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21 August 2007 @ 12:54 am
*looks around*  
Hi all.

I decided over the past few days that I need to undergo a trial or test to attempt to better myself. No, it's not for any kind of religious reason... it's just something odd that I feel the need to do.  I seem to have a bad habit of saying inane things and interrupting people... so no better way to nip that all in the bud.  I decided to stop speaking.

Of course, I want to keep my job, so I speak seldomly there, but just enough to get by.  Please read my journal for accounts of my journey (I just started today, so there may not be much to read just yet.)

I am pleased to see that a community like this exists... makes me feel like less of a freak. :)

Thank you all for listening...
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Meredith: gallaudetwoofiegrrl on August 29th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
I am always puzzled when someone says their alternative to speaking is signing. I am a hearing person, a certified interpreter, and a new Gallaudet student. Sometimes when I am feeling emotional I prefer to sign rather than speak, but usually it is because I express my emotions better in ASL than with my voice, which is usually quavering when I am emotional anyway. I just come across more clearly - my emotions are more pure - in ASL than in English.

But otherwise, to me, signing IS speaking. Can you explain - either in a reply or in a new entry in this community - how you are more comfortable using your hands to speak rather than your mouth? To me they are both speaking, I guess I don't understand the difference between hands and mouth in this case. If I were to stop speaking for traumatic reasons (including anxiety/fear) I can't imagine signing being "allowed" in that case. I would love to understand this a little better.
Volim što sam lezbejka zato što su žene lepe: Co-consciouspthalogreen on August 29th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
I think it has something to do with making noise. We are a multiple system and we were abused as a child and as a result many of us have difficulties with speech/making noise and some of us don't speak at all. When we first stopped speaking in a noticeable way (the people who don't speak at all were in the body all of the time), we needed a way to communicate and we wanted to have a language to say the things that we couldn't say out loud, a language no one would understand, a language that doesn't make noise. We made our own sign language, and then got interested in real ASL when someone who did know ASL told us that some of our signs meant the same thing in ASL as they did in our language. (Believe was the same, and so was future. I don't remember what else was the same.)

On a tangent, as an adult, we learned to speak Hungarian and find that some things are easier to express in Hungarian because it is not our native language and the words have less feeling attached to them.

For a while, though, ASL was our secret language. We learned it from books and videocassettes and after a year or two someone who has deaf parents asked if our parents were deaf too because we signed well by then. I think, not having looked at the books in a long time and only having ourselves to communicate with, our ASL has slowly become our own private dialect. We've had met very few people who knew sign.

Once, at age 11 or so, at the ChildHelp centre there was a dog that we used to sign with a little. He came over to us and we petted him and started a conversation in sign, just the beginning of one, saying hi to him. And one of the police officers who worked there said "It's a hot day today isn't it?" in sign and we were so scared that someone understood us in our safe language, that we just stared at the police officer until she went away.

Trauma caused (for some of us) a complete inability to speak, but we were still able to write and use our hands. It wasn't about not talking at all, it was more about not talking out loud, in our mother tongue, in a language that could be understood.