Dr. Michael A. Harvey is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and the author of a few books relating to people who are deaf. Here’s an interview with him.
I am fortunate to have a supportive family who make a large effort to communicate with me. I have a handful of friends as well, but not as many as I would like and most of those friends are long time friends rather than friends from recent years.
As shallow as it sounds, some people just don’t want to be friends with someone who has a major difference or disability no matter how normal that person behaves in every day life. Then there is the opposite side… those who are friends with everyone are the kind of people I want to be friends with as I like having few and meaningful friendships.
I saw the finale of Friends and I envy the writers or whomever they based those characters on. I would like friends like them. It may be fiction, but these stories are based on what several people have experienced.
Too often, I feel isolated. Last weekend, I went to my daughter’s volleyball game. I talked to a parent when we arrived. Then during the game and in-between games, I felt isolated. It’s frustrating to be the one who has to initiate a conversation almost every time and I don’t want to do it all the time because it could be they may not be interested in talking with me.
Some of the moms were sitting together chatting up a storm. I know these moms and have had conversations with them many times, so it’s not like they don’t realize I can converse. This sort of thing happens too often and it’s a depressing situation. I spent the rest of the time sitting quietly doing my own thing.
The Internet tears down the barriers I face in my day-to-day life and I’ve made a few online friends since they got to know me as a person without the deaf thing in the way. But it’s not the same as having a friend in the same city that you can hug and visit.