When something is bothering me, I can figure out what it is if I sit down and start writing and doing my best to describe how I feel. If I just keep writing, eventually the truth will be revealed. That happened last night. Here’s how my 1,500-word letter to Dr. Shoja ended:
“One more thing scares me: My friends are good friends. I have a good double-handful of wonderful people who’ve stuck with me through my life. They will not abandon me. But I don’t want to be physically with them. I don’t really want to be with anyone. I feel deficient, inadequate, out of place. Right now, my friendships work better on email. But it’s like being in jail.
“I do want to see my friends. I desperately want to go to the parties of my friends here on the island, but I can’t do it. I feel I can’t do it to them—I feel like a fart at a party; and I can’t do it to myself. I don’t know how to be a mute in a speaking world yet.
“There it is: I don’t know how to be a mute in a speaking world.”
Two weeks ago, I wrote the love letter of my life to my cousin, Ann. She stopped communicating with me thirty years ago, and I’ve pined for her ever since. She was someone I absolutely adored all through my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. But then it all stopped with no explanation.
Well, it seems I cannot hope for a reproachment. I’ve heard nothing back from here, even though I added a stamped self-addressed card with which she could reply. I knew when I wrote, I was opening the door to being hurt yet again by her indifference. It hurts and I’m pissed at her; I think she’s unkind.
Well … here I go again. Another day as a mute person, another day dreading that the phone will ring.
Today I’m going to fire up my iPad and type into my Proloquo2go program, the following: “Hello. I am using a speech generating App to tell you that you’ve reached Chris and right now my FND disorder has me unable to speak. To communicate with me, please email me at email@example.com. Thank you”
I can then answer the phone and play the message.
I don’t want to live too long locked up like this. If I am still mute at the end of January, I reckon I will sign up for online ASL classes even though I don’t know anyone who can sign. If I do decide to learn ASL, I will ask Jay or Regina to put on post on the Gabriola community page asking if there’s anyone on the island who can sign. If there is, I may hire them to help me.
I’m going dog walking with Regina, Donna and Di this morning. I tend to walk ahead of them and listen to them talking behind me. Even though I cannot speak with them, I value their company; they are welcoming even though I can’t speak with them.