to do this? Now I realize there’s sort of a spectrum that goes from 100% hearing to 100% Deaf. He always had tried so hard to fit in with hearing people, by talking, by reading lips, by pretending he understood everything that everyone said. Now it was time to explore the other side, the 100% Deaf side. And I think that moment is coming close for me as well.

100% Hearing – 100% Deaf
I tend to be somewhere in between. I often say I’m ‘just’ hard of hearing, but when I say that, it’s:
1: Not completely true, because I’m deaf;
2: Harder for people to understand, because they never know how much you can and can’t hear. And since many deaf/hard of hearing people are experts on reading people’s gestures and expessions, it’s hard to guess when something isn’t being understood.

When I studied to become a Signlanguage Interpreter I always said “I’m hearing” – that was my 100% Hearing side. I felt alone and like a liar, because I had to work so much harder than anyone else in that group to even come close to a good interpretation of something that was said – simply because I didn’t hear it well enough.

Now I study to become a nurse, and on day 1 (2 years ago) I said to my classmates: I’m Sam, want to become a nurse, and there are some things you need to know: 1 – I have Tourettes, 2 – I am hard of hearing and 3 – don’t treat me any differently, I will tell you when I haven’t heard you.

Transition to calling myself Deaf
Right now I sometimes refuse to speak in front of other people (for example in stores, when I’m outside walking around town), and some days I don’t want to wear my hearing aids or speak at all. I only want to sign and unfortunately that’s not always possible with friends and family. I wish I could say that I’m Deaf and proud of it, but right now I just feel deaf. Impaired in communication and cut off from the world sometimes. That’s why I’m experimenting with trying to say that I’m Deaf – I sign, and you’ll have to deal with that.

It feels good to just use signlanguage, because it makes it clear: I can’t hear you, and you have to adapt to me as well. As for what I’m going to decide, I’m not sure yet.. I prefer to sign, but if people speak to me, I will give in most of the time. I’m experimenting with not doing that.

I’ll keep you updated on how my journey goes. Where it leads me.

Love, Sam

Train colliding with a person

Hi everyone,

Everyone who takes public transportation as a way of getting around has heard or seen the phrase “Train has collided with a person” (or some form of that, it’s the closest translation I have to the Dutch variation of this phrase). I read that phrase 2 days ago when I came back from an interview.

 

It makes me go cold inside: who was it? Was the person forced, was it an accident or was it suicide?

End of last year
I saw on the news that my classmate’s sister had been struck by a train, and that she hadn’t survived. Soon it was called a suicide, but the family didn’t see how such a girl as her could do something like that. After a lot of researching it still remained unclear to the family what had happened.

What happened 2 days ago
People sighted: “We’ve got another jumper… do those people only think of themselves?!”… like the hour of delay it caused us is worse than the horror that the strucken person and his/her family must go through. It makes me feel outraged! I think there’s too little thought about the reason people get hit by trains: yes, a lot of the time it’s suicide, but not always! And what if it’s a suicide, so what? Does that make it any less significant?

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Suicide
Is something a lot of people don’t understand: how can you WANT to end your life? How can those people be so selfish? – Those are the questions you hear a lot. And especially this one: “How can you do that to the people who are riding on the train, they get delayed because of you” – if there’s something I get angry at it’s people like that!

But, fair enough, if you’ve never been suicidal, I can understand it’s something extremely difficult to comprehend. People who attempt or succeed at suicide ‘look so normal’, and ‘you don’t expect something like that from them’. People who are suicidal look absolutely ordinary. Because they’re people, just like you and me.

So… how does it feel?
Like the world is nothing but darkness, as if from inside there’s only emptiness and no more hope that the world is going to get any better than it’s today. No more hope for the future. An endless emptiness that can’t be filled with something else but death. Sound quite vague, but that’s how I’d describe it.

From the outside you can’t see it, people are often wearing a mask and are saying “I’m just fine, thanks!”. People who have these kind of thoughts, they work, study, have friends and partners, and loving families. It’s not always the people with the horrifying pasts. Suicidal thoughts will come to the best of us. In times you least expect.

 

Jumping
Yes… jumping, that’s a tricky subject. I once saw someone jump off of the building I now live in, at the uni campus I study at. It was as if my heart stopped for a beat: did I just see that happen?! Someone who was so desperate, had so much darkness inside, that jumping seemed the only way out? I didn’t think it was selfish at all – someone who makes that decision has thought long and deep about it: what will be the consequences for my family, the people who will see me jump/find me on the ground? Will it make the pain go away, or will things just get worse?

Solution
It’s a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Something that fascinates me and at the same time scares the hell out of me. Here a song that tells about it:

Autumn – premeditated dying

I’m curious
How other people think about this subject. I can discuss it for hours, but am mostly interested how you think about people who decide to make an end to their lives themselves instead of waiting it to end on its own when it’s ‘their time’.

I don’t know how to close such a heavy blogpost, so I’ll just end it off with saying goodbye for now 🙂

Love, Sam

I went to DELAIN!

Hello everyone,

Something that I enjoy dearly is music. Especially music with a loud bass so I can feel the rhythm. For 10 years I have loved the music of a Dutch band called ‘DELAIN’, and I went there a little while ago! Obviously I can’t hear as much as I could 10 years ago, but I still enjoyed every moment of it!

In this video I will probably just give examples of songs I like MOST and why I like them. If you’re hearing and can adjust the bass sound, amplify it! But then again, you can probably hear the parts where the bass would be loud. If you’re Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing and do like to listen to music: do what you have to do, it’s worth listening to!

1. Suckerpunch

This one means a lot to me, even though it’s just a new song. It’s one of my favourites to listen to. When I read the lyrics I can relate, because of my depression not long ago – and me crying to my girlfriend to ‘get the demons from my dreams’. It’s not particularly a happy song, but it’s a good song!

2. The tragedy of the commons

This on is also fairly new, and is (to me) about the destruction that people can do (and do!).”Close our eyes to darkened skies” –> people choose (and have a right to) not wanting to know what’s going on in the world. It’s kinda depressing nowadays to see the news, and I am scared of where the world is going. This song puts those thoughts nicely together. And why I started to like it was because of the bass, obviously.

3. We are the others

This one is dear to my heart. In 2007 a 20 year old girl named Sophie Lancaster was murdered by a group of teenagers because of her (gothic) looks. This song is a tribute to her. At the time I was really scared, because I had the same gothic looks. Were there really people out there trying to kill people because they look or act different?

This song is so important to me because it could apply to everyone! But especially, as a Touretter, it applies to me: I do things that are not perceived as ‘normal’. I twitch, I make noises (that I often don’t even hear myself making, which makes me wonder what other people hear me tic about) and sometimes shout. I get anxious easily, have to count things, have to have things done in a certain order. Which isn’t ‘sad’ or anything, it’s just me being myself – me being different from the people around me. And they are different from me as well, so the song applies to all of us who recognize themselves in it, one way or the other.

4. Sing to me (ft. Marco Hietala from Nightwish)

“Happy tears fade fast, sad tears tend to last”. To me a song about having done things we cannot undo. Good or bad. To me at least.
I mainly like the song because of the loud bass (especially when it’s live on stage!) and the fact that I can actually HEAR Charlotte’s and Marco’s voices properly sometimes when I listen to the song through my music link (that’s sort of earphones that are linked to my hearing aids).

That’s pretty much what I wanted to share with you all today! Bit of a personal blog, bit of a fun blog, and my question to you (whether you’re Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing/hearing/something else) is: do you like music? If yes, what kind of music?

Love, Sam